Happiness Has a New Address – Dulse & Rugosa
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    The Joys of Slow Stitching

    The Joys of Slow Stitching

    We've done a few social posts about the joys of slow stitching.  I posted "stitch-meditation" and someone commented knitting is "hand yoga".  Did you know knitting and hand stitching have many benefits beyond the sweater, scarf or mended pair of jeans?

    Benefits of slow stitching

    Knit for Peace did a study of knitters in the UK and found "that knitting has physical and mental health benefits, that it slows the onset of dementia, combats depression and distracts from chronic pain,”  I thought the chronic pain part was interesting but it makes sense, focusing on something else gives you a mental and therefore a physical break.  I know I rely on hand work either knitting or hand stitching to help me destress especially after listening to the news.  

    The Craft Yarn Council sponsors #stitchawaystress in April as part of National Stress Awareness month.  This year's campaign is "all about self-care and its intersection with yarn crafts."   They'll have all kinds of cool tips including "how to incorporate self-care into your life, meditative stitches to practice, soft yarns to soothe your nerves and so much more!" 

    I loved Eileen's thoughts on the Stitch Away Stress video where knitting helped her go from "react, react, react to calm down".  Kristy spoke about how stitching helped deal with her anxiety and most importantly created an opportunity for breathing.  Watching the video made me feel good, sometimes I think the only time I really breath is in yoga class.  Now I can consciously expand into breath awareness while stitching.

    Don't get stressed if you're new to knitting or crocheting there are plenty of youtube videos and Craft Yarn council's learning center has a list.  Even better than a video is a class at your local yarn shop, giving you get stress relief, creativity and community.   

    A few years ago I discovered the designer and slow fashion advocate Natalie Chanin and her company Alabama Chanin and The School of Making.  I bought the book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design and the world of hand-stitching opened up.  I stitched every cold winter morning so I can start my day with something good.  I made my dress for Carly's wedding using bottle caps as circle tracers.  It was such a great project for travel because the materials were easy to pack and therapeutic to use.

    Benefits of slow stitching

    Katrina Rodabaugh is another slow stitch inspiration.  Her book Mending Matters  has specific details for mending mostly jeans including the inner thigh tear.  There's a big focus on "how to" with great pictures and lots of details.  There's also Katrina's thoughts on "the relationship between fiber art, sustainability, and slow fashion."  It's both practical and inspirational.

    Benefits of slow stitching

    If you want a bit of community in your stitching think about joining 25 Million Stitches, a public engagement art installation incorporating activism, stitching, community and raising awareness about the plight of refugees worldwide. "There are no bad, ugly, or uneven stitches in this project. Uneven stitches and personal designs make the panels more unique and beautiful. We encourage you to be creative! "   It's a chance to be creative and stitch for good but don't wait to get started, panels need to arrive in CA by April 30th. 

    We hope this blog got you excited about the joys and calming effects of working with your hands.  What are you working on?  We'd love to hear.  

     

     

    Zero Waste Tip- Pick Up Trash

    Zero Waste Tip- Pick Up Trash

    March is all about being "greener".  One of the best tips for committing to your zero waste journey is to pick up trash. 

    Zero Waste Tips for Beginners

    Make it part of your routine.  It's easy if you're a regular walker, when you see trash stop and pick it up.  I have a bag and a pair of old gloves that I use because you never know what you might find.  I take it with my on my daily beach walks and sadly can always fill it up.

    Another option, especially if you have kids is to make picking up litter part of your holiday routine.  There are so many benefits  including family time together, being outside, a feeling of accomplishment and a growing awareness about how litter affects our world.  

    Once you become an official "trash picker" your knowledge about packaging grows.  All the useless food wrapper crap you pick up is disheartening.  It helps you be stronger and committed to remembering your own reusable bags, water bottles, cups and straws. 

    Zero Waste Tips for Beginners

    Trash has a huge negative impact on wildlife.  Trash looks like food or perhaps a good material to use in a nest.  Plastic in particular continues to break down into "microplastic" which is easily confused for something yummy.  I've picked up styrofoam cups with bite marks in them.  More and more stories are coming out about the amount of plastic consumed by ocean animals. 

    Zero Waste Tips for Beginners

     

    It can feel uncomfortable at first to pick up trash because most folks simply won't be bothered.  They might not litter but they won't pick up someone else's trash.  I'm always amazed on a beach walk how many folks simply pass by a piece of trash without a thought.  Most of us feel a bit weird when we first take a step towards making our planet a cleaner, better place to live.  The truth is feeling awkward for a bit is easy to get over.  What you are doing with the simple step of bending down and picking up trash is setting an example for others.  Small steps can yield big results.     

    In Maine, I pick up a lot of food and drink containers but also find a lot of commercial fishing trash including rope, buoys, traps, gloves and bleach bottles.  Fortunately there is a lot of creativity in the trash picking world.  One of my favorite Maine based companies is WashAshoreStore .  Erin makes dog leashes, collars and more from rope washed ashore.  All the items have a great nautical style and repurposing instead of using new is the way to go.  She'll also up-cycle worn leashes and accept rope you've collect if you happen to be in the Portland, ME area. 

    I just found out about an Etsy shop OceanPlastic making jewelry from the tiny bits of micro plastic picked up on Florida beaches.  She has rings, bracelets and earrings with the teeny bits of plastic set in a clear resin.  We need this kind of creativity to use what we have simply lying around on our beaches and trails.

    There are no easy and simple solutions to our planet crisis but we can't give up.  Each step we take no matter how small does make a difference.  Set the example and be a proud "trash picker" in your neighborhood.

            

     

    Generosity Battles With Jealousy- My Personal Struggle

    Generosity Battles With Jealousy- My Personal Struggle

    Quite awhile ago I read an Instagram post by a holistic hairstylist and social media influencer.   Her post really stuck with me because its the core of one of my biggest struggles.  The battle between generosity and jealousy.  It's a struggle in my personal life sometimes fueled by glamorous and happy social media posts. A good walk usually sorts me right out.  But in my business it's a major battle.  A small business often is your heart and soul.  

    She posted about the joys of handcrafted skincare that really resonated with me.  Here's what she said-

    "Small batch botanical skincare is my absolute favorite because of the connection I feel to the story.  It's kinda like shopping at the farmer's market...the feeling you get knowing where you buy your skincare is a beautiful experience."  

    When I read this I could feel my heart open up.  It's exactly what I feel.  I often think of Dulse & Rugosa as either skincare farmers or skincare chefs.  Our goal is to encourage folks to take the same time, thought and care with their skin as they do with their food.  It's my values whipped up into a face creme. 

    dealing with jelousy

    Her post was about a beauty brand.  They make small batch, good ingredient, eco friendly skincare which looks absolutely lovely.She reviewed their strawberry scrub, makeup removing creme and night creme.  She also had a really gorgeous photo.  I had serious product and photo envy.  I could feel the green with envy, gut sucking meanie negative thought parade getting ready to march all over me.  I had to really battle with myself, my rational kind self that sometimes get hidden with unfair comparison and negative self talk.  The fact that another small batch, positive skincare company  exists in our world should not send me down the roller coaster of self doubt and envy.  But it can.  

    international woman's day

    In general, I don't follow a lot of other skincare brands.  Our brand is us and I don't want it clouded with comparison to other brands.  There are so many good skincare brands out in the world.  Products made by ethical, passionate makers.  And we all have skin.  I have to remind myself of that fact.  We all have skin.  I know generosity, encouragement and helping is how we all should live.  I also know that it's not always easy.  We have setbacks, customer complaints and our own mind games that compare ourselves with others and see only our faults and short comings.

    The struggle is real but in the end we're better for recognizing our faults and finding ways to do a bit better.  It's not always easy but it's always worth the struggle.  

          

      

     

    Zero Waste Tip- Vote in Every Single Election

    Zero Waste Tip- Vote in Every Single Election

    It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you are on your personal zero waste journey.  Where to start?  How to deal with setbacks?  How to stay motivated?  How to power thru periods of despair?  One pledge to make is to VOTE in every single election.  

    Zero Waste tip- vote

    I don't want to go down the rabbit hole that is US national politics.  Of course, you should vote Tuesday Nov 3, 2020.   Plus, you should vote in every town, city, municipal and  state election.  This is where change begins.

    A couple of years ago my city passed a no plastic bag ordinance.  I remember the public forums- the dire predictions.  As a "little old lady" I especially resented the warnings about how I would suffer carrying a heavy grocery bag instead of a few plastic bags.  It was also going to be very difficult for folks to remember to BYOB- bring your own bags.  How would they ever manage?  And of course, the expensive of purchasing reusable bags was going to be prohibitive.    The plastic bag ban passed, folks adjusted and figured it out.   My city wasn't the only one, there was a ripple effect up and down the coast of bag banning.  Starting in Sept 2020 there will be a state wide plastic bag ban in Maine.  This change happened because folks got out and voted.

    Zero waste tip- vote

    Hawaii was the first state to ban plastic bags back in 2012.  According to the Surfrider Foundation, "This was not done by the state legislature, but instead by all four County Councils - a great example of local activists and decision-makers addressing the serious issue of plastic pollution."  

    Maine is the first state to ban styrofoam food containers.  This is a huge deal for an ocean dependent state.  Polystyrene, the official name for styrofoam can not be recycled and it breaks down into teeny, tiny bits especially when tossed out the car window as liter.  The teeny tiny bits can be mistaken for food by many sea creatures and those teeny tiny bits end up polluting our water and food supply.  

    Zero waste tip- vote

    According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, "Plastic foam food containers are among the top 10 most commonly littered items in the U.S. and more than 256 million pieces of disposable foam cups, plates, bowls, platters, and trays are used every year in Maine."   Thank you governor Janet Mills for signing this bill back in April 2019. 

    Zero waste tip- vote

     

    Plastic bag and styrofoam bans are big steps towards a healthy planet.  It's vital to make your voice heard and take the time to be a committed voter.    Many states and municipalities are making it easy for busy folks to be heard with online registration and absentee ballots. 

    Voting makes your voice heard, makes a difference in the world and moves us towards a more balanced and healthy planet.  Just do it- VOTE!  

    Zero waste tip vote in every election

     

     

     

    Spend Your Money Wisely, Vote With Your Dollars, Invest in People

    Spend Your Money Wisely, Vote With Your Dollars, Invest in People

    There are two ways to vote.  First, in the election booth.  If you want positive environmental and political change then make sure you get out and vote.  The other way to vote is when you spend money think of each dollar as a vote for the world and values you want.  

    According to Green America "Where you spend and invest your money is a powerful way of voting each day to support local communities, fair wages, and a healthy planet."  

    tips to shop small

    The first priority is the question- "Do I actually need this?"   You can save money, buy better products and support businesses that value workers, the environment and our planet while sending the message to the world economy that we don't want a bunch of plastic crap.

                                       Do I Need It?  How To Buy It Guide

    • Refuse
    • Reduce
    • Upcycle
    • Borrow
    • Share
    • Repair
    • Swap
    • Sew or make
    • Grow
    • Buy second hand
    • Buy small, local and indie

    You can shop small locally and on line- either way is good.  Locally keeps your community vibrant and supports your neighbors and friends.  Online gives you access to a wide variety of products that might not be available in your hometown. 

    Zero waste tips for beginners

    Do both- pick local products where it makes sense and shop online for ingredients and goods not easily available.  Either way- you'll feel good by doing good.  Don't forget even if you're not able to make a purchase support small businesses you love by posting, sharing and commenting on social media.  Every small step has a big impact.