Friday, April 27, 2012

Dwell Magazine Time-Share Inspiration

I came across this little dream yesterday while skimming through Dwell magazine. Two Toronto couples and their kids had the dream to buy property, and put small neighboring cabins on it. Due to tight zoning regulations they could only have one "house". So they got creative with the design..
"Their final scheme consists of a massive shed—a post-and-beam structure of Douglas fir, 20 feet high at its apex—that shelters two separate, fully insulated structures. They’re connected underground in a linked basement, where two mechanical rooms hold water heaters and an electrical system (solar panels on the roof offset power from the grid). Aboveground, each couple has a 15-by-30-foot home with views to the outside, plus an adjoining sleeping cabin for guests. “There is an intentionality about what is separate and what is shared,” Janzen says. The expense and maintenance of the electrical systems are pooled and the outdoor spaces are common ground. Almost every day, communal lunches and dinner parties unfold on the porch, which is outfitted with swings and Japanese lanterns."
If money fell in my lap (and I expect it to-hehe).. This is the type of "compound" I would build. Communal living, but still very private. I love the guest houses for more space. I don't see the need to have the individual "cabins" so large. It sure is pretty to look at though. I would change a few things, but I am not here to pick it apart. I just wanted to share a beautiful friend, and family retreat. To show that communal housing really can really be a beautiful and economical option.
See more photos and read the entire article here at Dwell. Article name is Time-Share.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shop Local & Make Homemade Gifts!

Merry Wednesday everyone! You are half way there! I don't talk about it much but according to MY workweek.. It is Saturday. We went on a long walk today, I was bad and had non organic(I know..I know..) ice cream (on the plus side supported a local cafe?). I am making up for this by having a super healthy dinner. : )
I am trying to catch up on blogs while Wayne cooks, and came across this "Thank You" gift from You Are My Fave! A homemade loaf of bread wrapped in a dish towel/ribbon/gift tag, and homemade jelly or jam.
See You Are My Fave's homemade gift giving blog post here!

It should be more of the little things in life that take 'care', and 'attention'. They should be appreciated, not just something we ran to the store to buy last second. But something that someone made with you in mind. I find those to be the sweet moments in life. I try to put time, and energy in my gift giving. I love giving, I get excited about it. So as I go on with our garden planning. I want to incorporate what I grow into homemade gifts. The important part is that someone doesn't just see my gift as a product that was just planted there on a shelf that I bought, but as something that took months to grow, and prepare. Most Americans don't recognize the physical energy that is put into anything they buy, because we don't make anything ourselves anymore.
I hope to inspire change in the way you see products. Look at the price tag.. That says a lot about the product. If you know you are getting a 'deal'. There is a reason and you know it! You are paying for a product made in a sweat shop, you are supporting a corporation that shipped American jobs over seas. You support unsustainability because it had to be shipped by barge over seas, and still that tank top only costs $5.99? How is that possible? You need to change the way you think. I know money is tight.. But support local where ever you can! We need eachother. That is how great change will happen. Think about your food. Why buy apples from New Zealand, when you can buy them from Washington State. Plus the food is fresher! You support the companies you buy from. You support their unsustainable corporation and expansion to eliminate your ma' and pa' stores. Supporting corporate chains hurts your own local community. Shop Etsy, Shop at your local co-op, restaurants, health food stores, local farmer's booths, kids lemonade stands. Do what you can to help, and support your neighbor. We need change. We need to unite as Americans, and put love into everything we do. With all the money you would save by making gifts (instead of buying expensive unappreciated plastic crap), You can now shop local!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cabin Ideas And The Goal In Sight..

I have some tiny cabin porn for you. I could pick them apart and tell you exactly what I like about them, But I think you can guess.. I like a compact multifunctional house that feels large. Tons of build-ins, storage closets, multi-purpose space, tall ceilings. Same goes with furniture. I like a fold out sofa for guests, trundle beds, wall mounted swiveling flat screen TVs, storage compartments. The list goes on. Above desing- sustainability is the most important thing.. We don't want to be dependent to the "grid". In the long run we will save money, with the prices consistently going up for water, gas, and electricity-not to mention gasoline and food.. We want to catch our own water, have a wood burning fireplace, tankless water heater, solar power, a large garden, make all of our own cleaning products(laundry soap, shampoo, conditioner, house cleaning products etc.). The goal is to have to go to the store as less frequently as possible. Whatever we can DIY I think we will. We will continue to buy bulk, and buy only what we use regularly. So as we continue this adventure.. I will show you how we do things! But for now.. We are saving, and decluttering our lives of all the unnecessary "needs" of the typical American lifestyle.. For now it is all a dream, but a not so distant dream. So check back to continue to follow us on this amazing adventure. Till we have the goal in close distance, I will continue to look for natural cleaning solutions, health remedies, DIY projects, recipes, and home and garden care tips. I will share them with you. You learn as I learn!  : )

Photo credits:
Photo 1- here and here.
Photo 2- here, here and here.
Photo 3- here and here.
Photo 4- here and here.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Smart Gardener: For Smart Garden Planning

I wanted to share an online tool with you guys that helps you organize and create your own garden plans. It is called Smart Gardener. You create a personalized plan with settings reflecting growing conditions like which direction the bed is facing for sun light, which plants you want to grow/have seeds for already, household size, companion planting, and zip code for hardiness zones (Find your zone here). You design the shape and size of the garden. Once your plans are created based on plants and growing conditions- Receive weekly e-mails that tell you when to prep, plant, care, and harvest! The damn website even knows the weather! It is a little creepy, but a really great way to incorporate technology into the family garden. It isn't a bad way to start off.. Garden planning is a little time consuming. Considering which plants need the most sun, which ones grow best in the shade. Companion planting is in it's own category of complexity! Companion planting in short is based around the idea that certain plants can benefit others when planted next to, or close to one another. Companion planting exists to benefit certain plants by giving them pest control, naturally without the need to use chemicals, and in some cases they can give a higher crop yield. It also assists in pollination, and by staggering plants with companion plants between them, you reduce the likelihood that blight which strikes one plant will strike its fellows. The companion plant, which would be resistant to the strain, would serve as a protective barrier. Companion planting can save your crop, even if you lose one plant. Back to Smart Gardener- You create a journal where you log specific details about your plants, and what to do differently next year. Also you can attach photos to your journal notes, as a reference for future planting. It is brilliant! As if I couldn't go on more with this ranting- There is a pest and disease guide with photos and a description to help you identify the problem with your plants more easily.  I am completely impressed and it is a free website!
Check it out, and let me know what you think!
Companion planting sources here and here!
Photo credit here and here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Beautiful Sauvie Island Renovation- Tiny Farm Cottage

This tiny farm cottage caught my eye, and I can't resist sharing.. It is located on Sauvie Island, here in Portland! It's beautiful renovation is home to a family of four. There is no TV. The parents have a tiny loft right off of the living room- where they have custom couches. The kids have custom build bunk beds. The front porch is built around a tree that has a swing. So many nice touches and details! They also have a nice garden in the back. This isn't the style of house I see myself having, But I'll take it. : ) It is just refreshing to see a family oriented household, embracing a more natural lifestyle.
Read more about the house history, and renovation here, and more photos here!

Photos by Lincoln Barbour

Friday, April 6, 2012

DIY Open Shelf Spice Rack + Re-Use Glass Bottles

Wayne and I have been saving glass bottles for some time trying to find some way to use them. Especially our Spectrum walnut oil jars. They look like old milk bottles. He came up with this idea all on his lonesome. We buy bulk organic spices, so we had tons of bags in our spice cupboard. He had been on the hunt for cheap corks for a long time. When we went into the homestead supply store in Sellwood (See that post here) he saw tons of corks there! None of them were the right size though. The manager told us where they order them locally. So while I was at work one day Wayne ran over to the shop. It is a Home Brewing supply company called F.H. Steinbart Co.. The corks cost a dollar a piece- size 13. For a DIY project that is quite cheap!
We soak our walnut oil jars in water and take off the label. There is a really thick glue on the outside, so we use odorless mineral spirits to get it off and run it through the dishwasher, you can use a 'goo off' also. We then funnel the spices into the bottles and cork them! There- We are re-using glass bottles, and also organizing our spices in a way that isn't quite so hideous. We both love open shelves so this is great for our plan to have a tiny house and tiny kitchen someday.
We now have a beautiful organized open shelf spice rack! We also organize our bulk wild rice, and brown rice in jars too. So this is great for organizing your pantry! I also bought clear labels if we ever get enough where we can't tell what is what. So I can print those off in a cute font when ever we need them. : )

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Lodge At Suttle Lake Adventure Round 2

We just got back from The Lodge at Suttle Lake again! Let me tell you... I expected something a little different as far as the weather goes. It is after Spring Break! The wind was chilly and blew snow right at us from across the lake. You could see the 'white outs' from miles away. I didn't plan for a winter wonderland for the first week of April. We were trapped inside for the majority of our 2 night stay. It made for good conversation though! It also made time for bad 80's sci fi movies, and the first episode of Twin Peaks. We did check out some really beautiful neighborhoods in Sisters, Oregon, and grabbed coffee at Sisters Coffee Company! It is a must see in Sisters that I have never experienced before. We then went on a nature drive up to Three Creeks Sno-Park. It is an 11 mile drive up a rural road with only a few houses. At the top- It is at 5,200 feet in elevation- so we went in and out of snow and sunshine all the way up there. There were deer in the woods that we spotted on the way up there too! Inside the sweet town of Sisters there are neighborhood deer! Just like Cannon Beach, Oregon has wild rabbits all over town(youtube it). I love it! As for our cabin we were staying in- We were in "Cabin Fever". They also have the movie "Cabin Fever" as a free rental at the front desk. I am glad nobody decided on that one(haha). Cabin Fever was extremely similar to our last cabin except the giant 200 pound teddy bear we were very entertained by, and the cabin is probably 60 feet from the lake!
Check out our adventure!
I hope I have inspired you to get you and yours off your booties, and have some adventures! I also want to thank my mom for including us on the adventure, and doing most of the driving! <3

Here are some Instagram's captured by my brother: : )