This morning I went to put on a sweater and I didn’t have it. I was in Winners a little while ago and had a sweater in my hand- well, two sweaters- both quite beautiful. Soft, natural fibres. The sixty dollar one was lovely but I didn’t like the buttons and I could’ve made it, and the fifty dollar one was almost perfect but I’d have to put a hood on it, and I just couldn’t countenance paying fifty dollars for a sweater I was going to adapt. Besides, they’re probably both made in China, and there are three million just like it walking around in the world already. So I bought neither, and thus I did not have a sweater this morning.
This always happens. I suffer from Icanmakeititis, so I purchase almost nothing that I’m capable of making, which is most things. Furniture, jewelry, knitwear, almost all clothes. I can’t make footwear, socks (who can make socks for pennies anyways?), watches, and stretchy stuff, like leggings.
But do I make it? No. There are so many things I want to make in a whole world full of other things I want to do, so, I never get around to it. This is why I don’t have a sweater today.
I didn’t set out to “build green”, by any means. I wouldn’t put that label on it, although I do have an overall ethic of building as healthy and low-impact as I can. I have an ethic of saving money that supersedes even that. It’s just turning out that I’m doing better than I expected, kinda by accident. Cheap and green can be congruent.
So far, the off-gassing, plastic, chemical, clearcut-sourced shit I’ve installed: the polyethylene vapour barrier, the plywood sub-floor (which will probably double as the floor-floor), and the fire retardants in the cellulose.
So far, to my eco-credit:
The insulation. Roxul is billed as an environmental choice, basically because there are just so many rocks out there. I suspect that the energy it takes to shred rocks into insulation is tremendous, though, and I’m not sure how it stacks up against fiberglass at the end of the day. I must do more research.
The pallet floor. Reused, removed from the garbage cycle, and repurposed as an alternative to concrete. Compared to pouring a slab of the worst kind of emission-heavy building material out there, my pallets earn me a little carbon-offset halo. Not to mention ‘crete is an oxygen sink, and sucks to walk on. Continue reading Accidentally green.→
Kevin is bobbing her head to smell the air as I stir up a batch of bloody meat, liver, and kelp for her. What is that alluring aroma?
I was concerned about Kevin having enough meat on her bones to stay well as it gets colder. She had a little sneeze for a week that made me feel terrible. Seeing as our environment is only partly temperature-controlled, and she’s so skinny, I went on a campaign to fatten her up, and it’s working!
A couple I know with three children have welcomed Kevin and I into their backyard, and they have the grace to make me feel entirely welcome and comfortable in their house at all times, like an unplanned roommate. I feel quite useful with my sewing skills, and have started early on the kids’ costumes. With so much time, we’ve tackled some most imaginative ideas.
The oldest boy is going to be a shark, formerly a fair-prize-sized stuffed dolphin, emptied of its stuffing. It’s taken some work to make the transition from a friendly looking dolphin to a shark menacing and realistic enough to satisfy an 11yr-old.
The littlest girl wanted to be a Smurfette, so I created a one-piece leotard that zips up the back out of a garishly blue woman’s sweater. That’s her smurf skin, topped by the white dress (made from an adult white t-shirt) , a blond wig, white stocking hat (made from another t-shirt with a handful of polyfil stuffing for the distinctive shape), and some white “shoes” made out of some fleecy slippers that velcro over her normal shoes. Impossibly adorable.
The middle boy wanted to be a dead Energizer bunny (a crafty bit of anti-brand attitude I thoroughly appreciated), so I started on a one-piece back zippered bunny suit that resembled pink Pjs but for the integral hood. Just after the requisite larger than life ears were ready, he decided he wanted to drop the Energizer part and just be a dead/zombied pink bunny. Supporting the ridiculously large ears wasn’t easy, and I didn’t think it would work at times, but they turned out amazing! Almost half his height again tall, the giant ears defy gravity and are very adjustable. Continue reading It’s Halloween costume time.→