Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Giveaway: B.W. Barkery Collar, Bow Tie & Matching Leash Set

Today we're excited to be hosting a giveaway for a B.W. Barkery matching collar, bow tie and leash set similar to the ensemble Basil's sporting in today's post. One lucky ready will wine a complete set in their favorite choice of fabric and size.

B.W. Barkery specializes in dog collars, leashes, harnesses, toys & organic treats — you'll even find newly released designs for cats. Any of these stylish pet accessories and treats would make a fun gift idea for the pets and pet lovers in your life.

The collection is handmade by Debbie Turner in Hayden Lake, Idaho and started out from her desire to make healthy treats her two dogs, Bufford and Walker. After developing a line of certified organic treats (exclusively made with organic ingredients, wild caught Alaskan salmon and locally harvested ingredients), the collection expanded into offering pet accessories including collars, leashes, beds, toys, and more.

Basil's wearing this patriotic collar and bow tie set with this matching patriotic leash from the B.W. Barkery collection. We're loving all the unique and custom fabric options available in the shop, especially the bright spring and summer designs right now.

We also like how the bow ties are actually detachable from the collar, leaving several options for how Basil can either wear the collar alone, pair with the leash or really do it up with the full set.

We'll be excited for Basil to sport his new patriotic collar throughout the summer, and really do it up for the 4th of July. Speaking of doing it up, how cute would one of these bow tie collar sets be for a proud pup in a wedding with the bride's coordinating colors?

Thanks for stopping in today — Basil says hi! Learn more about B.W. Barkery, keep up with new designs as they're released and special promotions by following the B.W. Barkery Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.

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One of our readers will win the dog collar, matching bow tie and leash in the fabric and size of their choice from B.W. Barkery featured in today's giveaway. To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below — there are several options for you to choose from for entry. Feel free to use a few or all for more chances to win. For those unfamiliar with Rafflecopter, you fill in the fields using your choice of Facebook or your email, which is only used to contact the randomly selected winner (no spam) — it's that simple.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Our friends at B.W. Barkery are generously providing the dog collar, bow tie and leash for one lucky reader included in today's giveaway. All the thoughts and opinions are (as always) our own — thank you so much for supporting the partners that make 17 Apart possible.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Weekend Basics

Hello to you this rainy Tuesday! We're checking in off of a long weekend filled with activity and have been looking forward to sharing a few of the highlights here on the blog.

Friday we got up early and hit the road, coffee in hand, taking route 33 up to Madison County, VA. I was scheduled to interview Scott Ellif, the owner of DuCard Vineyards for an upcoming piece I'm writing for Lot18, so we decided to take the long way up, stopping along the way to scope out a few antique shops, grab a BBQ lunch and even dared to adventure into our own "freestyle pick."

The drive up to Madison County was beautiful — we took winding country roads along the way before ending up in the picturesque stretch of mountain land that is DuCard Vineyards:

Places like these are a photographer's dream; we're both still reeling from the landscape and story behind this beautiful place — one I'll look forward to sharing from my time spent chatting with Scott while there.

After spending the morning touring the vineyard and chatting wine, Mary and I purchased a selection of our favorite varietals exclusive to DuCard before packing it up to head back to Richmond.

We stopped along the way home to check out a few Antique shops that looked too good to pass up:

Then we ate a late lunch/early dinner (linner, dunch?) at a favorite barbecue spot, the BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville, VA. Yep, that's pork belly bacon you see here:

On the final stretch home, we noticed a yard where a tree had been recently cut down, with the tree slices left scattered across the ground. Wondering if the homeowners might be trying to get rid of the debris and having a pair of rustic end tables (similar to this project) on the brain for an upcoming decorating idea, I channeled Mike and Frank from American Pickers, and pulled into the driveway for what would be our first "freestyle pick."

The homeowner told me that he'd promised the wood to his cable guy, but that was before the cable guy never ended up showing with his truck, so he gladly told us to take a few slices of what we wanted. With that, we stacked two tree slabs in the trunk and one in the back seat. This was certainly an adventure — one we think we'll laugh about for the long haul, and can't wait to get started on the tables we have planned for these guys.

The majority of the remaining weekend was spent on the go, right here from home. After a quick trip to the hardware store, we tackled a couple projects we've been itching to get to and took the chance to get a host of spring plants in pots for the start of this year's urban garden.

For those of you wondering, Basil took the chance this weekend to enjoy the long sunny days:

Yep, that's our sun dog — always sniffing out the sunniest of patches to stretch out and snooze in.

We hope you had a lovely weekend wherever you may be checking in from today — thanks as always for stopping by to see what we're up to.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Fancy That

Original image by Tori Watson

Today we're back again, sharing all the smaller things we're into (or fancying, hence the series name) that might not fit into a single post for one reason or another. Sometimes there might be a long list of randomness, other times it might be a single gem — whatever the case, here's what we're into right now.

- Tumblr to Follow: Dear Laura

- How to cook dandelion greens.

- Some of the coolest (and funniest) hanging planters we've ever seen.

- Did you see this hilarious video about "upstairs neighbors?" We sent it to Stephanie and her roommate, who recently moved into their own apartment here in the fan and are getting all the glorious first-hand knowledge of what's it's like to be the "downstairs neighbors."

- 10 fruits & vegetables you can plant once — and they will keep coming back every year.

- Now this is a tiny home we could see ourselves staying in for an extended vacation — bonus, it's on wheels! Via tinyheirloom.

- What's been cooking around here? This homemade brunch pizza and an early spring riff on pasta carbonara.

- Finally, it's The Masters! If you know me, you know I'm an emotional sports guy. This video of Ben Crenshaw's final farewell at Augusta left me a little misty-eyed. So for now, let's go Phil!

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Garden Update: Why Aren't My Jonquils Blooming?

This time last year we were transplanting jonquil bulbs we'd dug up from my mother's place on the river around our house here in the city, in hopes they'd grow and multiply, bringing a little bit of history and familiarity each spring.

Read the full story with more of the family and historical background on these blooms in this post.

We went into it knowing we were digging the bulbs up outside of the recommended timeframe for transplanting. Typically you'd want to dig up a bulb just after the spring in an almost dormant stage, when the flowers have died and the leaves are just beginning to yellow and brown.

That being said, we weren't sure when we'd be back so wanted to get them while we could see them. We'd heard stories of bulbs that have been transplanted not producing blooms the next year or simply not coming back at all, so were a little nervous putting them into the ground once we got home. As you can see in the photo below, the plants did perk back up nicely after being in the ground a few days, so we crossed our fingers and have had high hopes for their return.

This year I was watching eagerly for those classic green tips to poke up from the ground in mid to late February and was elated when they did — every single bulb we planted came back with beautiful, strong green leaves:

I couldn't wait to see if they would produce blooms over the past several weeks, but here's the thing — they haven't.

After digging around on the internet trying to understand why they haven't produced blooms, it looks like it could be a couple factors:

1. Digging up the bulbs in full bloom last year may have shocked the plant, we may have actually damaged portions of the bulb during the transplant and it generally just may take 2-3 seasons for the bulb to regenerate and nourish itself in the new habitat before producing blooms again.

2. I may have planted the bulbs too deep. It sounds like the standard rule is planting a jonquil bulb 3 times the width of the bulb into the ground. This sounds about like what I did, but I honestly can't remember. I'm learning that bulbs planted too deep will use up too much energy just trying to sprout greens above the ground, not leaving enough to produce a bloom.

While the plants do look a bit tall and leggy, I'm hoping it's simply a matter of the shock of transplant that will just solve itself with time — and time should tell. If we don't get blooms again next year, it may be the latter. What do you think? Ever had experience with transplanting bulbs that didn't return bulbs — what turned out to be the fix?

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Over on eHow: DIY Upcycled Medicine Cabinet

A few weeks ago we made a trip down to one of our favorite local architectural salvage warehouses, Caravati's, to take a look around. If you're local to Richmond or visiting the area, this is just one of those neat stops, filled with richmond history — fun for looking around, killing time and drawing tons of inspiration.

In general, we've been planning to install a medicine-style storage cabinet in our master bathroom, but just hadn't found the right one. When we happened upon what we think was an old radiator door cover, it struck us that we could build out our own cabinet frame, using the door as a weathered and character-filled front facade:

Let's pan out for a minute here. Sometimes the world of blogging has its moments — can you see by the look on my face how excited I was to be out in the snow holding up this door for Mary to get just the right shot with a "de-cluttered" background? The things we do for our wives...

Basil was much happier to be investigating our new find from the comforts of the warm "cluttered" indoors:

To build out the cabinet frame, I measured and cut a 1x4 to fit just behind the perimeter of the door, capping it off with a thin sheet of underlayment board for the backing. Mary stained the backing and painted the frame before I fit and finalized it all. We were even able to re-use the same hardware from the original door to hinge everything together.

We detailed out the full process with more step-by-step images for building out the frame for one of our recent project posts with eHow — find it here

The end result is a mix of the old with new — a style we're both fans of. We're really happy with how the cabinet turned out and are enjoying having a little piece of Richmond history helping to keep our bathroom in order.

Depending on the size of the door, this cabinet could be made much larger or smaller — or even fitted with a mirror for a true mirrored-front bathroom cabinet.  Head on over to eHow to find our full tutorial with step-by-step instructions for making this medicine cabinet in the event you come across a unique door to up-cycle into one for your space.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Weekend Basics

It was one of the first truly "spring feeling" full weekends we've had in Richmond where the weather stayed steadily mild, the trees are bursting with buds and blooms and everyone around us just seems alive.

We kicked off the weekend with a Saturday trip to my mom's house on the James River. Spring on her property means the jonquils are blooming, shed deer antlers are prime for finding, and we were hoping to catch a glimpse of the ever elusive wild-growing asparagus across the land.

We lunched outside on my mom's front deck and later spent time down by the river while the tide was lower than I've probably seen it in my lifetime. We looked for shark's teeth, other relics and talked about the memories we'd made over the years and generations in this special place of ours.

In the afternoon, after much scouring around where we thought the wild asparagus patches were, I spotted a perfectly single asparagus poking straight up and out from the ground:

We'd seen photos of asparagus growing before, but it was an indescribable feeling happening upon them around the farm. They fall along a road-line, right outside where the cattle would have grazed along the fence many years ago and where mowers wouldn't have cut them down. We hear a small patch was planted around WWII and wild volunteers have been producing since — pretty incredible. We knew we were still on the early side of asparagus, so were thrilled to have left with a small handful of about 14 stalks, plenty for a breakfast fritatta to share or for garnishing Easter Bloody Mary's. See more pics and read the asparagus-foraging story from Tim's point of view over on EAT today.

Speaking of Easter, Sunday we woke up to this little Easter bunny hopping around the house:


Since we're housed a street away from Richmond's annual Easter on Parade, we'd been looking forward to taking advantage of the spring weather and walking along the streets of historic Monument Avenue.

This is one of those fantastic people-watching events where the "parade" consists of event-goers casually walking this stretch of the usually closed off road.

Again, since we live so close to this event, we let friends know to stop in if they came down this way for a few libations and a home base. I have to say, Tim went all out this time setting up the Bloody Mary bar on our kitchen cart:

And the bunny ears made for a good laugh, we all took turns wearing them.

We'd had high hopes of starting some seeds and starter plants around the house this weekend, but will take our time in that department now that the weather seems to have finally broken from the last frost window. With such a full weekend, we're ready to hit the work week and are looking forward to a winery trip to DuCard vineyards on Friday for an interview Tim has planned. Here's to Mondays wherever you may be checking in from today.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

1st Birthday Cake Decorating Idea: Cookie Cutter Shapes

Over the weekend we celebrated our youngest niece's first birthday. Ever since making the now famous (in our family) M&M cake for our nephew's 4th birthday, we've had fun tackling new and exciting cake ideas to bring along to the family birthday celebrations. For Chelsea's birthday, I used two different cookie cutters and a host of sprinkles to create a negative space shaped heart and sugary silver number 1.

We'd wanted to go with a number theme, but do something different than cover the cake with M&M's like we'd done last year for her brother's cake:

After whipping together a basic cake mix (any of your favorites will do), I did little digging around on Pinterest for "pinspiration", I came across several awesome ideas for how to decorate a cake top with sprinkles and cookie cutters — two things we have plenty of in this house!

I really liked the idea of using a large number with sprinkles around it to create negative space, but when digging through our giant box of cookie cutters, I realized our "number 1" shape was lacking in the appropriate size to make a big impact. Sulking and feeling a little defeated, I began digging through the rest of the cookie cutters in case something else might work — maybe I could spell out her name or do a series of different shapes. Just then, the giant heart cookie cutter appeared within the pile and all that's when it hit me — I could make the negative space with the heart and fill in the smaller number 1 inside!

My deflated internal dialogue then perked up to: I am brilliant. My neices and nephew will be blown away. Take THAT small "number 1" cookie cutter.

I first made the heart outline by placing the heart-shaped cookie cutter, sharp-side down, right on top of the frosted cake. I filled in a thick layer of sprinkles around the cutter, parsing them out the further away I got. To make sure they stuck into the icing, I even pressed them gently with the back of the small spoon I used to scoop them with, which was a big help.

Once happy with the outlining sprinkles, I place the number 1 shaped cookie cutter in the center of the heart and filled it with silver coated sugar sprinkles.

Definitely a satisfying movement removing the cookie cutters to reveal the end result!

Using cookie cutters and sprinkles like this could work for all sorts of decorating ideas — letters, numbers, shapes and more!

In the end, little Miss Chelsea seemed more interested in playing with gift bags, tissue paper and her giant number 1 — which was perfectly alright with us. Happy Birthday sweetheart!

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