Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Neice's Second Birthday

My sister's daughter just celebrated her second birthday. Months ago (like in February), I decided I was going to give her a completely handmade birthday gift, and, at that time, I bought all of the necessary supplies to make her gifts. Then I procrastinated, put it off, figuring I had tons of time. Then I got pregnant and spent week after week feeling miserable and trying to get enough energy to finish her gifts. This is when I realized that there is nothing like some pressure to give you the boost to get things done. I completed these presents into the wee hours one night and priority mailed them to arrive just in the nick of time.

Here is her felted wool birthday crown! I got the basic pattern from my crafty friend Wintry who makes adorable birthday crowns as gifts and to sell. I was hoping to adorn the crown with some needle-felted designs, but since I was doing this so last minute, I just had to knit in some designs before I felted it. Some good instructions for how to felt a knitted project can be found here.

Next I made her bean bags with her name stenciled on. I have already shown a set of these that I made for my son, and included a link to some instruction on a previous post.

However, this time, to prevent the paint from bleeding, I ironed a piece of freezer paper onto the BACK side of the stencil.

There was still a tiny amount of bleeding around the edges of some letters, but I thought it was a great improvement from my first set! Next time I think I may try a different brand of fabric paint as well....

And I also threw in a few homemade super-star recycled crayons. I have already posted instructions for these on a previous post. We have a great little used art supply store where I can buy a bag of broken crayons for 50-cents and this is a great way to turn them into a new treasure.

And no birthday gift would be completed with a birthday painting from Finn!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Lost Lake Birthday Camping Extravaganza

Every year for the past few years, we seem to go camping on my birthday. I guess it has turned into a non-intentional tradition. This year we spent Thursday and Friday night camping at Lost Lake, a place I had been dying to go for over a year. The weather was pretty cold, even during the day, but we managed to get a little bit of sun on Friday, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves canoeing on the lake, walking through the woods, and eating... lots! My sweetie even managed to bring cupcakes and candles for my birthday dessert. I took a lot of photos, but here are a few of my favorites.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dangers of Pesticides

A recent study has linked pesticides to ADHD in children... one more reason to support organic farming!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekend Wandering....

Gardenmama has been doing a Wandering Wednesday photo challenge that inspired me to write today's post: weekend wandering! Last weekend, my family spent a night camping on the Washington coast with a couple of friends. The campground was so-so, but the coast that was just across the street was amazing! We sat, we wandered, we found sand dollars, and we enjoyed the feel of the sand between our toes and the sound of the ocean waves.
The dunes on the way to the beach

Beautiful, open sky

Running free on the sand!


Puppy Cow, enjoying it all...


An amazing sunset on the Columbia River along the drive home.

AND.... on our way back from camping, we went to pick up the newest member of our family, Moshi! She is 8 weeks old and from a dog rescue in Washington, where she was saved from a crazy-dog-breeding lady who was leaving them without food or water. She is an absolute doll and we are all in love, except for Puppy Cow, our 9.5 year old dog who is jealous to say the least. But Moshi thinks that Finn is the tops, and I can already tell that they are going to be best buds!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Calling All Knitters & Crocheters!

My lovely friend Wintry, who also runs my child's playschool, is putting together a blanket project for two dear children that just lost their mother to cancer. I had only met Elizabeth a few times, but she was a wonderful person whose smile would light up a room. I know her family and friends are hurting terribly without her.
Please take a moment to read Elizabeth's story and learn more about the blanket of love. If you can contribute by knitting a square (or twenty!) it would be so appreciated. The deadline is September 10th, so get on it people! Click on the above photo to check out Wintry's blog and find out more about this project. Thanks! Pin It Now!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Story of Cosmetics ....Watch This!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

The Verdict Is In.....

......Duck eggs are delicious! Hooray! Pin It Now!

This Moment...

Inspired by SouleMama:
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blue Gold: World Water Wars: A Review

I just finished watching a moving film called Blue Gold: World Water Wars. This film shared many of the same stories as FLOW (For Love of Water) and Water Wars, and even though I have heard this information many times, I was moved to tears more than once. Maybe those tears were partially due to pregnancy hormones, but even so, this film presents some important ideas that need to be shared.
This film focuses on the world's water supply, and how while it is dwindling away, governments across the globe are practically giving their water away to huge multinational companies to generate a profit from. Governments are taking water away from their own people in exchange for personal gain. Water across the globe is becoming privatized, and the cost to the people is skyrocketing while the water quality is degraded. Many citizens in developing countries cannot afford to pay for the water that comes out of their tap, so they instead walk miles to a polluted stream and risk contracting deadly diseases. And why? So some huge water company from Europe or the US can turn a big profit for their shareholders.
As climate change continues to haunt us and more and more water is being used for crop irrigation and industry, the water we do have is becoming more and more valuable. Groundwater supplies are diminishing and above ground sources are becoming polluted, yet the only people who seems to really understand the true value of water are those who have realized they can make a profit from it.
The best part of this film is the ending. It shows some of the successes in these water wars across the globe; the cases where the people banded together to stop the corporations and take back control of their water. It goes to show that YOU can make a change.. all it takes is a few like-minded individuals and some determination to demand the rights that you deserve.
I didn't enjoy this film quite as much as I enjoyed FLOW, but it is still a worthwhile watch. Thumbs up. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yellow Plum Chutney

So, last night we finally got up the motivation to can some chutney from the yellow plums in our front yard. The main motivation was that if we didn't do it now, the plums would rot and go to waste. It was tough, but we pulled a late night in the kitchen and got it done.

Here's the recipe:

2 pounds yellow plums
2 sweet onions
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
curry powder, cinnamon, and chili powder to taste

Blanche the plums (dip them in boiling water for about 30 seconds until skins pop open). When cool remove the skins and pits. Mix all ingredients into a big pot and simmer for at least an hour (make sure the onions are tender). When ready, can using the hot water bath technique for about 10 minutes. If you have never canned before, check out the abundance of resources online to make sure you are using proper techniques.
Now enjoy within the next 6 months- 1 year! We made a triple batch this year, so we are planning on sharing some of ours as holiday presents. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

12 Down, 28 Left to Go....

In approximately 28 weeks, our family is expecting a new arrival! We are all excited for our family to grow, but the past 2 months have been really hard. First off, whomever invented the term morning sickness was clearly never pregnant, as this is definitely not limited to just the morning! And, trying to take care of a toddler while this new creation is growing inside of you is a difficult challenge. Luckily, I have a great husband who has been keeping up on all of my slack (housework is not my thing right now).
So, this new life inside of me is part of the reason why I have been pretty absent from my blog these past few weeks (and from my garden, cooking, crafting and all of the other things I love to do). But, as I am now 12 weeks, I am hoping for the magical end of my nausea and tiredness to come soon, and to have enough energy to write something worthwhile! Pin It Now!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Our First Egg

The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived... our first duck egg from our backyard flock! It was MUCH smaller than we had anticipated from stories about the breed we have, but maybe they will get bigger as she lays more?
We have not eaten it yet, but plan on making a victory omelet once we have a couple! Pin It Now!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Brief Break..

The weeks of summer have been flying by, and it seems that I haven't had a moment to myself, or a moment to update my blog. I am headed to Colorado this afternoon for a few days of friends, music, and mountain air, so I will be away from this space for a few more days. But, I will be back next week to share my adventures with you! Pin It Now!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Some Recent (Sort of) Gifts for New Arrivals

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