Sunday, March 30, 2008

ACEO:art card, editions and originals. A Review.

I have always wanted an original piece of art - be it painted, collage, a wonderful one off lino/block print- in my home. As a child I always thought art made peoples homes look worldly and classy. I still think it makes you look interesting, if not always classy. But great art comes at a premium, as does wall space. Recently, I have come across ACEO's. They're wonderful 2.5" x 3.5" works made just for collecting. How fun! An opportunity to display wonderful pieces without breaking the bank or having your walls come down on you! I recently discovered Diana Crites a wonderful artist in several mediums who tells my own stories (it seems) through her artwork. She has recently had some of her favorite pieces printed in a limited (to 66) edition ACEO so that everyone can enjoy her work. Please check out this up and coming artist in her Etsy store - and get a piece while you can. You won't regret it!

Here is my favorite, a piece entitled "Faith". It says so many things about my thoughts on the subject, and in a nice accessible way. It's delightful and darkly whimsical.

She is also a master with a pen, check out Harriet, Konrad, and The Tailor! Harriet is also available in her Etsy shop - But I call dibs!!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Green Saturday: Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Thing One's birthday is coming up soon. His great love right now: baseball. Seriously, sometimes I wonder if David Ortiz really IS his Papi. We bought him tickets to a Padres game (no Red Sox this year, though.) and I was presented with an interesting "green" ticket delivery choice. It even said "Go Green!" You can elect to have your tickets held in virtual Will Call, and print them out at the gate by swiping your credit card. They had me at green until I realized I would just be printing them anyway. I opted for home printing (on recycled paper; and I know I recycle used ink cartridges.) Anyway, it led me on a hunt for some interesting developments in the sporting world, not really known for it's Eco-Friendliness.

The New National's Park in Washinton, D.C. is awaiting certification from the U.S Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (better known as LEED.) Here's a link to an interactive story about the new park. Here's the official team website. I'll bet they have great Veggie Burgers, too.

Not a baseball fan? The Philadelphia Eagles are as green as they come in the NFL. They have a Go Green link on their homepage that outlines the new Eagles Forest (you can buy a tree!) and the Eagles attempts at Carbon Neutral Games. Here's an ABC news article about the greenest team in the NFL. Go Eagles!

Love golf? Here's a fabulous resource provided by Audubon International for finding environmentally friendly courses, getting your course or club involved, and ways golf courses can help the environment. You can also become an Audubon Green Golfer and make a pledge to adhere to the golf environmental etiquette tips above and join others who are making a public statement about their love of the game and love of the natural environment where the game is played.

My favorite genre of sports is also one of the most harmful. I love motorsports, and I was so glad to see the governing body of Formula One (the FIA) show their support for the Make Cars Green Campaign. Gotta love Honda's Car this year, too. :) Wired magazine had an article about F1's Green Measures last year HERE. Maybe there is hope for all of motorsports.

And always remember to think green on your way to and at the event. Take public transportation, walk if you can. Do you really need a golf cart? And make sure to recycle those beer cans after your Daytona party! If they can do it, so can we.

Play ball!

Friday, March 28, 2008

An open letter to my blog . . .

Dear disjointed thoughts (though this is neither a thought nor a musing, but closer to the former),

I am sorry if you feel that I have abandoned you. I have not, and am in fact researching tomorrow's Green Saturday as I type. Let me lay it out. Weeklong trip to Texas to see the in-laws. (Wonderful people, mind you, I love them Very much.) I love my In-Laws so much, in fact, that well, I didn't have time. I only see them every year and 1/2 or so, last time Thing Two was 2 months old, she's 19 months old now. Dad had the flu. Now El Jefe has the flu. Thing Two has some kind of crud. Thing One has a new Xbox 360 game from Great Grandma and is camped out in the TV room. I was just busy. I went back to work today. Whoa. Crazy how things can go downhill in only 8 days. So many fires to put out, so little time. Sigh. See you tomorrow!

- missfire

Monday, March 24, 2008

Music Mondays!!

Todays feature is Nerina Pallot, a young lady from London who is just my style. Raw, simple and beautiful.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Green Saturday - Earth Friendly Bags!

Every time I go to the store, I see branded, earth friendly cloth bags. Everybody's doing it- it must be in! The green movement is on the rise, and it's cool to be seen with your reusable bags; but who wants a cool bag with bullseye boutique logo on it?? Or Wally world? Heck no! Today let's explore the wonderful world of reusable bags!

First (of course) my bags - EarthWiseBags! I prefer the green basic bags, myself, but they now carry collectible Simpson's bags, too! Why do I love my EarthWise bags? They're the perfect size for the back of my car (a Scion xB 1st gen), the handles are jut the right size for throwing over my shoulder and carrying heavy groceries upstairs, and they're GREEN! So everyone knows just how trendy I am!

Next are Morsbags. Why do Morsbags rock? They're reusable bags made with recycled/upcycled materials by other socially conscious individuals! Here's their blurb:
let’s do something positive to reduce the hideous number of plastic bags being used - 1 million are consumed per minute globally - of which hundreds of thousands end up in the oceans.

the idea is to get together with people in your local community, drink wine and make reusable cloth bags (from old duvet covers, curtains from charity shops etc) and hand them out to the unsuspecting public for free on specified dates outside different supermarkets.

meet new people, do something marvellous for the planet and beat other pods (groups) of baggers with your morsbag tally.

go to to be a part of a wonderful thing!

p.s. non-commercial/ non-profitable - just full of beneficial things for everyone, especially whales!

A great resource for reusable bags, EcoBags has it all. Whether you're looking for a string bag for produce, or a simple cloth bag with handles, they've got it. You can also pick up a SIGG drinking bottle for those hot treks from the farmer's market with your loot! I especially like their produce bags, much better than those thin plastic bags they give you at the store. Made of lightweight Natural or Organic cotton, they make great gift bags, too.

There are also LOTS of wonderful reusable bags on Etsy like these canvas totes from RedPaperRecord with a gentle funny message handprinted on them. Another favorite are these produce bags in ripstop nylon from kootsac perfect for all of the bulk flour and grains.

And if you buy from Etsy, you're buying homemade and supporting small business! Cloth bgs are great for the environment AND your image. I hope you find some that fit for YOU!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

World Travel Wednesday (a little early)

Since I'll actually be traveling on Wednesday, I thought I would give everyone a sneak peak of my trip. We're off to Texas to visit family this week. Texas, if you've never been, is a whole other world. Several of them, n fact. It's an amazing state. Whatever preconcieved notions you have of Texas (be they football, cowboys and ranches or great food) are probably true somewhere. But Texas is everything else, too. El Jefe is a wonderful amateur photographer, and one our favorite trips in this great state is exploring the Missions that were it's start. We'll start with Mission San Jose. (Click for bigger pictures!)

Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo was established in 1720, and was founded by Father Antonio Margil de Jesús. It has a real working mill - great for the kids to see.

Next post - Mission Concepcion. Stay tuned!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Music Monday!! (a little late)

Today in honor of what is still St. Patrick's Day here in So Cal, a few selections from my favorite Irish artist (and the bestselling solo artist from Ireland). With a beautiful voice that pales in comparison only to Alison Krauss (maybe next week?) Enya has been popular for decades. Her music is timeless and simple and ethereal. Lullabies for adults. Sleep well and dream of Shamrocks and pots of gold!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Green Saturday: Carbon Neutrality

Carbon Neutrality is a subject which has interested me for a while. I saw a bumper sticker a while back (normally I don't like bumper stickers - a story for another day) that peaked my inerest. It said something like "This Car Is Emission Free!" with a website.

In the years since my children were born, I have made a fairly conscious effort to be as green as I could without skimping on what I consider necessities. (I still shower daily, use shampoo, use bleach, etc.) But Carbon Neutrality has always seemed like an easy way to reduce my personal impact on the planet. Just pay a small fee (see HERE for's review of several carbon offset businesses) and you can either have trees planted or support the use of renewable power sources.

How much of a carbon footprint do YOU have? Check HERE to see the impact of your household!

Planning a wedding? Worried about the environmental impact of our event? Check HERE to see how you can offset by number of guests, those flying, down to the kind of hotel your guests are staying in. You can offset your rehearsal dinner, too!

Going on vacation? Worried about the emissions of the plane? allows you to offset a flight by letting you choose the airports and the number of passengers. Not ALL airports are available (ie, when offsetting my trip to Texas, I had to select LA instead of San Diego) but you can select flights from all over the world.

All things considered, the best way to reduce your CO2 is to REDUCE you emissions. Drive your car less, slow down for better mileage, open a window instead of using the AC. But for those necessary things like trips far away and just living, think about reducing your footprint with carbon offsets.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Pet-tacular!

I had a request for kitty pictures, so I thought I would share a little about my pets today. Currently we have two, a goldfish named Lulu who is four years old and was fished from a kiddie pool by Thing One with his bare hands. Poor Lulu shouldn't have survived a week, never mind four years, two tanks, three moves and a 3-7 year old boy. But she's seemingly happy in her little tank (an upgrade from her bowl when we learned she was a trooper) with a little fishy tank statue of Gary to keep her entertained. I have no pictures of Lulu, but she's a goldfish. A feeder type.

I also no longer have these guys :(. I miss them, they were so neat!

Their names are Crockett and Tubbs, and they are Giant African Millipedes. (That's a 5 gallon tank, for size reference.) Their primary diet is cucumber (although they do like other fruits and veggies) and they like to nibble on plain chalk for the calcium to keep their shells strong. They are the easiest to care for pets I've ever had, and way more interesting to watch than a fish tank (when they're active.) The downside is that a lot of my friends were freaked out. They don't live very long, and I miss them :(.

And last is my kitty, Miss Violet.

And Miss Naked and not happy Violet.

Violet is ten (July 6th, 97) and has been my baby since before I had babies. In fact she was my trial baby. She is a Maine Coon (pure guess, really, but she fits the bill) and weighs 16 pounds. That's a lot of lazy cat-ness. She sleeps in the crook of my knee and meows every morning at 5:30 for food. She doesn't really stop begging for chow until we go to bed. :) We love her!!

I love my fur, scale and exoskeleton babies. Next pet-tacular will be about the other animals in my life. (With a vet in the family, there's a lot!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

World Travel Wednesday

Today we go to Hong Kong, probably my favorite place to visit in Asia. Hong Kong is a wonderful city with absolutely everything to do, and people of every country to share the experience with. Lots and LOTS of people. So many that there is a large floating city in Aberdeen Harbour that you can tour. (On a boat, and only after negotiating a good price with the tour guide!) Aberdeen Harbour also boasts the Jumbo floating restaurant, a tourist must-see! (Click for bigger pictures!)

Within the floating city are many different kinds of boats, each a home and workplace for a family. This family is drying their cuttlefish catch on the roof.

This is a favorite shot from Aberdeen that day and reminded me of home. I wanted to go pet him!

Hope you enjoyed our little trip, and come back next week and see where else we go!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm featured in a blog!!

Design to Save The World has me as their featured seller today! Thanks so much, and stay tuned for more Eco-Friendly Etsy sellers to come!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Music Monday!! (St. Pat's Edition)

Happy Monday! St. Patrick's day is coming soon, do you have 'yer corned beef and cabbage ready to go?? In honor of music Monday and St. Pat, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite Irish tunes. (I'm Irish by birth - named after my Great Granny Jenny O'Connell, but I become a lot more Irish this time of year!)

First off, my new favorite. A little ditty from Flogging Molly called "What's Left Of The Flag".

An old favorite, and the necessary Riverdance vid - Countess Cathleen by Bill Whelan. Jean Butler is absolutely stunning.

Because I miss home so much this time of year, The Dropkick Murphys "I'm Shipping Up To Boston". There will never be a better place in the world to be than Southie on St. Pats. Just sayin'.

And the best for last - my favorite song. The one that reminds me of all that is dear to me at home when I'm miles away across the world. The one that keeps me sane when I can't stand the sound of my own heart and the sea any longer. Afro Celt Sound System "Persistence of Memory".

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ahh! I've been tagged!!

Thanks Callooh Callay for tagging me! (She has the coolest slithiest blog ever!) Now (by law, apparently) I have to tell you seven random and personal things about me and pass it on to others. Here's the skinny!

1) It took me seven tries to get my Driver's license in Massachusetts. Failures included running a stop sign, hitting a snowbank and my dad talking to me during my test. (He still feels bad.) Three years later it only took me one try in California. And I have a Motorcycle license too. Look out world!!

2) I collect hobbies. Our computer nook/craft area has become a haven for all of my failed projects. I'm glad I love the jewelry so much, but I wonder now what to do with all of my fabric, paper goods and assorted unfinished projects.

3) I'm addicted to the internet. I tried "weaning" myself for New Year's, but failed. All I found were different sites to chat with different people. I ALWAYS have at least 2 windows open at a time and I must check CNN and Fark 5 times a day at least.

4) I have a cat who is in serious need of a check-up and grooming (she's a fat maine coon who is too big to reach her own back.) I know she needs a haircut, and El Jefe grumbles about the fur constantly, but I can't get off my butt to do it. She definitely plays third fiddle to the kids.

5) I live two blocks away from a small municipal airport and down the flight line. Sometimes at night when planes are flying low over the house waiting to land, I'll jump out of bed to make sure they're not going to hit the house. I'm not sure what my plan is, it's not like I'm going to stop a Beechcraft with my mind.

6) I'm an atheist and apparently this is a christian part of town. It wasn't an issue before, but now that I have kids in school it comes up more than I would like. It almost makes me ashamed to be who I am and that makes me sad. I'm also sad for my kids.

7) I'm a coffee addict. Starbucks or anything, just Maxwell House every morning at least. I bought Toasted Marshmallow syrup at the Bullseye Boutique in the $1 Spot to liven up Sundays; when I make my own at home. If you take nothing else from this blog - take this. Don't buy coffee syrup for $1 at Target.

I tag Kerry, Weird Bug Lady, and Sheila. Al folks I would like to know a little more about. This was fun!! Thanks, Callooh Callay! Oh frabjous day!


Saturday, March 8, 2008

What's a Nurdle??

I'm starting a new feature - Every Saturday I will blog about something GREEN!! This week (today) I learned about nurdles. Nurdles are the raw plastic that is shipped to manufacturers of bottles, car parts, toys, plastic bags, anything made of plastic. They absorb a very large volume of toxins and are extremely dangerous to sea life. Check out these resources and learn more about them!
Green Museum
Ecology Center
What's a Nurdle - Greenpeace

For my Cali friends, please check out "Heal The Bay" for an overview of the Pacific Protection Initiative!

Have a green weekend!!