Friday, April 30, 2010

couldn't resist - this moment

inspired by soulemama's this moment.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

outdoor & green smoothie challenge love

yesterday when colden woke up from his nap, i asked him what we should have to eat and he said, "green smoothie!" yes! we've been participating in the challenge, hosted by suzanne, and have not missed a smoothie day! we're lucky to have a vita-mix, which makes these a really lovely consistency. our go-to smoothie base = frozen banana, spinach, and enough water (or tea) to make it turn. i haven't been drinking the quantity challenged, nor a very wide range, but i'm pleased to be getting fresh greens daily! in more adventurous times i was making smoothies from celery, cucumber, lemon, parsley, and ice. no joke! by the way, parsley combines really well with mango. seriously! i plan on stocking our freezer more fully to take advantage of the full range of possibilities for these throughout the summer. and making green smoothie ice pops. they were a hit last year!

we haven't missed a day outside yet for lisa's outdoor challenge either! i always joke that the weather forecast in portland always predicts the percentage of the day it will rain. so, a chance of precipitation of 30%, means it will be rainy about 30% of the day. this gives us ample time to catch some dry outside time. the past two days have been crazy though, with hail and even thunder! normally we never get thunder, so it's kind of a treat to me. perhaps that's my midwest showing. ahem.

i'm glad we're keeping up with these worthy endeavors, though i think we'll do better with nicer weather. more inclination for raw foods and time outside! are you facing the same challenges? what's working for you?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

indigo hat

happy birthday mom! i finally finished the hat (requested in the comments here)! i used some of my stash of organic pachuko cotton, ordered from elann long ago. i even knitted and measured a swatch before i started this time! mom, i hope it fits and i hope you like it!

the tricky part was getting my indigo fermentation pot going, and marc helped out a lot with this part too. the first time we had the pot in a tupperware storage container with some christmas lights and foil for heat, but it never really got going. i also insisted on using rice bran instead of wheat bran, which we thought might be the problem. we abandoned it for awhile, and then placed the container over a heating vent. it worked! i think it got too hot the first time, even though we measured the temperature. the hat was dipped and rinsed three (or four?) times, and the color is gorgeous! i'm so excited to try more indigo dying experiments. some playsilks perhaps? dying the yarn before knitting it up? heather posted more on dying with natural dyes. this could be addictive!

oh. p.s., mom. i guess the blue can rub off. it didn't on my hair! but, it could. i love you!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

a sweet nest

it seems that this is my 100th post! i'd like to celebrate by sharing one of my creations, this little recycled wool nest and egg. (woolly egg pattern here.) thank you to everyone who stops by this space to share inspiration and support. i am so grateful for the connection and positive perspective in my life. for the gift, please leave a comment, and i will select a random number monday evening and plan to post tuesday with the recipient. if you like, share something you are grateful for this day! love to you!

congrats, marie! the powers that be (aka random number generator) selected you! let me know where to send your gift! blessings!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

gifts of the earth - flowers

our yard is overrun with these flowers. i don't know what they are. i'd almost call them invasive, but they are quite pretty and they have a lovely scent. the other day i saw a teenage-ish girl walking slowly down the sidewalk, tenderly collecting a flower or two from yards she passed. i could so relate. when i read little house on the prairie as a child, i always wondered - where are those girls finding all those wildflowers?

inspired by kate, we gathered some up and took them to the bus stop. i imagined they'd brighten someone's day. or many someones! and it was an excellent opportunity to practice my harvesting skills too. my friend melanie's words stuck with me: when you ask permission of the plant, you can feel it give itself over to you, just before you pick it. maybe it sounds woo woo to you, but it makes a difference to me. the rushed flowers' stems sternly broke halfway. the others lifted easily into my hand. i love how kyce wrote her post on harvesting medicine. and elizabeth is on the same wavelength.

we were thrilled to find our jar emptier than we'd left it. and although i would have loved to see it fully empty, i think this says something about the sweet people who passed by. no one would take all the flowers without leaving some for another... but i may try a 'free' sign later on and see how fast they go. and i might start asking the neighbors after their lilacs...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

earth day + treasure mapping

one small change has been such a delight. i'm so grateful we took the challenge! i don't ever expect to stop! having a goal every month, and a community of support has been a big motivator. i'm thankful that suzy and her family organized and empowered so many. (if you are among them, don't forget to post your earth day wrap-up here. one of my recycled hedgehogs is among the sponsor prizes!)

marc and i worked on a treasure map the other evening (inspired by erin!). i started to use magazine clippings, but none of them were right, and i'm so pleased with the drawing. i'm usually not a draw-er. just sharing a peek - i confess, i kept wanting to squeeze in more! this year we're especially excited to continue our food journey; growing, canning and living more sustainably. my heart has been singing over this article in our local paper (mamas at home, it's a must-read!). i'm looking forward to reading the book too: radical homemakers.

in the spirit of earth day, if you have a few moments to spare, please sign these petitions:

from environmental working group (by way of susan - thanks!): ask congress to take action to make chemicals in consumer products kid-safe! sign here.

from food democracy now: labeling laws may prevent gmo foods from being labeled as such worldwide, sign here to voice your concern. we have the right to know what is in our food! see here for just one study on the risks of gmo foods.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

here - a hand

i finally sent my hand out to juliann. i embroidered 'here', as a gesture of giving, and also a statement of being. when struggling with an invisible illness, such as fibromyalgia, depression, or irritable bowel syndrome (or more than one of these and others), just being here is a feat in and of itself sometimes. i am blessed to have many people in my life who are living fully, despite pain and other health challenges. i loved making this, and i am thinking of ideas for more embroidered wisdoms or mantras. such as jamie's "it doesn't get any better than this." what do you think? anything you'd like to see in stitches?

Friday, April 16, 2010

papa-made sling

colden and marc, february 2008

edited to add: rachel just let me know they will be posting my contribution to her babywearing celebration tomorrow (4/17)! i am so excited! i will add the link here, once it's up, or you can just click below! yay! it is!

babywearing has been absolutely incredible for us. marc made our slings, and even one of our wraps! if you're interested in more on babywearing, rachel is hosting a celebration with giveaways (still time to enter). and if you're a fellow wearer, suzy's collecting photos on facebook. spread the love!

p.s. let me know if you're interested in more on how marc did it, i'll see if i can get the details!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

reclaimed wood

today colden helped me build a small fence for a little garden bed. we used the wood from his old high chair, which was truly falling apart. i hated the idea of it going to the curb, and a heavy mallet aided me in turning the spokes into fence posts.

when we got the high chair, we checked thoroughly for any original paint that might contain lead, and papa painted it with voc-free paint. we were very proud to have thrifted and upgraded a non-plastic high chair (though it probably was a little bit more difficult to clean)!

in another reclaimed wood adventure, papa made garden boxes from an old deck. it seemed like there was no sealant or any other nastiness remaining. our landlady, however, was kind enough to share that the pressure-treated wood carried risks as well. over time, this wood will leech arsenic into the soil next to it. so, our beds were dismantled, and we're currently using the cold frame on the patio for some starts. (you'll notice that we have not gone plastic-free there yet either.) eventually, i imagine, that wood will be headed to the dump. we love recycling and reclaiming, and buying new wood is a mixed bag. there are places in town where we can purchase environmentally-friendly options; like non-treated pine that is not cut from old growth trees. it costs more, naturally. but we're not messing around with lead paint or arsenic risks.

i love this clothesline shot. for me it represents the political action inherent in laundry-hanging, and the consciousness we carry into our everyday action. i am happy to report that we've been getting outside everyday, and this has been the most fun and successful change we have made so far. (and also, i can't resist the play on words. get it? agitator?)

Monday, April 12, 2010

vintage swap show and tell

many, many thanks to melissa, of in our eyes, who braved 'morning' sickness to post these to me all the way from australia for the past vintage swap. the lace is enchanting! and happily, melissa is feeling much better!

just look at these sweet little crocheted dollies! a friend suggested i sew a little pocketed bed for them. wouldn't that be lovely? oo! i'm already drawing up plans!

oh, and there's more! the mail order patterns are even more exciting with overseas postmarks, and you can't even really see the lovely embroidered linen upon which it all rests! would you believe that the kahlil gibran book is published by hallmark circa 1974? the illustrations are beautiful, and of course, the words are too.

here's a peek of what i sent melissa. and tons of thanks to heather for hosting. i've connected to so many wonderful people (and their blogs) through the vintage swap. (in fact, i think i may be missing out on some because naptime is only so long, and my brain can only process so much!) vintage love to all!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

tutorial - waldorf-inspired sock doll - 5. arm stitching

here's the links past for this multi-post tutorial on waldorf-inspired sock dolls:

make your own, from materials you already have! this is a great way to repurpose holy socks with no other use and create a friend for your child, or another!

in truth, you could sew these arms on any old way, they'll be hidden under the body casing. the main thing is flexibility, and the way they hang. when you pin them on, test out their range of motion and hold up your doll to see how the arms will lie.

1. stuff the arm with sock bits. you can squeeze and shape the arm as you go to get the right density and form. use a pen or other tool to help.

2. pin the arm to the back shoulder area of your doll for sewing.

3. back stitch along the back; right where the arm is meeting the body. i used this stitch because it is very secure, and gives extra strength to the join. (i also used a doubled thread throughout for the same purpose). be sure to secure your end - simply done by knotting the end of your thread and pulling your needle back through the doubled thread.

here is the back side of my back stitch.

4. whip stitch along the bottom, smoothing the material flat against the back as you go.

5. trim any excess.

6. whip stitch top as well. i did the top before the open edge to make sure i was smoothing out the arm material on the back evenly. though these will be encased in the body material, you'll want to keep it smooth and un-bumpy!

7. whip stitch the open end, tie off, knot, and pull through the body and arm material. then snip your thread.

8. do the other arm right on top of the last!

i found lots of instructions on these stitches via google, but i'm planning on making a video for one upcoming. i'd be happy to do videos of back stitch and whip stitch too. if anyone is interested, say the word!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

saturday inspiration - dandelions

we've joined the outdoor challenge, hosted by lisa at 5 orange potatoes! i am especially loving all of the herbal wisdom in her space! hooray for dandelions!

p.s. i may not post a picture every day, but we are getting out there daily! never too late to join!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

woolly egg + nature table love

i am tickled to pieces to have found these woolly eggs in your homes!

imagine my joy in seeing a dozen eggs by amy! (she actually made 15!)

and a perfect trio by andrea! i love how this yarn makes them look like they are speckled!

ours are currently upon the nature table - except when they are stuffed under the couch. (does anyone else's child like to hide treasures there?) i loved seeing all the nature tables at the rhythm of the home blog! erin shared a beautiful table from her children's school too. and i would love to see more! woolly eggs + nature tables both! please consider sharing yours on the flickr group, or let me know if you have seen any others around the interwebs!

edited to add: just saw suzanne's woolly eggs here, and found them on her blog here and here! aren't they fantastic?

Monday, April 5, 2010

one small change - april

you've seen my seductive clothesline shots, right? admittedly, those were staged. but here i am actually cleaning real laundry! these are real dishtowels, i swear:

in april, and onward, i will endeavor to dry more clothes outside. definitely all towels being my goal. last month's change was not as successful as i hoped, but i am ever-striving.

how about you? are you celebrating earth day?

one small change was started by hip mountain mama and family. many others have taken up the challenge to make earth-friendly choices each month leading up to earth day, and are sharing their journeys (if you are inspired, find other april changes here - or join in yourself!).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

chicks and a bunny

we've been thinking about getting chickens and a bunny. when marc and colden came back from the grocery store saturday, surprise!:

fingers crossed that they are ladies! (you are permitted to have three hens within portland city limits. roosters = too noisy). so excited!!!

saturday evening i laid the stitch work, and this morning a new bunny joined our household too! hope you had a blessed weekend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

april first - this moment

inspired by soulemama's this moment.