Ever is 9 weeks old and so lively. Her favorite sound to make is GOO, which she sort of screams at you like, GOO! followed by a big smile that shows all her gums. Whenever you start singing a song she recognizes she smiles so big that her eyes squint into these little half moon shapes. We don’t know half the words to most of the holiday songs we’ve been singing so they end up sounding like Dashing through the snow…in a one horse open sleigh… la la la la la…laughing all the way… ha! ha! ha! She doesn’t mind.
It’s so cool to watch all these new developments in her brain come online every day. I thought it was time we gave her a new form of entertainment (as exciting as her hands and staring at the threads on my sweater are). This little gym was super simple to make. She likes to wave her arms and hit the ribbons, or smile and laugh at the little moon rattle like they have an inside joke going (oh moon, you’re so funny). I added a mirror so she could see herself and watch the objects move in the reflection. The little shag rug makes a soft place for her to practice tummy time, when the dogs aren’t laying on it. It folds away easy too, so the dogs don’t lay on it.
Cut 1 1/2″ wood planks into four 30″ legs. Drill large hole for dowel using 3/4” drill bit on all four legs at the top. Drill small holes for supports in middle of each leg using 1/4″ drill bit. Cut dowel down to 36″. Assemble objects to be hanged and tie to wooden rings. Insert dowel into large hole on top of legs. Tie support rope across small holes in middle of legs. Place comfy rug or blanket underneath!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
3 8ft 1x6s
15 8ft 1x4s
1 pack BRYNILEN Ikea legs
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
Here’s a before and after:
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
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).
Level (every iphone has one – just go to the compass app and swipe left).
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.
Two 1×8 ft boards
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.
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!
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!
Margherita campfire pizza
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
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.
Memorial Day has always made me think of the beginning of summer. It makes me want to hang my head out the passenger’s side window of the car and run off cliffs into lakes. And it makes me want to make frozen treats. Continue reading…
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…