Friday, November 20, 2015

november light

mexican marigold gnome 
pepper bright 
pinky light

Sunday, November 08, 2015


 pinky leon and sötnos honey and salve (soon to be on etsy at Sotnoshoney)

Sunday, November 01, 2015

honey harvest #2


that sketched plan above was cast aside when we got in the hive. there were so few bees in the hive that we removed both supers (20 frames!). this way the bees have an easier time keeping their hive warm in the winter. 

joan and i had the help of her son this time. mini beekeeper!

it looked like a beekeeper massacre on the kitchen floor. we left the scene of the honey robbery pretty quick-like as we all had angry bees buzzing by our heads. as soon as we were indoors, the suits came off in a flurry. those things are hot, especially after dealing with agitated bees.  

right now the honey is dripping through the first strainer; it'll strain through a finer mesh after that. 

dealing with 10-ish frames of honey turns out to be a lot messier than 3.5 frames.



Saturday, October 24, 2015

first beeswax salves!


this is my first little hunk of beeswax melted from the cappings left over after the honey harvest. 

after the wax hardened, i re-melted it with olive and coconut oil. off the burner, i added cardamom essential oil for a warm wintery scent. i added beet root powder for the glosses for a little color. voila! the salves harden very quickly; it's satisfying to watch. more process photos.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

honey's first egg


this is honey, the norwegian jeerhon. she's petite and bold. she strikes me as a no nonsense kind of chicken. she's the first of the younger chickens to approach looking for treats when i enter the chicken region of the yard. she was also the first of the young'uns to lay an egg (the little white egg); honey squawked for about three hours pre and post that first egg. loudly. i was wondering what was wrong with her that day. she was probably wondering that too.

i try to match my clothing to her speckles when possible. ;-)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

introducing sötnos honey!

my first honey harvest went great (i think—not really sure what i'm doing).

joan helped, and it was so much easier to handle the boxes/frames together (though i'm sorry to say, some bees still got smooshed). we only collected three and a half frames (yielding 14 small jars of honey), but we'll do another round soon, and that will be it for this first year of beekeeping! the bees will need the rest of the honey in the hive to get them through the winter. i hope the bees make it through. i only have one hive, and a lot of beekeepers lost about half their hives last winter.  

we used the crush and strain method (instead of the centrifugal extractor thing) since we are just doing small batches. (thanks for the tip, jean.) there was very little crushing though. more straining. i'm hoping we didn't add too much uncapped honey. apparently the honey can ferment if one includes too much uncapped honey. (honey is deemed done when it's been capped/sealed by the bees. it has then reached the right water content.)

the honey will be called sötnos honey. sötnos is a Swedish endearment that means sweet nose. label coming soon.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015


pastel pinky 
espresso float (again) 
sea music festival at hyde st. pier

also went on a fun field trip to point reyes with lady friends last weekend when it was HOT. ate the requisite dunbar at bovine bakery, wandered around, went to limantour beach, and made it back to berkeley for an early dinner at saul's deli. unplanned, relaxing, and fun. 

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

fieldtrip: philo apple farm

every bend, corner, path, and field at philo apple farm is like a storybook. gorgeous. i'm sure it has required plenty of blood, sweat, tears, and thoughtfulness, resources, and family to make it what it is, but as a guest it feels like one is in an easy dream.

laurel and i attended a farm dinner there, with mostly anderson valley locals, and complete with live music. we played ping pong on a cracked and lovely colored table, while lefty the dog herded the ping pong table and us at breakneck speed, to the point of his being drenched and our having to stop out of concern for him. we enjoyed the incredible view of the farm from our room above the kitchen. the next day we ate biscuits and yogurt with philo apple farm jam. then we walked among the redwoods in hendy woods state park and checked out the very—sadly—piddly navarro river, which is dried up in parts due to the drought. and we brought apples and tomatoes and jam and apple vinegar home with us. all around yum.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

fieldtrip: tidepools


a fun day at fitzgerald marine reserve tidepooling and in pacifica eating, lying in the sand, kite flying and visiting the beautiful yonder shop. linda fahey owns the perfectly curated seaside shop, where she also sells her wavy ceramics, whale watercolors, and more.

Friday, July 31, 2015

before / after

front cafe in SF

Friday, July 24, 2015

old photos

been going through old photos lately. started looking more closely at the series the above photo comes from. i noticed that my cousin malin is wearing the green dress that later became a favorite of mine. just realized it must have been a malin hand-me-down. also noticed that i am cracking up in the above photo.

i love the swedish flag in the center of the desserts tray. i love the blue and green napkins, the flowery couch, the orange lamp, and the green thermos (in another photo). i love the total mishmash of decor.

in another one in the series, everyone is singing. must be a birthday. i love mormor's outfit (floor length floral skirt!), and my aunts' outfits. so 70s. and my cousin karin's jumpsuit. must have been hot for the uncles to be going around shirtless. this is how i remember swedish childhood summers—full of family, which was so fun and different from my usual only child life. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

chicken friends

jessie and juanita at top
nebraska, honey, and penguin

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

pink and red

had to add some color pop! for 42.

around alameda

biked this crazy delicious peach galette home from the farmers' market today. it's from crispian bakery, opening very soon, too close to me.

teenager chickens playing with their food.

Friday, June 19, 2015

midsummer PL


glad midsommar! | happy midsummer

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Untitled since i last posted, an urban homesteading tour in east oakland (above) and a trip to big sur (below) Untitled

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

some of the animals


1. jessie; 2. pinky leon; 3. chicks (so far: miss ohio, charlie brown, one i'm calling penguin, nebraska, and honey); 4. bees!

that last photo is from a video of the bees in action. you can see the pollen pants on a couple of the returning bees! you can also hear the yard.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

county line harvest


an outstanding in the field farm dinner, this time in petaluma, right across from straus ranch. such a gorgeous part of california. great food, great table mates (including an entertaining, opinionated, surly rancher), ridiculous views. fog rolled in during dinner and the blankets were passed out. brr.

last year, we went to capay farm

Sunday, May 03, 2015



it's been so fun to see the amazing and clever entries to courtney and alicia's strikeaway show

i sorted through jars and jars of matchbooks/boxes at the alameda antique stores. found some gems (above). (couple of closeups.) unfortunately i saved working on mine until the last minute and didn't have time to execute the one i had in mind. instead it became a simple one: note to self

some of my favorites from the ones i've seen:
hey yonder shop's whale
lindsay anne watson's burning house
sonya philip's
ian mclellan davis' zine
vase and flowers by molly hatch

Sunday, April 26, 2015

nyc and alameda


back in alameda after a trip to nyc. always nice to come home. (bee homes now in place and ready for bees!)

some photos from the lovely highline park in ny below. and more.

also loved this tom fruin house along the water by the brooklyn bridge.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

little swarm

i went to get a beekeeping lesson from chris of bubble farm soap co. bubble farm soap co. has some of their hives at alameda point collaborative farm. the farm was so pretty yesterday—blue skies, kids doing some farm work, and the bees buzzing.

upon arriving, chris spotted a little swarm, so he went to get a box to drop them into. it was pretty magical to have my first beekeeping experience be standing in grass by a flowering tree with bees buzzing all around. at a of couple points, seeing multiple bees walking around on me, i got a bit nervous, but i knew from taking a class at bubble farm that bees are at their calmest when swarming because they're filled with honey (which they eat in preparation to swarm). they're hanging out while lady scouts look for a good home. plus i had my suit on! so i kept filming and stood still and listened to the buzzing and watched all the bees looking like little bits of light zooming around.

after that, chris checked on his hives, which were in various interesting states, and explained what he was seeing/looking for.

knowing what to look for on the frames and deciding what to do in response to what i see will definitely be a long learning process, but i feel much more comfortable now about trying beekeeping! thx chris and jean!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

getting closer


still a few bits to paint, but bee boxes are almost ready!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


i'm sure i've said it before; spring is my favorite.

at the top are prints in bubble farm soap co's window. i had to go there to get some honey-related gifts and share with jean that i ordered my first beekeeping setup! very exciting. it sounds like it's been an extra rough year for beekeepers/bees with bee die offs in the winter. many bees were most likely affected by the varroa mite, though of course colony collapse disorder and climate change could be factors too. 

looking forward to painting my bee boxes and welcoming (with a little trepidation) swarms!

Friday, March 20, 2015

spring walk

took a walk with Marigold yesterday.

met the owner of this car; he informed me that this was the first Chevy to use fiberglass instead of wood. 

the baby leaves are so shimmery these days.

nasturtiums ♡

this blog is becoming a catalog of walks.

Friday, March 13, 2015

today's walk


marigold (pretty lady)

bang ponytailed dog

Saturday, March 07, 2015

spring colors?


Monday, March 02, 2015

alameda streets


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

at home


i think cards are the only things i regularly collect, but then i'm always giving them away too. some are hard to part with though. above is but a fraction from my breadbox stuffed with cards. seems like i see cards regularly for many people close to me: horses for mom, cats (everywhere!) and quilts for my aunt on my dad's side, marine life and mermaids for liz. birds and dogs for dad, oddball/funny drawn animal-creatures for laur. quail and bicycles for heather, bees and plants for elissa. the list goes on.

pinky sniffing


Friday, February 20, 2015

alameda sights


nother view of this fun thrifted vase

think i'm going to get some bees! excited.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


from the glorious weather weekend

morning sun with PL, fika with a friend, and a walk in the afternoon down magnolia- and jasmine-scented streets. pretty great.

i survived my first no-phone distraction day today. wasn't that hard, really. though i did find myself bargaining with myself at one point. "no dice," i had to tell myself, and kept reading. and, maybe more importantly, i had a conversation with an old acquaintance and introduced myself to the stranger i've been sitting next to at work for over a month. (crazy, really. though in my defense, he hadn't introduced himself either.) 

Sunday, February 15, 2015



delicious colors.

perfect jelly heart is from crispian bakery, opening soon right next to feel good bakery in alameda. they're going to give feel good some serious competition.

sweet marigold, my new neighbor dog.

and the weekend of gorgeous weather continued.