{happy earth day giveaway}

I'm a tree hugger at heart.  Truly.  I have  a Bachelor of Science degree in environment and natural resources and spent the first part of my career working in park law enforcement aka Park Ranger.  Carrying a gun, making arrests and riding horses, mountain bikes and boats in lots of beautiful parks across the US.  Protecting our resources and spending my time in the great outdoors. Dream.  Come.  True.

And so, I carry this love for the environment with me, forever.  And into my sewing business too.  Which is why when I meet people in this industry who are like minded - it just makes me very happy.

Back in 2010, I had the pleasure to meet Jan DiCintio of Daisy Janie at Quilt Market in Houston.  Kindred spirits.  Jan and I chat frequently about kids, health, business and our shared love for the environment.  Jan is an amazing designer who self produces an organic fabric line.  Any chance I can get to support what she does for the love of our earth...I love to do it!

As a sewing pattern designer, it is such a joy when I get to feature amazing fabrics in my projects.  Even more amazing when they are GOTS certified organic fabrics.  It is of no surprise that I have used two of Jan's latest lines on two of my newest patterns.

Here's the best part about this fabric and pattern relationship Jan and I have...to celebrate EARTH DAY...we are giving away a fat quarter bundle AND patterns!  We are giving two packages away : one on each of our blogs.

Shades of Grey is such a great line.  I can find a million ways to use this line - if you follow what I do, I'm not shy about color.  Which is why I love pieces like this that balance out those pops of color - I love it to create monochromatic themed projects too!  I used this line on my new pattern, The Date Night Clutch.  Check out the cover photo on my facebook page for another peek at this bag.  Here's one of our giveaway packages:

Giveaway Package #1:  - 1 Date Night Clutch pattern - 1 fat quarter bundle of Shades of Grey - 1 surprise home dec pattern from Trish - 1 surprise scrap pack of fabric from Jan

Then Jan came out with Tilly!  Oh, sweet wonderful Tilly!  Hard to resist with great colors that just happen to match just about all of my home decor!  I see new curtains and chair covers in my future with Tilly.  I was super excited to feature Tilly on my newest pattern...and come to think of it - I haven't even introduced this pattern to all of you yet.

So here is her grand debut (although, she started shipping to stores almost 3 weeks ago) - Always a Bridesmaid Clutch.  Giveaway package 2!

Giveaway Package #2: - 1 Always a Bridesmaid bag Pattern - 1 fat quarter bundle of Tilly - 1 surprise home dec pattern from Trish - 1 surprise scrap pack of fabric from Jan

Of course, you need not have a wedding or prom in mind to make either of these bags.  They would make great date night bags for dinner out with your favorite guy and being a Mom of a toddler - either bag could also make a super stylish diaper / wipes accessory bag.

The Date Night Clutch comes with a version with a zipper and one with a tabbed magnetic snap closure.  The Always a Bridesmaid bag folds open to create a larger bag, tuck the flap down behind the tie or secure it with a snap and add a lovely fabric flower brooch.

(you can also catch a glimpse of another sweet friend of mine and fav designer, Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom whose fabrics are featured on version B of this bag)

How to enter our Happy Earth Day Giveaway...

1) One entry, leave me a comment sharing your best every day earth day tip that you and your family live by.

2) Extra entries - like Daisy Janie and Two Peas on Facebook.  Leave a separate comment for each.

 PLUS - Jump over to the Daisy Janie blog and enter there too!

  • Giveway ends on Sunday, 4/22 at midnight EST.
  • 1 winner will be chosen from the Two Peas entrants to win Package #2.
  • Winner will be chosen by a random number generator
  • 1 entry per person. Dupes will be deleted.
  • Open to US & International entries.
  • Fabric not to be resold!
  • Winners will be announced on Monday, 4/23.

(Earth Day is on Sunday, April 22nd!)  Maybe celebrate Earth Day by making up some of Jan's produce bags (and say no to plastic!).

Our family's best every day earth day tip :: Compost!  We compost food scraps and recycle most of our waste.  It takes us 4 to 5 weeks to actually fill our garbage can for trash pick up.  Typically, we have one kitchen trash bag per week from our entire house of 5, working to make that even less.  We start with a sink side compost container.  We dump that daily into a larger container off of our back deck.  And then the Gardener (my hubs) rolls that one down to our garden and dumps it onto our compost pile to make garden gold!

With any luck, this giveaway will at the very least teach you a little more about why purchasing products that support sustainability are important.  Be sure you read HERE - all the great things that Jan has shared about why this part of sustainable agriculture is critical in her Growing Organically series.  I could go into all of the science of it - this stuff I roll around in at my day job working at the university in environment and natural resources - but the reality is that our global population is growing and in order to feed the world we need to take care of our soils, our water, our air, our planet.  It's that simple.  Be good to the planet.  In everything you do.

Happy Earth Day!


The Gardener goes BIG!

You know how boys never seem to outgrow their toys?  Their toys just get bigger?

Each year, the gardener (aka my husband), goes out with tiller and tills up the garden at the end of the season, getting it ready for next year.  This year, he and his Uncle decided they needed to expand the size of the garden.  See...the gardeners Uncle planted a HUGE garden this year and sold at the local farmers market.  My gardener was envious, I think.  The gardener and his Uncle have been chatting away for hours about tractors, dirt, bugs, seeds, squash, potatoes and more.  I think in retirement, they secretly want to be farmers.  Which, secretly, I love.

I could hear over the roar of the tractor something about sweet potatoes.  After they worked on the top garden near the house, they went down the sled hill and into the pasture and tilled up a big patch there.  Turnips, oats and all kinds of things were planted there.  Here's the one catch to the winter plantings though...

...I thought it was strange the gardeners "hunting buddies" all kept dropping by to see the "food plots".  Huh?  Turns out...all that work and food being planted down in the pasture is for the deer.  Because the gardener is all about organic and the true "hunting and gathering" thing in providing for his family.

Now mind you, these guys love nature.  They love sitting still in the woods and listening to the trees sway and the squirrels jump from limb to limb.  They talk and plan all year for deer season and honestly, it is truly more about the "hunt" than it is about the "kill".  Because they do a WHOLE lot of hunting and very little killing.  We usually get one deer a year.  But, the gardener and his buddies, each evening, meet up on our driveway, gear up, walk down the hill to their tree stands together, then a few hours later, come back up, stand in the driveway and chat more before calling it a night.  I think it's like girls getting together to go shopping and sit down for coffee to talk...this is their version.

So it turns out these "food plots" and winter cover crops weren't planted for us humans but rather for the wildlife.  Boys and their toys.  It makes me smile to see my husband and his buddies having such a good time "playing".  I swear, everytime I mention to them, "are you boys having fun on your playdate"...they just laugh.  Because, in fact, there is something very wonderful about having friends to play with.  It makes my gardener a better person to get to hang out with his buddies and dig in the dirt.

He did say that in the Spring, that big garden down below would be converted to goodies for us...mainly squashes and watermelons and canteloupes and more.  Sounds perfect to me!  Go play!



{dirt don't hurt}

I am often reminded of how close I am to God when I just get close to the soil.  All of that dirt that sustains us.  Nourishes our bodies.  Feeds the roots of the trees that help clean the air we breathe.  Feeds my soul.

"Ecological Sustainability"

"Live within our means"

"Skin of the earth"

These words really grab at my heart.  I know, you're thinking - what the huh is she talking about?

The other evening, I was watching a special on PBS (we don't have cable TV, never will) on the Independent Lens - a movie called, Dirt, the Movie. It was based on the book titled Dirt, the Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Bryant Logan.

You know those feelings you get when something really excites you and motivates you and encourages you and inspires you?  Dirt does that for me.  Growing up, I remember being very small and walking with my Dad and Grandfather on my grandparents farm down in their woods.  I remember my Grandfather pointing out wildflowers to me and talking about the trees.  I fell so deeply in love with the sounds and smells of nature and it has always excited my heart.  God created everything we need.  Our  every need can be found in the dirt beneath our feet and all around us.  Our earth has it all.

When I went to college and majored in environment and natural resources, I would be absolutely giddy being so immersed in everything that has to do with the outdoors.  As a parent, I know that part of my job is to teach my children about the God that gave us life and all of His creation.  Most of our life together as a family revolves around having our hands in dirt, our feet on a trail, exposing our lungs to wonderful fresh air.

{“Children should be allowed to go barefoot in the dirt, play in the dirt, and not have to wash their hands when they come in to eat,”} Dr. Joel Weinstock

Dirt is good for you.  Good for your immune system.  Necessary for our food supply.  One of the quotes I loved from this film was "live within our means".  In everything.

We live in this gotta have it now society.  'Kids these days' think that when they get out of school, they will have the house, the car, all the furnishings, the job, the gadgets - everything right now.  Whatever happened to working for it?  Saving and earning?  In this gotta have it now society, we often overlook how that lifestyle degrades our environment.

Living within our means, ecologically speaking, means that we can't continue with our massive industrial farming ways.  We have to nurture the soil.  Bring the ways of the past back.  Think about sustainable living.  Live simply.  Teach our kids where our food comes from.  Plant a garden.  Compost.  Buy local foods.  Support the small family farmer.  Drive our car less.  Turn off the TV more.  Go outside.  Be engaged in nature.  Appreciate.  Give thanks.  Slow down.

When I think about these things I think clear back to that time when I was a kid.  When those feelings about being outdoors so excited me and still do.  When I would dream about the man I would marry someday, I dreamed how he would share in that love of the outdoors. He would be a cross between a cowboy and a farmer.  God brought exactly that man to me.  Exactly the life He planned for me.  And I am so thankful for the bounties that lie outside my own backdoor that He provides for my family.

What about you?  What do you think about sustainable living?  What things do you do as a family that help to promote sustainable living?

Check out the trailer for the movie here...I hope you love it as much as I did.