Welcome to Priscilla Woolworth's Blog

Earth Day 2015

April 22nd, 2015

P1210633_2

 

www.Justlabelit.org

www.EWG.org

www.Rootsandshoots.org

www.Conservation.org

www.OFRF.org

www.PlasticPollutionCoalition.org

www.Standfortrees.org

At the Flea

March 31st, 2015

Fleamarkets, antique stores and shops that offer vintage items for sale are the ultimate in eco-friendly shopping. Repurposing and reusing reduces the amount of waste that ends up in our overfilled landfills. When we throw things out, our cities and counties have to use our tax money to haul all our “used” stuff away to a landfill to be incinerated.

Donate your used things to the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity or the Goodwill. Or sell them at a Flea Market!

The following are some shots I took at the Flea Market in Long Beach, California

IMG_0721

Toaster, iron and electric kettles Repurposed as lamps

IMG_0722

Vintage cameras reborn as lamps

IMG_0723

Vintage items repurposed into lamps

IMG_0724

Vintage glass bottles are better than plastic! Use these to store non-food items.

IMG_0744

Great color on these vintage glass bottles. I have plenty at home so I didn’t buy any of these.

IMG_0743

I love these old bottles just as they are! Ha! These would look so great with a rose in each one, or a wildflower or even a gorgeous branch.

IMG_0735

Large bundles of dried sage. These are so great looking. At home, I like to burn one end by an open door or window. The scent is then diffused. Even burning natural herbs or incense indoors isn’t healthy of us to breathe, even though they smell wonderful.

Small bundles of dried sage

Small bundles of dried sage

Beautiful c

Beautiful crystals

IMG_0728

Scattered small seashells. I like the way these were displayed. Really pretty and simple.

 

 

IMG_0739

A pile of small terra-cotta pots was very tempting indeed but I held back!

 

 

IMG_0755

These colorful lifesavers look almost too good to use-it feels like they are just for show

 

 

IMG_0973

Cholla cactus. At home with me now.

 

 

IMG_0977

Two nautilus shells. At home with me now as well.

FLOCK at Lotusland

March 12th, 2015

Lotusland is a dreamy 37-acre estate and botanical garden created by Madame Ganna Walska near Santa Barbara, California and is open to the public.

Cactus and succulent walk

Cactus and succulent walk

Lotusland also hosts wonderful nature related exhibits. Currently on display is FLOCK: Birds on the Brink, a contemporary art exhibit by an environmental imperative –the global loss of wild bird populations and their role as indicators of the health of our planet.

Flock’s intention as well is to foster understanding of the critical impact of wild bird populations on human well-being and the conservation efforts to save birds, as we celebrate their daily presence in our gardens and communities.

 A few of the pieces featured:

Quail Eggs by Esther Traugot

Quail Eggs
by Esther Traugot

 

Close up of Quail Eggs. Coturnix egg, hand dyed crocheted thread, brass on wood.

Close up of Quail Eggs. Coturnix egg, hand dyed crocheted thread, brass on wood.

Barn Swallow Nest Photograph by Sharon Beals

Barn Swallow Nest
Photograph by Sharon Beals

Golden-Winged Warbler Nest Photograph by Sharon Beals

Golden-Winged Warbler Nest
Photograph by Sharon Beals

 

Nesting Materials General Store by Philip Koplin

Nesting Materials General Store by
Philip Koplin

 

Nesting Material General Store by Philip Koplin

Nesting Material General Store by
Philip Koplin

Nesting Material General Store by Philip Koplin

Nesting Material General Store by Philip Koplin

Nesting Material General Store by Philip Koplin

Nesting Material General Store by Philip Koplin

 

and pieces created by birds:

Hooded Oriole -nest made of woven plant fibers through palm frond-

Hooded Oriole
-nest made of woven plant fibers through palm frond-

House Finch -thin twigs, fine stems, leaves, rootlets, yarn, and feathers-

House Finch
-thin twigs, fine stems, leaves, rootlets, yarn, and feathers-

 

Pacific-Slope Flycatcher -moss, grass, rootlets, strips of bark, lichens, and leaves, lined with fine plant fibers, hair and feathers-

Pacific-Slope Flycatcher
-moss, grass, rootlets, strips of bark, lichens, and leaves, lined with fine plant fibers, hair and feathers-

 

 

California Towhee -twigs, grasses, and dried flowers, lined with strips of bark, and downy seeds-

California Towhee
-twigs, grasses, and dried flowers, lined with strips of bark, and downy seeds-

 

Barn Swallow -mud with grasses and found feathers from various species of birds

Barn Swallow
-mud with grasses and found feathers from various species of birds

 

FLOCK is on till May 23rd, 2015

For information on visiting

.lotusland.org

Vegetables Warriors

March 1st, 2015

These are the vegetable warriors in my garden. They are the ones that have survived year after year, are available most of the year, and require  very little attention except for the basics: water and sun. Some get only occasional water and others are only halfway in the sun, but once they are established, they are there for the long term.

 

P1210271

I pick them as often as I can and give lots away to friends

Sorrel leaves get pulsed in a mini blender with olive oil and added to  omelettes

Kale goes in green smoothies, turned into kale chips or added to sauteed vegetables or chopped in salads

Mint is picked often for delicious mint tea

Rosemary is added to cooking, or left in a bundle in the kitchen, on the dining table or in office because I love how it smells. Bundles are added to the fireplace for the wonderfully smelling fires

Oregano gets chopped and added to tomato sauces

Honorable mention: Swiss Chard is seasonal but keeps on reappearing without my help either

Which ones are the Vegetable Warriors in your garden?

I would love to know!

Orange Peels

February 28th, 2015

Always trying to reduce the amount of waste my household produces, I’ve been reusing and repurposing leftover orange peels rather than throwing them into the trash. From the trees in my garden,

 

IMG_0093

to the cutting board, and juiced,

 

DSC_0036

 

the discarded halves

 

IMG_9869

are dried on parchment paper in the oven (@250) for a few hours.

 

P1210074

The house smells amazing, while the oranges are drying.

Once they are done, I add some rosemary or lavender trimmings from the garden,

 

P1210077

and roll them up into small parcels using newspaper, and securing the ends with twine.

 

P1210082

They all end up in basket by the fireplace, and on the occasional chilly and rainy evening, I use them as a fantastic fire-starter for my fireplace. They smell so good!

fire parcel

 

Birdhouses in the Garden- Where Spring is in the Air

February 18th, 2015

 

P1210094

 

Nesting season has already begun for a few species and is rapidly approaching for others, so now is a good time to put out nesting boxes (bird houses) for the species that use them. Placing nesting boxes in your yard is a great way to help bird species that normally nest in old woodpecker holes or cavities. Since most cavities are excavated in dead, dying or diseased trees, there is a shortage of habitat supporting cavity nesters in urban neighborhoods. This is because, for the most part, foliage is kept well groomed and dead trees are considered unsightly or a liability, and thus removed.

Cavity nesting birds include woodpeckers, wrens, nuthatches, titmice, bluebirds, some flycatchers, swallows and owls.

You really have the ability to broaden bird diversity in your yards and neighborhoods by offering these cavity nesters an appropriate shelter.

IMG_0177

 

It is very important that these size of the nesting box and its entrance hole conform to species-specific dimensions and that the birdhouses are properly mounted at appropriate heights in suitable habitats.

 IMG_0178

 

Offer soft nesting materials

Many species of birds will utilize soft nesting material in their nest designs. Goldfinches, bushtits, hummingbirds and orioles are a few of those species, but it is the hummingbirds that are making use of it now. Watch where they go with it! After a few trips, you should have an idea where the nest is. If you are lucky enough to find one,

do give mom her space-this way she never feels her nest is threatened.

 

If you want to put your own material out for them, never use dryer lint, because lint fibers are very short and will not structurally hold up in some situations.

DSC_0213

In case you are looking for  birdhouses, they are available here: http://www.priscillawoolworth.com/store/garden

 

41xYJznR3EL._SL160_

Source of the bird information, is a most wonderful resource: wildwingsla.com

A Visit to DOSA

January 18th, 2015

Portrait of an incredible eye

I just had the most wonderful visit to DOSA’s studios. DOSA is a clothing, housewares and accessories line designed by Christina Kim.

Nature is featured as a constant source of inspiration.

At the entrance to the warehouse

At the entrance to the warehouse

At the studio, chrysanthemum in small vases

At the studio, chrysanthemum in small vases

Pile of necklaces brought back from Christina Kim's  travels

Pile of necklaces brought back from Christina Kim’s travels

 

Collection of natural treasures

Collection of natural treasures

 

Natural treasures

Natural treasures

 

Tumbleweed lampshade

Tumbleweed lampshade

 

Tumbleweeds and friends

Tumbleweeds and friends

Spotted! I used to carry this same lovely polar bear eraser in my store.

Spotted! I used to carry this same lovely polar bear eraser in my store.

Spotted: The same kettle I used to carry in my store as well.

Spotted: The same kettle I used to carry in my store as well.

 

Blue Alphabet

Blue Alphabet

 

Blue indigo

Blue indigo

Stunning sprouting potato

Stunning sprouting potato

Collection on display

Collection on display

 

Sample fabric designed using a feather and cassava

Sample fabric designed using a feather and cassava

 

Found golf balls

Found golf balls

It was such a privilege to spend time in Christina Kim’s work and living space.

Priscilla Woolworth Blog Update 2015

January 17th, 2015

Thank you for following my blog whether you are a new subscriber and especially if you have been loyally following me for the past 5 years.

This is my story, in addition to the monthly almanac newsletter I’ve been writing for the past 5 1/2  years. This blog is still about all the ways I’m learning to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

I have lots more to share with you! I’m going to start featuring the work of artists and designers. Also, look out for features about feathers, orange peels, DOSA, art projects using recycled paper, leaves, glass jars, and all sorts of things I love to photograph. There will be as little text as possible and be all about the images.

 

I don’t have a set schedule for when my blog goes out.

 

I’ll strive to keep you interested.

Scan 50

Peace Love Happiness

Priscilla

Composting

January 9th, 2015

I only started composting my plant based kitchen scraps 7 years ago. It’s become second nature for me to save all the organic & pesticide-free scraps from banana skins, old lettuce leaves, coffee grinds, egg shells, spoiled vegetables and fruit, chop them all up and add them to the compost pail I keep by my kitchen sink.

On my way to empty the compost pail into Valentina, my outdoor wooden composter.

On my way to empty the compost pail into Valentina, my outdoor wooden composter.

BW172986_2-024

Stencil I made for the inside  lid of the Valentina Composter, listing all the ingredients you can compost.

This is a stencil I made for the inside lid of the Valentina Composter, listing all the ingredients you can compost.

 

Here I am, emptying my compost pail into Valentina. It takes 8-10 months for all the material to fully break down. When it's hot outside, it goes faster.

Emptying my compost pail into Valentina.
It takes 8-10 months for all the material to fully break down. When it’s hot outside, it goes faster.

 

Here is Valentina Composter, with a bucket full of fresh composted material on top, ready to be added to the vegetable garden beds.

Valentina Composter, with a bucket full of fresh composted material on top, ready to be added to the vegetable garden beds.

Composted material is nutrient rich. Most gardens, especially vegetable gardens are depleted of nutrients and adding organic compost to the beds helps the garden to thrive.

Composted material is nutrient rich. Most gardens, especially vegetable gardens are depleted of nutrients and adding organic compost to the beds helps the garden to thrive.

When Valentina is all filled up and needs to be left alone while the material decomposes, I made another composter just recently. I placed in my vegetable garden, so the worms can reach it and speed up the composting process.

When Valentina is all filled up and needs to be left alone while the material decomposes, I made another composter just recently. I placed in my vegetable garden, so the worms can reach it and speed up the composting process.

This is another larger outdoor wooden compost bin I made from recycled wooden pallets I found on the street. Because it's open, with no cover, I only put leaves and all sorts of unappealing vegetable plant remains, so I don't attract the dreaded rodents.

This is another larger outdoor wooden compost bin I made from recycled wooden pallets I found on the street. Because it’s open, with no cover, I only put leaves, woody clippings and prunings and all sorts of unappealing vegetable plant remains, so I don’t attract the dreaded rodents.

The benefits of composting are:

-Reduces the amount of waste that goes out to our overfilled landfills

-Recycling that waste

-Turning that waste into free nutrient rich material

-Your garden will thrive with all the compost added to it and attract beneficial insects as well.

-Composting is rewarding!

-Makes a great hostess gift! I’ve not only given a bucket of compost to a garden loving friend but also a jar of precious worm juice.

 

Issues that may occur when composting:

-The composter smells: add leaves, shredded newspaper or a bucket of potting soil.

-If the compost attracts flies, add shredded newspaper or cover the material with potting soil. If you don’t mind the flies, they will probably lays eggs, and larva will soon appear. They can be quite helpful at speeding the decomposing process up.

-If the material looks too wet, add shredded newspaper and mix it up.

-If the material looks too dry, add a little water and mix it in.

-If the material is not breaking down as fast as you feel it should be, add red wriggler worms, as they do help at speeding up the decomposing process. Worms also create a fantastic liquid referred to as “worm juice.” If you are able to collect it, add a pan underneath the composter to capture this natural fertilizer. Worm juice is very concentrated so when using in the garden, add a 1/4 cup to each large watering can and water the soil around the plant, rather than right on the plant, as worm juice can sometimes be too intense for some sensitive plants.

-Rodents love composting materials, so make sure that your composter has a lid and strong one.

 

What not to compost: Meat, fish, chicken, bones, cheese, milk, butter, salad dressing, cooked food, weed seeds, diseased plant material, disposable diapers, dog or cat feces, glossy newsprint, and coal ash.

 

Most tools I use for composting are available here (except the Valentina Composter which is temporarily sold out): http://www.priscillawoolworth.com/store/garden

Monarch Butterflies

January 8th, 2015

For scientist Tierra Curry, the monarch butterfly is part of the American experience.

IMG_1246

 

Native to North America, once present in every U.S. state except for Alaska, the insect with the distinctive and colorful wings is known for its spectacular migration each year from Mexico to Canada and back.

Scan 54

But scientists like Curry have seen the monarch’s numbers plummet. The population has dropped by 90% in the last two decades alone.

photo-34

Now Curry, sees some hope.

On Monday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would conduct a one-year status review of the butterfly species to determine whether it warranted Endangered Species Act protection.

“The Endangered Species Act is the most powerful tool available to save monarchs, so I’m really happy these amazing butterflies are a step closer to the protection they so desperately need,” Curry said.

Hundreds of Monarch's in clusters, dripping down from the eucalyptus trees, in Goleta, California

Hundreds of Monarch’s in clusters, dripping down from the eucalyptus trees, in Goleta, California

To read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-monarch-butterflies-20141229-story.html