the ravenna girls

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20 in 20 March 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 10:42 am
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Abbey over at Aesthetic Outburst is doing a great series of projects called 20 in 20. It all started doing 20 handmade Christmas ornaments in 20 days, then evolved into 20 handmade valentines in 20 days. Now, she’s doing 20 handmade projects in 20 days. The best part of it all? She gives them all away! All you have to do is leave a comment on the project you like, and winners are randomly selected from that posts’ commenters. So fun!

For this larger installment, the project evolved to be more of a blog community project, and Ravenna Girls Vintage is excited to be sponsoring the project. We felt that it was a great way to support handmade, and simple measures of creativity. I love that its a showcase for how much you can accomplish in one little project with simple materials and easy methods. Go check it out.

So far, some of my favorites from all 3 of her series (Christmas, Valentines, and Spring Handmade)

Pendleton Glacier Blanket Pencil Box. Totally up my alley.

Security Envelope and Washi Tape Blank Notebooks

Felt flag Valentine (this was what initially inspired my Pencil flag Valentines)

Dala Horse Valentine

Heart Rocks!

North Pole Map Ornament

Reindeer Ornament

Also, her blog is awesome not just for cute handmade giveaways, but also in general. I love that she’s nicknamed her kids “Kicky” and “EZ E”.

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Flourish Seattle March 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 1:29 pm
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Wow, Wednesday already?

This has been a terrific week so far, as I was on a mini vacation to visit one of my very best friends, her husband, and 21 month old daughter in southern Utah. There was a little bit of sunshine, a lot of toddler energy, and some great catching up.

I wanted to give a quick shout out to an event thats happening this weekend – a Seattle area blogger meet up hosted by Maggie and Michaela. We’re going to swing by with the hopes of meeting some awesome local bloggers and to bounce ideas off one another. If this sounds interesting to you, or as Michaela puts it, “you blog and like pretty things”, send an RSVP to the address listed below and come hang out 🙂

Don’t be intimidated by “Home Decor” bloggers, you know we don’t stay in that genre only. I think if you are inspired by design, this should be an interesting event.

Hopefully this will be the first in a series of great networking events. Plus, we’ll be heading out in lower queen after for some Mardi Gras revelry, so it should be a fun night!

 

Make Something Monday February 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 2:48 pm
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Friends! If you are familiar with a bit of sunshine, the wonderful Rebekah who curates “ten on ten“, then you know she also has a great Monday feature called “Make Something Monday”. Rebekah features a simple and pretty project that can be completed easily over the weekend. She’s had some great projects featured over there, and its a very inspiring space. If you don’t know her blog, hop over there now because she is an inspiring gal!

Well, this week she’s invited us to share a project of our own. Its a great honor to be a part of her other creative projects, and we’re flattered to have a feature over there. We chose our vintage frame jewelry hangers, similar to these in our shop, since we always see them thrifting and want to share how we spiff them up!

Go check it out the full how-to on these frames and stay for awhile on Rebekah’s blog. She is a fellow Seattleite, mom to three ADORABLE kiddos, and has a deep faith and her posts really it home.

 

 

 

A Thursday Chuckle February 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 3:56 pm
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Thursdays are tough, eh? Especially when on Wednesday night you had so convinced yourself it would be a snow day, and then you woke up to a measly 2″ and clear roadways. boo.

This nyt article about Nate Berkus decorating Dr. Ruth’s apartment lightened my afternoon. Its both charming and hilarious. Have a read.

Photo credit: New York Times

 

Average Last Frost February 21, 2011

Filed under: garden,Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 11:17 am
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Bear with me, this is going to be a wordy post. After a full season having a vegetable garden and dealing with one of the crummiest Seattle summers in recent memory, we are spending some time this winter/early spring to do a debrief of how things went in order to determine a strategy for this coming growing season. This post is mostly to sort thoughts and make some plans, so you all might find it completely boring.

We haven’t finalized the list of fruits and veggies we want to grow in 2011, and we need to look at how things went in 2010 to fully decide. Its nice to spend some time thinking of what will pop out of the ground when the sun shines!

Here’s a rundown of last years hits and misses:

1. Raspberries. Awful. We bought some starter plants and waited too long to get in the ground. Not a single leaf grew and we replaced the bed with lettuce.

2. Strawberries. We bought some small starts from the farmer’s market. No fruit the first year, but we think we have successfully over wintered these plants and will get more out of them this season.

3. Snap Peas. These were quite successful and I think we’ll plant more this year. We only planted about 6 seeds last year and our trellis could have been more dense. Maybe a second trellis for a couple other varieties this year?

4. Tomatoes. What a valiant effort. We started them early indoors, but got a grow light on them too late, after they were already spindly little things. We put them outside, and they grew to a significant height but didn’t produce more fruit. Problems were: crappy Seattle summer, not enough light in the backyard, too many plants were overcrowded. This year, we’re pruning the heck out of our backyard to get some more light in there, and we’ll go for quality over quantity in terms of plants.

5. Beets. See above overcrowding. We planted beets right next to the tomatoes, and I think the heavy eating tomato plants sucked all the nutrients out of the soil. The beets didn’t really develop any sizeable roots and we had some problems later in the summer with leaf miners.

6. Leeks. Got muched by Ricky Racoon. All the way down to ground level. Not even worth mentioning.

7. Onions and Shallots. These were both very successful for us and we’ll probably plant a full bed again. We’ve been eating them all winter and they keep so nicely you can never have too many.

8. Cucumbers. Our cucumber crop was great, despite early worries and the crummy weather. Hopefully with a better summer on the horizon we can be even more successful.

9. Potatoes. We had a semi-decent crop of red potatoes. Saw a compact growing trick on the Fiber Farm blog the other day and we’ll be trying this to save some space and get a better harvest.

10. Lettuce, Arugula, Endive. All semi-successful. Will do again, since you can’t go too wrong with the lettuce mixes.

11. Fall Crops: Cabbage, Kale, Chard, Brussel Sprouts, Spinach. Pretty much a big bummer. The Kale did alright, the others, not so much. We had issues with cabbage loopers, and also some very cold temperatures in November which cut off the plants before harvesting.

Overall, the lessons learned ares:

A. We got a start too early last year on some crops and they didn’t develop robust stems and root systems and weren’t as healthy as they could be. PATIENCE is the name of the game (something I constantly struggle with).

B. We need more sun in our garden. The south side of our property is heavily shaded and we need to spend some time thinning that out to get more significant light back there in the spring and summer.

C. Pay better attention to fertilizing. Some of these veggies are hungry little guys and I think we could have more regularly fed them (other than water, of course).

D. Find a solution for pests. This goes for squirrels, racoons, and buggies. We want to keep the garden organic as possible (no one wants to eat or pay for chemicals), but there needs to be a more dedicated effort. Last year it was mostly called hope they stay away. I am going to do some research on companion planting and organic pest solutions to give us a better arsenal.

Whew! We’ll likely be buying some seeds this week or next once we finalize our list, and so I thought the first step would be to address lesson “A” above: Research more on timing.

First, I went to Ed Hume Seeds to check for average last frost information since they are a site dedicated to Pacific Northwest Gardening. The dates they give for Seattle metro are: Average Last Frost (determined from last year): March 22. Safe Date: April 15th. We’re having a less severe winter than “they” predicted, however we had freezing temps several days last week, so we’re not out of the clear yet. For talking purposes we can use April 1st as our target date, and if we have to hold off on planting a week after that, fine.

Next, I went to a link I found last fall that makes a custom Spring Planting Calendar based on date of last frost. You can input whatever your last frost date is, and it will give you a list of milestone dates before and after to keep you on track. Its so handy! So, I put in 4/1 as our average last frost and here’s the outcome:

Eep! Looks like we’re a little bit behind on sowing cool weather crops (spring kale, broccoli, chard, onions, etc.). We’ve been eating a lot of these all winter by virtue of our CSA, so I don’t know how many of these we’ll be pursuing again until next fall. Plus, until we can figure out the cabbage worm problem, they’re a little frustrating for us. Its also about time to sow our tomato seeds indoors (which means we weren’t THAT far off last year).

There is a list of other online calendars in her original post, including one personalized by zip code. The Farmers Almanac link lists the average last frost for Seattle as March 10, but after last year, I’m pretty skeptical of starting that early.

The last question I have for this spring, which will go along with what we decide to plant is how to know whether leftover seeds from last year are viable. There are a couple seed germination tests that sound easy enough, but if we want to get new seeds we need to do it soon, so I am going to look at our seeds and see which might be up for the test and which we will re-buy.

So far the short list is as follows, we’ll update you with what we finally decide to buy and in which form (seed or plant):

Tomato (We might buy starter plants instead of growing from seed)

Lettuce Varieties (Including spinach, arugula, endive, and who knows what else?)

Bok Choy (We have grown to love via our CSA this winter)

Onions

Shallots

Potatoes (Varieties TBD)

Strawberries (overwintered; already in the ground)

Cucumber

Beans and Peas (Varieties TBD)

Beets

Raspberries or Blueberries

Herbs (some have overwintered: rosemary, thyme, need to re-plant basil)

Pumpkins

Anyone have suggestions for veggies we should add or eliminate from this list? Right now its pretty heavy on an August/September harvest so it might be nice to add something a bit earlier.

 

Security Envelope Valentines February 13, 2011

Filed under: crafty,Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 11:57 pm
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The other night, I found some random supplies and decided to throw together some Valentines as simple little treats for my friends. Here’s a quick little pictorial. These could be easily adapted for other holidays depending on the type things you have lying around. They are SUPER quick and would make a great teacher valentine if you’re last minute like I usually am.

I’ve had some security envelopes stashed away to use as backgrounds and paper accents, and they were perfect for this! One envelope made 7 valentines.

The tape is japanese fabric sticky-back tape from Daiso (the japanese dollar store). You could also use Washi tape or follow this tutorial to make your own fabric tape.

I freehanded hearts from the fabric tape. Don’t worry too much about getting a perfect heart shape, they will be more whimsical this way 😉

After placing the hearts on each patterned flag, I used a red pen to integrate the heart into a message. Some of them said ” You’re a Sweet ❤ ” or had the heart in a thought bubble. Then I glued each paper flag to a regular #2 pencil, covering the logo. I always like giving a little useful giftie, and who doesn’t get excited about a crisp new pencil?

A goofy but cute little treat! Enjoy whats left of your day and give someone in your life a little extra love on this special day.

 

{PS – can anyone teach me how to insert a cute heart into my post in wordpress? I’ve searched, but I’m HTML illiterate and am not able to make it work. Something tells me the ❤ is a little outdated these days. . .}

 

Ten on Ten February February 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 9:47 pm
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I have long admired the Ten on Ten project started by Rebekah of a bit of sunshine. The concept? “Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments.” I’ve always that since most often the tenth falls on a work day I wouldn’t have much to share. But, I decided to give it a try anyway, and it actually changed my perspective on the day. It was fun to set a reminder throughout the day to take a look around and find pretty non-office-related things. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more installments in this project – I really enjoyed it! Head over to a bit of sunshine to see the rest of today’s ten on ten.