Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cardmaking kit

I decided to make use of all the materials I've been collecting over the years - pretty pictures from magazines, construction paper, card papers, envelopes, calendars, little stickers, ribbon scraps and doodads. I've put together several packets of what I am calling "card-making kits." Each has about enough material to make 2 cards (general instructions included). A good recycling/reuse project and a way to share materials - it's especially interesting to see what people come up with.

So far I've given out about 25 kits, and I'll be making more!

If you would like one or two, please leave me a note or email me at p j 2 0 at c o r n e l l (dot) e d u with your address. I'll send them out while I still have time!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Repurpose


I found this great link on Treehugger that is inspiring: Garimpo+Fuxique. They make repurposed things from old fabric and seemingly kitschy stuff. But it's so vibrant and colorful! Plus they're going carbon-neutral. I'm inspired to (eventually, someday) create a vivid, cozy home full of simple pleasures.


And speaking of purpose, I am also trying to keep calm and meditate. I highly recommend the book The Wooden Bowl. It's very inspiring and makes you relaxed about meditating without the stress of "Omigosh I have to meditate now."

Of course, I've learned that meditation itself is not always easy, or even interesting, but I think the book helps me keep perspective.

Are crazy crafting and modest meditation compatible? I think, in a way, the complex can be simple and the simple infinitely complex. Isn't there something beautiful about that?

Friday, July 18, 2008

When it rains...

it pours.

I'm in last-minute panic mode (due in 11 days) and this is what's going on in my head:

- I still have a couple of baby things I want to buy. Why? Not sure. Are they absolutely necessary? Maybe. Maybe not. Somehow I need to have them. It's not logical. I accept that.

- I want to bake all these funny things, like bread, and use my ice cream maker, and make cookies.

- I have a stack each of kids' and adult books I want to read. The kids' books will get read one way or another (pre or post), but the adult ones? Hmm.

- Nesting instinct is in full swing - shouldn't I buy this (I'm supposedly still compacting, right?) and rearrange that? What about the bed this room needs and the things I should wash (what happened to saving water?)?

Meanwhile:

- The bathroom is still unusable
- Dear spouse is ill and recovering
- I just can't stick to a schedule, no matter how hard I try.

On the bright side:

- I'm packed to go
- I'm giving away reused materials to make cards with (little card kits - my concession to craft)
- My giveaway box is growing!
- I have a suitcase full of (maybe, if they fit again) post-baby clothes to rediscover later, when I'm sick of the same old things
- Someone came and took my saved up scraps of giftwrap and tissue and gift boxes
- I made some basil-parsley pesto and froze it for later

And oh yeah, there's still work and daily life :) Supermoms (really, isn't that every mom?), please advise. Until then, I'll be re-reading Buddha Mom (more about that in a future post, I'm sure).

PS - if you want a card kit, do let me know and I can mail it out to you. I forgot to mention I do need to make a trip to the PO.

PPS - Eco-tip: Al Gore may get a lot of flack for various reasons, but he is right on track to demand we go 100% to renewable energy in ten years. Let's make our politicians listen.

PPPS - I've started linking books through Better World. They fund literacy when you buy books through them, and they actually take your old books, too.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Posting updates

I just uploaded some photos and thought I'd share with you my kitchen adventures.

Like the time I tried to make vegan hostess cupcakes, but without confectioner's sugar so all the icing was kind of thick and crumbly and wouldn't make thin lines for swirls. Plus I used muffin cups without liners so they were short (my naive attempt at saving paper...). I have lots of so-called icing leftover from that recipe, too, not sure what to do with it other than eat it straight :)

So this is how they came out:


Sorta sad, but tasty.


I also knitted up a pair of tiny newborn baby booties which took probably about an hour and my mom and I worked on the bunting from Yarn Girls and my mom-in-law and I worked on a hat. Lots of craftiness!

Now, on to being more straightforward. Sent more things off - a cutting board set and some books.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Complacency

Maybe you call it coincidence, but some law (perhaps invented by Murphy) suggests that when one gets too complacent about something, inevitably something will go wrong.

Like thinking I have plenty of toilet paper stocked only to have it all get soaked (see below).

Like discussing how we've been lucky in finances (yeah, there's asking for trouble) only to have expenses suddenly skyrocket (see below again).

Like being happy that I was getting well-prepared for the baby, with clothes washed and bags ready. And then discovering a major bathroom leak, which requires a remodel.

It's funny living outside a bedroom you have gotten used to. For the first time ever, I'm using the other shower (and realizing it has better water pressure). I'm living off of 5 tops and two bottoms (plus underwear) squirreled away in various closets while parents and in-laws generously make room. I'm finding myself drawn to my bedroom only to laugh and realize I can't be in there!

It's a good test of my complacency and probably good practice for the unexpected changes that are bound to come my way soon.

In the meantime, I take comfort in good books like Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, fresh fruit from the farmer's market (or a kind neighbor), and reading juicy anti-fashion articles like this one and really scary ones like this one.