Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I have been meaning to post about this topic for some time but now is as good a time as any. In the greater Portland [Oregon] area there is a team of Master Recyclers who biannually have a plastic roundup. It is wonderful considering the amount of plastic that our curbside recycling accepts is laughable. This roundup takes in items at four locations twice a year. I mention all of this because this Saturday the 29th from 9am-2pm they are accepting any plastic that has accumulated around your house. At the last event we had a nominal amount to bring because I was reminded of the event by a friend but kept forgetting and so by the date of the roundup I had maybe a small bag to recycle. Even just being there the first time helped me realize not only how much they take but also how much plastic we really do use every day.

It is hard to challenge oneself to use less but it can also be turned into a fun game. Back in March I discovered a horrifying stat counter at the bottom of jumilla bugs blog. The tally was for the number of plastic bags consumed year to date [the link for the stats is quite informative as well]. I was blown away by the visual of the situation. I was only looking at the tally for maybe a minute and the number went up by 100,000 if not more within that time. At that point I vowed to make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of bags we used. It was a challenge and at times we got some funny looks like when we would go to home depot and say that we did not want a bag but would instead carry out our loot. Hauling our curtain hangers and hardware out of the home store also got us some looks but it was a great way to push our limits. We do have two amazing two cargo totes that truly come in handy. I know there are thousands of bags out there for just this type of thing but I love ours because I can always fit at least 3-4bags of groceries in each. During the month of April we were able to consume only 7 plastic bags and from the challenge we have both become more aware.

The even taking place this weekend is great and I encourage anyone in Portland to attempt to at least take this weeks plastic in. If you are not living on the eastside of town there is another event happening on October 6th on the westside of town. I encourage those outside of Portland to look into something like this in your area.

Monday, September 24, 2007


There are many aspects in the creative process all of which when used together contribute to the finished product. I have grown to love every aspect of working in my studio and especially relish in the moments when I get fully engrossed in a project. One thing that I find helps me with this is audio stimulation. I tend to pick things according to my moods and more often then not it consists of Podcasts. My actual music selection that has been downloaded to my computer is small and so I tend to just listen to what is already streaming to my iTunes on a daily basis. It is my way of getting caught up on the news, books, and radio shows that I tend to miss during the week. I have found that when I am listening to a specific show and working on a project I will remember that show the next time I work on that same item. Listed below are is my Top Ten list for this month. They are listed in alphabetical order. If any of you have other shows that you love to listen to I would love to hear about them.

Top Ten::
NPR: Books
NPR: Movies
NPR: Talk of the Nation
SFMOMA Artcast
Spoonful of Russian
This American Life
Travel with Rick Steves
Type Radio
Wiretap (on a podcast but you can find posts of it)
WNYC's Radio Lab

[all of these with the exception of Wiretap can be found on the iTunes store for free]

Thursday, September 20, 2007

helping hand

It is amazing how quickly the summer months passed and with it milestones. During this time Miss. A has changed from a toddler to a little girl right before our eyes. These past few weeks it seems as if every other pair of pants I put on her is an inch or two short and the shoes are all small. With her growth surt has come a desire to help with everything. I have my sister to thank for Miss. A's new found love for cooking. It seems that while she is being watched by my sister her favorite thing to do is help bake cookies or other wonderful things my sister seems to always find time for.

These days when I am in the kitchen I can almost always count on Miss. A being right by my side. If I think I am alone it will only be a matter of seconds before I hear the sound of her dragging a chair from the table over to the counter. 'Help mommy' has now shifted to 'watch mommy' when she knows that I am cooking at the stove. It is amazing the little things that can be taught while cooking a dinner. Measuring, pouring, basting, stirring are all jobs that she loves to participate in.

The day that I introduced her to the sink was a whole new adventure. We will spend many an afternoon standing at the sink, her with the plastic and I with the glass. On the sunny days before fall descended on us with a vengeance we would wash for a bit and then transition the tub of water outside for a nice afternoon of washing the rocks in the yard.

::Speaking of fall I am currently working on some more scarves that have been showing up in my shop this week.