Everything about the Casa Josephine in Rioja, Spain looks absolutely perfect. Part rental house, part shop, part summer school for creators (and interior design studio!), the Casa Josephine has just the care-free, colorful, nature-loving style I adore.
How dreamy would it be to spend a few days (or weeks!) here in the summer?
I love the simple, sweet packaging of this Wild Blackberry Flower Honey from Katz & Company. Summer is just around the corner for us, and I can't wait to go foraging for wild blackberries! I'm also really excited to get my hands on some elderberry this year, so I can make a batch of wine!!
I clipped a bunch of jasmine the other day from our front yard to make a new blog header (see above!). When I finished, I decided to make a flower crown with the leftovers. Flower crowns are one of my favorite things to wear in the spring and summer. They're super fun for weddings, picnics, trips to the beach or just laying out in the park. They look adorable and, in most cases, smell amazing! Scroll through the images below for full instructions on how to make your own vine flower crown!
Materials: Vine (any flowering vine you like, suggestions below), Floral Shears, Floral Wire
STEP 1: Gather long strands of your favorite flowering vine. I used white Jasmine, but you could also use Honeysuckle, Clematis, Climbing Hydrangea, wild Grape Vine or any other kind you'd like! If you decide to use white jasmine, beware that it leaks a milky white sap when you clip it, so let it sit for a couple minutes, then wipe away excess before you start.
STEP 2: Pick out your longest, thickest strands and begin forming them in the shape of a circle. Test the shape out on your head to make sure it's the right size. Pull tighter if you need it smaller, loosen strands to make it larger.
STEP 3: As you continue to form, wrap a new piece of vine around the circle, pulling snug as you go. Repeat until you have a nice full crown.
STEP 4: Secure your vines together with small pieces of your floral wire, wrapping the wire around the vines and twisting it tight.
STEP 5: Hide your wire by tucking leaves and pluging in blossoms. If you have floral tape you can use that to wrap around the wire for extra coverage.
STEP 6: You're finished! Plop the crown on your head, and enjoy!
Photos + tutorial by Mary Stonecypher Maslow
Whenever I'm feeling down about myself, or stressed, or anxious, I take a walk to this park and watch the sunset. As the sun goes down, the whole place, cypress, azaleas, palms, water - everything, just set a glow. In an instant I'm relaxed. I'm reminded that whatever I'm worried or stressed over isn't as big as it seems, and that life is for living. In seconds anything can change. It's one of the most incredible places to be at that time, in that moment. Nothing else can bring me to the present quite like it.
Anyone else out there have natural mood lifters? What do you do to relax and bring you to the present?
Photo of tonight's sunset Kraft Azalea Park taken with my iphone.
I'm a huge proponent of buying things second-hand, especially when it comes to bringing new life to pieces that most people would throw out. I cringe a little when I think of all the waste that comes from the constant creation and consumption of new furniture, clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. (Which is probably why I have a garage full of old furniture right now!)
I spotted this particular chair at Goodwill while scouting for brass candlesticks to use at my wedding reception last fall, and couldn't believe it was only $19! It took me a solid 8 months to get around to sprucing it up, but when I did, I was really happy with the way it turned out. I was also plesantly surprised at how quick and easy it was! Now I have a brand new chair for a total cost of $60. Here's the low-down on my supplies and a quick how-to!
How-To Refinish Your Chair:
Step 1: Flip over the chair and remove the seat, using your screw-driver.
Step 2: Select the grit of your sandpaper based on how much paint or varnish is on your chair (many layers of paint = coarse grit; thin coat of stain or varnish = fine grit). After that, sand your chair going in the direction of the grain of the wood. If you have cane backing like mine, be careful not to sand too hard!
Step 3: Spray your chair with your desired paint, let dry. Apply a second coat if needed.
Step 4: While the paint is drying, position the fabric exactly where you want it on the seat. This is important! If you have a patterned fabric, make sure you set the pattern just where you want it to be.
Step 5: Use a staple gun to add your new fabric to the seat. Be sure and pull the fabric tight to aviod wrinkles.
Step 6: Once the chair is dry, place the seat back on and secure using your screw driver. Enjoy!
Photos by Me, Mary Stonecypher Maslow; Fabric from Calico Corners; Paint and Sandpaper from Miller's Hardware in Winter Park.
The azalea bushes in our yard were blooming like crazy this winter! I couldn't help but clip a few branches and arrange them in vases to spread throughout the house for a little added color.
To mellow out the pink a bit, I combined the azaleas with some clippings from a viburnum shrub in the back of our house.
Note: The key to helping the wood-stemmed flowers last longer is to smash or split the ends of the branches, this improves water absorption, in turn extending the life of the arrangement!
Photos + Flower Arrangement by Mary Stonecypher Maslow