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Friday, September 19

MAKE // Moon Phases Coffee Mug

September Equinox is next week (on Tuesday to be exact), marking the beginning of Autumn according to the astronomical seasons. To celebrate the start of our favorite season (and the new moon that falls on the 24th!), we put together this so simple DIY Moon Phase coffee mug. Sipping your pumpkin spice latte just got a whole lot more cute! 

Oil based Sharpie paint pen
Coffee Mug
Glass cleaner + Paper towel (optional)
Round label stickers (optional)

Step One // Wash and completely dry your coffee mug. I gave my mug a wipe down with glass cleaner to ensure that the surface was completely clear of any residue.

Step Two // Using an oil based paint pen, draw circles on your mug. If you're confident in your free-hand drawing skills, go for it! I cheated a bit and used "garage sale" stickers (round stickers like these) to trace little moons on my mug. Let the ink dry for 5-10 minutes.

Step Three // Color in each circle with a different phase of the moon. (I used this lunar phase chart as a guide). Once again, you can free hand this step or use the stickers to trace round edges.

Step Four // Place the mug directly on the top rack in a cool oven. Bake for half an hour at 350 degrees. After 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let cool completely before removing the mug. Hand wash only.


Wednesday, September 17

A Campfire Dinner

A Campfire DinnerCampfire RecipesA Campfire Dinner
A Campfire Dinner
Campfire RecipesA Campfire DinerCampfire Recipes

Life has been so jam packed and hectic for me lately (in all the best ways possible!) that when, this past weekend, the husband and I found ourselves without a plan in sight, we spontaneously packed up the car, threw in the tent and the dog, and headed out to a State Park not far from the city to do a little communing with nature. 
Besides hiking and sleeping under the stars, cooking over a fire is my absolute favorite thing about camping. What is it about food prepared over a campfire that just tastes so much better? I recently got my hands on a copy of this cookbook. It's full of simple yet interesting (vegetarian!) recipes that call for few ingredients, just right for a camping trip. We gave our own spin to the polenta stuffed portobellos (page 177) and it was especially yummy! What's your favorite meal to cook over open flames?

Polenta Portobellos (adapted from The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson) //

Sprinkle 2 large portobellos with minced garlic (one clove each), olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in a dutch oven over a fire for approximately 20 minutes.

Slice 1 red onion paper thin and caramelize in a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil (or butter). Add 4 leaves of kale and saute until they begin to brown (about 10 minutes). To make the polenta / Add 2 cups boiling water to 1/2 cup cornmeal and simmer over the fire, stirring often, until the polenta is creamy (about 15 minutes). Add 1/4 cup goat cheese plus salt and pepper to taste.Fill caps with polenta and top with kale and onion mixture. {Lauren}

Monday, September 15

Weekend Snapshots // Claire

Lately all my weekends have been spent out of town, so when Friday hit and I didn't have to pack up my suitcase and hit the road, I was a little relieved. With the weather a bit cooler than normal and the sun shining bright all weekend, I took full advantage of being outside and walking around as much as I could. I spent Saturday running around Chicago, visiting some of my favorite tourist spots: saw the Magritte exhibit at the Art Institute, walked around the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, enjoyed all the beautiful greenery at the Garfield Park Conservatory, then had a lovely dinner at one of my favorite local thai restaurants with my husband. Sunday I spent enjoying my neighborhood: lunch date and friends over for tea, long walks down the boulevards, did some window shopping, spent some time organizing and rearranging at home, and worked on a super cute DIY necklace we'll be sharing soon.

I took out my (new!) smartphone and snapped away to share with everyone the beauty I saw this weekend. I finally made it into the 21st century and got my first smartphone a couple weeks ago. Watch out world!

What did your weekend look like? Did you hang out at home or head out and explore a new city?

Happy Monday!


Friday, September 12

BEHIND THE BRAND: Herron Clothier

Herron Clothier is a cottage industry weaving company that makes heirloom quality accessories for the home and body. Dee, the amazingly talented one lady show behind Herron Clothier, focuses on crafted, slow design using materials sourced in the US and organic when possible.
Back in July, we took a weaving workshop taught by Dee and fell in love with her craft. So we were super excited to catch up a bit when she invited us to visit her studio this past week. We got some love from her too cute pup, Penny, talked about the Taj Mahal and our attempts at dieting our endearingly overweight cats (separate topics of discussion, not surprisingly), chowed down on donuts, and got a peek at a few designs for some very exciting upcoming projects. As we left, Dee told us her plan for the day was to weave ten pillows. And then weave ten more pillows a day for the next ten days. Holy moly, girl! We're in awe of this darling mad genius of a woman.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand.
My name is Dee, I am a weaver and textile designer in Chicago and I own a textile company called Herron Clothier. I produce woven accessories for the home + body, focusing on hand crafted, slow design, using materials sourced from small US Farms.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Morning is the most important time for me, it's when I am the most relaxed and it is when I feel the most peaceful. I get up really early so I can enjoy feeling like I am the only one in the city that is awake. I usually get up between 6 - 6:30 AM, make coffee and take my dog, Penny, for a long walk if the weather is nice. This is relaxing to me and good head space time. I always eat a good breakfast because I often forget to eat lunch. I head to the studio with Penny around 8 or 8:30 AM and generally work til 7 or 8 PM. Right now, I am weaving a collection of limited edition pillows for CB2.  I am in the midst of designing a collection of rugs and blankets for Land of Nod, sampling woven pillow designs for a new hotel in Chicago and working on plans to weave a line of pillows for the Maine based yarn company Quince & Co. All of this work is slated to come out next year.  Plus I also teach weaving. So as you can see my days are pretty jam packed. Up until August, I was running my studio 30 hours a week and working a full time day job. It got to be way to much so I have just made the leap into running Herron full time. These days, I can usually get into a flow state and before I know it 10 hours have gone by and I've hardly noticed. Sometimes its hard for me to make myself leave the studio, but then Penny looks up at me dying for a long walk and I know it's time to call it a day. I really love what I do, but balance is important and making time for things outside of work is necessary.

What is inspiring you right now?
I find that inspiration comes at the most unlikely times and in the most unlikely of places. For instance, I was walking the dog one morning and as I was standing there I noticed these cracks in the sidewalk, their path and intersections were so delicate and beautiful. Line quality is something I think about all the time in my work so when I notice something as seemingly unnoticeable as cracks in the sidewalk it strikes me. The color of someone's shirt on the bus or maybe the way the sunlight is hitting the facade of building, creating a slice of asymmetrical shapes. I am influenced by architecture. I like to walk around and look at buildings and break them down to their simplest forms. I am always inspired by nature, which is the most perfect place to find balance, harmony and color.

What are you into outside of Herron Clothier?
I work between 50-70 hours per week so honestly, just sitting on my couch in sweatpants with a cup of coffee doing absolutely nothing is literally divine to me. Other than that, I am working with some ladies on establishing a chapter of Fibershed here in IL and I run a group called Skill Share where women teach women life skills to empower each other and establish strong community bonds. I like to have dinner parties with my friends and spend time with the people I love.

What's  in store for Herron Clothier in the coming months and years?
Next month I am traveling to India to work with a family cooperative of artisan weavers to produce rugs for Land of Nod. I am really excited about and humbled by this opportunity. I'd like to do more one-of-a-kind tapestry and rug weaving commissions in the future. Large scale things for private collections and I would like to re-focus on my own line next year. So I am working toward these things. And ya know, I really need to update my website, but that is a task that always seems to end up at the bottom of the to-do list somehow.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Dee! You can shop Herron Clothier here and follow Dee here.  

Wednesday, September 10

Claire's Polaroid Wall

When I was younger, the walls in my bedroom at my parents house were covered with posters and photos. I always had a disposable camera (yep the pre-camera phone days) on me and would take tons of pictures every chance I got. I'd run to the store, drop off the camera and anxiously await the call. "They're ready to be picked up" were the six words I couldn't wait to hear!  Filling my walls with photos reminded me of all the delightful times I had with family and friends. I would walk into my bedroom, look at the photos and they would bring a smile to my face every day.

I've always loved to have photos on my walls, so when my husband and I moved into our current apartment, I picked a wall to display my recent film obsession, polaroids. The white wall in my kitchen turned out to be the perfect spot. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen and always catch myself and our house guests stopping to look at the photos and talk about all the different memories captured.

Want to make your own polariod wall? Below you will find the four simple steps to do just that.

Polaroid Wall
Painters Tape
Tape Measure
Double sided Tape

Step One // Designate a wall you'd like to display your polaroids. I chose a white wall so that polaroids themselves would really pop.
Step Two // Measure off the area you'd like to place the photos. I picked a rectangle shape that complimented the table I have below.
Step Three // Using painters tape and a tape measurer, measure out a leveled grid for placement of your photos. I started on the left side and worked my way right, attaching photos with double sided tape as I went.
Step Four // Remove painters tape and you have your finished polaroid wall! The white spaces in-between each photo will be the width of the tape you use. I found it to be the perfect size.

Bonus Tips:
Display different memories throughout the year by regularly swapping out photos. I do this monthly.
Date your photos so you remember when events took place.