Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How much are you willing to pay for cheap food?

Michael Pollan in the New York Times asks if modern food factories are related to the recent epidemic of MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant form of staph infection which now kills more people in the U.S. than AIDS. And just why are all those bees dying and what does it have to do with the monocultural mode of modern agriculture?

And just what does sustainable mean, anyway?

Go here for the article.

Catching up

Been quiet around here lately. That's because most of my spare time the last couple of weeks had me staring at this...

But one particular night, I got to at least hear some great music from Meyer and Mcguire at Equal Grounds.

Haven't had much to pay attention to the upcoming holidays, though several projects will hopefully be completed in the next 5 days, since the last paper was turned in, the last day of work is done, and DS is home. But for now, I'm in bed to catch up on some rest!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Win Free Stuff! (Pay It Forward Handmade Style)

UPDATE--Please send me an address to send the handmade items, after you comment, at my45thyear(at)yahoo(dot)com. Thanks!

Meg over at Blog Less has a Pay It Forward exchange, which I joined. Here's how it works:

Like Meg, I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it before my 45th year is over! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So, if you are interested in receiving a handmade something from me, leave a comment. It could be something knitted, sewn, food, re-purposed...who knows? You could even let me know if you've seen something here that you like...and I will try to send you something similar!

Consider it my holiday greeting to you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Felt you can feel good about

Well, besides being a bad pun, I suppose that title requires a bit of explanation to non-Rochesterians. The predominant grocery store in Rochester is Wegman's. Some people love it...their displays are beautiful, and you can find anything you could possibly want from exotic produce to fine china to Godiva chocolates. Me...not so much...too big, overwhelming, too much food from god knows where.

Anyway, they had an advertising campaign that theirs was "Food You Can Feel Good About."RocBike team member Adam Durand proved that that's not always the case in his investigation of Wegman's egg farms.

But I digress...I've been finishing some very easy felted projects lately. And I can feel good about it because they're all recycled from failed knitting projects or sweaters bought secondhand.

The messenger bag, above, has me so delighted that it will get its own post, including a little tutorial. But I'm so happy about it that I had to post it right away! I made it last night, in about an hour. More on the bag in a future post...

Remember the summer's laptop cover? It's not very sturdy, so I made another one from a felted sweater from Marianne's Consignments. (When this sweater came in, Marianne saved it for me just for the purpose of felting.) I would never wear it as a sweater, but I love the pattern. I just cut out a rectangle a tad bit bigger than my laptop, by laying out the sweater and cutting from the bottom up. The side seam remained, so I just had to sew up the other side seam, and voila! (Yes, that's my dinner, because I was attempting to blog and eat at the same time.)

And a couple of weeks ago, I took a couple of swatches which I had seamed together and felted, added buttons, cut the buttonholes right in the felt, and now I have some fun wallets (which will likely become Christmas gifts for some friends on my list.)

Also in that picture, a hot pad. One side is a swatch that T. made, and the other is cut from a felted sweater from Goodwill, stitched together with running stitch and a loop for hanging it to boot.

And, an unfelted project in the background above, a simple garter stitch scarf with yarn from Rhinebeck 2005,which will likely be my Mom's January birthday gift. (Mom doesn't own a computer, so no chance she'll find out!)

Let's see...how many finished objects is that? Messenger bag, laptop cover, 2 wallets, hot pad, and a scarf...6 more down!

Monday, December 3, 2007

First Snow

I took this picture with my phone, on my walk to class. I'm sure you notice that no one else is walking to class. That's because either:

a--Some people were already in class by the time I got there, as I was late due to traffic jams caused by drivers who, although they've lived in Rochester for 20 years, forget how to drive in the snow.

b--Other people were even later to class than me.

c--The rest of them decided it was a good night to skip class.

We're having our first major snowfall of the year, and, although I'm not as crazy as Joey Mac or Rochester's Wednesday night Cruisers, I am looking forward to getting out and playing in it, at least on skis, and maayyyybee on my bike.

Now if I could just get a snow day from work and school!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Handcrafters' holidays meme

Sew Mama Sew is promoting handcrafted holidays through its meme, wherein bloggers answer some questions about their own giftgiving. Here are some of mine.

Do you have a favorite gift that you love to give?

Every year I make jams, sauces, pickles, and relishes all throughout the summer. This year, I made more than ever. They're all from fruits and veggies that are organic and locally grown, and many of the fruits are picked by my very own hands!

As an example...plums and peaches (picked at Hurd Orchard) are so easy to pick, that I got a whole refrigerator-full back in July.

If you’re making gifts this year, what are you making?

Oh, I can't tell because they might read this...but every immediate family member gets something that's handmade!

Do you have any good stories about handcrafted gifts you’ve given or received?

My very favorite requires a bit of background. My DS is deeply averse to knitwear. He is more a fan of the torn t-shirt and khakis from Goodwill look, pretty much regardless of the season. Knitting is my main crafting passion, so this has been a source of great consternation. In addition to handmade gifts, we are big promoters of "gifts of time" in our family, where you promise to do something nice for the other family member.

So, three years ago, I got a paper certificate, denoting a gift of time, from him to me. I opened it up, and it was a certificate which gave ME the gift of making HIM a pair of gloves, which he promised to wear, WHEN the weather was appropriate.

What could I do? I made the gloves, he loved them and wore them all winter, and he promptly lost them at the end of the season. Those were replaced by another pair, which we are still searching for as this winter season is upon us!

Do you have any great gift compilation ideas (a grouping of gifts just perfect for certain recipients?)

I do, but I can't share it! Let's see if you can guess. ______ has just discovered a passion for ________, but needs a ______ to call her/his own. Along with the _______, s/he needs a ________to put it in, and a __________ would be a really nice aid in unwinding. (I'll fill in the blanks after Christmas!)

That's all for now! I'll do more questions from the meme as the season progresses.