Go GREEN with the WHITE drink


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Hi Everyone!

baby_mine2a

Before to start on a very important topic to me …
I’d love to thank All of You who
read, liked and shared
my first article on this Blog,
last month!

The affection of the people
around us and what we do
is precious
to live a fulfilled life!

images-2

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The first week of October, here in Italy,
we celebrated The Word Breastfeeding Week!

So I’ve decided to dedicate
this month’s post to
the greenest way
to grow up our children
therefore
to have a healthy new generation of adults;
to save a great amount of money
yet to feel in tune with Nature.

… to name a few terrific aspects of
Breastfeeding!

pg-4-breastfeeding-alamy

Let’s talk about this
nectar of the gods:
mother’s milk,

produced in the temple of love:
a woman body.

It is available 24 hours/day.
It is always at the ideal temperature.
It is ready to use as it is.
It is sterile.
It is free of charge
yet its value is priceless.

It strenghtens a baby’s immune system.
It’s rich in water, carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.
It’s unique, inimitable, species specific.
It offers affection, warmth and security
yet an amazing way to continue
the bonding between mother&child
that started in the womb.

It changes from the childbirth towards the next months
and also according to the time of the day
to meet the baby’s needs.

It is a LIVE tissue
that every mother has got especially for her own child.

Breastfeeding is a Universal gesture of Love
we can do it
everywhere
anytime
in any culture.

Namibie_Himba_0703a

When a baby is born
the top choice to feed him
is throught his mom’s breasts.

When this is not possible,
his mother’s milk comes
squeezed by a breast pump
and preferibly given with a little spoon.

Then comes another mother’s milk.

Finally there is the formula.

Nature has given us everything we need
to successfully keep alive
we all Humans.

Everything we need
is within us.

And for all the people
who care about the health
of the Planet
this is indeed
the greenest way to go
… even if the drink is white!

Milk-DroppingSBI
ūüėČ

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Breastfeeding is a choice,
apart from all that said above.

There are women who, for different reasons
choose
to feed their babies with a bottle.

The keyword is:
CHOICE

It is vital to inform
in order to have
aware and happy
motherbabies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This is my
Simple, Quick
Fun and Cheap
contribution for October!

I wish everyone
a lovely month ahead,
enjoying the warm colors
of the Nature outdoor
and the warmth
of Your beloved indoor!

Peace on Earth
and in
All Our Hearts

silvia

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Back to (Home)School


Hello Folks!

This is the first time I post on this Blog,
so I’ll introduce myself to all of You!

baby_mine2a

I am a mother.
I’m Italian.
I’m a multi passionate entrepreneur.

I run a few shops on Etsy where I use recycled materials to make some of my items.
That’s why I am a member of Recycled Party Team.

Oh … I also enjoy writing!
I think it is fun to connect with other green artisans and talk about ecofriendly ideas.

So here I am!
My articles will arrive once a month, around the 15th.

All right, said all this … I am ready to start!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

September comes
with its scent of coloured pencils,
printed papers and new notebooks

This year I decide to home school my children
and begin a great adventure into the World of Knowledge!

welovelearning

Either ways we choose the school system
or the parental education,
we deal with “school stuff”.

As an upcycling mother and artist
I show here something useful
that we can find and create at home
to substitute drawing, writing, cutting …
learning material!

I start with the simplest way to
re-utilize …
yet cheap and easy to prepare.

All we need is:
a pair of scissors and …
some boxes
!

scissors

Ok, ready?
Let’s open the cupboards’ doors
and have a curious look inside.

I guess we’ve got quite a lot of boxes
as wrapping of biscuits, rise, crackers,
cereals, chocolate powder, instant coffee …

Great!
1) Grab them!
2) Empty them (use glass or recycled plastic containers to store the contents);
3) Open them – cutting along one side;
4) Refine and round the edges in order to end
with a square or rectangular shape;
5) This is it!

We’ve just made a plain cardboard
ready to use!

Draw, write, cut shapes, numbers, letters …
any school project that will inspire You
or come to Your mind.

We can also suggest them to teachers
as a great way to save money on paper
and recycle it.

Simple, Quick
Fun & Cheap!

Now:
how do I use them?

Here’s my sweetest way:

drawing3

I love to give the plain cardboards to my children
and see what they draw with markers or wax crayons.

When they finish, I ask them to explain
their “work of art”
so that we can decide a title for the boards.

As soon as I’ve got a moment:
~ I gather some of them;
~ write date, title & author on one corner;
~ store them in a big box or drawer…
and leave them all there
to let the magic happen!

It is wonderful to open the container
months later or even once a year,
for example on Christmas day,
look at them together
and see how our children have gown up
through their creative expression!

drawing1

Well, that’s all for this month’s post.
Hope I’ve pleased You!
See You in October for another green adventure!

Peace on Earth
and in
All Our Hearts!

Love,
silvia

Guidelines for safe and effective upcycling/recycling


This article was written by Michelle Tulumello. ¬†She has a shop on Etsy called Gaia’s Reflections:



Welcome to the Recycle Party team. We are glad that you have decided to join us in being good to the earth by recycling your craft materials and vintage items.

Upcycling is a unique challenge. The items you use can be found dirty, in non standard sizes and shapes, sometimes materials need to be taken apart and put back together in different ways without losing their structural integrity. This can be hard to do well and safely. Let’s look at some of the issues we might run into:

TOXINS-This is particularly important when your items will be used for eating and drinking. It is also important if you are making things that will be used by children or babies.

Here are some dangers specific to a few categories of materials used.

PLASTICS- We probably don’t need to tell you about how they found all those kids toys with lead in them a few years ago. Most of those toys were plastic. There are also other toxic ingredients in plastics that can be released as they degrade. BPA and thalates are two of these. When it comes to plastics, knowing your materials is a very good thing. Vintage plastics can also be a source of toxins and poisons. Bakelite, for example, has a high lead content. Sawing, melting, sanding, and cutting plastics releases their toxins, so be attentive to workplace safety when you do this.

METALS- Metals can have the same problems with toxicity as plastics. Knowing the exact content of the metal you are working with can help prevent lead exposure.

Base Metal- is any mixture of metals or plated metal. This is in the same category as Chinese plastic. Assume it could be contaminated, particularly if it was manufactured in a 3rd world country. People who are allergic to metals usually can’t wear this.

Silver- You could write a book about the different types of ingredients in the metals people call silver here on etsy. Most of it is plated base metal. Recycled silver that you would purchase from a manufacturer is usually marked 925 sterling or It is described as fine or 100% silver, depending on what is stated. This is usually safe, especially when it is purchased from an American (think developed world) manufacturer. The EU, Canada, and Japan also have high manufacturing standards

Copper-All copper used in electrical wiring is lead free. (Lead is not conductive) If you strip the wires of their plastic covering and wipe them down, they should be fine.

Pewter- Antique pewter became lead free in the USA and Britain after the late 1700’s. Currently all pewter manufactured in the EU, Japan, and Canada is also lead free. In its original form, pewter used to contain up to 10% lead.

PAINT- The European Union has passed a directive controlling lead paint use.

In Canada, regulations on surface coating materials, which came into force in 2005, limit lead to its background level for both interior and exterior paints sold to consumers and Canadian paint manufacturers have been conforming to this background level in their interior and exterior consumer paints since 1991. [3]

The United States’ Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned lead paint in 1977 (16 Code of Federal Regulations 1303), along with toys and furniture containing lead paint.

NOTE- Lead poisoning is a particularly serious issue in children, because it takes a much lower dose to cause symptoms, and they put things in their mouths.

WORKPLACE SAFETY- Upcycling products can be dangerous work, because you are not making the same thing every time. Be attentive to the dangers posed by the materials you use and wear appropriate safety equipment. ( Don’t forget your crochet helmet ;-))

If you make lighting or other electrical devices, make sure you use appropriate wiring. (It would be great if someone added more info as to how to do this safely with upcycled materials.)

CHILDREN’S ITEMS- Make sure all items are reasonably durable, lead free, and do not pose a choking hazard. No small parts or long straps should be used for toddler and baby items. Imagine a baby chewing on it and ask yourself whether it would be non-toxic and not break or cause the baby to choke.

Most of all, KNOW YOUR MATERIALS. Ask yourself these questions- Is it toxic? Is it breakable? Is anyone allergic to it? Have I labelled it correctly? Do my customers know what is in it, and how it should be used?

Welcome to the world of upcycled art. I hope we haven’t scared you too much, and that you make many lovely, useful and eco-friendly things.


If you need interesting earth-friendly images but don’t have time to take your own, you can use certain images on the internet by properly respecting the copyright holders wishes. The photo below is in the Public Domain. Even though public domain images do not require attribution, it is better to do it anyway.


Earth Western Hemisphere
By Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds) Robert Simmon (enhancements: ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation) Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights). (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How to embed the image above with attribution

To add this image to your blog or website with attribution, select the HTML code below, then copy and paste it into your editor while in HTML or Code view.


<figure><a title="By Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds) Robert Simmon (enhancements: ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation) Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights). (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons" href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AEarth_Western_Hemisphere.jpg"><img alt="Earth Western Hemisphere" src="//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7b/Earth_Western_Hemisphere.jpg/512px-Earth_Western_Hemisphere.jpg" width="512" /></a>
<figcaption>By Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds) Robert Simmon (enhancements: ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation) Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights). (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons</figcaption></figure>

The History of T-shirt Yarn


Do you ever wonder who was the first person to discover that if you cut a continuous strip from the torso of a t-shirt in a spiral fashion and stretch it the result is a wonderful yarn?  I do!

Given that the T-shirt likely made its entrance on¬†the scene in the late 19th century or early 20th century, I’ll wager that some unknown housewife, looking to make ends meet by using every scrap in the home for a purpose, was up late one night looking at her husband worn, stained and ripped shirts, when the idea popped into her head!

The idea of t-shirt yarn started appearing in 20th century books.  One book, Rags: Making a Little Something Out of Almost Nothing, written by sisters Linda and Stella Allison and published in 1979, has a chapter about T-shirt yarn.

Today, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people posting tutorials on this process.  I am one of them.

But who was the first to share a tutorial online?¬†Here are a few of the oldest ones I’ve found:

Have your own special process for making t-shirt yarn?  Please share in the comments!

Yarn 101 – Processing a typical t-shirt


This is how I process a t-shirt that has no seams at the sides of the torso area.  These are the most common types of t-shirts and the only type that will produce a long seamless yarn if cut properly.

After working with MANY t-shirt over the course of a year, I found this method to be fast and efficient.  I use the entire t-shirt so there is no waste.

  1. tshirt Start with a clean no longer wanted t-shirt.  I get many of my t-shirts from a local thrift store and then wash them in my homemade laundry detergent.
  2. tshirt cut below graphic Separate the torso area of the shirt from the chest area just below the graphic.  If your shirt has no graphics or screen printing, separate it below the armpits.
  3. tshirt cut near stain If any stains exist on the torso area make another cut.  This shirt has a small blue ink stain.
  4. tshirt folded Fold the remaining stain-free torso area so that the side folds are not even with one another (as shown in the picture).
  5. tshirt with dowel inserted Insert a dowel or similar object (a small curtain rod will work, too) into the top fold.  This object will prevent you from cutting all the way through the t-shirt.
  6. ¬†Place a straight edge perpendicular to the dowel and use a rotary cutter to make 5/8″ strips (or whatever width you prefer).
  7. tshirt strips and band separated When you reach the bottom hem of the t-shirt while making strips, be careful not to cut through the stitching.
  8. tshirt bottom hem after turning inside out Use a tube turner (blue object shown in the picture) to turn the bottom hem of the t-shirt inside out.  This makes a really wonderful cord that you can use for other projects.
  9. tshirt after strip cutting¬†Pick up the area you just cut into 5/8″ strips, remove the dowel and insert your hand in it’s place.
  10. cutting diagonally across the fold Cut across the folder diagonally Рthis creates a continuous strip.  Be careful not to cut straight across.  If you do, you will end up with individual loops instead of a continuous strip.
  11. stretching the strip into cord Stretch the strip (pile on the left) into cord (pile on the right).
  12. start making a ball Now that you have a pile of cord, take the end and wrap it once around your thumb.
  13. Wrap around hand Wrap about 90% of the cord around your hand as shown in the picture.
  14. wrap in an x pattern  Wrap the remaining cord using an alternating X pattern as shown.
  15. wrap end around x¬†Wrap the end of the cord around one of the last wraps so the ball won’t unravel.
  16. remove from hand Carefully remove the ball from your hand and the end of the cord from your thumb.   Now you have a ball that is easy to use Рsimply pull cord from the center.
  17. ball done Pull a little extra cord from the center of the ball and wrap it around the ball.
  18. cut strips method 2¬†Using the other portion of the torso (the part on the other side of the stain I cut away), I’ll make loops by cutting strips all the way through (no dowel this time). An alternate method of cutting and measuring strips is to make your own pre-measured strips out of cardboard and and use them as a guide for your straight edge.
  19. loops Simply stretch the strip and you get a cord loop. You can wrap it around your wrist to make a hip earth friendly bracelet.
  20. move up to sleeves remove sleeve hems  Lay out the sleeves of the shirt and detach the sleeve hems. Be careful not to cut through the stitching on the hem.
  21. use tube turner on sleeve hems Turn the sleeve hems inside out just like we did with the bottom hem earlier.  A tube turner makes this task a snap.
  22. remove the sleeves and flip them upside down Detach the sleeves and flip them upside down.
  23. remove seam Remove the seam that runs along the underarm of the sleeve (now shown at the top because we flipped the sleeve).
  24. sleeve strips  Cut the remaining sleeve into strips and stretch the strips. These shorter strips are great for making your own Eco-friendly product tags!
  25. arm seams With the remainder of the shirt (the chest and back area), fold in half and line up the arm seams.
  26. remove arm seams Remove the arm seams.
  27. spreadshirt Spread out the front chest area of the shirt as shown.
  28. cut strips from design free area¬†Cut strips from the design free area between the top of the graphic and the collar. ¬†Save the collar and screen print area for other crafts (I’ll post tutorials for these soon).
  29. shirt back Spread out the back of the shirt the same way and cut more strips.  I use the cords from the chest and back area to make my variegated t-shirt yarn (tutorial coming soon).
  30. Make Mulch¬†With any leftover scraps, cut into¬†pieces¬†of about 1″ by 1″. ¬†These can be used as mulch in your garden if you collect enough.
  31. t-shirt mulch looks like clown exploded Here is a section of my garden with t-shirt yarn mulch.  My husband says it looks like a clown exploded.