Archive for February, 2010

a woolly giveaway

Remember back when I mentioned that I was cleaning out and organizing my studio, and that I would be having a few giveaways consisting of things I probably won’t get around to using? Well I am back with another something from some of the (continual) organizing that occurs around here. I hope someone can give this yarn a better home than I have.

I found this yarn for an amazing deal at a thrift shop. It is 100% wool in a dusty pink color. I have not had much time to knit these days and I don’t do much pink, and admittedly, I am not entirely sure how I feel about permanent moth-proofing. If you would like 6 balls of pink wool yarn, simply leave a comment on this post. I will choose a random winner sometime on Thursday March 4.

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful weekend. xo

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shop update

Over the last week or so I have been adding some new things to the shop. The Essentia Satchel is now available in midnight gray and a new color – Cornflower Blue in 100% certified organic twill. The Ruche is now available in Wheat Brown brushed twill, and a new pair of eco toes are available in fresh berry colors. A couple new wristlets have been added as well –  one in Cornflower Blue and another in Honey Mustard Yellow.

There are a few more items still to add, and then I have some new things I have been working on which should be up in a week or so. Exploring newness has been really fun and refreshing!

Gotta run. It’s coffee time!

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growing microgreens

It’s that time of year again, where I find that store bought greens are so un-appetizing, yet I am craving more raw, fresh green food. Being so anxious to start growing some of my own food, I decided to begin indoors.

Below I will show the process of growing buckwheat lettuce indoors, but the same steps would pertain to any microgreens you might choose to grow. The best choices for this type of quick, small scale growing, are greens that sprout in 3 days or so, and are leafy in 7-14 days.

Buckwheat lettuce is mild flavored with slightly tart undertones. It’s delicious on sandwiches, mixes well with other salad greens, adds a green boost to smoothies and is also just nice to nibble on it’s own.

You will want to have on hand some organic potting soil, a tray with drainage (I used an empty salad greens tray and drilled some holes in the bottom), a trowel or large spoon and your seeds of choice. Sunflower seeds (in the hull) are another great choice, with a much fuller bite and satisfying flavor.

Fill your tray with about 2 inches of soil and smooth it flat

Cover the surface with a layer of seeds and spread evenly

Gently cover the seeds with a thin, smooth layer of soil – about 1/4 inch thick

Water your seeds very gently. I found the mist setting on my hose nozzle works well. A gentle pouring of what ever water you drink (I like to water my seeds with purified water) is also an easy way to water without too much disturbance.

Set in a well lit area, but out of direct sun. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not too wet. How often you will need to water will depend on the humidity in your house. In about 3 -4 days you should start to see tiny tails.

This is where we were at after 7 days of growth

And here we are at 9 days.

And here we are enjoying some of our homegrown greens!

I feel I should add that I recently read some articles regarding the potential toxicity of buckwheat greens. They contain a naturally occurring substance called fagopyrin, which, when ingested in large quantities, can cause photosensitivity. The quantities I have heard discussed are in the half pound and more per day, juicing large amount and eating large portions over lengths of time. I think that many foods can have toxic effects when eaten in large quantities over time, and I (as well as others who have touched on this subject) feel that when eaten in moderation buckwheat lettuce is a supportive, nutritive addition to the diet. I have grown these at different times throughout the years and have never had side effects from these greens. By rotating the micro-greens you grow, you will add variety and interest and not over do on any one in particular. Other possibilities for growing are sunflower, mesclun, alfalfa, broccoli, fenugreek, chia… We find ours at our local herb shop. Most health food stores will have a selection to choose from as well.

Have fun! It’s so satisfying to eat homegrown food.

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Giveaway Winner

The winner of the little pouch was comment #14. Congratulations Rennae! I will get in touch by email soon.

Thanks everyone, for your comments. I have another giveaway planned and hope to have it posted sometime in the next week.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. xo

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a valentine for you

I had wanted to be here with this giveaway yesterday, as a little Valentine’s Day gift to you, but the weekend was packed and it just slipped on by.

So here I am today, with a little something just for you! This little zipper pouch was made with vintage fabrics and lace, and has been divided into 2 compartments inside. A sweet little way to store change, chocolates, sewing bits or what ever your little heart desires.

In order to enter for a chance to win, simply leave a comment, and I will pick a winner sometime on Saturday.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I found the mother lode of woolly amazingness the other day. It’s pretty hard to find natural wool blankets at the thrift stores around here, and especially ones that are in nice condition and come out of the wash smelling only of pure wool (as opposed to the tenacious stench of synthetic perfumes, the smell of wet dogs and other potentially unattractive aromas). It is extremely rare to find sheepskin at the thrift stores here, and this rug may just be the thickest, coziest sheepskin rug I have yet to experience. To find all of this on one trip was super exciting.

Now that everything has been washed, and the sheepskin finally dry, it occurred to me that I might be in on a secret. Want to know?? Sheepskin can be washed in the washing machine! We have been washing our sheepskin in the washer for years. We don’t wash them frequently, but when they need a refresher it’s nice to be able to wash them in natural soap and water, in the convenience of our own home.

Set your washer to the gentle cycle. I think a front loader would be favorable, but we have washed them in top loaders in the past. The agitator can be hard on things, is the reason I mention that. Once finished, hang it to dry, out of direct sunlight (this one took 3 days to dry). Once it’s dry, some exposure to sun (UV) also has a purifying and freshening effect, and in between washings, an occasional hour or so of exposure to  sunshine can help keep your wool items fresh.

I also read something just the other day (though I’m not remembering where at the moment), that addressed washing leather in the washing machine. It said that leather items can actually be washed in water. The importance is that the whole thing gets evenly saturated, and then evenly dried. This is easier with smaller items that don’t have a lot of seams. Larger items like leather jackets and bags might need a little more discretion. I never dry clean anything, and I break almost every washing rule (you know, those little care instructions on the labels of clothing and other textiles). With a little common sense and intuition, it almost always works out.

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the happy blogger

Hi! I just discovered that the Happy 101 blogger award has been passed along to me, by my blog friend Julia of rennes handmade (Thanks Julia!).

“The rules of the award are simple: list 10 things that make you happy and then pass along the award to 10 wonderful bloggers.”

( I happen to be a pretty happy girl, so listing only 10 things is not so easy!)

Ten simple things that make me happy:

1. Fresh hot coffee. With half and half.

2. Sunshine on my skin.

3. Thrifting. Lately, especially for things to grow plants in.

4. Sleeping outdoors.

5. Completing a project.

6. Bird behaviour.

7. Moonlight.

8. The amazing and interesting things kids say.

9. Seeing something I’ve seen before, in a new way.

10. Cashmere.

Ten wonderful bloggers:

Melissa – tiny happy

Liane – enhabiten

Michelle – two and six

Katja & Minna – nestled in

Valerie – dans le lavabo

Margie – resurrection fern

Sonia – cozy homemaking

Julie – julie’s world in the world

Aino – savilintu

Molly – foothill home companion

Have a great day everyone – a day filled with happiness!

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Over the years, through various moves and a once very mobile lifestyle, we have given away all of our houseplants. Being settled now, and working on bringing life to a new home, plants come to mind a lot – and the fact that we really don’t have much greenery in here. Throughout the last week I set to work on that. It only took a few (very enjoyable) moments of my time, at a few different intervals, and did not cost a thing. If you are wanting to bring a little bit of green into your home, you might try just taking a little walk around your yard to begin with.

It helps to have some containers on hand that you find attractive and would like to display around your home. I have been collecting terracotta pots at the thrift store, as well as some simple pottery pieces that catch my eye. Things like succulents should be fine in a pot without drainage holes, as long as you are careful not to over-water.

The succulents shown, I found growing along our driveway. They multiply quickly and there is quite a large spread of them. I chose from a few areas that were full and healthy. I gently spooned up the dirt underneath them, and with only a gentle pull, the roots came free.

The mint I found growing in the planter box out front, and if you have ever grown mint, you know that it also multiplies readily. In a similar way that I moved the succulent, I now have a small potted mint which I look forward to watching grow.

We will soon start some seeds indoors, to be moved out to our garden when spring is a little closer. We have been collecting materials to be used as seedling pots, and once we get started I will share more on that.

Happy planting!

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Gather around relationship like you

would gather around a fire, ready to

contribute to its fuel and safety.

Each relationship must allow the fluid motion of change and growth.

Let relationship take you

where you are both needing to go.

In relationship give

what you need from the heart.

Relate heart to heart

no matter what.

A relationship works best when we

accept the needs of our true self

and act on them.

Give freely.

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