Tag Archives: green

Bamboo

  • I have lots of bamboo growing at the edge of my property.
  • I love the look of bamboo plants painted or stenciled or otherwise stylized on fabric.
  • I respect bamboo as a strong reed, readily available to nations needing a plentiful, inexpensive, renewable source for building.

I do not support bamboo as a source for fibers.  Why not?  Bamboo has a wonderful hand, soft and smooth and silky.  But bamboo has been erroneously touted as the next green alternative fiber.  I have long felt a sense of green-washing going on, and therein lies my objection.

Bamboo fibers are no more “green” than (non-organic) cotton, or rayon, or Tencel, or wool.  In fact, bamboo is less “green” than organic cotton, or Tencel (lyocell), and many wool sources.  In fact, Tencel (lyocell) is created using a closed-loop process that is very environmentally sensitive.

Bamboo fibers have to be extruded, altered with a  chemical slurry, in a rayon process.  Most commercial processing takes place in China, where environmental concerns are not top priority, and much chemical dumping creates toxic waste.  With a rise in demand for bamboo fiber, bamboo is being planted and farmed, with land being deforested and plants becoming a commercialized business.

Here is a link to more information.  If you want to skip the top part of the article, I urge you to scroll to the “examples of questionable claims” , where many interesting facts regarding bamboo and the green-washing claims are discredited factually.

I am not saying that I would never use bamboo fibers.  Rather, what I object to is the green-washing claims surrounding bamboo.  Choose to use the fiber based on the hand of the fiber; do not choose to use the fiber thinking that you are doing something good for the Earth!

All opinions are, of course, my own.  You have the right to disagree with me, and you won’t hurt my feelings by doing so.  My family does so all the time!

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Blues and greens on Etsy

I was just honored with an Etsy Treasury page!  The page features many beautiful blues and greens, and one of my hand-dyed fabrics called “Mediterranean Sea” sits proudly among the other treasures!

Click here to visit the treasury list called Water Nymph.

Thanks, Kelly!

My etsy page Wild Onion

green-water-1

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Tee bags: a tutorial to recycle a tee shirt into a shopping bag

Tee-bags is the name of my 10 year old’s new business. A tee-bag is a tee shirt, recycled (and washed in hot water!) into a reusable shopping bag! He has granted me permission to offer a free tutorial on how he creates shopping bags using t-shirts!

Since his dad (my DH) owns E-cycle Group, a green business recycling printer cartridges, DS1 is very excited to follow in his dad’s green footsteps with his own recycling business. Not only is he preventing the tee’s from becoming landfill, he is also providing an alternative to the age old question, paper or plastic!

A bonus is that the bags are machine washable, which is a nice option to have when you go to the farmer’s market and get bits of lettuce and onion skins in the bag! The tee-bags also fold up to stuff into your purse or glove compartment–so they are convenient to use, which is a key component to making recycling part of your lifestyle.  For more tips on recycling and environmentally friendly choices, visit the eCycle Group Cafe blog!

He was able to obtain free tee shirts from our local Freecycle organization (note: Freecycle is an entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills) He was also able to pick up unsold tee shirts from a local rummage sale.

After a quick lesson on my serger, he was able to whip out some bags. His BFF worked on the marketing end, providing a beautiful poster, as well as rigging up a wagon for a portable display. Their proceeds go towards a 6th grade (next autumn) field trip.
This morning, I took the boys to the local Farmer’s Market, to test the waters. They sold out within one hour!! The boys are really excited, and are already back at work in my studio, getting Tee-bags ready for next week!
Here’s a quick tutorial for making your own tee-bags:
(DS1 says to tell you that first, wash the tee in hot water, to get rid of any germs.)

Turn the tee shirt inside out, line up the bottom hem, and sew or serge the bottom edge together, just above the tee shirt hem.

Line up the sleeves seams and cut off the tee shirt sleeves. It works best to cut off the sleeve seams!

With the shirt still flat, cut out the neck: cut close to the neck ribbing at the sides of the neck

then cut a “scoop neckline” including the back of the tee shirt in the scoop.

Here’s what it looks like when all the pieces are cut off. Knit jersey (tee shirt fabric) doesn’t fray, so you don’t have to hem any of the cut edges!

Turn the bag right side out, and go shopping!

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Another green confession

My family and friends know that I have a tendency to eat a little differently. I became a vegetarian in high school, back when being a vegetarian meant growing sprouts on your windowsill and searching high and low for a health food store. I fell off the wagon with a bang during a very tempting lunch featuring cheeseburgers….

I got back on the wagon a few years later, became vegan for a while (quit that when I was grazing the craft table at a photo shoot and realized that the only thing I could eat was a boiled potato sandwich– yuck!!**).

**since this is a fiber art blog, I think I’d better clarify! A “craft” table, which sounds so fiber-licious, is the term for the food table at a photo/film shoot. And vegan meant that I ate no meat, fish, chicken, or animal by-products, like dairy or eggs. It was eye-opening and a bit shocking to see the enormous table of food, and realize that there was only bread and boiled potato for me to choose. I’m very sure that these days, the table would offer more choices for alternative-eaters!

Anyway, all these years later, I am still eating semi-veg. And I sit here at the computer eating– or rather, drinking– my new breakfast of choice– a green smoothie!!

Now, I’m going to warn those of you who won’t eat your greens– click onto another blog! This is very green veggie oriented, and even my DH shook his head and closed his lips tight.

A green smoothie tastes like watery whatever-fruit-you-added. It does NOT taste bitter or spinach-y. It is a beautiful green color, and extremely powerful, vitamin-wise! All you need is a blender (I have a cheapo one that predates my marriage), some fruit, a few ice cubes, and a bunch of greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, romaine lettuce). Oh, and an adventurous spirit (DH adds, a very open mind….)

For the fruit, choose one or two of the following: a handful of berries, a banana, 2 peeled pears or apples, 2 mangos, peeled peaches, peeled kiwi, pineapple.

For the greens, choose: 1/2 bunch of spinach, 4-5 leaves of kale (remove stems), 3 leaves of Swiss chard (remove the stems), 1/2 bunch romaine lettuce leaves.

In the blender: first toss in the fruit, then the ice cubes/water, then pack with greens. Blend until as smooth as possible– I left it kind of chunky yesterday, and I didn’t like the texture.

Here are some “recipes”:

  • 1 c strawbs, 2 kiwi, bunch spinach
  • 1 pear, 1 mango, 1 c berries, bunch spinach
  • peaches, spinach
  • 2 pears, 3 kale leaves, 1/2 bunch mint
  • 2 apples, juice and zest of 1/2 lemon, 3 kale leaves, 2 chard leaves
  • 1/2 banana, 1 lime–juice and zest, 1 apple, chard and kale

These are just some suggestions. I find that the greens are kind of interchangeable, and add little taste to the smoothie. I also found an all green recipe: 1 avocado, 1 lg cucumber, 2 c spinach, 2 leaves chard, 2 leaves kale, 3 lemons (juice) 1 1/2 c water. I haven’t tried it yet– maybe tomorrow.

I make about 5 cups, and drink 2 glasses worth one day, and 2 the next. There’s a lot of green smoothie information on the ‘net, so if you’re interested in more information, a search will turn up several pages of blogs and websites.

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