The tiggeriffic Tigger!

My¬†Tigger quilt is currently 38″ x 45 1/2″. 018I don’t really want to make it much bigger. Sometimes, when I get an idea stuck in my head, there’s no dismissing it! And I envision this quilt on the smaller side.

So, I Googled the dimensions for various, smaller quilts and learned something. There’s no defined size, only general guidelines. For instance, a baby quilt can be anywhere from 36″ square to 52″ square. Honestly, the square aspect is lost on me. In my opinion, a quilt should be longer than it is wide. But that’s just me ūüôā

This Tigger quilt, if I finish it off now, can be categorized 4 different ways; baby, crib, toddler and lap. This is according to the information I found online.

I have the perfect material to back it with.011

If I’m lucky, I can manage a second quilt because I do have another Tigger pillowcase 007to use again as the center. Although I am rather fond of the black and grey, I’d do the next one with blue denim, just to compare the two, and maybe keep some of the blue border from the pillowcase, which is double-sided. I have FOUR Tiggers!

** Okay, I drafted the first half of this post last night. And then I got to thinking. . . . . I may have seen another Winnie-the-Pooh sheet while I was rummaging around. . . . .and I was right!006 004

This one might be more appropriate although I’m leaning toward the other one. And both sheets are only twin size, so I will not be able to get 2 quilts from each (unless I make sure they’re small, baby quilts). . . . . shoot.

Now I must do more pondering and probably alter my plans.

Of course, I could always make¬†the first quilt mine ūüôā and sell the second one! And¬†the third. And the fourth.

There’s a definite dilemma with making one-of-a-kind anything. It’s easy to become attached.

But I REALLY don’t need anymore blankets. . . . . . . or do I?

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I was able to plug my sewing machine in the other day after all.

Leroy moved from the floor004 to the top of the old, wooden chest he was laying by. I could finally reach the outlet without waking him from his beauty sleep.

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The chest is under one of the windows in my living room turned sewing room. It’s there for the dogs actually! They like to look out the window, especially when I’m deserting (that’s what they’d say if they could talk) them on a hot day and leaving them safely at home.

This Tigger quilt is the first one I’ve done with denim that isn’t blue and I like it.

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The quandary I’m in now is how big? I’m toying with the idea of a baby/toddler size quilt. Or do I go with a couch size quilt? Black and grey could be difficult to coordinate with a baby’s nursery and is definitely more geared toward a boy. A couch quilt doesn’t necessarily need to match a living room’s decor. It’s just something you cover up with when it’s chilly.

Decisions, decisions.

I did place my sewing table in a different position.

028Leroy being in the way shouldn’t be a problem again. I’m also trying to get better natural daylight which may sound odd being summer and all but my trees create an awful lot of shade. Despite shorter days, winter is the best time for sewing without lamps.

Chemicals on your produce

images (53) Good question!

If you don’t already eat organic, maybe it’s time to at least educate yourself about the Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen and go from there.

http://www.ewg.org/dirty_dozen

http://www.fullyraw.com/dirty-dozen-clean-15/

Of course, those are not the only sites to check out. There are a lot of well-known, knowledgable people who recommend organic foods such as David Suzuki, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Kris Karr.

You’ll even find blogs from those who argue against them. I¬†tend to dismiss those, and ¬†bypassed sharing them, because I’m a¬†true and dedicated believer, and supporter of, the organic movement. I didn’t become one without learning everything I could. And nothing will ever convince me it’s not the wisest choice.

The easiest way to explain it is this. Let’s say I’m holding 2 bunches of broccoliimages (68), one in each hand.

In the left is conventionally-grown, sprayed with various chemicals to ward off bugs and disease, probably from seed also chemically treated. Imagine it.

In the right is organic, no chemical “assistance”, maybe even smaller and not so perfect. Better yet, picked from my own garden where I’m absolutely assured if it’s purity and I’m¬†the only person to ever touch it. ¬†I do admit to being a slight germaphobe at times ūüôā

Conventionally-grown has zero appeal for me.

In my view, organic is about¬†the environment as well, not just my own health. Even “a little” in regards to chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in the growing of conventional produce is too much, for¬†the earth, and for me¬†because I’m never just eating one apple or one head of lettuce, it’s year ahead (and behind) of consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. A little eventually adds up to a lot.

Who really rules the house?

I’m in¬†the mood to sew. It’s been a long while since I’ve done anything with my denim quilting!

I dusted my machines, formed a plan in my head and cleaned off the table where it all happens. It (the table) currently resides in my living room, along with 3 racks and various bins of denim and assorted materials. I live alone and have a wood stove room with a couch, so converting my living room into a sewing space was logical.

My winter project (for the 3rd year in a row) is renovating my master bedroom, which has been a glorified, storage facility for forever, and then using it for my craft/sewing room. I have a lot of ideas. Too many! I want to learn to knit, or crochet. I’m not picky. I’d like to get back into my woodworking and also give stepping stones a try! Being a gardener with an overactive imagination sent me down that path. If only I had 8 arms and 40 hours in a day!

And didn’t hold a degree in procrastinating!

But anyway, back to the quilt I’m thinking about. I’ve had a¬†Tigger pillowcase designated as the centre of a quilt for a long time. And that’s as far as it’s gotten. Until today. Or perhaps tomorrow because I’ve put it on hold. Again.

Why?

Leroy is in my way ūüôā I’d have to step over him to plug my sewing machine in. No can do.

00490% of the time, I’m loathe to disturb either of my dogs. He looks so peaceful and he is 6 1/2, maybe he needs more sleep.

Any excuse, eh?

Charlotte is fine right now, she’s watching me and wide awake.007

I did get a tiny bit accomplished. I chose the first denim, cut the first 2 strips and even pinned one in place! I’m going with black, and eventually grey, for a change.

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I suppose I’ll go make¬†that pot of soup I started yesterday. . . . . . Leroy won’t sleep too long.

Today’s Smile

In the midst of all this mind-boggling research I’m doing and some of the serious topics I’ve published lately, I thought I’d share nothing more than a smile today ūüôā

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures.

He doesn’t fit but look how happy he is! Now¬†that’s making do with what you have.

pig in bowl

When will people wake up?

It’s very frustrating to take the measures I do to be “green”, to avoid the nasty, cancer causing chemicals so prevalent in this world today, only to have them sprayed right next to my home! I recycle, reduce AND reuse. I buy a minimum of cleaning, bath and body products and try to make sure they’re the best ones available (I’m working on that again!). I eat 100% organic and focus on a whole food, vegan diet. I grown an organic garden from certified organic seeds.

And then I have to watch as my neighbor comes home with a jug of something he attaches to his garden hose.

images (42)I know, without even seeing the label, that it’s not good. He’s the sort who waters his lawn even when there are city wide bans in effect or right after it RAINED. I’ve seen him spraying his lawn before. And I have to bite me tongue.

He’s well aware I think he’s a moron. I mean he is the one, after all, who took out half my greenhouse when he fell a tree in his yard into MY YARD. He’s the kind who drives his truck back and forth, back and forth, over frozen snow in an effort to get rid of it faster than the sun will melt it. He’s also¬†the sort who (when he owned a dog, she’s long passed) would go away for a day or three and leave his dog tied up, without adequate food and water, and no one checking on her. I was always crawling through a hole in the fence to look after her!

What I really wanted to do 15 minutes ago, was say, “Don’t spray that sh-t anywhere near my yard! You toxic, poisonous, chemical wielding idiot”. My dogs often eat the grass along the fence line and the same goes for them that goes for me, no bad stuff! I’m sure my neighbor saw me eyeing him like a hawk because normally when he’s in his yard, I come inside.

When will more people wake up and realize how much we’re damaging the environment with all these conventional products? I l know I once was oblivious but I’ve evolved and gotten wiser. Why do some people remain stupid? ūüôā

Whoa!

Okay, I know¬†this is my second post for today and I’ve gotten away from doing that. Mainly because I don’t want to annoy my followers with multiple daily email notifications. But I simply had to mention what I just discovered.

Did you know “Toolbar Toggle” located at the very end of all your options like ‘bold, ‘italic’ and ‘proofread writing’, makes another row of options appear?! I did not know this and often wondered why I couldn’t underline anything or change the text color. I still can’t change the font though, unless someone can share a secret for that.

I can add a whole, new dimension to my blogging world ūüôā Yay.

Consumer or detective? Part 1

download (13)images (40)

I’m both! I’m also exhausted and overwhelmed.

I spent hours yesterday, and more today,¬†nearly 5 days hunched over my computer, Googling things like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), SLES (sodium laureth sulfate), phenoxyethanol and dipalmitoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate (say that 5 times fast), whether they’re good, whether they’re bad, and who claims what about them.¬†I’ve researched, edited, saved and previewed more times than I can count! I finally had¬†to just hit ‘Publish’.

It takes serious investigative work to be a well-informed, environmentally-friendly shopper.

Fortunately, I have amazing tenacity to find answers when it concerns a subject close to my heart. Living green is very important to me, not just for my own health but for that of the environment as well. I¬†long ago decided to avoid harmful ingredients¬†like SLS and SLES. If they’re on the list, I don’t buy that product.

And that’s what I thought I was doing until I bought a bottle of “green” dish soap containing SLS. I read¬†the label after I got home, duh!¬†I slammed on the mental brakes and said to myself, “Wait a minute! I don’t buy stuff like this!”. It caught me off guard.¬†Why did I have something with SLS in my hand?

I immediately called my sister and we both concluded we DON’T buy products unless they’re SLS free. . . . . . but upon further contemplation, perhaps that was just beauty products and maybe we hadn’t expanded into cleaning products. I’m second-guessing myself and I’m determined to figure out what’s going on.

I abandoned¬†my usual short attention span. I neglected to eat. I let my dish water go cold. I slept less. I was oblivious to the mass of fruit flies making their home on a lemon wedge. I developed aches and pains (and a phantom spider on my right elbow!) from sitting, and stretching across my table to reach my laptop, for so many hours on end. I annoyed my sister with phone calls ūüôā

And I’m still not done! I’ll most likely have 2 or 3 additional posts related to this one. Maybe more! Hence¬†the Part 1.

What began as a small, “I’ll-look-into-it” matter, quickly morphed into a complex, multi-faceted monster. Green products, the ones we trust and use, might not be so green after all. Yes, they’re certainly green-er¬†than conventional choices but still. . . . I want 100%. Or as close as absolutely possible. It’s now occurring to me there is no true green.

I scrutinized¬†SLS and SLES (again). I found more “against” articles than I could “for”. Does that mean they’re okay or not? How can so many people be so wrong?¬†How could David Suzuki be wrong?¬†He can’t be. I’m more inclined¬†to go with the majority.
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SLS is a foaming agent commonly found in things like dish soap, toilet bowl cleaners, shampoos, bubble baths, mouth wash and facial cleansers. And if that was all you ever needed to know, the world would be fine.

But SLS is so much more!

It’s also a skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant.

skincontact_3eye_irritation_3image7

It’s toxic to aquatic organisms (anything living in the water) and has the potential for accumulating in the bodies of fish.

toxic

And we eat those fish.

Yummy!

SLS is a penetration enhancer which means it helps other chemicals get into our bodies. The manufacturing process of SLS can cause it to be contaminated with carcinogens.

SLS is made less irritating by adding ethylene oxide. Sounds promising? It’s not.¬†To make it less irritating, they also make it cancer causing!

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a very hazardous substance. MCAW143_9At room temperature it’s a flammable, carcinogenic, mutagenic, irritating and anaesthetic gas with a deceptively pleasant aroma. It’s present in the production of antifreeze, adhesives, detergents, textiles, polyurethane foam, solvents and pharmaceuticals. Lesser amounts are found in sterilants for spices and cosmetics, fumigants, and in hospitals during the sterilization of surgical equipment.

People who work with EtO must take many precautions.

I don’t know about you but this isn’t something I want anywhere near, never mind IN, any product I use! I don’t care how minimal.

The combined result of SLS and ethylene dioxide, SLES, is just as bad because it can be contaminated with 1,4 – dioxane (one of the main, cancer causing, components of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War).

download (12)Double don’t want it!

It’s harder these days to decide upon which products to use and which ones to avoid. Companies are getting crafty, sneaky even. I’ve learned what the term ‘greenwashing’ means. In a nutshell, it’s when a company makes their product sound and look great when it actually contains harmful ingredients. The manufacturing of a certain “acceptable” ingredient can be detrimental to the environment or it can render a once good ingredient bad.¬†There’s a lot to know!

Healthy living should not be so complicated!

Companies are counting on blind faith. Or chosen ignorance. I have neither, although I did demonstrate it. I want to know what I’m buying! I’m beginning to re-examine ALL of my current cleaning and personal¬†products.

images (38)Thankfully, I don’t have as many as most people do. Perfume, nail polish, hair dye, body lotion, candles, air fresheners, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, lipstick, furniture polish; none of¬†these are in my home.

But let’s get back to what precipitated this journey.

A seemingly eco-friendly bottle of dish soap, little fishy on the front, the words non-toxic there too, it was in the Natural and Organic aisle of my local grocery store, it was from a company that cares about the environment . . . . . . . I assumed it was okay.

25oz-Dish-Lime-Zest

Until I turned the bottle over and read the ingredients. I was puzzled by what this company had to say about using SLS and SLES.

There has been information circulating the internet about the safety of¬†these ingredients, but we have found it to be unfounded“.

Found it to be unfounded?? What a ridiculous phrase when¬†they offer nothing to substantiate such a claim. I scoured every inch of their website, believe me, I did, looking for any supporting data. Zero success. I also discovered they have more than one website. Apparently, I scoured the UK version (I think! It’s confusing). I also found this statement on their US site.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about SLS but it’s an ingredient we feel confident using“.

I couldn’t find any supporting data on their site either! Me, myself and I could all say we adore SLS and believe in it, but that sure doesn’t make it safe for humans or¬†the environment. In fact, Ecover admits SLS has a “low aquatic toxicity”. I don’t understand how they can say “non-toxic” out one side of their mouth and “low toxicity” out of the other.

I’ve repeatedly looked at their full list of ingredients, for all of¬†their products, since discovering they use SLS and SLES and they use 11 other ingredients (synthetic or plant-based, synthetic blend) I’m uncertain about. I’m currently doing the research and I will get to the bottom of it.

I’m also drafting an e-mail to send to Ecover for answers. I’m very curious¬†to see what they have to say and will be surprised if they can validate¬†the presence of SLS and SLES in their “non-toxic, safe for people and the environment” products.¬†Actually, I don’t care. I’m going to opt out of buying Ecover products. There are other companies I’m looking into that interest me more.

Earth Friendly Products, Seventh Generation and Nature Clean are now under my microscope.

I’m liking Seventh Generation because¬†they (appear to) care about the orangutans¬†and they’re very open about it on their site. But they also use SLS and defend it by claiming “anti-sulfate campaigns”. I’ve just received a reply e-mail from them that I have yet to review. I understand scaremongering is real but does it truly apply to SLS? Erring on the side of caution makes more sense to me. For now. We’ll see if that changes.

Earth Friendly Products don’t have SLS but they have SCS (sodium coco sulfate), I’m looking into that, many people claim it’s still a sulfate and pretty much the same as SLS. And they say nothing about the orangutans on their site.

Nature Clean, I’ve only scratched the surface.¬†They appear good. . . . but further research will tell for sure.¬†They don’t mention the orangutans either. (Yes, I care about the orangutans).

One thing leads to another. . . . . . .

Find out more when Part 2 is written and published, it may take me a while. I can’t spend another 4+ days (long days) doing this! I need to pace myself. And eat. And sleep. ūüôā And work.

In¬†the meantime, have a look-see through some of the articles I found. There are, of course, many, many more “floating around out there”!

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/13/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.aspx

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/174367-dangers-of-sodium-lauryl-sulfate/

http://www.treehugger.com/style/common-eco-myth-sodium-lauryl-sulfate-sls-causes-cancer.html

http://slsfree.net/

http://www.healthy-communications.com/slsmostdangerousirritant.html

http://www.ecolife.com/beauty/cosmetics/personal-care-product-chemicals.html

http://www.drfranklipman.com/sodium-lauryl-sulfate-from-coconut-is-it-safer/

https://smartklean.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/top-10-reasons-to-avoid-sodium-lauryl-sulfate/