Last month I signed up for the One Small Change challenge. I had been getting a little lax about using cloth bags every time we went shopping, so that was my change for January. It went really well. I used my cloth bags when we went to the store, and came up with some new produce bags. I only ended up using a plastic bag once. Hubby and I were on a date and borrowing a car (ours wasn’t driveable). I hadn’t planned on stopping at the store, so didn’t have any bags on me. Other than that, it was a plastic bag free month. This month our goal is to not have any food waste, none at all. There isn’t usually much anyway, but occasionally there is a mouldy grape or two, or a slimy scallion. It is sometimes hard to get local food where we live, so I want to make sure that any resources that are used up by having food travel aren’t being tossed straight in the bin. So, this is our February challenge, not a single bit of food waste. I anticipate it going well, I just need to be really good at keeping on top of what’s in the fridge. Onto the winner, thanks so much for all joining in the giveaway. It was really nice to meet some new gals. The winner of the cloth bags is Wendy, congrats! I just need to get your address and then they’ll be on their way. Hope everyone had a good weekend! I’ve got a few more projects up my sleeve for this week, so if all goes well, I’ll be sharing some new things with you soon.
Archive for the ‘green’ Category
I really want to thank everyone who stops by my little space and especially those who leave such encouraging comments. I have been wanting to do a giveaway for a while now, but I wanted a little chance for things to calm down after Christmas. Today I want to send a little thank you to one of my readers, I wish I could send something to you all. This month I have been really good about using my cloth bags as part of One Small Change. I thought what a perfect opportunity to combine a giveaway with something I am passionate about. So today, I am giving away two cloth bags. One is a regular shopping bag, and one is one of my new Cheesecloth Produce Bags, both made by moi. All you have to do is leave a comment between now and 10:00pm MST on Sunday. I will announce a winner on Monday morning. On a side note, my eldest has to get a tooth pulled today. It’s a stubborn baby tooth not wanting to give up it’s place to a more permanent one. It has been long enough and shows no signs of going, so today is the day. Wish us luck.
This month I made a renewed commitment to using cloth bags for shopping. The only problem is that in the grocery store, there are those awful little produce bags. I think I must be the only person who stands there trying to open them, they just never want to work like they should. Then there’s the whole thing with throwing a bunch more little plastic bags in the trash as soon as we get home. Even when we use cloth bags to bag up all of the groceries, these produce bags have been a problem. Since I am not using any plastic bags anymore, I needed to come up with a solution, and quick. Now, I do not live near a fabric store, and my choices are very limited. I wasn’t coming across anything at the thrift store that would work, and it finally dawned on me that I could use cheesecloth. It’s sturdy, and yet somewhat sheer. Something about the lighting in this pictures makes it seem as though you can’t really see what’s in the bag, but you can in person. I made these simple drawstring produce bags and I am thrilled with how they turned out. They were extremely easy to sew together, and they are going to be a huge help when it comes to lugging produce back from the store. If you can sew a straight line, you can make these bags, and here’s my tutorial to help you out. Hope you guys enjoy!
In my effort to be more organized, I have been trying to figure out what some of our big problem areas are. One small problem area is bath towels. After bath time, there is always at least one bath towel laying on the floor. None of the kids want to claim it as their own, and we often can’t be sure which child left it there. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a massive problem, but it is something that we can fix very easily. I kept my eyes out at the thrift store for some pretty vintage towels for the girls. Now, every child has their own colour of towel, which means that we know exactly whose towel is on the floor. We could have just bought different coloured towels at the store, but why do that when there are some fantastic vintage ones out there, and at a fraction of the price. I just love these and the girls really like the floral patterns. Besides, they are very good quality towels, they have to be, to be in such good shape after years of use. So we’ll see how this organizes bath time a bit better. I guess if all else fails, we have prettier towels.
Normally when I start working on a project, I know where it is going. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I started embroidering this fabric. It sat around for a while while I tried to figure out what it was going to be. Then I decided that hey, a girl can never have too many zippered pouches, right? I use them for lots of things. They are perfect for throwing a chapstick and a couple of dollars in. I used to use one with the babe, for carrying a couple of pacifiers. They’re good to hold coupons, or use for a makeup bag. I even have a bigger one that contains an entire clean outfit for the babe in the diaper bag. They are so versatile, you can make them in any size and I find myself using them all of the time. Our thrift store sells bags of 3-5 vintage and new zippers for a quarter, so between that and the scraps of fabric to make the bags, they cost pennies. They make fantastic gifts, especially if you make two or three in graduated sizes. Do you use zippered pouches? What do you put in them?
This is my new iPod case, that I have been working on with my 20 minutes of crafting a day. I seem to have gone a bit mad about granny squares, they are so easy and so addictive. The lining is some fleece that belonged to some of the babe’s jammies that she no longer fits in. I am always a big fan of practical and pretty and I’m pleased with how this turned out. My next project to work on is a little something for two of my kiddos that are restless sleepers. Yesterday was full to the brim of baking and cooking with lots of help from my little ones. I’m excited about sharing the recipes with you soon. Even though it is not planned, it seems as though Monday ends up being our big baking/cooking day as we seem to run out of things over the weekend. Do you guys have planned baking days, or do you just bake throughout the week?
For the most part, I consider our family pretty green. We try to eat organic as much as the budget allows. We use cloth diapers, cloth napkins, and hankies. When the weather allows, I dry our clothes outside on a line. We keep the thermostat low and just add a sweater or an extra pair of socks. We shop for most of our clothes at the thrift store and donate the things that we don’t use anymore. When we are in need of something I try to find it used before resorting to buying it new. Like anything, there are always ways that we could improve. I recently joined up for the One Small Change challenge. Each month from now till April we will be picking one area to focus on becoming greener. The summer before I got pregnant with the babe, I made a bunch of cloth shopping bags and we were really good at using them all the time. I even made the kids their own kid size cloth bags. They loved carrying their own load of groceries, and they always got lots of comments. Since then, I have been getting lax and though I still do use them it is not every single time we shop for something. So, January is our month to make sure that we do not use any plastic bags at all. I have my stash all ready to go and so far, so good. The hard part for me is to remember them. We have them in the van, but with getting four kids out of the car, watching them in the parking lot and just generally making sure they don’t get run over, sometimes I forget. They say it takes a month to develop a habit, so here we go. I was so good before I got pregnant, but lots of things changed very quickly and now I want to get back into the habit. I would highly encourage you to join the challenge and make one small change that can make a world of difference. Hope you all had a good weekend. We’re still not sure about the van, but it is looking like it is a much more minor problem, so fingers crossed.
I love to do all sorts of different crafts. Sewing, crocheting, haven’t knit in a while, but you get the point. There are a lot of days when nothing on the crafty front happens. Marmalade Rose has issued a twenty minutes a day challenge. To do some sort of creative crafting for just twenty minutes a day. As busy as my days are, I think I can fit that in. So I’ve jumped into the challenge and here is my first accomplishment. Nothing life changing, but something small that I needed. I have had my makeup in an old plasticy zippered bag for a while and I think how much I dislike it every morning when I put my makeup on. One of my goals this year has been to do some serious decluttering as well, so this morning as I put my makeup on, I got rid of anything and everything in my bag that I know I will never use. This afternoon between lunch and resting time for the big kids, I pulled out my sewing machine and made this little zippered bag out of some vintage fabric that I love. It took a little more than twenty minutes, but that is only because I have to pull my machine out and set it up and take it down every time I want to sew. This adds some serious time, it would be so much quicker and easier if I could just leave it set up. Oh well, for now this is the way it is. I’m really pleased with it, now I have a handmade bag that I love and it only contains exactly what I use. Two birds with one stone, decluttering and beautifying. It works for me. I will continue to do some sort of crafting for 20 minutes each day, though I will probably just do a weekly overview. When I started learning how to make lined zippered bags I used this tutorial. Wish me luck, I figure if I even do just a tiny bit of decluttering and crafting a day, then at the end of a couple of months I should have accomplished quite a bit.
One reason I love shopping at thrift stores, is that if I am patient enough, I can usually find what I am looking for for much cheaper than if I had gone out and bought it at a regular store. Part of the thrill is the hunt, so to speak. Keeping my eye out for something, eventually finding it at a brilliant price, and then doing some work to it, if need be, in order to make my new treasure perfect. I have been looking for a coat for a while now. A nice, warm coat in a neutral colour. I thought that instead of getting a coat in a different colour, I would find one that would last for years by just switching up accessories. If I get tired of the colour of my scarf, I can change it and update my whole outerwear look without changing the coat. Much more frugal, I thought. Anyway, when we were down with Hubby’s parents, I visited their local thrift store and guess what I found? This little beauty, well maybe not quite yet, but it had potential, lots of potential. All of the clothes were half off that day so I took her home for just $5. I didn’t like the faux fur, the colour made it look a little dirty and besides, I wanted complete neutrality. It didn’t take me long to figure out exactly what I was going to do, and now I am done. I hope it doesn’t sound like I am bragging, I am just so excited. Are you ready to see my new, much improved coat? Remember these little granny squares? I turned them into a new collar to replace the fur one. I absolutely love how it turned out. I also crocheted strips of half trebles stitches to replace the fur on the cuffs and trim of the coat. My favourite part is definitely the collar. I am so thrilled with my new coat. $5 dollars for the coat, less than $2 dollars for some natural coloured cotton yarn, and a little bit of time gave me a coat that is perfect for me. One of the best things about it? Not a single person on this entire planet has the same coat, it is a complete original. Hope you all have a great weekend!
About a year ago, when the babe started eating real food, we needed to have some snacks on hand for her when we were out and about. I didn’t want to go through so many plastic baggies, so I purchased these little velcro cloth baggies. They would be really simple to make, but it was at a time when I wasn’t able to do much crafting, so I bought these. They are made by Evelyn Fields, and they are adorable. I mostly keep cheerio type snacks in them and even if some get crushed, there is no spillage from the bag. This is just one little way that we reduce our waste and look pretty at the same time. What is your favourite way to be green?