Sep 22, 2014

Monday Monster Round-Up

Last week was a doozy - lots of doctors appointments, soccer practices, first soccer game of the season, a brief virus. I took several days off last week & feel like I need to take several more off this week to recover from last week, haha!

Here is a peek at what I did get finished over the last week, some cutie mini monsters in various stages of production:

Four cuties I finished up last night waiting to be stuffed!
Five cuties ready to be sewn shut!
Four more cuties all finished up!
Which one of these mini cuties is your favorite?

Sep 19, 2014

Adventures in organic gardening - building new raise beds!

This spring, we started our adventure into urban gardening. We decided to use the bones of the garden the previous homeowners left, assuming that it was there because it was a good location. We used some found lumber to add a triangle extension for beans & peppers, and were giddy with excitement to plant our first garden not in containers on our porch.

Here is a peek at the set up - it was a ton of room, and we planted lots! But, it didn't thrive, because the previous home owners had put the garden under the maple tree and it got little to no sun the majority of the day, save for the last beams of sunlight as the sun set each evening. Total oversight on our part, too, we didn't even take the shade into consideration in our excitement to plant our garden.

We did get a great harvest of beans, cucumbers, eggplants & some pumpkins - but our tomatoes, peas, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, squash and zucchini didn't do so well - some didn't grow at all, others just didn't produce any vegetables.

After carefully evaluating the sun's trek across our lawn this summer, we decided to optimize our lawn by building simple raise beds with cinder blocks in front of our porch. This area gets sunlight from about 10am-7pm and is right outside of our back door, making it easily accessible and freeing up the rest of the lawn for the kiddo to practice soccer in.

 We will be moving our fire pit, and building four more raise beds, two rows of three beds, with enough space between the beds for the lawn mower to fit through. The idea of using the cinder blocks is to maximize planting space - we will be building teepee like structures from lattice between the beds (where the fire pit is currently) and planting beans in the cinder blocks closest to the lattice to climb up it, and in the other three sides planting marigolds, which help repel certain insects that invade gardens.

Each raise bed will be about 3x3 feet, made of twelve cinder blocks, the perfect size for small plots to feed our little family & maybe produce enough to share with the neighbors. Or if the cucumbers do as well next year as they did this year, we may just have to learn how to can food! 

Since we are getting an early start on these beds, we are gathering yard waste and composting inside each bed over the fall & winter to reduce the amount of soil we need to purchase this spring.

To make two raise beds, it cost us $34.76 and took less than half an hour to set up. You could also probably get cinder blocks from Craigslist for less (or free), but this was a spur of the moment idea while we were at Lowe's so decided to buy the supplies & test out this layout. We really like it & can't wait to plant our garden next spring!

Do you garden? If so, do you prefer raise beds or planting straight into the ground?

Sep 16, 2014

#happyhandmade picks for week 80

Over on my other blog, Daft Crafts, I run a weekly collective for makers called #happyhandmade. They can share their handmade products & in turn share goodies they discover with others. It's a super fun way to find & share new handmade goods and connect with makers!

This week, my top three favorites are:

Normal is boring wallet by Rewallet. 

Seriously, it's upcycled & witty. I love it.

Keep Cozy organic room spray By Winter Solstice Dreams.

No more spraying toxins around your home to make it smell great - Kim from Winter Solstice dreams makes this great natural alternative to chemical laden air fresheners. Used & approved!

You Make The Mess You Clean The Mess Typography Print By Ink & Dirt.

Seriously, what mom wouldn't love this typography print by Karen from Ink & Dirt? Perfect to hang in the living room, play room or kid's room!

Sep 12, 2014

Revisiting revisiting this space.

I keep saying that I am going to come back to this space, but for a long time it hasn't felt right to invest so much time sitting front of a computer when I can barely keep my shop stocked. Things are starting to settle into a nice ebb & flow routine now that the intern has been upgraded to assistant & we have a regular work week lined up. I have a wee bit more time in the mornings that I usually spend in the omhg forums chatting with inspirational & motivating makers that I look up to, like Jenelle from TrashN2Tees, Genevieve from Kitty Curiosity & Jennifer from Pikelet Workshop, just to name a few. The ladies in this community are so uplifting, inspiring and sweet, it truly feels like gathering around a table with friends for coffee every morning. If you are a maker looking to take your business to the next level, I highly suggest investing in the omhg membership (it's less than the cost of 2.5 pumpkin spice lattes from that gross place I don't like, guys). Today though, I thought I would start carving out a little extra time to come to this place, a place where I can put more words & thoughts & feelings than I can in a brief little social media update.

As I think about coming back to this space, which was actually my first space (did you know? It was! I blogged before I Facebooked, Twittered or Instagrammed!) I've been thinking about how I want it to change. I mean, my need for it to change was the reason I grew away from it in the first place. I was using it to upload pictures of my monsters each week - and maybe I will do that again, to keep track of how much is coming out of my studio - but I think I want to produce some fresh content that is more in line with my life & business & ethos right now.

I am thinking of focusing more on the process of making monsters, and this space is perfect for it - showing monsters, from their start as blankets and sheets and pajamas and sweaters, being freed from that big blank slate and slowly becoming, bit by little bit, the cute little monsters at the end. Share more of the impact that Lu & Ed is really making on the environment & keeping textile discards out of landfills.

I also want to bring in a bit more of my life as a boy mom. As my son gets older, I find it is more difficult to connect with other moms, so why not connect & share here? He is such a big part of why I do what I do, how I do it. I don't want to be one of those parenting blogs with billions of opinions no one really cares about (really, have you met me? I'm not very opinionated, I do me & you do you, boo) but I think sharing thrifty fashion finds for my boy may inspire some more moms to think affordable, adorable & eco over  overpriced & most-likely-produced-in-unethical-manners for kids fashion, as well as some other lifestyle habits we have as a family that are ecofriendly & have a positive impact on the health of our planet. I think that in changing the way we as parents consume & teach our children to consume that we can, quite literally, change (& save) the earth.

Plus, there's other things that tie in with my eco & indie lifestyle - organic gardening, enjoying the slow-purchase, reducing, reusing or recycling so that our home stays clutter free & full of things that we love - that I want to share with you all but don't have the space to on social media, so I think I will be integrating some of that content here in this happy little blog space! This was our first year as organic suburban gardeners, and we loved it - and learned a lot! So I have tons to share with you guys next spring! It's also been just over a year since we bought our home, and we are finally feeling settled so I would love to start doing a sort of "home tour" series showing off how we use thrift store furniture & handmade decor to make our home lovely & functional.

So expect to see some new content here, soonish. And thank you, as always, for supporting my dream, as it grows & changes & becomes even more wonderful, day by day!

Aug 25, 2014

Eco Outfit of The Day!

Monday's eco #ootd - cute kids fashion doesn't have to be expensive! It can be adorable, affordable & good for the Earth, too! 

Today's thrifted outfit: 

Levi skinny jeans - $3.98

Vintage Zelda shirt - free! 

Monster - available in my shop


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