Thursday, August 30, 2007

Oh Baby!

I have decided that there might be more creativity in me if I don't try to drain it all at once... Here's ONE addition to the growing baby line. (One design, two views.) Grow Baby, grow!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Kitchen Composting

Today I took the first step to ending the daily walks out to the composter. This is all still very new to us, but one thing we have learned is that a kitchen composter (in addition to the yard composter) is greatly needed. My husband and I picked out a huge 1 and a half gallon bucket that you can mount under your kitchen sink. I toyed with the idea of buying a cute little ceramic white pot, or a snazzy stainless steal pail, or even the advertised "upscale country" jug. But in the end, we decided to go with practical, rather than pretty. I don't really have room for another object on my kitchen counter top anyway, so this should work out perfectly. Here are the website pictures. I'll give another update once it's up and running.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More Olive My Love, Baby

Here are just a few more baby announcement cards. I didn't get done as many I would have liked tonight, but as usual, cards with actual art on them instead of just straight design, take so much longer.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dryer Balls!

Today our dryder balls came in the mail! By the time I got home, my husband already had them unwrapped and in use. So far so good. Check out the company write up:

Nellie's™ Dryerballs are designed to reduce drying time and soften fabrics naturally without using chemical fabric softeners. As Nellie's™ Dryerballs tumble around in the dryer they lift and seperate fabrics allowing air to flow more efficiently thus reducing drying time up to 25%. Saves time and money! The unique design of the Dryerballs nodules relaxes the fibers during the drying cycle. Clothes feel softer and towels are more absorbent.

Olive My Love, The Baby Additions

I finally have some baby cards that I am really excited about! I have been working in conjunction with iNward Studio as Olive My Love cards for almost a year now, and these will be our first non-holiday group. It's hard to sit down and nail down designs as there are so MANY possibilities and I have so many ideas I really can't work fast enough. And these honestly only represent a few simple thoughts. But I do feel like this is a good starting point. There are more in my head and more started on the computer... but it's late, I'm tired, it's time to go home to eat some pizza and see the family.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

I am not deaf to the stream of information that abounds concerning the deteriortaion of our Earth and our environment. Nor am I a hippie, a treehugger, or any one of those other labels that get placed on people who care and ACT towards a better place to live. However, facts being what they are, I can no longer continue living in such a wasteful manner, and I have struck out on a MISSION to live cleaner, live better, and wholey, to live greener.

I am sure that this will become a laughable experience for me. Just as moving to northern Ohio was and learning not to wash my car windows in -7 degree weather. I am a novice, to say the least, at many things. I am sure that the learning curve will be gradual in some areas, and instant in others.

Our first big step was to START RECYCLING. Oh my goodness! I have been putting this off forever knowing that the small open blue containers the city provides were not condusive to my lifestyle. I needed either a garage (not happening) or LIDS which the city does NOT provide. But it's amazing what problems you can solve when you really want to accomplish something. We now have four, rather large, black trash bins with domed lids (for rain drainage) that sit on our open deck, right outside the kitchen door. They recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass. We can seperate them ourselves and then simply take them to the local recylcing center which is less than two miles away.

In one week, our paper bin is almost entirely full, our plastic bin is half full, the aluminum has some things in it, and the glass bin is practically empty. What is striking is not how full the bins are. Our kitchen trash and other trash cans around the house are empty. And what's better, it really does feel good doing it.

The next big endeavor -- and this is where the laughable part may come in as we get into it: composting. The thought was-- if we are going to recycle, then we should try and recycle kitchen scraps as well. We have a huge yard, let's COMPOST! I found a second hand composter online made by Earth Machine, we've found the "perfect" spot for it in the yard (away from trees, sure to get lots of sun) and now we are just about ready to start. We just need to find things to throw in it! I am sure there will be more to this story at a later date.

Trash Day

I live in a house that is a rental. It is a cute house. A charming little cottage with hard wood floors, little cozy rooms, and spackled walls that make you question the integrity of the previous owners. But a good house nonetheless. I am almost at the two year anniversary of my relationship with this house and I just came to the realization of a soiled point between us that had to be reckoned with.

Since the day I moved in with my husband, there has been a spot in the backyard that apparently had been someone's trash heap. It was an eyesore... but knowing that I did not OWN this house I felt no responsibility to clean this particular area of the lawn. Now the rest of the yard is very well kept. Green, spacious, shaded... but this ONE area... it's really rather remarkable, sits to one side, in the glare of the sun, and is, I swear, a trash heap. Having no desire to take care of it, I never really dug around and explored what was really there. But this last weekend, something switched in my head. I walked over to the heap, looked it dead in the eye, and declared war.

Out of it I pulled two tire tubes, a light bulb, numerous broken and whole bricks, several cinder blocks (several still remain as they seam to be cemented INTO the ground) some partical board, several plastic bags... maybe some kitty litter... ropes, fiber glass... and the list goes on. But now..

I am so thrilled to have it cleaned out. I feel a great sense of pride in the hard work, sweat, and bug bites that it took to do it. I even had help from my husband who detests yard work with great passion. The spot is still rugged and dirt-- no beautiful grass, but I know. I KNOW, that it is clean.

So the question now is what to do with this spot? Does it remain dirt and old tree stumps? Do I make the effort to plant grass? Plant the garden that I so desperartly want? Leave it as it is? Try to dig up those tree stumps that are left and disentegrating? It is a question that I have not fully answered yet. Although I do think the tallest tree stump may just become the home of a charming little bird bath to go with my charming little home.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Today is only Thursday

So today is Thursday and even the relief of knowing that tomorrow is the last day of the work week is only small solace as I know I have to return again on Monday. I am not griping about my job, I am just tired and anxious to start something new. In my head, I am full of ideas and looking for a way to spill out in an organized manner. So I can regroup. I need something therapeutic. Something functional. Something that will hold me together-- at least for the time being. So here we go!

My biggest project outside of surviving this fall will be a new line of baby announcement cards, a new line of birthday cards, and additional numbers to the Christmas line I started last year with iNward Studio. Neal has been very patient with me as far as my time lines, but I feel the creative juices brewing and am ready to ATTACK.

I am thinking of going very graphic on some of the new pieces. I hope this is not to speed through things but instead to appease that demon inside of me that needs clean lines and peace.... and quiet. We shall see. I wish I had all the time in the world to noodle it out. Again. We shall see. Wish me luck. Here's today's great inspiration... a quick spattering of images I collected from already existing collections. Awesome.

Photo Fancy World

So a friend of mine sent my this great website of retouched photographs. Truly talented guys. Really-- It's almost like creating something out of nothing when you look at some of the images -- they are so remarkably different. Anyhow. It sparked a lot of conversations --with coworkers, with friends, with they hubby... Is it right to put "perfect" images of people out there? Who makes the decision of "too thin" and "too fat" ? What is "perfect" anyway? And we all decided that if we had our own crew of makeup and digital masters, we'd all look pretty damn good on paper too. Here's the website... and here's me... digitally remastered!