Amber Byfield

Before & After: A Raised Garden Bed
During the last year, we focused mainly on fixing up the inside of our house. But 2011 is all about the outside, and we got to work before the holidays so we could eat out of our first food-producing garden come early spring. So far, so good. Take a look!We’re grateful that we have a lot of real estate to work with. Our first raised bed (the one pictured here) is four feet wide, eight feet long, and a foot and a half deep. It needed a cubic yard of dirt to fill it up!
Jul 17, 2020
How To Build A Raised Bed in a Metal Trough
Whether you call it a stock tank, a galvanized metal container, or a cattle trough (being from Texas, I prefer the latter), one thing’s for sure: these metal bins make for perfect and visually interesting raised garden beds. They’re cheap and come in a variety of sizes, so surely you’ll find one for your space. Then, follow these steps to create your own raised bed.
Jul 17, 2020
10 Things to Make With Felted Wool
As spring winds down, bringing the oh-so-hot temperatures of summer all the closer, we are knee deep in cleaning. In the midst of purging and decluttering, we’ve come across a handful of wool sweaters that really don’t need to make an appearance as apparel ever again. Here are 10 things you can do to reincarnate those tired old wool sweaters.Felting wool is as simple as washing an old 100% wool sweater in hot water.
Jul 17, 2020
How To: Reuse Tin Cans as a Container Garden
Growing up, we were taught that everything can have more than one purpose. One man’s trash is another’s treasure, some would say; we like to think we just concentrated on the “reuse” part of reduce-reuse-recycle. So when we went home earlier in the week, we snapped this photo of one of our mom’s trash-to-treasure successes. Here’s one small, simple project that you can do at home, whether you’ve got a green thumb or not.
May 9, 2019
7 Green Reasons to Use a Bread Machine
You might remember my argument for going back to the basics last year, which is why I fought the idea of a bread machine. But my boyfriend gave me one as a gift and in the last week I’ve been converted. Sure, you can accomplish some of this list by making bread the old-fashioned (or no-knead way), or by purchasing a fresh loaf at your local bakery.
May 9, 2019
Green Building: What Are the Downsides to Adobe?
While munching on pizza the other night, conversation drifted to the topic of adobe homes. Living in our hot, dry Texas climate lends itself to homes built from mud. We went over the pros: the bricks can be made on-site with little training, they’re “cheap as dirt,” they offer natural insulation, and the nature of the building material allows much room for creativity. And that’s just what we could think of on the spot.
May 9, 2019
Before & After: A Quick and Easy Kitchen Update
Last spring, when my husband and I bought our first house, we hadn’t painted a full wall between the two of us. That changed within about two days of us getting our keys. We soon learned that the greenest (and most budget-friendly) trick in the book is to work with what you’ve got—so click through to see how our kitchen has progressed from dark and dated to light and lovely on a dime.
May 7, 2019
Hot Tip: How To Keep Your Paint Rollers and Brushes Fresh
My fiance and I have spent our last two weekends priming ceilings. It’s hard work, but rewarding. Every night after a few hours’ work, we fastidiously clean out the rollers and brushes, using more water than we’d like—and they’re never up to par the next day. This was our practice until a friend stopped by today and let us in on a painter’s secret.To make the rollers and brushes last much, much longer (and save gallons of water in the meantime!
Mar 13, 2019