Weekend fun

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Our weekend has been full of family, friends, food and fun.

On Friday night we hosted our annual Media Five Miler Party. We had loads of fun as usual, so much I didn’t take the time to snap a single photo!

Last night we hosted family to celebrate Father’s day and my Nana’s 91st birthday. The evening ended outdoors with card games on the patio and then down to the ball field to release sky lanterns!

As you can see Chris has been busy building us a new back porch. It is not quite finished so stay tuned for an entire post on that project. We are excited to share with you the many details involved.

In the mean time check out the beautiful Kentucky Coffee Tree table he made for our patio, perfect for card games and a cold G&T! He’s thinking of burning a chess board into it!

Lighting

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I tend to take most of the photos inside my home during the day soaking in the sun light that filters in but last night I looked up to see Hannah drawing lamp-side and had to grab my camera.

After I took the photo I walked around the house to click a few more photos, appreciating the soft light of each room.

Lighting is so very important to me. It sets the mood and tone of a room. I admit that from time to time in the evening I like to cross the street and look into my cozy glowing home.

There are only a few rooms in my house that have overhead lighting, the kitchen, the bathroom and the dining room and all of which are set with dimmers. These rooms also have lamps for the many times I do not want the overhead lights on.

Dimmers are my best friend. Whether I am taking a bath or cooking dinner I can decide how bright or how dim I want the mood to be. There are some in this household who like things a bit brighter than I do which results in the battle of the dimmer. I chuckle sometimes thinking at what the person walking by at night may think as they see the light show inside.

I have quite a collection of lamps in all shapes and sizes, mostly thrifted, some new and even hand made. Chris (the one who prefers bright overhead lighting) sometimes curses me each night as he turns off each lamp before retiring for the evening.

I think I may do a post soon dedicated to all of the lamps in my home. They each have their own story and perform individual roles in my home.

Would you like to see this sort of post?

As summer creeps in

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Life has been busy as the school year comes to a close. Year end recitals, performances, sports games and classes are wrapping up and we are all looking forward to a slower pace as summer creeps closer.

I haven’t picked up my camera much these days but I did snap these four photos a few weeks ago.
I plan to get back to daily photography and more posting here in this space.

P.S. Don’t forget to visit me over at Tend and here too!

A few thrifted treasures

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Because I strive to live by the questions “Do I truly love this? Will it bring me joy?” when out shopping I tend to not buy a whole lot of stuff.

As of late there hasn’t been much that has caught my eye and I have walked out of several thrift stores in the last couple months empty handed, that is, until yesterday.

As far as I’m concerned I hit the jack pot because what I brought home, I absolutely love. Did I need any of it? No. Where any of these things on my “List”? No. But I do adore my new treasures and I did stick a few things in my Goodwill bag to cancel out what I brought in.

There is no guilt in my book if something I bring into my home brings me joy.

:: I actually squealed a little when I spotted a set of those vintage antler candle stick holders. We have quite a collection of antlers in all shapes and sizes around our house all of which were found in the woods by Chris and the girls. These will happily be added to the collection. I just may gift one to my sister for Christmas this year. Shhhhhh!

:: I fell in love with that green glass carafe with the brown leather strapping and stopper. It will look great on the bar with my beginning collection of antique wine bottle coasters.

:: That sweet little studio pottery vase spoke to me. It said “bring me home!” I love it’s shape, pattern and blue hues. It’s new home for now is the mantle.

:: About a year ago I found a shorter version of that same set of hooks where it hangs in the baking area of my kitchen. I love the rustic look of the wood and metal hardware and the hooks swing! This longer one now lives in my bathroom above the tub, perfect for washcloths.

A new storage space

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I love the challenge of living in a small house. Rather than wishing we had more closets and storage we get creative and work at finding ways to utilize our space making life feel a little more efficient incorporating both the practical and beautiful.

Our most recent light bulb moment was the top of our basement steps.

My Pop and Chris had installed bead board in this area when we first moved in but it never got painted and quite honestly was left forgotten as the basement door hid this neglected space.
A few years ago (when our girls were safe from tumbling down the stairs) we removed the door to open things up which actually made the kitchen feel a bit bigger.

The door was left off but the space remained unpainted and under-utilized until recently when I became frustrated with my ever growing cast iron pan collection. We have accumulated an array of second hand pans in all shapes and sizes. They are the workhorses of our kitchen and are used daily. I love the versatility of cast iron, able to go from stove-top to oven. Our favorite pan is the extra large one used for big batches of granola and roasted vegetables. Chris found that pan for only 25 cents at a yard sale! Wishing that I had a space to hang my pans rather than stack them I realized that I did have a place!

Yes, the top of our basement steps would make the perfect pantry for pans but how about a place for hanging tools such as dust pans, brushes and a brooms. And while we are at it, let’s hang a few hooks for extra coats when we host company since our house came without a coat closet. Killing two or even three birds with one stone is how I like to roll in our home.

Once we envisioned our new space we got to work and started with painting the bead board and walls a crisp white. Chris hand forged hooks (made with recycled iron from an old hay rake) that would be sturdy enough to hold the heavy pans.
He also made a light fixture from Kentucky Coffee Tree wood and a ball jar.

I hung a wooden accordion hook on one side for dust pans, brushes and brooms and installed a few hooks on the other side for aprons, coats, spare cutting boards, etc.

A while back my mom had gifted me an antique drawing of a woman selling at market. I could never find quite the right place for her until now.

I love this new space displaying our tools that are both practical and beautiful.

I find that domestic work becomes a bit more enjoyable when your tools are pretty enough to display.

Rather than let them sit until the end of the day, I now eagerly wash up our pans after each use to hang them back on their hand forged hooks in their very own pantry.

Pickled Beet Hard Boiled Eggs

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I hope you all had a lovely weekend and for those who celebrate, a joyous Easter.
We certainly did and will share through photos tomorrow.
For now I will share with you a favorite springtime treat~pickled beet hard boiled eggs.
It really is the perfect combination don’t you think?

Now that spring is here, our hens are laying daily which means lots of hard boiled eggs to be pickled.
I used fresh horseradish from our garden-the first harvest of the season!
The beautiful crimson beet juice soaks right through the egg white and yolk making for a show stopper plate of deviled eggs.
Enjoy!

Pickled Beet Hard Boiled Eggs

6 medium beets
1 medium white onion, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp. black peppercorns
1/4 tsp. whole cloves
2 tbsp. grated peeled fresh horseradish
3 tbsp. peeled sliced fresh ginger
3 cups cider vinegar
4 tbsp. sugar
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled

Trim stalks off the beets. Wash beets and put into a medium pot, cover with water, and boil until soft, 45–60 minutes. Drain, slip off skins, slice beets, and put into a large glass jar.
Add onions, peppercorns, cloves, ginger and horseradish.
Bring cider vinegar, 3 cups water, and sugar to a boil in a small pot, then pour into jar. Set aside to cool, cover, and refrigerate until chilled. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month. Add eggs to jar at least 4 hours and up to 5 days before serving.

Cyanotype eggs

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I have been sharing my egg dying adventures on instagram and thought it might be fun to share my process of making cyanotype eggs. Don’t worry though these prints are made with only natural ingredients!

I used a purple cabbage dye bath which makes the most perfect blue and gives a sun print effect on the egg.
I clipped leaves and flowers from my backyard and houseplants such as snowdrops, juniper leaf, oxalis, fern, begonia and ranunculus leaf.

You can use hard boiled eggs or dye raw ones to be blown out after they have dried.
It really is a simple process with a gorgeous result.

Cyanotype Eggs

~White hard boiled or raw eggs
~Nude pantyhose cut into small pieces (I may have just pocketed a few of those throw away peds at the shoe store. Shhhh… but they do work perfectly!)
~Leaf and flower cuttings from your backyard or houseplants
~1 whole purple cabbage
~White vinegar
~Pint size ball jars

In a large pot, mix 2 quarts of water and 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Add 1 head of chopped purple cabbage. Bring water to a boil and simmer for 1-2 hours.
Turn off heat and let cool. While cooling, position leaf/flower cutting on egg and hold in place by encasing the whole egg with pantyhose. Tie tightly in a knot or secure with a rubber band or twist tie.

Fill individual ball jars with dye bath and place each egg into it’s own cup. You could also submerge all of your eggs at once into the large pot of dye. Let sit overnight or for several hours to get a deep blue. The longer it sits the deeper the hue. Keep checking to get your desired shade.

Pull egg from dye bath and place on paper towel or rag to drain a bit. Allowing it to dry as long as possible makes for a crisper silhouette.
Remove pantyhose and allow it to dry some more.
Gently peel off leaf and voila!