by gwen harlow

our new home

My creative space

Posted by on Jun 2, 2010 in craft, meme | 2 comments

It’s my creative space day! It’s been a little while since I participated…

I’ve been working on jewelry. Still. Always. I should take a photo of my stockpile of things I can’t seem to get around to photographing, much less posting on etsy. It’s just ridiculous.

I did photograph these. Two weeks ago and I am just getting around to editing. The first two, I just listed, you can find them at gwen.etsy.com. The 3rd and 4th, well, I *intend* to list them but who knows if that will ever happen. The last, I made for myself. I am quite pleased with it.

Blue charm bracelet

Tropical flower earrings

Strawberry garden bracelet

Some kind of gemstone, I forget which but it's got a purty glow

Muertos fiesta necklace -- mine!

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When you’re locked out

Posted by on May 31, 2010 in garden | 3 comments

The other day, I met Chad for lunch and when I got home I realized my keys were missing! I lose my keys about once a decade, and it seemed about time, so I wasn’t too too upset. I called Chad and asked if he’d be able to leave work early to come let me in the house, sat on the porch for a bit, then realized it was probably going to be awhile before Chad showed up, because 1. he was in the middle of work and 2. he is slow like that sometimes.

So I decided to garden. I got my flowers put in out back and weeded the herb garden. It felt pretty good and it’s nice that when I glance out the kitchen window I see marigolds instead of waist-high weeds.

White daisies #1

At about exactly the time I was finished, Chad showed up and let me in the house, where I found my keys sitting on my desk.

So my tips for when you are locked out are:

1. Keep calm! There are worse things than being forced to stay outside on a nice spring day.
2. Be patient and find something to keep yourself occupied. You will get in eventually and you can get some stuff done in the meantime.

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Minis!

Posted by on May 21, 2010 in our new home | 3 comments

Have you seen Lisa Congdon’s A Collection a Day? It’s a blog featuring a new photo of one of the author’s collections every day for the entire year. The level of organization and the wide variety of subjects is just astounding.

I don’t collect things in any committed way except for building miniatures, which, as mentioned yesterday, fit perfectly in my new desk hutch. They’re a mix of things people have brought me and pieces I’ve acquired on my own travels.

Looking for new pieces to add to my collection gives me a purpose when we go somewhere since I am looking for something specific — it keeps me from desperately loading up on T-shirts and mugs and other things I don’t need and don’t have space for. I spent our whole visit in New Orleans last year looking for the perfect mini and had almost given up when I spotted the locally-made streetcar in the window of a tiny shop filled with zillions of miniature everythings. It’s a miracle I even saw it, but it must have wanted me to.

Streetcar and Cape Cod Carl

Sydney on Jackson Square

I love my friend Heidi’s wall, it’s covered with tin corazones.

Heidi hearts

Do you collect anything?

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Painting class, end of the semester

Posted by on May 20, 2010 in craft | 0 comments

Today was the last day of the semester for my Very First Painting Class Ever. Here are the last few projects I worked on:

#2, flower
[which you may remember was based on Huernia sp. by f.arais]

Project #2, flower

#3: Landscape with tree

Project #3, landscape with tree

#4: Self portrait
I didn’t quite finish this, though I did add in a nose today.

Project #4: Self portrait, needs nose!

#5 was Toy from five angles but I never got around to choosing an object, much less starting on the painting. I feel reasonably accomplished nonetheless, I completed ten or so paintings over the semester, which is about ten more paintings than I’ve ever done and they’re not the worst things ever.

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Decor: desk storage

Posted by on May 19, 2010 in our new home | 0 comments

I’ve been self-employed as a web designer for 10 years and mostly work at home — my desk is my entire office, and I’ve had a hard time figuring out what to do with everything because it has to go with the rest of the room so the office-purposed furniture I’ve looked at just doesn’t work. So mostly it’s been a hodgepodge of little fixes to meet my needs and usually, a giant pile of papers and bits that have nowhere to go. A terrible, chaotic mess.

A few weeks ago we were at the thrift and I spotted this headboard — you remember the white and gold girls’ bedroom set you or your BFF or that girl you were just SO envious of had? From that set. It had shelves and little cupboards and high enough up to put my printer under and was exactly the thing I’ve been looking for for years.

I’ve been working a lot so the headboard’s been sitting in the middle of the living room for several weeks waiting for me to chip off the ancient D.A.R.E. stickers [these things are so weird, little piglets and ducklets with slogans like “FRIENDS DON’T SLING DOPE” — really! this is the language they use with kids?] but I finally had a few hours free the other day to take care of that and completely clean everything off the desk and get it set up and it is even better than I expected.

May I present: my new desk shelving unit!

New desk shelves

It works perfectly. One cupboard is for my craft/stationery boxes, the other — I’m still deciding.

Cigar boxes stash

And there’s a nice space for my souvenir architectural minis collection, which have been looking for a real home forever.

Most of my minis

Next up is the craft cupboard.

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The state of my garden, May 2010

Posted by on May 19, 2010 in garden, photo | 2 comments

Roses, check.

Pinky

Spanish and Provencal lavender, check.

Spanish lavenderLotta lavender!!!!

Grapes, check.

Grapes, year 3

[This is their third year. Last year they fruited for the first time and were so, so close to being ready for me to eat, then we went to Portland and the raccoons completely stripped them while we were gone. Very rude!]

Bottlebrush, check!

Bottlebrush #2

[I planted this sorry little thing two years ago and it is still only about a foot high and just now starting to finally bloom. Go bottlebrush!]

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Home inspirations

Posted by on May 18, 2010 in craft, love | 1 comment

I’m a renter and always have a hard time getting inspired to put a lot of work into doing decorating — even though everywhere I’ve lived, it always feels kind of fleeting because there isn’t the kind of commitment that you have with owning — we can pack up and move with just 30 days notice and then you have to start over.

Which is silly because everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve stayed for ages. And so what anyway! Half the reward is making something sweet and admiring it, who cares if it might end up being something left behind or changed. Life is too short! So I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for bits and pieces that I like to give me a little kickstart and am going to start sharing them.

Put this on while you’re admiring: Best Coast Should Be Your Sound of Summer. [And check out the whole Citizen Insane mp3 blog while you’re at it, it is full of sunny, poppy, fun summer music, which is my favorite kind. You can stream the whole playlist here.]

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Belinda’s March interior styling challenge at the happy home blog:

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Button Monday! with Lisa at Lil Fish Studios

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What are some of your home inspirations?

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Gardens on my block

Posted by on May 18, 2010 in garden, photo | 1 comment

There’s a house on the corner with a little white picket fence and the sweetest garden that I’ve been admiring since we moved here. I recently properly met the owner at a meet-up a mutual friend puts together — very random!

Queen Anne's Lace?

I sometimes peek through the knots in her fence — forgive me, her garden is so lovely and I am so curious! — and admired her magical little back yard — I’m envious of her green adirondacks that blend in like camouflage.

Neighbor's nasturtium

Her next-door neighbor has a spectacular tea tree, which is something I tried to grow a few years back but managed to kill within a few weeks. Maybe it’s time to try again.

Tea tree #1

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Painting class

Posted by on May 12, 2010 in craft | 0 comments

From painting class, since you asked, and if you cannot say anything nice I will send the painting to you and then you’ll be sorry:

Project #1, butterfly

Sample board #?, climbing, falling, hot, cold, and something I forget

I am okay with the butterfly, it was originally going to be one that’s local to Santa Cruz and I can’t remember the name, but I changed it to cream/brown instead of white/grey. I like the water, hate everything else on the other one.

I am still working on my flower, next is self-portraits and everyone’s skin is coming out c. 1985 fake-and-bake orange except for this one girl who obviously has a lifetime of painting experience and rips through all the assignments churning out masterpieces.

[My creative space]

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More flower tutorials

Posted by on Apr 28, 2010 in craft, photo | 0 comments

I’ve been gathering a few more flower tutorials:

Zucchini and Me: Knitted flowers for dummies
CRAFT: Easy Ribbon Rosettes
Sumo’s Sweet Stuff: Zipper flowers
Mary Janes & Galoshes: Roses or Peonys and Petals
100 Layer Cake: DIY fabric flowers by Michonne
lilyella: Fabric Rosettes

BONUS — not a flower how-to but it includes flowers and is super cute and springish:
Joli Paquet: A Lark’s Tale Cuff

Yellow with bokeh

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Look out weekend / unofficial flower week #3

Posted by on Apr 23, 2010 in garden, meme, photo | 3 comments

I am thinking about this weekend, it is GLORIOUS out. I have some work to finish up, meeting a couple folks at the small dog park this afternoon and testing out the vintage floral sundress that had the split boob seam that I sewed up — hopefully it will hold, the fabric defines threadbare. I figure the park isn’t too far from the house to expose myself for too long riding back if need be, and I’ll bring along a cardigan just in case.

I am hoping tomorrow involves some more road tripping, Chad has been frazzled all week so I don’t know if that will happen. There are plenty of lovely outdoor spots around here so it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we didn’t make it all the way over to the ocean. Though I’d really like to. I cannot get enough of the Pacific.

What are you doing this weekend?

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Two more for the end of unofficial flower week. Post yours, leave a link in the comments, and pass it on.

Spanish lavender

Does the juxtaposition of red and purple always make anyone else think of Flowers in the Attic? Or is that just me?

All abloom

Bonus photo of my daughter’s cat, Casey. He is a giant beast and if you come over, you have to pet him the whole time you are here because any break you can give me from his constant, pathetic meowing for attention is desperately needed. Thankfully the sun finally came out, because warm pavement is about the only thing besides direct contact that that shuts him up.

Everybody loves the sunshine

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Unofficial flower week, day 2

Posted by on Apr 22, 2010 in garden, meme, photo | 0 comments

It’s unofficial flower week. Post yours, leave a link in the comments, and pass it on.

Blossoms #1

Japanese maple

I realize my neighbor’s Japanese maple is not a flower, but it is quite spring-like so I say it counts.

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