Thursday, April 28, 2011

Slow Progress

I know I've been very clear about how I feel regarding Minnesota's version of spring this year.  I don't know if you could call it SAD quite; I just need me some sun.  Like, really really bad.

And apparently the basil I've been sprouting on my desk feels the same way.  These guys are at least a month old, and maybe I'm just impatient, but I am pretty sure they should be way bigger.  I'm too spazzy (read: short attention span) to be that great of a green thumb, so these little friends probably have more obstacles to overcome than just a lack of sunshine.  I was planning on plopping them on my kitchen counter once the plants are fully developed, so I can use them for cooking and eating, but at this point I'm not sure we'll ever get there.  But then again, maybe I'm just being hysterical because of the rain.

But!  Awesome aside:  check out the sweet mango tree I'm also growing in the same pot.  It turns out, if you pry open that massive hairy pod in the middle of a mango, there's a giant lima-bean-shaped seed inside.  Which I sprouted by sticking in some dirt.  Much like the avocado pit I sprouted a few years ago and is now a 5-foot tall tree potted in my front room.  Yay food sprouts!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yoga Tote to Hit Spokane 5.20.2011

A couple weeks ago Deanna Davis (the famed, of Applied Insight and the Womanhood Weekend happening in Spokane next month) contacted me about a custom yoga tote.  I thought her ideas about the bag were brilliant, so the design process was pretty straightforward.  Just a translation of her list of must-haves into fabric features.  This one is Deanna's of course, but the bag turned out kind of stellar (my humble opinion), so I'm definitely cranking out a few more of these to bring to Spokane with me, and will be accepting orders effective immediately....and maybe even a give-away, who knows?

Yoga Tote

Yoga mat straps!

Front and back pockets for books and magazines

Water bottle pocket is extra roomy for large bottles

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Cuteness

Happy Earth Day!  It's Earth Day AND it's Friday, so instead of babbling about some random awesomeness I discovered on The Internet, I decided we should look at pictures of my favorite earth-lovin' endeavor around here:  Backyard Chickens!**

(**Backyard Chickens are earth-lovin' for at least these three reasons:  1. No driving to the grocery store for sad eggs.  Or supporting giant corporate egg factories.  2.  No wasting anything edible--chickens will magically turn all your table and kitchen scraps into delicious eggs.  3.  Free natural fertilizer--compost chicken waste for the most amazing garden soil.)

Recently we added a new girl to the flock:  Buffy the Buff Orpington, who I also like to call Puffy or just plain Puff, and who is only 4 or 5 months old.  Introducing a new bird always results in a lot of drama (turns out pecking order is actually a real thing), so we separated her from the others until she's big enough to take it.  At the same time this was happening, the oldest bird of the flock, a super calm old lady named Iesha, decided to go broody.  Without getting into the nitty gritty of chicken science, a broody chicken is one whose biological clock is telling her it's time to hatch some chicks.  Only no rooster=no baby chicks in all those eggs.  But a broody chicken is nothing if not determined.  She will sit on those eggs endlessly, hiking her body temp and refusing to get up for food and water.  At this point it's necessary to remove her from the nest and lock the chicken out of the coop until she cools off and gets her head straight.

So.  We put the calm old lady with the unwavering maternal instinct in the separation with tiny Buffy.  I felt bad for them because I felt like they were in chicken exile or something.  But then this happened.

Iesha and Little Puff
They totally bonded!  If you can't tell, Iesha has her left wing wrapped around Puff, all mother hen style.  (Tears!)  Since this photo we've let some of the other chickens mingle with Puff and Iesha, and because Iesha has defined Puff's role in the flock, no drama!  I know there's a bird-related metaphor about solving two problems with one solution, but I can't bring myself to use it now.

Enjoy your Earth Day and the rest of the holiday weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Planters

I almost didn't get out of bed yesterday.  I knew it was gonna be bad when The Husb walks in and says, "Look out the window.  If. You. Dare."

Snow in April=Utterly demoralizing.  (But ok, later in the day I heard my friends in northern Michigan got NINE INCHES of snow, so I called a halt to my little pity party.)  Even though our snow melted by mid-afternoon, it's still going to be awhile before I'll be going anywhere near my garden.  In the meantime?  Thinking warm thoughts and sprouting basil on my desk.

These spring planters are made from the same recycled plastic material I use for messenger bags and zips and whatnot.  It just so happens to function pretty great for plants as well.  I've had good luck growing herbs on my kitchen counter in them, and one of my favorite houseplants has been thriving in one for the last year.

This little guy is constructed from scraps, and is designed to fit in the windowsill.  Kitchen window herb garden?  Yes please.

Windowsill Planter on

Each of these pots has the full word "plant" spelled out on its side so they can totally stand alone, but I think they look pretty sweet together with their letters lined up.  I made them a little tall for aesthetics, but the bottom can be lined with gravel or styrofoam peanuts to act as both a filler and aid drainage if you have a fussy plant.

Recycled Plastic Planter Set on

Recycled Plastic Planter Set on
All of these are now available in my Etsy shop.  Visit for more details.
Happy Spring....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Harwood Steiger Pillows

All the sunshine and fresh air coming through the open windows is making it hard for me to concentrate on the hand stitching I'm supposed to be working on.  If I go out there, I'm never coming back in, so I'm just taking a quick break for The Internet to share an awesome discovery I made this morning.

Here's what happened.  While practicing yoga on the living room floor, I was admiring the pillows on our couch, and decided it was high time to look up the name of the artist at the bottom of the silkscreen design.  My girl Leah picked up the fabric for me about a year ago at a yard sale, a really sweet screen printed design, which I held onto it for several months before finally making it into pillows.  So after yoga, I looked it up, and it turns out, it's a Harwood Steiger print.  And Harwood Steiger turns out to be this great mid-century textile and watercolor artist who had a studio in Arizona where he hand screen printed his designs.

The moral of this story is twofold: 1.  Nice score Leah!  and 2. Yay!  I have Harwood Steiger pillows on my couch!  I always loved them, but I love even more knowing the story behind the fabric.  Check out some of his work, and also my pillows**

(Update!  To see TONS more great Harwood Steiger prints, check out this site: The Harwood Steiger Book Project!)

Harwood Steiger Placemat
Harwood Steiger Screen Printed Fabric
Harwood Steiger Linen Tea Towel
Detail from Harwood Steiger Screen Printed Fabric
My pillows made from Harwood Steiger Screen Printed Fabric

Detail from my pillows

**(My only regret here is that I didn't photograph them when they were shiny and new.  Well, "new."  Here the pillows are shown after quite a few months of life on a couch in the home of wild boys.) 

New! R is R Video: Spring Tote Preview

New R is R tote designs are in the works.  I'm planning to debut the designs at the Women's Weekend in Spokane next month, and they'll be available to everyone after that.  Check out this preview we put together for you though, with much thanks as always to the stellar photographic talents of T.C. Worley.