Thursday, December 25, 2008

And we're back!


Hello hello dear readers! It's a beautiful warm December morning here in Baltimore, and I've finally got a chance to catch my breath and post! There have been projects and projects, everything from vermicomposting to making laundry soap! So this is going to be several posts stacked up on top of each other. I'm going to focus on some of the main projects for now: zines and indoor gardening. Laundry soap and book-making will have to wait.

So, right now I'm cuddled up with my tea and knitting last minute holiday gifts (this green bracelet cuff with an 'Aran Knot' braid embellishment). The yarn was bought at MICA's Holiday Art Market from "Dude Yarns" (yay inter-MICA staff crafting!) He was even nice enough to take the yarn back to his house and wind it into a ball for me. Now that's service :)

As for my own studies at UB, the first semester of school just finished a few weeks ago, and it's been poetry and book making galore! I've finally got a chance to catch my breath and post on all the wonderful DIY goodness that's been going on over the last few months. Perhaps soon I will be brave enough to post some pictures of my poetry portfolio.

Also, in good news- Plans for the 2009 DIYFest are in the works! More to come.

Enjoy! And may you have plenty of time during this holiday season for "making" of your own!

The Indoor Garden

This has been one of my biggest projects to date. After the tomato plant debacle, I wasn't sure if I would try kitchen gardening again for a while. But I guess things just sprouted of their own accord! An indoor garden is a really great way to re-use multiple resources around the home. It's a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and head over to my lovely sea of green. The scents of basil and sage, the new shoots that unfurl every day, the warm glow of my plant light, the extra oxygen... And almost everything has been made out of recycled materials!

1. Potting containers: a great way to use old cans, bottles, etc. My favorites are the large buckets from bulk tofu bought at the Korean market.

2. Vermicomposting: this could be a separate post entirely, but I try to cram it in. Buy some worms, put them in a container with air holes. Add newspaper or other carbon based bedding. Then start adding in your food scraps! Just no dairy, meat, citrus, or onion, since the worms have a hard time breaking that stuff down. It requires a little work, but now I have great rich soil to add whenever I re-pot a plant. We have the power to make new, fresh Earth!

3. Greywater: I like a warm shower. I don't like watching the water go down the drain as my spoiled little behind waits for it to heat up. So I bought a huge watering can, and fill it up each time I step in the shower. My plants love it! You can even use the water to do dishes.

4. Plants: There are several different ways to acquire new plants. So here's a sub-list to this garden list post.

Seeds: spinach, which died. Also, I was cutting up a red pepper one day, and thought, "hmm, I wonder if these seeds will sprout?" Turns out, they will. Whether or not they grow peppers is another story. I'll keep you posted.

Cuttings: I got this really hardy indoor plant after one of MICA's staff meetings. After accidentally breaking off one of it's offshoots, I threw the smaller piece in a pot of dirt, just in case. Basil is another fantastic example of a plant you can throw in a small vase of water until it grows roots.

Roots and Rhizomes: My goal one of these days is to have a potato bucket. That's where you let a potato sprout, then cut out each of the "eyes" (it feels creepy to type that without quotation marks). Throw in a bucket with dirt, and keep layering. Grow. Then you will have a whole bucket of potatoes! I've always wondered if that will work for onions too. For now I have a ginger root that I let sprout. The plant is a little over a foot now, but it doesn't look that healthy. I'm hoping it holds on until spring when I can put it outdoors!

What sorts of indoor garden projects are you working on? Has anyone had success growing edible plants indoors? Want to talk about vermicomposting? Drop me a line!

Also, a hearty "what's up" to the Baltimore Food Makers group that just started up in Hampden! I got my vermicomposting bin from Johanna, and I believe that she has others available. Unfortunately I missed the yogurt/cheese making session, but hopefully I can make some of the future events!

Generic Zine Exchange















Thank you so much Abbey for creating the Generic Zine Exchange! I just received my package a few days ago, and boy was I excited! Check out the bounty. To basically explain what went down: a bunch of people made 25 zines, then sent them in to Abbey. Each of us received 20 different zines back (although I didn't actually count them...) She will be using the copies somehow for her thesis project. It's always fun to get a huge package in the mail from strangers, and it's really exciting to think about the copy that will be added to the zine collection at the University of Buffalo! All in all a really great experience.

I wish I could post more pictures, but as you'll see, I've got a lot of posts to put up. One zine was shaped like an apron, with directions about how to sew one together. Another of my favorites was of pictures all taken when the photographer was lying on their back (there is a great photo of a mushroom coming out of a tree trunk). I actually forgot to take pictures of the one I sent out, but that will have to be for another day. It was a collection of collage and cut-up poetry that I xeroxed together, called "Bound Printed Matter," which is a stamp used for some postal mailings.

Anyway, to cut my ramblings off, I just had to post photos of my favorite. It's called "Nightlights" by Anna Tow. The cover has a functional lightbulb!! The image on the right shows how she slipped in a small piece of paper to break the circuit if needed. (There's a wire that causes the bulb to light up every time it hits the battery). Thanks Anna! The watercolor image on the front is gorgeous too, I might add.


And we're back!


Hello hello dear readers! It's a beautiful warm December morning here in Baltimore, and I've finally got a chance to catchy my breath and post! There have been projects and projects, everything from vermicomposting to making laundry soap! So this is going to be several posts stacked up on top of each other. I'm going to focus on some of the main projects for now: zines and indoor gardening. Laundry soap and book-making will have to wait.

So, right now I'm cuddled up with my tea and knitting last minute holiday gifts (this green bracelet cuff with an 'Aran Knot' braid embellishment). The yarn was bought at MICA's Holiday Art Market from "Dude Yarns" (yay inter-MICA staff crafting!) He was even nice enough to take the yarn back to his house and wind it into a ball for me. Now that's service :)

As for my own studies at UB, the first semester of school just finished a few weeks ago, and it's been poetry and book making galore! I've finally got a chance to catch my breath and post on all the wonderful DIY goodness that's been going on over the last few months. Perhaps soon I will be brave enough to post some pictures of my poetry portfolio.

Also, in good news- Plans for the 2009 DIYFest are in the works! More to come.

Enjoy! And may you have plenty of time during this holiday season for "making" of your own!
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