Angel of death at my door…

I was ready to do a new door hanging for the Halloween holiday. So, for creativity on a budget I stopped at the dollar store for a few finds. 

I got three plastic skulls that were the right cost but, lacked any real pizzaz so, a little metallic paint changed the mood for me. To get my angel of death “look” I needed black wings and happened to find a great deal at a local thrift shop…it was a score! 

The trick to hanging these was to collectively get them to hang nicely without bowing out. So, some small drill holes and wiring on the tops and jawlines creating a circle to hang. It still flopped forward so nails in the side added to the macabre. And, held the wire just right. 

I went gung-ho with the gold and just painted the pumpkins too! Why not? Do you decorate your front door for Halloween? 

DIY Industrial Chic Clothing Rack…


I have never had enough space in my closet. Not because there’s too many clothes (okay, there’s some clothes) but, because it’s a house that was built in the 50’s with extra small closet spaces. 

I finally had enough of not being able to see what I had for the seasons! This was a quick and easy DYI project that will get me back to seeing what I already have. And, more importantly what I can add! 

I personally looked on Craiglist for any of the items I had to gather. The wood was here and the casters were a successful Craiglist find. The rest is at your local hardware store. The piping exists in different sizes and can be cut and threaded to easily screw into your elbow pieces. Truth be told there was 3 Home Depot trips to find out the cutter/threader was broken and I’m suspecting because someone ran the machine untrained and broke it. 3 stores! After a return Lowes finally got it done. I suggest calling ahead. Save yourself all the driving and frustration. 

There is a lot of screwing together and down. Easy for someone moderately handy. The casters at a discount cut the total project cost quite a bit. 

Overall, the cost to make this should be  roughly between &80.00-$100.00 depending on where you get and gather your materials. 

What you will need: 

4 casters- 3″or 4″ 

2 pipes galvanized or black @ 60″

1 pipe galvanized or black @41″

2 matching metal anchor discs

4  1×5 wood planks 44″ in length. Your width will be roughly 20 3/4″. You can modify all of this by shortening you planks and cross bat accordingly. 

2 1×5 20 3/4 cross planks 

Screws 

Assemble your platform with your boards and cross planks by screwing down 2 screws per board. Once solid, flip over and screw down your 4 casters. This is not a skateboard. Don’t be silly. Now flip back over and screw on anchor discs. Your ready to add your vertical threaded pipes. Secure these and twist in tightly. Okay, screw in your cross bar. And, you have your new industrial chic clothing rack! You could get even more creative by adding a shelf at the top or I the platform. Modifications could be awesome. 

I think it looks more extensive and more expensive then it actually is! What do you think? Would you have one of these in your space? 

I can now properly get ready for my fall and winter wardrobe the right way. At least that’s a bonus. 😉

Home Brew style Kombucha…🌿

Those who know me well, know I love exploring the culinary world of making. I have tackled canning, pickling, and all sorts of new things. So, naturally I was more then excited when a neighbor asked if I wanted a SCOBY from her previous batch of kombucha. Of course I did. I always want to try something new. 

I also know that this beverage is a love or hate thing for most people. I personally love it and it helps my tummy. Those of you who join me in loving also know it is a bit of a luxury at typically $4.00 a bottle. 

So why not try it. I might not want to do this all the time but, I tackled it. It’s not to difficult and as with any prospect like this I recommend you work extra clean…hands, counters, bottles.And, you too can brew your own kombucha. It’s pretty interesting overall. I have three more days to give the bottles but, can’t wait! 

Supplies
1 cup sugar

4-6 bags tea – for loose leaf, 1 bag of tea = 1 tsp I used organic green tea bags 

Kombucha Starter Culture – SCOBY

1 cup starter liquid

purified/bottled water

tea kettle

brewing vessel

cloth cover/paper towels

rubber band

—————————

Steps
Boil 4 cups of water.

Add hot water & tea bags to pot or brewing vessel.

Steep 5-7 minutes, then remove tea bags.

Add sugar and stir to dissolve.

Fill vessel most of the way with purified water, leaving just 1-2 inches from the top for breathing room with purified cold water.

Add SCOBY and starter liquid.

Cover with cloth cover and secure with the rubber band.

Say a prayer, send good vibes, commune with your culture (optional but recommended).

Set in a warm location out of direct sunlight (unless vessel is opaque).

Do not disturb for 7 days.

After 7 days, or when you are ready to taste your KT, gently insert a straw beneath the SCOBY and take a sip. If too tart, then reduce your brewing cycle next time. If too sweet, allow to brew for a few more days. Continue to taste every day or so until you reach your optimum flavor preference. Your own Kombucha Tea Recipe may vary.

Decant & flavor (optional).

I bottled and added flavor. I placed bottles in the same warm place and they will stay for 3 more days. Be sure to “burp” the bottles to release the gasses so you don’t have an explosion from all the build up in the bottles. Then refrigerate to stop the process of fermentation. 

Drink as desired! Start off with 4-8oz on an empty stomach in the morning, then with meals to help with digestion or as your body tells you it would like some more! Drink plenty of water as it is a natural detoxifyer and you want to flush the newly released toxins out.
NEVER❌❌❌❌
…use a refrigerator stored SCOBY to make Kombucha.

…use a dehydrated SCOBY to make Kombucha.

…attempt to grow a SCOBY from a commercial bottle of Kombucha that:

has been pasteurized

has been flavored

has been filtered or reformulated

says anything less than “100% Kombucha” on the label

Always‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️
…use a fresh, full-size Kombucha SCOBY to begin brewing.

…store your SCOBYs in a SCOBY Hotel in a dry and dark place.

…pass along healthy, fresh SCOBYs with at least 1-2 cups of mature Kombucha Tea and complete, clear instructions to ensure success. If you cannot, recommend a reputable source instead.

On An Axis…

I have been looking for maps to complete a pirate playhouse in our backyard. I am still on the hunt. But, I did find a couple compelling things at a vintage shop in downtown Tacoma called Urban Squirrel. It just has opened and had an interesting assortment of items. Including, a loose globe. 

I wasn’t sure I wanted it until, I came across a fantastic lamp piece. Aged and detailed, it seemed to make perfect sense to put the two together. I imagined a rod through the middle as an axis. 

The shop owner agreed and suggested I head over to a little hardware shop called Lincoln Hardware. 

Needless to say, she was right. They were so friendly and accommodating it was impressive. In fact, two other people came in during the time I was there for small unique projects and their questions were looked on as willing challenges by, who I assumed, might be the owners. It was wonderfully, small town refreshing. 

As you can see we came up with a nice resolution and this world globe lives to see another day. And, hopefully spurn on some learning for a little one for now. And, maybe a nice little decor item for later…

Chicken Run! 🐔🌿

Chicken Run Fun! We have chickens and they are messy. Anyone who has them, knows! So, boom!

Thank you Pinterest photo and some good ole’ hardware store ingenuity, Stella, Nelly and Lily have 10′ of space to scratch and roam. The entrance was made directly off there existing structure. The bottom is cedar boards into a box, we filled in with some dirt. We found a bag of cheap bamboo rods at the hardware store in the garden section and some recycled mesh from a previous project finished it out at the top. Everything was wired together and attached to the fence. And boards were drilled in top of the mesh, just to make sure no pesky predators can get to those girls. And, they are happy little campers. Yeah! Keep those eggs coming ladies…

🌿#chickens #chickenrun #outdoordesign

Backyard Tiny house studio project🌿

 For awhile now we have been working on a backyard studio for doing art, entertaining and making more livable space, outside the small home we are in. On a huge lot. This has been an ongoing process and continues to be. But, I’m excited to say that things have picked back up on the project, once again. 

  
Firstly, you should know I have an Interior Design degree and Jay, my sons father is a carpenter by trade for 20+ years. We often don’t see eye to eye on a few things. However, projects like these bring us to a happier place. 

  
We often don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around either for things like these so, there have been many “make it work” moments in expanding our backyard and building supplies. I have always been okay with up cycling or using “found” or the right free items, as well. Why not? The world is full of enough garbage. I think it’s great not to waste it. Because of it, I have been honing my skills for Craigslist “free” and that has helped the creativity keep going. Just a couple weeks ago, I randomly sat down and checked the site and really, really lucked out on a great couple in the South sound, getting rid of ALL of the cedar siding on their house. And, it was in fantastic shape plus, 1/2″ think, which apparently is unheard of nowadays. Serious, serious score. 

  
The catch. It had to be de-nailed and planed down to get it looking back to fab. Okay, a bit of work. Also, three truck loads full. So, thanks to Jays perseverance and hard work with that, we won big with all that usable material. The roof shingles are a trade from Craigslist for an old iPhone and a mini projector. The door, a $20 Craigslist find. The skylight a $10 find. The windows below, side of the road free and $10. The ones above, $15 for the pair, just found the other day on offer up. 

  
We got boxes of laminate flooring from this nice man in Kent who was gonna do improvements but, never got around to it and just wanted it gone. That was also a huge score.

We happened to be headed to Home Depot and I caught a glimpse of a cabinet section with a sink that I’m hoping we can transform into a kitchenette, if you will. I’m thinking mini frig/freezer combo and an induction plate or 2 burner cooktop dropped in. Let’s see what I can find, right? It’s not the prettiest now. But, there’s potential, I hope. For a future post. 

  
The plan is to get the wiring and insulting done soon. And, as you might of guessed by now, I found a dude on Craigslist, a former contractor, selling a boatload of cheaper insulation he got stuck with. It’s a no brainier, I will be hitting him up. 

Now, I’m still looking for windows. One long slider for behind where the bed will go. You will be under a skylight which is exciting but, I hate the idea of it being stifling and hot while you sleep. 

I still have to figure out the logistics of the bathroom. A compostible toilet sounds like a grand plan. Finding one for the right price is another story. IKEA has some interesting options for small sinks. And, I want to prepare it for once it does officially become plumbed to be a “wet” bathroom. We missing an electrician best friend is all, haha. But, I’m gonna remain optimistic that it will work out. 

So, continuing to push on… 

  

Some tips for Making a Plan and defining your Interior Style🌿

What makes it wonderful about coming to conclusions about defining your style is the money and time you will save having a direction and a plan. 

First, determine your style. More modern, more vintage chic, more contemporary? There are lots of tests online to help edge you closer into your specific direction. Once you get this established, its gets easy to to center your focuses on pulling everything together.

Now that you have determined what your style is, time to go shopping in your own home. That’s right, pick and pull things that you love. It defines you. So, go with it. And, you save money on things you have already got. Those are the things that should be front and center. 

Now determine the things you have but, don’t look as fresh as you would like or old and worn. Access if these things can be freshened with some easy simple ways. That old desk, sand it down and put on a new coat of stain and clear sealant, like new. Lamps might just need new shades to boost their beauty. Think of ways to improve on what you have already. It’s sexy to be self sufficient and handy anyway. 

Speaking of lamps, good lighting is essential. Be it lamps, candles, or overhead lighting. It’s everything about making the mood. It enhances skin coloration, that amazing wall color and how you feel in that room. Dimmers are an easy addition to help facilitate a nice transition, between bumping up the light for either task or relaxed light. 

  
Paint is a cheap and fast freshener. It’s inexpensive to change the whole look of your room too. If you can’t paint, there are lots of removable wallpapers to add to one wall to increase interest. If you can, there are so many gorgeous colors out there it’s sometimes hard to choose. I recommend paint samples and in a place with plenty of light. Now wait. That’s right! Look at your choices for a few days, during all times of the day, and then decide what is making you the happiest.

  
 Now add your room “jewelry”. Yes, the jewelry of your room works just like and outfit for a man or a women. It’s accessories just like finishing of that ensemble like a watch, necklace or a sparkly ring. It adds the polish. You may wonder what this is for a room but, think about vases, candle holders, trays, foot stools and baskets. This is an opportunity to add texture and interest. And, it’s easy and inexpensive to take these few things and add a little more character to the room. 🌿

  
Photography: Nathan Williams

The Well Stocked Home Bar🌿


 I have been in the hostility business at one point or another, from birth. No, seriously. I really have. Being a great hostess is in my blood. My folks had a fully stocked bar forever ,when they were younger. My high school friends would “Ooo and ahh” over its magnitude. Honestly, I wasn’t interested in it like that,ever. It served a purpose. My parents party guests. And, entertaining is always the most fun when your the one ready for the party, isn’t it?  And, hopefully always for the right party guests! But, we will save that topic for another time though. Being stocked sure makes it easy to slip into your favorite clothes, put on that perfect playlist and get to visiting with your company, even if it’s just two of you. The record player has changed to a speaker and an iPhone but, keeping it classy never goes out of style, does it? 

Vodka– I’m a fan of Ketel One, Titos is good, Grey Goose is another.

Gin– Tanqeray is a steady standard, Hendricks is a nice herbal variety, Bombay Sapphire is a classic. 

Scotch– Scotch drinkers chime in here. There are all sorts. I don’t partake but, I know this gets serious amongst many. Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, any thing with a “Glen” leading seems like a safe bet if your going for very nice. 

Whiskey-I do like a decent Whiskey and will have things like Makers Mark, Knob Creek or Woodford Reserve. 

Rum-Not really as popular as in the past but, don’t forget all those tasty tropical drinks for the Summer always seem to have rum. I’m in love with Old Monk on the rocks sometimes, and Diplomatico a Venezulan Rum that is so yummy but, hard to find, then it tails out for me on preference. There’s always just Bacardi.

Dry Vermouth-for Martinis 

Sweet Vermouth-for Manhattans

Bourbon-Bulleit Bourbon is tasty, Old Weller is another.

Tequila– Is making a huge boutique come back. Gone are the days of the not so spectacular, cheap tequilas. And, tequila bars are popping up all over the place. The variations are vast but, Herradurra, Patron, and Hornitos, I think are solid choices. 

This gets us down to the mixers and garnishes: 

Roses lime juice

Triple Sec-margaritas among other things

Club Soda-buy the cans and stash these. They keep forever and you don’t have to open up a huge bottle that just gets wasted anyway. 

Tonic Water-same goes here

Tomato Juice-again small cans, less waste. 

Bitters-an easy addition also, great for stomach aches with soda water. Thought I would throw that in, in case you didn’t know that one. 

Grenadine 

Cocktail Olives 

Cocktail Onions– there’s a brand called McSweets around my neck of the woods that are great in Martinis for a Gibson 

Olive Juice– my friends are into dirty Martinis. It keeps in the fridge. There’s never enough in that silly little jar packed with olives, is there. Who knows about this besides me? 

Lemons and Limes

Juices-Are best fresh, I love breaking out the juicer and a giant bag of grapefruits, or oranges. There’s nothing better then  fresh squeezed juice in a drink. But, watch your time and the mess. This is something best the day before or the morning of…

And then, you need a shaker, stirrer, strainer and some straws. 

A stocked bar is an investment but, think about piece mealing together over time. I have a few friends that do this, even in their small spaces. Some, even ambitiously make their own bitters and shrubs…I did say ambitiously though. It’s a fun foodie hobbie for me and my restaurant friends. But, the store has some great choices nowadays for just about everything if you don’t want the hassle. 

Think about a fun bar cart or cabinet to dedicate space for this and keep stock of what comes and goes. This is a fun way to also display some of the fancier things like glasses and a cocktail set, metal straws and napkins as you add things to your collection. 

And, it’s easy to stock up as long as your not drinking it faster than you can buy it. Now, I encourage responsibility always. It doesn’t go bad people. It’s great to have the basics (I know not everyone will think they need everything here, modify if you must). Here’s some necessary items I think to keep on hand to meet everyone’s want and needs and for letting the festivities go off without a hitch. Of course, when it’s not BYOB (love that too) darlings. Cheers! 🌿

   
Sonya Law

Bar Photo credit: Lula and Georgia