Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Unsafe at Every Speed A random photo of my love–snowboarding last winter.

Just a little post to say how proud I am of L1. Today marks him reaching the first quarter of his riding goal for the year, a little over two months after his accident. I am amazed at his resiliency and determination.  His body is *mostly* healed, though those abrasions on his arm keep getting ripped open every few days.  I still hold my breath every morning waiting for his message that he has arrived safely, but I was doing that before he was hit.  He is a source of inspiration for me, and I hold gratitude in my heart that he is so dedicated to riding as a way to make our family’s carbon footprint lighter.  Thanks to all of you who have continued to check in on his progress. 🙂


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There is no better way for me to express how much I love those in my life than with my time and my hands.  And so another season of handmade holiday gifting begins with a shelf lined with yarn (though not all gifts for others, *ahem*).

Unravel 3-3

There always seems to be a project I’ve fallen in love with and want to make for myself when the holiday knitting commences. This year is no different, except that I’m actually knitting a few rows on this coveted project every day. The next several weeks are going to be busy around here between my day job, knitting, and preparing for the Mayday show.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing some of the journey here.

Wishing none of you a case of the Mondays!  I’m going to be trying to enjoy some of my morning before the grading avalanche that begins anew this afternoon.

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Clearing the Counters

My counters are full of produce, as is the  norm for this time of year.  In fact, they’re not quite as full as usual as my tomatoes are incredibly slow in ripening this year.  (Might have something to do with the pruning the deer gave them early in the summer from which they’re several weeks behind!)

Canning and preserving as the weather cools is so much more pleasant than in the heat of summer.  Any of you who have ever canned before know I speak truth.  Over the weekend I was able to work on some preserving with all of the other life happenings.  Saturday everything for a cucumber relish was cut and allowed to soak, and then cooked on Sunday.

Relish Cooking

It’s for L1 & L4, as I’ve never been a fan of relish, and neither is L3.  Maybe I’ll try it since I put so much into making it.  L1 tasted it as I spooned it into jars and deemed it better than the organic brand we buy, which makes the work worth the effort.  There’s enough to last the year, generously.

Relish Canned

I also managed to make a couple of quarts of pear sauce yesterday, a pear berry crisp, and froze filling for two more crisps.  Next up: the apples.  Our big tree has produced again this year, yippie! We have plans for sauce, crisps, pie fillings, dehydrated apples, and pressing cider!  Oh, how happy we are that the tree is not dormant again this year.

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A-line My Way 2

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is the best thing about creating, for me?” Your creating could be anything from working with your daily meals, to the space in which you live, to your relationships, to “art” (whatever that is). We all create in our daily lives even if we don’t recognize it as such.

My answer? Learning. Plain & simple, I love to learn. Creating allows me to bring my love of learning to one more facet of my life. After all of my formal schooling, you’d think I would have known how much I love to learn. But no, it didn’t strike me until Inside-Out last spring.

My latest learning odyssey has been to delve further into pattern drafting to add more complicated design elements. I have so many sketches that I can’t yet take off of the page and put into fabric because I am not quite sure how to add some of the details into the 2-dimensional paper that becomes part of the 3-dimensional garment. But I’m learning and it is awesome.

A-line My Way 1

My latest finished design is an A-line skirt. I know, simple enough, right? But it has front & back darts, a side-zipper, and a ruffled hem.  I knew how to sew them before now, but being able to draft them all into a pattern? Not so much.

A-line My Way 3:: vintage sheet found last year during this visit ::

This skirt provided heaps of “learning moments.” I couldn’t be more pleased with all the new knowledge gained, and the skirt itself isn’t too bad, either. An example of something I learned: I like to wear my skirts higher up than my pants. This means that the waist on the above skirt is actually a bit too big (I have it folded in a bit in the picture, thus the back hem is hanging down slightly more than the front), but I’m going to wear it as is anyway as a reminder to myself to enjoy even that which I might not deem perfect.

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Ridge Park Creek

. . . that our normal isn’t “normal” to the many outside of our home.  I don’t even think about not having disposable cups, paper towels, or paper napkins (still have TP, much to the relief of L1 and any guest that stays in our home!).  Then someone asks for one of the above and a small part of me feels embarrassed for not being able to offer said objects, while another part feels a sense of pride in that as well. I find it fascinating, what we all come to value in our families and how it becomes such a part of the way in which we live that we can forget that not everyone lives the way we do.  What I sometimes struggle with and hope to avoid is judgment of those who don’t have the same values.  I try to remember, “I don’t know their story, I don’t know what their day-to-day is like.”  Do any of you have any mantras or reminders for yourself when you encounter those with different values/ideals than yourself?

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Can you believe it?  Me, confessed multi-project knitter, cut up a sweater.  It wasn’t, however, handmade.  (Was there a collective sigh of relief just now?)

Before it was altered

I found this stripey number at GoodWill on a recent trip. Usually I think of thrift store shopping as a win-win for my budget and the environment. This trip I went with the sole objective of finding items to alter in some way, to stretch my creative boundaries. The above sweater was one of the pieces I found to turn into thrifted couture.

What was altered


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Last fall I shared Mr. Crunchy’s plan for bike commuting during his work year (he’s a middle school science teacher).  In December he had surpassed his number of riding days in the 2008-2009 school year.  Yesterday he met his goal, 90 days of bicycle commuting for the year.  Next week he’ll be able to surpass that goal as his school year isn’t done yet (we go pretty late in upstate NY because of our February break).

Games They Play

What I didn’t share with you was the fact that L1 hasn’t been riding his ebike since April because of a broken spoke puncturing the wheel rim. He’s been trying to work with the manufacturer since then to get it fixed (not their fault, he’s just trying to get the correct part). That means he’s been riding his road bike for the past two months. He put well over 845 miles on his ebike, and over 700 miles on his road bike.

E-bike Packhorse & Rider

I am seriously in awe of him and all of you out there who bike commute.  Thank you, all of you, for what you do to help stave off more pollution and resource depletion.

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