Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In Progress

Oh my goodness, patchwork takes a long time. Especially when working around a fulltime job and a 1.5 year old. But I'm loving the process. I've gotten 3 panels of 4 done.
I'm using 10 corduroys from chopped up pants and skirts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lavender, Sage, Calendula, and Figs?...

We caught an ad for a Peace and Harvest Festival at a relatively local organic and natives nursery... So guess where we were on Sunday.
I have a weakness for herbs, so we came home with a six pack of calendula, 3 varieties of sage and two forms of lavender. Also found a fig that would fit in the car and a cute strawberry tree that has the most gorgeous little flowers.
So not only do we need to get the raised bed filled with dirt, I have to find places to plant all my lovely herbs and baby trees.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Raised Veggie Bed Part II

One raised bed is made. It look a few extra trips to Home Depot for silly things like extra screws and clamps. But it looks very nice... and huge. That thing is going to require a lot of soil.
We ended up with redwood, cedar was only available as fencing.
We'll put this one in the ground and make raised bed number two when we feel confident about number one.
Also decided to mostly use purchased soil with this one... so I can plant earlier and we can wait to buy straw after Halloween, when bales will probably be free/cheap. I still plan to use cardboard and grass clippings that we got from a freecycler, on the bottom. And I'll sneak in compostable kitchen items.
I'm crossing my fingers very tightly that the dog doesn't decide to dig in my new bed. She has a fondness for burying her rawhides in flowerpots. The raised bed will probably look like a lovely giant sized flowerpot.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Raised Veggie Bed

I skimmed Lasagna Gardening years ago, before having a yard. So I had the concept and a feeling that determining and finding the ingredients would be tough. But I always wanted to grow my own veggies and fruit trees. The frugal bug was also always there, but organic didn't occur to me until later in life (ugh, that makes me sound old, I'm pretty sure I'm not). I recently borrowed my LLL leader's copy of Lasagna Gardening to brush up on the details, but I never got around to reading it. I finally returned it after 3 months. Happily, there's an abundance of information on the web. Googling "raised garden beds", "no dig gardens" and "lasagna gardening" got me all the information I need.

We're finally getting ready to build a raised veggie bed.
Following Sunset magazine's directions. With a few adaptions from this blog.

We're aiming for organic, so cedar wood (ouch!) and probably lasagna style greens and browns for the soil.

So far, we're getting free cardboard and grass clippings from a friendly freecycler. The rest will come from Lowes, Home Depot or OSH. Now for the price comparisons to begin...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Twirl Skirt

I whipped up a skirt while the little one slept in, this weekend. It is your basic twirl skirt, made it from bed sheets. I used the dental floss method for gathering the fabric. It is definitely quicker than using two rows of stiching, it works best if the floss is not too close to the edge. The bottom ruffle was free - it was already there as the hem on a name brand sheet.
The top I made earlier using the peasant top tutorial.
circle skirt and peasant top in action
circle skirt and peasant top in action

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Motherhood on a Budget

My daughter is 16 months old now...
Despite my resolution not to buy unnecessary commercial toys, we bought two big ticket plastic items this week. She's at the little mommy stage, carrying and kissing her plastic (ugh, that's a subject for another post) doll and her stuffed animals.
She's shown interest in bikes and riding toys when visiting other places. So, we snatched up a tonka truck for $10 on craigslist. She's also had lots of fun with the play kitchen at grandma's, so Dora's talking kitchen found its way into my car this week from another craigslister. The gal selling Dora's kitchen removed the batteries before handing my purchase over (um, can we say cheap?). But that's fine, I really don't know why a kitchen needs to talk anyway.
We probably have one more purchase ahead, because the little one is into everything. Climbing into cupboards, hiding under the table, under my desk, she even crawled into the dog's crate. So, we're pretty certain she needs a fort/house/tent. I realize the simple answer is a blanket draped over chairs, etc. But we don't seem to have the necessary sturdy furniture in the right room for that solution. A cardboard box sounds good too, until we think about the kinds of critters that live in this valley. So, we're watching craigslist, for a washable tentish item.
I suppose we could be hitting garage sales, but 7am is just too early for baby and I.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sewing up a storm

Well it is Monday, my work day is over, but the little one is asleep on my lap.
I'm still glowing from the satisfaction of getting things done this weekend. I cleared out the gutters, trimmed the neighbor's branches that were touching our house, transplanted some naked ladies acquired through freecycle (not the best time to move bulbs, but when they are free you either take them or not). And, que drums, sewed. Yes, I sewed. I'm still impressed.
Actually, I feel really good. Somewhere along the line, I became one of those people who find release and artistic expression with the sewing machine. Who knew?
In the last two weeks I've made two tops for the little one (using these two tutorials peasant top and spring ruffle top). I made a skirt for myself, finished two mama pads, and got a skirt for etsy almost done.

Friday, June 19, 2009

WOW! the talent on Etsy

First I have to confess, I'm not a Grateful Dead fan. Yes, I know, how can I call myself a hippie and not love the dead? Umm, I don't have an excuse. I guess I'm just wierd that way.
Aannyyway. A newsgroup friend decorated these fantastic shoes. And they are too cool...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Artful finds

I'm finding motherhood and work are not allowing me any sewing time. So, since I haven't any finished projects to show off, I'll highlight someone elses.

KreatedByKelly makes fanciful items from buttons and other items. I've particularly admired her button bouquets. Black and white makes an elegant bouquet...

At her ArtFire outlet, she has jewelry that is more in my price range. I love the idea of jewelry from recycled materials. It beats buying mass produced metal bling with the social and environmental ravages left behind. I'm really not a pink kinda gal, but I love this pendant.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cloth pads

After cloth diapering a baby some eventually run into the question... Why am I using disposable products, when reusable clearly works for baby?
I've already shared that I made the leap to cloth toilet paper a few months ago. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'll have to date the next roll of TP, 'cause I think it took me two months to go through one roll.
As for feminine hygiene products, I haven't had a chance to use them yet, but I'm creating a stash of 'mama pads'. I got six from Dagny's Promise and six from Keep Your Baby Close. I also have a LunaPad I bought from Whole Foods a long time ago (I liked the idea, but just couldn't put it into practise). How many pads does one gal need? I have no idea, but I have a feeling mama pads are a lot like cloth diapers, underwear or shoes for some ladies... they are just fun to accumulate.
Adahy's circle pad Since my pocketbook is pretty thin right now, I'm finally getting around to making some pads. I found Adahy's circle pad pattern that appeals to me. It is easy to make, the pattern is free and if I hang it on the drying line it won't be hugely obvious just what it is. No, the picture to the left is not my work. Mine are still in progress.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Won a lottery!

I won some unpaper towels from Joli's Art on Hyena Cart. Yeah! I can't wait to try them out.
We recently decided to switch to cloth from paper towels (no more trees cut down for our kitchen counters, thank you), so three 'Burley knit terry towels' will be a welcome addition. We designated a drawer in the kitchen for various wash cloths, hand towels, newborn prefolds and bibs. So far, we've done pretty well, just using cloth to clean what would have previously involved paper towels.
One spill we haven't found a replacement for is broken glass. My recent rash of buttery fingers combined with tile floor has thwarted our non-paper pursuits. Perhaps some rugs in the right places... I'm off to find a lottery on woven rugs.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

One Step Forward...

Yesterday, baby and I went shopping at my favorite Salvation Army thrift store. I found a pillowcase that just screamed "skirt" at me. And some lovely wool sweaters that will make great longies...
Today, I finally settled down at the sewing machine, but I'd sew about half an inch and have to stop. A big mess of threads kept developing beneath my fabric. No worries, I'll just pull out my backup sewing machine. Pull it out, setup the foot controller that arrived in the mail last week. Read the directions to be sure I'm threading it right. Run some test stitches on the sample fabric that comes with the machine. Take out the needle, 'cause it looks rather large, I think it says 14 (How on earth do quilting grannies read the tiny writing in the round side of the needle??) put it back in because all is well. Make two stitches and, umm, the needle breaks.
I have been sewing for a little over 25 years. My memory ain't the greatest, but I'm pretty sure I've never broken a needle before. Time for some chocolate.
Projects started: 3
Projects completed: 0

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


They say Twitter really helps for getting the word out about one's business. So, I made the plunge. It is a little weird at first, but you get the hang of it.
Initially you aren't following anyone, so you have a blank page.
Then you add people to follow and you get all these unrelated sentences of their lives in commentary.
Then the people you've selected to follow may elect to follow you, which is gratifying.
Then random people start following you out of the blue. I'm pretty sure it wasn't something I tweeted, 'cause I only just joined, my words of wisdom include,
Getting the hang of this twitter thing. Cool counter.

Showing the LO how to snap her fingers.

I guess I'm a tweeter... or a twit.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Approaching Business Status

My cloth labels arrived in the mail today. They look so professional! Very exciting.
I've been researching what it takes to be licensed etc. Turns out I have to get a license from the city and pay a tax to the city, with a minimum of about $60 per year... Umm yah, this business business is looking expensive. I'm starting to see why people try to live unlicensed, but I don't want to be the example that gets slapped with a misdemeanor.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Relieving the Guilt of Computer Potatos

As an online shopper and a future online seller, the environmental impact of all the shipping and packaging involved was bothering me. TreeHugger has an article about the greenness of shopping online. It is worth a read Online Shopping vs. Driving to the Mall: The Greener Way to Buy
The bottom line is it depends on what you buy. Definitely relieved my guilt about ordering items I can't get locally.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Going Green, Frugally

We used cloth diapers and homemade cloth baby wipes from the beginning. But there are more changes we've recently made that are happily both frugal and green.
Paper napkins are easy to replace with cloth.
We're working on switching off paper towels for cleaning. So far, my favorite for paper towel replacements are squares of doubled flannel.
Then there's toilet paper. The term used most often for cloth TP is "family cloth". If this is the first time you've encountered that concept, then take a moment, breath deeply. It takes a little time to get used to the idea. I waited at least a year before making the switch. Some people use cut up t-shirts, which is what I'm using now. But I think I'll be much happier with a combination of flannel and velour, like the wipes I made for baby. Cloth diapering mamas know that fabric softeners ruin cloth absorbancy. So, if you, or your t-shirt source, used fabric softener, your squares may not initially be as absorbant as desired. Some stripping may be necessary.
This article summarizes the changes you can make in the kitchen: How to Eliminate Paper Products in the Kitchen

And So It Begins

I'm a work at home mom, with a full time job. The little one is ten months and about three weeks old.
So, why am I starting an online business? Well, we could use a little extra income, and I enjoy the creative time at my sewing machine.
This hippie at heart feels strongly about reducing and recycling. I like to alter thrift store dresses, turning them into skirts for myself. So my focus will be on using fabrics that have already served a purpose. It brings down the cost of supplies, but increases my time investment, first in finding the right fabrics and then puzzling together clothing or other items.
I've created my Etsy shop - I've been calling it eat-see, like ebay, but from an etsy video I've learned it rhymes with Betsy, who knew?
I have to figure a few things out yet, like California tax, licensing, clothing tags, shipping costs...
My first item is in progress. A sweet skirt made of linen blend fabrics. It will be tough to let it go. It has a wonderful blue floral fabric, plus a dark blue and periwinkle (my favorite colors). I intend to make skirts with drawstring waistbands, to maximize my target customer scope.
My style is... hippie fusion.