Hello!

I'm Krisha - a Scandinavian mama and physician, a crafter, and an avid coffee drinker - trying to nudge my family towards a greener lifestyle!

   elQuiltro

Sunday
Sep292013

all boxed up - reflections of a pack rat.

We are moving!

We made the decision about 4 weeks ago and next week we are out of our 100 yr old beautiful "railroad" apartment. I am going to miss the high ceilings, the special light and the quiet in the middle of the city. But things change and sometimes you've
just got to move on.


Its been kinda crazy around here, as you can imagine. I did not really internalize that moving would generate so much formality, meetings, form filling in addition to the madness of packing and sorting! Speaking of madness - moving always make me lose something essential: my sanity!

The hardest part though,has been going through our storage in the attic. We have lived here for 10 years, and that attic has been like a Grandmothers treasure trove. The storage space up there is dangerously huge. When we moved in here our life was on high gear. Within one year we made 3 moves. From a rural cabin to the city via a rental to this space where we just threw our stuff in, re - grouped and moved to Atlanta for 6 months. At that time B - Boy and Lini - Bean were tiny little beings and I was about to start my first internship in the hospital. My husband was finding his footing in the Norwegian work environment. So boxes from the last move and moves past got pushed further and further into the depths of that attic. For two weeks now I have been chipping away at those boxes. So many memories! How young we once were! All the junk I have saved!

I guess I am a pack rat and I really think that being a pack rat is very much like being a gambler because every once in a while I will hit that jack pot. Like last night I found a T- shirt I saved the very first time we made a move together. Well actually it was my husband that moved, I was his girlfriend just helping out. At any rate he was really happy to be putting on that really old Grateful Dead t- shirt! It's pay days like that that maintains the habit. However, we would have been just as happy without that shirt. Most of the stuff I have sifted through has promptly found its way to the flea marked or a trash bag, with surprisingly little sentiment or regret.

There are things that are hard to sort through though. Like old photos, letters and mementoes. Some of it I remember putting away for sorting and saving later. These things has brought back memories and generated feelings that was not always happy or welcome. Going through these kinds of things are also very time consuming so mainly I now have it neatly boxed up. My husband and I have agreed to take one box at the time, sit down with a nice glass of wine and enjoy the memories, save the ones who we need to properly and let the rest go.

What are your experiences with moving? I'd appreciate any good tip or lesson learned!

Happy week to y'all!

 

 

 

Sunday
Aug252013

New pencases for a new school year!  

 

Did you know that the second busiest shopping season of the year is the back-to-school season?  I used to think of this time of year as a simple rite – refreshing our supply of pens and other school supplies.  Rather, not surprisingly, it turns out that late summer is another season of shipping state-sized quantities of plastic around the world that we all know will only consume available land-fill space by Christmas. 

Since I am not immune to the same urges to give me kids bright supplies for the new year, I found an alternative.- these wonderful pen cases from elQulitero on Etsy.   elQulitero is truly a cottage industry for up- and recycling on a small and sustainable scale.

It was also such a pleasant shopping experience – they made one custom for Lini- Bean exactly the same as the one they had in the shop which I orderd for B- Boy – and they added some elastics for the erases and sharpener in such a cool way.

 

The pen cases proved to be very functional!  The kids and I love them . Lini Bean even pointed out that the material does not schmutz up as easily as the plastic / nylons kinds she used to have.

I also really enjoyed the little dialogue Andrea and I had going while shopping. It was very nice and a bit surprising – my very first time shopping on ETSY was with a blog friend and I did not expect the same kind of friendly banter from a ”stranger”   This made me want to explore their background a little bit which generated this little interview:

How did reuse and recycling become important to you?

-for us recycling and reusing is a thing of common sense, in the way that there´s a lot a excellent material that becomes waste too soon!. For example, the carpet of which the pencil cases are made was used only 3 days in a craft market, after that it was junk (the organizers kindly gave it to us instead of throwing it to trash)... the resources are not unlimited, so we should used them several times if it's possible (as we say in spanish hay que sacarle el jugo!!)

How did you come up with this business idea?

-we have had the idea of doing "something"  for a long time, at first we did a diary and with that we "discovered" the carpet as material and began to explore with it. But I think that our primary idea was to do something that we commonly used such as notebooks and cases. I'm a painter and printmaker, so I think that our next step is a case or bag toward that end.

How does blogging work out for you and your business?

- we are very aware of the importance of the internet and social media; nowadays it's an amazing time in which we are able to connect with almost everywhere.  Blogging is a huge window to visit the house of others and to let the others visit your house. The best thing for me is to realize how different people from different places share a lot of things in common, that really gives you the sense of "belonging" even, though you've never seen them.

What are your future hopes for elQuiltro?

-we feel that we're still evolving and we have a lot of things to learn and materials to try. We both  (Felipe and I, cousins and quiltro team mates) have our jobs (Felipe is a printer, I'm a mom- housewife-artist) and  wedream of the day that we can merge our daily jobs with elQuiltro, that day we'll be awesome!!

I agree with Andrea about blogging! - And don’t you just LOVE the wrapping they used? What a nifty way to reuse paper! 

I really want to provide the homemade experience for my kids and I really want to make environmentally sound consumer decisions  as often as  possible.  Being in a full time job though makes it hard to find the time to make all your stuff yourself.  This, I think, is where ETSY fits in.  It is not only a very inspiring site for us crafters - it also makes it possible to buy hand made responsible products . In other words, it’s ideal for the urban handmade homestead!    And that’s why I have decided to share with you my favorite ETSY experiences and to post a link to their ETSY shops on my sidebar for a month at the time – endorsed by recyclingmama! So today I add elQuiltero! Please take the time to visit their shop and their blog - they make the most wonderful things!

 

 

Thursday
Aug222013

The balcony garden!

As the height of summer is behind us here in Oslo, I am enjoying the fruits of my balcony garden. It's been such a whirlwind of a summer - we have had so much fun, although I guess I have been on a bit of a blog break. 

I had every intention of keeping up with my blog through the summer with all the extra time I expected to have, but, as we all know, the reality for parents is that we have to hustle around to keep up with our kids at home or on holiday.  (My other excuse is still no broadband at the cabin, which might not be the worst thing in the world.) 

Anyway, it was an awesome summer, culminating with a week in Tuscany.  While I was in Italy, I admired the tomato gardens which seemed to be everywhere.  It seemed like, wherever there was space for a container, a tomato was growing out of it. 

So, in fact, the best part of the summer was yesterday, when I came home to harvest my own ripe cherry tomatos from my own urban balcony.  OK, sure, these were purchased pots of what might be the most overpriced tomatos in the world, but hey, tomatos are always expensive in Norway, and these were the best I ever had.  Seriously. 

Having tended to this little garden all summer I am now motivated to put in a vegetable garden at the cabin next year. One of the reasons I have not started a vegetable garden out there is because the deers apparently love to eat everything green. But late last night I had an idea to fix the problem, which I can noodle on all winter.  After all,  homesteading is all about the planning, right?  Stay tuned to this blog - if my solution works, I'll report it here for you dear readers with a deer problem.

Hope you had a great summer and you are welcome to leave me a link to a summer post on your site in the comments section - I'd love to pop over for a visit! 

Monday
Aug052013

meat free monday 

Today it was one of those Mondays. By the time I made it to the grocery store this afternoon both baby A and I was frazzled after a whole day of work and kindergarten. It was very clear to me that our diner tonight required efficacy and simplicity both in shopping and cooking! And so I went for this oldie but goodie.  A pasta salad consisting of red kidney beans and macaroni. I was first introduced to this dish while visiting with friends in Colorado. Lini Bean was a mere 10 months then and she just loved showing of her pincer grip picking up individual beans and macaronis. I never had a written version of this recipe and so gait has evolved over the years.  I usually garnish it with cilantro, but I have stopped buying fresh herbs in plastic wrapping and so i used mint which grows on my balcony instead. And boy I will not go back to cilantro!

How:

1 cup canned red kidney beans, drained. 

1/2 cup macaroni of good quality - boil until alldente

1/4 - 1/2 of finally chopped red onion. I add more when serving as a side for grown ups less for kids but never omit it - it does make a difference!

1tbs apple cider vinegar, 1tbs olive oil, 1 ts sugar, a pinch of salt and some pepper to taste. - Mix these in the bottom of your serving bowl. Chop a little fist of fresh mint leaves Mix all the ingredients and you are done! this dish is good both cold and warm.  I served it with a nice fresh bread and heaps of butter - I love butter... 

What did you do for Meat Free Monday?

 

 

 

Friday
Aug022013

this moment

 


- A Friday ritual.

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by soule mama

I would love it if you shared your moment with me in the comments section aswell!

  Happy weekend!

Wednesday
Jul312013

Harvest 

 

About  two weeks ago we were able to enjoy our first potato harvest. Our ”field” consisting of 3 terra-cotta pots housing one potao each on our balcony.  These three potato-mammas started out in Febuary in small glass containers on my kitchen counter in February. I used to do this when I was a medical student – not to grow potatoes but to have the pleasure of something sprouting in my windows.  This February i felt the same need to see green sprouts. But then the kids got fascinated – It had not really occurred to my urban little dwellers  that potatoes grew from well..potatoes. So when  roots and green sprouts was clearly formed we  planted them.  And in may we enjoyed their purple and yellow flowers.

 

It was such a joy to do watch  my kids  pull out a whole bunch of small new potatoes.  The yield was one dinners worth and so we promptly washed, prepared  and enjoyed our harvest  in a nice family meal. This little adventure was really motivating.  Next year we will try to grow a little patch of potatoes at our cabin.

 

This move I am trying to make towards a less consumerist , more ”home made” lifestyle is made in baby steps..  I really think it should be possible to live a more ”home made  life” even if you dont move out to a little farm in the country side. Now misunderstand me correctly; I would LOVE to do exactly that. However at this point in my life I do not really have the freedom to do so. Nor do I think that the way to bring about a change towards a more sustainable lifestyle on a more general level.  - I guess I am experimenting really  and learning lots a long the way. Right now I am getting into the concept of urban farming and urban greening. Now I know that potatoes for one dinner does not constitute real food production  but it has made me think that  maybe the way towards a greener inner city life  is treating my home and family as  true homestead, and start planning not only for the next season to come but also for next years harvest!