archive: June, 2009

last outdoor farmer’s market

i recently read a great article on farmer’s market etiquette, so i thought that i would share a little bit of it with you today, for those tough questions you want to ask your farmers.  if you’re like me,  and head to the farmer’s market with great anticipation for the “buy here, i’m organic!” signs, you’re most likely disappointed by well, none.

local food magnets

it’s important to talk to your local farmers, it allows them to talk about what their passionate about, lets you learn more about the food, and opens up conversation on what the consumer (that’s you!) would like… mabye more organic, less pesticides etc. sometimes, however, it can be a little intimidating to approach a farmer with tough questions.  most likely, if everything was organic, they would proudly display it.  however, many small farmers can’t afford the organic certification, even though they may be practicing sustainable farming.  in any event, many local farmer’s practices are going to be healthier than the mass producers.  so, it’s best to start asking some questions, but how?

in efforts to avoid causing any guilt trips, the way you ask these pressing questions is the most important thing to remember.  be mindful about your tone of voice and the way you approach your farmer.  a non-judgemental, interested approach will get you much further than the yes or no question, “is this stuff organic?”.  there is a lot more that goes into growing sustainable produce than a yes or no question will answer.  if you would rather ask the direct question and get it over with, just remember that you may be the fifteenth person to ask that very same question today, so be warm and courteous in your tone.

what if  the farmer doesn’t have the answer you were looking for? bummer.  but you can politely say, “thanks, i’m going to look around a bit” or “ok, i try to buy only organic, but please let me know if you change”.  you certainly have a right to know how your food is grown, and it’s important that the farmer hears what you’re looking for!

bee green grocery tote

as for what to ask, here is a small list of questions to keep in mind.  for dairy and any kind of meat product, make sure you ask, was/is the animal grass fed or grain?  did it live in a pasture or was it confined?  if confined, how many hours a day did it get to be outside?  was it ever given any hormones or antibiotics?

for produce: what do you grow?  how do you grow it?  what do you do for pest control? do you use pesticides? what are you doing to promote sustainability? and finally, does anything you grow happen to be organic?

hope this helps!  do you have any more questions? how do you approach your farmers and what has your experience been?

organic life

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Posted by in handmade


taeeun yoo’s shop yoot is my latest love.  taeeun is a children’s picture book author and illustrator.  her illustrations are so creative and sweet, they remind me of dreams softly placed on paper.  visit her blog for even more endless inspiration.

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handmade yoga

June 26, 2009

Posted by in handmade

blue mountain morning

hi lovlies!  i’m headed to asheville today for a weekend of yoga, so i thought i would bring you a beautiful photo of the smoky mountains (that’s where i live!) and some pretty handmade yoga items!


1) yoga mat spray by homestead herbal

2) bolster by eleen

3) yoga mat strap by lotuspad

4) namaste pocket mirror by imagine that art studio

5) surya yoga mat by sage design


1) organic eos tank by gaia coneptions

2) beverly bow tie blue yoga bag by ogorgeous

3) yoguis by crystal

4) hemp capris by astraea apparel

i hope you enjoy your weekend, and i’ll see you back here on monday!

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Posted by in handmade


i wanted to send out a big thank you to scoutie girl for featuring my sponsor special yesterday!  please take a few minutes to check out the winners- and congratulations!

a fellow north carolinian, Tricia McKellar is the artist behind these beautiful photographs.  i love how her photos all have such a romantic and honest feeling.  i catch myself loosing track of time when i look at them!  be sure to check out her shop, eyeful, and also her lovely blog.

Gabreial Wyatt from the vintage kitchen stocks just that: oh so cute vintage items for your kitchen! here at home to roost, we’re all about great vintage finds.. simple + sustainable + cute- what more could you ask for?

Melanie is the eco indieprenuer behind these sweet cards and invites.  even sweeter? they are all made with recycled post consumer materials- yes!  check out her shop, paper mango and for more tasty bits- her blog!

Candy Glendening, a fellow gal who craves the simple life, dyes her own fabric and truly makes beautiful things out of it.  you can find handbags, scarves, notelets and more in her shop candied fabrics and read more about her process on her cute blog!

thanks again to everyone her participated!

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i recently had the pleasure of discovering diana and her lovely shop d. s.  brennan photography.  i love the way she so organically captures nature and the environment.  i hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better!

1) tell us a little about yourself:
I’m in my late 20’s, have a wonderful husband, and enjoy gardening and spending time with family and friends.

2) where is home?
Rhode Island

3) other than your beautiful etsy shop- what do you do?
Well, on the photography end of things I also do art shows, wholesale to shops, and do events with Arts in RI, my amazing local street team.

For the time being, I also work part-time as a wetland consultant. (I spend a lot of time in swamps.)

4) are you a self-taught photographer? do you have any tips that you would like to share with us?
I have taken two photography courses – one in high school and one in college. They really formed a good foundation from which to grow. Aside from that it’s a lot of experimentation, research, and the occasional photography workshop.

As for a tip, I always recommend that people photograph things in natural light whenever possible. I think it’s so much lovlier than artificial light, and easier to work with, too.

5) how, what or who got you first started?
Well, after taking my high school photography class I really got hooked – I knew I wanted to take another in college. After college the lack of a darkroom meant I didn’t do much with photography. I started back up, taking photos nearly every day, after getting my Nikon D70 in 2005.

6) what inspirations really feed your creative side?

Nature, solitary walks in the forest, travel, and music.

7) how would you describe your style?

This is a tough question. I isolate my subjects, sometimes enough to call my photos semi-abstract. I like clean backgrounds. I try to make art that is accessible, but still has a little mystery to it.

8) describe your typical day:
It always begins with a hot cup of delicious coffee (my hubby roasts it himself – I’m spoiled). I have a morning internet routine – check email, relist on Etsy, pop onto Twitter, say hi to the Arts in RI team on Ning… Then I get down to whatever work I’ve outlined on my to do list. Sometimes I go out to shoot new photos, sometimes I mat prints, sometimes I do accounting… I take a nice break at lunch and read or visit the garden. Then back to work until my hubby gets home around 6pm.

9) mac or pc?

I’m a PC girl

10) what is your favorite thing to do on a sunday afternoon?
Garden, read a book, or play a computer game with hubby.

11) what is your favorite piece of photography equipment (other than your camera)?

I think it’s a tie between my polarizing filter and my remote shutter release.

12) anything else you would like to share?

I’ve observed that whenever I get really frustrated or start thinking about giving up on photography, something really great happens with it. So I like to think that means I’m on the right track

make sure to check Diana out elsewhere on her website, etsy shop and blog!

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milk straight from the cow.  you mean…?  yup. i mean straight from the cow and into your glass…well maybe to the fridge first..  i recently started reading about the benefits of raw milk and finally took my first sip this past week!  i’ll admit, i was a bit worried- i’m not much of a milk drinker to begin with.  but, with an open mind i gently poured my first glass of raw milk, gave it a sniff, and then took a gulp.  and, guess what?  it was delicious!  it taste just like milk- but so much better!  ‘wow’, i thought, ‘this is what i’ve been missing out on all these years?’


think about it- we were really intended to drink milk raw.  since mankind began, we’ve been drinking raw milk!  in fact, raw milk is such a whole food, that you could literally live on it alone for the rest of your life. someone in the 1930’s figured out that if they pasteurized milk, it would increase it’s shelf life- and therefore increase their profits.

pasteurization destroys healthy enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, osteoporosis, heart disease and more.

most commercial milk comes from cows living in unsanitary conditions being fed special food with antibiotics in it to keep her healthy and hormones in it to push her to her ultimate limits of milk production.  and, guess what? all that stuff ends up in your glass of milk and right into your system.


ready to try it? start asking around- you most likely have a healthy dairy farm near you.  you can also check out real milk’s website for more info on how to find it.  all raw milk is not the same- so ask questions.  the cows should be grass fed (not grain) and have no hormones or antibiotics added to their food source.  the more organic, the better! for more great info visit raw-milk-facts.  now get to searching and find some real milk- and then, let us know about it!


here’s a delicious raw milk smoothie recipe!
-2 cups raw milk
-1 tsp organic vanilla
-3 tbls raw honey
-your choice of fruit: strawberries, rasberries, blueberries, blackberries
blend until smooth and enjoy!



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in search of :: whales

June 22, 2009

Posted by in handmade


grey whale plushie

in lieu of my desperate need for a beach trip- i decided to go whale watching.  via some really talented artists!

whales in the middle none
1) little whale tags 2) under the sea 3) whale notebook 4) w is for whale 5) whale watch 6) narwhal notebook

hm, i’m thinking i would like to go to new zealand.  maybe alaska?  florida?  i’ll take anything!  do you have a favorite spot to vacation?

Posted by in handmade
bberries strawberry season by lisaburch

this is my favorite time of year (beware: i change my mind about four times a year).  everything is blooming and roadside vegetable stands are popping up all over town.  nothing makes me feel more in love than hoisting my canvas bag over my shoulder and picking out some fresh squash, only to be distracted by the strawberries across the way.

ever added how many miles your food traveled to reach your plate? wouldn’t it feel great if it were under 100?  under 50?  why do people even eat local?  here are few quick reasons why…

1) it tastes better! at a farmers’ market, most produce has been picked within the last 24 hours. it’s ripe, fresh, and full of flavor, unlike supermarket food that may have been picked weeks or months before. 2) know what you’re eating.  get to know the farmers, do they use pesticides? if so, which kinds? 3) learn what’s in season and why it’s just natural to have blackberries in the summer.  4) discover new flavors. ever tried a blue potato or a purple green bean? 5) support your local economy- let the farmer’s know how much they mean to us!

what’s in season now?  find out here.  for north carolina it’s: blueberries, blackberries, cabbage, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, leafy greens, peaches, peanuts, peppers, potatoes, summer squash, sweet potatoes and watermelon- yum!

so- go ahead! grab your bag and get to the market.  what’s your favorite local food?

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