Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Conscious by Chloé is a lifestyle blog focused on Zero Waste, Sustainable Living and Ethical Fashion written by Chloé Lepeltier.

Hairpin Leg Bench DIY

Hairpin Leg Bench DIY by Conscious by Chloé

Last week-end was meant to take place a whole different way.

We had a whole road trip planned to the Northwest Overland Rally. But on the way there, Charlie (Octave's Land Cruiser) got a mechanical problem. So we drove back home to fix it.

I guess I must have had a premonition because I hadn't deleted all the events taking place in Portland on that week-end from my calendar. So I looked at the bright side and made the most of these 2 days in the city.

As some of you might have seen on Snapchat, I woke up early on Saturday morning for an outdoor yoga session followed by a (free) açai bowl for the one year anniversary of Carioca Bowls.

Later, I walked to the Woodlawn Farmers Market, which had reopened while I was in Europe, to get a little mint starter for my garden and some blueberries to snack on during the day.

After that, I rushed to one of my favorite shops in Portland, Johan, for its moving sale and splurged on ceramics. I also scored the vintage silk shirt I'm wearing on the picture and an amazing bodycon dress, made in the USA!

Ceramic cup found at Johan by Conscious by Chloé

Then I checked my phone and realized I had forgotten about the book launch of Becoming Minimalist's Joshua Becker. I was happy to see some friendly faces from the Portland Minimalists Group and get to meet Minimalist Baker Dana Shultz who was here on stage with Joshua.

Later in the day, I dragged Octave to Salvage Works to get some wood for a project I had in mind, and the main subject of today's article: a hairpin leg bench.

Hairpin Leg Bench DIY by Conscious by Chloé

So here's our little tutorial:


HAIRPIN LEG BENCH DIY

A hairpin leg bench is a pretty easy and inexpensive project that will immediately add style to any room in your home.

Active time: 1 hr
Total time: 2 hrs

Supplies

Tools

  • Hand file
  • Orbital sander + sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Screws

Instructions

  1. Carve the edges.
    We used the hand file and finished with 60 grit sandpaper.
  2. Sand the wood.
    We used the orbital sander starting with 60, then 160 and finally 220 grit.
  3. Seal the wood.
    We used a polycrylic spray we already had from a previous outdoor sign project. We sprayed 1 coat and sanded after.
  4. Attach the legs.
    We more or less eyeballed the leg placement, but you can definitely measure it properly, and even clamp the legs and flip the bench over to see how it will look.

Notes

You can try different ways to seal the wood. We used what we had on hand, but wood sealer and Danish oil may be better options.


Hairpin Leg Bench DIY by Conscious by Chloé

I love the idea of making something new out of something old. Of course, the project is not 100% made our of reused material, but I'm glad we decided to go to a local shop rather than the usual hardware store. This quick DIY, which happen on the very same week-end Rachel made hers definitely gave me more DIY envy.


What about you? What was your week-end like? Lazy? Productive? This one was definitely on the active side but I promise it's not always as busy or inspired. But my Pinterest inspiration boards are here, in case my hands are itching.

Jun, the honey-based Kombucha

Jun recipe by Conscious by Chloé

At my local farmer's market, there's a Community Table where people can sell what they make, or extra produce they have from their garden. A couple weeks ago, I read on the market's Facebook page that Vera was hosting a kombucha workshop there and selling starters for a small donation.

I had been hearing about kombucha for months, but never really knew what it was, so this was the perfect occasion to learn more. I went to the market, Vera explained to me the difference between kombucha and jun, I picked up a jun mother, Vera's recipe and went back home to start my own brew.

Contrarily to kombucha, jun feeds on honey rather than sugar. It also thrives in green tea. These 2 characteristics led me to brew jun rather than kombucha. Apart from this, both fermented drinks seem to have beneficial properties due to their probiotic content.

During my research, I stumbled upon continuous kombucha brewing recipes. As it looks like the mother, or SCOBY - which stands for Symbiotic Culture of friendly Bacteria and Yeast - does not like being handled too much, I thought it would be a great idea to adapt Vera's recipe to continuous brewing. But, let's be honest, I chose the continuous brewing option because it involved less hassle and less washing up!

Jun recipe by Conscious by Chloé

JUN TEA

It is sometimes called the honey-based "champagne of kombucha". I love its tangy taste. I drink it instead of orange juice during the day or add a little water if I I brewed it too strong.

Yield: 1 gallon
Active time: 10 min
Total time:

Equipment

  • A glass beverage dispenser with a plastic spigot (no metal!)
  • Closely woven material to cover (I cut an old t-shirt)
  • Twine to secure the cover (I used 100% compostable gardening twine)
  • Measuring cups
  • Vinegar for sterilizing instruments (soap can leave traces)
  • A strainer
  • Glass bottles with a plastic lid

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Boil the water and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the honey and stir until it is dissolved.
  3. Add the tea and let the mixture steep for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Strain it and let it cool (you may use metal utensils for these steps as you're not in contact with the SCOBY yet).
  5. Once the sweet tea is at room temperature, pour it in the beverage dispenser, add the starter tea (about 10%) and the culture starter.
  6. Cover the top of the dispenser with the cloth and secure it with your twine.
  7. Place your brew in a warm place with air flow, out of direct sun.
  8. Depending on the weather and the size of your vessel, the process can take 4 days to 2 weeks. If it's really warm, start testing around day 5. The more sour and tangy, the less sugar is left, which is considered healthier.
  9. Once you've reached the desired flavor, open the spigot and fill glass bottles. Close them with plastic lids and store them in the fridge. Jun can store out of the refrigerator for some time, but it will continue to ferment.
  10. If you really want fizziness, you might want to do what's called a secondary fermentation once the flavor is to your liking. This is simple. Simply store the bottles closed out of the refrigerator for 3-7 days. This is also when you might want to add flavors such as herbs and spices. You may want to add juices and fruit purees after this period, as there is a tendency to get overly sour or carbonated.
  11. As soon as the level in your container is getting low, prepare more sweet tea and pour it into the dispenser once is at room temperature.
  12. After a few batches, a new SCOBY will form. It it gets too big, you can tear a piece off and give it to a friend with some starter juice so he/she can start his/her own brew. Try not to handle it with your hands too much, but a little doesn't seem to hurt and don't forget not to let any metal instrument be in contact with the SCOBY (like a pair of scissors or a knife).

Notes

Be sure to keep the culture covered at all times and to keep and eye out for those pesky vinegar flies. Sometimes, there are color variations on the new SCOBY forming at the top. It's not mold unless it's a different color or gets fuzzy. If this happens, you need to sterilize and start over. Do not use metal instruments while handling the SCOBY. Jun is more forgiving than kombucha if it gets too sour. It might be too sour for a couple rounds but will return to the original flavor. And don't forget to head over to the Conscious by Chloé Shop to find all the equipment you'll need to make this recipe.


Do you drink kombucha or jun? Do you brew your own? How is it going? Please share your brewer's tips in the comment section below!