Monday, May 31, 2010

CRAFTERNOON: Oil Cloth Cushions

As the days grow longer and the weather turns warm, we are spending more time out in the garden. We have a lovely set of chairs and a table surrounded by our lilac bushes and apricot trees (which are full of baby green apricots!) Lately, I've been looking for way to gussy up my patio furniture. I decided to make a few seat cushions out of oil cloth because it would provide a colorful and weatherproof comfort. Oil cloth is readily available here in Santa Fe and I settled on a cheerful pink and yellow chinz pattern.
I couldn't have completed this project without the help of my 1960's Singer Touch and Sew. It was my mother's, and believe it or not, this puppy is still trucking! It is like an old jalopy that has it's particular buzzes and whirs and I feel like I know those sounds so well. It is, without a doubt, the most fabulous vintage fixture in my studio.
Dining in the garden is now complete! Cheers to more lazy summer afternoons!
-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Treats {in pictures}

A petunia snippet from some pots I planted...perfect in my vintage glass bottle.
OMGorgeous peonies....swoon!I got my fingernails dirty and planted some seeds. I'm a sucker for packaging and these "Botanical Interests" packs just call my name! They even have an iPhone app!The highlight of the weekend were these cake balls! They are bite-sized gobs of frosted cake...I could have eaten like 100! I found this recipe on Bakerella, a fantastic site for baking inspiration. The BEST part is that they were also gluten free!!! Believe it or not, good ol' Betty Crocker has come to the g-free side and now offers gluten free cake and cookie mixes, alleluia!
-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pantone Rosey Poseys

Check these stripey blooms, could they be any more beautiful!?!
If I only had smell-o-vision, you would be able to enjoy the heavenly scents too!
-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dans Le Jardin

So, there I was. Stepping into the car to meet the family in Portland, freshly showered and primped, clutching my purse and sunglasses, when what do I see? My neighbor loading up his dump trailer with remnants of curly willow - the tree he just removed from his backyard. I couldn't let it go. Late as I was, I jogged down in my raised flip flops and said, "STOP! Can I have some of that?" I had no idea what for. It just seemed like I could use curly willow for something neat. He handed me the loppers. And next thing I know, I am dragging half a tree down the middle of the street, hideously late for my family meeting, and shlepping the bushy rats nest right into the empty space in the garage that my wonderful husband had just cleaned. It seriously took up half the garage. But such is life living with someone who needs to "make stuff" all the time, right?

Well, after a few weeks of thought, and feeling quite bad about messing up my hubby's space, it dawned on me. Le Jardin! Last year I had a Sweet 100 tomato plant that grew 6 feet tall, then, conquering the feeble wire conical cone I had provided for support, it proceeded to grow over the edge, then back down, and along the ground. Had it had a GOOD support, it would have been at least 12 feet tall! I had recently priced stronger ugly square cages at the farm store, and decided I wasn't going to break the bank to maximize the space in my garden, I could do it myself! After finding some salvaged cedar from a discount lumber lot, here's what I came up with. The huge one is for the sweet 100. Then, once I ran out of usable pieces from the curly willow, my other neighbor offered me all the willow I wanted out of her creek. Sooo, I continued on to finish the last few supports. I am looking forward to nurturing the garden this year without running into the endless tripwires of fishing line I usually have holding up those flimsy tomato conical cages! YAY! Bye bye fishing line! Hello pretty spaces. I think I like the final one the best with just two sides. Less obtrusive:
I'll post an update this summer to let you know which worked out to be the best design.
Oh, and I'm excited about my little cucumber trellis, too.

Okay, now that I am sharing, I must give you the update on my lettuce patch. This year, I put a pot in the middle for my mint. (As some of you know, mint is invasive and can take over the garden, so it should be contained. Here's my blurb for the "color me bad" theme this week: I threw in some red/orange super bells, so I will have some beautiful cascading color this summer to compliment my green mint.)

- Liz Ganji | Battle Ground, WA

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Color me bad

I do love early 90s R&B harmony vocals...but more importantly I totally dig perusing the paint swatches at the hardware store. I don't know what it is but every time we go to Lowes or Home Depot I need to stop and stare at the vast array of square cards in all their technicolor glory.
I usually start picking out my favorites and creating beautiful color combinations. For what, I'm not sure, but maybe someday they'll be the inspiration for a room color and couch cushions, an invitation suite or floral scheme. Nonetheless, it keeps the ol' creative brain a turnin' so I stuff my pockets with the little colorful cards.
I did find a less wasteful way to delight in color schematics. The wonderful blog, Color Collective, creates a daily color palette of inspiration based on work by designers, photographers, and artists. I highly recommend stopping by!All images via Color Collective
-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Monday, May 17, 2010

Taste the Rainbow

Technicolor cake via Colourlovers
I think I need one of these for my birthday....will someone please make me one?

Here's the recipe.

-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hooray for Friday!

Photo via Photobucket
Since this week ended up being all about animals....I thought I'd wish you a happy weekend with this sweet little penguin!

-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Last week I chicken-sat and had the opportunity to watch 6 hens and 1 rooster while their owner was out of town. The mister and I are contemplating becoming full-blown farmers and along with our veggie garden, might get some chickens to complete our back yard. This was sort of a test run to see if I was cut-out for raising a clutch.As long as you have the space for a coop, they are quite easy to take care of. A little water, little feed, some wood shavings and voila! They have fun personalities and I enjoyed watching them run around the yard and scrape and peck at the dirt. I'm easily amused, I know.

Contrary to popular belief, roosters do not just crow in the morning. Cinnamon, the protector of the hens, with his beautiful iridescent feathers and showy tail let out crows all throughout the afternoon! I think the neighbors are used to his mid-day vocal musings.The best part was the bounty of eggs I collected! It was such a treat to open the coop and see what treasures had been left among the wood shavings. Several of the chickens were the Aracana variety which meant they laid eggs in beautiful shades of blue. They even tasted better with rich yellow yolks. Now I know why I am addicted to fritattas!

Our chicken operation may not commence until next year, but until then I will be dreaming of fresh eggs and the sweet coos and clucks of my chicken brood.

-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Photo via Photobucket
I'm sleepy today. I might have to take a nap.

I've been trying to kick my ol' caffeine routine because I was crashing too hard in the afternoons. It always feels like a horrible idea in the transition and all I want is a warm, creamy cup of joe. But, I have to remind myself that no coffee and getting a good night's rest will be all I need to feel g-r-r-r-rreat!
-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Hung in the dappled light of my apricot tree and nestled among blossoming lilac is a Mexican tin star. Sometimes I'll put a candle in it if we're feeling festive, but mostly it just swings gently in the breeze, like the North star of my garden.
Today, we were enjoying a Mother's day lunch in our yard with the in-laws. The sun was warm on our faces and the scent of the lilacs lazily wafted around us. The mister's mama is an avid bird watcher and was pointing out all the varieties of feathered friends that were stopping by for a chirp or two.

As the breeze settled she said, "Do you hear that? It's baby birds!" I could hear slight little peeps but couldn't tell where they were coming from. She then noticed a mama bird take off from the tin star in the apricot tree. (She has good eyes!)
We crept out way over and realized that the most amazing nest had been built inside of the star! In the cozy nest were four fuzzy little chirps taking an afternoon nap. (You can see the beak of one of the babies in the picture above) I decided that this was the most magnificent place to have a nest. It made me so happy that the star was able to provide a protected, spacious, and oh so very unique home!

-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Saturday, May 8, 2010


My mom always says she's glad I picked her.

That was always a funny concept to me. I imagined that way up in the fluffy clouds of heaven was a long line of moms, waiting expectantly to be picked by diaper-clad babies that floated by on little cloud poufs.

I'm glad I picked her too. She would let me stay home from school to learn how to sew, play duets with us on the piano, let us paint the furniture, cook a different meal almost every night, hold us tight in a warm blanket when we got out of the bath and let us have M&M's for dinner when dad was out of town. She even put up with me during my moody teens and sent me the best care packages when I left for college.

I'm not a mom, so I have no idea what it is like to love a child, but I do know what it is like to receive the love of a mother, and I appreciate how special that is. All of you with children, I admire you, your patience, the love you give, and the very important role you play in another human being's life. Saying "thank you" would never seem like enough, nor could the world's largest bear hug, but Mama, I love you, and I hope you know how special you are to me.

-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Homesick Hanky

After watching Julie and Julia I was in love with small space living! More in love with the idea of it really, not necessarily coveting 500 square feet of space in real life.

I loved how Julie's apartment was decorated with sweet twinkle lights, a small dining table and a nifty divider for the "bedroom." It wasn't until a fellow bloggerita pointed out that above Julie's bed were framed vintage "state" handkerchiefs. It was then that I decided I needed an early birthday present and set out to find a vintage California (my home state) handkerchief for myself.After a bit of searching at local shops and finding mostly Kansas and Arizona state hankies priced at $60, I turned to the good ol' trusty internet. I found a perfect hanky for $13! It had a beautifully printed map with painted accents of Hollywood Studios, Olivera Street and the Rose Bowl.
I found a custom size frame for it and after a little DIY, and a greater appreciation for professional framers, I now have a cheery, vintage handkerchief to remind me of home whenever I am feeling a bit nostalgic for my coastal roots.

-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Indoor Sunday

I had plans to work in the yard this Sunday. I was excited to prep my garden beds for veggies and plant my newly acquired rose bushes and lavender plants. But when I awoke with anticipation of dirty fingernails and sun burnt shoulders, I saw that it was snowing.

Yes, snowing.

Yes, it is May 2nd.
So instead I decided to play in the kitchen and experiment with a frittata recipe I had in mind. I made it with caramelized onions, spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers (via a TJ's tapenade), smoked salmon and cream cheese. Golly, was it good! It was rich and creamy, with enough veggies to make you feel semi-healthy. The caramelized onions are what did it for me though, the touch of sweetness balanced the smokiness of the salmon. So delightful...and pretty too!

-Jessie, Santa Fe, NM