I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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Archive for October, 2011

October 20, 2011

Thief & Bandit Kiddos

I love the little navajo leggings I bought Dashiell last year from Thief & Bandit. And guess what? Amie has launched a new kids shop! Hello! So much cuteness in there just for kiddos.

(omg, he’s such a little guy in this picture!)

We’re going to need a new pair of leggings for sure. Probably a sweet tank top for next summer and maybe this rad snake shirt too. Dash is very into snakes right now… or SNAH, as he calls them.

And for a super extra surprise, Thief & Bandit is offering Lovely Morning readers a 30% for the next week! Hooray! Just use the code LOVELY2011 when you check out. All of you need sweet snakeskin leggings for your babies!

I hope someone buys this amazing quilt.

(PS. The discount code is good through next Thursday.)

(PPS. I might need this tank for myself.)

October 19, 2011

31 Bits in the Pop-Up Shop

Hi-dee-ho! We haven’t had a Pop-Up Shop post in a while, have we? I like the philosophy behind 31 Bits and their jewelry is pretty cute too.

Thought some of you might be interested in making a discount purchase, ya? Head over to the Pop-Up Shop for some shopping if you like.

October 18, 2011

What it’s like to have backyard chickens

Jamie emailed me ages ago suggesting that there might be some interest in a post about the real deal with backyard chickens. I thought it was a fabulous idea and then waited months before actually getting it together to do the post. Shocker!

But today is the day. Should you get chickens? Do I like having chickens? Are they a lot of work? It will all be revealed. Maybe.

Having chickens is in general great. I love having fresh eggs, (especially considering how dirty eggs from the supermarket have been proven to be), I love that they eat our kitchen scraps and mulch our garden, and provide hours of entertainment for Dashiell. But they’re farm animals. And they do require some work. And they are loud sometimes, particularly in the morning.

Eggs – one cannot get tired of having fresh eggs! And considering organic eggs at the farmer’s market are like $5.00/dozen it’s pretty satisfying to get them for free. Or “free”, I guess. Since clearly they aren’t really free.

Compost – they’re little composting machines!

Fertilizer – for the veggie garden. We have a nice little ecosystem in our backyard.

Entertainment – They are so super great for kids. And if you get them when they’re little, they can be really tame and tolerate infinite amounts of chasing and poking and picking up.

Education – When our kid(s) are older it will be so amazing for them to grow up knowing that food comes from SOMEWHERE, not just the store. Our neighbors asked their son where eggs came from a few years ago when we’d just gotten our first flock, and he said “the store”. I think he knew that they came from a chicken in theory, but in practice they came from the dairy section. And there’s totally nothing wrong with this, but I love that Dashiell already knows that eggs come from our chickens.

They are loud – This is my number one gripe. We’re usually up anyway, and it’s a little better now that the sun is coming up later, but just because you don’t have a rooster doesn’t mean your chickens won’t announce to the world that morning has come. Every. Morning.

They are messy – If you let them free range, they will scratch everything out of your planters and leave poop all over the backyard. We let them free range all day every day so there’s a lot of cleaning up to do. BUT we’re in the process of building a fence so they’re confined to the back part of the yard where it’s all wild and messy anyway.

You have to clean the coop – Occasionally. The first time we had chickens I cleaned the coop once a week. ONCE A WEEK! What was I thinking??? Because we have an Eglu, the entire thing comes apart so you can really clean it (vs. just being able to rake it out). Which is nice because it doesn’t smell as much. But I’ve become lazy and now clean it once a quarter.

Chicken sitters – When you travel, you have to find someone to feed and water them if you’re gone for more than a weekend or so.

Misc. issues – Like any animals under your care, chickens occasionally have things that come up that need tending to. You might have one that’s mercilessly pecked and has no feathers left on her back. (Been there!). They might get mites. They might get worms. A predator might get into the coop if it’s not secure. Or an eagle might grab one out of the backyard. The list goes on. I’m a fan of the “let nature take it’s course” attitude most of the time, but still it IS one more thing you have to deal with from time to time.

We have a relatively big backyard for LA standards, but it still feels a wee bit too small for chickens, in an ideal world. I mean it’s FINE, but it would be great to have the coop down the hill from the house or something. So you didn’t hear them quite so often.

This is turning out to be kind of an anti-chicken post. I’m so not anti chicken! In general I think they are very low maintenance, and that the benefits totally outweigh the extra work. I’d much rather have chickens than a dog, for example. (Sorry dog people!) You can completely ignore them for days at a time, which is my kind of pet.

If any of you have specific questions, I’d be so happy to answer them. And if you have chickens, I know there are plenty of you out there who do, what are your thoughts?

October 11, 2011

Recently in print

Some things I like in the magazines lying around my house:

Giant pumpkins from Martha. Aren’t the colors beautiful?

Fried roots, in Sunset.

Heather Taylor‘s house, also in Sunset.

Flavored butters, in Bon Appetit.

Flavored madelines, in Martha.

I always get so excited when I look through them, dog-earring the pages and everything, and then rarely return to actually DO anything with the things I like.

Anyone have a good system for actually making use of all the great ideas out there? They always seem to slip away from me, or the next month’s stack arrives and I move on.

October 10, 2011

Visits to the pumpkin patch

Friday we went the pumpkin patch… twice. And then again on Saturday. And when we ran by one on Sunday, we nearly had to stop due to orders from our little boss.

It’s apparently the greatest form of free child entertainment ever invented. Who knew?!

Dash and I happened on one at the feed store on Friday morning where we’d stopped off to pick up chicken food. And it was such a hit, I decided to take him to the one at the nursery by our house in the late afternoon too.

Now every time we pass a pumpkin patch he points and yells and all but demands that we stop. It’s pretty cute. Also really awesome that a pile of squash can entertain a small human for over an hour.

I had an idea to open a pumpkin patch with a BAR. So the kids can run around climbing on pumpkins and the parents can drink beer and wine. Wouldn’t that be so perfect? Man, the Germans have it right with the biergarten, don’t they?

October 6, 2011

Farewell to a visionary

I know there will be many many people posting about this today, but I felt like I had to pay tribute to Steve Jobs myself.

My family has owned every iteration of Apple computer since the birth of Apple computers. The Apple IIE, the first Macintosh, (that looked like a little robot), the first powerbook, the first iMac… I don’t need to go on and on. It’s just to say that Apples have been part of our lives since I can remember computers. I’m the daughter of one of the original die-hard Apple enthusiasts.

Part of that loyalty we feel towards Apple is their amazing, innovative, beautiful products. As one spoof from the Onion says, “I’ll buy anything if it’s shiny and made by Apple.” Which isn’t really too far from the truth. But it’s not just the products. It’s the soul of the company built by Steve Jobs that really makes us feel so connected to the brand. His presence on the earth was inspiring, and not just because of his pretty products. Because he was a brilliant, passionate, creative member of society that took a major innovation of our time and made it infinitely better.

If you haven’t read the commencement speech he gave at Stanford in 2005, I strongly recommend it. It’s one of the most inspiring orations one could possibly give to a new crop of young people heading off into the world to make their way. I cried a little the first time I read it. And I’ve since referred back to it many times in my mind. See, his genius extended beyond computers. He was thoughtful and soulful and enthusiastic and truly appeared to live an inspired life.

The tragedy is that he didn’t end up living those decades he mentioned in his speech. And for that I’m so sorry for him, for his family, and for all of us who have been motivated and inspired by his achievements for the last 30 years. It’s a sad day knowing that one of the greatest innovators of our time is gone.

October 4, 2011

Julia Rothman’s Farm Anatomy

Continuing with the farm trend this week, I definitely just bought Julia Rothman’s new Farm Anatomy. For Dashiell of course. Because he likes farm animals and gardens and books. NOT for me, who likes farm animals and gardens and vegetables and books and Julia Rothman.

I love it when we find books that I love as much as Dashiell does.

Other current favorites include Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things that Go (which was a favorite of mine and my brother’s when we were little ones) and Joelle Jovliet’s Almost Everything. Which is just beautiful no matter how old you are.

Via Design*Sponge.

October 3, 2011

Urban farms of Detroit

Anyone else hear this story about urban farming in Detroit on NPR? It’s pretty inspiring to imagine a city like Detroit dotted with small farms run by entrepreneurial citizens.

Love it.

Why can I never seem to keep up with my garden, when these people are farming ACRES?