Sunday, December 30, 2012

days of light

these might be the darkest days of winter, but we are generating great light! it's been a wonderful week of holiday vacation: games, naps, movies, feasts. and there is more to come! i hope you have had time to play and relax and appreciate all the gifts of the season. happy new year!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

gratitude by the dozen

12 things i'm grateful for on 12.12.12
(written yesterday, posted today!) 

1. good health, for myself and my family

2. a beautiful home in a beautiful place

3. creativity

4. my husband. he puts up with my moods, my petty desire to watch things like mad men and parenthood, my insecurities, and my endless seeking for self. he is the best co-parent on earth. and he is good, through and through.

5. my children. they make me proud. they make me laugh. they bring deepest beauty to each and every day. somehow, among six miscarriages, i managed to birth two children. i feel seriously blessed.

6. humanitarians, environmentalists,  pacifists. i know that's three but they are the people who will save us from ourselves.

7. teachers, mentors, spiritual guides. i know that's three more, but they all help us to evolve.

8. plants, all of them. except maybe poison ivy.

9. birds & animals: our cats, the squirrels chasing each other up the tree as i type, deer who pass through daily, bears who surprise us once in a while, fox who screech in our woods, supersized woodpeckers, bright cardinals & jays, robins, wrens, sparrows, hawks, the eastern bluebird, and owls. all wild life. except maybe ticks.

10. babies. with every single one, new hope is born.

11. music. and the dance. or the stillness that comes with it.

12. food. real food. local food. organic food. free range food. ethnic food. food that i make. food that others make for me. food that my friends grow. food that i fantasize about growing. food that we share. food that brings us together and keeps us alive.

when you are giving this year, remember to give thanks. happy december!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

signs of the winter solstice

what is happening in your home? is there a tree? some favorite ornaments? a menora? 
some stockings? an advent calendar? a fireplace loaded with wood and flame? 
slowly we are pulling out some festive additions to our rooms, and this weekend 
i anticipate a trip to the tree farm. 

however you may celebrate the season, may it be with peace and gratitude.

p.s. all the photos were taken with my phone camera and the retro cam app.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

passive photo publication

i was recently contacted and asked if some of my photos could be included in a book about passive house development. not only is it a topic i find important, the photos themselves are of the charlottesville waldorf school, a place i hold dear to my heart. tashi graduated from cws in june.

and so there you have it, my first photo publication. well actually, i've had a few photos published in online resources and on websites, but this is the first time i've seen them in print, aside from photo books & cards i've made on my own. 

the book, by mary james, documents seven passive house projects across the country. these projects include a dormitory, an office, two multifamily developments, an assembly building, a cottage, a town house, and the waldorf school. it's a beautifully designed book with bright photos and loads of information about passive house design. there is also a foreword about the challenges of the window in a passive house. to learn more about passive house projects visit low carbon productions

since posting this i've been asked some questions about passive house design and have realized i know so little about it (i just received the book and have only read small parts). there is loads of info on the web, of course. do read up about it. it's an incredible movement in energy conservation.

i would like to find some family blogs by those living in passive houses. i will add links if and when i come across them. please do comment if you have any good links to share!

Monday, November 19, 2012

sew what?

i've been spending a lot of time here lately. even though my machine has been giving me some trouble lately (or maybe i have been giving it some trouble), i find my old singer touchtronic pretty charming. made in 1978, it is apparently singer's first computerized machine. i rarely use the fancy stitches, but for the most part, it has served me well. and. . .  it was free!

here is a slightly amusing commercial for the touchtronic:

soulemama blogged about her son needlepointing on burlap. i had a feeling tristan would enjoy being armed with a needle, so we gave it a try. we had no burlap in the house but for an old flag tashi made many years ago in school. she happily donated it the cause! and he happily sewed away!

later, we had yet another oaty delight: banana oat chocolate chip cookies. so yum, especially with warmed spiced apple cider from our new trader joe's!

happy thanksgiving week to you all!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

handmade holidays: tiny trinkets tote (and time with mad men)

i had a big chunk of time to myself yesterday, much of which was spent in frustration as i prepared for the holiday market, and encountered a number of sewing glitches. so i decided to stop preparing for market. i set my mind to what i would like to make for my loves this yule season, and decided it was time to try something new. 

this is the tiny trinkets travel tote, the tutorial for which i found via pinterest.

when i look at the photos i think to myself that it didn't turn out half bad. but i made a couple of changes to the instructions that i wish i hadn't. for some reason i thought the bag itself would need more reinforcement, so i used an additional layer of fabric, a stiff cotton, between the inner and outer fabrics. but naturally, it made for a somewhat stiff bag, and i think it would have been better, easier to open and close, and even a bit more roomy, had i not used that additional layer. 

i also wish i'd made the pond smaller, and added another branch to the road. but alas, it really was a small palette to work with. if i make another, and i just might, i think i will make it bigger.

but really, isn't it fun? i think tristan might like it! he loves to cart around little cars and objects. every time we go somewhere, he has to bring a new pile of small things into the car. 

also different from the instructions, i wove two ribbons through, so you can pull them from opposite sides of the bag, to cinch it closed. i will probably replace the ribbon i strung through with something a bit stronger. 

i'd like to make a bag with a farm scene on it. some sort of pop up pasture fencing. or a tree? a bench? there are many possibilities!

i will probably have to wait until after the holidays to show all the handmade things (right now i am optimistic that there will be more!), but since tristan doesn't read the blog, i'm safe!

while i tidied the house, ate some dinner, and made this bag, i watched mad men. all three episodes on the latest netflix disk! yes, a guilty pleasure. i find the show fascinating, depressing, and addictive. we don't have cable, so when i do watch a tv series, its often years after its release. not that i've watched many. . .

and so, being a little tv trivial here, if you lived in the 50's which mad woman would you be? 

if you are not sure, you can get some help here! i ended up being someone i haven't met yet (i even tried twice), and so, was faced with some spoilers. on the third try (why not?) i landed midge. ah, yes, the strong, independent, counterculture, beatnik woman. i'll take her. though, likely, deep down inside, she is quite heart broken. . .