Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas

"Unlike the ones I used to know......"

Ok, I'll stop the singing now.

But seriously, don't you feel like the season of giving has just turned into the season of excess and waste? I mean, you know you only used those candy cane striped paper plates for a month, and all that tinsel you buy every year and then lose next Christmas because you threw it out in July because you couldn't decide if it was tacky or not, and you tossed it to make more space for other stuff because it's so dang cheap to replace...

Not that I would know about all that.

Anyway, let's check out some alternatives to the general buying and tossing of gift wrap, holiday party supplies, and holiday home decor we spend so much money on every year and then fill our landfills with or storage spaces with.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Announcing: Christmas Tree Tours 2011

The genius Lindsee emailed me this AMAZING idea this morning- A Christmas Tree Showcase! Both local and far-away readers alike can email us photos of their gorgeous Holiday Tree Decorations and we'll  feature you on our blog! How brilliant is she? I just love her <3.

So, without further ado.....

Email us at to enter in your Christmas-y-est Trees! We can't wait to see them!  We'll be featuring everyone's trees Tuesdays and Thursdays until Christmas, just wait to see what we have lined up already ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Handmade Brilliance: Handmade Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Just in time for Cyber Monday, it's a special holiday edition of ..........

Welcome to our first annual Handmade Holiday Gift Guide, where we show you the hip-est handmade presents to buy for everyone on your list! Hold on to your socks because they are about to be knocked clean off!

3//Knit J.T. Hat by Woolibear $36

2//Doily Coasters by uncommon $17 (on sale for cyber monday!)

4//Vintage Hanky Ruffle Bloomers by Periwinkle Jazz $20 (save 15% for cyber monday!)

1//Winter Coat by FM908  $118
3//Earthy Gold Stacking Rings by tinahdee $67 (coupon code for cyber monday!)

 (10%off coupon code for month of November!)

Be sure to zip on over to these handmade shops for Cyber Monday Shopping tomorrow! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Garden Seeds: Meet Kelly, our Gardening Expert!

I am so excited to introduce Kelly Hedburg as part of our blogging team! She is our resident Gardening Expert, here to answer any green thumb questions and to share her wealth of knowledge with us! Take it away with your first post Kelly!

The fall is my favorite season for so many reasons:  cool-season vegetable planting, the changing of leaves, football, the beginning of the holidays, and, if you live in Arizona, the end of triple digits!!   As I look at my planting calendar, I am inclined to rename it as the Season of Greens. 

November is the right time to plant many edible greens.  This includes: arugula, bok choy, swiss chard, collard greens, endive, kale, lettuce, mustard and spinach.  Planting a variety of greens will give you endless options in the kitchen.  Bok choy for stir fry.  Swiss chard for a Sunday morning quiche.  Kale can be baked until crispy like a potato chip or juiced for a yummy smoothie.  Mustard has an explosive taste after a few chews.  And lettuce?  It’s a daily staple in my home for both my family and our lizard!

I have also found that many of the above listed greens are fairly easy to grow.  If you are a beginner gardener, you can build your confidence with greens.  They also grow above ground (as opposed to root vegetables) and it’s easy to determine when to harvest them.   Most are ready for harvest in 50-90 days.  Use the “cut-and-come-again” harvesting method to maximize your output. 

Greens can be grown in the ground or in pots.  Last year, I alternated romaine lettuce with petunias in a narrow window box.   Swiss chard is also a beautiful compliment to some ornamentals in a large pot.  Add some nasturtiums to include an edible flower. 

As I think this week of all my blessings, I will remember my greens.  I am thankful for their beauty, their diversity, their nutritious value and their wonderful taste. 

Vegetable Planting Calendar for Maricopa County:   HYPERLINK ""

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kitchen Revival: Our Thanksgiving Menu

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We hope you are all having a glorious holiday filled with all sorts of delicious food and tasty beverages! Here is what we will be serving today at our holiday feast:

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Watson Abode: Our Chickens

For those of you that came to the hello there! house event in October- remember how teeny tiny those 3 week old chickens were? Well, here's an update on their growth:

Aren't they fantastic? They're in their teenage awkward stage right now, but I still love them ;) I can't wait until they get even bigger- they are going to be gorgeous!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Color Your Fancy: Autumn Gourds

Today's Color Your Fancy features the colors of Fall's star of the harvest

1// Behr Crushed Orange 25OB-7  2// Sherwin Williams Midday SW6695  3// Benjamin Moore Java 2106-10  4// Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Versailles via 'Round The Coop

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Handmade Brilliance { local } : Modifeye

Today we are welcoming Nicole to the Handmade Brilliance Spotlight. Nicole is what you would call an artist in the truest form of the word. In addition to fine art, she is the creator of elegant jewelry--combining vintage materials with modern flair.

1. Tell us your story. What brought you to now?          There were never many kids in my neighborhood growing up and due to my intolerance to Arizona summers I spent many hours indoors either trying to imitate painting techniques from my regular excursions to art galleries/museums or jewelry making that my grandmother sold to local stores that I was making at around 8 yrs old.  When I was able to get away from our scorching summers I spent them in Michigan.  Five of which were spent at Interlochen Arts Camp where I studied Piano, Art, Printmaking, Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design and developed some of my fondest childhood memories.  I later received my Bachelor’s in Fine Art from ASU with a major in Printmaking.  I worked as a specialty bookbinder for 3 years hand binding one of-a-kind books, bibles, and just about anything else you can imagine.  I have more recently returned to my love of jewelry design and one of my many interests, repurposing vintage jewelry pieces and components with new items to give them a new life and a contemporary context.    

2. Outside of creating, what do you do?                                                                      I am currently a full time artist, painter, printmaker, jewelry designer and small business owner.  I have great friends a loving family and an ever-attentive personal assistant…my Border Collie mix named Arlo.  
 3. What does handmade mean to you?
I come from a long line of do-it-yourselfers.  My grandmother was a seamstress, self-made interior designer and mother of 7 girls.  My grandfather is a carpenter and all around handyman.  They never had much money but no one ever really knew because they never went without and always were surrounded by beauty.  If they couldn’t afford it they would just make it or restore it.  My mother and I have carried on that tradition.  I attribute my resourcefulness to them and apply that in my everyday life.  Handmade is creating from what is available and in doing so, truly making it your own.  
4. What handmade item do you cherish the most?  I am fond of the many handmade toys that were made for me when I was little.  I used to be rather annoyed that I never had the store bought version of well, really anything but I appreciate it very much now.  I think that the lack of toys and stimuli that I had as a child really allowed me to open my imagination and tap into my creative nature.  

5.  What's your secret in life? Any words to live by?

The older I get the less I really know, so really all I can say is what I tell myself: Keep creating, do what you love and everything else will fall into place.  Never allow others to put you in a box nor to put yourself in one.    

6. Where do you draw inspiration?

I draw inspiration from the materials themselves.  They tell me what to do.  I especially like experimenting with unusual materials to see how much I can manipulate them and hopefully turn them into something uniquely beautiful.

7. Where did creating start for you?
I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t making something.  From my laboriously constructed ballet shoes that I made for myself when I was 6 or my first adult level art and design class at the Schemer Art center when I was 8, or nude Life Drawing classes at 13.  I can’t remember how many times my mother/grandmother were getting me into art classes for adults simply because they knew I wasn’t stimulated enough in the more “age appropriate” ones. 

8. Where do you sell your items?
First Fridays and Third Fridays in Pheonix

9. Give a shout-out to a fellow handmade artist like yourself!
Lisa Jacobs – Founder of Conspire, among other things…she’s a very savvy business owner ever keeping herself busy pursuing her dreams.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...