When you complain on social media about the temperature in Portland getting up to 100 F, people in southern locations tend to make fun of you for being a baby about the heat. But what they don’t realize is that since summer is normally pretty mild here, most people have no air conditioning. We just tough out that couple of days each August when it’s too hot, and then it’s back to bearable temperatures. But not this summer. This year it’s been week after week of heat, so we finally broke down and bought a window air unit, so one room in our house can be comfortable. For the rest of the house, we’ll just have to eat popsicles to cool down.
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Which is where these frozen melon pops come in. The combination of melon, lime, mint, and chili is unexpected, but really refreshing on a hot day. I won’t say it’s an adequate substitute for central air conditioning, but it will certainly take your mind off the heat for a bit.
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Cantaloupe Lime Popsicles

Recipe adapted from here.
Makes about 10 popsicles

4 cups ripe cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, and cubed (1 small or 1/2 large melon)
Juice of half a lime
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed mint leaves
Pinch of salt
Chili powder

Bring water to a boil in a small pan. Add the sugar and salt, stir to dissolve, and remove from heat. Add the mint leaves, and allow to cool.

In a blender, combine cantaloupe, lime juice, and mint-sugar syrup, to taste. Blend until smooth.

If using conventional molds, divide the mixture among the molds, snap on the lid, and freeze until solid. If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (about 1/2 hour), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours.

When you’re ready to eat, run hot water over the outside of the mold until you can pull the pop free, then sprinkle with chili powder, and enjoy!

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These metal grid wall organizers are calling, “Make me!” They all look so good in these photos, but a big part of that is the expert styling. If I make my own, will I be able to curate it so perfectly? I guess we’ll find out, since I’m to the point where I’ve been casually trawling hardware stores for the perfect metal grid to use. I wasn’t having any luck until recently, when I think I stumbled across the right source. Next is the choice of what color to paint it. Black, white, or something else entirely? I’m leaning toward white, but who knows, I may change my mind before the paint hits the metal.
metal grid Clockwise from top left: Hitta Hem, Homesick , Planete Deco, Curbly, Unknown, A Beautiful Mess

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7-25-15 links
1. This concrete desk would be great for a home office.
2. Sew your own strappy bralette with this tutorial.
3. Knit this edgy deconstructed top for a sweater that works even in the summer.
4. The instructions for this leaf string art don’t translate that well, but the end result looks stunning, and pretty easy to figure out.
5. These wooden corn holders are a classy alternative to the cheesy plastic version you usually come across.
6. Show your love for making with these fun DIY-themed temporary tattoos.

Just made waffles this morning, but now I want to try out these 22 things you can make in your waffle iron before I put mine away.

 

As you might remember, back in early spring I built myself a vertical garden on the side of my garage. When I first unveiled it, the plants were pretty small and unimpressive. But over the last couple of months, they’ve really taken off, and I love it!

To jog your memory, here’s the side of the garage, before:

Here’s the vertical wall, right after I built it:

And here it is now:
DIY vertical garden

Big change, right? Clearly our grass is now in its dormant phase (aka completely unwatered unless it rains), but isn’t it crazy how different this wall looks?

vertical garden 2

I just love the interplay between the many different types of leaves and flowers.

DIY vertical gardenI kind of can’t believe how much the plants have grown without much attention. There are a few changes I’ve made, which I detail near the end of the post.

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Lately my eye has been drawn to botanical/natural art, especially gallery style. It lends a room a cabinet-of-curiosities feel, without actually having to have a cabinet or collect the curiosities. Though that would be fun, I’m looking for more instant gratification.
nature prints
Clockwise from top left: Nordic Design Collective, Poppytalk, Unknown, House & Garden, Harper’s Bazaar

If you’re into plants, birds, bugs, or any other sort of creature, there’s a set of prints out there for you. Plus you can get away without using a frame–they look great even just taped or clipped up. Alone or in a gallery, in full color or black and white, they’re so versatile that there’s a way to work them into nearly any style of decor.

nature prints 2Clockwise from top left: Vibeke Design, DesignSponge, Skonahem, Skonahem

It’s easy to find vintage or reproduction botanical illustrations on Etsy, or from books like Cabinet of Natural Curiosities or Art Forms in Nature. But it’s even easier (and practically free, if you already have a good printer), to download some images and print them yourself. Even if you don’t have a printer, a copy shop can get the job done for just a few bucks. So here are some great resources to do just that:

Biodiversity Heritage Library has a handy photo stream where you can search for and download illustrations of whatever type of creature strikes your fancy.
21 Free Botanical Prints
Butterfly prints, in several colorways
A set of free botanical prints from Poppytalk
Vintage Printable is another searchable database of public domain images.
The Graphics Fairy has tons of vintage illustrations under filed under natural history and botanicals. I especially like this moth print and these mushrooms.
Botanicus has an abundance of free plant illustrations. Here’s a rundown of how to navigate this set.

Those are some of the best vintage image sources I’ve come across. Have I missed any good ones that you’d recommend?

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