Wow, it has been a long time since I posted last. Things have been so busy. I turned 28, yikes! May has flown by so quickly. Summertime is here and because I am living in a warmer climate I can finally plant a succulent garden. I decided that I wanted to start by first getting my current plants to grow a little larger. I bought almost an entire flat at Home Depot.

I took several of the plants out of their small pots and moved them into larger ones. This way they have room to grow and I can move them if they need more sun or less.

Each succulent comes with a label that explains how best to care for that individual plant. This is helpful information as not all succulents need the same amount of sun and water. Plant them in succulent specific dirt (purchasable at Walmart or Home Depot) to get good results.

Some of the succulents I combined in larger pots to make smaller succulent gardens for my home. I love having them in my house it makes everything lighter and more peaceful some how. I guess plants have that effect on me.

I have found so many unique succulents. They are so fantastically beautiful and I am horribly addicted. Here is my favorite of the day.

My other reason for potting all these succulents is I am going to use them in the new location of our coffee shop. I can’t wait to see how they look!

It is intriguing to me that the trend right now is to purchase beautiful items from expensive stores that look like they are antiques. I love vintage items both because of the look and the story. Whenever I can I love to decorate my house with actual vintage items instead of pieces that have been made to look old.

I love the new Penguin Classic clothbound books.

I have been on the hunt for decor items and furniture for the new coffee shop. I found these beauties at a thrift store for 2 dollars apiece.

Here is a picture of the books I found. They are Readers Digest Condensed books. I have seen them before but I have never noticed how unique and beautiful they are. Now that I know to look for them I have been seeing them a lot. It is great because I can get ten for the price of one.

Here are a few more photos I took. I included pictures of some succulents I bought recently.


I have been searching for great unique inexpensive ways to decorate the new coffee shop. I have been wanting to do something with pennies ever since I saw this and pinned it on Pinterest. According to the blog I found it on it was used in the New York Times blog on a piece where they discussed story of the penny.

 

I didn’t quite get this same look but I am still playing around with what I want to do. Anyway here is how I went about creating these photos. I am planning on eventually attaching them to a canvas.

Start out with lots of pennies, obviously, because you want a lot to choose from when you are creating your color palette.

Start sorting pennies by oxidation and shade. The more you separate them the more shades you will see within each group.

Once I had my pennies separated I started organizing them in a gradation. As I organized them I started to notice even more variation and moved them around until I got them how I wanted them.

Each penny is different and has a story, a life it is fascinating how the color variation seems to be completely unrelated to age. I had four year old pennies completely oxidized and dark and older pennies that still looked moderately new.

I had a hard time getting them completely lined up at first. However they were a fabulous photo subject!

Next time I am going to go for a more geometric shape with the pennies. Chevrons or something similar. I am thinking I will need many more pennies if I want to do a more complex design. Also I used each penny just as it was. I am considering manipulating the pennies next time around, either adding oxidation or removing it with vinegar.

Ok so this is ANOTHER coffee shop post. The great thing about doing the decor for the shop on a tight budget is it is forcing me to be super creative. I will share what I find with you so ultimately you benefit. Don’t know if that actually makes sense but I am going to go with it. Please excuse any decrease in the understandability of my posts. Opening shifts at the shop start at 4:30am so I am sleep deprived and slightly overloaded. Ok onto todays post. I have been scouring craigslist for possible sofas, chairs, tables and other interesting furniture for the shop. I would love to drop a load of cash on this beauty.

Or this gorgeous piece…

If you have an interest in following my musings and inspiration for the decor of our new coffee shop check out my pinterest board.

Since I do not have an unlimited budget here is what I am doing. I found this lovely upholstered chair at a local thrift shop for 40 dollars. I absolutely love it except for the greasy head stain. Here is an idea I came up with to cover the stain. It is so easy just grab a crochet runner, place mat, or even layer vintage crochet doilies over the top.

Here is the chair pre-doily.

And after! I may try to get the stain out with dry cleaning solution or some other miracle worker. Until then I actually think I like this a lot.

It adds a beautiful personal touch since I will be hand stitching it.

 

It makes me want to do a patch work piece of furniture though I think I lack the time. Here is one I found online.

This couch is a Squint Limited piece. I love the bohemian patchwork feel of their furniture. I am not incorporated such saturated colors in the shop but I love the idea of creating a patchwork cover for an upholstered piece.

Sorry for my absence. I have had many things happening and not a lot of time to complete them all. The most exciting current happening in my life is I am opening a coffee shop! Woah. My parents already have one coffee shop location open in East County San Diego. Now we are opening a coffee house in another part of East County. How is this relevant to my design/knitting/photography blog? Well I am in charge of the decor in the new shop.

This is a huge project and very exciting. I have been collecting paint chips and lighting ideas, whilst buying used and vintage furniture off of craigslist.com. Here are some photos of color ideas I have for the shop. I didn’t realize until I got home that the colors I liked matched up with my favorite cloth bound books.

 

I have been having a hard time adjusting to the light in Southern California vs. Northern California. This probably reveals what an amateur photographer I am. I find the light in my new home is so different, things feel so saturated and it is hard to get the contrast and clarity of the lighting in my old home. But it is a work in progress so I will keep practicing.

I find inspiration from everything around me. It is funny how much of that inspiration happens without my brain acknowledging it. I have always loved paint chips so once the colors for the new coffee shop have been chasen I am already looking for ideas of what to do with my leftover paint chips.

Here is an amazing idea that I found via pinterest.com for making a chandelier out of paint chips.

via heygorg.com

Here is another diy for paint chip wall art…

via www.apartmenttherepy.com

I also would love to use paint chips to top a table but I don’t know for sure if that will work out as of yet. If you live in the area and are looking for gourmet coffee, latte art, and baristas that care about you, come check out our current location. Kaffee Meister Coffee Bar and Drive Thru. Check out our Facebook page to see some pictures of the latte art our baristas have been pouring lately.

 


Ok so you will never guess where these awesome flowers are from…

well unless you read the title of this post. They are from an Eucalyptus tree. WHO KNEW? I am sure many people were already aware of how wonderful eucalyptus flowers are but I definitely was not. I moved from a home in the mountains to a home in San Diego. The flora is much different in the desert and I have been traipsing around trying to find easily accessible flowers to place in vases around my house (this is one of the ways I cope with stress). I also love to use natural materials in crafting. These have so many fun potential uses!

On one of my lovely neighborhood walks with my family I found these on our property. Eucalyptus trees are everywhere in southern California. Anyway here is what they look like immediately after being cut from the tree.

 

I took each stem of flowers and removed the leaves. You could easily leave them on and they will look fantastic. I was looking for something a bit more simple.

Now they were ready to be placed in a vase. I had some wild grape cuttings already in a mason jar so I added in the eucalyptus flowers. Here is the result. The flowers come off in little clusters and will work perfectly for dressing up some organic gift wrap.

These would be perfect for a yellow themed wedding or shower or simply to brighten your home. Another great use is flower crowns. Here is one I made for my sweet Fiona.

I have many candle lanterns and recently when I needed a light for my bedroom I decided to repurpose a lantern into an awesome light.

I loved the result so much I decided to share it. I did my first ever DIY on creating a chandelier of mason jars. You can view it HERE.

This light was similarly wired only I left much less space between the bulbs. The wire lengths are 4, 6, and 8 inches connecting the bulbs to the main wire. For a much simpler version you can find a slightly smaller lantern and purchase this single free hanging lighting kit. Simply open the door to the lantern and place the bulb inside. Turn the lantern so the door and cord are no longer showing. I put my lantern up on a book shelf. If your lantern is metal like mine you may need to place something heat resistant under it so the heat from the bulb doesn’t cause the metal to burn the surface it is on.

Here is a picture of it unlit.

and lit…

Along with this DIY I wanted to share a few more images of things from around my house. I have so many books that I popped a few under a cloche and I really like the way they look. I will most likely change them in the next week or two but for now it works great.

I have already shared my weakness for books. Old cloth bound books are so popular for decor right now. One thing that is very hard for me to do though is to buy a book simply because I like the cover. I have to like the content of the book or have a desire to read it. This may be strange as in my hectic life I will most likely never get to read all my lovely old books. I think it is that part of me that still thinks that it isn’t the cover of the book that counts but the content. These are a few I picked up recently. I especially love the Collected Essays by Emerson.

Even though I wouldn’t judge by it…here is the front cover.

If you follow my blog you have probably noticed my love of coffee. Here is a vintage coffee grinder I found for $15 at a tiny antique shop. I absolutely love it!

Here is a picture of some of the latte art I have been pouring. I have been working as a barista at my parents coffee shop Kaffee Meister Coffee Bar and Drive Thru in San Diego, CA. It has been such a fun and rewarding experience so far and I look forward to pouring more fabulous lattes and cappuccinos! If you live in the area come by and say “Hi!”

 

I have moved most of my things into my bedroom now. It is so interesting to have only one room to really decorate. It makes me care that much more about the decor in that one room. I no longer live in the woods and I wanted to have a reminder of my five years living in the Sequoia National Forrest. I made a little non-living terrarium and it brings just enough of the woods into my decor.

 

I took lichen that I collected from my old home and mixed it with pinecones inside a beautiful garden box I found at Home Goods. I added a little wooden mushroom, I don’t know where I picked this up. I might add a branch or something else later to add to the box.

It was so simple and I don’t have to water this terrarium to keep it alive, which is a plus for me. You can find lichen or moss for terrariums like this at Michael’s Crafts or Home Depot. Another plus to a non-living terrarium is you don’t have to worry about sealing the container. You aren’t pouring water over it so if it isn’t sealed it is ok.

Here is a look at one wall of my room. My husband built me these book shelves a couple of years ago for our old house. My books are so much of who I am I feel like a part of myself is missing if they are packed away in a box. I color coordinated them because it is easier on my brain. Also it is easier to put them back if my kids get to them.

 

I am still getting used to photography in my new house. The lighting is 100% different than my last home. It is funny some times how a difference in lighting can make me feel like I am learning photography all over again.

Here are a few other little items that make up the decor of my one room.  More lichen and pinecones, are you sensing a trend?

Here is a lantern I rewired. I am sad that I won’t be able to buy a new antique bulb for this lamp because of the new laws. However, maybe I will purchase a few to keep it going for a bit. I absolutely love the look. Also I adore apothecary jars. They are so great and versatile. You can put just about anything in them.

I learned much of what I know about decor from a dear friend. The great news for you is she recently started a blog! Check it out…seriously I am continually amazed by her ideas. Her blog is called House in the Woods.

houseitw.com

Here is one of her recent DIY’s. I am going to do this and then cover it in a cloche. I also might add the butterfly to my non-living terrarium!

Here is an easy way to find great wallpaper for your iPhone.

I just got my new iPhone 4s I have not had a cell for the last 5 years. The reason is I have lived in a town that had no cell reception so it was a huge waste of money to be paying monthly for something I could only use while in Fresno. Now that I have an iPhone I am having so much fun deciding what to use as my wallpaper image. Here is what I did.  I took actual images of wall paper from anthropologie.com and I selected an image from their listings of wall paper. You cannot do the same on your computer because it will not let you select and save the image. Here are a few more fun images you can use.

 

If you want to get really creative take a photo of something with a print or texture you like. Then use that as your background image. Here are some more. Enjoy!

 

 

 

New home, lots of things happening in my life. Too many to talk about right now. One cool thing is I have been working on color work, for a special project. Because of the nature of the project I can’t show an image of the color work pattern. I can show an image of the back though which makes it look very impressive.

Here is an image of another VERY SIMPLE color work pattern I have been working on.

 

Color work is not difficult if you start out simple.

This green is Ginko Sock by Skein Yarn.

I first started color work with my stripes head wrap pattern. You can barely call that color work because I was changing colors in stripes. Anyway I have been working with a more complex pattern and it has been really fun. Here is a great knitting episode I found that explains how to do color work. I hope it helps any of you who are feeling ambitious enough to try color working. It may seen scary but in reality it is not that hard.

Managing Yarns for Color Work – video tutorial

I recommend with starting simple. Practice changing color of yarns to create stripes in your work and then start by switching one stitch to a different color every once an a while. The difficulty comes in reading color work charts and keeping the tension loose enough to make the pattern show and tight enough to not end up with uneven stitches.

Here is a great resource for learning how to read color work charts.

http://www.knittingobsession.com/tips/colorchart.htm

Once you master simple color work you can try something more complicated. The possibilities are endless! Here are some books that might be helpful. I am hoping to acquire several of them for my library.

Mastering Color Knitting

 

Fair Isle Basics & Beyond 

Colorwork Stitches

On an unrelated note I have been finding amazing things at flea markets and antique shops already! This was one thing I was really excited about with moving back into the city.

An old steam trunk. $30.00 I am going to use this as a coffee table in the coffee shop my parents own.

I also found this cool vintage box. Not quite sure what it was used for but the chipping paint and twine handles were calling to me.

 

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