Sunday, January 31, 2010

Eco-Friendly Rambeling

I like to crochet, sometimes a lot and sometimes well not so much! In my attempt to keep up with the times, yes even Hippie's must stay tuned in...I been reading some about plarn.
Umm ok so what is plarn..well simply put its plastic yarn, and in most instances comes from grocery bags. It is cut into strips and the strips are then tied together. From there it can be rolled up in a ball of plarn.

I absolutely love this, because too many folks just throw bags out and on the street. I know that I can drive down any given street (city or rural) and find a handful of plastic bags. I think this plarn that wasn't just created yesterday but has taken on a life of its own it seems. Crocheters and Knitters have made all kids things such as bags and totes. I have seen jewelry made from plarn that was rather unique and interesting.

I have a strong interest in attempting to crochet with plarn. We unfortunately obtain enough plastic bags that just sit in my drawer (because I hate throwing them out, one I never know when I will need one and two..well its plastic that doesn't need to go in the landfill. Right?) Anyway, I want to create a few items that will match up some of the things I do and yes I already playing with some ideas in my head.


So I belief that plarn is awesome. It is recycling plastic bags and therefore it doesn't go into the landfill and no toxins are burned into the air. Now that is Eco friendly.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Special Announcement

So somewhere in my posts and statuses along the way on Facebook, Twitter and more I been saying that I have a special announcement and that something was in the works. Well here it is:

Last months I contacted the National Urea Cycle Foundation to have their approval in creating and selling soaps in which the money collected from each sale will benefit them. Some may now be wondering why would I do this and the reason is this: My son was diagnosed with Urea Cycle Disorder back in 2007 and you can follow his story here: http://lsucd.blogspot.com .

So now I have started the leap in helping a foundation that is incredibly important to me even though my son is "cured" from this disorder. My Lavender Meadows is only one of the firsts to be designated for this awesome supporting and advocating organization.

Are you donating from each sale and how much? It will be a 100% minus shipping, thus each $4.00 for each 4 oz soap will go to the NUCDF.



So here it is the first set specifically developed and such for the Foundation. They will be available in my Esty Shop by Monday and on my website by Tuesday!

Thanks for tuning in!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Contest - Give Away

Last weeks contest...well no one really participated except for one who didn't post it on the blog due to technical difficulties... well I will still have this give away contest because they are fun. and if you are so inclined to answer the question, get entered into the drawing (when you have the correct answer) you could win just about anything from Hippie's Bath & Body. For this week ~ well choose any soap that is listed! Today's question is:

Which of these artists did not participate in the Woodstock festival, an event regarded as the high point of the hippie movement?

Janis Joplin
Joe Cocker
Jimi Hendrix
Bob Dylan

I'm looking forward to your responses (and no cheating now..haha). Good Luck!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Food of the Week

So, no one has participated on the blog with the contest..well that's ok I will continue to host them, if you enter... you could win! I didn't post yesterday as I am still crazy busy and trying to catch up on things that got neglected when my son was in the hospital. However, I didn't want to forget about today. Today I am giving you the recipe for my favorite and I mean favorite food. Spaghetti Cabonara is the ginchiest!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in reused large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.
  3. Return cooked bacon to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty).
  4. Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese at table.
It is absolutely the best and since we are a big family this recipe is for 8 people. If you want to see pictures... sorry I don't have any at this time...but there are plenty on the internet to "see" what it looks like. To me it is the absolute best, especially since I am not a super duper huge fan of ground beef (don't ask its complicated..lol)

Hope everyone has a good day!

Bon Appetite

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Artist of the Week

Tuesdays will be the day I will bring you the Artist of the Week ~ this week it's Feral Glass - Stained Glass Garden Art. I was browsing on Etsy - with no clear destination and I came across this:

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia - Feral Glass says this about the work:
"Most stained glass lives a sedate, domesticated life atop your lamps or staring wistfully out of a window. Feral Glass has legs of brass and runs wild in your garden. Meet Spring with a burst of color, and keep it going year-round. Wind, rain and rust-proof."

From Peace signs to Question Mark , Feral Glass has a view of the Appalachian trail and creates master pieces. I find the pieces absolutely stunning and can imagine one of these in my yard one day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thought for the Week

As I was pondering about today's post and typing in some keywords, this is what I came across:

"When I woke up this morning lying in bed, I asked myself,
'What are some of the secrets of success in life?'
I found the answer right there, in my very room.
The Fan said… Be Cool.
The Roof said… Aim High.
The Window said… See the World.
The Clock said… Every minute is Precious.
The Mirror said… Reflect before you Act.
The Calendar said… Be up to date.
The Door said… - Push Hard for your Goals."

Author Unknown

This is one of the most inspiring and thought provoking words I have come across. How often do we take the time and look around and hear what our surroundings tell us? Can we hear the messages we receive in the world we live in? We all have reasons of why we do the things we do such as working in a specific field or owning/operating our own business.What is your secret of success? What inspires you to do what you do?

I think I need to listen harder but I know that success is measured in various forms. I am a successful mother! I am a successful student! Why am I successful? Dedication and persistence and believing that I can. I will do the same in my career as a counselor and as a small business owner who just loves to do what I love to do :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Eco-Friendly Rambeling

"To be a hippie you must believe in peace as the way to resolve differences among peoples, ideologies and religions. The way to peace is through love and tolerance. Loving means accepting others as they are, giving them freedom to express themselves and not judging them based on appearances" (Skip Stone).

With that definition I must add that loving our earth and protecting and cherishing it is vital. When I first started creating bath & body products I looked at different packaging, played around with packaging and soon recognizes that being eco-friendly can be challenging. And yes I'm a tree hugger :)

The soap I create, are they eco-friendly? Well, I belief so and here's why. I don't add ay other chemicals, and soap is created with sodium hydroxide (lye) and technically can't be made without it. By the time you use the soap, the sodium hydroxide has been saponified (little to no trace could be the thing here to consider). Anyway, I am getting of track, eco-friendly packaging can be challenging. Plastic - not good for the environment if it just ends up on the landfill. I will often wrap my soaps in handmade paper (though not by me) because I like it better than cardboard. The labels, well they are standard Avery labels that give me the opportunity to use them for more than just one thing (I am not always out buying new labels). I think we need to do more to protect the planet we live on and even preserve it. It is my intend to do what I can, and hope that when you purchase from me that you recycle the bottles and jars. Perhaps you can find another use for the now-somewhat-scented paper-strip that has been around my soap.

It can be challenging sometimes that while we want to protect earth, there are elements of earth that we are supposed to be using for food and resources. For instance, I use palm oil in many of my soaps but in order to obtain that, a palm tree may have to be cut down. I think we need to learn how to do things in proportion and stop obsessing over large quantities.

It will be challenging to find packaging that is eco-friendly but I am on a mission!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday is Give-Away Day

From now on Friday will be give-away day ..in which I will pose a question, you submit your answer in the comment section. The winner will be chosen with random.org but only the right answers will be submitted. The deadline to participate will be on Wednesday, so that I have enough time to reveal the Winner Friday Morning and then post the new question. So are you ready to get some free stuff?

What term did hippies use to refer to the institutions and structures they rejected?


And now you want to know what you will win? Well how about if I give you a choice. You can select either bath fizz or soap or even lotion...hmm well all you need to do is answer the trivia question correctly, be entered in the random drawing...and wait until next Friday when the winner is revealed.


Have a ball working out the answer! Peace.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Food of the Week

I am changing this up a bit and will bring you on Thursday the Food of the day. Being that I am from Germany, my food taste and cooking tends to be very European - though I can make a mean Homemade Macaroni & Cheese too. My focus will be on European Foods however as that is what I know best. Today I will start of with one of my absolute favorites!!!

Hungarian Goulash

What Hungarian Goulash? What does that have to do with Germany? Probably nothing, but it is one of those foods I grew up with and I still cook today and it's a super-duper hit in my house.

And you will need:

2 lbs. beef stew meat
1 lg. onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 3/4 c. catsup (optional)
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1/4 c. flour or cornstarch depending on the thickness you want
1 tbsp. brown sugar (I don't use it, but some call for this)
2 tsp. salt (optional)
2 tsp. paprika (I use a little more than that)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 c. water

Cook and stir beef, onion and garlic in a little butter, shortening or no-stick spray until beef is brown. Drain. Stir together water, catsup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, paprika and mustard. Pour over meat. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Mix flour with small amount of cold water and stir into beef mixture. I sometimes use cornstarch, depending how thick I want the gravy. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Serve over hot egg noodles. I found that egg noodles are the best or if you are familiar with German tradition I would use Spaetzle (a form of egg noodle). Serves 6-8 which means in my house they will be nothing left!

What I like about this recipe is that I can make it as spicy as I am in the mood for. Sometimes I add some pepper in order to do that. So now experiment and enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Real Life

Sometimes I think there is that misconception that we artsy, crafty and business folks may not have a real life and then you must inform others..hey guess what... why would I mention this on my artsy yet business info blog? I am experiencing one of those real life moments. If you checked out my profile you may have noticed I have other blogs, and one I frequently update is the one about my son who has a metabolic genetic disorder and underwent two liver transplants. This week he's experiencing a set back of sort, which is detailed here. He was admitted on Thursday, which means I am not at home nor will I be home in the next coming days and if I go home it won't be for long. Sitting in the hospital with him however and in order to kill time, I brought my crochet hooks, pattern books and yarn and oh yea my laptop! Real life whatever it may be for each of us doesn't stop just because we create things. So if you wonder of the lacking posts it merely means I am more focused on his health and his life right now. Feel free to check out my other blogs or find me on facebook. I will try to keep this current with intended information which is what is going on in my creative business world! Thanks for listening.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where the heck have I been?

I have been busy!!! I updated my etsy store today with some of my creations (hats mainly). I am trying to juggle school, practicum, kids, Lennon's health, the house and the business. This is often easier said than done and at times one thing will take over in priority even though they are all important. Well, I am working on designing some new hats..got some cool ideas that I don't want to reveal too much yet and created some cozies (for eye glasses, ipods etc etc) that you can find in my etsy store or the website. So I am trying very hard to stay up-to-date while my head is crammed with research design and clinical information.. oh the joys of being a full-time student..

On the other side we recently purchased a Wii and have been working out. I mean really working out!! It's tough getting into town, financing a gym member ship and expect to stay in a routine with 4 kids...pfft that isn't happening. So I am pleased that the Wii Fit Plus seems to be working out and financially reasonable in the long run.. I don't usually play video games but even I like it and it gets the kids off the couch.. haha look at me sounding like a PR person.. blah.. anyway..

I would like to say creating is all I do but real like gets in the way... anyway stay tuned as I will be listing new soaps soon!!!

Blessed Be,

Petra

Monday, January 4, 2010

Adding New Items this Year

These past few days I have been crocheting some new items - though am still lacking some pictures.. dang lighting but I will be working on that. In the mean time, I have managed to create cozies for ipods, iphones, mp3 players, cell phones, eye glasses and lord knows what else you can think of to put in there and protect from being scratched up. These are handsewn from felt with a double layer for protection. I absolutely love the colors and am off to search for more variety :)






So head on over to Hippie's Creations and see what else we have and be on the look out for more to be added!
I have also worked on some more soaps...the first set of samples are done and the second set is in progress as we speak. I am hoping to get them ready to be shipped by Wednesday but no later than Thursday. In addition, I have a nice passionfruit rose soap curing on my shelves right now. I cannot wait to unveil this as this is absolutely a fabulous scent. So be on the look out...