Happy New Year:On to the New Resolutions

Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic

Here to help you ring in the New Year is our beloved Beaker:

And now that the fun part of the post is over…on to my 2009 resolutions.

As a World Member...Buy less and used more often. Plain and simple. The month of No Buy did actually teach me a little something; we often buy too quickly. We’ve never been huge shoppers…but tend to just get what we think we need as quickly as we think we need it. Turns out…a lot of what we thought we needed was eventually found in a closet, or turned out to be not necessary at all in the long run. The fact that this may leave a little extra money in the travel budget is definitely an added plus.

As a Community Member…Do more charity work…especially where I can drag the kids along. My husband and I have run a charity drive, and always donate what we can to whatever anyone else is doing, and donate money to several groups we believe are doing a good job, but our actual physical charity work has been sparse. The reason being that we don’t want to sacrifice family time on the weekends. If we could incorporate family time into the giving, that would be perfect. One of the reasons Operation Santa is so special for our family is our kids get to be involved. They get to go shopping with me and pick out whatever is on the list. It has been amazing watching my 5 year old discover real empathy for people he has never even met. Those letters from shelters are a real glimpse into the work to be done in the world.

As Mama…As always…try to raise kids that are well loved and love the world. Hopefully the added charity work and travel will help in these efforts. I also plan to work on that desperately needed patience required when one has a house full of very energized and creative little men…even when one little man is screeching that the other little man is looking at his toes funny. Patience. Patience. Patience. This one may take me a few decades…but I’ll do my best. Or start shooting myself with tranquilizer darts.

As the Organic Needleget stocked up and better organized. There are several opportunities I could take advantage of…like local health food stores that would be open to my produce bags…if I could only produce enough to provide them a steady supply. Plus craft fairs…whole other ball of yarn. My wee one will be in nursery for a whopping 2 hours…so I’m, hoping with some sort of discipline and scheduling I can accomplish this. Not sure exactly where I put my discipline and organization, but I’m pretty sure it is one of the piles near my sewing machine.

So…that is it for me. I’m sure there are a few more things I could improve but why go for perfect…it would just make everyone else feel bad. Better to keep it nice and mediocre. Thanks everyone for helping me throughout this past year with my design ides, greenery, and just keeping sane. I look forward to another great year with my Needle. Happy New Year Everyone!



So How Did We do With Last Year’s Resolutions….

Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic

I was able to dig up my resolutions for 2008…another little blast from my blogger past. I added a little self-critique in bold so I can claim it is a new post. How did you do with your 2008 resolutions? Be honest. (I will know if you lie…one of my many little evil powers.)

Resolutions 2008

OK. we all make them. So here are(were) mine….
Personally– I am going to work on listening more, talking less and trying to find the good in everyone… yes, everyone, well….maybe not Bush. Hell, even him. I bet he can do something right- like make a mean bean dip. I never did find the good in Bush…but I did try…with a few failures…to find it in everyone else. This one might need another year of work.

Financially– Before years end both businesses will be in as much full swing as they can be. Happy to say that this in fact did happen!!! My husband and I created, mainly him, a fantasy sport game designed to teach math to middle schoolers. It has been completed, incorporated, and used by a a school for their summer math program. And of course… Organic Needle has taken on a happy little life of its own. Hopefully the new year will bring new adventures for both.

Try to always remember that my main goal in everything is to raise two boys
who feel loved and who easily love – people and life in general. I have tried my best…but can this ever really be taken off the to-do list? It is a life’s work.

GloballyDecrease the impact. My biggest obstacle in trying to make our home a little green is clothing. Gladly take any suggestions from the …audience? I find buying organic cotton or renewable resource clothing almost impossible for a family. My husband dresses for work- not even on the radar in anything
remotely environmentally friendly. My kids outgrow clothes before I get them home from the store. Who can afford that all in organic. Plus, with two toddlers, my clothes are pretty much disposable. This will definitely be my biggest challenge. Mixed bag here. We cut way back on buying. Kids lived almost entirely in hand-me-downs. As for me…let’s just say you’ll see something about this on this year’s list too.

Set the bar nice and low for myself…and still can’t say I cleared it. I’m just happy I didn’t make any foolish promises to get in shape. 2008



Year in Review

Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic, organicneedle, organicneedle bags

It is about this time last year that I began an attempt to focus my energy and creativity on projects outside the box of mommydom. To track my new efforts I decided to start a little blog…not thinking it would amount to too much, just a little outlet to keep from becoming the woman who shows up at school with lipstick on her forehead. But then things happened…with a little help. Well… here it is…where I was a year ago…the beginnings of the organicneedle…the seedling stage.

December 28, 2007
Starting A Blog
This blog is one of hopefully many steps I will be taking to regain, or at least incorporate a little, an adult existence. I have spent the past 41/2 years home, raising my two boys. I don’t feel the need at the moment to go on and on about the endless joys of motherhood -which there are many. My focus here is on finding a life beyond- perhaps regaining some of the old and definitely adding some new. Pre-babies I was a NYC teacher. Although I loved teaching, my youngest is only 18 months and I have no desire to ship him off to daycare yet. So going back to my old life, old identity, even many of my old friends, isn’t fully possible. But there still has to be something that fits, that uses an adult brain without sacrificing the priority of child raising. I find my lack of intellectual stimulation is causing me to be bored with many things I previously enjoyed. I feel myself less interested in the same old mom conversations. Less sure of who I am and what I want to say or do in life. I have always been a rather focussed, success driven person. After being home for a few years I find myself sitting on several side projects, two of which are small businesses well into the planning phases, without the motivation to complete anything. I feel like I have been mentally sidelined and I’m not quite sure how exactly to get back into the game- or which game I even want to play. I know I am not the first woman to feel herself slipping away into the cloak of motherhood, nor will I be the last. It gets even the best of us. My hope that is if I have a place to report to, bounce ideas off of, I will keep my quest to remain a whole person a priority and not let it slip down the list of things to do below the laundry.
Posted by organicneedle at 8:00 PM

Here’s one of the key things that happened that I must share with you…a little lesson in encouragement. It was Burbanmom who found my little pee-on of a blog and encouraged me every step of the way to keep going…my own needle-wielding cheerleader. If I had gone unheard would I have persevered? I’m not sure I would have. See, in the beginning, I didn’t tell anyone of my bizarre ideas about sewing…and bags. Just not what my crew does…a little too homespun…unsafe…weird. But she heard and took the time to respond, really respond,…and I will always be in her debt. An encouraging word is sometimes all someone needs to make a really important step…or stitch. So in the incoming year remember not to be stingy with those positive words…they are much more powerful than you can imagine.



Happy Holidays:Hope Santa Gives You Something Better Than What I Got

Posted by organicneedle in family, handmade holidays

I haven’t forgotten about you people. Just have been a flutter with trying to get orders out and dealing with the parade of coodies marching through my house this month. (I am this close to saying screw green cleaning and just bleaching the tuna salad out of the place. Seriously…I’m living in a petri dish.) Plus…the usual 4,000,000 things that fall on the Mama’s side of the holiday to-do list. (In his defense my husband did hang 3 ornaments. That’s about half the holiday work, right ladies? I guess he’s pacing himself. I am sooo totally going to use up all his glue on purpose.) And what does ol’ needle get for all of her awesome efforts? Well it appears Santa has rewarded me with a big ol’ stocking full of bronchitis. So…I would give you the usual big ol’ Ho Ho Ho Happy Holidays deal…but all I can get out is a ho and a half and then I pass out. (I’m sure there is a good dirty joke in there but I’m too dizzy to work it out.) santa
Yes…I’ve used this picture before but who could resist? I’m only superhuman, after all. Happy Holidays Everyone!



Drinking for the Cause…Yeah…Sure…That Is Why

Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic, energy, recycling

The holidays are certainly a time to spend extra time with loved ones…and if your family is like mine…a time to drink heavily. This means a few more bottles of wine in the ol’ recycle bin and a few more corks in the trash, no? Not so fast there Drunkie. corkThe bottles can always be saved, sterilized, and used for next years home made vinegar creations. And what about the cork? (Which is a real cork of course because I already told you months ago about the importance of that little issue in the bottle post.) Allie gave some great suggestions in her recycling tips section about what to do with your hole plugs. Me… I’ve got enough projects I can’t get done…so the one that caught my eye lets some other poor schlub do the designing and making. Yes…I will be ringing in the new year with yet another collection of “trash” to drive my poor husband insane. I’ll be saving and shipping my corks here: Yemm & Hart, who are up to their corks in experimentation and creating some nifty looking tiles. So hallelujah…a Christmas miracle…a valid reason to say screw the wine budget. Someone out there needs my corks…and who am I to stand in the way of eco-innovation.



Check Out My Scarves! Or…Why Babies Hate Me

Posted by organicneedle in organicneedle, organics, product review, random rants, sewing


I have had these super vibrant soft organic cotton Harmony fabrics for a few months now…with overly ambitious plans to create baby blankets with them. As I was was prepping the material I realized that I wanted to wear them. So…I stitched myself up a little magic. I LOVE these not only because the patterns just make me smile, but they are also soooooo soft. (I sometimes find wool scarves a bit rough on my precious skin.) So tough luck babies…these are for the Mama. Well…I may have a few over at Etsy for anyone else craving a little splash of color this winter.

(Yes…my photos definately need a professional touch. I swear I could be standing on the sun and still not get enough light.)



Last Minute Sewing Projects

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, handmade holidays, organic cotton, organicneedle

I’m thinking Harmony fabric scarves people. Harmony makes the most beautiful organic cottons you can imagine…cotton art. I had better stop typing and get my sweet fanny in gear if they will be ready for the holidays. Do you think Santa will put off x-mas for a week or two if I ask really nicely…or promise to never threaten to kick him in the nards again?santa



What can I say?

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, handmade holidays, organicneedle, organicneedle bags, organics, sewing, tea/tea bag


Yes…I was meaning to spend this week giving you more glorious examples of much better and more artistic things to buy this holiday season than the ol’ Walmart crap, but what can I say? My little tea bags seem to be all the rage. Trust me…I am in nooooo way complaining…just not able to assist in the art selections at the moment. Just go to Etsy…you will find something you will like. If you are too lazy to browse their vast variety of goodies…just buy everyone you’ve ever met an Organicneedle tea bag or two. All the cool people are doing it. You do want to be cool, don’t you? 🙂



Artistic Gifts For & From the Twisted

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, handmade holidays

Do you have friends with sinister senses of humor who would rather have icicles driven through their eye sockets than get yet another smiling Santa on a surf board ornament? Well today is your lucky day. I have for you some great artists with truly unique, dark & oh so enjoyable perspectives.

Check out Oh the Humanity and his many visions of Death’s more causal side. Death Takes a Moment…or…Death Poops

Foliage offers a wonderfully creepy new twist on hand soap.

And who can’t relate to Badbird’s The Blue Bird of Happiness and The Little Red Bird of Crankiness?

Who says the holidays need to be sacrin? Respect the twisted and get them something they will actually appreciate AND support creative minds. Maybe then you would stop finding those flaming bags of yule log in front of your house the day after Christmas. Handing out plastic surfing santa ornaments and those pooh bags? Yes, Virginia, there is a connection.



Feed the World Through Art

Posted by organicneedle in handmade holidays, projects

Tis the season for giving so why not give a gift that gives back? Today I will feature a few charitable groups or individuals who have found a way to promote great art and a great cause: hunger.

Will Paint for Food is an RI based organization created by local artist Shawn Kenney and Ninecooks. He sells his food inspired paintings and donates a portion of the proceeds to local food banks. Fairly simple concept…but brilliantly good.blueberries

The NYC Foodbank has partnered up with The Lunchbox Fund, an organization trying to feed the impoverished people of Soweto, for a really cool twist on a traditional art auction: celebrity designed lunch boxes. From Dec.11th through the 18th you can bid on line for your favorite lunchbox and support two amazing causes.lunchboxIf you live in the NYC area you can even buy a ticket for the kickoff party on the 11th and hobnob with Michael Stipe and Mario Batali among others.

Doodle for Hunger is another great charity art event that keeps NYC hungry fed. Again…so simple in it’s concept…yet so magnificent in its result. Celebrities are asked to doodle…just doodle. The doodles are auctioned off and the money buys food. It is too late to bid on this year’s contributions, the auction is held in late Oct/early Nov., but it is such a brilliant idea…I had to include it. Do you have any local celebrities who own crayons? I bet you do.doodle

What I love about these organizations is that not only do they do good work, & offer us a chance to be involved, but they also, hopefully, inspire us to see how we can use our own creativity and effort to solve problems that often seem unsolvable. What artistic resources could you use to solve your town’s food bank shortage? How about a kid’s art auction? A charitable concert or dance performance? If you put the word out, I bet you would be surprised to see what talents have been tucked away in the corners of people’s lives just waiting for the right cause to show them off.

If you know of other great art-charity partnerships please be sure to leave a link in the comments to help them out. Charities and artists share one unhappy trait; they are some of the first to suffer the consequences of a tanked economy. If you can, why not give some kick-ass gifts that support real people on so many levels? Or even better yet…make your own art-charity connection and help stock your local pantries shelves for the long lean months sure to come.