Saturday, April 28, 2012

trying to reduce and reuse AND create at the same time

My friend Elise has been exploring a project of reducing, reusing and recycling over at her (always inspiring) blog FLIP
I've been thinking a lot about how we can be better about that over here in our little casa. 

(O and I organized the crayons from one big tub to individual was fun sorting and now they can easily find the color they're looking for. We just used containers we had around)

My goal is to maintain a space where OM can easily access materials that will fulfill their creative impulses and minimize both the amount of waste we create (did you know that the US produces more garbage than any other place on Earth?) and money I spend on buying new materials.
So, lots of the items that one might normally toss in the recycle bin we hold onto so that hopefully OM can find a new, creative purpose for.

However, I haven't figured out a way around buying new paint, paper, markers, glue etc. 

For now I just try to get the lids on everything right away so nothing dries out, wash out the paint brushes, use both sides of the paper and keep everything as organized as possible so what we do have doesn't go to waste.

 (Owen had an idea for an experiment so he drew up some plans)

 (The result...)

 (Good job O!!)

 (This one didn't turn out how he hoped.)

 (Maya is in a cutting, gluing, taping, stapling phase. Lots of tiny pieces of paper can be found all over the house @ any given moment)

 (That painting took care of the rest of the black paint.)

 (Maya's cannonball pictures [she is prolific in this type of picture] always crack us up)

 (Maya turned the mushroom tote into a paper puppet)

(The table is where most of the creating goes down. Although, now that they have their own rooms more and more is taking place in the privacy of their own space.)

We strive to minimize our reliance on energy dependent resources for creating and I would love to know what ideas you have for using existing items as raw materials for art and other creative endeavors.

Alright, I'm off to hug a tree!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

take that Holland

With a little help from my dad in Florida (our dumb phones, GPS-free CRV, and bad directions combined forces and we found ourselves lost) we made our way to the Woodburn Tulip Festival.

I wish I had checked out some photos of such places before we went so I would have known how to capture the beauty...but here's what I took.

It was stunning...

I'm terrible at editing as you may have noticed over the years. I can cut the egregious ones but if most of my loved ones are smiling I just can't delete...just cannot. :)

 (Maya had a gnarly goose egg on her can kind of see the remnants)

I'm getting old and old-fashioned but I liked these places (pumpkin patches, berry farms, dahlia/tulip/name the flower festival) when there were no rides and minimal amusement for the kids other than the thing itself. Maybe a hay ride and kettle corn but it's gotten ridiculous and spendy with the zip lines, bounce houses, pony rides and endless name your fried food.

(enjoying an elephant their Christmas tees:)

Catch ya next year Tulip Festival...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

don't forget the love...

Anything I know about anything pop-culturish these days comes from NPR.

And that is where I found the link to the Bon Iver session.
This is my favorite form of music these days. 
Pared down.
It's beautiful, if you have the time, give it a listen.

Anyway, when he covers Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me tune, naturally, I was reminded of her original version of the song:

Which reminded me of this movie (Maria Bello covers it in the film).

Which I watched at her house (♥).

Which made me think of these.

And these.

And, really, just food in general.

Yes, I got from Bon Iver to food in like four thoughts.
I think about food a lot. 

I'm reading this (fantastic) book realizing how much there is to make and enjoy and how little time there is (it doesn't help that I make bean and cheese quesadillas very regularly when I could be whipping up a ratatouille sandwich and shaved celery salad w/ bleu cheese toast. Both are pared down but one definitely has an interest factor the other is lacking). 

But here are a few sweets that we've created recently:

Raspberry Coconut Macaroons from Smitten Kitchen.
If you decide to give them a go (and you should) follow Deb's advice and don't mix the coconut and raspberries completely together.
I accidentally pushed "on" instead of "pulse" and the mixing got away from me. I liked the ones that were more half coconut, half raspberry.
I also think they need about a minute or two more cooking time than suggested (though that could be my oven).

This was a cake I made for the teachers @ Maya's school.
Awhile back I saw one of these mini buntings on some blog I like and tucked the idea into the back of my mind.
I whipped it together in the midst of making breakfast, lunch and corralling two kids out the door on a school/work morning (the bunting, not the cake...the cake I made the night before).

Ham it up sister!

Anyway, as I've mentioned before, OM don't eat a lot of what I cook (unless it has sugar and chocolate in it and then they're 100% onboard).

I hope what they're learning and some day come to appreciate is the inherent worth in making food (mostly) from scratch.

And that love is the most important ingredient.