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Archive for the ‘art & craft’ Category

Just an intro note to start with: Normally I get my images from the Creative Commons search on Flickr, and I post the username of the photog and a link to the CCLicense. I generally post these very small. But this time I really wanted to point out the image and the great project behind it. So click on the link about and then click back through all the previous posts. I thing it’s a wonderful idea, and her little playing card paintings are so adorable!

Other than the Lunchbox Project, what I really wanted to highlight is the concept of the waste-free lunch. I know it’s definitely not a new idea (I have vivid memories of an American Girl accessory set that involved a red gingham napkin in a lunch pail… but after a short search I’m either crazy or they’ve stopped making it). But for some reason I’m taken in by it anyway.

All our ziploc bags seem ridiculous. Even the paper sacks seem ridiculous. Even the most irresponsible youngster manages to bring his lunchbox home more often than not (I would think), but for some reason we still pack in containers that we easily can toss afterwards.

The two companies I have seen do this well (and the things I really want to buy and use every week) are these: Laptop Lunches makes a sort of Americanized version of the bento box. They include the outer box and four smaller inside containers, plus a tiny little container for salad dressing, etc. The whole kit comes with some silverware and a book about packing healthy lunches. Unfortunately all the lunchbox books out there are for parents trying to pack lunches for their picky children. This is frustrating as I am neither a child nor a picky eater, at all. But the Laptop Lunch book also has some good grocery-buying tips, etc.

The second thing I think is awesome are these fabric alternatives to ziplocs. I came across some in a store downtown this weekend that carried some with a water-resistant lining and a snapping flap, but I kinda like these velcro ones from Plum Creek Mercantile. Plum Creek also carries these cool bulk bags that you can take with you to the store. I’m really trying to buy certain foods in bulk this time. Between the wasted packaging and all the wasted or simply stale food and spices, it just doesn’t make sense to buy conventionally packaged foods. Lucky for me we have a great natural foods store that has an excellent bulk section. I even got my soy sauce in bulk, and I think I paid like 97 cents for it.

So just a bit of an eye-opener/cool trend that I wanted to share. Developing my wish list and my shopping list. Healthy food, healthy planet. Peace.

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The early riser failed miserably this morning, but the sleeping in was nice. No use punishing myself this early in the game. But I guess for it to work well, I will have to hit 7 on weekends too.

First alarm: 7:04 a.m.
Got up: 9:30 a.m.
Extra activity: n/a
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs on toast

Last night was an evening of new experiences. I went to the Rankin Vault after work to send off a coworker who has found a real job and will be moving away this weekend. Then a bunch of us wandered over to the Asheville Arts Council opening of Jonas Gerard paintings (very bright, very expensive, but great).

The town of Black Mountain was having their Holly Jolly event, where all the shops stay open until 9 p.m., and the whole town comes out to mill about and “shop.” The sidewalks were teeming with high schoolers: Think American Graffiti in winter, without the cars or any of the coolness. We also checked out the new White Horse venue in town. It has great potential, I think, especially since it’s nonsmoking and serves hotdogs.

This afternoon is the Black Mountain Christmas parade, in which Montreat Conference Center will be making it’s debut appearance. I think it will be a whole lot of fun, I only wish it were warmer out.

Grateful for a non-traveling, non-busy weekend. With basketball. Peace.

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Innocent Little Hats

Sometimes a good blog post just kinda falls into your lap (figuratively speaking) over a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and a good cup of half-caf Starbucks coffee (that last part is much less figurative).

Anyway about a week and a half ago I joined Ravelry.com, an awesome online networking site dedicated to knitters and crocheters and otherwise fiber-crazed people. It’s a great site, and as well as connecting its users to one another, it’s also a great tool for keeping track of what, for many of us, is a quite complex web of yarn and patterns and needles and projects. Everything is connected to wikis, and the site makes it really easy to, say, look at a pattern and see what yarn other users have used for the same project. Then you can see pictures of how that project turned out in the alternative yarn. This is particularly helpful to me.

The search function is also great, because you can say, “I remember seeing these awesome knitted cupcakes in XYZ store. I wonder if I can make them.” Then you just search for “cupcake” and you get this. (I realize that you might not be able to see these links if you’re not a Ravelry user, but just trust me, it’s cool.)

Anyway, I was reading the user-created Ravelrly weekly newsletter this morning and found out about the Big Knit campaign by Innocent Drinks, who make the best bottles juices and smoothies in all of England. I miss them like crazy, and I miss their labels which said things in the ingredients list like the number of cranberries used and that there was a big woolly jumper (think: sweater) in the juice bottle. Ha.

So every year Innocent sponsors a hat drive, and everyone knits tiny little hats that fit on the smoothie bottles. Innocent sells the bottles in Sainsbury’s and donates 50p for each hatted smoothie to a charity, this year it’s Age Concern.

It’s a funny little idea, but totally cute. So check it out:

thebigknit2008

In other news, I went to a Cookout for Change yesterday, sponsored by the Obama campaign. It was crazy hot outside (for September in the mountains, what gives?) but there was free food and free beer and general coolness.

We also booked our wedding photographer, which was a really exciting step. You can see her photo blog here. She was referred to us by one of our friends who used to work for her, and I’m so psyched about our coming engagement shoot and having her shoot our wedding. Her work is gorgeous and so are the albums she puts together and sells.

Last weekend we went to Charlotte to take care of some wedding plans, and we got SO much done: wedding dress picked out; bridesmaid dress picked out; invitation design initiated; dishes chosen; guest list discussed; centerpieces rehearsed and approved; and photographers narrowed down (and then chosen on Wednesday). As much as I really want to show you pictures of the things we chose, that would be cheating and I want everyone to be surprised at the event. I’m getting more excited every day.

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