Showing posts with label eco girl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eco girl. Show all posts

Sunday, June 08, 2014

in praise of the three Rs

 as much as I enjoy pinterest, nothing says lazy Saturday mornings like a stack of magazines, some lists on the back of receipts, (which land up being a mish mash of to do's, storylines, and trends to watch for) and a quick lavender French manicure. (easy DIY tip: run all over the end of your fingers with the polish and take it off after with a Qtip dipped in polish remover -- it allows you to make a smooth quick line)
 planned dinner party outfit -- (landed up switching out the earrings for something dangly) The thing I notice about thrifting is that nearly every trend I want to wear that shows up in magazines is probably something I already have in the closet or something that is waiting to be discovered at the thrift store. which either means people are buying trends and then not wearing them or there really is nothing new under the sun.
 missing button from this thrifted dress i love is fixed by rearranging buttons and pinning a jewelled pin I found at a flea market in Harrison in 2004 in the new missing spot. The thing I love about secondhand shopping is that it creates opportunity for each vendor along the way so the more reincarnations a piece has the better (many secondhand vendors are selling for humanitarian projects). I also love how it saves things from waste.
 even when clothing is done, it can still be recycled into something new: this frame waiting for the glue gun is covered with trim from a discarded blouse and an old postcard. (the rest of the shirt is waiting in my fabric stash)
thanks to a pocket door, our 1 and only farmhouse bathroom also doubles as a faux-ensuite. (thrilled to find the local dollar store was selling this vinyl wall sticker for a dollar and a quarter)

writing this week is piecing together the next project in the wings. I land up writing on a lot of scrap paper and many digital files and the throwing it all together and fleshing it out feels not unlike taking an interview and making it into an article or research into a paper.

if you're looking for a writing prompt, find one here

Monday, February 10, 2014

ribbons, biscotti, and the power of a child's heart

we've been whipping up homemade biscotti. my favorite recipes bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, and then are toasted for 10 minutes. our recent bakes were peanut butter chocolate and banana chocolate (much better than banana bread I have to say)
little c likes making lists of wants and finding ways to finance them (and he doesn't think small -- the list that hung on the fridge most recently featured a projector and a doorbell for his room) so when he was touched on compassion sunday (our church hosted one a couple of weeks ago) and signed us up to sponsor a little girl in india, I shouldn't have been surprised that he would find a way to finance her sponsorship. immediately his list came down, and he started sourcing couch cushion change and doing chores around the house, then he decided when it was adding up rather slowly, that if he skipped the 2 hot lunches at school this month, he could contribute that $10 too. and he's been eyeing the family Netflix account as a possible contribution. I have to say, as an adult that likes her perks (starbucks, magazines, etc), it's been pretty humbling. "Jesus did say, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

craft of the day (I have been alternating sewing and story weaving all day): I am a believer in the difference it makes in jeans to cut out the pockets and sew them closed. try it (you'll need a special jeans weight needle for your sewing machine) the ones I did today (amazing $2 Rock and Republic recent find) had super cute logo-ed lining I thought would be fun to try and make into ribbon. 
steps for the interested:
1. cut both pockets in half to make 4 strips.
2. fold and pin into desired ribbon size
3. sew along both sides leaving ends open so that they can be fitted into one another
4. fit each end into the next and match up the stitching
5. finish the ends
6. tie onto something you want to jazz up

Saturday, March 23, 2013

weekend puttering and other joys

 little c's $ stash. he dipped deep into it today to buy his starter garden seeds.
 boys 2 and 3 garden-ing it up
 while I got crafty with repurposing a favorite wallet that had bit the dust.
steps to faux croc cards for the interested.

1. disassemble wallet, take off foam inside
2. cut heavy card stock into the sizes you want and fold, glue stick heavily on one side and
3. place the glued side onto the faux croc immediately
4. trim around the card edge
- the coin holding card was hand stitched and safety pinned into place.

 love this kind of low maintenance spring beauty
celebrating my mom's bday today. eeking every bit of weekend out. (stack of fluffy reads waiting on my bed between chores. did some thrifting this morning. now that I don't do thrifty chicks shopping co anymore, I always have a box on my dryer ready to be donated. it works out to bring a box, take a box. i'm thinking profit loss is definitely better than risking hoarding. off to write a scene and read a mag.

Monday, September 05, 2011

this is what the denial of summer's end looks like

the only writing that is getting done is list making.

one last day to distract the boys from trouble making til school gets back in.

projects recently completed -- blackberry picking mission (perimeter of local park) and subsequent muffin making & frame bedazzling (to broken glass what lemons are to lemonade)

d's home, and we're on back to back computers -- the way we often veg, the boys keep running to the trampoline (giving thanks for the net surround as they practice their self-titled "ninja gymnastics"), and i'm sure i can scare up something to read while they're all occupied.

Friday, July 22, 2011

a variety of things from a variety of sources

the garden is growing, so are the weeds (i go out and pull a few every day so i don't feel bad about them. i'm not a weed killer kind of girl but the world is definitely prettier without them)

little c is at a sleepover at his grandma's with the middlest (before that he was drawing pictures of his much loved new sock monkey) they're there because today i am the mother of a 14 year old (i wrapped the presents last night before crawling into bed and all i found was some previously sketched on lined paper -- it turned out like i might want to recreate from time to time -- the best kind of recycling is also easier than new consumption) he and his friends are attempting their annual all nighter. you think i would be writing right now, but i'm reading stacks of magazines instead.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

juggling isn't just for books

last year's little planter bit the dust :( will have to source another like it

you guessed it, i have another stack of books to read. i pick one up read for a bit, do a chore, take the kids somewhere, come home, pick up another etc. i loved when tara told me her mom did this and it was a childhood memory of hers: 3 reads always on the go: one for morning, one for afternoon, and one for evening.

finishing up painting (which now that you mention it, is not unlike the 3 books i have on the go -- there are always a variety of on-going projects to pick from ;) and lest i don't have a craft to interrupt them, i found a $1 clearance rack dress to alter into something i saw and wanted that was $200. (it makes more sense to me to put the difference in our vacation fund)

the stories continue to chug along. it'll be hard not to inject a whole lot of summer days into them, because summer just takes over like that. heat, mosquitoes, fans, swimming, bbq, salads... there's a lot to write about.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

weekends are made for this

these canadian geese broke up traffic in front of my house the other day

i'm a fan of cute gardening gloves, but can't handle wearing them myself so thankfully little c wanted these so i had an excuse to purchase ;)

the garden, teeny mite that it is, is planted.

the garage sale has been held,

library in progress/thrifty chicks stockroom cleared out. and i am tired.

but the good kind of tired.

and i have no where to be but at home with my boys.

who thankfully have a bunch of library books to keep them busy. little c has been rabidly checking them out (he is obsessed with his self-checkout pin, forgot it the other day and reset it before officially checking out on his own ;)

while movie-nighting with d, i have my writing notebook and another for all the brainstorming i intend to do -- middleschooler's room overhaul, yard sketches, and pantry supplies breeding schemes (am considering properly learning to preserve this year) wish me luck.

any smartie pants suggestions on the above most welcome.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

everyday bling with extraordinary purpose

i'm rocking out my new necklace today, made by Leo in Haiti. if you're looking for some fair trade jewelry that does something more than just what it appears to do -- make your outfit cute ;) check out the amazing work of the apparent project

The "Un-Orphanage"

Haiti is known for being the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, the victim of this century's worst natural disaster, and home to almost 500,000 orphans. The ApParent Project is responding to these needs with a desire that Haiti become known for its unique beauty, the incredible strength and ingenuity of its people, and the deep faith and hope that has sustained them through unimaginable difficulty.

The ApParent Project is addressing Haiti's orphan crisis at the root by responding to the needs of families before they are at the point of desperation, driven to give their children to an orphanage because of exteme poverty. After all, the vast majority of Haiti's "orphans" have not been orphaned by parental deaths, earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods, but are children of living parents who gave them up simply because they knew that the orphange could feed their child. Lagging adoptions, overcrowding, and lack of accountability has made many orphanages less than adequate homes for children, who often develop severe emotional problems such as reactive attachment disorder. This is why we are an "un-orphanage." We are finding creative ways for Haitians to be self-employed so that they can take care of their own children with dignity and joy. To read more about our mission click
here, or begin to learn about our artisan program here. "

a few lunches to make, words to write, work to do, places to go, rooms to putter around in at home. that's what today is made of

Monday, May 16, 2011

more maiming of clothes followed by freshly baked cookies

there are lots of times i'm glad i don't pay retail. if i hadn't only shelled out a loonie and 2 quarters for this shirt, i probably wouldn't have cut the collar off the polo shirt at little c's request to try it. it worked and now is one he will actually wear instead of one that will look cute sitting in his overstuffed drawer. (off to school today paired with his cute wearable monkey he made while i was coffee-ing with my blond sister this weekend-- she finds the best distractions for him ;)

it was one of those 7 am cookie baking for lunches days (my go to recipe -- gourmet mag's 4 ingredient PB cookies -- 1 c PB, 1 c sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp baking soda. 350 for 10 min)

i'm folding clothes for thrifty chicks, playdoh-ing it up with a little house guest, and putting some scene on page. hope the characters do something interesting.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

real life as it is pictured in magazines

some people don't like ads in magazines. i know this because in my thrift jaunts, i once picked up a copy of one of my favorite magazines that a previous owner had scribed "not worth it. all ads" on the front cover and then signed their name like a superstar. i bought it for that entertainment value alone. ;)

but the truth is the collective ads tell us the trends like a $5 stylist. the unimaginative will run out to get whatever specific item the ad is hawking, but you can be more intentional. the trick is to find the specific things in the picture that speak to you.

it might turn out that you are not after an entirely new kitchen and the construction mess and bills that accompany it, but a few potted plants, a clean sweep of clutter from the counter, a fresh coat of paint, a clever chalkboard with a pithy quote on it, and a few bottles of fancy water might do the trick.

or you might look at a footwear ad, like it so much you rip out, and then realize you have sandals in waiting that will do the trick once paired with the nailpolish pictured you fell for. $2 later, the close-enough look is yours.

the peony bunches snapped in the current house beautiful making that overpriced room look beautiful, are yours in 3 bunches @ $1.25 at the dollar giant.

easy peasy instant gratification with the dollars left over to save for the big ticket things of life (often less exciting, but if we have had our few dollars fun we're ok with that) the truth also is that in the putting together the things that speak to you for home or wardrobe and being imaginative in the sourcing of them, you are more likely to pick up your own style. and being able to shop free of a buy the whole outfit or room mentality is a smart girl skill you will love having taken the time to acquire.

for some no cost house freshening up or overhauling follow this brilliant nester's advice
for help ridding yourself of your attachment to stuff go here

when i wasn't pretending the dentist office was a spa today, i was collecting things to write about. due to the day's overpiled to-do list, you know i will be writing them down while i movie night with d tonight

Sunday, April 10, 2011

the spring of my concoctions

when i was a kid, concoctions meant my mom was making dinner. she was brilliant at doing her work day and then coming home to throw together whatever was in the fridge. it was always delicious (minus that advent of the cooking season with those newfangled waterless pots which shall remain untalked about ;)

my concoctions are sometimes those sort, but of late have been much more assorted

for example

my current go to starbucks: grande cafe misto + 2 splenda packets + a few shakes of vanilla (like a $2 pseudo vanilla latte)

my current go to mid-day snack: cucumber slices + creamy natural PB -- the kind you have to keep in the fridge (like celery & PB kicked up a crunchy notch)

my current daily makeup: assorted bottles of near empty foundations found in my makeup bag + my moisturizing sunscreen blended into something custom (and you know this type of use it all makes me tres happy -- there are few things that make me more ill than throwing away useful things -- also why i ♥ reading pioneer and depression era stories as they had such clever ideas for this sort of thing)

this week will find me doing some day job, co-planning a sprinkle (like a shower only smaller -- a glorified girlfriends coffee/baby meet and greet) for a few recently baby-gifted friends, fuelled by coffee, working on word count, and throwing my hands up and conceeding defeat to little c's decor ideas which are definitely messy and list making oriented. (update: art wall has spread to a multi-media gallery installation on our second floor)

his grandpa artist's painting (copy of renoir's "chestnut tree in bloom" with the addition of me and d and the two oldest boys and grandpa's dog in mini) looks great by the living room's shot of color. perhaps that's part of what is inspiring little c ;)

if you're looking for a sunday read, laura from piece of cake is a frequently brilliant blogger and this post does not disappoint.

Friday, April 01, 2011

if these were a china pattern i'd call it "garbage day fiesta"

i'm not the type of girl to have a china pattern, but apparently i am now a collector of old lady lotto wreaths. (i'm sure these are set to inspire a book character) i came across the one on the right a while back and thought it was one of a kind. when i came across the even brighter one today i tried not to jump up and down -- thankfully i was with the middlest who saw the cool factor with me(totally different town and thrift store) you know i will be checking out alternative craft markets (source anyone?) for more ;)

to celebrate the return of the kids to their places of learning next week, we hit some kid-friendly stops today and i have a night out with a girlfriend and a D&M date on the calendar for the weekend.

for all my talk, i'm sure i will miss them on monday. ok, maybe not monday -- you know how i like my mondays, but tuesday for sure ;)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

my family will understand when we sit down to easter dinner on a bare wood table

spring break afternoon -- mid week of running the boys to hang out with their friends here and there and hosting kids myself i took a stretch of day for myself. it wasn't the 20 min nap (i read somewhere that sleep cycles are 20 minutes long so will only take them in timed 20 min intervals) they might still upset circadian rhythms as evidenced by my posting this tutorial in the middle of the night ;) but they make a girl feel rested (plus block out spring break brother on brother madness) but it came right after it.

i've been wanting to continue the sewing a dress for the next occasion, whatever it might be saga -- this time in 2011 spring trend cream lace so you know when my grandma was throwing away her lace tablecloths i saw them as more than table finery (plus i'm a plain jane linen for the table girl) so i started in on the dress. (which is waiting for more fabric store supplies so will likely get finished next week as i can't picture the boys volunteering to hit fabricland this week or myself volunteering to take them -- they might craft it up from time to time, but also are apt to choke hold one another next to sewing notion stands ;)

it was all pinned up and then i realized i still had some great cream lace remnants laying around so you know i thought how about a shirt? pulled out a stretchy nude cami and handstitched away.

easy peasy how to:

1. pin a layer to the top seam, folding to cover raw edges and letting the machine finished seam hang down, sew

2. do the same thing on the bottom edge of the cami

3. try on

4. strategically layer the remaining lace somewhere in your midsection for whatever layered look you are going for (i settled on tying rosettes to the one strap, letting it drape on a diagonal and then securing with stitching to the bottom hem)

5. know there is no wrong way to do it -- it's your one of a kind shirt

still working through the stack of books i scored at the friends of the library sale last week --clever of them to call it that --it did make me want to be their friend -- 12 books (not all for me -- i shared with d and the boys) for $3

& adding notes and found scrap paper scenes to my lovely notebook. the sewing was a fun distraction, but the words will be where i will be focusing my attention for the rest of the week(when i am not sorting out my taxes -- the only time of year it is annoying to be self employed in multiple ventures ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

it's ok to love your bedroom as much as your husband, right?

i am so in love with the new master suite light fixture (thanks to the out of town curbside sourcing of my fellow thrifty chick) it has been sitting and waiting to go up and my dad arrived home from gallavanting in Toronto with my mom and came right over to put it up. it is so my favorite room even more now that when my blond sister came over with surprise starbucks yesterday (delicious tall skinny vanilla latte) i demanded we coffee on the bed to properly delight in the ambience ;)

i have a few hours to get words to page this afternoon before playdate central occurs. after that, there's the anticipation of d's arrival home for a late movie night. (the latter to get me through the former ;)
happy thursday to you

Saturday, January 01, 2011

upcycling for new year's

you know i like eco-recycling things and cheap things and fun things (which explains my browsing addiction to the shabby nest and the like)
and this project was all that
conceptualized this fall after i saw something fun and bright blue shiny at le chateau
and wanted some of that
this was a fun fresh take with money left over to ring the new year in with

steps for the interested:

1. take a bright satin thrift store bridesmaid dress (v waist, hideous bows on sleeves perfect)
2. rip the seams apart from bodice to skirt with a seam ripper
3. lay the material flat, folding it in half or more, depending on size (it is now insta-lined)
4. step into it, pinning yourself into it up the left side if you're right handed (conversely, up the right side if you're left handed)
5. step out, repin along the same line turning the seams inward
6. flip sheath inside out to sew (hand stitching is your best bet unless you are a machine whiz -- satin is tricky to work with tension wise)
7. along the top, flip raw edge out, leaving enough room to work an elastic through, sew
8. pull a thick elastic through making sure it lies flat, knot at desired fit (try on)
9. stitch top shut, attach accessories pulled off original gown (bows, bling, etc) if you don't have any, disassemble a dollar store flower hair accessory in a complementary color and sew it on
10. try dress on, pinning and sewing darts where needed for fit
it is the most comfortable thing to wear if a little crease prone. ;) definitely plan to do this project again. black or champagne satin would be perfect.
happy new year 2011!
definitely a year of more fun with friends and craft projects ahead
writing will be scattered between family celebration today

handmade projects