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Life right now: July 2014

Our little houseplant corner, with African violets, a spider fern, and the succulent propagation station.

Our little houseplant corner, with African violets, a spider fern, and the succulent propagation station.

Right now we're solidly into summer and I'm: 

Joining: Bloglovin'. I have used (and enjoyed) Feedly as an RSS reader ever since Google Reader shut down, but have heard great things about Bloglovin' as well, so I'm dipping my toe in to check it out. I'm supposed to put a specific link in a new post to claim my blog there sooooo --->

Growing: houseplants! One thing that bookmarking things on Pinterest has helped me realize is that a home filled with light and plants is my ideal, but unfortunately I've had mediocre luck keeping houseplants alive and thriving. (Ok, ok, I can kill a cactus.) During my visit with my family last month, I had a chat with my brother Brian (who, like everyone in my family but me, has a very green thumb) about succulents and houseplants in general, and he helped me realize I was equating "nice sunny East window" with "full sun outside" and that is just never going to set up my poor little plants for success. So I googled houseplants that were both hard to kill and non-toxic to dogs, and got myself a Boston fern and two spider plants (in addition to the air plants I made the embroidery hoop display for). I also picked up two African violets because they are so pretty and remind me of my grandmother, who always has them. I'm using a spray mister to keep the plants happily humid and everything. Project Houseplant is a go!

Seeking: good gardening blogs, especially from folks with lovely desert gardens and people with lots of houseplants. Got any recs? 

Loving: these totebags from Emily McDowell. Perfect for carrying groceries and shit.

Eating: so much chicken salad - definitely having a phase right now. I've been making a really basic version (dill, celery, mayo, salt + pepper... and chicken of course) but feel like I should branch out and try some variations. Recipe links welcome and appreciated!

Using: A Better Queue - this site lets you find movies available on Netflix as you filter by Rotten Tomatoes rating, genre, year made - aaah so useful. 

Looking: forward to the weekend!

Five inspiring things: homey tutorials for Craftmas and beyond

Right now, project-wise, I'm participating in Craftmas in July, Crochet Summer 2014, and Operation Houseplant. (OK, I'm the only one participating in this last one, but if you want to play along, it's simple - bring more houseplants into your life! Oh and try not to let them die. That's the hard part, at least for me.) Here are some lovely pieces of inspiration for all of my projects - I wanted to share them here in case you'd enjoy some of them as well!

I just love this pretty wood bead Christmas tree garland from The House that Lars Built.

See also: The Magic Onion's button garland. I would be so happy to have something like this on my tree! Maybe with little metallic buttons to reflect the lights? 

Definitely going to use this DIY Stenciled Tea Towels tutorial from Lovely Indeed to make some holiday tea towels (and maybe some everyday tea towels, too!). I have a big roll of freezer paper so I'll use that for the stencils, but I love her idea of using contact paper, as well.

I'm trying to propagate some succulents, following these instructions from Needles and Leaves. I hope it goes well - I can just picture our backyard peppered with succulents next summer, and how great would it be if they were all essentially free, and babied into whole plants from just leaves? 

I've been seeing crochet inspiration everywhere and I might need a window treatment like this in my life, don't you think? So cheerful, and could be a fun way to play with different motifs. (My link here goes to a pin of a specific window treatment picture, but I also dig the rest of the home pictured in this house tour on A Beautiful Mess.)

Bonus link: this lemonade icebox pie. I made a patriotic version for Independence Day, pictured at the top of this post. Super easy and really tasty. You know you can trust Taste of Home for any of your Cool Whip-including recipe needs, right? Sometimes you just gotta go there.