Archive for August, 2011

Vintage Illustrations from Grandma’s Stuff: Part 2

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This next set of illustrations found in Grandma’s stuff is similar to the cartoon style used in School House Rock!! Do you remember the ole “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here“? These are probably some of my favorite doodles out of the three illustration sets. I guess it’s safe to say I have a sweet spot for all things cute (no surprise there!).

Enjoy!

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Creatives Near You: The Smiths [Smitty Baby]

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We first ran into the Smith’s when their loft apartment was featured on a little blog known as Apartment Therapy (no big deal!). Cale and I ooed and awed at a do-it-yourself modern home renovation right here in Oklahoma! After that we were hooked. We started stalking er, umm following the Smith’s blog and found ourselves enjoying their love for family and self-employment so much that we had to use our latest Creatives Near You interview to get to know them a little bit better.

Meridith is a stay-at-home mom who runs Smitty Baby, an online Baby shop. She does pretty much everything, from dreaming up product ideas to actually making them come to life while Jason helps out on the marketing and business side. Jason dabbles in just about anything he drums up in that ginger head of his—but right now he pays the bills mainly from writing bail bonds/bounty hunting, freelance video and music (recording, editing, marketing) via HOLY CLAP! and printing/publishing independent authors.

Q1. How are your personalities alike and how they are different?

A1) For the most part, Jason’s the type A guy and I’m more type B.  While he’s busy drawing up plans for his next project, you can find me out on the back deck watching the kid’s swim listening to Kings of Convenience Pandora radio. However, we are both very flexible and low maintenance and tend to enjoy the same things…mainly creating.

Q2) How do you balance a healthy home and running your own business?

A2) Still trying to figure that out.  Usually, we just make sure to play catch up with things that got left off last week’s agenda, weather that’s SB orders, time at the park with the kids, or swapping stories with each other.

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2011 Garden Checklist: September

Click HERE to download our September, 2011 Garden Checklist

So that should do it for September, we’ve had a long hot summer and not much rain so for those of you who had a some success I salute you! For those of you wondering why everything turned brown…join the club. Yep that’s right I lost some plants this year. It doesn’t matter sometimes how much or little you watered them they just couldn’t take the heat. SO keep reading these garden checklists and start planning now for next year because for every bad year there is a good. Next year could just be YOUR moment.

Until then, happy planting and keep it green!

Click HERE to download our September, 2011 Garden Checklist

From the Farm

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Vintage Illustrations from Grandma’s Stuff: Part 1

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Remember a while back when I went through Grandma’s stuff? We’ll, I’ve been stashing a few items away to share! I’ve got a series of three different vintage illustration styles I found in her old cookbooks and collection of recipes.

I’ve been really excited about sharing these with you all! Some of them are more “playful” than others but to start us out, I thought the illustrations about canning were a great way to finish up our summer canning for 2011 and start off this new series of illustrations.

Enjoy!

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GCD Update & New Team Members

“UNDER CONSTRUCTION” is the term that comes to mind regarding Green Couch Design. We’ve been running our little business for nearly a year and half and our products have ranged from Wall Pockets to concrete jewelry and design from gardens to graphic design. We are constantly learning and having to ebb and flow as certain things take off and others do not. But we love the process. We love this journey of self-employment and although scary at times we would not trade this freedom for anything!

Meet our latest team member: Mr. iMac

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Canning with Grandma: Tomato Soup & MORE!

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Ok so it’s confession time. Everyone is asking me where I got ALL my tomatoes to can with and as much as I would like to brag about my over abundance of tomatoes I have to be honest and say… I bought them. Our tomatoes this year are doing terrible and I struggled with purchasing tomatoes because in my book the expense of having a garden plus having to buy more veggies on top sorta cancels any amount of money I would save! But… after much debate I just kept thinking it’s more about the quality of the food I am feeding my family. I don’t know about you but I’m all about quick and healthy meals. My goal this year was to get us eating as “raw” foods as possible so that goal to me was worth the extra expense of buying our own tomatoes to can vs. purchasing store-bought salsa, tomato juice/soup, pizza sauce, etc.

Now, I will say that I purchased my tomatoes from a farmer (wearing overalls) who has a produce stand at a near by intersection. When I went to write out the check it was made to George Williams. Ok, that wasn’t really his name but it was something like that. An old farmer name is what it was and I thought it was ohh so wonderful and worth EVERY penny! :)

So without further ado, here is the recipe I am the most excited about from this summer’s canning adventures. It’s something I can use as a quick soup, homemade Bloody Marys (to go with Leslie’s pickled green beans, in chili, on pasta, and anything else you can think of! It’s ohh so good and oh so worth the time (even if you can’t can it you can still cook it for dinner)!

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Date on a Dime: Homemade Pizza Party & MORE!

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Go on, throw that pizza dough! Considering that neither one of us is an Italian pizza pro, our homemade dinner-in adventure was an entertaining release of creativity. Each having our own canvas of dough, we pulled out from the fridge/freezer anything we had that might make a tasty topping, and we were off!  Though we searched for some romantic Italiano music for atmosphere, we settled for something we had on hand we both liked. Once our creations were in the oven we built our relationship through the age-old method of laboring side by side… with the added bonus that there would be no mess at the end of our night! And since many hands make light work, we had plenty of time to segue into a most important time of relationship building… communication! The topic: what is it that we would love to do? You see, we’ve recently started getting paid to save the world by bringing our recyclables to a hungry machine that, in return, spits out a receipt good for cash (it takes more time and effort than just dumping them in a big blue bin for someone else to deal with, but our efforts will soon pay off). So with all these pennies and dimes flowing in, we saw an opportunity to make a dream happen. We talked about stuff varying from going to a show (Les Miserables or Wicked), Disney World (for when kids inevitably arrive as a result from our date nights), and a Netflix subscription, to hang gliding, parasailing, and an Alaska adventure tour. We won’t spoil it by telling you what we decided our recycling paybacks would achieve for us… you’ll have to come up with your own. And before you know it, while you’re dreaming and scheming of fun times ahead, your yummy dinner will be ready for consumption. So dish it up and settle yourselves in for a cuddle and a movie (we picked one from that everlasting list of “I’ve always wanted to see that”).

Our date of choice this month covered several romantic points all in one evening:
1. Homemade pizza party
2. Those who clean together stay together
3. Saving the world
4. Connecting and Scheming/Dreaming
5. Romantic dinner in: eat, watch and be merry

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Fresh & Local: Horn Seed Company

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Ok. It’s time we let you in our little local garden secret. Cale always looks for seeds in magazines and online but usually after all his research is done we always come back to ordering the bulk of our see from Horn Seed Company.

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Everyday Design: Pencil Top Carvings

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“A PENCIL is just an instrument, an effective tool for scratching measurements onto wood, updating checkbooks and filling in bubbles in tests. Unless it’s in the hands of Dalton Ghetti. The 45-year-old Bridgeport resident has been carving sculptures into pencil lead, without the aid of a magnifying glass, for 25 years.”   -New York Times

“Many artists have used pencils to create beautiful pieces of work – but only one creates stunning masterpieces on the tip of one. Microscopic artist Dalton Ghetti spends up to two-and-a half years painstakingly crafting each handmade piece on the graphite of a pencil. “  – Dalton Ghetti Facebook

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This vs. That: Sweetners

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Sweet vs. Better Sweet?
This time let’s look at sugar, white refined sugar, and all the “healthier” alternatives to this.

This: White Refined Sugar

I have recently learned that the 5 lb. bag of sugar I have always purchased at the store has a much less refined version of it out there that actually contains some forms of nutrients…yeah! How’s that for contrary to everything you hear about sugar these days on the main-stream market/news. Nutrients?…in sugar?? There are also a slew of other choices out there to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Want to know a little bit about everything to do with this kind of sugar? Check out this link. BUT if you are not in the mood to read a bunch just go with the flow that you know what I’m talking about and read on! :)

And by the way for some of those crazy recipes that propose that “brown sugar” is healthier, don’t be fooled, it is simply white refined sugar and molasses and caramel color. It is not a more “natural” state of sugar—READ the LABEL!

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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