The Daily Blend

Writing to make connections

Cloth Gift Bags for Christmas Wrapping

Cloth gift bags make wrapping easyLet’s face it, lots of the things we do for fun entail consuming for pleasure. But many of us are genuinely concerned about the waste involved in some of our traditions. One way to reduce (the highest “R”) the resources you consume over the holidays is to buy or make cloth gift bags that you can re-use (the middle “R”).

Yes, I know, it seems like more fun to rip open wrapping paper. And, yes, you can recycle (the lowest “R”) wrapping paper in many Canadian municipalities. But I urge you to just try using cloth gift bags just once and see how people respond. Untying a ribbon and peeking inside a festive gift bag can be just as satisfying.

Read More

Reduce Shedding with the Furminator

When my daughters were eight and ten, they and my husband started talking (again) about adopting a dog. I agreed that some day we might have a dog but it would have to be a non-shedding breed. There are few things that cause me to say the “h” word, but I hate dog hair. Eventually, the dog we adopted was a mixed German shepherd and husky. Not exactly what I’d been hoping for.

Mixed Husky German Shepherd holding comb

photo by Chris Shearly

Soon there was dog fur everywhere. Yuck! Most of it was the fine undercoat fur. It’s almost impossible to get out of fleece clothing and off smooth wool jackets and trousers. We even coined the word “dust-puppies” for the clumps of fur that we found under and behind the furniture. I was desperate for a way to reduce shedding in our beloved pet.

Read More

Working Construction First After Fifty

A bright newly renovated apartment after working constructionThree years ago, my husband and I decided it was time to move out of our suburban home. We’d bought the home in a brand new development as an investment. We’d thought that after five years we’d be ready to move on to something a little less, well, suburban. But life is funny and it had now been more than twenty years since we moved in. Our daughters had gone to homes of their own. It was just us and the dog. We decided to invest in a small building

Read More

Suet Cakes for Winter Birds

Finished suet cakes

Now that the cold weather is coming, it’s time to put up bird feeders and wait for the daily entertainment. Yes, for me watching the little guys come and go is fascinating and fun. It’s easy and cheap to attract birds to your yard, which makes it even better. Feeders and poles to put them on can be built or bought and seed isn’t awfully expensive. All that’s left is finding the time to sit and watch. Much preferable to daytime TV!

Read More

Sewing Resources

In a list of self-sufficiency skills, being able to sew ranksThese vintage silk threads on wooden spools are useful sewing resources right up there with cooking and keeping your living space clean enough to stay healthy. Imagine being able to shorten your jeans as soon as you get them home, or make a reasonable facsimile of those chic panels for your dining room window.

Much of my sewing career happened when I was under 20. My sewing resources then were Home Ec class, my mother and the local fabric store. Mending, altering and sewing were just a part of teenage life. Since then I’ve been glad know enough of the basics of sewing to hem pants and skirts, mend clothing, and make a few things for myself, the house and the kids. (I even taught myself to darn from a magazine article. Kind of weird, but so useful when most of a woollen sock is like new and the cheap rubber boots have worn a hole right through the heel.)

Read More