Category: Home & Garden

It’s not too late to plant a fall garden

There’s nothing quite like pulling fresh fruits and veggies from your garden to eat for dinner. Most of our food comes from hundreds of miles away and the taste suffers.


Knitting It Old School

I was so excited to get this in the mail!

Knitting It Old School

When I was in L.A., I had the wonderful opportunity to do a photo shoot for this. Authors Stitchy McYarnPants and Caro Sheridan bring 43 knitting and crochet patterns from the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s up to date utilizing contemporary fibers (because Polyester and Acrylic have had their day) and updated designs to flatter today’s figure. There are cheeky hot pants and his-and-hers sweater sets. Even if you aren’t a knitter, this book is a must have for the photography and fashion alone!

I am so delighted to be a part of this especially as a hat designer, crocheter, and overall DIYer.

Here’s a sneak peak inside:

Lady Speedway Vroom!


Knitting It Old School

To see the rest, order the book on Knitting It Old School.

Follow the authors on their websites:

Stitchy McYarnpants

Caro Sheridan –

This book would make a great birthday present, Christmas present or anytime present (I really love surprise presents for no reason at all – they are almost better than when you are expecting a present).

While I’m on a knitting rant, check out this video made by Salt Lake based video producer Leyda Cordova featuring Warren MacNeil, a talented, male knitter:

Happy knitting everyone!

DIY of the day: Indoor Succulent Planters

My outdoor succulents have been thriving all summer – now they are to the point of crowding each other and growing out of control. Since succulents regenerate, I decided to trim some of them and plant them for an indoor succulent garden.


I found these beautiful vases for $2.50 at my local thrift store (for all you Salt Laker’s out there – I recommend Thrift Town and Savers).

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Succulents prefer well-drained soil so if you are using an unconventional planter like this, make sure you put a layer of gravel on the bottom. Then, go ahead and put a layer of dirt. It doesn’t need to be a very deep layer since succulents have shallow roots.IMG_1812

If you are trimming from another plant, be sure to give the cut time to heal before you plant it. After a few hours, you will see a little scab form over the cut. Then you can go ahead and place it in the dirt.

The best thing about succulents is that they are extremely drought tolerant so you can go for a week or two without watering! They are perfect for a busy person who wants to travel yet still wants beautiful, green plants in the house.

Here’s another great idea – a vertical, succulent wall garden:




Check out Flora Grubb Gardens for more info on this installation.

Let me know how your garden is doing or if you know of any other cool plants that are drought tolerant for Utah or Southern California!

Adventures in flooring

Not all of my adventures are outdoors. A few weeks ago, I decided to undertake a new challenge – redoing an old linoleum floor in my laundry/pantry room. Now let me make one thing clear – the only tool I own is a power drill that I use to make shell necklaces. I am crafty but home renovation was previously out of my realm. This was a big undertaking so I decided to start by doing some research.

Since my washer and dryer were going in there, I wanted to do something waterproof or at least water resistant. The other challenge with this room is a trap door to get into my crawlspace in the middle of the room. Since the door is already quite heavy, I didn’t want to use tile because I felt like it might make the door too much of a beast for me to pick up on my own and I need to have access to the crawl space in case I ever need to check on my furnace, plumbing, etc. Finally, I wanted to do something eco-friendly and affordable.

The first thing I did was to head to The Green Building Center here in Salt Lake City, UT. Their staff was knowledgeable and friendly and they have so many cool products to look at – I especially love the recycled glass countertops and their zero VOC paint selection. It is crazy how toxic many building materials are.

Back to the floors-the first thing I looked at was a product called Marmoleum. It is basically the original linoleum (before linoleum was made from petrochemicals) and is made from linseed oil and a variety of other eco-friendly products. Unlike vinyl, it is designed to last for a long time. The main reason I didn’t go with the Marmoleum is that I had to order it – I wanted something I could look at and pick up in store.

After looking at that, I met with a few flooring specialists, got some bids, wracked everyone’s brains for ideas, and thought about it for a few weeks. I checked out Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, a home building thrift shop in Salt Lake and Recycle Utah in Park City to see if either had any cool left over pieces of flooring I could use. By the way, if you ever are doing a remodel and have any leftover or demo materials, bring them to these places instead of throwing them away. You would be amazed at what people can do with your old kitchen cabinets!

I was at my wit’s end trying to decide what to do so I called the folks at the Green Building Center again. Ashley, the owner, suggested one product I had never heard of – Deco – Poz, an eco-friendly concrete overlay product. You can lay it down over almost anything, it is waterproof, looks cool and is easy and affordable. I was sold! I went in a bought all my materials that afternoon for the weekend ahead.

Then the real fun began… DAY 1

109Peeling linoleum is not nearly as fun as I thought it would be… When I started, there was a big seam and I thought I could just get underneath that and get it all off in a little bit but obviously, that was not the case.




Here’s the floor after the first few hours of the project…

I called one of my friends, professional painter and ski photographer, Brent Benson and he came over to help me the next day.

Day 2: Turns out the best thing to do was to remove the whole subfloor…




Thanks Benson for all your help. At this point in the project, I was hoping I would’ve been applying the Deco-Poz, but I was glad to do this the right way.

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Forrest and I prepping for the install of the new subfloor.

Day 3: new plywood subfloor

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Sealing the new subfloor with Deco-Poz polymer.

Day 4: Edging/framing the trap door.

138 141I had to reframe around the trap door – initially we wanted to use metal but it was tough to work with! So we ended up buying a mitre box and did that.

Day 5: the real fun began! Mixing up the first batch of Deco-Poz. I had done a mini-practice batch before and laid it on a piece of plywood. The Green Building Center had recommended I did that, and it made me much more comfortable working with the product before taking it to my actual floor.

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Mixing the Deco-Poz, water and Polymer. You want to achieve a pancake consistency, although I tended to favor more of a crepe like texture so that I had a little longer before it dried.





As an artist, I really enjoyed working with this product. It was a little stressful because it dries so fast, especially on a hot day in dry Utah. I used a Magic Trowel to get it flat and smooth.


Yeah! It didn’t take very long and I had a new floor!

Day 6: I sanded the concrete. Since I had the room wrapped in plastic, there are no pictures. I wore my respirator, goggles and gloves. I tried to do a wet sand but it didn’t work very well with my power tools so I dry sanded. There was a lot of dust – I did my best to shop vac up all the dust. But I just did a light sand and it came out very smooth.

Day 7: Staining. I decided to stain it light brown (I mixed charcoal grey with white).

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As I started laying down the brown, I decided I didn’t like it and quickly switched to concrete grey. The stain came out a lot darker than I thought it would. Staining was hard – you really have to push it in. It’s not like painting at all.


Day 8: Sealing



It was like 100 degrees that weekend and I had all the windows open in the room to get ventilation so I was working in my swimsuit – flooring is a good back workout! I definitely burned a lot of calories and strengthened my lats. I used Vermont Natural Coatings low VOC polyurethane and did 3 coats to get a semi-gloss finish.

After that, I added the baseboards, painted the walls and voila! New laundry room! It took a lot longer than I expected and was a lot of work but now I have the satisfaction of a job well done.

I would definitely recommend Deco-Poz concrete overlay for anyone looking to redo a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room floor. It is modern, affordable, and eco-friendly!

Also, be sure to check out the Green Building Center here in Salt Lake City – they have some great products to help with your next project.

Things I’ve learned about life from gardening

I started my organic vegetable garden from young plants, figuring that it was cheaper to buy a 6-pack of small lettuces for $1.49 and to eat those than it was to buy bags of organic lettuce at Whole Foods for $4.99. I found a little garden store called Merrihew’s Sunset Gardens in Santa Monica and the employees became my mentors about gardening. My garden provided me countless hours of meditation, a work out and many delicious dinners.

Here’s what I learned:

Moving is one of the most disruptive events in a young plant’s life – you have to be careful when driving the plant home and when transplanting form a smaller pot to a bigger one.

Pay attention to details. Read all the tags about your plants to find out how much water and sun they want.

Stick to a schedule. Plants like regular watering and feeding schedules. Set aside 20 minutes 2-3 times a week to devote to watering.

Plan ahead. Figure out how you are going to lay out your garden and make sure to give plants adequate space, especially to maximize vegetable yield.


Don’t be afraid to get rid of stuff. My lettuces flourished because I was continually picking leaves to eat. When my tomatoes started to lag, I went through and pinched off all the extra leaves and stems that weren’t flowering. These extra leaves take up the plant’s energy so it is beneficial to prune the tomato plant down to the essentials.


Live and eat seasonally. In the fall, I planted kale and chard because these plants do better in the winter time.

Stay away from chemicals. There are many organic solutions to problems with pests. For instance, I lined my garden with mussel shells to try to keep the neighbor’s cat out. Keeping your garden (and life) organic makes you healthier. No one wants to eat chemicals.

Share with your neighbors. Everyone needs to eat more fruits and veggies so make a point to pick some for your friends and family.

Have fun. I found great enjoyment playing in the dirt, making messes (and cleaning them up) and digging holes.