DIY Flour Sack Roll

This year, I've been making a handful of gifts for family and friends. Nothing spectacular, mind you, just some upcycled materials re-fashioned into something useful. One of my favorite projects is a brush or crayon roll. It can be filled with markers, pencils, paint brushes, make-up brushes, knitting needles, crochet hooks, screw drivers, or silverware!

This year, I've been using vintage flour sacks to make my brush rolls. The nubby texture is beautiful. I tie my rolls with ribbon or hemp twine. I don't have a pattern, although there are lots available. Instead, I free-hand the rows of stitches on the sewing machine.

What hand made goodies are you making and baking this year for the holidays?

Off the Grid in West Texas

I ran across THIS amazing home tour in the New York Times and had to share here at La Maison Boheme. Most people think of Texas as the "Go Big or Go Home" state. While that tends to be true, John Wells, deemed a "modern day Thoreau" by, is bucking the system with his home made house, The Field Lab. Read about his amazing solar powered homestead HERE.

Friends Doing Great Things | EcoHappy Kickstarter

Do you remember my friend, designer, photographer and blogger Loretta Fontaine? She is the extraordinary force behind EcoHappy Style and I've written about her HERE before.  Today is Loretta's birthday! Yay! Happy birthday!!

Over the next few weeks, Loretta is riding the crowd-funding wave to see her new book ECOHAPPY: Three Steps Toward An Earth-Friendly Life published. Launching a Kickstarter project running from March 20 – April 26, Loretta is seeking the support of her community to bring her book to market. If fully funded, supporters of the project get the first copies. What?  That is awesome. Count me in!

Loretta sent me some excerpts of her book last week and I loved it. If you, like me, are overwhelmed by the declining state of mother earth and you're wondering how to respond in a resilient way to the depressing fact of climate change, then Loretta Fontaine's book needs to be in your hands. "EcoHappy" is a wonderful mix of actionable marching orders delivered with joyful compassion and beautiful photography. I can't wait to give copies of "EcoHappy" to everyone I know!

I love crowd funding because it puts the ball in our court - we get to decided what we want to create!
Help get Loretta's book published and be one of the first to receive a copy!
Go HERE to contribute.

“Study Of Two Trees, Portland”, 2012 and “Scaling Adirondacks”, 2013. Photograph by Loretta Fontaine Castagna.

Radical Homemaking | Books to Read

You'll notice that I haven't posted any gift guides or extensive Christmas lists this year. Usually I put together a little something, but 2013 has been a good year full of contentment and abundance and somehow I just don't feel right following all that goodness with a list of "wants". What can I say? I'm in a grateful place and the mantra "all I have is all I need" is ringing throughout my home.

Instead, I've posted a list of books I'd like to read in 2014. Some I'll check out from my local library, some I'll borrow from friends and some I may buy outright. The thing they have in common is that they are all geared towards my goal to lessen our household consumption and beef up our handmade production. Remember THIS summer post? It is still very much at the heart of my current efforts around the house.

Here they are in no particular order:

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese

Radical Simplicity: Creating an Authentic Life by Dan Price

Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy

I Love Dirt: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Children Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward

The Best of Making Things: A Hand Book of Creative Discovery by Ann Sayre Wiseman

The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch

Keeping Chickens by Ashley English

The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making by Alana Chernila

And here are some books that are already in my personal library, but are must reads for anyone on the Radical Homemaking path:

Radical Homemaking: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon hayes

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Currently on my nightstand, a funny, tightly written memoir:

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

Images courtesy the Ghost Town Farm blog, where Novella writes about her urban farm.

Global Texture

Nothing is more exciting to me than the idea of traveling around the world collecting gorgeous global textiles and then coming home to strew them all around my house.  I love this look.  I always have and probably always will.  When I hear the phrase, "Live with what you love", these are the kinds of images that pop into my head.





source  (sorry for the accidental pornographic link that was here earlier. 
Eeeew.  It was a Pinterest link that I didn't check.   My apologies.)