Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Winter Crafting AKA Making Cool Stuff and Being Green
It's the end of November here at the cat ranch. The sky is gloomy and it's too chilly to play outside in the dirt.
Yep, it's the perfect time to make cool stuff. I've spent my whole life making stuff so I know that winter can be my most productive time...so long as I turn off the TV.
So what kind of stuff have I made lately. Well, since you asked. There's a new Celtic embroidery design collection. I named it Eire just to keep it simple. But the designs are sooo pretty with some big knotwork patterns and lots of designs that can be used for in the hoop quilting. I've been quilting for 30 years but doing it in the hoop on the embroidery machine is just too much fun and easy enough to be accessible to everyone.
I also find November is a good time to reassess the garden space and to take at look at what I'm doing in my efforts to be green. Being green, what is that? I hear it all day now; on the news, in the paper, everywhere on the web. When I first started going green I found an endless list of ways to do it right. Yes, it was intimidating. It seemed every effort I made to live sustainably came under fire from someone who thought I wasn't doing it right.
Kinda made me want to give up...but I didn't.
First I decided to follow my own path towards green living and tune out the critical voices.
I picked one thing to change, just one thing. I switched from regular light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. Did I spell that right? They were a little pricey but they last a really long time and save money on the electric bill.
Next I got rid of the dryer. Well, I just didn't get a new one. My dryer died just before I moved here so I didn't replace it. I have a clothesline. It took some getting used to. Let's just say the Weather Channel is my new best friend. I have to pay attention to the weather forecast because rain=no laundry. I take that back. I can dry a load or two in the house. I went to WalMart (the evil empire) and bought a retractable indoor clothesline. I set it up on the utility porch in case I need to do a load and the weather is not cooperating. I also use that line to dry my undies. The idea of my unmentionables swinging in the breeze for all the world to see is a little more than I can bear.
BUT, and its a big but, I figure I save about 20 bucks a month on my electric bill and avoid 4lbs of CO2 for every load I hang on the line (that's how much CO2 every dryer load produces). That's worth a little advance planning.
What's next? Winter has just begun so we'll be making lots more cool stuff. There's a garment embellishment kit based on the applique border in that Sakura quilt. I love putting cool designs on my clothes and this kit comes with dupione silk and a lovely polished cotton.
Check back soon for more updates on making stuff and results for The Great Winter Garden Experiment.