T is for Tree + Vine | Costumes that match a child’s imagination.

I have owned a sewing machine since I was thirteen. My Mom handed her’s down to me in almost new condition. It was a Singer and came with a cabinet so you could put it away when not in use. It was a workhorse that stayed with me through multiple apartments and homes. It finally died but it was a slow death. My grandmother, who was an amazing seamstress and quilted right up until her death at 93, knew a repair guy who could fix my sewing machine. He did. He fixed it many times. But, he was also in his nineties and eventually passed away. I could never find anyone else able to repair it.

Eventually, someone bought it at one of our yard sales. I hope they know someone with that special touch who might be able to breathe life into it again. I miss that sewing machine. It was the one I learned to sew on. My other grandmother taught me. We made a Gunny Sack dress that I adored and wore for years. We also made pink satin shorts and a matching jacket because I was in love with Shaun Cassidy of Hardy Boys fame and he wore a satin jacket. The shorts were a bonus.

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S is for Stringin’ Along with ME | Giving new life to old guitar strings.

My daughter went through a Shrinky DinksTM phase. Shrinky Dinks are sheets of plastic that can be drawn and colored on and then put in the oven where they shrink down forming a hard plastic. My daughter made me a pair of domino earrings out of the plastic sheets one year for mother’s day. I think I’m wearing them in my LinkedIn profile picture.  While I love them because they were made by my daughter, they are certainly not an environmentally friendly creation and for my letter S, I’m focusing on the opposite direction in jewelry art.

I am always in awe of recycled art and crafts people who turn discarded items into something beautiful again. I’ve been known to tackle a few recycled craft projects myself, and blogged previously about one of my creations in my post Recycled Magazine Circles Decorative Bowl. I love this stuff!

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R is for Recycled Lobster Rope Mats | No better way to say “welcome to my home”.

A recycled lobster rope doormat has been on my wish list for years. I love the ingenuity of their evolution. When federal regulations banned the use of float rope by Maine lobstermen, due to issues with whale entanglement, they had to switch over to sink rope and retire the float rope. While the rope could have ended up in a landfill, instead it became the manufacturing material for a new line of products.

While it’s still possible to find recycled versions of the float rope doormat, there are also other companies that now manufacture them using new rope opening up more tailored designs and colors. They are wonderful, but I prefer the environmentally friendly nature of recycling the used float rope.

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P is for Pike’s Original Maine Garden Hod | Practical and beautiful.

When we bought our home it came with three raised garden beds which of course meant I immediately envisioned summers with endless supplies of fresh herbs, vegetables and wild flowers without truly understanding the time and energy needed to achieve these results. Somehow, even with my lack of gardening skills, we did manage a couple of seasons with a good supply of herbs and wild flowers. We never managed the vegetables beyond a few tomatoes and one or two anemic bean poles.

Even with our limited success, as each new spring approaches I’m ready to dive in again but I’ve accepted that we probably won’t be feeding ourselves anytime soon. So one of my bucket list items for the year was to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and we’re about to check this one off our list. We bought a half-share of the organic vegetable CSA from Frith Farm in Scarborough.

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O is for October Fields | Finding my zen with clean burning soy candles.

One of my favorite quotes is from Gretchen Rubin, “The days are long, but the years are short.”  I think it’s just a great way to sum up our intensely busy lives and the importance in finding joy in the moments. Some weeks can seem to last forever, but then suddenly you’re into a new season. While I do try to appreciate all the moments, even the ones that are crazy busy, any time I can take a moment to breathe and slow things down is a good one.

One Friday night activity that allows me to slow the pace is staying up late, snuggled under a blanket, binge watching a favorite show on Netflix. To add to this peaceful vibe, I love to turn off all the lights and light one or two candles to add to the atmosphere. Candles really help set a mood and, at least for me, help to quiet down the chaos. We use them a lot at my house.

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