Friday, April 25, 2008

taking the plunge

We are taking the Mamas on the Compact pledge!! Yes I know Walter is not a Mama but since I do the majority of the spending, "Mama" will work just fine and he'll just sort of nod his head in agreeance while I'm off on my newest "thing"!

I have been recently trying to find ways to become a bit more "green". I bought the clothesline, I've started the compost, I plan to garden this summer...why not make it official and pledge to stop consuming so much!

Here goes:1. I am pledging to not buy anything new for a period of two months to begin May 1, 2008.

2. My reasons for doing this - I think I need to learn to be happier with what we have, which let's face it, is more than so many less fortunate than us. I also need to stop using shopping as a way of making myself feel satisfied, and I need to stop playing into the idea that you are what you can afford to buy! It really is all about differentiating between wanting and needing.

3. My plan for maintaining the pledge? Prayer! No, seriously, that may be the only way I make it through! But really, I can still buy used...that's allowed... so if I really get an itchin' for some shoppin', I can go to the thrift stores. Also, when I 'm feeling lonely and bored (which usually results in a shopping trip) I will try to spend time going for walks, making crafts, cooking, playing outside, and thinking of ways to be "greener" :)

4. Okay, finally the part where I get to justify a few things...the exemptions:

a) Building materials. We are after all still remodeling a house! This does not however exempt un-needed purchases such as furniture and decorations. I'm exempting trim and paint, that sort of thing.

b) Building materials. Redundant, maybe, but this time it's for the dwelling. We plan to use as much salvaged material (which is allowed) as possible but I'm figuring that some things will need to be purchased new. The reason I'm exempting this is because it's already in the works, and therefore needs to be built!

c) I have the husband on board as much as possible...however, he has come up with a few exemption of his own:

- Music for DJing...which is unavoidable and also a business expense.

- Very early morning coffee on the way to the hospital, because if he grinds beans at 6:00am it wakes me up and that makes me grumpy...but whenever possible, he will make it at home.

d) My appointment at SalonSalon. It was a gift from Valentine's Day and even though it will be paid for during the compact, it was given before hand. And dammit, I need some pampering!

e) Whenever humanly possible, I will make or purchase recycled gifts during my compact. If this does not seem humanly possible, I am exempting the purchase of modest gifts. No going overboard!

f) Bathing suits, socks and underwear. Three things I outright refuse to buy second hand!

g) Last but not least, let's be honest here, it's soon to be summer vacation. We plan to take a small trip as soon as Walter is done with school. I don't know if vacations are part of the pledge to begin with but I'll exempt it just in case... the cost of this trip is exempt but not purchases made on the trip. No new stuff! After all, there are thrift stores on vacation aren't there?

I think that covers everything. I know it seems like a ton of exemptions, but I'm supposed to list them up front and I may as well be honest, instead of saying I'm not going to buy anything and then end up cheating.

Also, to all of you family that may read this, this pledge includes things we may be given. Please no new purchases! If you would like to give us something, please send money for groceries, used or recycled gifts, or gift certificates to thrift stores. Thanks for helping us stick to our pledge!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

busy, busy, busy

I haven't really done much with the Made In Vermont Etsy Team but this months challenge is to create a piece inspired by the Vermont state insect. It was sort of right up my alley so I'll give it a whirl...pretty obvious what it is, huh?
Today I started the curtains for Estella's new room. This is probably the most domestic project I've tried. I don't tend to go for the quilting and curtains and really tend to avoid most clothing. I have such a hard time taking my time and keeping lines straight and sewing hems and making things come out looking right. I think what it comes down to is that I don't have the patience for long seams. It's funny that I can't deal with making curtains but I can take the time to line the pockets on a doll dress. Go figure.

Well, whining aside, I have finished the tabs and the bottom hems. All I need to do is sew the lining to the front and hang them! At least she only has one window in her room!
Yesterday was a gorgeous day..sunny with a slight breeze. Estella had her first real experience with being outside in the grass. Last summer she was too small to really play outside, but I think that this year she will be spending lots of time in the new back yard. She seemed to really enjoy being outside and running around. I just have to hope she doesn't like to be out in the snow too. She's on her own if that happens!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

letting go

So, I'm starting to realize that the move is advancing and I have to start letting go of all the little things that I love about this house. Don't get me wrong, there are many things in this house that drive me nuts, but there are many things I love.

Pantry, I will miss you and all of your glorious storage space.
I also will miss my tub very much. I've wanted a claw foot tub since I was young and I finally got to have one...for two years. At least I got to enjoy it while I was huge and pregnant! I think the hardest part of moving really is letting go.
As you can imagine, this is a typical scene these days. Estella has been pretty tolerant of the move and renovation. She's found new and dangerous things to stick in her mouth and climb up on, but she's really been good about the thing. I'd say we're about 35% moved. My dad came today and put in all of our new windows -YEAH!- so now we will start moving for real...enough of this transitional phase.
Katy from imagingermonkey received my part of the swap today so I can post about it...this is Maya. She has a sweet little lined wrap dress with a sash that ties in the back. I really like her and she's super cute in person. She's now chilling in the UK with some plush lovers!

That should catch everyone up for now...I'm off to watch some bad TV and go to bed!

Friday, April 11, 2008

swap, goin' green and aahhhh...

I received my swap in the mail today! Katy of imagingermonkey sent me Mindy, and I love her! And, she sent me a little extra present of some sweet fabrics. Her dolls caught my eye on etsy because they were so super cute. Now that I have one in person, I see that they are in fact, super-duper cute! The whole package came wrapped so nicely with an adorable ribbon, tag and pin! I must say that the whole thing really made my day...thanks Katy! I owe her a little something extra for such a great package. I'll send her a surprise when she least expects it. "I always say the best kind of prize is a surprise" Anyone get the quote? Anyone? Anyone?

So, I've gone green! Okay, not really, but I can pretend. Really, I've gone organic. I thought I would do some organic Fritters to bring around to some of the local shops to see if they would carry them. We'll see...
I'm sort of on the whole "green" thing lately. Realistically, my life is FAR from green but I would like to start making baby steps towards making my life a bit more low impact. Kri has inspired me to seriously think about a clothesline. If she can do it with three kids, I don't have a very good excuse for not doing it with one! We are also planning to build a guest room/studio space this summer and are investigating making it off grid. Having it off-grid is obviously not necessary but considering where the world could be headed, it seems like a good idea. I ordered the plans for the dwelling today, and of course I'll keep everyone updated on the progress.

This is what happens when Estella and Dad do the laundry. Check out that static!
And finally, everyone please join me in one collective sigh of relief...Aaaaaahhhhhhhh. We have renters! That is a HUGE weight off my shoulders, and Walter and I both really liked them. I guess that makes it official - WE NEED TO GET MOVING!

Friday, April 4, 2008

These kids will be up in the shop within the next day or so hopefully. I haven't finished the whole lot of them but I figured I would try to get these up. Things have been a little crazy around here and I don't know when I'll actually finish the rest.

I have also finished the Fritter that will be swapped with a fellow Etsian. I'll share more about that when the swap is complete...I want it to be a surprise for the recipient. I'll only say that the Fritter is named Maya and she is adorable. Walter wanted me to keep her! I'm sure she will have a fun time in her new plush loving household, but like I said, more about that later!

Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

spontaneous love

Apparently Estella has a lot of love to give. She likes to randomly throw herself, and I mean throw herself, onto whatever she is feeling overwhelming love for at the moment. The other night it was this pile of laundry. She also seems to feel very strongly towards random pillows, balloons, toys, boxes of records, and yes, sometimes even us. Imagine how great your life would be if you still felt the love that a child must have for all new things. My days would be a lot better if I could look at a pile of laundry and want to throw myself on it, nuzzle my face in it and give it some love. Most days I like to pretend that if I ignore it, it will eventually go away!

I don't have any photos, but I've been working on the most recent batch of Fritters. Five of the seven are now clothed! There are looking mighty cute if I don't say so myself...

I just have to say that I got the greatest ReadyMade Magazine yesterday. I've had a subscription for a couple of years and always enjoy it. I was, however, particularly happy with this issue. I won't go into why I liked it so much (you can check it out for yourselves) but let's just say I want disposable money so I can build a little outdoor studio...and so many other cool things in this issue too!