Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer at Home

It has been quite awhile since I've posted here! Not sure if the few of you who were reading my blog ever come by anymore. There has been a lot going on that has kept me away from this space, but I have missed writing here and I've missed visiting other blogs, which I haven't gotten to do much at all. This is an amazing online community of creators, and it has been hard to be away. 

A little over three years ago, my best friend and I started a business together. It's a brick-and-mortar young adult and children's bookstore, and it quickly took over our lives! It is still going strong (and growing! We are in the process of moving into a new, and bigger, location). In addition, we both have day jobs. Until recently I was working as a teacher, but this past year I got a job as a school librarian, which has been such a good change for me. However, it has put me back in grad school for another master's, this time in Library and Information Science. All of this has been wonderful professionally, but it has really put my creative life on the back burner. Although I'm still making, it's not as much or as often as I would like, and I certainly haven't been able to make the the time to share it here.

In addition, I have started my own photography business, and I also take photos for the bookstore. I found that as soon as my jobs required me to take and edit photos, that I was doing it much less for pleasure.  I was no longer capturing memories of my home and pets and loved ones.  Last winter I decided to make an effort to take photos just for me; to make sure that I was still loving the process and not just doing it for work. And since then, I have indeed been taking many more photos for me - but they were sitting on my computer, not getting looked through or edited. And so it occurred to me to come back to this space - to go through my photos, pick some favorites, and share them here. I'm not making a commitment to a certain number of posts, or to any sort of frequency here. If I feel I need to post, I'm worried it will become another thing I have to do and will become a burden rather than an outlet. But I certainly hope to visit and share more than I have been - which shouldn't be too hard to do, as I haven't been here at all. :)

And so, for my first post in well over a year, I bring you a few photos from around the house and garden this summer. My cherry tree is still small, but it yielded a delicious harvest that we took to my parents' house on my dad's birthday.

A few weeks ago I went to the Be Crafty/White House Girls sale and picked up some perfect things for our home. One was this adorable milk glass planter, complete with succulent and teeny deer. (If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this already!).

My sweet guy got me a special drill bit for ceramics so that I could put a drainage hole in the bottom of the cup. One house project checked off the (very long) list!

We've been enjoying open windows all around the house (especially the cats!  Sitting in windows just may be their most favorite summer activity).

And speaking of windows, my guy made me three stunning window boxes! I now have one outside of each of the kitchen windows, as well as one of the dining room windows.

I've been wanting window boxes forever, and he built and varnished them for me, and then attached them to the house. I finally got around to putting the flowers in this past week, and they have been bringing me such pleasure!

Whether I see them from inside or outside, they never fail to make me smile.

Seriously, even doing dishes is awesome! I can now stand at the kitchen sink and look right outside at my sweet window box garden.

I'm looking forward to watching these plants grow over the summer, and trail down from each of the boxes.

If you made it this far in my post, thanks for reading all the way to the end! I look forward to sharing bits of my life here. It makes me happy to have a place to share my photos, and if you happen to come across them, I hope they can bring you some happiness too.

xo, Katherine

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

100 Happy Days

Hey! Have you heard about 100 Happy Days?

I discovered this via A Beautiful Mess, and started my challenge today! If you're not already participating, you should think about joining too.

You can follow along with me on Instagram, where I'll be using this hashtag:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Corners of My Home 5

Last week I shared my stairway with you. This is at the bottom of the stairs (you can see the risers now!) - a glimpse into the laundry room.

This is also where I store all my canning. :)

Sources: the print is of a painting at the MIA (Temptation, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau); shelving and baskets.

See all the corners of my home here!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Corners of My Home 4

This is the stairway down to the basement.

The ceiling is low, so when I first moved in my mom stenciled this on the wall for me! (My parents found the pig head at an antique store in northern MN and gifted it to me. I love pigs!).

The painting is by my great uncle, who was an artist.

I had the carpet ripped up from the stairs and then I painted them myself. The tread is red, as you can see, and the risers are white (but not visible in these photos).

See my other corners here.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Corners of My Home 3

I decided, after my last 'corners' post, that maybe the next corner to share would be what was in the background behind my garland. So here it is!

This bookshelf is in a corner of the dining room and shelves most (but not all!) of my cookbook collection.

I was inspired to make the bird tree after seeing Abbey's version on A Beautiful Mess.
The branches are dead ones from the oak tree in the front yard, the moss is from this Etsy shop, and I have been collecting feathery birds at antique stores. It's a work in progress...

Sources: metal bird found at an Italian flea market; oil lamp, feather birds, and teacups are all vintage from various antique stores; candle holder (no longer available); curtains; book print.

See all my corners here.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Corners of My Home 2

Welcome to part 2 of Corners of My Home! (First installment here).

This is a little paper garland that hangs in the doorway that leads upstairs from the dining room.  I used a square punch and several different colors of card stock (and vellum), and then sewed the whole thing together with my sewing machine. Really fast and easy!

Want to show me a corner of your home? Leave a link in the comments!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Corners of My Home 1

Hello again!

I love home tours and before-and-afters, and I have both in the works here, but just haven't had the time to finish them up and post them.  I decided that in the meantime, I would start a new feature on my blog - Corners of My Home. Each Sunday, I will post a photo (or several) of a little part of my house that I find beautiful, inspiring, or is just making me happy.

If there is anyone still reading this blog, feel free to join in! In the comments section, leave a link to your corner. I would love a peek into your home!

Above is a shot in my kitchen by the sink. The planter on the left was made by a local ceramics artist, and I got it at a craft fair a few years ago. If I find a link for it online, I'll add it here. The second planter I spray painted red (there's a lot of red going on in my kitchen). And finally, the dish soap is in a Ball jar, with a lid and soap dispenser that I purchased from Midwest Finds on Etsy. I actually have three of them throughout the house - two are just the lid and pump that I put on jars I already had, but one is a vintage jar I purchased from them. I really love Midwest Finds! The whole kitchen looks prettier now that I'm not using a plastic dispenser that the soap came in. :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Goals for 2014

Hello, and happy 2014! I cannot believe that it has been close to a year and a half since the last time I blogged here. I will be back to explain that absence soon - it involves starting two(!) of my own businesses - but in the meantime I wanted to share this simple craft project with you.
Make your own book of goals for 2014!  You will need:

  • a sketchbook
  • kraft paper
  • scissors
  • paper cutter (optional)
  • adhesive
  • washi tape
  • pen
  • pencil
  • eraser (not shown)

  1. Trace the cover of your sketchbook.
  2. Cut around your tracing.
  3. Cut exactly on your line with a paper cutter (if you're not using one, skip this step and just cut carefully with scissors).  
  4. Adhere the paper to the cover of your sketchbook.

     5. Draw your design and words, first with pencil, then trace with your pen.

6. Add tabs with washi tape. I have four categories that I wanted to use, so I counted the pages     equally and cut four long strips of washi tape.  I folded each piece of washi tape in half, around the first page in each section. 

7. Label your tabs, and the inside pages if you'd like to. I divided my goals into four categories: home, bookstore, photography, and personal.

8. Start listing your goals!

The first goal that I wrote down under "Personal" is to blog more here. That should be easy - with this post I've already blogged more than I did in 2013!  ;)

I love having my goals written out like this, especially for the bigger things. I can get bogged down in the day-to-day to-do lists, and not make enough time for some of the other things I want to accomplish. Having those goals written down makes me more likely to spend time on them.  I made this book on Sunday, and have already started on a number of my "Home" goals!

Do you have new year's goals or resolutions?  How do you keep track of them?

All photos taken with my iPhone and edited with A Beautiful Mess App.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Canning Strawberry Jam

I know when you think August, strawberries aren't the first thing that come to mind! But the pick-your-own place that we like to go to has ever-bearing strawberries, and we picked a lot of them this week.

The place where we like to get our strawberries is a family-owned organic farm, about a forty minute drive south of us. 

Last summer we picked here for the first time, and we loved it! The family is so sweet, and we enjoy visiting the farm. 

I've canned a lot of raspberry jam, but last summer was the first time I made strawberry jam. It was so good! Like, eat-it-with-a-spoon-out-of-the-jar good.  

We decided we needed to make a lot of it again this summer, because we need to make sure it gets us through until next summer.

So two trips to the farm...

...and 24 pounds of strawberries later...

...we have about 50 half-pints of strawberry jam! 

Although that probably should be enough, we made three trips to the farm last year... we're thinking another visit may be in order! 

 PS The recipe I used for our strawberry jam is from this book