Archive for April, 2010

our new house!

jason and i have been looking for a house for about a year now.  we wanted an older house in a particular neighborhood, but price was an issue.  this house was a short sale, we were the second ones in, we’ve had to wait…but now we’re going into escrow.  let me take you on a tour!this is the living room, painted a bright sunny yellow.  i love the bookcases and other details of older homes.  and that leads into the…

…dining room, which is a bright orangey-red.  i finally have an excuse to have a red dining room.  ’cause you know, painting a light color over a dark color is really hard, so we’ll probably paint it a toned down version of this.  yay!  and if you look off to the left, you’ll see……my future studio!  lots of light and space; we’ll probably fix that window up with some new glass.  eventually, we’d like to put a master bath in this space, which connects through a closet to the master bedroom.  having only one toilet kinda scares me.  but enough of my issues, let’s continue into the……kitchen, which has been redone recently (2005?) with granite (!) countertops and stainless steel appliances.  there’s room over there for a kitchen table, with a nice sunny window to look out of while eating granola.  let’s turn around and head through the laundry room to……the cheery second bedroom, which we’ll either use as a guest room or office.  not sure.  walk through the room, ignoring the big ole’ walk in closet with a built in dresser, into the hall and peek into the……bath, which has a new full-sized tub (and sole toilet) and two, count em’, TWO sinks!  and i love the colors.  keep walking down the hall into the……master bedroom.  love, love, LOVE the color.  it’s agean blue and so soothing.  it will probably be a little cozy with our king bed, but i’m still psyched.  if you turn right into the closet, you’re back in my future studio, which is perfect.  i want to show you some of the cool details of this house:like this book shelf in my future studio;built-ins everywhere, like this hall closet;and the rounded doorways like this one that leads from the dining room into the living room.  and check out that bright sun coming in through the window!  check out the backyard:it’s fenced in and has a garage (yay!  a place for all our crap!  we recently had the brilliant idea to make put much needed new doors on it that would allow us to make it more of an outdoor room.  it’s already finished, so we dream of polishing the concrete floor and putting some cool furniture in it):and finally, the grassy area, just the right size for molly to roll in the grass.  we’ll probably xeriscape the front yard but keep the grass in the back.thanks for visiting!  i’ll keep you posted on whether this all works out.  fingers crossed!

UPDATE: as of today, June 9, 2010, this baby is ours!  there was a lot of waiting, uncertainty, and knuckle-biting, but we finally own this little slice of cuteness.  thanks to everybody who listened to rants about the process, helped us figure out financing, and provided that all-important moral support.  we couldn’t have done it without you!

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April 30, 2010 at 7:02 am 10 comments

the unconventional eater, a rant

the scene: a big name grocery store at the checkout; i have just finished having a discussion on the merits of fresh vs. frozen chicken with the checker; both of us agreeing that fresh tastes so much better even if it is more expensive.  she is ringing up my organic, free-range chicken…

checker: “i’ve never had organic chicken; does it taste different?”

me: “no, not really…(she’s looking at me like, ‘well then, dummy, why pay more?’)…uh, i eat it for other reasons”

checker: “oh, lucky you.”

true, i suppose, because organic anything is more expensive (up front anyway, but more on that later) than conventionally grown products but based on her reaction, i think the checker thought i was being a snob.  really, i was just sparing her the lecture on animal by-products, antibiotics, hormones, the impact on the planet, etc..  and this is before i get into eating locally to help small farms and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.  oh, and we were just talking about chicken, not, say, corn, which when grown conventionally is dependent on government subsidies, petro-chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and miles and miles of government built and maintained roads and the gas needed to move it around.  sigh.  i wasn’t sure the checkout line at the grocery store was the place to get into it, but it’s been eating at me all day, so here goes the prolonged rant.

there are a lot of reasons why i eat the way i do–organic, local, unprocessed–when i can, based on its availability and my ability to pay for it:

  1. i think organic is better for my health: i’ve noticed an improvement in my health since i’ve made a commitment to eating whole, organic foods.  granted, it’s no scientific study, but it’s good enough for me.  i guess i just assume that because i don’t choose to put petrochemicals on my plate, i don’t want to eat them accidentally because they’re on my food.  now i know the usda says that you can remove pesticide residue if you wash your produce with soap and water, but who does that really?  okay, i do, but we’ll leave my other issues for another time.  and can someone explain to me how you scrub residue off a strawberry?  also, there have been studies showing that foods grown without pesticides and herbicides have higher levels of vitamins, especially antioxidants like vitamin C, probably produced by plants because they have to rev up their defenses in response to natural predators.
  2. it’s better for the planet: from the microbes in the soil that are destroyed when fields are sprayed in preparation for conventional planting to the insects (some beneficial) that are killed when pesticides are applied; to the wildlife in the streams and oceans that are damaged by run-off to all of us who drink the water downstream.  i just think that we’re not being very good stewards of our little planet if we’re producing chemicals–yep, that also takes its toll–and then dumping them on the planet.  there are other ways of farming that much kinder and i’d like to support those efforts.
  3. it’s better for the farmers: you know if those chemicals are not good for us to eat they cannot be good for the health of the person who has to apply them.  or the person who walk in the fields after they’ve been sprayed.  or who lives down the road from that farm.  and companies that produce round-up ready crops, for example, have farmers in a bind: the farmers get caught in a cycle where they have to buy seed every year from the same people who sell them the pesticides.  plus they have to have the specific machines required, which costs money, something that farmers have precious little of as it is…well, it just seems that agri-business has them by the you-know-whats.  i’d love to see us opt out of that system and give farmers their health and livelihood back.
  4. and then there’s the true cost of food: like government subsidies and federally maintained roads for trucks to haul produce and livestock (those are your tax dollars, too!).  and let’s be truthful with ourselves: we don’t know the full consequences of some of these pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and food additives on our health.  somebody just recently decided that hydrogenated trans-fats are officially bad for us, but really, they’ve always been bad for us–and there have always been people warning us that something produced in a lab cannot be good for us.  it’s only just now that we’ve decided to do something about it.  what other things are we putting into our bodies that are going to cause health problems down the road?  you know we’re all going to pay for that eventually, whether it’s with our own poor health, increasing health care costs, or government intervention.  why take the chance?

ultimately, my question is this: should eating better and caring for the planet really be a luxury?  it saddens me that people see it that way and that we don’t calculate the true costs of our food choices.  i actually hope that by supporting organic techniques and local farmers i am enabling more healthy–and maybe eventually affordable–choices for everyone.  hey, a girl can dream, right?

suggested reading, in no particular order:

The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto both by Michael Pollan

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

and my next read: The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel.  hear The Splendid Table interview he did here.  i want to check out his other book, Stuffed and Starved, as well.

April 29, 2010 at 7:07 am Leave a comment

blue skies sneak peek!

today’s blue skies have made me think of gorgeous blue gemstones, like iolite, which is a beautiful indigo blue.  yummy!  i combined two delicate sterling silver chains of different lengths to get this stunner.  i’ve seen so many multi-chain necklaces this season, and i love them, but they’re so bold and strong; i wanted to create a lighter version.  and i love it!

hope you do, too.

look for it soon at my etsy store.

April 28, 2010 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment

man of the day

yes, ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at the proud winner of the man of the day award.  i got this silly idea in my head last night because jason mowed the lawn after he got home from work.  i know, right?  i wanted to reward him, and after the idea of the crown got into my head, i couldn’t not do it.

and jason was such a good sport, he wore the crown all night.  and pretended that he liked it.

remember when crowns were fun?  we wore them at birthday parties and always wanted to get them from burger king.  then we’d wear them until they fell apart.  then we’d tape them back together and go off to save the world.

recapture the fun by making your own paper crown: i used a sheet of cardstock from the stash and cut it in half.  one piece formed the front (i just cut points into it).  the other half of the cardstock i cut in half again, lengthwise, to form the band and taped the paper together.  i had to whip mine up quick (while cooking dinner and before jason finished with the yard), so i just stuck on some stickers and stapled a ribbon around the base, but if you have more time (or kids to help), you could totally bedazzle it with whatever you’ve got: glitter, paint, stamps…the possibilities are endless!  it will be easier to decorate flat, before you form it into a crown.

i’d love to see pictures of your celebration.

April 28, 2010 at 6:31 am Leave a comment

transformation: skirt to dress

i have a gorgeous ankle-length wrap skirt that i never wear.  so sad.  but i just haven’t been able to send it to the thrift store because my mommy bought it for me (aww…) and i wore it to the rehearsal dinner for my wedding (…shucks).  so it has memories.  plus, the most beautiful georgette fabric (and it’s already lined!).  the colors are so romantic.  but the length is just…dowdy mcdowdikins.  for lack of a better word.  so it just sits in the closet.

then inspiration hit me the other day as i was reaching for a t-shirt in my closet.  (cue clouds-parting-in-the-sky music).  i could turn it into a super sweet strapless dress!  i mean, how cute?!  flowy, sweet, and upcycled.  so far it’s just in the planning stages, but the goal is to turn it into a faux wrap dress with a little sewing and a zipper.  and a grosgrain ribbon waistband to help define the waist.

i’m trying to decide between simple, which has a fifties kind of a vibe:

or a cleaner, more modern silhouette, which would involve darting and a little side rouching.  more sewing, but i am leaning towards it anyway.

i realize they look almost identical in the pictures, but as someone who is very detail-oriented, they look totally different to me.  and how cute with a little jacket and kitten heels.  ta-dow!

i’ll keep you posted with updates when i decide on the silhouette and finish this beauty.

April 27, 2010 at 5:18 am 5 comments

jammie pants for the delirious

this weekend, i was sick.  and though i didn’t realize it, apparently delirious.  i was inspired by dana’s beautiful pajama shorts tutorial over at made to make these.  how i got from her gorgeous inspiration to my, uh, finished project is anyone’s guess.  i differed from her pattern a little bit, in that i added a band of polka dot fabric to each leg in an effort to tone it down.  i guess you’ll just have to trust me that it was worse before.

no, no, you’re not seeing things; i did in fact make a pair of pajama shorts with mushrooms on them.  who knows, maybe i was delirious when i bought the fabric ages ago.  (that’s right!  all the fabric, elastic, and thread came from the stash, so i haven’t actually violated my april stash busting challenge agreement that i made!  it’s turned out to be harder than i thought not buying craft supplies for a month, but that’s another story.)

they remind me of the bloomers those silly yard “art” women wear.  you know, the ones that are bending over, presumably gardening.  what can i say: inspiration + fever + project runway marathon = these shorts.  oh you should’ve seen me pinning and matching up the seams like these are a garment that anyone will ever see.  ever.  they’re super comfy, but you’ll never see any pictures of me wearing them.  looking like it’s time for my medication is all well and good in the privacy of my own home, but you won’t see me asking to get institutionalized by wearing these in public.

April 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm 2 comments

happy earth day!

let’s celebrate by going outside and enjoying it!  take a deep breath of fresh air and feel the sunshine (or the rain) on your face.  here’s a little inspiration…

April 22, 2010 at 7:26 am Leave a comment

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