Tag Archives: Summer

This California Summer

This heat and drought in California is truly something else. I’m sure many of you have seen the “before and after” photos of bodies of water in California that have experienced devastating consequences from this drought (if not, check it out here). We are particularly feeling the effects of this drought here in Southern California. On top of that, we’re in the middle of a really horrendous heatwave right now that has led to some planned (and unplanned!) power outages around this region. I’m saying this in part to highlight a lot of the important issues that we’re facing in California, but also to really show that we don’t always have perfect, 75 degree temperatures in Southern California! In the Orange County area this past weekend, there was a fire burning over 1,000 acres of land in Silverado Canyon. This particularly hits close to home because it literally was close to my parents’ home in Orange County. Interestingly enough, this fire was started by the metal roofing of a vegetable garden! What a small way for such a devastating fire to start! You can find out more about the story here. Okay; end rant!

As a result of all of this, I have really made an effort to conserve as much water as possible. One way that I’ve been doing this is by choosing more drought-tolerant plants for my balcony garden. Of course, my small, unassuming balcony garden probably wouldn’t use up much water in the first place, but every drop counts, right? On top of that, keeping plants alive in this summer heat is a whole different ballgame, particularly regarding plants that are not suitable for high temperatures. As a resident of the top floor of my apartment complex, my balcony experiences inexplicably high heat. So instead of planting snapdragons and basil as I have before, I’ve planted succulents in my overhanging balcony planters! I feel like it’s a bit of a non-traditional way to use planters, but I love it!

Succulent Planter #1

Succulent Planter #1

Succulent Planter #2

Succulent Planter #2

This is a really great way to also use cuttings of succulents, propagate more succulents, and also, to minimize how many pots you use. I was tired of having so many separate little planters so I threw them all together.

Here are some photos of the rest of the balcony! It’s slowly but surely coming together!

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Balcony Gardening @ www.ecospired.com

What are you doing to keep cool in the last few days before fall begins? Leave a comment! 🙂

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DIY Sea Glass Chandelier!

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

This is by far my favorite DIY that I’ve ever done. I made it by upcycling and using renewable materials, which is how we do it here at Ecospired! I originally saw a sea glass chandelier at none other than Anthropologie (surprise.)but it was about 10 times my budget and not exactly my style. When I find the original picture, I will definitely post it. It’s been a couple of years since then!

I first made a smaller version which you’ll see later on the in post. I like it, but it doesn’t have the BAM and grandeur as the larger chandelier. I’ve kept the small chandelier in my balcony and kept the large one inside.

Warning: This project is very time consuming, but definitely worth it!

Materials:

  • Sea glass! If you don’t have access to get it from the beach, check out Target. They have a bag of sea glass for about 5 dollars. I’d suspect that you’d need 1 of their bags to make the small chandelier, but more for the larger one.
  • Wire: I bought 24 gauge steel galvanized wire from Home Depot. 24 gauge is sturdy yet easily maleable.
  • Pliers: not completely necessary, but will make your life easier.
  • Wire cutters
  • Metal hoops (1 or 2, depending on size of project- look for picture below)
  • Beads, fake crystals, real crystals, whatever!
  • twine, rope or yarn–whatever you prefer.
  • mason jar
  • candle to fit in mason jar
  • Optional: hot glue gun
  • **If you plan to hang it, make sure to get a sturdy, appropriate ceiling hook.  If you go to your local hardware store, they can help you find the right one. 
Some of the tools you're going to need.

Some of the tools you’re going to need.

Metal hoops from JoAnn Fabrics.

Metal hoops from JoAnn Fabrics.

Here's the ceiling hook I used, as well as how I made the top not.

Here’s the ceiling hook I used, as well as how I made the top not.

Directions:

The trickiest part is getting the sea glass to stay secure within the wire. This took me a while to get! I don’t happen to have any extra sea glass hanging around or I’d show you. One trick I do have is to use your hot glue gun to glue the wire to the glass on the back (don’t do it on the front- it looks pretty ghetto). Leave me a comment and let me know if you’d like me to make a little video about how to secure the pieces on the wire. Here’s a picture of the front and back of one piece. See how I created two loops on either side?

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

Front

Back!

Back!

Basically, the point is to create a string of sea glass and beads, crystals, or whatever else you choose. However you manage to do it is great! You might consider drilling holes into the glass..which might be difficult too. Let me know if you have other ideas!

Once you’ve made one link, you need to make a few more. For each strand of mine, I have 3 white sea glass pieces, 1 green piece, one green bead and a “crystal”. Make a LOT of these strands. For my large chandelier, I have about 40 strands!

Secure the top of the strand of sea glass to the hoop, working around in a circle. I didn’t like the look of the bare metal (also one of my hoops happened to be gold, and the other silver) so I wrapped them in twine. Space the strands as close or far apart as you’d like. I wanted mine to be less of a wind chime and more of a chandelier, so I made sure they didn’t touch.

Once you’ve created a basic round of sea glass strands for one or both of your hoops, it’s time to secure the mason jar and candle. Wrap the top part of the mason jar with wire really tightly with 2 different pieces of long wire. Make 2 wire “handles” (or wires sticking out) so that you can secure them to the hoop.Then, secure it onto the smallest hoop and let it hang slightly lower.

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

Your last step will be to take three or four long pieces of string (or wire) to hang up the chandelier. I picked three strings because it looks less cluttered. Make sure your chandelier is even and not lopsided!

View from the top!

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DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

Here’s the baby one! It hangs out outside.

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

View from the bottom

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

That’s all there is to it! I realllllly hope you try this project out yourself. It’s seriously one of the big reasons why I chose to start this blog in the first place. If you do try this DIY, please provide a link to my blog and send me pictures too! I’ll post them for the world to see. 😉

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I want to give a special thanks to one of my best friends, Melanie Lancon, for giving me every single piece of sea glass that I’ve used for this chandelier  She used to live in Santa Barbara and spent years collecting all of these pieces. When she moved, she gave me a sht ton of them! Thanks Mel! 😉

Please feel free to pin it, share it, and try it out yourself! To leave a comment, look on the top left corner of this post, next to the title.

-Daria

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Anthropologie Goes Camping

Wouldn’t camping be SOO cute and dainty if we could do it the Anthropologie way?

Check out Anthropologie’s Camping section on their website for a good laugh!

As much as I love Anthropologie and am inspired by them daily, this is so Anthro of them to suggest that we should buy their frivolous camping supplies for our next trip. Btch please, there are bears and mountain lions and raccoons and who knows what else that aren’t hindered by your white “Sumatra Cabana” or its lofty price of  $698.00. The freezing temperatures of the mountains and the dirt all around the campground are also not hindered by your beige, thin “Florabunda Sleeping Bag” for $188.00.   Here’s what they have to say about their sleeping bag:

“Love the outdoors, but can’t fathom the idea of leaving the creature comforts behind? Why not camp out in style? Designed with the glamper (or glamorous camper) in mind, this hot-house inspired bedroll is fully reversible and dyed by hand.”

Oh JOY! Good thing it’s reversible! I wouldn’t want to sleep in a tent without my floral-printed, dyed-by-hand linens!

Anthropologie's Sumatra Cabana

Anthropologie’s Sumatra Cabana

Anthropologie’s Florabunda Sleeping Bag

(Does anyone else notice the missing polka dot on the sleeping bag?)

I realize that Anthropologie’s probably not actually serious about this… but come ON! Camping is just NOT a pretty activity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly in love with camping (and it’s a huge reason of why I chose to study the environment in the first place) but I digress.

This is quite possibly my favorite item listed in their camping section:

Anthros balls

Anthropologie’s Bocce Ball Set

You could buy these lovely balls for camping for a whopping $320.00. WHAT THE HELL?

This is just another example of Anthro’s frivolity and ridiculous prices.

…but I will always love Anthropologie.

What do you think? Are you a “glamper”?

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