turmeric, rose spritzer and the pits

hello friends, here's a long and rambling one to make up for the period of inactivity up in here. 

Monday was FUN. i finally live in the same neighborhood as one of my favorite people and we played around with natural dyes. she's pretty much who i want to be when i grow up and the only person allowed near my unruly hair with scissors...

disclaimer: this is by no means a tutorial

like usual, i have hoarded and traveled cross country (austin>portland>austin)  with bags of dried vegetable skins, mainly onion skin and avocado skins + pits and decided it's time to use these fuckers. armed with ziplock baggies of peels and various white fabrics i headed over to my dear friend B's house on Monday afternoon and after a few minutes of showing off the goods, we decided to use the avocado bits and on a whim turmeric and to make rose spritzers (so ladylike, let me tell you) AND run on sentences! woo hoo.

B is definitely more of a fuck it/fly by the seat of your pants type when it comes to these things (not hair) and i am way more by the book, ocd 'let's read the manual first' type. What's that saying? "Perfection is the enemy of done." I think that applies here, especially when you're just having fun with your ladies.

Without measuring a damn thing, we dumped white vinegar in to a pot with water, turmeric and water into another pot and the avocado bits and water into yet another pot and set those all to heat up.

 it behooves me to mention that the pot far right bottom is engraved as '1st place, Jo's Annual Chili Cook Off' Where-in B's Husband slayed. Naturally.

it behooves me to mention that the pot far right bottom is engraved as '1st place, Jo's Annual Chili Cook Off' Where-in B's Husband slayed. Naturally.

Then, we folded our fabric bits a la this tutorial and threw most of them into the vinegar bath. The vinegar is there is to open up the fibers to allow the dye to more further penetrate. I'm seeing a connection between, say, wine and the latter half of date night. After 30 mins to an Hour remove fabric from the vinegar bath and place into your dye bath. The length of time in the dye bath is dependent upon how vibrant or saturated you want your **end result to be coupled with the actual intensity of your dye bath (dye stuffs to water ratio.) 

We, being the impatient and, by then, tipsy types pulled the trigger after about 30 minutes on the Turmeric. The results were ultra-bright as you can see below! I quite like the stained-glass effect of the fabric hanging in the windows to dry. Don't You?

**One lesson learned was that the ratio of dye stuff to water absolutely affects the end results especially when it comes to the more subtly pigmented items, and unfortunately, even after 18 hours of soaking, the fabrics in the avocado dye were almost completely unaffected save some linen. 

Easy Rose Session Spritzer:                                                                                                                

Your Choice of Dry Rose Wine                                                                                                           Chambord Raspberry Liqueur                                                                                                           Sparkling Water (we used La Croix Apricot)                                                                                   Earthy Herb for Aroma (we used Sage, but you could also use Rosemary or Basil)

Fill an iced glass with 2/3 Rose, Splash with your choice of sparkling water no more than 1", Top with a tablespoon of Chambord Liqueur and garnish with an aromatic and earthy sprig of herbs. 

Easy Peasy and dangerously refreshing (read, day drunk.) Fortunately, this is a nice sessionable cocktail. Just up the sparkling water ratio to make this a less alcoholic version. 

XO, Amber

 

 

 

 

 

sundresses, y'all

last week was a nice long, frustrating and ultimately productive week...

i was knocked down a peg or three as i attempted to photograph vintage for the site. there is a big learning curve in the case of using DSLR, raw vs jpeg, and a host of other nuances which can make or break an image and as i said last week i aim to have stellar photos. so, the issues i kept running up against truly tested my resolve. while none of them met my standards or expectations, I was satisfied enough to at least be able to throw some items up on the shop <<<<---------- check em out would ya?

More to come...SOON

XO, Amber

 

 

4.26.16

Today I have a headache and am feeling grumpy. I'm drinking coffee and staring at photos on my computer that i uploaded this morning.  Nate hurt my feelings last night and I'm having a hard time getting over it and using that as an excuse to be lazy. Morning pity party for one. Check please!

This is sort of a 2-part post. I promise to keep it brief

part 1 : for those of you who check this journal and website out, THANK YOU! It really means a lot to me. Time is precious - i understand that.  Also, you might notice a few new images hanging out. Which I am proud of! Nate bought me a fancy camera for my birthday in March (after continuous whining about needing said camera) and I'm practicing like mad and am finally starting to see some progress. Having the best and most bad ass photos is really important to me. I can't tell you how much I cringe putting up Iphone photos onto the etsy shop. Yeah, it's totally common and I understand people can do some amazing things with filters and apps but that's just not how I roll. Get it? Like, camera roll?

part 2: i kind of feel douchey for my 'port a for those in the know' comment on my last post. please forgive. 

south texas - the coast. I have so many endless memories of that 'place.' what is essentially one place in my mind is actually about 200 miles or so of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico from Galveston Island (which we frequented in my childhood) down to Port Aransas with not much to visit *in between. Every beach town is vaguely the same beach town and I like them **all. Memory is unreliable.

Hit List:

Paul Simon on repeat
shrimp boil
naps, sleep - more sleep than we've had in 2 months
oysters on the half shell
The Gaff, especially the one woman 30 second cover band, especially her Stevie Nicks covers

* i did hear tell of a man-made swamp/mangrove place mid way from Galveston to Port Aransas. Matagorda maybe? Flamingos and gaters and very Louisiana-y?

**i dont really like South Padre as much

Xo- Amber

 

 

 

going coastal

Today we are heading out to Port Aransas - Port A for y'all in the 'know.' It will be our first time at a swimmable beach since we went to Cabo for my birthday last spring which was basically a bust except for the whales. It's been a few years. We rented a cute little turquoise cabina from the 1940's.

We're so excited. We just can't hide it. We got our annual fishing licenses - fresh and salt water fishing, so we'll see what happens with that. I'm into fishing more as a concept than a pasttime. The last time we went I was so bored. I got a little tipsy, sunburned and didn't have a single bite, nor did Nate. Also, there are the worms. I am learning to tolerate them because of all the good they do in the world, but they still scare the bejeebus out of me. NO

Here are some vintage photographs of Port Aransas to whet your appetite. Apparently, Port A was marketing hard to the ladies back in the late 40s early 50s.  I'm sold, but then again was there ever any doubt?

 MONKEY

MONKEY

I'll hopefully have some photos to share here when we return.

XO, Amber

April Showers

As I am sitting here, my little Australian Cattle Dog Agnes is quaking at my feet. For her, the sky is falling and it keeps happening every dang day.

In Texas it is the rainy season. I know, ironic considering our Vitamin D deprived selves moved back home for sunshine with a capitol S among so many other things. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though. There are variations on rain and a month or so of lake filling, underground aquifer replenishing (read: summer swim time party jam) and greening up is a truly glorious thing around here. Drought be damned! 

As Nate says ' i like the combo of shitloads of rain and then sun and blue skies.'

Austin is the most green I have ever seen her. For us, it feels like a personal reward. It is a gift wrapped in a hug sealed with a kiss.

Last Friday, feeling incredibly anxious and down ; I blame Instagram, no seriously, I packed up the girls and with the excuse of needing to print off something, headed out to Dripping Springs to the property where my husband is working as a brewer.

 

Being out there away from chores and boredom, it gives me the space to think a lot about what i want my business to look like, how i can marry the intentions of offering timeless quality vintage with making a meaningful connection with others?  Can a pair of vintage boots make one feel in some way connected to the Texas Hill Country? Can that reflect who i am and where i come from? Does any of this shit matter? 

I'm betting the farm that it can and does.

As aside, for anyone asking, I'm still thinking about flowers, somehow i need to finagle a way to have flowers figure into my every day or week or month - i'll take what i can get. Maybe I'll raise Fleurs 52 from the dead, could Fleurs 12 or 48 be a thing?

I don't know. Stay tuned.

By the way, what size boots do you wear?

-Amber

stiches in time

Let's go back in time and pretend it's December, December 14th to be exact, when i wrote but forget to hit 'send' on this post. Rain had set in for the long-haul and we sun-soaked Texans were not prepared for a true Northwest Winter.  Now read on...

Since my last journal entry, life has been a circus of dualities. Retreating from the endless rain and gray into an boundless world of new hobbies, shared goals and cautious hope.

I have to admit, it's been super tough and I'm doing my best to stay positive, keep moving and keep making. I've been learning how to quilt and it's in some ways kept me the most busy and sane under what i consider really tight quarters with 7 dogs and 4 adult-ish humans. My progress is slow and meditative. While I imagine proudly displaying a big ole finished quilt across our bed, I also don't care if it ever gets done. This quilt, right now, is just about survival, day to day.

 my first row of flying geese blocks

my first row of flying geese blocks

 

 

 

Camp Life | Crater Lake

At the top of priority list when deciding where we wanted to move to was Epic Landscapes that could be reached easily. We wanted to be inspired to venture out in the pursuit of the Adventure / Camp Life that had somehow eluded us in Central Texas. A sweet job offer and Portland's proximity to both mountains and the ocean sealed the deal. While transitioning to a new town as adults has had it's share of challenges, the move to the Pacific Northwest has provided us with ample heart-stopping moments where we are bowled over with natural beauty and endless opportunities to get out there and explore.

Starting in the Spring, I created a goal to get out there and camp at least once a month. The June camping trip to Crater Lake National Park was short on time but long on incredible views and challenging hikes. This weekend trip was just the answer to resetting our internal compass toward the life we have always dreamed of.

Now the deepest lake in the US, the Crater Lake caldera was once a fiery and extremely active Volcano know as Mount Mazama. Having blown her top and forming a crater around 7,700 years ago, it filled up with snow and rain over many moons and is now one of the deepest and clearest fresh water bodies in the world.  Crater Lake is large enough to contain an island, Wizard Island (!) to be specific, formed by the still active volcano flows.

the view of Wizard Island from Watchman Overlook. Worth the hike

After a 4 hour drive south from Portland through varying forests, my husband Nate, our good buddy Phil and I arrived at the park. Setting up camp was surprisingly painless and the park relatively empty despite only being open to campers several months out of the year. We got a sweet spot with crazy views, few neighbors and the soothing sounds of waterfalls far below. Oh and let's not forget the enormous mule deer that sauntered through 'our' camp.

I'm definitely not regretting the new painstaking camp check-list Nate and I have adhered to which has made packing and unpacking a cinch ( having a buddy along helps to fill in the gaps though). Basically, everything is kept together and grouped into big bins for easy loading in and out.  A special mention goes to Phil's pre-marinated foil packets of easy eats goodness. This last one though so simple (kind of a duh moment for me) is seriously a camping revelation. No more mucking around with seasonings, chopping in the dark, the inevitable mouth of dirt or sand, bugs and best of all it's lightening fast. Seriously, if you can, prepare the dinner meals ahead of time in the comfort of your own kitchen where you're less likely to forget anything important and you have all of the tools at the ready. Believe me, nobody wants to spend time or money buying forgotten salt. You won't regret it and you'll have way more time to whittle your marshmallow roasting sticks.

Tents up, inaugural beers chugged, sandwiches thrown down gullets and we were off to hike.  The primary fun out at Crater Lake involves incredible views, wildlife, waterfalls, wildflowers and my personal favorite swimming.

our serene tent site and morning view

First Stop, the wildflower lined Vidae Falls

Over the 2 days we hiked many miles of the Crater Rim taking in as much as we could. Each stop along the many miles of road circumnavigating the crater rim offer breath taking views.

Our final and most difficult hike of the trip was the Cleetwood Cove Trail. A strenuous 1.1 mile hike down the rim. Cleetwood Cove is the only lake shore access in the entire park and I was NOT going to miss it.  As you descend the trail, the caldera really shows itself for just how large it really is. The water a blue like I've never seen before takes on nuanced gradient dependent on water depth. The geology of the inner rim becomes more apparent. You truly feel small in the best way possible.

views of the water on the way down to the lake shore

wavy rocks formed by the volcano flows

Once at the lake shore, you turn around a bend to find hoards of people huddling and laying around on rocks in a way that reminded me of seals or sea lions. Hot, dusty and determined we stripped down and braced ourselves for the shock of cold water.  

 relief for tired, dirty footsies

relief for tired, dirty footsies

And cold it was! Well earned relief on a hot Oregon day!

The experience of being in this ancient wonder surrounded by strangers immersed in the cold cold water was magical and it's really lovely to look out around and think about a whole lot of nothing. Sometimes I feel like the best reward for a weekend of full on physical activity is the stillness it brings my neurotic brain.

I couldn't have asked for better scenery or company on this quick and dirty journey. I look forward to many more and hope you join along with me!

 

XO, Amber

 

Coming Up next month City Life | Amaranth Farms and Camp Life | Big Sur

 

 

 

 

My Story

I can't remember a time when I wasn't inspired by the histories of overlooked treasures and grateful to have the opportunity to give them a new life either in my home or that of a loved one. The durability of a vintage boot worn in and with that perfect patina (y'all know what i'm talkin' about) sets my heart on fire. Soft cotton and linen are just some the materials I love to look at and touch and wear and, and and.

Initially an economic necessity, thrifting became a shared hobby for my Mama and me early on. She instilled in me the love of the hunt, the lust for driving down unknown rural Texas highways in search for that junk shop with the layer of dust covering unknown treasures. The outrageous and bold notions of wild Texas. The big adventurous vast possibilities of the West.

"What should we collect now?' she would ask dreamily.

Later on in college, I loved learning about American history, crafts and styles and in 2004 earned myself an Art History degree.

Today I take those memories as well my art history education with me as I hunt and gather vintage, photograph and write for Sun and Moon from Deep in the Heart of Texas.

XO, Amber