Tuesday, April 26, 2011

recycled book furniture

Library Information Desk.

Delft, The Netherlands
My homies in Northern Europe are doing cool stuff, AGAIN. 
Props to Recycled Art.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden

Saw this DIY on Life on the Balcony.

Post image for How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden

Find a Pallet

The first thing you need to do is–obviously–find a pallet. Don’t just take the first pallet you find. You’re looking for one with all the boards in good condition, no nails sticking out, no rotting, etc. If you intend to put edibles in your pallet, be sure to find one that wasn't treated with chemicals. You'll know.

Collect Your Supplies
For this project, you’ll need the pallet you found, 2 large bags of potting soil, 16 six packs of annual flowers (one six pack per opening on the face of the pallet, and two six packs per opening on the top of the completed pallet garden), a small roll of landscape fabric, a staple gun, staples, and sand paper.

Get Your Pallet into Shape
Once you’ve dragged your pallet home, give it a once over. Are any of the boards a little loose? Is the wood chipping in places? Nail down any loose boards, and use sand paper to smooth down any rough spots.

Let the Stapling Begin!
Decide which side of the pallet will be the bottom when the pallet garden is completed and leaning against the wall. You are going to be covering the bottom, back, and sides with landscape fabric, leaving the spaces between the slats and the top uncovered (you’ll be planting flowers in the uncovered spaces).

Lay the pallet face down. Roll the landscape fabric over the back. Cut two identically sized pieces that are long enough to go from the top edge of the back of the pallet and wrap all the way around the bottom, plus a few extra inches.

Hold the two pieces of landscape fabric together as if they were one piece of fabric. Fold over the top edge by one inch and center it on the top board of the back of the pallet. Staple the fabric into place near the top edge of the top board. Smooth the fabric out to the left and right and pull it taut. Staple the fabric down on the top, right edge of the top board. Repeat on the left side. Fill in between those three staples with one staple every two inches along the top edge of the top board.

When the top of the landscape fabric is securely attached to the top, back board, smooth the fabric down, and repeat the process along the bottom edge of the bottom board, except don’t fold the fabric under, leave a long flap on the bottom.

Pulling the fabric tautly along the bottom, fold the cut edge under, and staple the fabric down along the front edge of the bottom. Smooth the fabric out to the left and right and staple every two inches along the front edge of the bottom.

Now for the sides. Start near the bottom and fold the excess fabric inwards as if you were wrapping a present. Fold the cut edge of the fabric under and staple it down near the front, bottom edge of the side facade. Smooth the fabric out and place a staple every two inches along the front edge of the side of the pallet. The fabric should be taut but not in danger of tearing. Repeat on the other side of the pallet.

You should now have a pallet with landscape fabric wrapped around the sides, back, and bottom. Place more staples along the spine of the back side of the pallet, and anywhere else you think the fabric needs to be held down so that soil can’t creep into places you don’t want it to go.

Now for the Fun Part–Planting!
Bring the pallet close to wherever it’s final spot will be and lay it down face up. You’re going to plant it while it’s laying flat on the ground.

First slide the plants into what will be the top. Plant everything very tightly, you should have to practically shoe horn the last plant into place. Now that you have capped the top, pour the entire first bag of potting soil on top of the pallet. Push the soil into the pallet between the slats and smooth it out so that the soil is level. Repeat with the second bag of potting soil.

Push potting soil into the bottom cavity, so that there is a trench directly below one of the bottom openings. Plant six plants in the trench, so that they are very tightly fitted into the opening. Repeat with the other bottom opening. Now push the potting soil up against those flowers you just planted, making a trench beneath one of the openings in the second row. Plant your flowers tightly in that opening. Repeat for all the remaining openings.

When you’re done planting, you should have plants that are completely covering every opening (i.e. there shouldn’t be any place for soil to fall out). There should also be soil firmly pushed into every part of the pallet where there aren’t plants.

Caring For your Pallet

Leave the pallet flat on the ground for a couple of weeks (watering when needed), so that the roots can start to grow in and hold all the plants in place. I can never wait though, so I always tip the pallet upright a few days after planting. Some soil does fall out, but it seems to be okay. But I think it would be better if you left it to settle and only tipped it upright after a few weeks. Do as I say, not as I do.

Water your pallet regularly, they dry out quickly. Pay special attention to the bottom two openings, they seem to be the driest. Fertilize with water soluble fertilizer added to your watering can (follow package instructions for amount and frequency).

Pretty darn cool! Many thanks, Life on the Balcony.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

baby hippo

I can't help it. 

This is the cutest thing ever.

Show your kids.

Click below if you were ever wondering if
the world was a good place or not.

Watch it if you have five windows open
and just taking a quick break from work.

I rest my case.
Now you can proceed with your daily on-goings...
knowing these little guys weren't created by Pixar but by real-life nature.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Amanda Searancke, eco-luxury fashion designer for the kiddos

It's utterly amazing how many cool people are doing cool things that live in Austin, Texas. Sometimes its just the gal down the street.  Maybe you'll see her at the playground, maybe shopping at Whole Foods or having a glass of wine at the favorite neighborhood haunt.

And lucky for us, that's the case for the fabulous Amanda Searancke. Austin is home to one of the top eco-luxury clothing designers out in the universe. She's single-handedly created two of the best-loved organic clothing lines for kids.


Let's take a look at some of her handy-work.

OMG - how freaking cute are these?
Knicker-bockers rule.

And what about these booties??
Sooo delicious. These little baby booties use premium lambskin made from lambs that die of natural causes. No purposely bred animals or synthetic materials go into its shoes, according to Kina, just "recycled" lambskin that would otherwise go to waste. Wow. That's awesome.

My daughter owns this knitted wool bubble dress and it is simply perfect.

And don't be fooled, Texans. Wool is actually an awesome fabric for our kind of climate. Kind of hard to believe, but hear me and the Prince of Wales out... actually he says it a lot better with his Campaign for Wool he launched in January 2010. Way to go!! Help support the local farmers/ranchers!! (But can I just say Amanda's been rocking the wool since 2005. The Prince ought to pick her brain about the stuff.)

In a nutshell, wool is a total a natural wonder. It insulates, is incredibly warm in winter, cool in the summer, and breathes. Every climate can appreciate wool. Oh! And did I mention its fire-resistant? As a parent - what's not to like?

Right then...back to Amanda.  What ye think about life, Ms. Searancke?

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
There is no perfect happiness and I'm ok with that.

What is your greatest fear?
I'm not sure exactly.  I believe the bones of it have something to do with my son and I can never quite bring myself to flesh it out...

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Joy. And my son. Who is Joy.

If you were to do and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Me, with most of what I know now at the start. Or nearly start.

What do you value most in your friends?
Their individuality. 

What is your favorite item of clothing?
Things to wrap and throw - scarves, woolen shawls, pieces of cloth. And hats. And a really good bra. New Zealand makes good bras.

Favorite discovery:

Who inspires you: My very clever friends+family, kids before society influences their thoughts and people who against all odds still manage to spread the joy.

Necessary extravagance:

Favorite color: deep mossy green

Favorite gadget: camera

Favorite dessert:  70%+ cacao chocolate if that's considered a dessert...

Favorite ingredient:  fresh greenery

And that concludes today's episode... Celebrating another fabulous person that lives right her in the ATX (via New Zealand, that is.) You can certainly add Amanda to the top of the list of people who make Austin a hub for ultra-talented creative energy.

Amanda lives in the Clarksville neighborhood found in Austin, Texas with her husband Hervé Lapuente (owner of Atelier Hervé) and their fabulous about-to-be three year old son, Tama.

The muse, the model, and the little man who loves diggers.

PS: You can find Amanda's lines in Austin, Texas at Wildflower Organics

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

new forms of life.

Since 1990 Theo Jansen has been occupied with the making of a new nature. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic material of this new nature. He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventually he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.


Theo Jansen.
"The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds." 

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Decline of an American City

Up and down Detroit’s streets, buildings stand abandoned and in ruin. French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre set out to document the decline of an American city. Their book “The Ruins of Detroit“, a document of decaying buildings frozen in time, was published in December 2010.

The ballroom of the 15-floor art-deco Lee Plaza Hotel, 
an apartment building with hotel services built in 1929 and derelict since the early 1990s.

Detroit's Vanity Ballroom with its unsalvaged art deco chandeliers. 
Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey once played here.

United Artists Theater

William Livingstone House

 East Side Public Library

 Michigan Theatre

 Luben Apartments

Friday, April 8, 2011

Carrie Hiner-Berry, Beauty Sorceress!

Think about it. Getting a facial is a kinda intimate experience. You are laying down while your eyes closed. You are about to have someone bending over you examining at your face with a magnifying glass, looking at every imperfection you've acquired over the years. Your tiny little pores are hovering in fear while a bright light is shining on them...

But in walks someone like the fabulous Carrie Hiner-Berry, and you can immediately wash away your facial fears. From the moment you look at her flawless skin, her big brown eyes and her super sweet smile...you know that you and your wrinkles can rest at ease. It is time to embrace your own personal beauty and thoroughly enjoy the next hour or so.

Carrie, of Bella Salon in Austin, Texas, is the kind of gorgeous gal that isn't intimidating and seriously knows her stuff.

Just look at this face!
And these days, with so many treatments on the market, you want to make sure you can trust the person your are opening your pores up too. You can ask Carrie anything about her services, her favorite products and she'll give you an honest answer.

Let's learn a little more about Carrie Hiner-Berry... her likes, dislikes and maybe even few beauty tips!

What do you value most in your friends? Honesty, of course. A true friend doesn't always tell you what you want to hear. (See! what did I tell you?? - the girl likes HONESTY!)

What is your favorite item of clothing? A '70's suede vest that I met my boyfriend in. He reminds me of this often, so I'd never get rid of it.

Who are your real heroes in life? Single mothers and fathers that do their very best to raise happy well adjusted children.

What is your greatest fear? What the world will look like when my boys are adults.

Favorite discovery - My father's vinyl collection.

Favorite color - The deepest of blues.

Who inspires you - Hud and Sawyer, my little boys make me strive to be a better person. My heart is an ocean when it comes to them.

Five Best things to do for your skin
1. Stay hydrated
2. Eat a balanced diet with limited dairy and sugar
3. Exfoliate
4.Wear a sunblock of at least 25 daily
5. Keep a good night routine. Our cells are most receptive to change when our bodies are at rest.

Top 5 Beauty Products
1. Sircuit X-trap cleanser- gentle for all skin types
2. Sircuit OMG serum- helps with cell resuscitation and fine lines
3. Priori Radical Defense- an sunblock with Idebenone (a powerful antioxidant)
4. Organic Coconut oil- non pore clogging and just plain yummy
5. Sircuit white out- relieves puffiness and diminishes dark circles under the eye

Carrie Hiner-Berry.
Musician. Model. Nurturer. 
Healer. Beauty Sorceress.
Mama of two sweet boys.

Go see Carrie.
Her magic beauty fairy dust
and facial healing powers will make you glow with love.

Carrie Berry Skin Care is based in Bella Salon on West 6th. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Add Norway to places you must see. seriously.

In 2005, Norway initiated a massive 15-year agenda to generate more tourism. The government turned to architects and designers to develop and build tourist routes and architectural rest stops to enhance the experience of the stunning Norwegian landscape.

The ongoing project has been aptly named The National Tourist Routes In Norway and features an array of architects including Margrete Friis, Peter Zumthor, PUSHAK arkitekter, Code Arkitektur, Manthey Kula, Snøhetta AS, and Jensen and Skodvin to name a few. The architects have worked together to connect the dots throughout the country and form a network of breathtaking valleys, farms, rivers, and mountain cliffs.

This Chicana Tejana has a mad crush on Northern Europe. 
From its politics to its films, design and architecture, I am seriously digging these people. 

Feel free to refer back to these pictures 
when its 110 degrees in Texas this Summer.