Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hands in the dirt

The sun has been shining recently, making me antsy to explore our quaint little garden. I'm ready to plant vegetables, spring annuals, and my dahlia bulbs dug up from last year. And yet, the chance of frost has me holding off a little longer. Hopefully my hands will be in that dirt over spring break, but in the meantime I'm keeping busy with other projects. 

My mom, an avid gardener, is always encouraging my novice green thumb-- teaching me about different flowers, explaining when to prune, and, along with my dad, finding garden art for our yard. They recently gave me these miniature garden tools-- perfect for a simple garden sign.

A bit of paint, sand paper, and hot glue; nothing fancy, but perfect nonetheless. 

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." -- Alfred Austin

Saturday, March 14, 2015


I knew it was going to be a good morning the moment I woke up to rain pattering on the roof. It's always been a favorite moment of mine-- lying in bed, with the covers drawn up right to my chin, listening to the rythmic falling of raindrops dancing-- delightedly. The way they flutter across the rooftop, skipping this way and that; speeding up and slowing down; sometimes flying so far they miss the rooftop altogether. I imagine it's quite like the Chim Chimney scene of Mary Poppins. Each raindrop striving to keep up with the others, never letting the melody commence.  

I was flipping through channels after breakfast and a hot shower, and happened upon Julie and Julia. Despite starting an hour previously, and having never seen it before, it's one of those stories that just sucks you in. I suppose it helps that I own the book. But anyway. What began with a moment of Julia in the kitchen at Le Cordon Bleu whipping up some meringue by hand, quickly turned into an hour passing before I knew it. I sat there with my laptop in hand, meaning to start this blog post-- but I couldn't quite draw my ears away from the splendid language, the fluttering movements of a woman so in love with her craft. I was mesmerized from the very beginning. 

A lazy Saturday morning filled with the smallest enchantments is so lovely. Hoping your day brings you the same sort of joy. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DIY rustic ruler tray

Last summer I purchased a basic wood tray from a garage sale. Someone had already painted the outside a perfectly beautiful turquoise, but the inside remained plain wood. I had long been collecting old yardstick rulers specifically for a project like this. 

First I painted the inside black-- I used Rust-oleum because it's what we had--, then sanded both that and the turquoise down a bit, to give it a more shabby feel. Next I lined up all my rulers the way I wanted them, making sure the seams weren't all perfectly aligned, and that some were upside down. I wanted a mismatched feel rather than neatly arranged rulers. 

After sawing all the pieces down to the size I needed, I laid them out once more, making sure I liked the overall appearance. Finally, I glued them in place with wood glue. I held on to the scrap pieces of ruler, which I later used for a holiday project. Vintage yardsticks are so versatile when it comes to decorating. The different wood tones, the scratches, the fading print-- all of these qualities add to their rustic charm.

I love the unexpected touch of vintage this tray brings to my home. I've used it on the dining table with flowers, as a tray to carry drinks outside, in the living room with flowers on it, and even on our kitchen island with a plate of fruit. The options are endless. 

A little bit of french country chic, and so simple to put together.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

At a glance / me

On my nightstand Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table by Shauna Niequist, The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty, Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson, and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. 

Current magazine subscriptions Eating Well, Natural Living, and Glamour. (Three subscriptions for $12; I couldn't resist!) 

On my DVR Fixer Upper (Love Chip and Joanna Gaines!), Property Brothers and Chasing Life. 

Loving the grass stains on my puppy's white paws. Oh, spring. 

Drinking tea, a perfectly simple drink for spring. Absolutely adore the Tea Forte gift box my in-laws gave me for my birthday. Ginger lemongrass and citrus mint are my favorites. 

Looking forward to spring break! A get-together with my sweet college roommates, celebrating a friend's graduate school funding, spending time with family, and hopefully putting a little more focus toward my writing and crafting. 

Trying to figure out these essential oils I just received in the mail. My co-worker Katie (along with other friends and family) inspired me to finally jump on the essential oil bandwagon, which I did so happily. Currently loving lavender on my feet before bed-- so relaxing! 

Planning out my vegetable gardens for the upcoming season. Broccoli, kale, and snap peas are the first on the list. Now hopefully my blueberry plants make a comeback this summer... 

On my kitchen island Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker. So many delicious recipes. Her enchilada stuffed peppers were a big hit with my husband and me. 

Fighting off the slightest head cold. Not even kidding, the first graders I work with went through an entire box of tissues yesterday! A sickness is quickly going around, so I've been starting my days with hot lemon water and honey- directions from a sweet Korean woman I used to work with. Any time I'd have a cold, she'd say, "Lemon and honey! You need lemon and honey!" Not sure if it's working, but I definitely feel energized in the morning.

That's my life in a nutshell right now. What does a glance into your life look like? 
(If you're curious, that's Jason moisturizing vitamin E lotion and J.R. Watkins cuticle salve in the pic)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chalk art

What is it about chalk art these days? 

I wonder how something so classic and old-fashioned as writing on a chalkboard can become a trend, yet I find myself very much enthralled with the activity. I think it's the simplistic elegance that I find so appealing. In a world thriving on bold flashing signs and technology always at your fingertips, I long for a traditional and tranquil way to express my creativity. 

I remember playing school as a child, with a metal pail full of broken chalk pieces and a small green chalkboard to practice multiplication. I can feel the chalky substance under my fingernails, the colors mixing together on the palms of my hands. The way you could take a chalk-covered index finger and smear it across the board to create swirly designs. The way the eraser never really cleaned the board but rather brushed the chalk to the edges, collecting in little piles of dust. 

Now days I've traded in the chalk and eraser for a marker and damp cloth. But while my hands stay cleaner, my fulfillment is greater. Through triumphs and mistakes, chalk art is easy to jump into, knowing in the end you can begin again with a simple swipe of a wet cloth.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

a language of creativity

--How do I define happiness? Living a creative life. 

Creativity is my second language. Writing, crafting, cooking, drawing, decorating, scrapbooking, sewing… wondering, imagining, dreaming, reminiscing. Creativity is at the heart of my being.

It’s been said that “creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous” and that is precisely what my heart desires. With every written expression, every sewing project, every handmade craft, every rustic decoration—I feel inspired and delighted in an indescribable way that lets me know I've come alive. I see the world in a new light; la vi en rose.

It brings me great joy to welcome you to Efflorescence—a place where I will develop and catalog my creative endeavors. The term efflorescence means “the action or process of developing and unfolding as if coming into a flower: blossoming”.  I hope you join me on this artistic adventure as I unravel my thoughts and curate my language of creativity.