Chic Sparrow Carroll Leather in Duchess and Unboxing Video

I’ve had this Duchess B6 for a couple of weeks now. It’s a really nice sturdy leather even though it’s quite thin. The color is a pinkish mauve. The photo is almost true to color. There is really no way to capture the true color of this leather, but it’s truly gorgeous.

Here’s the unboxing video.

Courgettes and Hmong Pepper Sauce

Two weekends ago, Mom picked courgettes (aka zucchinis) and gave me quite a bunch. The baby ones were juicy and delicious grilled. The larger ones I boiled and bagged and froze for occasions when I want to have them with a meal. Mom did this when I was young and she still does it now. It’s convenient and keeps from wasting all these beautiful and mild flavored squashes.

The herbs and garlic were from Mom’s garden in her backyard. She gave me way too much spearmint that I decided to see if I could grow some in water. They seem to be sprouting roots so sounds positive. I’m not good at growing things unless it’s a plant in dirt, but even then, the plant needs to have strong roots otherwise they don’t live very long. The cilantro was the perfect amount to make four batches of Hmong pepper sauce.

As mentioned a few months back, my daughter’s boyfriend (who is African/British/Canadian) loves my Hmong pepper sauce. He eats it with everything so now when I make it, I make sure to pack some for him.

Gardening

I purchased a garden plot earlier in the year in a community garden near my parent’s home to grow some of my favorite vegetables. Now, I’m no gardener so Mom is taking care of it for me. She loves gardening and asked me to buy a plot so she could tend to it. She’s been with this community for awhile now. I’ve been to her garden a couple of times and really liked the place, but since I’ve purchased the plot, I’ve only gone to visit once.

I should go more often.

I asked Mom to plant cucumbers, some melons, Thai peppers, and corn.

Daughter and husband looking real happy. We were on our way to my sister’s housewarming so they didn’t have a choice but to come to the garden.

My cute parents. They are so passionate about gardening. There is no way they can eat all the stuff they grow so at the end of the season, when everything’s ripe, they will donate and sell to the community and relatives.

Mom picked a lot of zucchini’s for me. I’ve already frozen some (the Hmong way) and will be grilling some today to have with grilled salmon.

Community goats. I believe they are used for milk. The man who’s in charge of the garden and the goats said there were three goats but someone stole one of them.

Mom likes to feed the goats the zucchini leaves. I helped throw the leaves over the fence and those leaves have these pokey hairs that prick painfully. I don’t know how my parents can touch those things!

Chic Sparrow Austen Leather in Lady Catherine

I purchased this narrow traveler’s notebook from Chic Sparrow and have fallen madly in love. It’s gorgeous.

I currently have a similar leather, a Mr. Darcy Lemon Drop, purchased three years ago, which has patinated to a nice darkish yellow (photos of it further down). The leather of the Dr. Darcy and Austen are exactly the same. The name was just changed (and I can’t remember why). It’s a super sturdy, non-floppy full-grain leather. It’s also flexible and smooth. I can’t resist touching it.

The color is salmon but at times it can look darker or lighter. Love the striations and the sunburst on the front. This is a one-of-a-kind and it makes me feel a little special.

Here it is next to the Outlander Fraser B6 for color comparison.

Next to the Mr. Darcy Lemon Drop B6.

7″ Kindle Fire in between.

The plan is to use it for taking notes for my fiction stories.

Bujo Using Altenew Watercolor

I started bullet journaling not too long ago. I’d say, less than three years ago. This is my second official bujo notebook. I did some bujo here and there in other notebooks before going official. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to bujo so I followed a few Youtubers until I found what I needed for my lifestyle. As far as the artwork goes, I’m still working on that. Most the time I’m just tweaking from others.

I try to add my own touches like quotes. It’s not new or different. I just like flipping back and reading them. Some of them have meaning during that point of my life and others are just quotes that I liked.

Here was May’s page. For both May and June, I used this watercolor set from Altenew. Earlier in the year I learned Altenew was comging out with a pallet and it looked so pretty I had to have it.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how smooth the watercolor is to work with and by how vibrant the colors are. I’m no expert on the different watercolors, but to me, this one feels like it’s up there with the pros.

Foxy Fix Traveler’s Notebooks in B6

I began writing “Dear” letters to my daughters in hardcover notebooks in 2011 on and off. Recently, I merged their notebooks into softcover Moleskin notebooks and put them in a large traveler’s notebook to keep them in one place. I sometimes include photos or bits and pieces of things they’ve written and tossed, even drawings left behind, in these notebooks. In a few more months, when I’ll be done with the Moleskins, I’ll be moving into these traveler’s notebooks from Foxy Fix. I plan to make the inserts myself to create shabby chic style notebooks so it doesn’t look or feel too formal. Years down the road, I want them to read these letters, and look at the photos and bits, with a cup of tea in a sitting room, and maybe some nostalgic music in the background. A mom can dream, right?

These B6 sizes were from a mystery sale on the Foxy Fix website a month ago. The deal was so good (half off) that I couldn’t resist getting two. I had no idea what color I would get or leather type, but I’m very happy with what I received. One daughter loves purple and one loves pink so it was a perfect match.

These traveler’s notebooks normally come in a cloth dust bag, but because they are mystery items (items that Foxy Fix is getting rid of because of over production), they come in these plastic covers, which I don’t mind since I currently have quite a few dust bags from previous purchases I can store them in.

Leather/color, left to right: Sugar/Cherry Blossom and Sugar/Lilac

Outdoor Plants and Flowers

Took the Olympus to the front yard. The setting was on Shutter Priority Mode. Minor editing were done in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Columbine.

Pine cone from the giant pine tree in the yard. The tree is starting to brown at the top. I hope it’s not a sign that it’s dying.

This is a ground covering flower called a Vinca. They grow so fast and wildly. I want to get rid of them completely but husband wants to keep them.

Aspen.

The peony is stuck inside the branches of a huge bush. When we first landscaped the yard, the bush was tiny so I thought I could fit a peony plant there. Ten years later and there’s no room for it to grow. I’m planning to take it out and plant it in an open area. It used to bloom so beautifully.

Maple.

The giant bush. Its leaves are tiny now but come summer and fall and this thing becomes a beast. I happen to really like this bush. Just wish the peony wasn’t stuck inside it.

I believe these are morning glories. Not sure what the little periwinkle colored flowers are called but they are so pretty.

And last, a lavender my sister gave me for Mother’s Day. It’s inside the house now but I might transfer it outside. Can you see the spider web between the two flowers? We just had a spider egg sac open in the backyard and watched the babies fly off (like in Charlotte’s Web). Some sneaked inside the house and made the plants their home. I think they’re safe so I’m not worried. You’d think I’d be more scared of spiders since I was bitten pretty badly by a Brown Recluse years ago. There are other bugs I’m more scared off, but we won’t go there.