This has been kind of a confusing week. On Tuesday we woke up at 4am and jumped on a plane. Approximately 18 hours later, we arrived to a sunny morning in Barcelona, Spain. We were incredibly tired, and after finding out that our room wouldn’t be ready for hours, I fell asleep in the hotel lobby. Since then, we’ve walked around a ton, eaten some tapas, visited Gaudí’s La Sagrada Família and Park Güell, and bummed around on the beach in the town of Sitges.
sagrada familia 1
I’m not a fan of religion in general, so I’m always a bit torn about religious sites, but La Sagrada Família is incredibly beautiful. It’s only about 65% complete as of 2015, so I can only imagine how amazing it will be by the time it’s finished (reportedly in 2026 in time for the 100th anniversary of Antoni Gaudí’s death). Only 8 spires have been completed so far, with 10 taller ones to go! The interior is truly spectacular. These pictures don’t do it justice, and it seems worth a trip back to see how it turns out.
sagrada familia 2
sagrada familia 3
The abstract stained glass is one of the most stunning parts of the cathedral. I couldn’t help but think of the historic Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage when I saw the colors of this window. Hooray for love!
sitges 1

Sitges is a thoroughly charming beach town only a 30-minute train ride from Barcelona. It’s well-worth the trek (and the crowds) for the gorgeous beach along the famous blue Mediterranean Sea. We even managed to find a vegetarian restaurant, Lady Green, for dinner.

spain selfie

I’m terrible at taking selfies, but I attempted one with the bright pink flowers I found in a park.
barcelona 1
This fountain, in Parc de la Ciutadella, was a total accidental find, but it’s so perfectly over-the-top that I love it. They really knew how to deploy the gold gilding and statuary back in the day.
barcelona 3We wandered around the Gothic Quarter a bit, but far preferred the neighborhood of El Born, which seems slightly less crowded and touristy. It’s filled with narrow, winding alleys that make you feel as if some medieval scene is just around the next corner.

We leave tomorrow to head home, but I’ve enjoyed exploring this bit of Spain. Between the surreal and historic architecture and the beautiful coastline, it certainly is a lovely place.


6-27-15 links
1. I would sew this stylish cat bed in a heartbeat if I thought my cats would actually use it (they prefer our bed).
2. Mount a staghorn fern on metal mesh for a fresh look.
3. This iron-on transfer pen tote looks so easy and cute.
4. Rev up your power tools and build this beautiful modern outdoor bench.
5. Get ready for summer by sewing your own handy picnic blanket.
6. Homemade photo notepads are such a fun idea.


It’s supposed to be blazing hot in Portland this weekend (over 100!), and what better way to deal with the heat than fancy ice cubes? I am one of those weird people who doesn’t like ice water unless it’s actually hot. Ice water in restaurants makes me too cold (especially combined with air conditioning), and I normally don’t eat ice cream until temperatures break at least 80 degrees. But with ice this pretty, I might have to make an exception.
flower ice
It turns out that there are all sorts of flowers, fruit, and herbs that make good additions to ice. Just throw them into an ice cube tray with some water, freeze up, and you, too, can feel fancy. Roses, lilacs, pansies, violets, and nasturtiums are all edible, but so are a lot of other flowers. Just make sure you’ve properly identified the flower before you eat it, and that it’s pesticide-free.
mint ice
You can tear and bruise mint or other herbs to help release the oils, or you can leave them whole.

Flowers and herbs are obvious choices, but lots of other things can be added to ice cubes, too.  Here are some more ideas for fancy ice:
Cucumber slices
Coconut milk or coconut water
Citrus slices

Add your ice to water, iced tea, or (especially) pretty cocktails. Stay cool!

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bedroom 8

Many months ago I posted about making a mood board for our bedroom, and a couple of weeks ago when I posted about finding a location for the hanging geometric himmeli gems I made, I included a teaser photo of our bedroom. I’ve been meaning to share a tour ever since, and here it is!

This is a room full of lots of doors, weird angles, and very uneven natural light. And yet none of those are complaints—I love our bedroom’s idiosyncrasies. They just make it more challenging to decorate (and photograph). But given the chance, I wouldn’t trade it for a more traditional room. The weirdness gives it character, and I’d be bored without a challenge. We tried to overcome some of the quirks, and others we embraced.
bedroom 5

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6-16-15 links
1. If you haven’t had enough of tassels yet (or you’ve made too many), this tassel tote is a cute way to use them.
2. Add a leather handle wrap to a hammer to make it extra special.
3. All you need to make these cool copper foil wall sculptures are some origami skills.
4. This DIY giant jenga looks super fun and easy.
5. If your desk needs some organization, this metal mesh memo board might do the trick.
6. If you’re traveling this summer, here’s how to give your plants a drink while you’re away.

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