an outdoor room made of flower pots

We are big fans of outdoor rooms—outdoor spaces defined in such a way as to make them feel like rooms in plein air— and have featured a number of them over the years. (One of our favorites is the lovely outdoor “room” that Constantino Nivola created on his Long Island property.) We were smitten when we saw this…

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keith stewart’s books on farming + 20 points to ponder

Keith Stewart is a writer despite himself. Even with the massive responsibilities and demands of his organic farm with it’s hundred or so varieties of produce, he has written regularly and wonderfully about the inside of farming and living a rural life, from numerous magazine articles to It’s a Long Road to a Tomato: Tales of an Organic…

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graphic stacked log fence = gorgous firewood storage

We’ve written about the unexpected stylishiness of stacked logs before but love this particularly charming and effective storage for firewood and fallen timber: a fence of stacked logs (snapped by Susan Jacobson as she drove by in her car). Related posts: storing firewood indoors = firewood as storage unit d-i-y stacked wood fireplace mantle woodpile…

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windowsill still-lives: mindfulness practice in action

Mindfulness practice – learning to be present in each moment– is something many people are embracing these days. Business are incorporating it and classes abound. Perhaps the most often-recommended “exercise” is washing dishes mindfully, although we know few people who really do it. Recently, we heard of one that did, truly. No surprise, it is…

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‘make a mark!’ with whatever is at hand

Last Fall, designer Susan Dworski, a reader and frequent commenter, happened to mention carving rubber stamps out of Staedler Mars erasers to make artworks. “How did you get into that? we asked. Her answer was stunning: Been carving them since 1980 when our house burned down, and only my studio was saved. All four of us all…

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leap! (turnip)

Recently, we emailed a friend-fearful-of-the-future our version of a care package: a handful of uplifiting signs and images about taking risks, leaping, going forward into the unknown, one of our favorite subjects. We had just sent off “Leap And the Net Will Appear” when Cynthia Allen from 50 Years 50 Recipes sent us a link to…

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happy explorer’s day!!!! (sorry columbus)

There’s a movement afoot to change Columbus Day to Explorer’s Day. First, because Columbus didn’t really discover America (it was explored by MANY before him).  And second because America has always been about exploring; it is a country of explorers. Maggie Koerth-Baker at Boing-Boing says it eloquently: ….exploration is inclusive. The ancestors of Native Hawaiians were…

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making a table garden with cheap potted bulbs

We written a couple of times about the big transformation of pots of inexpensive potted bulbs when you tilt the whole root ball out of its plastic pot and into a wide ceramic bowl. But we never showed what actually happens over the course of a week as the tightly-closed bulbs open and bloom. So…

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windowfarms for apartment farmers: opensource brilliance

(Video link here.)  This inspiring TED Talk by Britta Riley recently introduced us to the world of Windowfarms. These vertical hydroponic gardens allow city-dwellers to grow vegetables, herbs and fruits in the windows of their otherwise cramped apartments, all year long. Think ‘strawberries’! But what’s most intriguing about Windowfarms is the community behind them, constantly refining the…

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