Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Etsy Shop Opening Soon!

Last week while I was sick with a nasty cold.. I got busy. Busy giving my Etsy shop a face lift! I am motivated to start making stuff- Not just as gifts for the ones I love.. but beyond that. Get some extra money in my empty pockets! haha I work at a hotel if you kids didn't know. I regularly help out wedding on the weekends. My job has killed whatever dream I MIGHT have had at one point of having a wedding. haha.. But one thing I do love about weddings, is the 'Welcome' bags! The wedding party puts together welcome bags for the families that traveled far to get to the hotel. I thing it is sweet and thoughtful. Which as you may know is one of the things that inspires me most in this world. Thoughtfulness means that you went out of your way to do something special because you appreciate that person. We all need more time to show others how much they mean to us.. Anyways- back to my project I've got going.. I am making 'Welcome' bags for weddings, 'Bridesmaids' & 'Maid of Honor' appreciation bags to fill with goodies. I am making 'Birthday', & 'Thank You' bags. Also tons of bags with all different ways of saying 'I Love You'. I just got the bags in today, so I laid them out with the transparency paper on top to show everyone what I did in just 1 day! All except two of the designs were made in 1 day! I am planning to print a few in different colors for the shop, but I like how the black looks on the natural canvas.
I don't have any items in my Etsy shop yet, but add me to your 'circle' or 'favorites'! I will have items in there very soon, and will kick off my re-opening with a discount code for my followers! See my revamped Etsy shop here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hammered Spoon Place Cards

Need inspiration for a special occasion place setting? Or feeling an urge to make a simple DIY project?Look no further! I found this Hammered Spoon 'Place Card' tutorial on Elizabeth Anne Designs blog. She said they would be elegant in a rustic wedding- use them as favors, escort cards, or table numbers. All are great ideas! I have seen hammered spoons as garden stakes and labels, but never as a place card. (Speaking of garden stakes- My one year blog anniversary giveaway is going on! I have only had one person enter the contest so at this point it won't be hard to pick a winner! Chances of winning are very good! So head over to my facebook page to enter! Winner will be picked on June 7th! Good luck!)
As for this inspirational DIY project- See the full tutorial post here!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dream State's First Birthday Giveaway!

Today Dream State is one! I am giving away a set of 6 garden stakes in celebration of our birthday! The stakes will be stamped with 1 or 2 words of your choice. You can have them made as a gift or if you have something clever to say like, "Bloom Dammit". You can get creative with custom markers! These garden stake labels are hand stamped by my sweet mother from her shop AlwaysAMemory on Etsy. I asked her to make this for my giveaway and now they are a new item in her shop! To win your own personal hand stamped garden markers all you have to do is 'like' Dream State's facebook page, and comment on Dream State's facebook page! If you tell a friend to 'like' Dream State's facebook page, have them post a comment saying you sent them. If they win- You win! In that case we will be giving away 2 sets. This will be a completely random drawing. The giveaway will be going on for 2 weeks. By the end of the day June 7th I will pick a winner! For the sake of keeping things interesting- Post what you would like your personalized markers to say. You can change your mind later don't worry!
'Like' Dream State's Facebook Page HERE, and leave your comment! The winner(s) will be announced on facebook, and will be personally messaged on facebook. Good luck!

The markers are durable aluminum measuring 6 inches long, 3/8 inch wide and are hand stamped with your choice of 1 or 2 words. These are weather resistant and won't rust or tarnish like other metals. Safe for you and your plants! Each piece is lightly brushed for a more pleasing appearance. Check out the custom garden markers new in the shop here!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DIY Succulent Projects

I have had my eye on succulents not because I feel like I am saying a bad word (Suck-you-lent), But because they are so easy to care for and add a simple and cute touch to any space. I enjoy looking at air plants too!  I bought my mom a cedar box of succulents for her birthday. It was such an adorable arrangement.. A succulent arrangement would make a fun housewarming present, and what blog out there besides mine hasn't made a homemade terrarium? It's a fun project for any occasion. Get your inspirational blood flowing with a few of these DIY projects!
I came across this re-purposed succulent dresser on the blog Grizzly Bear Modern. This project came out to being a total of $82.00 and they could have made it even cheaper if they were more patient with finding deals on succulents. See their complete DIY project to learn how they did it here. A great re-purposed furniture backyard project!
This second DIY succulent terrarium cost under $8.00 to make! That DIY project is from the blog Craftberry Bush. She glued clear glass in between dollar store ceramic bowls. She put a layer of gravel in the bottom, got river rocks from the dollar store, and some moss out of the front yard. Covered the roots with potting soil, and added some drift wood for embellishment. I would buy that baby for $35.00! See the complete how to and more photos here. On the next DIY Succulent project.. This one is from the blog Say Yes to Hoboken. This is a full tutorial and download for the templates on how to make the 'Clay House Succulent Pots'. You can make any design, just as long as it is water tight! Check it out here.
If interested in getting your own suck-you-lent garden going/growing I found a place on Etsy! The Succulent Garden sells bulk, and individual succulents. Check out their shop- The prices aren't bad! You might just be inspired to make one or many of these!
These pretty little things are front the Etsy shop of O'Berry Succulents on Etsy. Seriously just type in 'Succulents' on Etsy to get your brain full of inspirational bounty!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Our Little 'Flora' Family

Just about every day I tend to my plants. I play reggae for them, and I swear they dance. It might be that the window is open.. But lets pretend for a second that they like island music. I talk to them, and tell them "everything is going to be alright". They nod their leaves at me. They create an ambiance- An island style. They also clean our air. We have a mutual understanding. I need them- They need me. I call that family : ) The majority of our plants are Hawaiian. Wayne had a few of them sent as gifts from the Hawaiian airport.

Let me introduce you to our little 'flora' family.
In the first photo is our 'Mirabilis Jalapa' it is said to have been exported from the Peruvian Andes in 1540. It enjoys full sun, and lots of water. At full height she will be almost 3 feet tall. Next to her is our Hawaiian family members. The Hawaiian tree fern also known as 'Hapu'u pulu' or 'blond tree fern' was one of Hawaii's first exports in the 1800's. The soft hair on the fern was sent as mattress and pillow stuffing for gold miners in California. It enjoys lots of sunshine, and LOTS of water all over, even the leaves need water. The Hawaiian pineapple was a pineapple we ate. Yes that's right.. You cut the crown off and plant it! Learn how to do that here. The 'Plumeria' loves LOTS of sunshine, and likes to be watered all over. I use a spray bottle to keep the girls smiling. Plumerias originated in the Caribbean, and the yellow plumeria in specific is the most common flower used in Hawaiian leis.

This herb is my newest trial and error project. I have been over watering my basil. I am so used to all of our Hawaiian plants drinking lots of water. The Hawaiian plants make basil a breeze. So much of a breeze that I am slowly killing it.. You know you are over watering when the leaves start to turn white. You are under watering when the leaves are shriveling up. Basil loves full sun too. It is recommended that basil is watered once a week, and only to the soil. Wet leaves can lead to rot or disease. See more Basil care tips here.
If you follow my blog you know about my growing sweet potato starts. See that post here.
This is our survival water source. Also known as the cheap cactus from Ikea. : )

You should also be familiar with my green onions, and celery. Those posts here, and here.

Our Ti Leaf plant enjoys shade. We learned this the hard way.. Poor thing turned brown and lost all of its leaves a while back. We have slowly pushed it further, and further away from the window. It seems to be pretty happy now. It doesn't drink as much water as our other Hawaiian plants. I water it every few days. Its soil stays wet for a while. There are lots of healing practices, and alternative medicine uses. Read the Ti Leaf plants historical background here to learn more. As for our 'Easy Girl' Tomatoes, Wayne's mom just picked them up for us (Thanks Mah!). So they are new to me as far as care goes. One thing I do know is to water directly into the soil, not on the leaves, and lots of sunshine. You are also not supposed to rush the watering, a drip system works best for tomatoes. Last is our Red Bromeliads. Bromeliads do not like direct light, Their leaves are also designed to catch water in the center- This is called a 'cup'. The plant drinks as it needs it. Bromeliads rot easy, so its best to let it dry out. Watering once a week is what is suggested. A fun fact is that Bromeliads are part of the Bromeliaceae family, which means it is a distant relative to the pineapple. Also Bromeliads only bloom once in their life. A new plant must grow before a new bloom can be generated. Once blooming is complete, the mother plant will produce small “pup” plants on the outer perimeter of its base. A bromeliad is a very slow growing plant. The pups will take about six months to grow to approximately one-third the size of the mother plant. When the pups reach that size, separate them from the mother plant. Allow the young plants to grow for at least 6 more months, after which time they could be mature enough to bloom. Interesting huh? Read more on Bromeliads here.

So that is our little 'flora' family. I hope you enjoyed meeting the gang. I also hope you learned something new. Maybe I inspired you to get your own little 'flora' family going : )

Not pictured- Avocado plant growing in water, & Green pepper.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hiking & A Mother's Day Adventure!

We have been busy bee's! I think the summer arriving early has something to do with it. I am not complaining though.. Just documenting our adventures. A couple of days ago we went hiking at Terwilliger Trailhead. I felt like we were in a bird jungle. There were birds singing in every direction, and thudding from the wood peckers. We both woke up yesterday with soar butts and backs so we got a good workout. First thing yesterday we got ready, and went over to Wayne's Mah's house. We decided to celebrate Mother's Day on a day that we all had off. I made all of us belgain waffles(Yum) with fresh fruit. We then set out for some adventure time. They wanted to shoot guns, so we packed a picnic! We found a remote, and bustling lake in the middle of nowhere to enjoy our homemade yummies. At the lake we couldn't help but notice the size of trees! HUGE! To end the day we stopped by Thompson farm out in Damascus, where their booth is on an honor system. Everything is super cheap, and organic! It is a must if you live in the area. It is worth the drive to eat seasonally, locally, cheap, and organic. The family farm grows 50 different crops on 145 acres. Thompson's Farm abandoned synthetic fertilizers decades ago, long before the term "organic" became an agricultural catch phrase. If you don't have plans over the weekend, and live in the area you should head out there. To visit the farm here is a link.
See a Thompson's Video Here on Youtube to learn more!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beach House Birthday Adventure

I had a bit of a delay with posting this trip because I  managed to take over 700 pictures in a 3 day trip with my family. Once I found out we were going I started planning a surprise birthday for my mom, because the dates were so close together, and it only seemed to make sense that we combine the big 50 with a special family gathering. My niece also has a birthday that is close to the dates we were there. So it was one big family celebration. For the last couple of months I have been driving Wayne crazy with all of my paper stamping, sewing, and gluing, printing, and drawing. I made 8 party hats(found the template here at Oh Happy Day), 2 buntings, 1 dot garland, 2 cake toppers, 2 cake buntings, 6 cupcake banners, and tons of pinwheels (learn how to make pinwheels here at Wedding Chicks). I also personalized some juice drinks with photos of both of the birthday girls. I printed their photos on sticker paper, so it was a really easy project. So in conclusion.. I have been a busy bee!
I would actually like to make a shout out to my grandpa at this time, who told me he actually reads my blog (Hi Gpa!)! Next I'd like to address the fact that my soul needed this trip. The sun has been hot, and summer has arrived early(aka-We are all sun burned)! We cooked hotdogs by the fire(soy & veggie of course- The kids didn't notice- The adults hated them-haha), BBQ'd, had cold pasta salads. The kids swam day and night, the adults sat in the hot tub day and night. I could have stayed there for weeks with these guys. There is so much beach to be adventured too.. I had such a good time, and loved the surprise, and embarrassment my mom had when I threw the party hat on her head. She absolutely hates her photo taken too so it was just pure torture(hehe). Good torture.
This is our adventure!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Everyday Occasions DIY Vanilla Sugar & Syrup

Over at Everyday Occasions Jenny Steffens Hobick which I mentioned in my last blog post- She came up with a simple DIY project on how to make vanilla sugar, and vanilla syrup. Wayne actually made the vanilla sugar on his own a few months back. Ours is of course organic raw sugar, and organic Tahitian vanilla beans. We have yet to make the syrup, but both sound like a great coffee solution. My dilemma with coffee is I found a creamer I like.. It tastes good, only has 4 ingredient (and I can pronounce all of them), But it isn't organic, and it costs anywhere from $2.50-$4.00 a pop! The price isn't bad, but I drink quite a bit of coffee so it does add up quick.
For her vanilla sugar recipe see here, for vanilla syrup see here! I hope you are inspired to make some yourself, and consider ways to save money where ever possible with simple coffee fixes like this one.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Special Moments of 'Thanks'

The idea of giving 'Thanks' when ever possible is something I am completely inspired by. I want to tell all of you thanks for following my blog. I am almost to my one year mark of blogging. I plan to have a little giveaway of some sort as a gesture of thanks. Check back for updates. My one year mark is May 24th!

Now on with some inspirational ways of saying thanks. I found 3 beautiful ways of giving that have beautiful presentation, and scream homemade!
On the left and center are two homemade gifts made by Jenny Steffens Hobick. She runs the blog 'Everyday Occasions'. The name of the blog says it all. I love the idea of making everyday special!
On the left she planted a paper white bulb in an Anthropologie bowl filled it with soil and covered it with moss. She then wrapped it in a cellophane bag and added a tag and natural twine. See that post here! Also how she made the hostess breakfast gift basket in the center here. Last but not least- On the right, Country Living covered how to make your own gift baskets. The photo on the right is on the cover of that guide. See their suggestions and how-to here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chicken Education For City Dwellers

I am going to call this 'Chicken Education Day' for all of us "Urbanites"!
I just learned that hens that have colored earlobes lay colored eggs. If the hen has white earlobes it lays white eggs! How simple is that? I had no idea.. The lobes are typically red, white or blue(how... patriotic). I thought while I am at it.. I will go over some chicken terms, facts and breeds!

Bantam- A miniature chicken
Boiler- A chicken 6-9 months old
Broiler- A 2- or 3-pound young chicken
Chick- A baby chicken
Clutch- Batch of eggs that hatch together
Cockerel- A rooster under a year old
Flock- A group of chickens
Hen- A female chicken
Nest Egg- A fake egg put in the nest to encourage laying
Pullet- A female chicken under 1 year old
Roaster- A chicken weighing 4 to 6 pounds
Rooster- A male chicken

Best 'Eggs Breeds' are Ancona (lays large white eggs), Leghorn (one of the most popular breeds), and Minorca (lays extra-large white eggs). 
Best 'Meat Breeds' are Australorp, Cornish, and Orpington. 
Best 'Dual Breeds' are New Hampshire, Plymouth Rock (one of the most popular breeds), and Rhode Island Red (lays large brown eggs- has the ability to lay 300 eggs a year!).
On average 1 Hen lays 260 eggs per year!
To find out how old an egg is: Place it in water. Older eggs will float, because of their bigger air cells. An egg that is standing upright just about to float is around 2-3 weeks old. Another way to check is when you crack the egg- if the egg yolk stands up it is fresh, if it flattens with the egg white it is an old egg.

My sources are from the book Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman & This video!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Update: Sweet Potato Starts Are Growing Roots

I updated my post on how to grow sweet potato slips! It took me a while-because the slips started running wild. Every day I planned to take photos I got called in work early. I had slips that were 4 feet tall! They were so tall, they were falling over and acting like vines- latching on to every other plant I have in the window. I am quite excited to know how to do this. Head on over to my "How to Grow Your Own Sweet Potatoes" post to learn how I did it, and what to do once these bad boys get roots growing!
How To Get Sweet Potato Starts, Plant and Harvest!