Declutter

Kitchen Window Sill

Ever since I realized that we won’t be moving for a while, I have always tried to keep up with my decluttering projects. I just do not want to end up with too much stuff over time. Like almost every other person, I like stuff. I find it, I buy it, I don’t know where to put it. Today I finally finished sorting through the boxes that I brought home with me after I left my job. It took me a while to figure out where all these work things would go. I did not want to fill my workspace at home with these things so I had to take a brutal approach. There was much to recycle and discard.

Here is an interesting link to some instructions on how to tackle decluttering your home. Unclutterer is a great resource for organization.

Today’s bits:

How about these nesting Russian Babushka glasses?

You might have already heard of these guys who make excellent affordable Pinot Noirs in Sonoma – Banshee Wines. I have not tried it but I heard from reliable sources that it should not be missed.

I always enjoy a good ice cream sandwich, both the American version where you have two cookies sandwich some ice cream as well as the Singapore one where you get scoops of ice cream in a slice of bread. I have to say I love the latter version, what can I say, I’m biased to memories and tastes of my youth. Still, these farm animal ice cream sandwich molds are really cute.

Run, don’t walk, to Geraldine’s Counter in Columbia City for their sweet potato fries. Heavenly, crispy, orange and sweet!

I think these reusable sandwich bags are a good idea, especially if you send kids to school with plastic sandwich bags that they just toss. These also seem really easy to make at home, all your crafties!

Your Time

Foxgloves

Not a lot for today but wanted to let you all know that I am still here. I am still listening to my muse and feeling like I’m on fire with creative energy. These days, I’ve been spending it de-cluttering and organizing and does it feel good! I am also re-reading The Design of Everyday Things, it’s very inspiring.

Today’s bits:

These pebble earring studs are very organic and raw
. I think they will look great with a linen outfit.

This limited edition Iced Tea set from Heath Ceramics has caught my eye for a while now. It would look so good on our chestnut dining table.

Our dinner conversation tonight involved horse poop and mushrooms that lead me to now inform you that mushrooms do grow on horse manure. According to dad, the mushrooms picked (washed and cooked) from such cultivation are actually delicious with bacon and eggs in the morning.

What do you think of this cool mid-century inspired pendant/necklace from Kris Nations?

Before I go:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Scintillate

Scarlett sparkles in the sun

She sparkles, this house of mine, especially in the sunshine.

Since I returned after spring, I have been missing out on some gardening time. The rainy cooler climes we have been experiencing however, does not make me feel so delayed. I was able to get out this past Saturday to weed my entire yard as well as the planting bed. This afternoon, I spent a little more time planting some seeds. I skipped the spring crops and went right into the summer crops – some zucchini, squash, basil, dill, cucumber and greens. I might get one or two tomato starts from the store and see how they fare this summer. Last year was a spectacular year for tomatoes here in the PNW.

I am also finding myself back to blogging since I have some time on my hands. I thought I would share any new things I encounter each day and perhaps some other “little bunnies” that I have chosen to follow down the hole. [wink]

Since my attention has now shifted outside with the longer days (notice I am not saying warmer days), I am coveting some of the pretties at this adorable home/garden/gift store: terrain

Spending time in a certain part of the world has got me thinking about learning to ride a scooter. Aren’t these the cutest helmets?

And probably not that new, but here’s a Tastespotting-esque site for typo-fanatics – we love typography

Kitchen additions

Christmas brought some additions to the kitchen and now I am looking for a good kitchen side cart so that I can keep my counters as clear as possible. It is a constant battle to keep it clutter free. I want something that has some drawers for linen and maybe a closed section for hiding some of the appliances but I can’t seem to find one with those features and of the right style and size. The search continues.

Here are the additions: We received a new convection toaster oven from my folks – great for heating up pastries and made Welsh Rarebit.

sanyooven.jpg

My very first enameled dutch oven in my favorite color from ML. We already made split pea and ham soup with leftover ham bones from the holiday supper.

lodgeislandspicedutchoven.jpg

Another useful addition was from A & F, they got me one of these turbo convection cookers. They have been using it for a long time and I’ve always been meaning to get one. I guess they got tired of me just meaning to get one and never really getting one. *grin* I lined the glass bowl with foil so that cleanup is easy. I’ve already used it 3 times since I got it.

IMG_3396

I roasted a 5.5 lb chicken at 400 deg F for 50 mins and it was perfectly succulent. I also broiled the sticky sweet spareribs and those turned out great. Last night, I reheated some lemongrass meatballs (M*Stewart & Costco) and served them up for dinner.

One final change I made to the kitchen was this cool vintage ‘Eat’ sign in my favorite color, of course.

Eat

Stock Tank Planters

I have been wanting these stock tank planters for a long time but I never knew where we would put them. On some days, I just stare at my backyard, as if waiting for a spot to magically open up for me so I could run out and bring them home. I tried hard to avoid the urge to plop them down randomly in the middle of my backyard (which is what I did with a collapsible growbed because I couldn’t let another growing season go by without planting a raised bed) but now, I’m so glad that I waited for the right time and the right spot to place these. The front yard is a perfect place for them.

We found the right size tanks at a farm supply store (thanks Megan!) a while ago but I took a day off from work and we drove out to pick them up. We had to hire a van since they wouldn’t fit in Angpow; we also had to bring home an obscene amount of compost and peat. But oh that lovely black gold! Armed with the right drill, making holes on the tanks went pretty quickly for Mike. It took us some time to mix the compost and peat evenly and then came the real task – to decide what to plant in each tank.

Here’s what we have so far: one tank for ornamentals, one for edibles and one for herbs.

Stock Tank Planters

More pictures here at Flickr

Snow in Seattle

December has arrived and Old Man Winter sends a white reminder. I thought I would share a little clip taken from my back window.

Margaret Muir

margaret muir bedding
I really enjoy receiving care packages from my girlfriends who live in other countries. A while ago, a package came from Singapore, filled with delicious goodies and thoughtful gifts. I stood in line at the busy post office at the end of a Friday and waited patiently for the box to be retrieved. Its heft ached my heart a little as I look at how much postage caused, but it also meant that it was filled with wonderful bits and bobs.

Amongst the bits and bobs that C always puts together, I noticed a brochure for Margaret Muir Bedding. The pieces are tastefully pretty and created with texture, color, interest and embroidery. I especially like this set in the picture that I’ve scanned for you here. I found a sprinkling of images on the site so you can see what other products are made. I also enjoy the “story” behind the company.

Thanks, C, the little things matter most.

Shower Curtain Liner

polyester liner

For a while now, I’ve been buying vinyl shower liners from Ikea because they are so inexpensive. They are, however, not very mildew resistant and need to be cleaned out regularly when they start to look dingy.

Thanks to AT, we decided to get this “Hotel” Shower Curtain Liner. It is made of 100% polyester and you can also launder it to keep it clean and fresh.

Happy Halloween!

Gum Drop Pillows

gumdrop pillows

I really like these gum drop pillows from Amy Butler. I think they make fun ottomans to lounge around with. When I used to live in Singapore, I never liked sitting on the couch or armchairs because it was always too warm or humid. I would choose to sit on the floor instead, with a bunch of pillows. These pillows remind me of that.

I am thinking of trying my hand at making one or two of these for my tea nook so folks can put up their feet when they hang out there.

The hardest part is trying to decide which fabric I would use. Her new line of fabrics have such beautiful patterns and colors.

Window sill vignette


Originally uploaded by daxiang stef

I realized that I hadn’t share a pic of the half-bath’s window sill. Mike and I both agreed that chartreuse was the way to go for an accent color since it blends so perfectly with the other white accessories and the chocolate walls.

My source of inspiration was a lotus flower candle that mlle a. had sent me some time ago. Then, I pulled some white pieces from other parts of the house – my wedding candle with the Chinese character “love” etched on it, as well as a favorite vase from Ikea. I also spotted a lovely green glass bowl at Viscosity Glass Studio when they were having their seconds sale. The final touch was a test tube rack and test tubes to hold some water bamboo.