Archive for May, 2010

I ordered a small amount of some new brown organic cotton twill a while back, and it turned out to be just the shade of chocolate I have been looking for! I received a larger quantity of this fabric today, and the Essentia Satchel is now available in this color, in my etsy shop. I have also added the Rogue in Organic Honey Mustard  and the Rogue in Midnight Gray.

I’ve been working on some new things this week. I have been seriously enjoying sewing up what ever feels fun in the moment, so you can expect quite a few one-of-a-kind and unexpected items to appear. I don’t have a time set yet, but will let you know when an update is ready.

It’s been a rainy, windy, sleepy day here today. I feel like I just finished my morning cup of coffee and that my hair should still be damp from my shower… but it’s nearly 10pm! I know I will sleep well tonight.

Ta ta for now. Have a nice night friends.

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Swainson's Thrush

I have always enjoyed birdwatching, but over the past couple years or so I have taken a strong interest in bird identification. I am learning to catch the smallest of details, like a stripe across the eye, bands on the wing tips, details of the belly,  the color of the top of the head… and sometimes all you get is a fleeting moment when a tiny bird is close enough to observe in that way.

And then there are all the sounds of each bird. There are certain bird songs that I have heard all my life, but have never been able to match the song to the bird. One of the most remarkable and unusual songs I can think of comes from the Swainson’s Thrush, and it may have been what sparked this interest of mine in the first place. It was really exciting to finally know who belts out this song every evening in the spring and summer. I have long associated this bird’s song to endless summer days, warm evenings spent on the lake, far out camping spots in lush green locations, and a feeling of total awe for nature. I am super happy to say that our Swainson’s Thrush is back for the season – tonight marking the first night of their return! Steven and I both stopped in our tracks at the sound of them, and smiled with excitement. I LOVE to start the evening to the ethereal sound of this birds whirling song, as all the daytime creatures gather themselves up for the night.

Here is a sound byte:


And here is a really great list of many kinds of birds, with short sound tracks of each:


And here is one of the best identification lists I have seen for smaller birds:


What kind of birds are making their way back to your area this season? If anyone has any great links for identifying birds, I would love to see!

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I just stumbled on this range of beautiful kitchenware (via Merchant4) by ChaBaTree. I am a huge fan of wood and glass, and love to replace their metal and plastic counterparts in every possible case. For example, the wooden ice cream scoop and the measuring spoons – ah! perfect.

In addition to beautiful, comfortable design, keeping in  balance with nature is important to ChaBaTree. The wood used is from managed forests and no chemical finishes are used.

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a scuffle in my chimney

When I got out of bed yesterday morning, Steven, who had been up for an hour or so already, said he felt that something was in the chimney. It had been putting up a fuss and banging all around, right above the heat exchanger (which is right above the fireplace opening). It was so loud and so close that it startled him. He felt it was at least as big as a crow and by the sounds of it, was possibly a bird.

After that first morning ruckus, it was quiet for hours and we thought maybe it had left, but by early afternoon I heard noises, in brief intervals, which sounded to me like the thud of paws landing on a surface and a light scuffle, but then it would be silent again. I got to wondering if there was a raccoon up there. By mid-afternoon we decided to open the flu in case something was trapped. The idea that something might be trapped and die in there was not a happy thought, for many reasons! But nothing appeared and nothing could be seen when looking up with a flashlight.

Toward evening we heard a scuffle again. This time, when shining the flashlight through the glass fireplace door, I could see ash falling down and dust flying, and finally, of all things, out fell a duck! That was the last thing either of us had ever expected! So there she was in our fireplace, now trapped behind glass. In an effort to help her out in a way that wouldn’t cause a big freakout or make a huge mess, we got a big box, set the opening in front of the door and then opened the fireplace. I even filled the bottom of the box with grass and put a water dish in there. Surely she was thirsty, after huffing soot all day.

It didn’t take long to realize this was a ridiculous idea and that she might never come into the box and even if she did, she wouldn’t stay put for us to move it. I did a quick research on how to pick up a duck (no, I’ve never picked up a duck!), we opened all the doors, I got myself ready with my leather gloves and gardening sleeves and opened the fireplace. She was very small and slender, not like your common puddle duck, and very scared. The fireplace is pretty wide and she got by me, flew STRAIGHT up and into the window (which now has a sooty duck print on it), then into the kitchen, onto the counter and finally, whoosh, out the door. And wow, did she fly. She beelined over the yard, through the trees and then straight into the lake. We watched her bomb into the water and dive below the surface. I think I could even hear her quack a few times : ) I could have cried, with happiness! What a frightening trip she just had. So happy she made it!

This was taken just after she landed in the water. I can make out the ripples from her splash.

If we could do it over, we would definitely have opened the flu sooner. Hard to imagine being stuck in a sooty chimney all day.

And now if you ever end up with a duck in your chimney, hopefully you will have a better clue of what to do than we did!

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