Why I Marched For Climate Change (video)

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I joined with nearly 50, viagra 60mg 000 protesters who endured freezing winds to express their fervent desire that President Obama take bold action on climate change. For my husband, viagra Ted and I, the Forward on Climate rally was a culmination of years of living a green lifestyle. It was time to move beyond the recycling bin and compost pile to fight for climate justice. Sunday’s rally gave us an opportunity step up our commitment. It put the wind in our sails to demand urgent action on climate change. We chose on the ground activism because we’re not prepared to accept the inevitability of our children’s future without a fight.

President Obama had strong words to say in both his inaugural address and State of The Union about the need for urgent action on climate change. Before the SOTU, I was interviewed along with other environmentalists and asked what I wished President Obama would convey during his speech. I said it was time for him to address our climate concerns – the people’s concerns, not the oil, coal and gas companies that so many politicians on the Hill are beholden to. I said, “The political is personal.”

It was this singular focus that drove me to take to the streets of DC on Sunday and raise my voice with tens of thousands from all generations. It’s why I took bold action and pushed Ted and my friends, Dominique (who does not like crowds), and Kerry and Matt to join me.

I knew the rally would thrust us out of our comfort zone. I hadn’t protested in the streets since I boarded a bus to DC in high school with a bunch of bell-bottomed teenagers wearing peace buttons to oppose the Vietnam War. We were fighting for our future. I was wearing a tee-shirt my father printed with the slogan, “War is not healthy for children and other living things.”

On Sunday, being part of the climate solution meant going beyond green and marching forward. One of the handmade rally signs summed it up with a photograph of the Earth and these four words: “Too Big To Fail”

View more photos from the Forward for Climate rally HERE and HERE.

Catch a glimpse of the speakers and the energy of the rally in this video:

Photo: Ted Fink

DIY Valentine’s Day Staycation

"How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said." ~ Victor Hugo

“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.” ~ Victor Hugo

I once gave my unwavering opinion that staycations were not my idea of a vacation. You can read why I felt I would need a vacation from a staycation here.

Can I change my mind about this?

Although I will not go as far as to say that I would give up a delightfully warm week at the beach to stay home and watch the grass grow or the snow fall, I’m making a staycation exception: Valentine’s Day. All the usual Valentine Day niceties say “stay home.”

Seriously, all you need is love.

Rock found while snowshoeing with my honey after last week's snow storm.

Rock found while snowshoeing with my honey after last week’s snow storm.

DIY Valentine’s Day Staycation

Cards

I am a sucker for handmade cards. I’ve toyed with the idea of making a machine-stitched Valentine card like this, or an easy hand-stitched card. Folding origami valentines has been a suitable alternative. Although, these DIY Alexander Girard-inspired cards are begging to be tucked into a handcrafted envelope.

Home Décor

Along with romantic headboards, like this dreamy lipstick red DIY headboard, I’ve been noticing the allure of bed canopies. Here’s a round-up of DIY bed canopies.

Candlelight

Whenever candles are mentioned, my first response is to ditch paraffin candles (nasty by-products that emit greenhouse gases and soot). Here’s a DIY beeswax alternative.

How about LED tea lights? There’s a bit of a debate about whether or not LED lights pass the snuff test as a viable design alternative to the natural glow of wax candles. I picked up a 12-pack of LED tea lights at Homegoods and enjoy the muted glow of these candles in a candle holder — especially nice in a dark bathroom. This DIY threaded candleholder was created for use with LED tea lights.

Chocolate

I don’t cook much (hubby does), but I like to bake. These healthy chocolate cherry Valentine scones are on this year’s to-make list. Yum. The recipe includes DIY directions for creating a gift box that uses a homemade glue recipe.

Flowers

Unless you give organic flowers, conventionally grown flowers generally get a thumbs-down for eco-friendliness. Most cut flowers are grown in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. They are heavily sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and even DDT, creating problems for workers and florists. Add in the transporting time, and traditional flowers are not so lovely. Instead, create a dozen origami roses. Use leftover holiday tissue paper or cards. Or, how about a button bouquet?

Wine

Did you think my next suggestion would be to make wine for Valentine’s Day? Not. Although, my husband did make wine once for me. Love that guy. We still celebrate with wine, and here’s some organic wine pairing suggestions. I’m a big fan of  a mellow, rosy red Pinot Noir.

Staying home or going out?

Photo of heart rock: Ted Fink

Keep MLK’s Dream Alive

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As we pause to reflect on the ideals of racial equality and social justice Martin Luther King stood for, the convergence of MLK’s dream of non-violence could not be more at a crossroads.

We honor MLK on the same day as the inauguration of the first black president to his second term. Like many of you, I feel a deep privilege to have President Obama lead our country.

MLK urged non-violent activists to transform the strength of their passion and the justice of their cause, into compelling power.” He taught us that we are not powerless — when enough people are outraged, we can put a stop to destruction.

Whether the intersection of plaguing issues are those of the 1960’s — civil rights and anti-war, or the issues that threaten to potentially devastate our future — climate change and gun violence; it’s time to take a close look at those who represent the public good, and demand a better future.

This starts with President Obama, but it also lies with us — the American people. We must remain committed to MLK’s spirit of cooperation and collaboration, and use our voice against those who fight to destroy MLK’s dream of freedom, justice, and equality for all.

As Pres. Obama said in his second inaugural speech, “We are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.”

I sincerely believe if we are going to live up to the extraordinary vision of MLK, we must open our hearts to peace and dedicate a portion of our lives to a better future — together.

Credit: MLK Patchwork Portrait by MelindaJonesArt via Apartment Therapy

We Deserve Nothing Less

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“2012 was the hottest year on record for our nation. It was a year rife with droughts, cialis wildfires and extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy. In addition, cialis the number of weather catastrophes driven by climate disruption across the world has tripled since 1980, buy cialis with the greatest increases in North America. The situation is dire and requires nothing short of bold, decisive action by President Obama and our leaders to cut our addiction to fossil fuels and build a clean energy economy.” ~ Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club 

Do you consider this statement to be true? I do.

If you think this is just an environmentalist being an alarmistread this.

We need a plan that provides jobs, strengthens the economy, and fosters renewable energy innovation and technology.

And we need it now.

President Obama has the perfect opportunity to use his historical inaugural address to prove that he will be a leader in tackling climate change. If you believe our planet and our families deserve nothing less, please sign this. Thanks!

Poster via lithospherial

Dreaming In Color: A Free Knitted Hat Pattern

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“I never felt daunted by difficulties or blocked alleys. Somehow, I knew the path I was on was right, and my trust in that sense was stronger than the limitation of my own personal comforts or desires.” ~ artist and knitting designer, Kaffe Fassett

My daughter presented me with the autobiography of Kaffe Fassett, Dreaming In Color. The luscious multi-layered book has been feeding my post-holiday soul. In the afterglow of holiday overload, extended family dinners and massive clean ups, I pause each evening and curl up with this book. The inspirational words and opalescent photographs of Kaffe’s lifelong creative journey have encapsulated me from the harsh reality of the last few weeks.

Kaffe Fassett's art, Dreaming In Color

Kaffe Fassett’s art, Dreaming In Color

From Kaffe’s bohemian beginnings in Big Sur to his royal rambles in England, his life unfolds to touch the hearts of painters, mosaic and fabric artists. But the book reaches deep into the souls of knitters who cannot resist replicating his colorful and whimsically patterned designs.

I took a workshop with Kaffe in Lenox, MA in the ‘80’s when his book, Glorious Color landed in the U.S. Following Kaffe’s visionary career has influenced my use of color and my knitting ethic. It blew away my neutrally classic ideas about color. What…me use such revolutionary colors? What…me leave my unwoven yarn ends dangling? It was a lawless approach that I wholly embraced. All very freeing and bursting with wonder!

Kaffe Fassett knitted design.

Kaffe Fassett knitted design.

Dreaming In Color reads like a visual pattern. The book is gorgeously designed, which is no surprise given publisher and friend, Melanie Falick’s expert eye for both editing and design.

It is the perfect book to top off the holiday and sustain a knitter throughout the long winter months.

Earlier this season, I thought about Kaffe Fassett when I chose the colors for my knitted gifts. I designed a simple hat (above) that stitched up quickly, and I’m glad a riot of colors landed in my knitting bag — orange, turquoise, chartreuse, ochre — knitted with a thick, nubby, soft merino yarn.

 

In the openness of the New Year, let’s remember the best things in life are handmade – from our precious children to the coziest of hats.


Chunky Hat (free knitting pattern)

Materials
2 skeins Malabrigo Merino yarn
Size 11 circular 11″ needles
Size 11 double pointed needles
Tapestry needle

Directions
Cast on 56 sts on circular needle. Place marker and join.

K2, P2 for approximately 6″

Begin decrease rows as follows (change to double pointed needles when it becomes too tight on the circular needles):

Row 1: k4, k2 tog, repeat around row
Row 2: k around row
Row 3: K3, k2 tog, repeat around row
Row 4: k around row
Row 5: K2, k2 tog, repeat around row
Row 6: k around row
Row 7: K1, K2 tog, repeat around row
Row 8: K2 tog repeat until 6 sts remain.

Cut yarn, leaving 6” tail and thread tapestry needle, draw needle thru remaining 6 sts. Pull tightly, weave in ends.

Main photo: Ben Fink, model: Jordyn Cormier