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!

Friday, July 29, 2011


If you haven't already, now is your last chance to check out my interview and GIVEAWAY over at A Life Sustained. Don't miss out! Pin It Now!

This Moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama 
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reducing My Water Use: An Update

This month, for my year long adventure, I have been focused on reducing the amount of water that my family uses. Honestly, I haven't done as well as I had hoped with my reductions... we had a really busy month and I felt like I was rushing around constantly, and didn't have as much time to contemplate water use as I had imagined....Also, it rained here almost every day this month, and so conserving water was also not top on my list. At least I only have had to water my garden 5 times this summer. Seriously.
Anyways, here were my original goals:
  1. Put a plastic bottle in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used for each flush.
  2. Put a bucket in the shower to collect water.
  3. Put a bucket in the sink to capture water while doing dishes.
  4. Convince Finn to take a shower instead of a bath.
  5. Disconnect our backyard downspout and turn it into a water holding tank for duck water. 
And here is what I managed to do:
  1. I did put a plastic bottle (full of gravel) in the back of the tank to reduce the water per flush. Super easy. Should have done that years ago.
  2. I did put a bucket in the shower to collect water. I have been using the water and dumping it outside (even though my garden hasn't really needed water) or have used it to flush the toilet throughout the day (which has been easier than hauling it outside). However, Todd has not been too keen with showering with a bucket, so this has been pretty much a solo mission for me.
  3. I did put a tub in the sink to collect dishwater. And I dutifully emptied it for about a week. However, our kitchen is tiny, with very little counter space, and our sink is just one side. We would end up piling dished in the tub, and then it got full of food scraps, and became a huge pain. Plus, emptying it consisted of making it through a door, a screen door, and a gate, all without spilling... My husband complained that it was taking up way too much room, and I agreed that it was more of a pain than I could deal with. So, as an alternative, I have been getting the sponge wet, cleaning all of the dishes with the faucet off and stacking them next to the sink, and then rinsing after they have all been cleaned. So, I am not reusing my water, but I am now using much less than I was.
  4. Finn has been taking showers! He hasn't been too happy about it, as he loves baths, but the fact that he doesn't like to shower has made them super quick. So, I think we have definitely reduced our water use in this department. Thanks Finn!
  5. I have not managed to disconnect our backyard downspout yet. It entails a trip to the hardware store, which I just have not had the time (or the motivation to do). I do still plan on completing this, just not by the end of July!!
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Check It Out!

Today, my upcycled pillowcase dresses, and the quick tutorial I made, are featured on Artsy Ants for Upcycle Week! Stop on over and check it out, as well as the many other great featured projects.
Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway for one of these upcycled dresses (or a onesie of your choice from my etsy shop) over at A Life Sustained! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Upcycled Pillowcase Dresses: A tutorial

As you may have noticed from some of my recent posts, I have been on a huge kick making baby-sized pillowcase dresses from my old clothes. And, to join in with Upcycling Week over at Artsy Ants, I thought I would write up a quick tutorial on how to make one of these dresses... Unfortunately, I don't have any photographs of the process, so I will try and do a thorough job with my explanations....

To Make a Pillowcase Dress from an Unwanted Shirt:

Materials Needed:
  • old shirt
  • 2 pieces of ribbon
  • bias tape
1. Find a dress that fits the person you are creating this for. That will become your "pattern" or at least a rough size gauge.

2. Find a shirt that you no longer wear. Actual old pillowcases or skirts (or just about anything else) will work for this as well, but I will be writing instructions for working with a shirt. Also, unless you have a special sewing machine or some serious skills, you will want to stick to non-stretchy fabrics. Stretchy fabrics tend to pucker up while sewing them, so avoid them (at least for now).  The size of the dress you can make will depend on the size of the clothing you are using... a women's size small shirt will generally only be enough material for an infant dress. If you are making a dress for a toddler, make sure you have a garment with plenty of material.

3. Lay your dress out onto the front of the shirt. The bottom dress hem should match up with the bottom shirt hem. Trace your dress onto one side of the shirt, leaving about an extra 1/2 inch on each side and about 1.5 extra inches on the top.

4. Cut out the traced dress, cutting through both layers of the shirt.

5. Place the two dress sides together so they match up with the wrong side of the fabric facing outwards on both pieces (so you are looking at the dress "inside out"). Pin the 2 sides together from the bottom hem to the bottom of the armpit and sew along the two sides with a straight stitch, leaving about a 1/2-inch allowance. Now finish the edges by going back and doing a zigzag stitch next to your straight stitch (this will keep the fabric from unraveling when it gets washed).

6. Now we are going to use bias tape to finish the armpit. If you want the bias tape to show, use double sided, if you don't want it to show, use single-sided.  Match the edge of the bias tape to the front edge of the dress and pin in place, all the way along each armpit. Sew in place along the fold. Fold bias tape all the way under, so now the bias tape is on the interior of the dress, pin, and sew again. If you have never used bias tape, this can be a bit confusing, so you may want to find a website that has some photographs. This website has a pretty great pillow case dress tutorial, along with some pictures of how to sew on bias tape.

6. Now for the top. Fold the top hem in about 1/4 inch and iron. Now you want to fold again. The amount you fold will depend on what you are tying the dress with (wider ribbon will need more room than a thin ribbon).  I normally fold it inside the dress about another inch here, and iron again. Now sew at the edge of the hem.

7. Using a safety pin, thread a piece of ribbon through the front hem and another through the back hem. Tie at sides! Alternatively, you can thread one long piece through that ties at the side, however, this could pose a choking hazard for young babies, so please make sure to supervise baby while wearing the dress. The ribbons will easily pull out from the seams, which can be sort of annoying. Make sure to tie before throwing into the washing machine. You can also tie beads onto the ends of the ribbon (use beads that are larger than the opening your ribbon goes through), however, again this could be dangerous if the beads come loose and your child puts them in their mouth. I usually prefer to just make sure the ribbons are tied before washing and use a safety pin to re-thread through again if needed.

You're done! Easy, right? The best part about these dresses is that they will grow with your child. They can be worn as a dress, a shorter dress with pants, and then eventually a shirt. That's a lot of use out of something you were going to get rid of!

And, for a chance to win one of my upcycled baby dresses, be sure to check out my interview on A Life Sustained!

Can you spy Finn's eyeball? He was feeling left out.... Pin It Now!

The Weekend in Reflection....

We spent most of the last weekend at the Northwest String Summit Music Festival. It is held at this wonderful little venue, Horning's Hideout, that is tucked into the woods about 40 minutes from Portland. It has been a yearly tradition for me and my husband to go, and something we look forward to each year. This was Finn's 3rd String Summit and Phoebe's first.
This year, the festival was once again amazing, however, our family's adventure was a bit of a disaster. The trip started out with our rocket box blowing open on the highway and Todd darting into traffic to chase down our sleeping gear. Not a good sign. And then things just got worse....Finn, who in the past has had a marvelous time, was very crabby and emotional, and Todd and I were not able to stay inside the show for much of the music. To top it off, he refused to go to the bathroom in a port-a-potty, which meant that by Sunday morning, instead of staying for another day of music, we were packing up and heading home to find a real toilet and deal with a constipated child.
Anyways, I still felt privileged to spend 2 nights in such a magical place, even with a crabby non-pooping child, however, I was sad and quite disappointed that our weekend didn't go as planned. We are now soliciting advice on festival camping with a child who refuses to go #2, as we are supposed to head to another music festival in a week and a half.
 Finn proudly showing his peacock to a real peacock.

 Super Finn!

 Who put the N in Finn?

 Need I say more?

 Peacock bench

Phoebe enjoying the tunes...
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Water Management

July has been a month of water for me. My year-long adventure focus for July has been to reduce my water use (I will give an update on that sometime later this week!) so at home I have had water (and how to use less) on my mind. The class I am teaching this summer focused on water for the first few weeks of the term, so I have been watching water documentaries and teaching students about water use and management. And, in less exciting news, it has been the rainiest July on record here in Portland, so I am literally living and breathing water this month.
A couple weeks ago, I took my class to the Portland wastewater treatment facility for a field trip. I had been there several times prior, but this time it really hit home how much energy was being used to clean dirty water. Some of that water is definitely dirty (ewww), but a lot of the water that makes it to the wastewater facility is water that fell and ran off someone's roof, or water that never really got that dirty to begin with. Now, I am in no way advocating that we stop cleaning our wastewater, just that we should try and produce less of it. We should manage our stormwater so it doesn't go to the treatment facility, and re-use water when we can.
Here is a photo of the wastewater treatment plant. It is amazing how much energy goes into cleaning up our dirty water.
Saw this on a storm water management field trip! What a great way to use water from a disconnected downspout. I want one!
Here is an amazing ecoroof on Portland's Multnomah County building. We are up on the 5th floor. Finn and I had lunch there last week. He thought it was pretty rad. Awesome views of the city, and of planes!

There are lots of other ways to manage stormwater, including bioswales and rainbarrels, and lots of ways to reduce the water we use (like composting toilets and greywater systems). And I love that I live in a city where these types of water management systems are in place. If I had money at my expense to create my dream homestead, it would certainly include a huge rain cistern, an ecoroof, a composting toilet and a greywater recycling system. But, as I live in a small house on a small city lot with little disposable income, these things aren't feasible (as they aren't for most Americans). We do have a bioswale (which is basically a ditch with water-loving plants in it that my disconnected downspout runs into), and we do a bit of our own water recycling. But that eco-roof is just going to have to wait.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

No Way! Another Giveaway You Say? Hooray!

Yes, you read correctly! I am doing another giveaway!!
To learn more about it, head over to A Life Sustained. Browse around, read my interview, and enter the giveaway.
Courtney at A Life Sustained writes very thoughtful blog posts about all things related to sustainable living, and I find much inspiration in her writing. I am completely thrilled to be one of her July sponsors!! Pin It Now!

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama 
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Giveaway Reminder!

Don't forget to check out my interview and giveaway over at Lady of the Arts. The Giveaway ends Saturday.....
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Big River and Thirst: Water Movie Reviews

This environmental science course I am teaching this summer has a heavy emphasis on water, and so I have been getting into the hydro-spirit and have watched a couple of films on the subject. Both are currently instant plays on Netflix!
Big River is the amendment to King Corn, a hilarious film that I have seen probably 5 or 6 times, yet haven't written a review on it yet. King Corn is the story of 2 guys that decide to trace their roots back to Iowa and grow an acre of corn. In the process, they learn how much corn Americans are actually consuming, how many pesticides are used to grow this corn, and the subsidies put in place to encourage farmers to grow more and yet even more corn. Big River is a short film, about 30 minutes, that talks about the environmental impacts of growing corn, and specifically the high loads of fertilizers and pesticides that are ending up in our water supply. These high nutrient loads create dead zones in lakes and oceans through a process called eutrophication, In short, the nutrients cause algae blooms, which bring in bacteria to eat the dead algae, and the bacteria use up all of the dissolved oxygen in the process of decomposing the dead algae. Aquatic plants and animals are unable to live in areas of ultra-low oxygen.
Water with high nutrients also overloads wastewater treatments facilities. Some plants in the midwest has specialized facilities to deal with high amount of nitrogen, but most don't. This means that heavy rains will overwhelm the wastewater systems, much of the nitrogen won't be filtered out, and bad things can happen, such as blue baby syndrome. On top of that, ammonia (the chemical based version of nitrogen which is used in conventional farming) has an affinity for water, which means that it runs off more easily that an organic fertilizer would during rainstorms or heavy irrigation.
Heavy pesticide use is also taking its toll. Farm families have increased rates of cancer. The film interviews a few families who are losing or have lost members to cancer. The very thing these farmers are doing to support themselves, in the long run, is their end.
This quick film is worth a watch is you have the time. It's not spectacular by any means, and definitely not as comical as King Corn, but it is informative and to the point.

Thirst is a Bullfrog film that focuses on water privatization. I normally love the production quality of Bullfrog films, but this one seemed a bit drab to me. The film did touch on some moving stories of water privatization, like in California and Bolivia, and portrayed grassroots organization, community involvement, political scheming, and corporate crap. I guess I just felt a bit let down with this film as there are some fantastic water movies out there: Blue Gold, FLOW, and Tapped are 3 of my favorites. Many of the scenes from Thirst were repeats from these films, and even many of the same individuals were interview. Thirst just didn't have the production quality or visual appeal that these other films had, and didn't hold much new information. I certainly didn't feel "wowed" after it ended. I wouldn't not  recommend this film, however, I would highly recommend watching one (or all 3) of the above-mentioned films first. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yarn Along (and a Finished Peacock)

This week I am still reading Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen, which is the book that my new mama book club is reading. I have had a very busy week, so I haven't made it as far as I had hoped....
I am still working on Debbie Bliss' baby shorts pattern found in Essential Baby.I haven't made much progress this week, as I have mostly been focused on knitting a red birthday crown (which I will felt) for one of Finn's friends.
And, I finally finished the peacock. It's not quite as cute as I had imagined, and the pattern was actually really hard. If your mind wandered for even a minute, you could forget where you are! But, it's done, and will (hopefully) make a fun surprise for our festival outing this weekend. You can find the pattern at
AND, Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for some felted nesting bowls over at Lady of the Arts!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Upcycling: Pillowcase Dresses

I have been on upcycling kick lately. It's almost an addiction actually. I have been making girl's pillowcase dresses from my old unwanted shirts and skirts. I love being able to take something that is destined to become "waste" and turn it into a new loved treasure.
Pillowcase dresses are fantastic, as they grow with the child. The dresses tie at the shoulder, so they are adjustable, and then as your child grows the dress goes from a longer dress to a shorter dress, and then to a shirt. So one item of clothing can potentially be worn for years!
Anyways, I have found that my small size shirts typically only have enough fabric to make a dress for a baby (3 month to about a year), so if I want to branch out on my size abilities, I may have to make a trip to the local thrift store. In the meantime, I have been going through my old-clothes stash and selecting fabrics that would make good dresses. I have made a couple for Phoebe, as well as some for my etsy shop.
What do you upcycle?

P.S.- Can you guess who is modeling the dress in the last picture? He was a very reluctant model....
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Stoeln Harvest: A Review

Stolen Harvest: the Hijacking of the Global Food Supply, by Vandana Shiva, is an overview on how globalization is negatively affecting world agriculture. Vadana Shiva is a world renowned activist extraordinaire, and is featured in many current environmental films. I assigned Water Wars, also by Shiva, as the reading for my environmental studies students this summer term. That motivated me to pick up Stolen Harvest, which has been on my to-read list for quite awhile.
Like all of Shiva's writing, Stolen Harvest is eloquently written, intensely informative, and shockingly truthful. Unfortunately (for me), this book is 11 years old, so much of the information was outdated, and much I had already read from different sources. Nonetheless, her passion on this subject rings through still today.
Stolen Harvest touches on the monopolization of agriculture by huge corporations (like Monsanto). She discusses the introduction of genetically modified crops into our mainstream food culture and the true costs behind these crops. She talks about the absurdness of patenting seeds, the destruction of local cultures through imported crops, and the increase of corporate power and control.
The green revolution (when high yielding strains of crops, along with the huge amounts of fertilizers and pesticides that they require, were introduced across the globe) has been touted as a global success. Shiva talks about how this revolution is actually counterproductive. These higher yielding strains produce more human food and have less crop waste. Crop waste has traditionally been used as animal fodder (and then the animal waste is used to add nutrients to the soil) and as a nutrient-rich compost to amend the soil. With less crop waste, soils are becoming depleted of nutrients. This revolution has also drastically decreased global crop diversity, encouraging the growth of a few specific high-yielding crops.
Shiva also talks about aquaculture (fish farming) and the host of problems it causes. She discusses factory farming, bovine growth hormones, mad cow disease, and the negative impacts of unsustainable animal farming. She has an entire chapter devoted to genetically modified crops, and the many, many problems that can arise from them.
This is a wonderful book and is a great introduction to the myriad of problems facing our global agricultural system. Many of the ideas she tackles are ones commonly reflected in today's environmental media (and movies like Food Inc.), and I can only imagine how unveiling this information must have been 11 years ago. Despite the fact that it is a bit outdated, I would highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the future of our food. Pin It Now!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Garden Update

We are having another year of a not-so-great garden. I would like to blame it all on the weather (and the fact that we have had no heat... this morning was in the low 60's and raining), but I think it is partly due to my gardening inexperience. Our plants seem to be struggling to really get growing, and I think I didn't add enough compost to the soil. I did add some compost around each seed/plant that I planted, and our yard is covered with clover, which adds nitrogen to the soil, but I think it needed a bit more love. most of our yard is on a relatively steep slant, and my guess is that a lot of our topsoil is coming off in the winter rains. I think next year I need to add a lot more compost... maybe even till compost into large patches. Anyways, I am enjoying what we are harvesting, and hope that we get enough sun around here for our tomatoes and squash to produce before fall rolls around!

Here is one of out teeny heirloom tomatoes.... Fruit is ripening, but the plants are a fraction of the size we normally have...

The world's saddest pepper....

Our squash are just beginning to blossom...

Our plum tree, which normally at this time of year, is drooping with more plums than us and all of our neighbors can enjoy. This year, not a one. This same thing happened 3 years ago, and I really am clueless as to what is going on. My only guess is that the tree flowered while it was still too cold for the bees to come out and pollinate? Does anyone know more about this? A thorough google search proved to be no help....

But, I can't complain too much. We had an overabundance of snap peas (which we are now letting go to seed in our first seed-saving experiment), we are eating carrots, beets, and chard from our garden, as well as a variety of fresh herbs. Our potatoes are coming along well and we have strawberries and blueberries to snack on. And, our calendula is happy as can bee!

How is YOUR garden?
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Check Out My Interview (and a Giveaway Too!)

Today, Ren at Lady of the Arts (one of my favorite blogs) is featuring an interview with yours truly! Check out my interview to learn a little more about me. There may or may not be a little giveaway involved as well........ Pin It Now!

This Moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama 
Pin It Now!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quick Tip: Re-Used Scrubbies

I am sure everyone is familiar with those plastic mesh bags that produce sometimes comes in... you know, the ones that bundle up lemons, limes and oranges. The bags aren't good for much... they have holes in them so you can't reuse them for food storage and certainly not as a dog-poop bag (ewww!). However, these bags make great scrubbers that you can use to scrub food off of pots and pans. Just ball it up and get scrubbing! They have come in super handy for me a few times when I was without a scrubber-sponge and now I save them specifically for this purpose. I try to buy produce without ANY packaging whenever possible, but, unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. At least using these bags as a scrubber gives them a second life before heading to the landfill. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Yarn Along

Happily joining in with Ginny at Small Things for this week's yarn along. This week I am finishing up both Stolen Harvest by Vandana Shiva and Wake Up and Smell the Planet. They are both quick reads. Reviews on both of those to come soon! I also just started Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen, which is the book that my new mama book club is reading! I have always wanted to be in a book club, and now it finally happened, although I think it may be more of an excuse for some mamas to get together for a few hours without kiddos than actually about what we read. But hey, I am OK with that!
On the needles, I am working on a knitted peacock as a surprise for Finn. We go to an awesome bluegrass music festival every summer called String Summit, and the place where it is held, Horning's Hideout, has peacocks. A peacock theme is intertwined throughout the festival, so I figured that Finn should have a peacock of his own. Have you ever heard a peacock call? It is pretty creepy....especially when you are in a tent in the woods in the middle of the night! I am also working on Debbie Bliss' baby shorts pattern found in Essential Baby. They are on tiny needles and are taking awhile- I feel like they may never get done! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Learn an Herb: Borage

Borage (Borago officialis) is also known as starflower, and one quick glance at this plant and you will know why! I have borage growing in my yard, and love it for it's vibrant blue flowers, but didn't realize how useful it was until today.
The leaves, stem and flowers of borage are all edible and supposedly have a cucumber-like flavor (I still have yet to try them). The leaves can be eaten in salads or steamed like spinach (although they are really hairy so I would probably leaned towards cooking them), the stem can be cut and cooked like celery, the plant can be candied, or, of course, made into a tea. To make a tea, pour about 1 cup of boiling water over 1/4 cup of leaves and let simmer.
The flowers and leaves are thought to help with  bronchitis and other throat ailments . Borage is anti-diarrheal and can help with gastritis and IBS. It can also be used as an adrenal toner.
Borage is used to help stimulate milk production in breastfeeding mothers (cool!), and is also used to treat depression and as a cure for hangovers. Hope I don't need to try it out for that anytime too soon....
The leaves can be ground into a paste and used externally to help with fevers, sprains, swelling, skin irritations, bruising and bites.
In the garden, borage is a good companion plant for strawberries and tomatoes and is supposed to make an excellent high-nutrient mulch.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Homo Toxicus: A Review

Homo Toxicus is a film that discusses the connections between chemicals found in our environment and health problems, and in some ways is the the modern day Silent Spring. The films starts out with a Canadian women getting her blood tested for contaminants. Even though she feels that she lives a fairly healthy lifestyle, her results find 110 contaminants in her blood, including DDT, PCBs, mercury, and many more. The problem with directly linking these toxins to health problems is that everyone is exposed to so many chemicals that it is hard to tease out which ones are causing what. So although we have some pretty good ideas of which chemicals are problematic, it is hard to prove it.
This film suggests that exposure to some toxins can cause the immune system to become weak, while others cause it to overreact (causing allergies and auto-immune disorders). Toxins like fire retardants (found in a lot of children's sleepwear) can be linked to ADD and hyperactivity. Pesticides have been shown to lower sperm counts and to cause sex changes in fish and amphibians. Hormones found in beef have been linked to cancer. It seems that everywhere we turn, there is yet another substance that we are exposed to that is a likely culprit for cancer or other illnesses.
According to the film, the scariest part is that since the time span between human generation is fairly large, we are just now starting to see the consequences of these chemicals on human health. Amphibian populations, which have seen huge die-offs due to environmental pollutants, have very short generation times and so problems are expressed more quickly in these species. The film suggests that we could be headed for a similar fate as the frogs, but we just haven't had enough time for gene changes to be expressed yet. I hope that's wrong, but I do think all of these toxins in our environment are going to have some consequences, and I can't imagine those consequences are going to be good.
What the film doesn't really touch on is how we can avoid this fate... from my personal research I know that it is important to be careful of the foods you select, the personal care products you use, and the things you surround yourself with. However, I also know that so many of these toxins are present in the water that we drink and bathe in, as well as pollutants in the air. We can't avoid water or air, so until these toxins are regulated and/or banned, we are all going to continue to be exposed to them. Pin It Now!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Backyard Homestead: A Review

I had been wanting to read The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan for quite some time, and finally had my turn from the Portland Public Library. This book is a great introduction for someone looking to turn their home into a homestead and become more self-sufficient. This book covers creating a garden, growing fruit and nut trees, raising poultry for meat or eggs, raising meat, growing grains, growing herbs and foraging for food. Throughout the book there are also great tips (like how to sprout seeds and how to grow a ginger plant) and recipes (like how to make yogurt, noodles, and herbal vinegars). I enjoyed this book and found some great ideas that I plan to use in the future (like growing squash plants vertically instead of on the ground). However, I didn't learn as much as I had hoped from this read... We already have a pretty established garden (although I could surely use some help as there is much room for improvement!), we don't have space for fruit trees, to grow grains, or to raise livestock, and we already raise ducks for eggs. So this book gave me a lot of ideas for my dream-homestead that we one day hope to create. For now, we are dong the best we can with a city lot! Pin It Now!

Friday, July 8, 2011

This Moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama 
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pillowcase Dresses and Some Other Recent Creations

Despite the fact that I have not been posting any pictures of my crafts up here lately, I have still been busy crafting away! I am currently on a big pillowcase-dress making kick. I have actually only made 3, but I have a few more in the works. I have not been using a pattern for these, but found some good instructions online here. Normally, when I sew, I don't pin or iron (because I am lazy), but since I was following new instructions when I made my first pillowcase dress, I did exactly as I was told. I am a super pleased with the results and even decided to pin and iron the pair of shorts I made for Finn last weekend. I decided that it was completely worth the added time and energy. Goodbye laziness, hello better sewing! This was also the first time that I used bias tape, which had always sort of mystified me. But once I got it figured out, I realized that I enjoyed using it. Anyways, these dresses are really fun to make, but I need to hold off on making any more for Phoebe. A 4-month old only needs so many dresses... I am actually on the lookout for a new dress pattern (maybe an A-line jumper type thing) so I  can find something new to make!
I also finished Phoebe's booties and they are so cute. The pattern, Saartje's booties can be downloaded for free here. I am in love with these booties. However, when I put them on P's darling little feet, I realized that they were already too small......sniff sniff. I have squeezed them on her a few times, but already have plans for a bigger pair in the works. They are too cute for her not to have a pair that fit.

I had also been  feeling like a I needed to make a little something for myself, so a couple of weeks ago I made up a quick bunting for our bedroom. I made it with intentions to hang over our bed, but my hubby sort of (well, clearly) stated his opposition. So I hung it over the window next to our bed, which also happens to be my creative space. Hubby was happy and so was I.
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