Who do you think you are?

30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

What? You want my life story?

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Design Daydreams

Image © 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist; sofa: Maine Cottage; table & lamp: Crate and Barrel; paintings: David Mandel; rug: Madeline Weinrib.
Recently, I looked around our house. And once I averted my eyes from the scattered piles of Legos and the epidemic levels of paper that seem to affix themselves to every available flat surface, I realized something. While I spend hours of my free time designing home decor textiles, there is virtually no space in my house that lends itself to the things I design. Shouldn't a designer—even an amateur one—use her home as a canvas?

Home as canvas? This could get messy . . .? Read the full entry.

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A Canning Party - Free Printables from Paper Crave

Summer is a busy time Chez Industrialist, and so I am so happy to have asked the lovely Kristen Magee of Paper Crave to do a guest post. Like me, she shares a love of cooking, design, and craft. I think her post is the perfect blend of all three. I hope you love it as much as I do. Take it away, Kristen!

© 2010 Kristen Magee // Paper Crave

I have many wonderful memories of the yearly canning parties that my family used to have during the height of the summer harvest. Though I wasn't old enough at the time to actually take part in the jam making and pickling fun, I do remember having a great time picking berries from bushes that grew in the woods behind my godparents' house, which was where the parties were held. I honestly don't know how many of those berries actually made it back to the house, instead of going straight to my tummy!

Join the party, and get the free printables!

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A pilgrimage of sorts

Honey Bees © 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage IndustrialistGinkgo Wave © 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage IndustrialistA week-and-a-half ago, we took our son on his first big car trip. Like a regular old family. It made me feel so grown up to have to answer him 15 times an hour about whether we were there yet.

We were heading to Washington, D.C., because I was attending a conference, and it seemed silly to go and stay in a hotel all alone when I could do it with my boys. To sweeten the pot (for myself), my husband and I agreed that we should break the trip up into two parts, stopping somewhere along the way. The somewhere was IMMEDIATELY obvious to me. Mebane, NC.

Mebane, wha? What's a Mebane?

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A menu for success?

© 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist
Ok, so these carrots and asparagus are no longer in season (I took this pic of my farmer's market haul back in April), but OOH! PRETTY! Thackeray Farms Carrots, Kennerty Farms Asparagus, Wadmalaw Island eggs

Last week I brought you photos of my friend Alex's amazing back yard farm. And I mentioned that our visit had inspired me to dig in hard with my ongoing efforts to eat more locally, seasonally available food.

I have long eschewed planning as something that other people—you know, the kind who balance their checkbooks, plan responsibly for retirement, and wear shoes indoors—do, but not me. It's not that I will completely defend my disorganization—let's call it my "organic" approach to life—I am a lifelong scatterbrain, and it's one of the things I dislike most about myself. Important things get forgotten; deadlines get squeezed; projects get buried under other projects never to be finished, or only to be rediscovered hours before a deadline.

Continue reading . . .

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Backyard Farming

© 2010 David MandelAlex and I went to law school together. Since we graduated, we don't practice the same kind of law, so we haven't seen much of each other, but he's on twitter, and, well, you know I'm on twitter, and so we've been keeping up with each other that way for a while.

A couple of months ago Alex posted a link to a YouTube video of what looked like the work of a slightly crazy vegetable genius. Buckets linked together with pipes in long rows, water trickling out of drip hoses, and a bumper crop of vegetables growing in white, rocky sand. No details about where he filmed it or who had built it. And then I realized...Alex had built it! And? And? He has chickens!

I promptly invited myself over to check it out (with husband and son in tow, because CHICKENS), and Alex graciously accepted my invitation. And what it may lack in traditional pastoral beauty, it more than makes up for in functional, rocket-science-y cool. 

See more of Alex's back yard farm, now featuring 100% MORE CHICKENS. . .

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