Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Love Your Smile



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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sustainable Style

I had been doing so, so well in the clothing denial department and had been feeling pretty self-satisfied over my early success. But I have to admit I missed thinking and musing about clothes. I've been feeling a little lacklustre lately and I think it has something to do with the aversion to pretty things.

Gibson Girl

Polyvore is such a fun place to dream. It's some sort of modern stand-in for playing with paper dolls or making magazine collages. I'm usually focused on how many vintage-inspired sources I can find there, but this time I gave myself an extra challenge. I wanted to find items that are produced sustainably. It's really amazing what they're making with organic cotton and hemp these days.

But (and I should have seen this coming) all this exposure to pretty clothes that ease the green guilt was too much for all my good plans. I broke down and ordered this:

Emma Shirt - Organic Cotton

and this (in black):

Petticoat Skirt - Organic Cotton

Sustainable, fair-trade frills are very hard to resist!



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Friday, May 7, 2010

A Lotta Cuppas

I love tea. I really do. Not that coffee doesn't have it's place in my life, it's just that tea has been in my life a lot longer. I'm told my Grandma used to put weak tea in my bottle as a toddler.

Each week I pick up a lovely little box of organic tea. There's not a huge selection of organic teas at the place we shop, but the little boxes of organic black have suited us just fine until now. I've become obsessive about reducing our waste and each week we're putting the paper box and the plastic package that holds the tea inside the box into the recycling. Also, the travel that these little boxes have to do to get to me is hard to wrap my head around. From China to England to Canada. I needed to come up with a better plan.

There are some wonderful tea shops in Victoria and one particular favourite is Silk Road Tea. Not only are their teas organic, but they import and blend things themselves and sell their loose teas in bulk containers. The shop itself is wonderful... high ceilings, large shelves... there's something about it that reminds me of an old-time drygoods store, even though the shop is much more airy and modern in concept.

I came home with a tin of tea that should last us 1,500 cups! It was far more economical than our little boxes and I know the quality of the tea itself is far superior. We chose a beautiful earl grey called Canton Orange and the kitchen is filled with the happy scent of bergamot.

Even happier still? No plastic.



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Monday, May 3, 2010

Vintage Green - Non-Disposables

I've been thinking a lot about disposable things lately and how much I've grown to resent them. I don't want to live in a disposable world. I want a certain permanence to the things around me. It's really not so long ago we lived without plastic. You had your few possessions and you maintained them well and kept them useful for a lifetime and beyond.

Let's start with pens. How many pens do you have lying around your house? How many pens do you think you may have gone through in your lifetime? Imagine a time when you'd have just one. A very fine fountain pen chosen not just for its function but its beauty.

Cleaning tools with disposable mop heads are a particular pet peeve of mine. Yes, they do a good job but at a high cost... more money spent on the product just to produce more garbage. Think of how long these cleaning tools would last.

Tupperware is one thing, but the new world of single use plastic containers is disheartening. There's a very real fear I have of what plastic does to food, so I've found a different food storage solution. These refrigerator dishes were popular in pre-plastic times and were used to store, cook and transport foods. This one pictured is a vintage piece from Etsy, although refrigerator dishes can be found new.

It's hard to wrap my head around not using disposable tissues, but there are times when it's just not required. I keep a lovely old hankerchief in my handbag to touch my watery eyes. This is a lovely collection of them on Etsy.

What about signature pieces? I've always loved the idea of having one piece of jewellery I'd wear my whole life. Unfortunately, I grew up thinking fashion was disposable too and needed to be changed often. I can only imagine how much costume jewellery that has passed through my hands. All those unremembered adornments could have added up to a very nice one perfect thing.

But signature pieces have more to do with meaning and sentimentality than the cost of them. Anything of one's choosing could become a signature. So for May I'm going to experiment with choosing one necklace to wear for the month. Maybe I already have that one perfect thing.