Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

I hope everyone is having a nice Earth Day!

I've been thinking about the changes I've made and the little things I do to make our earth a better place and thought I'd share them here.

::I try to use my own bags every time I buy something, whether it's at the grocery store, hardware store or fabric store.

::Reusing packing supplies as often as possible. I recently discovered a local source for used packing envelopes, they're just 25 cents each!

::One of the things I get most excited about is when I can use the back of a letter or junk mail to print shipping labels. I have also configured my printer so that I can print 4 labels per sheet instead of 2 (very exciting)

::We recently started composting all of our food and vegetable scraps, I'm amazed at how much room that took up in the trash can

::Purchasing recycled paper for printing

::Using vintage and reclaimed fabrics and craft supplies

::One of the hardest things for me is trying to drive less and consolidate my errands but I am working on that

::And of one of greatest things ever is paying bills online! I think there are only two that I don't pay online because of the fees.

::Buying local whenever possible

::Using cloth instead of paper towels

::making products that are sustainable and helpful like recycled sweater cup cozies and cloth gift bags.

::Using natural and earth friendly cleaning products and laundry soap, still have a few to get rid of and add in this category

There is still much room for improvement, for example, I'm am planning to switch to using eco friendly fiberfill for my softies as soon as I can find a cost effective substitute, I am working on finding a good replacement hair conditioner for the Pantene I've been using for years, I'd like to have a more productive garden this year and water it with rain from a rain barrel.

What about you? What things do you do to make a difference?

Sunday, April 20, 2008


So I know I promised pics of the bread from this book weeks ago. I'm finally getting to it. I've made probably 6 or 7 different batches of bread and at least 5 different types. My favorite so far is the rye. It is amazingly delicious! The only problem I have encountered is that the loaves are coming out quite small. I just bought some fresh yeast and will try that to see if it helps. Anyway, here is yesterday's bread photo shoot.
Just out of the refrigerator:

After rising right before baking:

Hot out of the oven:


Sunday, April 06, 2008

For Baby

Hello Hello. I'm sorry for the long absence. I've been sick for a week but am finally feeling better.

My sister is expecting her second baby in August. We just found out it's another girl. This means that I've some sewing to do. This is the first installment of baby stuff. The next batch won't be so pink.

The little hats are reversible. I copied a vintage hat I'd found. I'm thinking about creating a tutorial for them if enough people are interested. They seriously take about 10 or 15 minutes each. Plus, they're adorable and perfect baby shower gifts.
The fabric I used on the hats and bib are actually flannel receiving blankets from the new Dwell line at Target. Adorable, no?

Of course, I'm including some little things for my 4 year old niece as well. I made this little apron from a vintage one I found. It was so easy and I'm really happy with the result. I even managed to sew on the binding on the first try and with the machine. Amazing!

I think I'm going to Gocco print the baby shower invitations and birth announcements. These are some sketches I'm working on. Babies are so fun! I wish they didn't live so far away.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

More Gocco

My extra Gocco screens came yesterday! I made my first two screen print. I'm pretty happy with it, though it was quite a challenge getting them to line up.
This is Happy Birthday Hamster:

and of course Happy Cloud:

The only ink I color I didn't get with my initial order was white. I had heard that you could only use Gocco inks and that Speedball and other inks were usually too thin. However, I had some white block printing ink on hand so I used that to mix colors and it worked perfectly. I think the block printing ink is thicker than fabric ink. So, if you're wondering if you can use other inks with Gocco, you can. I'm also looking into thickening some of the Speedball fabric ink I have to see it that will work. I found something called sodium alginate and I believe that will work. I'll let you know how it goes.

On a completely unrelated note, I got this book for my birthday. I was skeptical, how could you have perfectly amazing bread in 2 hours? I'm not quite sure how it works but it does and it's delicious! No pics of this one as I couldn't wait to shove it in my face. I'll get some of the next loaf. I love that right now I have a container full of bread dough in the fridge that I can tear a piece from and bake for instant fresh bread anytime. Magic!