Happy Hour

Since its inception in the 1940s, the use of synthetic pesticides in farming has increased by over 50-fold. While they were developed to eliminate “harmful” threats to crops, they are now raising a number of environmental concerns; from reduced biodiversity to severe toxicity in humans and wildlife. According to “Sustaining the Earth”, more than 95% of herbicides and pesticides reach a destination other than their intended target. The balance is carried through wind and groundwater, leading to air/water pollution and soil contamination. Increased incidents of cancer, diabetes, miscarriage, and death from severe poisoning is being blamed on pesticide exposure.

I don’t know about you, but after all of that bad news, I could use a drink! Thank goodness that there are now spirits that allow us to still have our vices, but with a twist of virtue. Concerns about pesticide-use have led to an increased interest in the organic food movement and, as awareness grows, so do the number of products that contain organically-grown ingredients. A relative newcomer to the market, TRU has been handcrafting organic vodka and gin since 2008 and are touting themselves as the World’s first sustainable line of spirits. TRU’s line of quality vodkas (straight and flavored) and gin are made in California with pesticide-free, locally-sourced, 100% organic ingredients. That means no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or GMOs. In fact, according to the company, each bottle of TRU keeps 23 square feet of good old American farmland chemical-free.

So, we know what’s not in them, but what is? For the straight vodka, the ingredient list is just about as minimalist as you can get – nothing but organic wheat and vapor-distilled water. Genuine, fresh lemon and vanilla are added to the flavoured vodkas, and the TRU2 gin contains 14 botanical aromatics, such as juniper berries, lavender and chamomile. Yum!

The taste of TRU vodka is described as clean and pure; words that can also describe their overall philosophy when it comes to eco-awareness and sustainability. All products are packaged in sleek, lightweight bottles and shipped in recyclable, dual-use packaging (shipping cartons become store-displayers). Everything is either recycled, recyclable or biodegradable – even the corks and labels. It’s also worth mentioning that for every bottle that they sell, TRU plants a tree in the Central American rainforest. As I write this, over 60,000 trees have been planted and local farmers have been given training and support. I think that is definitely something to raise a glass to. Cheers!

Why not channel your inner Betty Draper and whip up one of these for your fella:

Classic Martini
2 ½ oz TRU2 Gin
½ dry vermouth
1 green olive or twist of lemon peel
– Add gin and vermouth to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an olive or lemon twist.

Or, try this one from the TRU website:

Honey Drop
3 oz TRU Straight Vodka
Squeeze of fresh grapefruit
Organic honey
– Shake vodka and grapefruit with ice, strain into martini glass, and garnish with swirl of honey.

  • Handknit Hugs
  • Rainbow Crochet Toasties
  • Aisles and aisles of tiny boxes
  • Twirly Fabulous Upcycled Sweater Skirts
  • Crescent Maille
  • G Street Fabrics
  • Felt Play Food from One & Only
  • Passive Aggressive Lunch Notes

Back to what??

Handmade Journal from Time for Tea Me

I’ve got bad news! Yes, you’ve probably heard already, back to school is right around the corner. Growing up I was that geeky kid who looked forward to back to school – big time! Sure I loved vacations, winter and summer breaks – but by the end of the summer I was ready for some new school supplies and to see what the new year would bring. It’s been years now since I’ve gone to school, but I still find that with fall approaching I’m usually starting to think it’s time for a sweater or some new kicks right around this time of year. And this year’s no different. Because I work from home here and again I justify some fun new office supplies or some art for around my desk. At this point I’ve got more art than I need and am thinking it’s time to get that art wall started that I’ve planned for ages….. But I digress!

Today I’d like to show you some of my finds from the world of handmade that might help you face a new school year with a smile or to feel just a little happier that fall is right around the corner. Personally I couldn’t be more stoked that fall is almost here. It’s been just so darn hot all summer that I know I’ll be happy to see the leaves change color and to feel that nice bit of briskness in the air. Heck, I might as well start unpacking my scarves and fall clothes now with the way I’m talking….

Without further ado – here are some of the fun handmade back to school picks I’ve found.

Flower Notebook by Chikabird

Laptop Sleeve from Byrd and Belle

Pencil Case from Kukubee

How about you? Are you looking forward to fall and back to school or would you prefer an “endless summer”?

If that’s what you’ve got in mind – this 2011 calendar can be purchased now from Myan Print Shop!

  • Handknit Hugs
  • Rainbow Crochet Toasties
  • Aisles and aisles of tiny boxes
  • Twirly Fabulous Upcycled Sweater Skirts
  • Crescent Maille
  • G Street Fabrics
  • Felt Play Food from One & Only
  • Passive Aggressive Lunch Notes

Neat and Chic

The hubby and I recently relocated from our one room studio to a two-bedroom house. It is, for the most part, married bliss. There’s nothing like having more than one bathroom to keep a marriage strong. However, there is one major drawback to the home: plaster walls. Those familiar with plaster will know that it is messy at best, crumbling and cracking at worst. We’ve got a bit of both. Short of repairing the walls and throwing on some new paint, I don’t want to stick anything bigger than a nail in these 60-year-old walls.

So what do we do? I want to decorate, but I’d rather not hang heavy sconces and shelves, only to come home to a hole in my wall the size of Texas. Thankfully, alternative inspiration came to the rescue! We were at a TMBG concert this past weekend, and the boys from the band were handing out window clings. Remember those lil clingy bits of plastic we used to buy from school magazines and stick on the bathroom mirror? I grew up and forgot, but luckily there are enough people in the world that grew up and remembered.

I am absolutely in love with that birch forest by Wall Decors. It would look smashing in a living room or entrance hall. The best part is, like those old school window clings, they’re non-destructive and easily removed. So even if you don’t have a lick of patience for painting and gluing you’ll be able to get this mighty forest up in your living room with no hassle.

There’s another caveat to married life that I failed to account for: the mighty french rooster. Every Italian kitchen has a rooster, of some shape or variety, sitting on the counter. Our house is small, so is the kitchen. We need every ounce of space we can get. However, as a good Italian homemaker I can’t let my kitchen go chickenless for long.

Chuck E Byrd Wall Art to the rescue! This mighty rooster would be proud to grace any kitchen wall. The variety of color options ensure a proper match for even the most eclectic kitchen.

We’re still enjoying the “honeymoon stage” of our marriage, but I’m sure there are quite a few readers out there with little bundles of joy along the way. It feels like all of my friends are having kids, and I’m either running to showers or singing at first birthdays.

Wouldn’t that tree by Original Walls look darling in your little girl’s room? Not to be outdone, there are a plethora of boy’s options too, from full-blown motorcycles to monkeys swinging in the trees. We all eventually hit the age where we want to decorate and define our own space, and wouldn’t it be so much easier if the beautiful mural of a horse was easily applied and removed, instead of repainting the entire room?

If you’re looking for something a little more gender neutral, I’m a big fan of these lights by Pop Decors. They’re a bit unusual in the best way. I’m particularly keen on the two little winged lights.

Vinyl wall art compared to paint and stencil is considerably more time and user-friendly. I can’t paint a circle to save my life, but I sure as anything can put a sticker on the wall. Remember these work best on clean, even surfaces, and don’t like being put on and pulled off too many times.

If you have cracks in your wall or ceiling (like I do) be sure to repair those before putting up any paint or decals. This way you’re not avoiding a potentially bigger issue. I know it’s tempting, but even though it may be pretty, if it’s hiding a problem it’s only a big ol’ band-aid.

  • Handknit Hugs
  • Rainbow Crochet Toasties
  • Aisles and aisles of tiny boxes
  • Twirly Fabulous Upcycled Sweater Skirts
  • Crescent Maille
  • G Street Fabrics
  • Felt Play Food from One & Only
  • Passive Aggressive Lunch Notes