herbs: by J

IMG_5913 IMG_5916I’ve wanted to grow herbs in my apartment for awhile now. When my sister gifted me Joey Roth’s beautiful planter for Christmas I knew it was time.

While the whole thing is a bit of an experiment, as I’ve learned most gardening is, I’m excited for the prospect of fresh herbs in my cooking.

First things first, if you have the space, most herbs prefer to be grown outside, enjoying cooler nights and good air circulation. Herbs indoors generally will be smaller and have a shorter life. That being said, growing them indoors is absolutely possible, and reseeding often will help.

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I chose to buy thyme and rosemary plants, because they take a longer time to grow and develop, and rosemary doesn’t grow well from seed. Chives and cilantro, however, prefer to be grown from seed, because they are quick growers that don’t like to be transplanted.

Most edible herbs are pretty heavy feeders so you’ll want quality potting mix, with a high amount of organic matter for good drainage. And you’ll want to add a quality fertilizer every so often. Choose a sunny window, that gets at least 5 hours of sunlight a day.

I thought I’d list other popular herbs and whether they are best started as seeds or bought as plants.

Plant: lavender, lemon verbena, lemongrass, mint, oregano, oregano, tarragon

Seed: coriander/cilantro, dill, sage

Either: basil, lemon balm, parsley, sage, stevia, thyme

My pots are smaller than ideal, 4-6 inches being more ideal, but I’ll see what happens.

xo J

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Halloween and costumes: by J

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This was my first year dressing up for Halloween in a long time.

I think I did a pretty good job of stressing out unnecessarily about my costume. I had so many questions swirling around: Was it still relevant? Could I make it? Was there something else I’d rather be? Would it be comfortable?

The answers in hindsight in order seem to be something like, who cares, I guess so, well even so save it for next year, and yes, quite.

I wonder how often I let myself stress out over something that is meant to be enjoyed.

I realized this as I put together the costume, and quieted the voice of fear that it would turn out a hideous mass of black felt and cardboard. Even if it had, who would have really cared?

xo J

 

At home kombucha: by J

I love kombucha. The distinct fermented vinegary taste, complimented by the subtle effervescents.

On top of that it is purported to have a myriad of health benefits.

My friend started a home brew, and I was pretty impressed with the results. And she said it was really easy.

Especially at upwards of $3.29 for a bottle, I’m seriously starting to consider growing my own.

Have you or would you try brewing your own kombucha?

xo J

kits available from Kombucha Brooklyn

 

sneak peek: by K

Unlike SF, New York is having pretty crisp, sunny, “warm” (for east coast winter standards) weather.

I spent another full weekend indoors so I unfortunately did not get to experience the crisp, sunny days, but I did admire them from  my studio window.

The good news is, this weekend was much more positive and productive than last weekend. My idea for my 2012 Christmas Card is now solid, so the past two days were about execution. Which, once you get past the first blank white page, is the fun part.

I am incredibly excited to finish these illustrations and see the whole thing printed and out of my imagination into the real live world – I don’t think I will ever just expect my work to be something I am proud of so each time I am it is a real humbling experience.

That being said, I am just as sad as I am happy that this project is coming to a close.  In no other part of my life can I lose myself as much as I do when I am knee deep in a project. This is not a feeling I can recreate on my own whenever I want.  It is something that surprises me over and over again. Something I don’t feel I have much control over. Which is what makes being an artist of any kind so hard to give up – no matter how critical you are of yourself. Once you’ve reached this “high” you don’t forget it and can’t live a life without it and find yourself going through emotional hell to get to it.  I sound like a heroin addict. But I think you know what I mean.

Above is a sneak peek of what I have been working on. More to come after Thanksgiving…

Happy Monday

xoxo k

Mrs. J: by K

I hope J doesn’t mind, but I couldn’t start this week of writing without mentioning her beautiful day.

The setting could not have been more beautiful or the weather more perfect.  All of J’s DIY projects looked effortless and added just the right amount of charm. Simple, classic, beautiful  – just like the bride.

Foreign Cinema in San Francisco’s Mission district combine T’s love of movies and J’s love of food. As I sat their eating maybe the best pesto pasta I’ve had, sneaking bites of my friends delicious bavette steak while watching the black and white classic The Apartment on mute projected onto the wall above us all, I couldn’t help feel a part of something special and inspiring.

J and her husband’s attention to detail over the past year of planning – though stressful at times – created an experience that was not only enjoyable for their guests from start to finish, but one that made us all feel like a special part of their union. That without us, they wouldn’t be where they are. And that is what a wedding is all about. Two people from two separate worlds coming together to start their own and appreciating everything that brought them to this new place. I felt lucky to be a part of such a beautiful chapter in their lives.

I wish the new Mrs. and her Mr. all the luck in the world, though I know they don’t need it.

xox k

weddinged: by J

Pomme d’amours from Knead Patisserie, our wedding cake| photo by Kaylan S on yelp

Just a few words as we are still in recovery mode.
As cliche as it might sound, easily one of the best days of my life.

The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and the most important thing was everyone being there, and feeling their love and happiness.

I eventually stopped feeling like I was wearing a bride costume, and was just plain a bride, and all of the energy and work we put into planning and DIY, turned into a really unique day.

One little confession I was too afraid to share was that my flower DIY, was actually a test to see if I could pull off doing the flowers for the wedding. With flowers from the sf flower mart, and the help of my sisters and dear friend M, we made 8 large centre pieces, 4 bouquets, and 1 large arrangement for the bar. While not perfect, I was pretty happy with the results.

Once we get some photos, I’ll probably do a little post about that, otherwise we’ll be back to non-wedding posts in no time.

xo J

DIY wedding vows: by K

J’s DIY post made me want to share something truly special my friend Kyle and his new bride, Jamie, did during their vows at their wedding.

It’s not something that can literally be considered a DIY in the traditional sense…but J’s post got me thinking about what makes a wedding truly special for not only the bride and groom, but their family and friends as well. For me, it’s been whenever they make it a priority to sprinkle some personal touches throughout the experience.  Whether it’s as crafty as actually making your own signage,  putting together your own flower arrangements – or just serving your favorite foods like french fries during cocktail hour because if you could have it your way you’d have french fries wherever you are at all times.

During their vows Kyle and Jamie did something I am sure other couples have done in the past, but I had never seen it and have now filed it away for future reference. They had a box up at the alter that they were going to seal together with the promise of re opening it again on their 11th wedding anniversary. Being wine lovers, the first thing they chose to put in the box was a special bottle of wine that will only get better with age. They opened a bottle at the alter, each took a sip and put an unopened bottle in the box. Along with the wine they placed two sealed envelopes with letters they had written to each other, listing all of the reasons they have fallen in love and decided to marry. These, too, won’t be opened until their 11th wedding anniversary and neither have any idea what the other had written down.

It was a personal touch that made everyone at the wedding feel like a part of something special.  What would you put in your sealed box?

xoxo k

DIY flowers: by J

Dear Trader Joe’s, thanks for helping out a thrifty lady.

I made these two flower arrangements in less than 20 minutes for under $16. With a hydrangea bunch to spare.

What I used:

  • 1 bunch of hydrangea (3 stems) $5.99
  • 1 bunch of tulips (8) $4.99
  • 1 bunch of Dahlias (6 stems) $4.99
  • sharp heavy duty scissors
  • some mason jars I have lying around

When choosing flowers I just trusted my instinct, but I was looking for healthy plump flowers. I like white and green bouquets, so I was looking for a variety of shapes, textures and sizes.

If you are mixing colours, probably stick to two or three contrasting colours and have less variety in size and texture to create a sense of unity. If you are using similar tones go crazy.

I trimmed all of the stems, just eyeballing the rough height I would want for the arrangements.  I started with the focal flower (the hydrangea) and placed the smaller flowers around. I like the tulips because they create dimension and have a stark smooth texture compared to the ruffly hydrangeas.

Then just fill each container with cold water and place in your favorite spot.

I am no expert on the matter, and I am sure there are about 1000 more useful tutorials on line. My only advice is just to have fun with it, and embrace asymmetry.

xo J