Thursday, October 30, 2008

being crafty

Just some of the crafty things I've been making lately -- lacy crochet, super mini quilts, the eco bag from the Eco Bag book. Testing out different things for the holiday sales.

my own to-go container

I did it again! This is the second time I got my food to go in a container that I provided! This was was the tofu cabbage salad at Blue Hen. They were super nice and didn't have any problems using my container. Last week I did it at Senor Fish and they were equally as easy going. Because this practice is clearly a new thing in general, it was better to go to the restaurants when it wasn't crowded.

I have recently put together my Eco Kit. Will have to do a post for that.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Collapsible Recycled PET Bag!

Finally - an ultra compact, collapsible bag made of *recycled* PET by ACME Bags!! There have been some really well designed, fresh looking collapsible bags out there like Baggu and Envirosax, but they are made of virgin plastics. I have been waiting for something like this. Yes, we are preventing the use of the horrible plastic grocery bags by buying the virgin PET versions, but ultimately, we want to recycle and reuse materials or use bags made of things like hemp and cotton that can completely biodregrade over time. Plastic takes literally hundreds of years to breakdown, and even when it does, it is not able to enter back into nature's cycle. Plastic is truly forever, so let's reuse it!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Recycled Watering Can

Been using my new watering can made out of a recycled jalapeno can. Love it. It was a souvenir I bought here when we were in Santa Barbara.


Recently had a craft afternoon with Yuka... and Barbie!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

De-Chlorinator for my shower

I have been hanging out with Deborah Tull, a sustainability coach here LA, and she turned me on to using a de-chlorinator for my shower head. Apparently, there is so much chlorine in our water these days. I can smell the difference between the waters - in other words, I can smell the chlorine in the unfiltered water. Booooo.

Besides less chemicals, I'm noticing less dry skin. Yay!

Eco-Bag book from Japan

My new Eco bag book from A Little Goodness on Etsy :)

These are the ones I want to make. Each one is a little art piece.

Also had to document the package it came in!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup

My first butternut squash soup :) (recipe here). If I could learn to cook one new thing a week, even if it's a new topping on a salad, it's progress! With our soup we had bread, avocado spread on top with bacon, and a glass of white wine. I had a few bits of bacon. Yum!

PS. My camera is in the shop again, so I've been using my husband's iPhone - not bad for a night shot!

American Craft Magazine

I just subscribed to a digital version of American Craft! Maybe I've been missing out, but this is brilliant. If you're not satisfied with digital, you can easily upgrade to a magazine subscription. Found this via Denyse Schmidt for Obama, Via Lena Corwin.

collapsible chopsticks

I finally found them - collapsible chopsticks! They unscrew midway down the chopstick and fit in a little container. I can pass on the container, but really cool idea! My friend had been telling me that they are all the rage in Japan. These are from Rafu Bussan in J town. They were about $8.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Fabric Workshop

Borrowed an old book from the library about The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia, a non profit print studio where artists were invited to explore an unfamiliar medium, combined with an inner city art education program.

I always wished I had a chance to live in Philly, which used to be (or maybe still is?) the heart America's textile industry.

Good to know the Workshop is still going!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Obama Tee

Sabine holding up our freshly screened Obama t-shirts by Grow Your Own Media from last night's Eagle Rock Music Festival.

Breakdance ER style!

Kids seriously busting out some moves at last night's Eagle Rock Music Festival!The splits, go girl!

Pose my little ten year old brotha!

And what's it called when the boys and girls challenge and outdo each other's moves, back an forth?? anyway...

Go ki-i-ids! Go ki-i-ids!

Let's Be Frank

Let's Be Frank - the best and best looking hot dog truck in town serving grass fed beef and family farmed pork!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Native Garden - Lili Singer

Last night, I attended a lecture at the Pasadena Public Library about native gardens by Lili Singer of the Theodore Payne Foundation. I truly have a black thumb so reading a book about plants just won't do for me. This lecture was perfect. Here are some things I jotted down...
  • In California, a native plant is one that grew without human intervention before the Europeans came.
  • We have 2 springs in Southern Cal - one in the spring and one in the fall. Most native plants are dormant in the summer, then with the moisture in the fall, come back to life again.
  • LA County has a Medditeranean climate - similar climates include Southern tip of South Africa, southwest Australia, west facing Chile, North Africa, and the Medditeranean part of Europe so plants native of these regions can work for us here as well.
  • Xeriscape = dry landscape. This was the trend during the drought in the late 1980's-90's
  • Lawns provide no habitat for insects and animals and don't do much for the environment - they are great for kids, but kids can also be taken to the park, parks will then become more popular preventing the rif raf that hang out. They had a Kill Your Lawn Workshop!
  • A healthy garden has a lot of anthropods (bugs!) Lady bugs will, for example, eat afids. Just gotta let nature do its thing. It will take care of itself. Also, if you don't have insects, you don't have birds - the food chain.
  • Best to just keep leaves on the ground to create a natural mulch.
  • Regarding the recent fires, the bottom line is to keep your your foilage moderated, not overgrown.
  • How to plan your native garden: access your site, soil type, sunlight exposure, wind, overall climate, the microclimates.
  • Group plants that have similar needs for water, sunlight, etc.
  • Soil ammendments are not encouraged because the plant sort of becomes spoiled and then will overgrow too fast and potentially have a shorter lifespan. "Better to grow your plants hard."
  • For erosion needs, natives are best!
I couldn't stay for the whole lecture, but I was impressed by the attendance and Lili Singer's following. Will try to make it to the Theodore Payne's annual Fall Festival Oct. 3-4 and Oct 10-11 where everything is at least 10% off.

pic: the plants I've managed to keep alive - these plants give me hope that I can make a native garden work!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Nose to Tail

Is it okay to eat meat (on occasion) if the animal has had a good life? This is my current dilemma. There are times when I just need a little bit of those beef ribs on my husband's plate, but only if I know that it came from a grass fed cow.

In this morning's NY Times, chefs are taking it a step further by "taking on the whole cow." Cow and pig in these Brooklyn restaurants are already grass fed and raised humanely, but they remove yet another step in "processing" by ordering entire carcasses and carving out the parts themselves, in their own kitchens, to be shared amongst their restaurants. This means coordinating who will get what parts each week and being creative when you do get the head, the feet, or the knuckles.

To drive home the point, he has taken his staff to witness animal slaughters. After that, he said: “I don’t have mistakes anymore. They don’t burn meat. They don’t miscount. There are no screw-ups." Heck yeah, that would set me straight too!

Good article and one that makes me feel like I can have an bite of a hamburger when it's done right.

(image: from the NY Times)