{Custom Leather Cuff}

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Honestly, are these cuffs stunning or what?  This listing is for a custom cuff from Becky of Farmgirl Paints.  Becky does the most amazing work with leather and metal and I LOVE these cuffs.

Becky Strahle lives just outside Richmond, Virginia with her honey, two daughters, and dog Fergie.  To learn more about her, visit farmgirlpaints.blogspot.comfarmgirlpaints.etsy.com, or email her at beckystrahle@yahoo.com

{Claude the Elephant}

auction-alexis2

 

Hi my name is Claude I am a friendly elephant looking for a loving home. I am much taller then most people think at 23 inches tall and 27 inches wide. I am handmade in San Diego, California out of old hand stitched quilts.

 

This incredible handmade elephant is truly one of a kind.  The creation and donation of Alexis Garrett of Fern & Feather, this gentle giant is a treasure for any recipient.

 

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{Hattie Bird Little Girl’s Dress}

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This beautiful garden dress in size 4 from the Hattie Bird line of clothing was donated by Liz Le Dorze of Komedal Road.  Liz has exquisite taste and whenever she does something, she does it with the utmost quality.  This little dress is no exception.  Made of 100% cream Italian hemp, it is light and airy.  It was designed by Liz’s studio on Bainbridge Island, WA and made locally in Seattle.  It is the perfect summer dress for a little girl who likes to run…. and jump…  and play… and feel pretty too!

 

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{The Emerson Handbag}

 

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Donated by Jeanne Oliver of Jeanne Oliver Designs, the Emerson Handbag comes in a gorgeous vintage fabric! The style of this bag is timeless from the shape of the body, the color of the fabric and the jute webbing handles. The body of the bag is an upholstery weight vintage fabric and the bag is lined with a tan ticking.  The bag includes a cell phone pocket and a larger buttoned pocket (6 1/2″ x 4 1/2″).  Each bag comes with a removable flower.

The Emerson measures 17 1/2″ (long) x 10″ (wide at the base) x 9 1/2″ (at the top) with handles that measure another 18″ from side to side.

This bag is made in the United States

 

If you haven’t “met” Jeanne, I would be happy to introduce you!

Jeanne grew up watching old movies and was inspired by the styles and femininity of the past. Nothing seemed more glamorous to her than Vivien Leigh sweeping down a staircase, Grace Kelly wearing white gloves with a black cocktail dress or Audrey Hepburn outside of Tiffany’s. Hours were spent designing her own creations and dreaming of wearing all the apparel her fingers could sketch. Today she has the honor of offering collections of clothing, bags, art, jewelry and vintage pieces that tell a story. Jeanne feels that it is such a privilege to be a stay at home mom and also have the opportunities to create, teach and sell her creations. She is just a girl that finally started listening to the creative whispers that had been there all along.

www.jeanneoliverdesigns.com

{Limited Edition Tap & Dye Leather Camera Strap}

TAP & DYE ROYAL NAVY-1412

 

 

This listing is for a handmade limited edition Tap & Dye leather camera strap.  I currently use one of their amazing straps on my film camera and LOVE it!  Mine isn’t this gorgeous blue, but oh how I would love to have one of these.

 

 

TAP & DYE ROYAL NAVY-1431labels

 

 

Tap & Dye is one of those companies that I want to support.  Their focus is simple — Camera straps. Durable. Rugged. High Quality handmade straps for the aspiring street photographer or the seasoned veteran photojournalist. Their Mantra: Quality above all else. As they say on their site: “Think of your purchase as an investment, not just a high quality good that will better with age and use, but an heirloom to be passed onto future generations of shutterbugs and camera lovers. All of our high quality handmade goods are made from components sourced from vendors and manufacturers within the U.S. Each strap is handmade from Premium Quality, extremely durable Full Grain Cowhide Leather. Every rivet is set, every impression stamped and every cut is made by hand in our humble New York City studio.”  Don’t you just love that?

TAP & DYE ROYAL NAVY-1blur

{Vintage Notre Dame Handcrafted Necklace}

auction necklace

 

This beautiful handmade piece was donated by Patricia Mackey of Tippy Stockton Jewelry.  It holds a special place in Patricia’s heart, as told below~

“One of the most glorious cathedrals in the world…  the Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the crown jewels of Paris.  It is also the school that my mother studied at in Baltimore, MD.

I’ve been so inspired by the gorgeous castings that I have recently found.  This particular casting is the Ave Maria symbol.  Floating below that is a lovely locket; very unique in that when you slide the front panel of the locket over, hidden beneath it is the Lord’s Prayer.  A rhinestone cross is featured on the front of the locket and the necklace is made up of vintage Rosary beads.  A treasure to be sure.  The necklace measures out at 30″ and is secured with a brass lobster clasp.”

 

 

{San Francisco Area Photo Shoot}

 

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The incredible duo of Reverie Daydream have generously offered to donate a 2 hour photo shoot for a family, couple or individual.  The shoot will take place in the San Francisco Bay area.  You will spend two hours shooting with this dynamic duo to create beautiful images that will be digitally delivered.  The item includes an hour of editing work.
How fun would this be?  This team is amazing and you can find their work on their website:  http://reverie-daydream.com/capture/  I can personally speak for their incredible eye and attention to detail.  Anyone winning this item is in for a truly special experience.

{Time in the Kitchen}

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If you spend as much time in the kitchen as I do it is nice surrounding yourself with things you love.  This collection offers a linen apron to wear while cooking from the cookbook “Lunch in Provence”- a beautifully photographed and inspiring book about slowing down and eating with joy.  It also includes a linen market bag for shopping at the farmer’s market and my very favorite smoked salt in a small weck jar to use on everything from popcorn to steak to salted caramel!

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{Red Cross Necklace}

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This red cross necklace was designed by Donna Clement and donated by Liz Le Dorze of Komedal Road.   It is wonderfully simple and classic- a glimpse of the past, with a nod to the present.  This one of a kind piece is one you could wear every day- classic and simple.

{Original Vintage Washed Flannel Shirt}

auction flannel

 

I absolutely LOVE these shirts- it is one of my favorite things to wear! Donated by Garrett Plantanitis of Farmstead in northern California, the shirt offered will be specifically chosen for you based on size and color preference.

Inspired by the broken- in shirts you love wearing as an added layer on a cold day – our vintage washed flannels have quickly become new old favorites.  Each shirt is treated by hand – resulting in a unique, one-of-a-kind discovery.

Farmstead is a vintage living and design inspiration source situated between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Historic Old Town Auburn, California. Specializing in one-of-a-kind vintage finds, interior design, and apparel, owner Garrett Platanitis incorporates a juxtaposition of both vintage and modern, creating a casual and rustic environment.

To learn more about us, including where to find Vintage Washed Flannels, please visit:
farmsteadhome.com or facebook.com/farmsteadhome

 

{A Taste of the Maritimes}

auction maritimes

 

I was so excited when my dear friend Lori offered to put together a collection of her favorite things from her home in the Maritimes of Canada!  As I have received a similar parcel in the mail from her, I can say from experience that it is a treat!  Lori can be found at http://nbwildflowers.blogspot.com

“A Taste of the Maritimes”
Candy:  Robertson’s Candy is the largest family owned hard-candy factory left in Nova Scotia and these hard candy treats are called “Humbugs”.   A gourmet chocolate bar from Newfoundland Chocolate Company and a barley toy sucker in the shape of a lobster.
 
Spices:  “Arnies” all purpose seasoning great for grilling anything.  Farmer John’s: Roasted Garlic Dip, Clam Chowder Mix & Maritime Seafood Chowder mix.  Summer Savory: is a traditional popular herb in Atlantic Canada, where it is used in the same way sage is elsewhere.
Maple:  This selection of maple is made locally and the owner is a family friend.  Maple candies and kisses along with a little bottle of maple syrup.  The maple coffee is from a New Brunswick business called Java Moose.

 

This item also includes a $25 gift certificate to The Rusted Chain- and I loved that the necklace below was so appropriate!

 

rusted chain necklace

 

{Handmade Grain Sack Pillow}

 

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This beautiful vintage pillow was hand made by Isabel of Maison Douce.  It measures 16″x24″ and is printed on an authentic French linen towel, from Isabel’s own collection.

 

A little bit about Isabel Lang.  Isabel was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, and married her prince charming in his dress blues 20 years ago.  Their nomadic military life took them to assignments in England and Morocco, after which they settled in Oregon. She is now a mother of 4, loves cooking, sewing and hunting for antique and vintage stuff. Out of her passion for the old emerged her business, Maison Douce, selling at antique malls, antique shows and online.

{Framed Magnolia Print}

 

auction-print

 

 

This beautiful  8×12 inch print is framed in a 11.5×15.5 rich espresso brown frame which nicely compliments the nearly monochromatic magnolia flower which blossoms front and center.
This piece of art was donated by Daria Schubert, an award-winning photographer, working in Puget Sound shooting flowers, food and portraits. She uses natural light and elicits spontaneous expressions to create genuine portraits. She’s a foodie, francophile and naturalist. She dreams of one day owning a gite/dive resort on the Cote d’Azur and offering photo classes and tours around France and the Mediterranean.  (She is also a fabulous website designer and I wouldn’t work with anyone else!)

 

{Vingage Linen Bag}

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This beautiful limited edition vintage linen bag with a red embossed strap and detailing was donated by Liz Le Dorze of Komedal Road. It was made especially for Komedal Road and is a perfect bag for summer living~  The inside is spacious with two pockets- one with a zipper.  The bag measures 15″ wide by 12″ tall.  The linen is sturdy and soft and with the durable bottom, it is easy to take anywhere!

 

 

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{Cork Wrap Bracelet}

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While in Napa this spring I was introduced to Cindy and Kay of Yount Street Glass.  These ladies recycle wine bottles into truly wonderful pieces of art.  They were so kind and open about sharing their studio and workspace with us, giving us a little tour and backstory.  They were also working on some new bracelets and were generous enough to give us each one!  I wear mine nearly every day.  They also gave me an extra so that I could include it in my auction.  It is made of cork  which is super flexible with a magnetic clasp which makes it easy to get on and off.  It is perfect for summer and definitely a limited edition at this point.

This bracelet isn’t available on their site but so many other fabulous pieces are.  However, if you want something really special that few others have, this bracelet is it!

 

 

It’s time for an {Auction for Africa}!!

rusted chain necklace

 

Hello friends,

My trip to Uganda is in just over a month and we have been working to collect the things that we will be bringing with us to the children.  We are allowed three large suitcases each, with the option to pay for two more.  I’m sure we could fill all ten between the two of us with supplies that simply aren’t available there- things that will be so valuable in a place where these things are desperately needed.  And while we don’t want to make this home completely westernized, we do want it to be a “home” for these children- the first real home most of them have ever had.  We want them to each have a place of their own and I am excited to put together a little “welcome home” parcel for each of them.

When we arrive we will be assessing the house and seeing what it is that needs to be purchased in Kampala before we bring in the children.  There is a kitchen that needs to be supplied, basic items for housing and feeding the children, as well as food itself.  This is the project I have challenged myself to raise the money for.  The more we raise together- the more I can provide for these kids- especially food.

I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to welcoming them with my mom; to capturing their first days in a place that they can feel safe and happy and can play like children.

auction-alexis

 

While it has taken me a lot longer than I had anticipated to pull all of this together, I am excited to tell you that I have finally organized all of the beautiful donations that my incredibly generous friends have offered so that we can raise money to purchase all that we need for the children.  As I want to make every dollar count, I have opted to run the entire process through my website rather than using an online auction source, seeing as they would cost a few hundred dollars- dollars that could be put to much better use elsewhere!

The Details:

The Auction for Africa will go live on MONDAY June 17th at 8 am PST and run until WEDNESDAY June 19th at 6 pm PST.  My plan is to have a separate post for each item, and then biding will be done in the comment section.  The auction will run for three days so that everyone will have an opportunity to bid on the items they want.  Once the auction closes, I will contact the winning bidders and they will have 48 hours to deposit the bid into my paypal account.  If after 48 hours they aren’t able to do so, the second place bidder will be contacted.  Once the bid has been paid the item will be shipped- most of which by the person who donated the item.  Have I mentioned how generous my friends are?

So here is what I am asking of you.  Not only do I hope that you will bid on the items, but I would be SO GRATEFUL if you would share it – shout it from the rooftops, facebook it, twitter it, blog it- MULTIPLE TIMES if you can!  Look, I know I have asked a lot of you in the last year.  I know that you have been kind, and giving and so incredibly supportive.  If I wasn’t so darn passionate about this, I wouldn’t have the nerve to ask this of you, but I am.  I want those kids to move in to this house and know that they are loved and that they don’t have to struggle to survive any longer.  I want them to feel safe and secure and be able to be children.  Every child deserves that, don’t you think?

Monday people- it’s coming.  I hope you love the items as much as I do!

Love to you all,

x

auction

 

my {love} language

Hello dear readers~

I am afraid I have been rather absent again, and while I feel a bit sad about it, mostly I feel so incredibly inspired by the things I have been doing instead of blogging.  Hopefully these things will in turn become wonderful things on which to share- I’m quite certain they will.

 

7

 

I have been reading the book “7-an experimental mutiny against excess” by Jen Hatmaker (she wrote this little gem that was my first indication I would be soon head over heels for this girl) and honestly, it has been life changing.  Life. Changing.  In the two days that I have been reading it I have:

~looked around at what we have, really “seen” how much that is, and begun to really consider where it is we want to go from here

~pulled 7 bags from our home to bring to our local charity this week

~gotten creative about meals and using what we already have rather than my usual impulse buying at the grocery

~looked at what we are eating- not the healthy balanced dinners we eat together, but the rest of it – school lunches (packaging waste, processed foods), breakfasts (cereals that sound healthy until you read the ingredients) and nearly everything we eat out when we are in a hurry

~stopped my car by the side of the road to approach a man who was on the sidewalk, most likely homeless, barely conscious, likely having had a bit too much of the bottle and clearly in need of help

~looked at how much time I spend in front a screen- namely this computer and my iPhone and decided that isn’t the place I want to spend the precious hours I have

And the best part, the part that gave me the boost I needed to do a post today?  I have gone through things that I had been saving for, well, for what?  A rainy day?  The day I started doing crafts?  I have no idea as honestly, these things have been here for some time now.  But not for much longer!  Today I clearly saw that my “love language” (which, by the way, I am just throwing out as a reference word- I have never read “the book” on love languages, but I’m pretty sure my love language is a registered language…  you know, from “the book”…) is gifting.  I LOVE giving- love love love.  I find so much more joy in giving than receiving- seriously.  I love seeing something that I know someone I care about would love and I can never wait until an appropriate time to give it to them.  This is probably the reason that in our home birthdays and Christmas don’t hold a lot of value in the “gift” department.  For us, those days are about family and gathering and food and love.  The gifts are so secondary.  But not the rest of the year- as I take every opportunity I have to gift away!

I am trying to find ways to gift things from the farm.  I used to give away eggs all summer long, but as we have far fewer girls these days, there are also fewer eggs.  Lately I have been giving away poppy seeds as I really love the poppies that I have harvested from so far.  Case in point:

poppies

 

Poppy seeds are easy to harvest, easy to share, easy to store and the best part is that they are something we grew, right here on our little farm.  Herbs are another thing that is easy to harvest and share- I dry oregano (I gathered my first three bunches to dry today and they are already hanging in the kitchen) every year and then label little plastic envelopes as it seals in the flavor when it is airtight.  Lavender- that is another easy giftable growable option.  Not to mention your parcel smells wonderful when it arrives.  This year we began keeping bees in hopes of adding honey to our list of gift options.  Oh, and jam- I LOVE making jam with fresh fruit, so that is definitely another idea.

What about you?  Do you have things you love to give?  Things that perhaps you made, or grew, or baked?  How to you package it?  I really would love to know~

I hope you had a wonderful weekend- I hope you got out and did something wonderful, or adventurous or relaxing or exciting.  I hope you ate great food, saw a bit of the sun, and stopped to see how many wonderful things you have in your life.  Sometimes when life gets busy or hectic or stressful it is difficult to find the good parts, but if you take the time to stop and really notice, you will see that the good really does outweigh the bad.

Have a fabulous week my friends,

x

 

She clearly gets how one can really fall for a good read

I’m a bit more than envious of her new life in the french countryside

This girl knows how to write and inspire in the process

An easy and absolutely delicious summer meal

And as I am a huge fan of citrus- a lime tart sounds divine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{blooming}

june 3g

 

 

june 3

 

 

june 3d

 

 

june 3e

 

 

june 3c

 

 

june 3b

 

 

june 3f

 

 

Lately {on the farm}

I feel like I’m not really posting as much as I have in the past and I am trying to figure out why.  Part of it is that we are in a pretty major transition around here, Mr. Taylor is traveling a crazy amount lately, and we are trying to get our heads around it all.  It promises to be exciting and wonderful but right now, it is just a bit like living in limbo.

I am trying to be okay with limbo, and it is a growing experience for me I think.  I have spent a lot of time reassessing my priorities, how I spend my time and where I want to go from here.  I have found that I am drawn lately to staying close to home and close to family.  I am also dreaming of traveling far and wide- quite the opposites, no?  I feel like right now my drive to “accomplish” to “be seen” to “go somewhere” has diminished and my desire to live in this moment right here, fully embrace the life right in front of me and make the most of it is at the top of my priority list.  I am looking forward to summer on the farm with those I love doing the things I love.  I have spent more time than I normally do in the gardens this spring, staying on top of the planting and the weeding and the maintenance and looking forward to my Dad’s visit a week from today, planning projects to work on with him.  Where I once got excited about “working” on my photography I am now excited about simply documenting our wonderful simple life with my camera.  Life is filled with unexpected and amazing changes, don’t you think?

I thought I would share a bit of what we have been doing this spring.

 

 

hummingbird

The hummingbirds have returned and I never tire of seeing them visit the feeder throughout the day.  They seem to visit often while we are eating dinner and I’m sure the boys have already tired of finding me gazing out the window over the dining table during our meal…  I believe our hummingbirds are Rufus hummingbirds and it seems we have three- one male and two females.

 

 

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{the hive sits in the upper pasture by the blackberries}

 

We have also added a bee hive to the farm this spring!  Bees are something I have wanted to add for quite some time, but was nervous about not knowing what I was doing, thus killing the bees.  I took the plunge after seeing a few fabulous friends doing it and knowing that I have endless resources if I need help.  I worked with the Beez Neez in Snohomish, WA and honestly they have been absolutely wonderful.  They are so helpful and there whenever I have a question.  I am surprised at how comfortable I am with the girls and how much I love just watching them come and go.

 

bees

{I waxed the frames before putting them in the hive}

 

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{the girls seem happy here}

 

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{yes, I look a bit silly, but feel much safer- I like my eyes just as they are}

 

I also want to share a recipe with you- although calling it a recipe really doesn’t seem right, seeing that it was really just a throwing of things I had on-hand into a pot and slow cooking it for the day.  That being said, it was really good and the boys loved it- so that should count for something, right?

pasta

 

The following is what I did- you can alter it to whatever you have on hand.  While I don’t always have fresh tomatoes, I always have canned so those would work as well.

 

5-6 vine ripened tomatoes, coarsely  chopped

5 cloves of garlic, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup water

1 tsp salt

 

Put it all in a pot and simmer for the afternoon.

 

I fire-roasted a yellow and a red pepper on the stove (see this post) and then chopped them up and added them to the tomato mix.

 

If you want to add meat, which I did:

1 large onion, chopped

1 lb.  ground beef

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp dried basil

1 Tbsp dried thyme

1 tsp garlic salt

salt and pepper

An hour before you want to serve it, brown one chopped onion with 1 lb ground beef.  When the beef is partially cooked, add the spices and mix well.  Finish browning the beef and then add it all to the simmering sauce.

 

Cook your pasta just before you want to eat, toss it together with your sauce, top with lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve!  We add a salad and a baguette and call it dinner~

 

 

 

{spinach & strawberry} salad

spinach salad

 

As spring arrives in the pacific northwest, so do the strawberries.  We are fortunate to have them all through the summer and one of our favorite meals includes a spinach and strawberry salad.  I’m pretty sure we have this salad once a week, and almost always when entertaining guests for lunch or dinner in the summer.  It is easy and so delicious- all five of my men love it~  As with many of our salads, we like to add chevre if we have it.

 

strawberry & spinach salad

 

1/3 c. sugar

1/2 c. oil

1/4 c. white vinegar

2 TBSP sesame seeds

2 TBSP poppy seeds

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp minced onion

enough spinach and strawberries for you and your guests

(this dressing makes enough for two nights of salad in our house- with six people.  I occasionally half it if I’m only making one big salad but it can be easily stored in the refrigerator)

Mix dressing and toss with spinach and strawberries.