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Choosing our Non-Toxic Mattress

| simple living

Savvy Rest Non-Toxic Mattress (2)

*update! see our review after sleeping on this mattress for 6 months here!

david and i have been in the market for a new mattress for nearly a year. we've slept on the same one for over 10 years, and though it was still comfy, we knew we wanted something more. with a growing family and lots of extra little people in our bed, we wanted to make two changes: 1) move to a king size mattress and 2) make sure it was chemical-free and organic. if you know us well, you know we research everything before we make a purchase. especially when it comes to health, safety and the environment! i knew this one was going to be a biggie. with so many mattresses to choose from and so many materials to sort through, the research phase took a quite a while.

Our chemical free mattress from savvy rest

Our savvy rest chemical free mattress

let's first start with why we were sure we wanted a non-toxic mattress. in one word: CHEMICALS.

the amount of harmful chemicals used in commercial mattresses is astonishing. flame retardants such as PBDEs, boric acid and antimony are highly toxic, and now a dangerous new flame retardant, called FireMaster 100, has been introduced (since the ban of PBDEs in 2004). mattresses are also usually sprayed with potent insecticides, especially if they boast “treated for dust mites”.

many of these very common mattress chemicals have long-term effects, particularly on the developing brains of children. since we co-sleep with our littles, this has of course been my #1 concern! endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been linked to autism, ADHD, lower IQs and more. avoiding these chemicals is also critical during pregnancy, so making the switch quickly was also important to us (baby #2 will be here in september!).

enough said? we figured that since we spend over 1/3 of our life in our beds, that investing in a safe and healthy place to rest would be totally worth it.

after lots and lots of research, we decided we wanted to purchase a natural latex mattress. natural latex is pure, incredibly durable (20 years +!), comfortable and sustainable.

Natural Dunlop and Talalay latex in Savvy Rest's organic mattress

the company we fell in love with was savvy rest. the natural dunlop and talalay latex they use for their mattresses was exactly what we were looking for.

we instantly fell in love.

i'm not sure i can even express to you the comfort level of this mattress! layers of natural latex wrapped in an organic cotton casing pretty much had us at 'hello'.

after speaking directly with savvy rest, we decided that this was absolutely the mattress for us. they helped us choose and customize each side of the bed for our individual needs and took us step by step through the mattress choosing process. we have always liked sleeping on the softest of mattresses available, so we went with one of the softest setups they offer (i chose medium dunlop, soft dunlop and soft talalay on top for me and since david is heavier, we chose firm dunlop, soft dunlop and soft talalay on top for him). each side is constructed of three layers of latex, so they are incredibly easy to customize!

dunlop and talalay - how do you choose? both are natural latex, but have been manufactured differently. basically, dunlop is denser, which makes it a bit firmer overall and talalay gives you that pillowy-soft feel. dunlop is also a little less expensive, so we chose to use that on the bottom two layers, and top them off with a pillowy soft layer of talalay. you can refer to savvy rest's support for how to choose the setup that's right for you.

Savvy Rest Non-Toxic Mattress

after the decision was made and our layers were chosen, we placed our order and waited patiently. soon, 3 large boxes labeled  'savvy rest' arrived at our door and we felt like a couple of small children on christmas morning. moving up in size to a king mattress, also meant we had to purchase a new bed frame, so we hurried to assemble it and unbox our new mattress.

assembly of our new savvy rest mattress was fast and easy (i wish i could say the same for our new bed frame. whew!). each layer of latex was clearly labeled and was easy to unroll. the layers rest inside an organic cotton casing, so that went down first. we then spread out the 3 layers of latex in the proper order and zipped up the casing. i think it only took 15 or 20 minutes to set up!

i'll never forget the moment we first laid down on our new mattress. we sunk into the pillowy top and felt as though it was giving us a big welcoming hug back. bear collapsed on a pillow in the middle and we all snuggled in to enjoy the moment.

we've been sleeping on our new savvy rest mattress for nearly two weeks, and i'm happy to report that we are absolutely in love! each morning we wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated. we've had zero aches or pains. the only problem so far - is that we don't want to get out of bed!

pillows on our organic mattress

upgrading our mattress also finally gave me the extra 'oomph' i needed to finish several projects in our bedroom. after being in our home for nearly two years now, i'm so happy to feel like this room is finally finished - and it actually resembles a bedroom! just in case you spied something you're curious about, i thought i'd also list some resources that really helped bring the room together.

mattress: savvy rest serenity (king) with 2 layers of dunlop and a top layer of talalay latex
sheets: threshold organic sheets in ivory
comforter: puregrow wool organic comforter by earthsake
bed frame: malm
headboard: mandal
curtains: handmade using timberland trunk in voile
artwork: ursa minor
pillows: sanela covers, handmade linen covers
lights: jansjo
hanging planters: skurar
chair, mirror and planter: thrifted
tree: fiddle leaf fig

if you're in the market for a new mattress, i encourage you to do your own research and make the decision that's right for you and your family. we are so happy we invested in a chemical-free mattress that will last us decades and supply health and wellness to our family for years to come!

thrifted chair in our bedroom

June 2015 Desktop + Smartphone Calendars

| free downloads

June's Desktop + Smartphone Calendars (3)

may is winding down and june is just around the corner! this month has been incredibly busy but very fun (see a little recap below!). june is packed full of adventures as well. i'll be heading to san francisco next week to teach my next course for creativelive, celebrating david's birthday the weekend after and focusing on several design projects throughout the rest of the month. my favorite things about june are the beginnings of summer vegetables, juicy watermelon and loads of sunshine! what will june bring for you?

to download june’s backgrounds: click on the image above to download the .zip file with both calendars inside - or - click here to download the desktop background and here to download the smartphone background. enjoy!

a little recap of our month!

June's Desktop + Smartphone Calendars (2)

to download the printable version: click on the image above to download the PDF calendar. print on heavy card stock (my favorite is epson premium presentation paper). punch a whole at the top to hang or simply stack.

please note: all images, patterns and designs © bonnie christine | going home to roost. you may not reproduce, re-create or sell in any way, but please feel free to download for your own personal use. if you share on your own blog (i’d be delighted!) please direct your readers to this post to download the file. thank you!

may’s roost tribe recap

| roost tribe

the roost tribe: create | learn | inspire (1)

may is winding down and june is almost here! today i’m sharing with you this month’s recap of the roost tribe, which gives you a sneak peek of what roost tribe members received last month. if you’re interested in receiving it, you still can. i’ll be sending out a recap on tuesday, to members with all of the content in it from last month so no one will have missed anything, regardless of when you might have joined during the month.

that means, that if you join before tuesday, you’ll still get all of mays’s content + june’s content as well- that’s two months for the price of one!

the roost tribe: create | learn | inspire (5)
12 WEEK SERIES: 12 things that make my business thrive: part 8: sell with no ceiling, part 9: gain an online following, part 10: share one thing, part 11: master the art of working from home.

over the course of 12 weeks, i’m sharing the top 12 approaches i’ve taken to my business that have helped it thrive. some are hard fact business based, and some are inspirational, but they all have one thing in common: they have worked for me and have had a tremendous impact on my success and happiness as a creative.

the roost tribe: create | learn | inspire (1)

inspiration set tech backgrounds.

the roost tribe: create | learn | inspire (2)

printable seed packets.

the roost tribe: create | learn | inspire (3)

recipe for delicious vegan salted crackers.

growing garden pattern collection.

plus more! being a member is tons of fun and we would love to have you join the family!

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.33.04 PM

five things you can do before building your portfolio

| handmade
The Top Five Things to Do to get Your Portfolio Organized (3)
hey everyone! as you probably already know, i'm teaching a course on how to  design, print and build your portfolio for creativelive next week (june 3rd). i'm so excited, i can hardly stand it! this course is specifcally on portfolio building, but students will also learn how to bind their own book and pick up a few new illustrator tricks along the way as well.
for me, presenting a finished body of work in a well thought-out portfolio was an essential part of moving my career forward as a creative. i believe that whether you're an artist, a photographer, illustrator, painter, writer or surface pattern designer (like me!) - making a handmade portfolio that is a true reflection of yourself and your work will help advance your career.
if you're planning on taking the course (it's free to watch live!), i first wanted to cover just a few things you can do in order to prepare. see below!
The Top Five Things to Do to get Your Portfolio Organized (1)

five things you can do before building your portfolio:

1) finish a body of work. this one is easier said than done! possibly the most useful part of preparing for a portfolio is the motivation it brings to complete a body of work that you're ready to share. it can be easy to have several half-way completed projects or collections, unfinished ideas and untitled documents floating around. when you decide to build a portfolio, you'll gain the motivation you need to complete all those projects and package them nicely.
2) gather materials & decide on a method. the next step should include gathering the materials you'll need to actually make your book. feel free to take some time to research the different kinds of books you can make and decide on one that fits your work best. (some of my favorites include the drum leaf method, screw and post method and the coptic stitch method.) *i'll be sharing detailed information on all the materials you need for the screw and post method during class!
3) decide on what to include. another important step is to decide on what exactly you'd like to include in your portfolio. some people may prefer a simple portfolio that only includes actual artwork or photographs. more complex portfolios could include a table of contents, several collections, an about page, contact page, product mock ups, and more.
4) have an end viewer in mind. do you know who will be seeing your book? this could be an art director, professor, agent, publisher or mixture of them all. keeping them in mind as your design your book will give you focus and clarity on what or what not to include. i suggest making a list of companies or individuals you hope to share your work with, which will help give you guidance (and motivation!).
5) gather inspiration for you book. when it comes to building your own book, the possibilities are endless! you can begin gathering ideas by looking at other handmade books, inspiration boards and collections. you could fill your pages with printed images, painted pages, actual sketches or illustrations, found bits of inspirations and more. think 'sophisticated scrapbooking' and let your imagination run free!
of course, i'll be sharing with you my own portfolio and how it's helped me get to where i am today during class. i'll also show you how to design your own pages (using adobe illustrator), discuss printing options and learn how to actually build and bind a handmade book. we'll cover how to make your portfolio align with your brand and truly reflect your work as an artist and how best to stand out from the crowd, too.
you can RSVP for the class here - i hope you'll join us!

psst. want to join us LIVE in san francisco on june 3rd as a student in the audience? there are only a few spots left. you can apply here!

a favorite find: ePantry

| eco friendly finds

a favorite find: epantry

i've shared my love for ePantry before, and i'm happy to report that after using them for a year, i'm still in love! every month we receive a big bundle of sustainable household goods that we've hand selected for our family. i've been able to keep a well stocked cleaning cabinet and try a few new things for over a year now!

so what is ePantry? it’s an earth friendly service that makes purchasing eco household products super convenient. in just three minutes, they create a customized, yet highly flexible, schedule for all your household products — with speedy delivery to your door for cheaper than the grocery store (or even amazon. seriously!). based on your household needs, ePantry recommends the right amount of sustainable household products to keep you from ever running low.

with babies around, using earth friendly & safe household cleaners has been more important to us now more than ever. i'm pleased to say that i haven't had a toxic cleaner in my home for several years now, and ePantry has been a huge part in making that possible (and easy!).

ePantry's website is easy to use and fun to engage with, and the employees are always a pleasure to work with! they also recently became a B Corp (hooray!) and donate to save 25 square feet of rain forest for every order shipped (and they're doubling that to 50 square feet through may 31st!).


the most exciting news? this week, ePantry has offered everyone who places an order by may 31st a $10 gift card and a 70 hour grove organic soy candle ($12.95 value) in their first purchase! i've been burning a grove candle this week myself, and they smell so delicious (i know you'll love it!). just click here to visit ePantry and start picking out you eco-goodies today!


Design Challenge Winners + Honorable Mentions

| handmade

hi everyone! today i get to announce the winner for the design challenge i hosted for my second skillshare class, surface pattern design 2.0! i’ve spent the last several days pouring myself into the student’s projects (61 of them!) and have enjoyed viewing everyone’s work so much. let me tell you, it has been SO HARD to choose a winner!

luckily, i had some help this time. stephen fraser, co founder of spoonflower helped me go through everyone's projects and choose the top 3 winners. thank you, stephen! everyone did an outstanding job and we have been blown away at the final patterns!

without further ado…

Design Challenge Winners + Honorable Mentions (3)

the winner is abandon by nikki o! i immediately fell in love with this collection. nikki does an outstanding job with each of the elements in the collection, and i love all the added textures she applied. the collection as a whole varies in weight from every angle. she includes dark and light contrasts, small and large scales and complex to simple repeats. she also does a great job incorporating some linear, directional and all over prints. great job, nikki!

From Stephen: This collection is well-thought out. Nikki does a nice job walking  us through the process of gathering inspiration and developing the elements of the collection. Good breadth to her collection. Interesting color palette with exciting and interesting design elements.  

for winning: nikki will receive a 45 minute personal one-on-one review and industry chat with me, $100 gift certificate to spoonflower, ten 1/2 yards of any fabric collection (her choice), lifetime membership to the roost tribe, and a set of 6 art prints from course presentations.


Design Challenge Winners + Honorable Mentions (1)

second place goes to morning stroll by sandra bowers. this is another delicious color palette! i love sandra's use of textures, beautiful florals and linear designs.

From Stephen: This collection offers a nice variety of patterns to suit a range of applications and a bright, contrasting color palette. Balanced collection that manages to combine both complicated patterns and simple designs.

for 2nd place: sandra will receive a $50 gift certificate to spoonflower and a 1 year membership to the roost tribe.


Design Challenge Winners + Honorable Mentions (2)

third place goes to spring revival by holly mccaig. this collection is just full of good feelings. i absolutely love her color palette and how she varied the complexities of each design. busy bee is just the cutest print!

From Stephen: Interesting color palette. Nice detail and imagery. Cohesive collection with well balanced designs. 

for 3rd place: holly will receive a $25 gift certificate to spoonflower and a 1 year membership to the roost tribe.


and finally, a few more honorable mentions! these patterns were all close contenders for the ‘top three’ and i love them each so much. take some time to visit the project pages below for these patterns to see each final collections.

by row:

1 – dreams of spring by crystal picard
2 – summer dirt by anna stout-tuckwiller
3 – a fresh beginning by whitney todd
4 – cuckoo by pippa shaw
5 – springtime by metka hiti
6 – butterfly dance by shelley s
7 – free to be by jocelyn friis
8 – morning on the farm by annika olsson pedersen

ready to learn illustrator and start creating your OWN patterns? come join us for intro to surface pattern design and surface pattern design 2.0!

psst. ready for the next step? join me for how to design, print and build your own portfolio!

Succulence at Spring Quilt Market

| bonnie christine design

Succulence by Bonnie Christine at Spring Quilt Market (8)

hey everyone! as you might have followed over on instagram, we've just returned from spring quilt market! though minneapolis was beautiful, we got back home nearly an entire day late due to delays and cancelled flights (i know several of you had issues traveling this week, too!). needless to say, i think this is the first morning i feel back in my groove. so, it's time to share a little of my booth with you!

for this market, i debuted my upcoming fabric line, succulence for art gallery fabrics (available this september!). this collection was inspired by the plant i always fill my home with - succulents! it's earthy and cheerful and filled with terrariums, plants and found bits of nature. i've even sprinkled a few metallics in there!

i wanted my booth to resemble an old home where years and years of layered wallpaper had been scraped away. we had so much fun hanging it (amazing quality from spoonflower!), and then ripping and tearing it away from the wall. one of the most fun things about market is having an excuse to try anything you want!

Succulence by Bonnie Christine at Spring Quilt Market (6)

i couldn't have done it without my mom, maxie makes. she made about half of my samples and helped me set up and break down. the above hanging book mobiles is just one of the projects that she worked on. i just love how they turned out!

Succulence by Bonnie Christine at Spring Quilt Market (7)

we found these huge foam flowers on sale at a local shop that was going out of business, and i'm so glad we did! i wasn't sure they would make it after being scrunched up our suitcases, but they fluffed back up beautifully. i have them home with me now and hope to hang them in the nursery soon!

maxie makes also made these two pretty handbags. we're planning on sharing a pattern for them soon!

Succulence by Bonnie Christine at Spring Quilt Market (5)

Succulence at Spring Quilt Market

as usual, i used my silhouette cameo to help with several aspects of the booth! i cut the vinyl lettering at home as well as all the paper petals for the flowers on the wall (i used this tutorial from lia griffith). i'm telling you, this machine is amazing!

Succulence by Bonnie Christine at Spring Quilt Market (4)

Succulence at Spring Quilt Market

for the booth, we also made a sew together bag (above left), the agate quilt from purl bee, a stuffed bunny rabbit and a petal play quilt. we had so much fun! 

did you got to quilt market? if so, what was your favorite discovery?

Calypte Collection Gift Certificate Giveaway

| giveaway

Calypte Collection Gift Certificate Giveaway

one of my favorite ways to accent an outfit is with a simple piece of jewelry. bracelets are usually my favorite (probably because they are the most toddler friendly!), and i love these from calypte collection. they are comfortable, modern and sophisticated!

carol's pieces are always inspired by the outdoors - the dark forest greens, blue rushing river waters, and singing song birds call her name. carol works as a wildlife biologist by day where she's happily immersed in the beautiful colors of nature, from the gorgeous hues of blooming flowers to the iridescent colors of hummingbird feathers. you'll find this nature inspired color palette woven throughout her collections.

carol has also generously offered a $75 gift certificate to calypte collection for one of you lucky readers. read on to find out how to enter!


enter to win: one $75 gift certificate to calypte collection.

deadline: giveaway will end sunday, may 24th at 12am, EST. the winners will be drawn using a random number generator and announced on this post shortly after.

to enter: comment on this post sharing with us your favorite color from nature (for example, mine would be the mint color from the wings of a luna moth!). 

additional ways to enter:

>> sign up for calypte collection's newsletter.

>> like going home to roost and calypte collection on facebook

>> share giveaway on twitter and include the handle @gohometoroost and @calyptec.

be sure to leave a new comment for each additional entry so it counts (limit of 4 comments per person)!

good luck! xox, bonnie