Opening Up Shop

     When I first began thinking about what Ramble & Root might encompass I knew I wanted to blog, just personal projects and happenings, things for myself that I thought would be fun to look back on in time. I also had an inkling of an idea that I could someday sell some of the things I made or photographed. I wanted a space that didn't pigeon hole me into being just a photographer or just a painter or just a hand-letterer or just a maker... You get the idea ;) I love anything creative and artsy and I like to make things for myself and also to try different mediums to see what might stick. I had a dream of an etsy shop that featured a current series of pieces that I could make until my heart felt content and then when the creativity for that project began to run dry, move on to another. A sort of shop that someone looking for unique, one of a kind items for their home would be excited about. The kind of shop that I often seek out when I am shopping for my own home. Photographs of course were the first thing to come to mind, but the task of reviewing my own work often proves to be daunting and I shy away from my computer more often than not. So those are still in the works.

     Fast forward to the present, summer 2016. My love of fiber and textiles has been around for as long as I can remember. I tried my hand at knitting a few years ago, it worked but it didn't resonate. I learned to crochet this summer, I got it and I liked it! And it's on the table for personal projects... maybe because it was summer, I wasn't feeling all that excited about scarves and blankets ;)  But then I came across a wall hanging tutorial and thought, now that seems like fun... And it was! Ten wall hangings later with inspiration still pouring out of me, I thought, now here's a series with some promise, maybe other people would enjoy them in their homes... plus #hoarding ... not the direction I want my life to go, haha. I can see the headline now "missing family and family dog found amongst thousands of yarn wall hangings", no thanks! So with five wall hangings ready to go (and more on the way) I finally opened my Etsy shop! If you're in the market for something pretty for your wall or you know someone else who is, have a peek! RambleandRoot on Etsy -

     I'm always interested in reading about how people do what they do. So I'll share my simple approach for those of you who like that kind of thing too. My process is informal. Often my son and I go out on little adventures and gather branches, feathers and if we're lucky, seashells. He's 2, you can imagine his enthusiasm! I strip and sand each branch by hand. I love perusing yarn shops for materials that are luxurious and fit my current color palette and often pop into bead shops in hopes of finding the perfect little finishing touch. I hand tie each piece and once the yarn is complete I decide if it needs a feather or beads or shells to finish it. Sometimes the way the yarn hangs off a particular branch is just right and I leave it at that.  The possibilities are endless, I'm having so much fun! 

Now I'm off to play with yarn and branches ;) Thanks for stopping by!


Erickson Ranch May 2013


     Jams and jellies and preserves. Erickson Ranch takes the fruit from their trees to make the most delicious condiments. They also locally source certain fruits, such as berries, if they aren't grown on the ranch. Last May I photographed Victoria and Ray making their Meyer Lemon Jelly. They make each batch by hand, from juicing the lemons to the final stir before pouring the hot contents into jars. To watch the process you know they've been perfecting the art of preserving for some time. They have a skillful system down and to watch them work together is to witness two people who have a common love and pride in their fruit, their product and the art of the handmade. 

     Erickson Ranch is part of a larger community of Solano County & Suisun Valley growers. They utilize the commercial kitchen at Il Fiorello Olive Oil to make their wares. It's such a humbling process to watch the simple, natural ingredients that make up a jam such as their ranch grown Blenheim Apricot and then to taste the finished jam a few days later. My personal favorite is a good ol' peanut butter and jam sandwich! (I would have said jelly, but I've since learned the distinction between a jam and a jelly!)

     If you haven't tried their jams, head out to the Ranch (2482 Cordelia Rd. Suisun Valley, CA 94534) on Sunday, June 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m for their season opening event,  "All Things Apricot". There will be jam tasting along with other local makers and it is a great day to explore the ranch! 

Hope you're all having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! 

To see all months from my 2013 year long project click on the month: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptember