Thursday, November 20, 2008

my first weaving

I've been so busy finishing things up before the holidays! I finished the triangle on my weaving at home using my spork to beat the weft down. And then finally, after two 8-week sessions, finished my weaving in class. Here it is on the table. This was the first time I was seeing it off the loom. Wow, crazy. I was creating the design organically, using whatever yarns Barnsdall had on their shelves - great colors from the 70's. We decided it resembled a tall building. I'll have to clean up the loose ends and hang it in a very special place!! My first weaving!!
I twisted the ends. I love that look.

Monday, November 17, 2008

solar baked goodies

Sun Browned Brownies and Oatmeal Raisun Cookies from my new home made solar oven. I'm totally addicted to solar baking now!! Cookies called for an hour of sun, but my second and third batch worked better with an hour and a half. Brownies also called for an hour, but I did three.

So much to say about the solar ovens! Here is the one I made and cooked from basking in the sun. I seriously only used 2 cardboard boxes, tin foil, newspaper, glue, packing tape, and a turkey oven bag. The cookies I brought to Saturday's party at Adam's were a hit. Will post more about the oven soon...

Felt Club

Some of my purchases at Felt Club yesterday! Two hours was not enough...Tootie tipped me off about the brass rings from Tanya Aguiniga.

Vintage german glass bead earings from Porterness. I love how she attached the bead using both holes.

Art from Pretty Little Thieves. It's a tiny little orginal. This will go in my office!

View from the balcony where they were having the Swap-O-Rama - that'll be for next time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

nyc seasons...

I know we are having PERFECT weather here in So. Cal - it was a full moon in the high 60's last night, but there's something so romantic and exciting about this picture in NYC. It makes me understand why my east coast friends miss the seasons...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

new indoor plants

These are my new babies. Please witness the fact that they are young and still alive. I am determined to give them a long happy life.

More often than not, our indoor space is more toxic than the outdoor space!! I think I knew this, but learning it again just recently made me step it up. These indoor plants naturally clean the air of toxins. Toxins come in the form of our industrial strength cleaners, our furniture that is probably still off gassing, PVC shower curtains that can take as long as 10 years to off gas (yikes!), and simply from the lack of venilation in the house.

My favorite plant is the peacock at the bottom right corner. I got these recommendations from a great book called How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jenn Morris owls!

These little owl pendants from my friend Jenn Morris are just divine!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Urban Eco Kit

Continuing from my post a few days ago, this is the Urban Eco Kit I put together after taking Deborah's workshop. The premise behind the kit is just to be prepared when you are out and about in the city. I was finding myself lunching at home more because I didn't want to be given disposable crap. Now, I feel like I can order to go anytime without generating so much trash by the end! I must say, it's a phenomenal feeling.
This is a super basic kit that includes:

1. Stainless Steel Container - First of all, I think that a nice presentable container makes it easier to convince a person taking your food order to use it. This stainless steel one can easily handle hot food, which makes it better than plastic. I'm still using some Tupperware type stuff, but never for hot items or heating things up. Plastic leaches cancerous toxins at really high or really lo temeratures. This stainless steel is also lighter than glass, also making it easier for the cooks in the back kitchens to deal with. This is double decker container I just ordered. Deborah uses this one when she gets take out and says she's never been turned away. The only down side to this steel is that you can't heat it up in the microwave, but I've already usually eaten the food by then.

2. Insulated Stainless Steel Mug - Again using stainless steel especially for my scalding hot tea is better than the plastic versions which I've gotten rid of. My favorite new way of using it is when I get freshly made carrot juice from the natural food store or Jamba Juice. I'm not a big soda drinker, but I suppose your could fill it up at one of those all you can drink stations.

3. Cloth Napkin - This is pretty easy. So helpful when I've got to eat on the go, sometimes in my car before a workshop. I can use it a few times before washing and when I do that, I just throw it in with my darks. I also use them to wrap my utnesils.

4. Real Utensils and/or chopsticks - I hate using disposable plastic utensils! I've also seen those Bambu sporks.

5. Extras - I have to get salsa when I get a burrito. Burritos are so sad without salsa, so I am reusing one of those small plastic containers until I find a good one.Everything fits perfectly in a lunch box size basket I got from the Philippines. I've been on a mission to really consciously reuse as much as possible.

Urban Eco Kit and reusable bags sitting brilliantly in my collapsible crate in the trunk of my car.

I've benefited tremendously from taking these local green workshops and highly recommend to friends when they are ready to make changes. It's just a good cause for everyone. I'm not just trying to pimp my friend Deb, but despite all my good intentions, I honestly don't know if I would've been able to figure out how to make doing these things, creating these systems, as easy and less daunting.

Sumi Ink Club

Fabulous Smockshop and Sumi Ink Club collaboration.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Composting: Phase 1 Out of the Garage

After 6 months of sitting in the garage, my compost bin is out!! I guess, I wanted to be more informed and now that I am, I'm realizing that it didn't really matter because all you need to know, you can learn in about 15 minutes. I kind a tossed everything in there like a salad which I'm not sure is completely right, but I am excited to experiment as I go.

Election Day 2008

No matter who wins tonight, I am happy about how this election has brought light to the honor and excitement found in public service. We really do have a responsibility to serve our communities in any way big or small, because of the simple reason that whether we like it or not, we are all interconnected. Cool buttons from my friend Emily.

“It’s been a long time coming,” the president-elect added, “but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America." Congratulations to our new 44th president Barack Hussein Obama. I feel privileged and humbled to make this moment a part of my history.

Monday, November 03, 2008

time to *VOTE* tomorrow!!!

blue eggs

Gorgeous (and real!) blue eggs from local author Jeanne Kelly at the Little Flower Candy Company. She wrote Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes: Recipes from a Modern Kitchen Garden. Found out that each chicken lays the same colored eggs, so these are from 5 different chickens!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Sustainable Kitchen

Been attending excellent sustainability workshops by Creative Green that will continue through the fall. This past Saturday was The Sustainable Kitchen. The first part was talking about each person's relationship to food. What had we eaten in the last 24 hours and what did it mean? I happened to carelessly stuff pieces of tofu in my mouth using my fingers half sitting in my chair while trying to explain something to my mom with my mouth full. This boiled down to lack of mindful eating often resulting in over-eating. On the flip side, I had also got off the freeway to get a carrot juice even though I knew it would mean getting stuck in traffic because I felt myself coming down with a cold. It was in this case that I slowed down and listened to what my body needed.

The second part was about food, our kitchen set ups, and ways to be sustainable throughout our busy urban lives. Talked about organic on a budget - what foods we really should buy organic and which ones don't need to be. In general, thick skins mean more protection from pesticides. Just some of the other things discussed were safe pots, the microwave, plastic, food storage, and even solar ovens.... On my immediate list - slowly changing out my teflon pans to stainless steel or iron and starting a small herb garden.

I've been greening for the last year or so, but it seems that I'm still far behind! I like that Deborah, the teacher who happened to live as monk for 7 years, always says to leave all judgment at the door. There is no room for feeling bad. She recommends keeping a green acknowledgment list to focus on the things we have done!

Menu planning is also key to a sustainable kitchen - we must accept that no matter what, this requires extra time. This morning, we went to farmer's market, came home, made a fresh from the market lunch, used last week's tired veggies for vegetable stock, and then prepped washed and stored all the produce for easy access. So far, this will be our plan every Sunday and we will do our best keep it! Above is the photo of the veggie stock in crock pot. May be a little too many onions, but I hope to use it to make carrot ginger soup this week.

Mr. T

"I pity the fool!" The best Halloween costume last night!