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. . .  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

in, out, and around the house

the fairy tree

the fairy market

luna and the melting pumpkins

morning time inside

playground, castle, village

tinker toy dragster 

textures & light

sibling collaboration

blankets to be

view of living room from my sewing room 
(we don't know why there is a window between the two rooms, but it can be beneficial)

market ready

for the love of oats

i have always enjoyed oatmeal but never so much as i do now that i've been inspired by local food/mama blogger, kath of kath eats real food. her tribute to oatmeal will completely rock your bowl of bland oats. 

last night i went to bed thinking, mmmm, i'm going to have me a bowl of kath classic creamy banana oatmeal when i wake up, and indeed i did. watch the video and check out the recipe on her tribute to oatmeal page, along with a lengthy photo essay of tremendous toppings. her blog is quite wonderful and she's got an extensive recipe page too!

here is my bowl of creamy whipped banana oatmeal, with a modest topping of raspberry preserves, almond butter and golden flax seeds. have you ever had preserves in your oatmeal? it's better than a jelly donut!

and when you have left over oatmeal, make muffins!. i always add cranberries and a little bit of vanilla to the mix.

another great oat heavy snack are these homemade granola bars! how is that i've never made my own granola bars before? i used this recipe last night to cook up a delicious batch of delightful bars. i was even rewarded a text from tashi today that said in all caps, "THOSE SNACK BARS ARE GOOD. . . om nom nom."

this is all that was left after some munching last night, and some lunch boxes this morning. 

 i used dried blueberries, cherries, golden raisins, and cranberries. they are quite sweet but i am glad i decided to pick up some turbinado sugar as the recipe suggests. there is something very distinctive about turbinado as compared to refined sugar.

and finally, this homemade granola is so delicious. soulemama shares and earlier version of the recipe from cynthia lair's feeding the whole family, and having tried both, i do prefer the earlier version. it's divine, and as kath suggests, sprinkle your granola on your oatmeal!

cheers to you (holding up an oatmeal stout)!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

the days, mostly

sewing, playing, moving inward, finding the new balance, cuddling up, seeking books,
indulging in movies, treasure hunting, piecing together patch by patch