Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Chance to Dance

Not really!  You can dance if you want to.  You can leave your friends behind.  Cuz your friends don't dance and if they don't dance well their no friends of mine.  BUT..... It is your last chance to get in on the Green for the Holidays Free FatBottomBag Giveaway.

It's easy to enter!  Just follow the link to the giveaway for the details, then be sure to tell me how you are going green this holiday season.  I'll be compiling a list of green holiday suggestions from your postings and a few of my own.

Wondering which bag you could win?  The winner will choose from the bags for sale at the on-line store.

With the help of customers and contributors, we've kept over 4500 plastic bags from becoming a part of the wastestream! 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Silent Sunday

A picture worth a thousand words

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

 hope each and everyone finds much to appreciate on this Thanksgiving day!

It's not all pilgrims.... giving thanks is multi-cultural!

A reggae celebration of life....  Give Thanks for Life by Anthony B. An uplifiting song with reminder that rich or poor we all have so much to be thankful for.




Carlos Reynosa shares his beautiful native flute music Thanksgiving everyday


Marakakore shares a beautiful song thankful for so much.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Planet Savers, the next generation.

I was so thrilled this summer when my neice Samantha took an interest in making her own recycled bags.  She has several that I've made for her, in fact some of the cutest ones went home with her.  Even still she wanted to learn to make her own. 


Recycling runs in the family.  Here's Sammi learning
to make her own FatBottomBag recycled bag.

We spent an evening together sorting and cutting plastic bags into strips.  I explained how to hold her crochet hook and get her bag started. As she worked on her first bag, she told me how she recycles at home.  She even goes as far as cleaning up recyclables she finds in her neighborhood.  A budding environmentalist!

Another young person who is taking up the torch for the environment is my facebook friends son.  Kori purchased a bag from me a while back and she sent me my biggest compliment.  Her young grade school son Tyler wanted to let me know he was proud of me for helping the planet.   I was so touched with the compliment I actually cried!

This week my friend Mattie sent a photo of the bag her daughter Sarena made.  They have a FatBottomBag of their own and a Minibag from the recycle exchange and Sarena used those to come up with her own beautiful design for another recycled bag that she made for her mom.

Sarena's recycled bag!  Great design awesome work!


I'm loving making these bags and helping the environment.  I love that others are being influenced to do the same and make their own efforts to help.  I'm thrilled to have made a small difference in the lives of these young people and I'm proud of the efforts that they are making.

If you want to try your hand at making a recycled/reusable bag, check out my video tutorial and I'll show you how.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Planet Savers, We're doing it!



My kitchen table.  Here's where it all happens.  You can see boxes full
of plastic bags I've cut up to turn into new reusable FatBottomBags!

We're doing it!  We're saving the planet 1 bag at a time.  You, me and FatBottomBags are making a dent in the landfills and a differnce for the future.  We're keeping them off our beaches and roadsides and out of our oceans where they could have become part of the North Pacific Garbage Gyre

This morning, as I finished updating the online store with new bags for sale, I decided to do the math and was overjoyed to realize the we've kept over 4500 plastic bags out of the landfills! 

It couldn't have happened without you.  I'm so thankful for all of your moral support from fans who are following the progress online, for customers who've purchased bags, for contributors who donate bags (over 22 families now!), for friends who spread the word, and for exchange participants who've sent me colored bags.  You are the best!  You are the reason this little kitchen recycling program has been able to help save the planet 1 bag at a time.


Thanks you!
~Christi~







Monday, November 23, 2009

Green for the holidays GIVEAWAY (update)

This contest is now CLOSED!  Please follow or fan FatBottomBags to stay up to date on new bags and contests.  Thank you to Everyone who participated!



I'm giving away another FREE FatBottomBag and just in time for the holidays!  Have you entered yet?  


 Details:
     
To enter the drawing you will need to:  
 
     *Become a fan of FatBottomBags on Facebook 
     or Follow me on Twitter 
     or Follow me on Blogger
         
     *Post a link to the giveaway page at 
      http://fatbottombags.blogspot.com/2009/11/green-for-holidays-giveaway-update.html
      in your status message  

     Facebook users: Post on the fanpage completing this sentence,
     "I am going Green for the holidays by _______________"
           

     Twitter users: Post an @FatBottomsBag completing this sentence,
     "I am going Green  for the holidays by ______________"
     
     Bloggers: Post a blog about FatBottomBags holiday giveaway 

     and how you are going green for the holidays and comment here with a link

One winner will be selected by me on December 1, 2009 and announced on Facebook, Twitter and on my Blog at http://fatbottombags.blogspot.com/

The winner will then choose their free bag from the available bags at the time of the drawing from FatBottomBags On-line Store  Free bag will be shipped by US Priority Mail *(I'll pay the shipping) Winner should receive the free bag in time for the holidays!

FatBottomBags are made from recycled plastic shopping bags.  I recycle for 20 families and together we've kept over 4500 (and counting) plastic bags from going into the wastestream! Each bag is unique and comes with a signed certificate of authenticity. Here's a slideshow of the current bags available as of today 11/23/09






Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stormy days


Brr!  Stormy and cold, but this view is always beautiful!


A storm can be a gorgeous thing.  I mean yeah, it's a pain when the power goes out and tree limbs form an obstacle course on these narrow island roads, but mother nature can slow down your normal pace and "force" you to have a beautiful day!

After we got the fire burning in the woodstove and made sure the generator was ready for action, we jumped in the car to take a tour and see if there was any damage around the island.  We lucked out at our home, no trees down, no big limbs down, just dancing trees on the hillside.  So pretty!


Not all of our neighbors were so lucky.  Down the road a piece, a car was completely covered by a large cedar tree.  The car took some serious damage.  Thankfully no one was hurt!  Hopefully their insurance will take care of the costs.   


We did the bloop, noting all the new downed trees and such. Then driving home we got stuck in an island traffic jam!  Less than a mile from home we saw a line of about 6 stopped cars.  That's odd!  As we pulled up to the end of the jam, we could see a line down across the roadway and a concerned neighbor was flagging all traffic in both directions to stop.  The worry was this line could be live still.  Yikes!  


We turned the car around and headed down to the Beach Store Cafe.  They've got a generator!  So we sat down and watched the Whatcom Chief being beaten up by high winds and very large waves.  After a nice meal we made a stop in at the Islander to check if anyone had reported what was going on with that line down in our neighborhood.


Turns out it was a communication line and not power, so we were clear to head home. We pulled up and I looked over into the garden.  I had been concerned that all these gusts would blow the cover off of my green house, but no.  She held through 90 mile gusts!  


A peek into the greenhouse and everything is
doing fine! Looks like we will be having fresh 
organic garden lettuce for Thanksgiving


We stoked the fire, started the genny and broke out the dominoes!  All in all it turns out we had a great night.  It's funny how a little change like the cable/power going out can turn into such a lovely evening spent together.



Dem Bones!  I got whooped at the game, 
but we had so much fun playing.  
No TV, no computer, just good company 
and a little background music!.  
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finally got some new bags in the online store!

I've been pressed lately.  The holidays are coming and there's always so much to get done!  The last few weeks I've been working on new bags to fill my empty storefront

I finished several last week, but before I could even get the photos up on the site, my mother came for a visit and bought out my entire inventory. It's wonderful that she purchased what I had on hand, but I still needed to get some bags made for the online store.

Today's the day!  I'm feeling great about the 2 new bags that I've completed.  I've been working on a new design on these ones and they turned out great! 

Brown Bettyadd_to_cart.gif view_cart.gif

Blueberry Muffinadd_to_cart.gif view_cart.gif


I'm working on a couple more new bags with a different overall design.  I hope to finish tomorrow and get them uploaded to the store too.

I love what I do!  FatBottomBags.com started out as a way for me to use up the bags I had accumulated, and has grown from my kitchen into a multiple family recycler.  From these humble beginnings it's become an international influence for recycling of plastic shopping bags!

If you ever feel overwhelmed like you can't make a dent in the problems of the world, think of me in my kitchen, crochet hook in hand.  It's really true, when we each do our small part we can change the big picture!!!

Enjoy the new bags and keep your eye out for more to come!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Zen & Art. Time to retouch my creativity.

I've been inspired over the last couple of days.  I read a post by Running With Scissors in which she was teaching kindergarteners art using a method called Zentangle.  I was so impressed with the outcome of the drawings of 5 and 6 year olds using this method, that I jumped right over to Zentangle.com to find out more. 

After a few minutes of browsing the website, I felt something stirring inside of me.  I remember this.  This "weird art" as my son Daniel often called it.  This method combines drawing of repetitive patterns with meditation.  And sure enough, without having a name for it, it was exactly the type and style of drawing I'd been doing back in the day.

I spent hours the following day looking through the wonderful drawings posted on the Zentangle group on Flickr.  So familiar and yet each drawing completely unique.  I was mezmerized! 

Next it was on to YouTube for more of these marvelous drawings.  I spent another hour or so just watching these art works being created.

Finally it hits me!  I ran upstairs to pull out some of my old drawings and art work and thats when it happened.  I realized I'd lost touch.  I couldn't remember the last time I sketched a line, let alone a full piece.  It's been so long I couldn't even remember where my sketches are!!!  That's so sad.  I felt disgusted and disappointed with myself. 

Thankfully, while writing this blog I did remember where I'd stashed some of my sketches and drawings.  Whew!  I could come down from that state of panic now.  Finding those old art pieces let me reconnect to a part of myself that has been neglected for a while now. 


Here's one of the pieces I did a few years ago. Definately overworked it,
 but I still likey & it seems to fit into the concept.  I did this one around 2005

I'm so happy I came across the Zentangle concept, and the idea of again drawing every day.  It's my new resolution to give myself that 15 or 20 minutes each day to express myself with pen to paper. I'll keep you all posted as to how this goes.



Mandala Zentangle day 1 drawing with Sharpie. 


Day 1 any shape will do.  Drawing with ball point.  I'm definately going to
need to pick up some good fine point drawing pens for this study.






Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Recycle Crafts For Christmas



I love a homemade Christmas. One year I made all of our tree ornaments from fabric scraps turned into "lollipops" another year I crocheted and starched string snowflakes.

Each year I try to do something homemade for Christmas because I think that is what the holiday is really about, sharing the gift of yourself with friends and family.

This year I'm continuing with my handcrafted Christmas tradition with a recycling twist. I'm finding fun and fantastic ways to make recycled decorations and sharing what I've found with you.


Over at About.com, Sheri Osborn will teach you how you and your children can turn those old puzzles into very cute ornaments for your tree


Happy Bird's Crafting Haven has a real easy project for recycling your old cards into tags for Christmas.  You could use the same idea to make tree ornaments too!


Here's an easy and beautiful way to reuse your old scratched up ornaments

InsidiousNeth shows us a really neat oragami gift box to make in this YouTube video


Have an old computer keyboard?  Try this ornament made from the recycled circuitry.  Suprisingly beautiful!

Turn an old soda can into a beautiful 3 dimensional star ornament

Or you can make the whole Christmas tree out of cans like they did over at http://mdewtree.com/
Here's the video from YouTube



Heres another 3 dimensional star, make this one from recycled Christmas cards.

You can use recycled paper and then follow along with iespila to make a 3 dimensional snowflake



This might be my favorite one.... Recycle a wool sweater into an adorable polar bear ornament from Fun in the Making

You'll never believe these pretty stars are made from recycled plastic bottles!

WOW!  This is amazing. She just used glue, glitter, garland and Toilet Paper Rolls and made gorgeous tree ornaments!



Let me know your green holiday ideas and don't forget to enter the Green for the Holidays FatBottomBag Giveaway

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Spc. Aaron Aamot


It was a somber but supportive scene yesterday, as the procession
transported the body of Spc Aaron Aamot back home to Ferndale.

So many people of all walks of life came out in a show of patriotism
and support to honor this soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice.



Two ladder trucks from the Whatcom County Fire Department
displayedthis flag over Main Street



Law enforcement officers from throughout the county came to honor
this hero.  Here's the first of 3 Lynden Police vehicles.

Border Patrol Officers at the Slater Rd Overpass.
There must have been 150 people at the overpass with
flags and yellow ribbons as the procession passed below.

I saw representitives from all the military branches in attendence. 
Along with those who are active duty, I also saw many older
veterans in uniform in honor of Aaron Aamot.

Tomorrow, November 14th at 1 pm there will be a memorial
service at Ferndale High School gym. The public is invited to attend.



Here's a video shared by FerndaleCC of the procession.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bag Lady!

Today is a bag recycle day for me!  I sold the last few bags from my inventory yesterday.  (thanks Mom!) So today there's no more procrastinating or finding some other chore to take priority.  Nope, today is the day for cutting bags.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!  This bag of grocery sacks
is destined to become the next series of  FatBottomBags!

I've received a lot of donations recently and my bag closet is getting pretty full.  When I work on cutting bags for plarn, I like to work with a lot of bags so this is great!  I usually sit for a few hours and fold and cut them, sorting them into boxes by color.


Here's a couple of the boxes I've cut up this morning.  I see some
beautiful tan and white FatBottomBags in our future!

With my moring coffee close by and the TV tuned to the morning news I started cutting away.  Within a couple of hours I'd worked through about 1/2 of the closet where I store my donated bags.   That turned out to be around 500 plastic bags ready to be changed from ocean harming disposables into eco-friendly reusables!

I'm off now to start on the stitching.  I'm really excited to start a new series of reusable bags and I hope to have some new ones posted in the store for you tomorrow.

 Did you know that each FatBottomBag uses 100% post consumer recycled plastic shopping bags?  I'm fortunate to be able to recycle for over 20 families now!  I've connected to contributors through my local community, friends, family and even through the internet.  Today I worked through a stack of bags sent to me for the Free Minibag Recycling Exchange that I'm sponsering through FatBottomBags.com.  




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honoring those who served

Today is Veterans Day here in the US.  Veterans Day honors all American veterans, both living and dead. A day to celebrate and honor those brave men and women who have served and sacrificed of themselves for us.  Thank you veterans.

This summer, the traveling Vietnam Wall came through Bellingham. It was moving to see this half sized replica.  Here are a few photos from that visit.  No captions because I believe these photos speak for themselves.










Monday, November 09, 2009

Please Don't Crop Your Pitties Ears

I'm writing this post in response to a search link that came to my page.  The searcher was apparently looking for information on cutting the ears of their pitbull dog.  Somehow, because I'd mentioned cutting (as in cutting your tshirts for yarn) and pitbulls (as in I LOVE my pitbull Echo) and ears (as in ears of corn for freezing), this search was directed to my blog.  Weird how the internet works sometimes.

If you're trying to get a "tough" look by clipping your
pitbulls ears don't bother, they look tough enough all natural!

Anyway, I just wanted to state for the record, that dogs should keep their ears!  There really is no good reason for cropping your pitbulls ears. It's strictly for cosmetic reasons and even after cropping and taping the ears may or may not stand up.

My dog has his natural ears.  He's about 5 years old now and I can't imagine him without his cute ears.  They show so much of his expression and are a key in communication!

Those cute ears!  That's a lot of his expression.

If you still are going to have your dogs ears cropped, please have it done by a licensed veterinarian.  I've seen some photos of dogs who have had their ears cut by their owners with scissors.  This not only looks bad and painful for your pooch, but can lead to infection of the ears or worse!  In England cropping is even illegal and may be here if you attempt it in an inhumaine manner.

See the way his full ears highlight his look!

Of course this is all just my opinion, but I stand by it!!!  If you have questions whether to crop or not, please talk this over with your trusted vet and get educated about the risks in doing this procedure.

Buddies for life!

Recycle Crafts for Christmas


Christmas is coming!  Don't panic, there's still time, but if you want to have a homemade Christmas, it's time to get crafting.

Today I'm sharing some easy Christmas crafts that I've found on the internet.  Each of these projects incorporates recycling so you can make your holiday a bit more green.

This craft is from AllFreeCrafts.com I really liked this idea to make a cute Christmas tree decoration from a recycled paperback book

Here's a good one for you beachcombers.  Trinket and Dreams made some beautiful seashell angels No instructions here, but from her photos you could easily figure out how to make these cute Christmas ornaments

Over on That Artist Woman Blog, Gail Bartel  shows us how to make an old fashioned orange pomander you can even have the kids help on this project!

Kinderart.com has instructions for recycling your old Christmas cards into cute little boxes.  These would be real cute in staggered sizes stacked together as a tree ornament, or use them alone as gift boxes instead of wrapping paper.

Over at Instructables, you can learn how to recycle your wrapping paper to a pretty holiday wreath.

As always, Martha Stewart has some fabulous Christmas Crafts.  Here she shows how to turn those old holiday sweaters into Christmas stockings!

Design Sponge has a tutorial to make folded paper ball ornaments.  Why not use some pretty magazine pages to make these into a recycled ornaments.

Do you have a stash of left over ribbons?  Recycle them into these beautiful gift bows.  DIY from The Container Store

Here's another bow tutorial from How About Orange.  This easy project turns colorful magazine pages into really pretty gift toppers!

Make this recycled CD Disco Ball as a tree ornament.  It will look beautiful reflecting all your LED christmas lights!



So there you go!  Now go get crafting and help to reduce the footprint of your holiday.

Do you have any recycled Christmas projects?  Care to share? Just leave a comment below with a link and your tutorial may be featured in a future blog.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Seal Tagging Training


Oh boy!  Looking out at Hales passage at the Whatcom Cheif, I could see it was going to be a bumpy ride.  On a day like this I might normally reconsider a trip to town.  Not this time.  This time I was on a mission.  I was heading to town to learn how to tag seals and that would be worth a wild ride on the ferry.

As a volunteer responder for Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network I have great opportunities to learn new and interesting things having to do with marine mammals. 

In this last year I've learned about Grey whales, wildlife rehab at Wolf Hollow, harbor porpoise,  and now I was going to learn how to tag a seal pup with a special wildlife tag.  How cool!

These numbered tags are used to help identify a marine mammal
 that has been responded to by the stranding network




We learned what items we would need to add to our response kits for
tagging  including betedine to clean the seal flipper and the equipment.

We had a great trainer, Joe Gaydos, DVM PhD. Joe showed us how to properly handle a live seal pup for tagging and gave us some hands on experience using the tagger. I won't get into the "how to" detail here. If you are interested in these sort of trainings and helping marine mammals you may want to become a volunteer responder too. 


Upon completion of our training, Joe gave each of us a lovely map from the SeaDoc Society of the recently recognised Salish Sea 

I love volunteering!  In giving a small bit of myself and my time to WMMSN to help marine mammals and their cause I've gained so much more.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

30 days of Thankfulness Diet

I started a new diet program, but it's not a weight loss thing.  This diet is for increase.  To create a bigger heart and increase my sense of appreciation for the life I am living.

If you're a fan of FatBottomBags on Facebook, you've probably seen the posts.  Each morning for the month of November I'm posting something that I am thankful for in my life.  Should be simple enough.  For 30 days I'll chose 1. 

I think where we place our focus is usually where things manifest in our lives. I have a tendency to be a glass half empty kind of person by nature.  I'm hoping that this exercise in thanksgiving will help me to become more of a half full type and help to manifest a more appreciative spirit.

When I reflect on my past and present life I realize that I do have much to be thankful for.  Of course there are still the daily ups and downs of life, but after all the drama and hard times that I've been through in my past it's a true blessing to come to this point.  This place and time when I can find so much to appreciate.






Friday, November 06, 2009

Aloha Friday #1

An Island Life  Happy Aloha Friday!

Here's my question for the day:

What's your favorite tip for being more earth friendly?

Don't waste your waste! Become a Worm Wrangler.

Ok gardeners and other green people are you still throwing your food waste in the garbage?  Stop that!  Don't waste your waste!  Become a Worm Wrangler.

Do you know that the average American household produces about 5lbs of garbage everyday?  I wonder how much we could reduce that by simply composting our food waste.  It might even lower your garbage bill!

I started coralling crawlies last fall when I set up my wonderful Worm Factory Worm Bin.  I love this company for making their worm bins from  post consumer recycled materials and they're here in my local area. Also the lifespan of these bins is supposed to be about 70 years and it comes with a 5 year warranty!

Worm Factory Worm bins rock!!!


Here's some fun facts about worms:
  • Wrangling Red Wiggler Worms is called Vermiculture
  • Worms eat up to 1/2 of their body weight eachday, so if you've got a pound of worms they'll eat a 1/2 pound of your food waste everyday!
  • Worms in bins should receive a mix of 1/2 food waste and 1/2 fiber, so worms can eat your junk mail and shredded documents!
  • Worms process your compost much faster in a worm bin than in a regular compost bin and takes a lot less work than turning a compost pile.
  • Garden plants grow faster and fuller when fertilized with worm tea!
  • You can use worm bins indoors or out! So even apartment dwellers can raise red wigglers.
  • Mixing finished worm compost into your potting soil makes houseplants healthy and happy
  • Worms will reproduce in your worm bin but they'll regulate themselves based on the environment and amount of available food and space!  Watch this short film from Isabella Rosellini to learn more about worm reproduction






Here's a peek at my healthy happy worms.




I love my worm bin so much I even made my own video about it this summer.


Here's Fat Red Worms



There are a few things that worms won't eat and should not be placed in your worm bin.  They're not too picky, but worms will not eat onions, citrus rinds, and jalepenos or other hot peppers.

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