Saturday, March 31, 2018

Live! Live! Live!

"I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my
to live so that which came to
me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit."

-Dawna Markova 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Take a Hike!
At the beginning of this month, Travel & Nature Adventure Photographer, Philip Kramer released an incredibly beautiful labor of love to the world by way of Mountaineers Books.  In his debut publication, Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California: Section Hiking from Tuolumne Meadows to Green Pass, he illustrates a step-by-step guide for creating the perfect adventure-vacation centered around hiking (in any form) the 740 miles of the Northern California section of the Pacific Crest trail.  Loaded with gorgeous photographs he's become known for, Philip also crams this book full of information ranging from little known or even obscure facts, to preservation and conservation opportunities, to some of the smallest details (including tips & tricks from experienced hikers) worth taking into consideration when planning excursions.  Instead of just sticking to the obvious highlights, this newly minted author shines a full spectrum light on this oft ignored, or at least, seldom discussed portion of a very popular American attraction.

The truth of the matter is, I came for the photography, and sentimentality having known the author for 32 years, but I stayed for the writing that kept my pages turning, and excitement and wanderlust it ignited.  However, one of my favorite things about this in-depth guide is that you do not have to actually know the author personally to feel as though you're sitting down sharing stories with your best friend, which to me, makes the whole idea of planning a trip that much more fun.

If you'd like to learn a little more about Philip Kramer, visit his website or if you're curious to hear more about his own experience hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail in 2013 check out the Adventure Sports Podcast found, here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


 Blizzards of blushing
The snowfall of Ostara
Enchantress of Spring

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

(re)Purposely Playful

After eight years (and much nudging from my mother), I'm finally releasing my patterns + instructions for d.i.y. repurposed sweater-sleeve stuffed animals to the public!  So if you're keen to get your upcycle on, or work through your scrap-fabric stash, I'm pleased to introduce:

The (re)Purposely PlayfulWoodland Pals collection

The seven page downloadable PDF includes a materials list, instructions, and the pattern pieces you need in order to create your own adult, and baby sized stuffed friends in three animal versions: Faryl Fox, Rikki Raccoon, and Willie Wolf.

*Note: You are purchasing a downloadable PDF pattern only.  Adobe Reader is required to view, and print this pattern from your home computer.
Don't forget!  Grab your free knitting-crib-sheet, below, so your (re)Purposely Playful Woodland Pals are the best accessorized critters in the forest...
Click to embiggen, right click & save image as!

Take heed: The critters, and accessories created through the (re)Purposely Playful collection are keepsake toys, and intended for supervised playtime, or for youngsters who are not tempted to chew off, or swallow buttons and other small pieces.  Please use your judgement when making (and especially gifting) your Woodland Pals toys.  Thank you!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Things are starting to warm up around here, and the seeds I started indoors back in February are now outgrowing their containers, and barking to get outside, which means it's time to map out the blueprint of their new dwellings while I start the hardening off process for these youngsters.  And because I'm such a nerd, this means I'm grabbing blank sheets of paper, my ruler, and makeshift seed-bank (keeping all growing instructions at my fingertips) to plan it all out. 

I don't like to leave much to chance, and gardening is already a bit of a gamble with a lot of variables to consider, so when it comes to things I can control I like to give it my best effort to give my plants a successful growing season.  For me, it comes down to location, location, location.

Okay, so if you're a gardener, you already know the advantages of a South-facing garden.  But if you're just starting out, it's important to realize not all South-facing beds are created equal.  You need to consider how the sunlight travels around your property, current vegetation / landscaping, and the buildings not only on your lot, but close neighboring lots as well.  Also, before tearing out perfectly good sod, or laying out raised beds, take into account the location's proximity to your property line, and where any enterprising neighbors may contemplate placing new construction in the near future, and how that will effect the available hours of sunlight on your intended location.  A new structure does not have to be the end of the world, after all, not all plants are looking forward to baking in the Summer's full sun all season long, and for them, there are ways to use obstructions to your advantage.  Placing delicate, or cool temperature loving plants in shadier, or protected areas can benefit them tremendously whereas placing them in full sun areas will leave them wilted and scorched all the while taking up much needed room for things that thrive in heat or harsh conditions.

In the Pacific Northwest, it's easy to get two full rounds of cool temperature plants in one season.  Vegetables that are typically planted midsummer in order to have a fall and early winter harvest can also be planted in shady sections of your garden in early spring after the last frost of the season has come and gone.  I've had great success with plants like red leaf lettuce, collard greens, Swiss chard, and radishes in my early morning to mid morning shaded garden bed.  By the time of their last harvest, it's already time to put in new seeds for the fall harvest.  I do realize I'm very lucky to live in a place where I can have a revolving garden pretty much all year long with little effort, but with some careful planning, the construction of cold frame boxes, or the investment of a small greenhouse, I believe people in most areas of the country are able to do the same thing.

This year, I'm also going to be trying my hand (or green thumb) at incorporating mushrooms into my raised garden beds nestled under my leafy greens, and I'm excited to see how it all works out.  Wish me luck!

As always, I can't post about gardening without listing my favorite seed-pushers below: