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June 2011

What would you do if you had wings?

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I know what Little Eco would do.

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Fly, of course.

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Perch on a fence.

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Sit in a tree.

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Perch some more. 

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And join a flock.

I added this tutorial for dress-up wings to my 'love to make' list as soon as I saw the gorgeous wings Christie made. I had plans to make them 'one day'. But then I spotted the magical wings the Artful Jen made her children and decided I had to make a pair this weekend.

I made our wings out of a few old t-shirts. I've thankfully built up a bit of an op-shop-sourced stash after falling in love with the reinvention skirt. I used knit fabric so that the cut fabric won't fray and the wings are washable. I'm so thankful that they are washable because it seems Little Eco has decided the wings are 'every day' wear.

To be honest, I got a little tired of cutting and sewing on the feathers, but am so glad I persisted. Little Eco absolutely adores her wings, and I could easily watch her 'play bird' for hours and hours.

Anyone else have any good dress-up refashion ideas?


My first pillow case dress

Pillow slip dress yellow 1

I finally got around to making Little Eco a pillow slip dress.

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I haven't had much time for sewing recently, and then last weekend Little Eco woke up and asked me to make her a yellow dress. She was a little surprised when I agreed. She excitedly chose the pillow case and we worked together sewing in our PJ's before breakfast.

Pillow slip dress yellow 3b

I was going to try and pretend that the point of this post was to motivate the beginner sewers among you to try making a pillow slip dress. There's loads of tutorials online. I used this one, and for beginner sewers I think a video tutorial would help. They're quick and easy and the perfect introduction to refashioning. You don't even have to sew side and bottom seams. But i'll be honest, really this post is all about me celebrating just how sweet and cute my little girl is ;-)


Here's one of the reasons why I don't like plastic toys

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These pictures illustrate one of the reasons I don't like plastic toys - it doesn't take long for them to be thrown away. They typically last only a few years and then at best they end up in land fill. At worst they end up being dumped in local bushland and make their way into waterways, ending up in the ocean (where they cause all sort of problems for marine life).

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I see dumped toys in bushland far too often. I spotted these only last week.

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When buying toys I consider how likely is it that the toy will last long-enough to be played with by Little Eco’s future Children. If it’s not likely to last that long I won’t buy it.

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Speaking of plastic toys, have you encountered Greenpeace's current campain about Mattel and toy packaging? This video of Ken discovering Barbie is 'into deforestation is sort of cute. Greenpeace launched the campaign because it says Mattel has been destroying rainforests in Indonesia for disposable packaging. Of course, Mattel is only one of many toy companies using the same unsustainable cheap paper source. Hopefully the campaign leads, not only to the big toy companies ensuring their packaging is not sourced from companies linked to deforestation, but also to a reduction in the amount of packaging. The over-packaging of toys is absolutely ridiculous!?

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Almost as ridiculous as single-use plastic hangers!?


I wish my city had a CERES Community Environment Park

CERES PLayground-1 {Little eco enjoying the crazy natural playground at CERES}

We were in Melbourne a few weeks ago. Daddy Eco and I were in the mood for sitting in cafes and relaxing, whereas we knew Little Eco would enjoy getting out and about. I asked one of my favourite bloggers, and Melbourne local, Gina of Clutterpunk, for some suggestions. Her response is worth sharing:

"Luckily in melbourne you can generally get excellent coffee and fun for kids in the same location. If weather is decent enough there's CERES in Brunswick or the Collingwood Children's Farm. Both are great and have excellent cafes too. In .. wet weather try Melbourne Museum (heaps of space to run around in, fun kid area too); hang around at Federation Square in the city, there is a little space called Art Play which the kids really enjoy; or ScienceWorks."

We chose CERES Community Environment Park (and even better met Gina and the three very cute Chez Clutterpunk children there for a coffee and play). CERES stands for Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, and is an award winning, not-for-profit, environment and education centre and urban farm. I was impressed! I wish Newcastle had a CERES.

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Little Eco especially loved the natural playground and feeding the chooks with William. 

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She was equally impressed by the activity at the BikeShed.

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Daddy Eco enjoyed making a pedal powered smoothie.

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Could you imagine a prettier organic food market?

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I was particularly inspired by all the styles of raised garden beds on display.

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I adored the rustic rambling community garden plots.

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The Honey Lane Market Garden was as beautiful as it is practical and productive.

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CERES eco house

There's even an Eco House, full of ideas for retrofitting an average home. If you're interested pop on over an check out the virtual online tour.

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I'm sort of relieved the Permaculture Nursery and bookshop are not closer to home, as I'm sure i'd spend way too much money there.

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We stole a few ideas from the bat boxes...

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...a chook house..

Ceres worm farm recycled garbage bin-1

..and the CERES Wormie bins. We're definately going to make a worm farm from our current wheelie bin, which is supposed to become our green waste bin once we switch to a three bin system. I was wondering what to do with the green waste bin, as I have no idea why anyone would throw out their green waste!?

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I'm super envious of all the wonderful workshops and courses Melburnian's can enjoy at CERES. I'd be tempted to enrol in The Complete Urban Farmer course and workshops on Cider and Fruit Wine Making, Introduction to Aquaponics, Edible Weeds and Basket Weaving (just for starters).

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all cities had a CERES?