A DIY Potting/Work Station

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset Processed with VSCO with a6 preset Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

Over the weekend we turned our sunroom into a potting/work station. We used the crate planks and nails from our previous bed headboard. The sunroom is just off the kitchen right before going into the back yard, so it’s a good place to work on seedlings or pot plants before walking them down to the greenhouse or garden. I also like that the table makes Mila’s litter box a little less conspicuous. It also doubles as a nice little desk/office, since we’re no strangers to building those in odd places. I added a small bed for Mila since she likes to stay by my side while I work. There just so happened to be water and electric lines in the room (probably previously used as a washer/dryer set up), so it makes watering seedlings easy.

Here is a before photo of the sunroom:

IMG_7053

And after: Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

DIY – Experimenting with Natural Dyes

IMG_6446

I guess you could call this the modern equivalent of knitting your little human-to-be a sweater. I had been interested in experimenting with natural dyes for a while, and this gave me a sweet reason to do it. Hand dyeing is fun – if you remember, we shibori-dyed a sheet in indigo a few years ago and still use it as a back seat cover for the dogs to lay on in Lola, our land cruiser. I decided to test out some new dyes, this time using avocado skins and tea on some tiny onesies for little human. The result turned out to be the softest shades of tan and pink.

IMG_6450
IMG_6452 IMG_6448
When you think of avocados, the color pink probably doesn’t come to mind. But sure enough, if you boil the skins and pits down it creates a pink dye. Neat, huh?

IMG_6378
Next, I tried tea.

IMG_6457
IMG_6456 2
The sweetest neutral shades came from the dyes…

IMG_6495
Perfect with a pair of mini blue jeans and converse.

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
I love how soft the colors turned out on the onesies. I wanted light colors so I just did a quick dip (2 mins). The longer you soak the fabric, the darker the colors will be. I’m interested in trying out natural dyes from other fruits and vegetables next like beets and strawberries, coffee, and even onion skins!

Natural Dyeing
Here’s what you’ll need:
Tea:
Package of tea (at least 30 bags)
Large pot
Stirring utensil
Fabric

Avocados:
3 avocados (4 if using smaller ones)
Large pot
Stirring utensil
Fabric

Here’s how:
Presoaking fabric
Soak a natural fiber fabric like cotton or linen in warm water to rinse off anything on the fabric. You will add the wet pre-soaked fabric to your prepared dye.

Preparing the dye:
For using tea, I steeped 30 Trader Joes English breakfast tea bags by tying them to a wooden spoon and placing it horizontal across the rim of the pot so the bags would hang in. For using avocados, I added the skins and pits of 4 small/medium avocados. For both you will need enough water in the pot to create enough dye for the fabric to be completely submerged. Bring water and tea/fruit to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Soaking the fabric:
Add the presoaked fabric to the dye. The darker you want the color, the longer the fabric should stay in the dye. For lighter colors, anywhere from 1-5 minutes will produce a pale shade. For a brighter, deeper color, try soaking the fabric anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours.

If you want deep colors, it’s best to use a mordant. A mordant will help natural dyes adhere to the fibers, keeping the colors locked in. You don’t have to use one, but if you don’t you’ll need to have them in the dye for longer to really let the fabric absorb the color and know that a lot of the color will likely wash out and fade over time. A good mordant to use is alum and can be added directly to the dye bath.

After you’ve reached the color you want, remove the fabric from the dye and put in a bowl of cool water with a little bit of dish soap and gently wash with your hands. Ring out well, or put in the washer for a drain/spin cycle and let air dry.

Unrelated:

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

A DIY Bed Frame + Room Tour

Processed with VSCO with a9 preset

This post was sponsored by BLACK+DECKER. All views and opinions are my own.

A friend of mine was over the other day and asked if I was burning sandalwood, the earthy wood smell that’s all the rage. I wasn’t, it was actually just another wood working project we had going on in the house. She was in fact smelling birch wood, ha. Earthy. Sensual. Birch. Eau de Parfum by Home dépôt.

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
IMG_2807
Processed with VSCO with a10 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
IMG_2817
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
IMG_2825 2
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

We looked at a bunch of bed frames before deciding to design our own. We even considered a Japanese-style tatami mat since both of us have been inspired by nature-y Japanese style lately. We knew we wanted the bed to be low to the floor, simple, and made from light colored wood. I like minimal, peaceful spaces to relax in and wanted a frame that fit that vibe. Using our new cordless BLACK+DECKER lightweight drill, we made a bed frame using birch wood and wood screws. I never knew how much I needed a cordless drill until I got a cordless drill. Game changer. No more extension chords, and unlike the other big bulky drill we have, this one is lightweight and compact. It comes with a built in LED light so you can work in tight or dark spaces too, as well as an app you can download to manage the SMARTECH battery remotely through bluetooth. The battery base also doubles as a portable charger to charge your phone too….just incase your phone needs some juice while you’re working.

Anyway, so.

The bed frames we looked at and thought were cool were at least $200+. More often than not Trey and I say “we can make that” when it comes to things like this. It’s cool to design and make something ourselves. I think the wood + legs ended up costing us around $75 and we made it in about an hour and a half. To make the frame sturdy and strong, we added support slats across the center to reduce the likelihood of it bowing in. For the outside of the frame we wanted to make it look modern and clean, so we used gold wood screws at the corners. Lastly we added some mid-centuryish wooden legs to lift it off the ground about 8 inches. I think it turned out awesome. We’ve been sleeping on it for a few weeks now and really like it. It’s sturdy, just the right height for our space, and has the look we were going for. The walls in this room, if you remember from a while back, used to be a sage-y green color. We painted them white to make it more airy. We also added a vintage trunk for pants/skirts (shirts hang), and a floor mirror. We’re done in this room with the exception of some art for the wall and possibly changing a light fixture. I’m glad we decided to make the bed frame ourselves! On to the dining room…and the kitchen with the salmon colored floors (hmmm).

Here’s what we used to make the bed frame:
7 2x4s
3 8ft 1x6s
15 8ft 1x4s
1 pack BRYNILEN Ikea legs
Wood screws

Here’s how:
Cut the following pieces of wood:
2 2x4s to 78 inches
4 2x4s to 76 inches
15 1x3s to 78 inches
2 1x6s to 79 inches
1 1×6 to 81 inches

Using your 2x4s, drill them together like so:

↓        ↓        ↓        ↓
----------------------------
|        |        |        |
|        |        |        |
|        |        |        |
|        |        |        |
|        |        |        |
|        |        |        |
|        |        |        |
|        |        |        |
----------------------------
↑        ↑        ↑        ↑

Place the slats down, spaced with 2.5in gaps in between. Fasten those in place with wood screws. Make sure to use screws over nails, these slats provide a lot of the side-to-side support for your frame. Center the 81in 1×6 on the foot of the bed frame and screw into place. Next, secure the remaining 1x6s on the sides, flush with the board. Fastened to the foot of the bed. Last, sand the edges to improve the seams.

A DIY Floating Clothing Rack

IMG_0102

We’re loving the house so far. Not only do we have more space, but now we can really work on all the projects we want without worrying that we’re disturbing the neighbors. We’re just renting for the time being while we feel out whether or not the Oakland Hills are the place for us, so that means some of the details of the house we’ll just have to live with. Luckily for us though, we’re no strangers to coming up with creative solutions for quirky Bay Area spaces (cough, beds and offices in closets, cough).

My favorite room in the house is the bedroom. It faces southwest and has lots of windows that bring tons of sunlight in the afternoons. We thought the bedroom in our last place was peaceful and bright….but this bedroom might take the cake. It overlooks the trees in the back yard, and also allows us to spy on the dogs whenever we want: “YO KEEPER STOP BARKING AT THAT BIRD/SQUIRREL/TREE BRANCH WITH NOTHING ON IT!“. I can’t wait to paint the walls white to really make it feel airy in there.

Over the weekend we went to Lowes to pick up some supplies for our first few projects. One quirk with this house is there is no closet space in the bedroom. The tenants before us left behind a large armoire, but it was bulky and traditional and not really our style, so we thought it would be neat to make a floating clothing rack to hang our t-shirts and jackets on instead.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset
Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Hardware stores are my jam. I can’t help but have this weird giddy energy every time I go in one. The possibilities are endless! Trey called me Tina “The Tool Woman” Taylor and I think I’m alright with it. Anyone remember JTT from Home Improvement? That hair. I mean, what a babe.

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

We grabbed a cart and rode around on it like a bunch of kids, perused the aisles for the items we needed. Steve (Lowes employee, what up Steve!) helped us when we asked where we could find “14 feet of strong wire and a machete”. You know, for the felony we were about to commit. Just kidding. The wire was for the floating clothing rack and the machete was to clear a path in the woods in the back yard. We grew up in the back woods of North Carolina…if you needed to clear a path you didn’t call lawn services, you just took the machete out there and murdered some weeds yourself (safely, of course).

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
DERP
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

Here’s a before and after:

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
IMG_0102

I think it turned out pretty cool. I like how simple it is, and it’s sturdy. The hooks are firmly secured into a stud in the ceiling and the wire supports up to 120 lbs – so we’ll hang lots of clothes on it (once we unpack more). We’re keeping our eyes out for a cool vintage trunk to put underneath it to store jeans in – or we might bring in a small dresser that’s currently hanging out in the garage. When the walls are painted white it will stand out and vibe more with our style. But, one thing at a time. I’m more of a show-as-you-go kind of girl….to me, seeing all the different stages as it comes together is cooler than just revealing a finished product. More to come!

Here’s what we used to make it:
Wooden dowel rod – we used a 1′ 1/8″ diameter rod, 48″ L
Wire
Eyelet hooks – 1/4″ x 3″ (ours screwed into a wood stud luckily – if drywall, you’ll need to also buy heavy duty anchors to support the weight).
2 Ferrule and stop kits – 1/16″ (make sure they match same diameter of your wire).
Stud finder
Level (every iphone has one – just go to the compass app and swipe left).
Pencil
Tape measure
Wire cutters

Here’s how:
1. Use a stud finder to find out whether you’re working with studs or drywall. Ideally for this you’ll need to screw directly into studs in order to support the weight of your clothes on the rack.

2. Once you’ve found stud/studs, measure the distance you need between the eyelet hooks. This was about 40″ because you will want the dowel rod to overhang on the edges by a few inches.

3. Screw in eyelet hooks.

4. Determine the length you want your clothing rack to “float” from the ceiling and cut two pieces of wire using the wire cutters.

5. Loop wire through eyelet hook and secure ferrule and stop kit. Using the wire cutters, crimp down on the stopper to hold in place. Make sure wire is secure by pulling gently. Repeat on opposite end by securing ferrule and stop kit around the dowel rod. Trim excess wire.

6. Repeat on other end of dowel rod. Use a level to make sure the rod is even before securing the last ferrule and stopper on the final loop around dowel rod.

7. Hang clothes with hangers and do a happy dance.

DIY Shoe Organizer

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Come home, kick off shoes, hang jacket, put keys in the wood tray. That’s how it usually goes when we come into our place. Lately though, the pile of shoes/ human obstacle course we had created by the door was getting harder and harder to ignore. So, this past weekend I decided to sort out the beef I had with the current state of entryway and come up with a helpful solution. The result was a very simple, modern shoe organizer. 

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Here’s what we used:

Two 1×8 ft boards
1.5″ nails
Measuring tape
Pencil
Hammer
Hand saw
Sand paper

Here’s how:

Measure the dimensions of your space using a tape measure. Cut boards to fit dimensions (essentially you are creating a rectangle – ours was made using two long pieces measuring 36 3/4” and two 10″ pieces). The next step will likely be a little different than ours because we took advantage of the molding along the bottom of the wall to use as a place to rest the bottom board. We then nailed the side pieces into the wall, and nailed the remaining long piece on top. If you are constructing this without the help of any molding/wall features, you could use wood glue and clamps to secure the pieces together in a rectangle shape, then nail them together. You could even add legs or wheels to add storage space underneath.

Giveaway: Geninne’s Art

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

11885352_10153611878421289_8218142475818308363_n 10404365_10153635054026289_6980225097954626975_n 5897716226_37e3639a26_o 11896113_10153618469241289_4175193774325554901_n il_fullxfull.809062736_mrg9 6086226772_a35b4ef2bd_o 6086093340_9f3164ae47_o

As you likely know by now, I love dogs.  And today I’m happy to host a giveaway for an awesome dog person and artist (who has quite the following!), Geninne Zlatkis. Geninne creates amazing watercolor, ink and pencil drawings, as well as carves her own stamps. She even wrote a book about it! She lives a dreamy life in Santa Fe with her husband, two boys, and dog. Earlier this year she lost her sweet border collie, Turbo at just six years old. My heart (and her many, many fans hearts) broke with her. Jack is six, so it especially hit home. From one herding dog lover to another, I knew I had to reach out and befriend her and I’m glad I did! I love following along and seeing her updates from her studio. While all her art is lovely, I especially love the coyote/dog drawings and stamps she does. Recently, a new little pup started popping up in her photos…a heeler puppy they adopted from their local shelter. They named him Zorro because he looks like a fox. So sweet!

Geninne was kind enough to offer two prints to one lucky Wildlandia reader! A coyote print + bird watercolor. To enter, leave a comment in the comment section, or on our Instagram and I’ll choose a winner later this week. For more of Geninne’s art, you can visit her online shop, here. And for more of Zorro, you can follow along on Instagram. Good luck and thanks Geninne!

 

Summer Food: Campfire pizza

Processed with VSCOcam with k2 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

We spent the weekend camping in Lake Tahoe and made the tastiest margherita pizza over the fire! I took a lot of photos of the trip that I will post here soon, but first I wanted to share this recipe with you since it was so good. It was simple and easy to make and had the best hint of wood-fire flavor. Not to mention it cooks fast – a bonus after a day spent galavanting around the lake!  Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with k2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Margherita campfire pizza
Serves 2-3

Large cast iron skillet
1 tsp olive oil
Pre-made pizza dough (Whole Foods has a great all-natural dough that’s made in-house and ready to be thrown in a cooler)
1 jar marinara sauce
8 oz (1 package) fresh mozzarella cheese
1 large roma tomato
5-7 basil leaves
Tin foil
A knife

Coat the cast iron skillet with olive oil on the bottom and sides. Spread pizza dough on the bottom and sides of the skillet until you achieve desired crust thickness. Add marinara sauce and layer slices of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil leaves. Next, cover the top of the cast iron skillet with tin foil and place on grill. This is best done when cooking on a fire that has an adjustable grill grate. You’ll need to adjust the grate height to the highest position so the pizza is far enough away from the flame that the bottom won’t burn, and close enough so it will throughly cook the pizza. Cook for 8-10 minutes, remove from fire and serve.

Optional (and totally recommended), make another!

Made: DIY Rope Dog Leash

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

I’ve been a fan of rope leashes for a while now and have been noticing them all around on dogs in the city, at parks and even at the beach. In the past we have made our own leashes out of climbing rope and old carabiners we had laying around, but this time I wanted to use a different kind of rope…some dock line. So, we went to the hardware store and picked up some nylon rope and a brass clasp, then to the craft store for some waxed thread and tools, then took some leather from a bag we found on the street and made a rope leash of our own. Continue reading…

DIY Clay ring dish

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

I’ve been into the ceramics trend lately and even started exploring studios in my area to learn more about using a kiln and the process behind making pottery. Then I came across this simple DIY with oven baked clay that doesn’t require a kiln or anything you can’t buy from the craft store. Bingo. Just an oven, some clay and get this…black pepper. Yep. It was really simple to make and a fun way to spend a Sunday morning. I love how they turned out and now it has me wanting to make other things using oven baked clay. Continue reading…