Sugar Stick Holiday Wrap

IMG_4163 The holiday wrapping marathon has begun and this year there's something a little sweeter about it:  sugar sticks.  Yes, I'm adding sugar sticks to our packages this year.  The secret is out for any of you who are receiving gifts from us.  The rest of the embellishment is quite simple. It is comprised of twine, an oversized cedar sprig and a fern frond.   I especially like when the greens hang over the packages as if they were concealing their contents.  Take a look:IMG_4135IMG_4143IMG_4181Do you have a special motif for this year's holiday gift wrapping?   Do share if you do.  Together we can start our very own pinterest board!


DIY Dreamcatcher Birthday Party

IMG_3473 The weekend before last, we celebrated Zoe's 7th birthday with a dream catching party.  Each of her friends strung beads and hung feathers to create her very own dream catcher.  With a bit a prep work you too can host a party like Zoe's.  Depending on the age of your guests, more or less preparation may be required.  I went ahead and prepared the rings by wrapping them in tape and weaving them with string.  Separately, I also took leather strips and cords, and with Zoe's and Natalia's help, strung one bead at the end of them (to secure the ones the guests would later choose).  Take a look below for the list of supplies and instructions on how to make it these creative party favors come to life:








5"metal ringsbrown floral tape, waxed thread, leather strip remnants, glass, ceramic and wood beadsassorted feathers and cording in assorted colors.

Instructions:  Prep the frame and strings.

1. Wrap each metal ring with floral tape.

2.  Weave the rings.  I followed this You Tube video.

3.  Prepare 5-7  leather strips and cording per guest and secured a bead on each end.  This way your guests can add beads and attach feathers without anything falling off.

Party Setting:


1.  Place one prepped ring at each seating.

2.  Drape an assortment of 5-7 beaded leather strips and/or cording next to the rings.

3.  Put a handful of asorted beads at each place setting.

4.  Place a mixture of feathers in cups or small vases along the length of your table.


5.  Have the children add beads and feathers to the beaded strings.  The feathers can be pushed inside the bead holes or secured with floral tape.

6.  Once the strands has been adorned, have your guests knot them onto the rings.

7.  Voila!!  And don't forget to explain how dreamcatchers came to be...


DIY: A Sea Catcher

While camping in Mendocino over the past weekend (more on that adventure later), we collected driftwood and dried seaweed to add to our seaside mementos.  The foraged shore finds found themselves in box where I recently threw in some vintage buttons, chandelier crystals and a mix of feathers.  Together they all looked so pretty that the kids and I decided to make something with them, and voila, the "Sea Catcher" was born.  Using twine, leather cording, a little glue and my drill we simply arranged the collection and attached a few of our other favorites.  Take a look:

This Sea Catcher was made of Maine driftwood, dried Mendocino seaweed, vintage buttons and glass crystals from a chandelier we used to own.  All remind us of beautiful places and happy times.  Can't wait to see how our next one comes together...

Before And After: Metallic Painted Walls

For our home office makeover I decided to paint the walls a metallic gold after my mother-in-law, Natalia, suggested to do it.  After trying out several different brands, Modern Masters won me over with its  amazing color selection and incredible coverage.  Most metallic paints need a primer undercoat, but not this one.  I picked three samples to test:  Brass, Green Gold and Gold Rush.  The color of choice for us was Brass.  Take a look:

Prototype: A DIY Vertical Garden Pallet

About a month ago, Alex and I (with the help of a visiting friend) constructed a vertical garden.  Using a free pallet from a local building supply place and just a few other elements, we were able to build a frame able to support soil and plant material.  Hung on a brick wall that encloses our garden, this addition gives it a new dimensional feel by introducing botanicals in an unexpected place.  Take a look at how it all came together and what you would need to create your very own vertical growing surface:

Supplies:  A pallet, a saw, wire cutters, staple gun, chicken wire, coco liner, small pieces of wood (or deconstructed flats for inner soil support), soil, plants appropriate for your climate, eye hooks and mirror wire for hanging purposes.

Cut and size pallet to desired measurements, keeping in mind the weight it will bear when finished.  Ours is 3' x 2'.  Staple a small gauged chicken wire onto its back and line with a coco liner.  Screw in eye hooks on back of frame.  Create shelves within the frame with either small pieces of wood or deconstructed flats to give the soil and plants a place to rest. Fill will soil and attach the  larger gauged wire onto the front of the pallet.   Depending  on the size of your botanicals, you may need to snip the top layer of wire to accommodate their root systems.  Fill the frame with your selected plants, water, and let rest for two or more weeks to give the plant material a chance to establish root systems.   Hang it up and enjoy!