Cool, clean and elegant.
Gorgeous handmade silver jewelry perfect for summer.
Shopping blog featuring products made by people not factories.
Cool, clean and elegant.
Gorgeous handmade silver jewelry perfect for summer.
Wool in the summer? Crazy, you say? Not when it is fashioned into these whimsical and original pieces of jewelry. They are gorgeous and unique and can be yours for less than you would imagine.
Beautiful. By Ollies Woollies.
Planting season will be upon us very soon. More time spent in the garden, kneeling down and bending over in order to fill our little patches with colour come the summer. Cassia Beck has captured a scene from summer; the season that doesn’t seem to hang around Scotland for too long for a couple of weeks between the months of June to August.
And being able to be green-fingered, even when you don’t own a garden is possible by Creating a kitchen herb garden in a planter on the window sill. Most herbs are minimal effort plants and don’t require a lot of TLC.
“Annual” herbs (aka herbs that only last a season) are cilantro, basil and chervil and are probably some of the more high maintenance herbs – they will need to be re-planted every spring.
“Evergreen” herbs (aka herbs that won’t die back in the winter months) are the herbs that will remain green all year round; lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme are examples of evergreens – and they will make your home smell wonderful!
“Herbaceous” herbs (aka plants that will die back in the winter months but grow back strong and healthier than ever before) are the herbs like tarragon and chives and require the least effort – plus they are brilliant for seasoning and flavouring food!
These gorgeous and sturdy planters from Andrew’s Reclaimed Shop are crafted with care; made from mill end waste cut cedar and waterproof food grade glue.
If you’re planning on creating a herb garden make sure you put it into an area with good air circulation and light – most herbs require little effort but they still love the sunshine, good soil and pruning – depending on which variety of herbs you decide to add to your planters.
If you do have a garden spare a thought for your left-overs.
Vegetable peelings work as a great alternative to shop bought fertilizer; simply wash out a left-over ice cream tub and store veggie peelings in there, place the lid back and over time the peelings will break down into compost for your garden.
Milk cartons also work as multi-purpose/make-shift garden tools. Watering cans are created by piercing the milk tops several times, filling the milk carton with water and screwing the pierced lid back on. Or why not create a scoop for your fertilizer from a milk carton? Cut from below the handle, cutting diagonally until you achieve the scoop shape – and viola you have your very own little scoop instead of the carton going out to be trashed.
The daffodils usually spring up in April here; peeking their little yellow heads through the bulbs just in time for the UK Mothering Sunday. Currently we’re waiting for the Big Freeze to end and would be very welcoming to some sunshine, spring flowers and all the lovely things a garden in bloom brings.
Until then, I am tempted to fill my walls with home decor stickers like this:
It would save us hundreds in re-decoration costs – and we’d be able to un-stick these vinyl stickers and take them wherever we were instead of having an eternal mural we’d have to leave behind. Plus it would make my garden-less and bare walled household a cheerier place to be while everyone else enjoys their gardens in the upcoming months.
Today marks the very day I was able to pluck the first ripe tomatoes of 2010 from my gardens here in the Great White North; three small, but beautiful Green Zebras for those who are keeping track. It’s also the day I begin existing solely on tomatoes, whole grain bread, fresh cracked pepper and mayonnaise, but my love of tomato sandwiches is a story for another day.
Today is a day I look forward to all year, every year; and since summer just wouldn’t be summer without at least one obligatory column dedicated to the tomato it’s a day I am fully committed to commemorating here. Anyone who has enjoyed a tomato fresh from the garden or Farmer’s Market can nod their head and heartily agree as they read the following words: The square, milky orange-red things found in supermarkets shouldn’t even legally be marketed as tomatoes! The taste, the beauty, the smell! In none of these can supermarket tomatoes compete with a good garden fresh, heirloom.
Even hybrid varieties outperform when sourced fresh and local — as a matter of fact, just between you and me, there are a few in my garden that I look forward to almost as much as the heirlooms who flank them in neighboring beds. Still, there is something wholly satisfying about eating a fruit that not only is superior in every way my hedonistic-self desires, but also carries in its very flesh the history of a people, a species, a world; and there is where the heirlooms will win out, every single time.
I’ve never been a things person. I won’t deny the little fixes I crave. My existence is far from austerity. I have my material loves. Keeping up with the Joneses was a hobby I considered taking up in the early years of high school, but that’s as far as it went. I often joke it stems from a fear, nay! a full-blown phobia, of commitment. If I’m honest though, I have just as many attachments as the Joneses. Mine are just in the earth, rather than the things man has put atop it.
I have somehow reconciled a being that is plagued with both a strong wanderlust and deep roots in the history of the earth herself. Our home and budding farm is on land that has been in my husband’s family for many years, our favorite summer vacationing spot is the farm that has been in my family for nearly as many. There we pull our camper up alongside the cabin my own grandfather built when my mother was just a girl; he’s the same man from whom I imagine my love of gardening was inherited.
He always tended a large plot. And in the latest days of winter and early spring the back room of the farm house that no longer stands there I remember hundreds of seedlings emerging from their small pots; covering every last horizontal surface. He too loved tomatoes. A stout German man with prickly cheeks and an affinity for making his granddaughters blush — “Have you been kissing boys?” he’d ask us every time we entered the warm kitchen where he almost always sat at the head of the table playing solitaire and planning what to cook next, he was a wonderful cook — he passed away when I was sixteen. I hadn’t yet discovered my love of dirt and growing. If there’s any thing I regret not inheriting it was his garden wisdom. I never had the opportunity to ask.
And therein lies my attraction to heirloom tomatoes. Though I’m rather certain my grandfather grew his share of hybrids the history of the tomatoes themselves being passed from generation to generation — their open-pollination, their consistency, their familial resemblance year after year never reverting to an earlier set of traits less desirable than those they presently show; inherited like fine lace, grand pianos, holiday traditions; providing sustenance to each generation as they grow, mature, and age — they represent a continuation of the absence of agricultural knowledge between Depression Era grandparents and their grandchildren, a re-entrance to a more wholesome world; a connection with my grandfather.
Do you love heirloom tomatoes for reasons deeper than the taste, the look, the smell? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
And while we’re on the subject, all of the heirloom tomato art featured in this column is by Bobby Joe Fontenot on Etsy. Go pick yourself up an original watercolor or two — your kitchen will thank you come the long dreary days of winter.
I did a fun and spontaneous search on etsy tonight for “summer” and this tote quickly caught my eye! La Lune Designs is based in Leavenworth, Kansas and their shop is stocked with a great assortment of bags, pendants and baby blankets.
Wondering why summer is on my mind? Well it was a beautiful sunny weekend here in Vancouver – and even though I was working the view from my window kept me smiling. But that’s not it! Both my husband and I are self-employed, meaning during our busy seasons (about 6-8 months of the year) we really put it into overdrive, so sometimes it’s tough to have time for ourselves, each other, and our friends. It’s tough but we’ve gotten used to it and for me anyways it helps me to enjoy the off-season even that much more.
Buuut I don’t think I’ve explained myself fully, and I think there’s more to this story!
Since it’s been more than a month now with no days off – we decided we should head up to Whistler (beautiful mountain town, 2 hours drive from where we live in Vancouver) in a couple weeks for a weekend getaway. Lots of relaxation, no computers, you know the drill! Now I love Whistler but we usually go there at least once or twice a year – so I figured maybe I could cook up something a bit more exciting… And I think I have!
I secretly booked us for a quick trip to La Jolla beach in California! My husband loves to surf so I think he’ll be pretty stoked when I tell him where we’re actually going. I’ve decided to let him know the day before and I know he’ll be surprised because I’m not exactly Mrs. Spontaneous! It’s a really quick trip but seeing as I have never been to California and have dreamed about it for years I’m feeling really lucky that we can go.
So lets talk surprises, I had so much fun planning this one that I think this is something I need to do for family and friends more often. I’d love to hear your stories – small and big ways you’ve surprised someone you care about!