Month: March 2013

Reflections on Good Friday

Surprise! You’re getting a Friday post! I just wanted to share something beautiful I saw on Danni’s blog last year — these words for a reflective Easter and the passing of Holy Week. If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning, then its likely that you know I’m a Christian; I love my savior Jesus Christ and I try to live a God-pleasing life, even though at times it can be difficult to walk in the light. Whether you share this livelihood or not, I’d like to share the verse from Revelation 21:4 that you see above.  When I lived in the States, I was a practicing Lutheran – but since moving to Puerto Rico, I have joined a small non-denominational church that focuses on understanding and applying scripture to our daily lives, rather than the customs of a particular version of Christianity. So today, on Good Friday – when Christ sacrificed himself to save me, and you, and all of us – let’s just take a moment to remember that selfless act and …

Hand & Cloth: Bangladesh kantha blankets

Today I would like to introduce you to a wonderful shop with a big heart that stretches across the ocean and back again. Hand & Cloth is an organization that assists at-risk women in Bangladesh by working with the local organizations, like Basha, who provide a safe working environment, a quality pay that averages better than fair trade jobs, literacy classes, free childcare during the day and constant love through Scripture and prayer. Hand & Cloth seeks to show each woman that just as she makes her kantha blanket by hand, God creates her by hand too.  Kantha is a traditional blanket made of layers of recycled cotton (or silk) saris. The word actually means “rags” and the skill of hand sewing these re-purposed clothes is passed down from mother to daughter. I love the Indian culture so when Elizabeth and Sarah of Hand & Cloth reached out for support of their shop, I could hardly contain my excitement. I received one of these lovely blankets just recently and each time I pass it in …

shop feature: mermaid’s tail

These are my favorite set of handwrapped earbuds. I made some for myself and this is my pair for you. Now, I won’t divulge how I actually create these gypsy earbuds, but I will share a bit of my favorite inspirations for this particularly pair. If you like what you see, you can find them for sale in my Etsy shop — and with code MERMAID13 you can get free shipping on them for one week only! Did I mention there is only one set? It started with a little online browsing through Etsy’s little treasure chest of goodness. I found a supplier of unusual threads – beautiful and lush spools of recycled silken sari, or hand dyed cotton fabrics, shredded to form a simple piece of six connected strands. I have always loved collecting supplies – and from a young age, I was taught to sew by hand and with a machine. My grandmothers would gift me jars of buttons, threads and silly pin cushions. I would later get boxes of fabric strips, colorful …

culinary: irish soda bread

I made this Irish soda bread for St. Pat’s day and it was truly one of the easiest and most delicious breads I’ve made. The buttermilk gives it a bit of a sour edge, but the sugar counters it and the combination is quite a delightful texture and taste. Here is the recipe I used: 4 cups of white flour 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 2 tbsp. sugar 2 cups of buttermilk  *optional dried fruit like raisins or currants Preheat the oven to 375F and combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk and combine until a smooth dough forms. Lightly dust a surface with flour and knead the bread for 2 minutes. Shape into a round loaf. Butter an 8 inch round pie pan and place the loaf in the middle. Cut an “x” across the top and place in the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with butter. Happy baking!

guest post: Melyssa of The Nectar Collective

Hi everyone at sea, field and tribe! My name is Melyssa and I’m a photographer, crafter, and thinker joining you from The Nectar Collective. I love Chelsea’s wonderfully nature-infused and eclectic blog and I’m thrilled to be sharing my own photos here today. Thank you for having me! I have been living in Japan for about two years, and spent a year of that time living in a very rural area in the Northern part called Akita. Have you heard of it? Don’t worry, neither had I! Today I am excited to share with you some of my film photographs and experiences from living in Akita. Since I’m a very synesthetic person, I recommend listening to this song by Bibio while reading along – it really captures how I feel when I look at these photos. When I first arrived in Japan, I landed in Tokyo’s airport. Coming from a suburban area of Southern California, I was immediately blasted with foreign lights, skyscrapers, and people yelling at me to come inside their shops. A few …

photography: the lost coast

Photography by Brian Scates, a Creative Director from Dallas, TX. I love the lure and adventure behind the name of the mostly undeveloped coast line of northern California – The Lost Coast. I’d love to live right here. Could there be a better place to get lost and explore? I believe Evan and I traveled through part of this area without even realizing it. Now that I know… I want to return. The Lost Coast is named as such due to the depopulation of the area back in the 1930s. The typography and geology of this coastline proved an obstacle to development and therefore none exploded like in the other coastal parts of the state. But to me, this would be the perfect place to plant my roots. I could have a ranch right next to the ocean – a combination so enticing to me that I’m tempted to remain on an island for the rest of my life. Dreams, of course. We’ll see where life takes me in the meantime.

shop feature: embroidered reef art

Today is the first post of a new series called “shop feature” in which I share with you an item from my Etsy store – the lovely harbour – and tell you how the piece came to be, perhaps the inspiration behind it, as well as little discount code for the particular item that’s good for the whole week (ahem, until the next Wednesday’s “shop feature” post, that is). So today I have my own hand embroidered reef art. The idea came when walking along Steps Beach, the one down the road from my house here in Rincon. I found this piece of sea fan that had been washed ashore, dried and bleached from baking hours in the hot Caribbean sunshine. I thought to myself, ya know… these dried sea fans would make pretty unique canvases for embroidery. Ta da! And thus the idea was born! So I came home and immediately got to work. Now what to place on the reef? Well how about something ocean related, of course! But abstract, so that it …

favorites: Moroccan tagine

I received one of these lovelies as a Valentine’s Day gift from my mother (the blue one at the top, actually!). These are traditional Moroccan tagines – which are used for cooking and serving. They are usually made of clay or ceramic, and the word “tagine” actually refers to the meal that is cooked inside which generally consists of a stewed meat (lamb or other meat) with vegetables and maybe fruit. I think the most interesting part of this dish is its versatility in the kitchen. You can prep your stew on the stove (using a proper heat diffuser), then place it in the oven to bake, and finally serve the meal at the table in this lovely decorative centerpiece. Do you currently have a tagine or are interested in getting one? Be sure to read how to season it before using it and then also the basics of cooking in one. I still have yet to cook in mine, but my mouth waters every time I pass it on my kitchen counter!! Currently, Williams-Sonoma …

sustainable living: soap making

These beautiful photographs are by Tiffany of Offbeat & Inspired. She makes cold press soap from some pretty basic ingredients AND shows you how to do it too. This looks like a fun hobby I could get into!! Please check out her blog for the recipes and more DIYs on soap making! Below is a recipe and picture guide for making Lemon Herb soap, as shared on Sincerely, Kinsey. I felt this post was too appropriate for our sustainable living theme of the blog, so I just had to share with you! Enjoy!  Ingredients:  4 oz. Lye 8.5 oz. Water 8 oz. Olive Oil 11 oz. Canola Oil 9 oz. Coconut Oil 1.6 oz. Lemon Essential Oil .5 oz. Basil Essential Oil .5 tbsp Dried Ground Basil 1 tbsp. Dried Ground Mint Leaves Supplies for Soapmaking:  Protective Goggles Breathing Mask Rubber Gloves Measuring Pitcher Digital Food Scale Large Plastic Bowl Liquid Thermometer Stick Blender Heat Proof Plastic Spoon Aluminum Foil Parchment Paper Soap Mold All the steps for the photos above can be found on …

menagerie: Mexican ephemera

I found these old weathered postcards in a thrift store back in Melbourne, FL. I love their natural sepia and the handwritten captions. I think each one tells a story of an old historical Mexico, full of lore and culture. I love the architecture of the old churches and homes covered in ivy. Or the cliffs jutting out over the ocean and the waves splashing up around them. If you love these too, you can find them in my shop. Check out the Blowfish Shoes giveaway — ends on Monday!! Be sure to enter! Win a pair of shoes of your choice. Have a beautiful weekend my friends,