Day 1579

Aug. 6th, 2011 07:46 am
wren08: (Default)
The problem with hanging clothes on the clothes line instead of throwing them in the dryer is that they are so much slower to dry and laundry takes all day! I still plan to finish the laundry today- weather permitting.

I'm also planning to do the recyling, balance the books and make Tuscan chicken for dinner.

I notice that I can balance my books in half an hour... maybe I should go to Washington and show them how!

The rest of the weekend I plan to quilt. I may work a little on bookbinding but I'm a bit stalled by needing to cut down my boards. I'm having trouble whipping up enthusiasm for that. Plus I need to get this quilt done so I can get to work on Granny's quilt for Emily. I haven't even started it and I want to have it done well before she is 16... and I'm running out of time!
wren08: (Default)
It's snowing at my house and I'm loving it!

Picture window )

In the interest of not buying things I can make for myself (which works out better sometimes than others) I made a soap pocket today.

It annoys me when the soap gets too small to use that there is no good way to take those little leftover bits and smoosh them into a larger, usable piece. My mom used to use the toe of a stocking and put them all in it but that is awfully scrubby and besides, I don't think I have any since I wear pantyhose only under threat of death.

So I cut a washcloth in two, added some bias tape in a colour to match the bathroom and voilá! A soap pocket. Shove the leftover bits in the top and use like a washcloth- hang to dry and the folded over bits at the top edge should keep the soap from coming back out. Since I have a second pocket to make (when it's warmer and I can spend more time in the sewing room) I may make it a bit smaller with a deeper fold in the top.

A practical solution )

Day 2436

Apr. 16th, 2009 10:44 pm
wren08: (ponder)
Ok... I can't fix the living room. Disappointing but I'm mostly over it.

If I am terribly frugal, however, I might be able to fix the bathroom. It only needs paint and a new cabinet (and a new floor but I can't afford that right now, I want tile). If I can find dark blue paint somewhere that's been mis-mixed, I can probably pick it up for around $5... but I am going to have to insist on exterior grade latex. I don't know if it would be less expensive to build a set of shelves or buy one but that has to happen... my medicine cabinet is falling to bits.

Also? What's getting me most about the living room is that I won't be able to build the shelves around the kitchen door to use as a pantry. What if I take the leftover flooring from the bedroom and the library and use both together to go in front of the kitchen door? And then maybe even run the leftovers around all four walls in a "piece of this and piece of that" configuration? then when I have money again, I can fill in the center with something halfway between the two, colour-wise, and have a less-expensive, patchwork floor. It might even be kind of interesting and certainly more frugal than letting all those extra floor boards go to waste.

And I already have all the wood to build the pantry shelves...

The more I think about it, the more I like it!

Oh, just as an aside, I seem to have no voice today. Bother.

Day 2457

Mar. 15th, 2009 05:16 pm
wren08: (approvepost)
25. The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. (Rating- )

I just quit!

Be as skeptical as you like.

Update 7:15pm: I told Mom that I'd finished the book and offered to loan it to her. She accepted and told me she needed me to pick her up 4 packs of cigarettes on my way home tomorrow. Poor Mom! It worked last time for her.
wren08: (reading)
7. The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill (Rating- )
This is a re-read as well... but it is really one of the best children's books ever! I perused it tonight looking for a recipe for baking soda toothpaste.

Here's the thing- Shampoo is covered... even if I decide that Lush is too expensive (which, so far it's actually less expensive than Pantene) shampoo bottles are recyclable. Ditto conditioner. Soap (for me) comes in cardboard boxes wrapped with paper... all recyclable. Razor blade cartridges can be recycled with a little work... which is a good thing because I am not about to give up shaving... but I can have my Mach 3 and recycle too so that's all good. So now I'm looking at the rest of the necessary toiletries.

Toothpaste- Tom's of Maine makes a natural toothpaste with a recyclable tube (throw it in with your tin cans). Which is great but Tom's costs a small fortune. So maybe I can make my own? The only trick will be getting Emily to use it. When I brushed with straight baking soda, I had healthier teeth than I have ever had before or since.

Toothbrushes are something else to look at. You're supposed to replace them 4 times a year. I use the old ones for dirty scrubby jobs... but then what? Do they have to hit the landfill too?

Henna- It comes in cardboard but then there is cellophane inside that. Very little, it's true... but still. I think I should try Lush's and see if I like the results (and the packaging)... or give it up altogether. It's really just vanity anyway and I should resign myself to the fact that no matter what I do, I'll never actually be pretty.

Deodorant- I'm trying a Lush solid right now... if it works, I may have that licked too.

Face cream- Never had one before but I need one now (my skin is getting dry in the winter for the first time ever) so I can simply choose one that is natural and in recyclable packaging.

Lotion- Still questing for the perfect lotion bar. I like Coon's Farm pretty well but it wears off quickly and doesn't absorb until it wears off. I could take Bag Balm and make a solid out of it... except that it smells medicinal.

All else is persiflage. I won't throw away the lotions etc that I have now... but I'll not be buying any more of them. Probably no more hand soap either since regular soap will do as well and is less expensive. I gave up make up almost entirely years ago and I really don't have to have bath salts, scrubs or bubble baths.

On a semi-related note, I won't be buying any more gum either. Most of it comes packed in paper which is fine... but then covered with cellophane which is not. Also? Does gum biodegrade? I shouldn't think it would...

And the non-recyclable, non-biodegradable bits of cigarette and cigarette packaging give me one more reason I should quit smoking.

Day 2627

Jan. 6th, 2009 06:09 am
wren08: (quiltmaker)
I had to go back to work yesterday after a three day weekend... and a four day weekend the week before. On the other hand, I got everything cleaned and streamlined so I can get more accomplished and still get more sleep, keep up with the chores and work in some exercise.

Exercise is becoming necessary because I am tired of being stiff and sore and achy. If I move more, I'll hurt less and hurting less is a good thing.

I'm also working on austere-ing up our life. I have a tendency to gravitate toward luxurious... and Emily is worse than I am. Um.... this does not work for every day. It's neither healthy nor inexpensive and I want us to be both.

I also want us to be recycling to the point where I can stop the garbage service and stop buying plastic garbage bags. This will take awhile and requires some other living changes for me.

Yesterday, I came home to new fabric. I ordered it before the end of last year so it wasn't breaking my resolution not to buy anything new this year. The UPS man had left it on Mom's porch... and Honey the dog tried to eat the package. Mom rescued the fabric... fortunately undamaged... and when I got home there was a pile of fabric on the table at my place and a very sad, soggy half-eaten envelope.

Of course, I was delighted with my new shinies... and spent last night figuring out what do to with them. It's part of the Yellow Submarine line from Cranston and I turned idea after idea over in my head, not liking any of them. So, for inspiration, I got out the movie and put it on... that worked and now I have a good idea of what I want to do and mostly- how I want to do it. The Sea of Science block will take me awhile to do... even though it's going to be pretty easy... and I am still not sure what I want to do for the Sea of Green block. It's going to be pretty large so I don't want to just have a big square of green fabric.
wren08: (Default)
I've been working on my Cherry Hill Sampler quilt. So far, I have the center done... borders tomorrow if I'm industrious (and nothing happens). Which may mean pictures tomorrow... maybe. I won't have the appliques on the four sides and I may hold off on pictures until I have those.

I'm also considering what to do with the Yellow Submarine fabrics. They include four "pillow" panels and I think I might make those the four corners and have an appliqued central square of the Yellow Submarine itself. Not sure what to do with the setting blocks yet and the quilting design is totally up in the air. Maybe waves? All suggestions entertained...

I still haven't gotten the Halloween tablecloth completely hemmed and it and the napkins still need their candy corn appliques... which I have yet to make.

I need to finish more projects before I start new ones. Bad wren! I definitely flit too much.

I did get my logic book finished... no kudos on that one... I've had the new one waiting for almost a month so I'm actually behind. (I decided to have a Karma bath tonight for no good reason so I finished the book in the bath. Yay, Karma!)

I need to read more.

So... New Year's Eve tomorrow. Since I have to work, I'll raise a glass at midnight but have no other plans. Instead, I get a three day weekend this week... and maybe I can finish some of these projects that are hanging fire. I'm not planning on making any real resolutions, as such, but I do intend to embark on the "No New Stuff" program for 2009 and see how economical and environmentally friendly I can make my life.

Starting with a watch... if this one quits again, I will have to get a new one- or at least a new to me one- and I'd really like something that does not take batteries. Solar powered or motion powered seems like the best option but I'll have to hunt around for one that is either one of those things and looks decent on me. (Which means small, plain and silver)

I'd also like to stop smoking and start exercising more... and reduce our meat/sweets intake. But I refuse to make resolutions since I've made them so many times before with no effect.

Last night I had a good chat with zenkitty_714... I keep meaning to tell you and forgetting that we got the box and thank you! I still haven't watched Mouse Hunt but I'm looking forward to it.

People are still emailing/PMing me about decanting supplies. *sigh* If I only had 72 hours per day... I would fill them all and still need more. Either I try to do too much or I'm very poor at time management... I'm uncertain which.

So... anybody got New Year's resolutions that they want to share?

*edit*: Someone has been all over my webshots page this week!
wren08: (Default)
Yesterday, in the spirit of trying to find better alternatives to retail shopping, I stopped by the local craigslist. Bad idea... or not, perhaps! I found a toy potter's wheel that someone was selling... new in the box... and my mom had asked me to look for one for Emily to play with outside this summer. So I called about that and then had to scramble to go pick it up but it's here now!

Also? I found a lady who wants to learn how to sew. This is a skill I have that I am confident I can pass on so we have a 'date' today at noon to get her started. I'm planning to take her one of my comprehensive books that I am sure I can find another copy of as a gift as well as helping her with the basics today. She doesn't have a sewing machine but hand sewing is my forte and I think everyone ought to begin there. She also has three small children... which is why she wants to learn to sew! They have things they want to take to her grandmother to get mended and she wants to learn how to mend and sew on buttons etc so that they can bring them to her instead. How could I not get in touch with her?

But in any event, I only got three batches of cookies fixed yesterday and no cards and I'm behind on the laundry... so this morning I need to fold laundry and do the few cards I plan to, go teach someone to sew, pick up more shortening and come home and bake more cookies.

It actually should be a fun day!
wren08: (ponder)
trying not to spam your f-list too much )
wren08: (Default)
This is terrifying. From [profile] zenkitty_714's journal:

My comment:

Boy, that's a cheery article indeed! I wonder if I can still find milk in cartons without plastic caps? And where else I can take it out of my life. The odd thing is, I've always favored natural materials over plastic... wood, cotton, metal, wax. But the darned stuff is insidious as hell! I was pleased to note that the containers my salad comes in are plastic made from corn... this is a step in the right direction... but what is really needed is a way to clean up and truly destroy all those loose nurdles. Preferably while creating clean water and some energy at the same time.

Her reply:

There's already technology being developed (actually, I think it already works, but the company is reticent about it on their website, possibly because they haven't gone public yet, and their current facilities only handle agricultural waste) that can convert mixed plastics and tires into fuel. Currently, they convert agricultural waste, including carcasses, into fuel oil and clean water, safely and without waste of water and energy. It's pretty amazing.

"Post-consumer mixed plastics and tires convert into renewable fuels and recoverable minerals and metals. The major component of this feedstock is derived from crude oil; therefore, it makes technological sense that this material can be converted into renewable diesel and other products."

("Feedstock" refers to the waste material that's fed into the machine.)

But trying to clean up all the loose nurdles and plastic dust would be humanly impossible. We need someone to do it for us. I'm thinking plastic-eating bacteria that we could turn loose in the environment and let them do their thing (and be certain they were safe, of course). I think we already have, or are developing, such bacteria.

And my response:

I use very little plastic but it could be less. So I'm going to make it less. And Em and I have a recycling set up to go on the boards by the first of the year.

The place I notice that I could really reduce plastic is in food. Fresh food and cook it myself... least amount of plastic. And I need to find a butcher shop that still wraps things in butcher paper... or just have us go vegetarian all together. (Healthier, cheaper, better for the planet and the body... possibly the soul although I refuse to go there unless plied with much wine.)

I'm going to repost that link... every little bit helps and if we all reduce our usage, that will be something. Plus, all my friends are terribly bright and one of them may think of something I didn't and that will be something more.

Any other good ideas? Please remember that I have to live in the world, I have kids to care for and I am not only not made of money, I make very little.


wren08: (Default)

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