Studio Mama's

Urban Gardening by the Sea

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Bee Keeping

Bee keeping kind of adopted me, 2 years ago, when a swarm of bees chose my lemon tree as their home.  In these 2 years, I have learned to love, and respect my bees.  Their honey has been a seeet blessing for my efforts, also.  

So, two years ago when I realized I had a colony of bees in my lemon tree, I found a Bee keeping store and bought a Langstroth style hive.  I had no clue what I was doing, or getting into!!  Thank God for a kind man, named Dale, who overheard my conversation with the salesman in the beekeeping store. Dale could tell by my questions, I was ignorant about keeping bees.  He introduced himself and answered some of my questions and offered to help me and my husband move the bees into the hive, and like any logical woman would do, I took him up on that offer.  He has been the best bee mentor for two years now.  

Fast forward to this past weekend. I opened the hive, to harvest honey, and found a hive beetle.  I also realized this hive was just too many bees for my yard.  I live close to the beach, in charming mid century home on a small lot.  Oh, and I have neighbors all around me. 😊.  Like any good Mama, I needed to choose what was best for my babies.  Bee babies that is.  I called Dale, he came and agreed they needed a bigger yard, and told me this type of hive is more industrial, and shouldn’t be used in an urban small backyard.  He said he tried to tell me this two years ago!  I do have a tendency to learn the hard way at times.  😬.  The point or moral to my story is a small yard needs a smaller hive.  There is a smaller hive, a test project, in my future.  It is a hive Dale is developing, just for an urban gardener like me.   This bee mama isn’t giving up, just getting smarter, and the bee journey will continue.  

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 sim·plic·i·ty –  1.  freedom from complexity;  2. absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.; plainness: a life of simplicity

A life of simplicity.   What does that look like?  In my humble (simple) opinion, it looks like a life that has room or space to it.   Unhurried, uncluttered and unstressed. 

Gardening and foraging at home to create with, fits a simple life.  It causes you to unplug, get your hands dirty, and slow down. 

This foraged bougainvillea placed in a handmade ceramic pot, is an example of simple.  By using one type of flowering branches, loosely placed, there is a simplicity that is restful to look at.  Try it!

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Coconut Probiotic Yogurt

I’ve been watching the craze for a trendy probiotic coconut yogurt on Instagram, and I wanted some!!!  I’m all about healing my gut, and probiotics in my food, and my garden soil right now.  When I saw the $22/jar price tag, for said yogurt, I thought “I can make this, there has to be a way”!!  Well, there is, and after a couple of tries, here is my process and the ingredients I used:

•2 cans full fat Coconut milk (I used Trader Joe’s brand)

•Probiotic Starter (you can open a couple of capsules of your fav probiotic, or use 2-4 Tbsp of your fav coconut yogurt) I made one batch using 4 Tbsp Coyo brand plain yogurt, but my 2nd batch turned out the best, and here is the big SECRET, I used 2 Tbsp of the trendy $22 Yogurt for my stater!!  I did buy a jar to try, and get my yogurt batches started with their probiotic strains.  

•Thickener of choice: (vegan use Agar flakes, I used 2 tsp of Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin)

•2 Tbsp Maple syrup, or Honey (I used honey from my hive). I did a “sugar free” batch and a batch with honey, and the with honey batch turned out thicker. This is due to the probiotics need something to eat!  So, I suggest using it!

So, I’m not going to bore you with the details of heating, stirring, fermenting.  There are tons of how to make yogurt YouTube videos, watch some to see how easy.   

Here is the method I followed:  The Kitchn *Instead of using my oven,  I used my InstaPot, on yogurt setting.  (This thing needs its own post cause it is so versatile)

Guys!!!  Yogurt is so easy to make!!!  If I can do it, you can do it!! 😊

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Slow Down

If you look close at this Dahlia, you will see a small bug on a petal.   Taking time to notice the smallest details is a way to calm the anxiety and hustle in my brain.  Getting outside in the dirt, listening to the birds, and seeing flowers and little creatures involves all the senses: feel, see, hear, smell, even taste at times.  Using our senses like this, away from our phones and computers, is so healing.  I’m always learning how to heal my autoimmune, hormonal issues and adrenal fatigue.  So, try it!  Get in your garden, slow down, use your senses, and see how healing it can be.  

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Hand Torn Linen

I’m obsessed with hand torn, frayed edge linen!   It is such an organic look for wedding menus and banners.  This seating chart screen printed, and hung in a tree is a beautiful example of how lovely linen is, when incorporated into your event. 

Photo: Eric Mcvey   Calligraphy: Written Word Calligraphy  Styling: Joy Proctor  Venue: Figueroa Farmhouse, Los Olivos, CA

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Thailand.  A country of great beauty, and great heartache.

I had the privilege to be there in October 2014, and again in May 2015.  Both times, teaching floral design to the women at Samaritan Creations Ministry.  A ministry, in Bangkok, Thailand, that is helping women break free from the bondage of the sex industry.

What a blessing for God to use my gifts to help these women learn a trade, that could help them support themselves.  I feel honored to have been welcomed and embraced by them.  I am so humbled by how hard they work, and how much they have overcome.   If you want to check out their ministry go to Samaritan Creations.