Wonderfully Whimsical “Krafts By Kalena”

My good friend Kalena makes some incredibly cool stuff.

Just recently she shared a picture of one of her creations on facebook and I HAD to have one for two reasons.  It looked bad-ass, and for the nostalgic vibes it summoned.  The picture was of  a dicebag with “Bag of Holding” embroidered on the front, and sweet prismatic shiny cool-as-f***-fabric on the inside.  For those of you who don’t know, a bag of holding is an item from a popular RPG game.  If you know what game I’m talking about let your nerd flag fly with me. 😉

The B.O.H.  contains an extradimentional space, allowing you to carry an unlimited number of items.  That’s super handy when you’re questing and busy killing dragons and shit because you can carry a ton of loot.  Boom.

I used to always joke about how I would love to have a B.O.H. for real and Kalena made it happen.   When my bag came in the mail, it was so awesome that my husband immediately stole it from me.  I was nice and I let him keep it and ordered another custom bag from Kalena to use as a purse.  This one is bigger and comes with shoulder strap-draw strings.

20150608_134526-1-1

We’re still figuring out the extra-dimentional storage part… I’m hoping some day soon, some pioneering soul will forge past the boundaries of what we deem possible and we’ll finally be able to achieve the ultimate in storage solutions.  :P)


Kalena will do custom orders and she makes lots of other stuff too, she’s a ninja with a sewing machine.  I should also mention that she ships SUPER fast, and charges fair prices for her creations AND her bags also come with a special surprise!    Check out her Etsy Page Krafts By Kalena here. (https://www.etsy.com/shop/kraftsbykalena)

 

 

Fabulous Furniture, Decor and More.

My friend Sara is an incredibly talented individual; creative and artistic, she’s been an inspiration to me over the 20 years I’ve known her.   (Holy cow, I can’t even believe it’s been 20 years!)

Sara’s creations frequently grace the presence of my facebook feed and I’d like to share them with you here, because they are pretty darn amazing!

Here are a few of Sara’s Creations:

I love what she does with furniture.

sara1 sara2

Sara’s paintings are awesome!

She wonderfully captures life with her photography.

Sara also does some really cool wood burning projects:

sara8

I should also add that her partner makes some pretty cool stuff, like this gardening bench.  (I’m having a couple made for my greenhouse right now, how exciting!
pottingbench

If you like what you see and are interested in getting your own custom-made furniture or art, contact Sara via Facebook.

The need for love.

I found this quote today in a book I was reading, “The Wisdom of the Native Americans”, it rings of truth and beauty I had to share it.

“My friends, how desperately do we need to be loved and to love.  When Christ said that man does not live by bread alone, he spoke of a hunger.  This hunger was not the hunger of the body.  It was not the hunger for bread.  He spoke of a hunger that begins deep down inthe very depths of our being.  He spoke of a need as vital as breath.  He spoke of our hunger for love.

Love is something you and I just have.  We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it.  We must have it because without it we become weak and faint.  Without love our self-esteem weakens.  Without it our courage fails.  Without love we can no longer look out confidently at the world.  We turn inward and begin to feed upon our own personalities, and little by little we destroy ourselves.

With it we are creative.  With it we march tirelessly.  With it, and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.”

-Chief Dan George

The Wonders of Golden Milk

20150202_204612 (1)Howdy!  Today I want to share a recipe I’ve been using to relieve pain (and more) with great success.  It’s called golden milk, and its main wonder ingredient is Turmeric, which has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine.

The “active ingredient” in Turmeric is called curcumin.  Studies are showing that there are at least 600 potential health benefits of turmeric but, it is most widely known for being an analgesic (pain-killer),anti inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and it also boosts immunity and fights cancer.   Pretty awesome huh?

I make up a batch a couple of nights ago after having some pretty bad back pain and I found it to be very helpful in relieving it.  The next day I felt great.  I made it before bed, golden milk also makes for a pretty good comfort drink.

I first found out about Golden Milk a while back from the video below.  Does anyone else notice the lady in the video has AWESOME skin?  Maybe golden milk is her secret 😉 The recipe featured in the video is handy because you can make a base which can be refrigerated and easily used for golden milk later.  (That way you don’t have to start from scratch each time you make it.)

Another recipe I like, (which I used earlier this week) tastes great and also adds the health benefits of ginger, cinnamon, honey and cardamom and coconut oil.  Here’s how you make it:

Ingredients:
20150202_2040331/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch of Cinnamon
Pinch of Ginger
Pinch of Cardamom
Pinch of finely ground pepper.
1 Cup almond milk
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp raw honey.

 

20150202_204457Add all ingredients except the oil and honey into the saucepan and whisk or blend until well combined.  Do this while bringing the mixture to a low simmer or until the milk is around 110 degrees.

Next add the oil and honey, whisk until both are melted.  (You want to wait to add the oil and honey so the heat doesn’t destroy the good stuff they bring to the table.)  All that’s left is to remove from heat, pour into a cup and drink up!

Sources:
http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/15-health-benefits-of-cardamom/

http://draxe.com/the-many-health-benefits-of-raw-honey/

http://news.health.com/2014/11/21/health-benefits-of-cinnamon/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

http://wellnessmama.com/223/turmeric-tea-recipe/

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/05/golden-milk-simple-drink-change-life.html

Storing and Preserving Food without Electricity.

Recently, our freezer stopped working.  (Turns out we needed to defrost it).  We were lucky that it wasn’t a huge problem however, it did get me thinking about alternatives.

Is there a way we can ditch the freezer for something more sustainable (Or even better, regenerative?  Why sustain the crappy status quo when we could perhaps make it better than we found it?)

The first thing that sticks out at me is the fact that we live in Wisconsin.  If we really want some refrigeration, we just have to go outside.  😛  Unfortunately, that option only works for part of the year, what can we do when it’s not 30 below zero?

Well, lucky for us we have plenty of other food preservaton methods at our disposal, some of them which we already use.

#1) Chickens (and other poultry) For those meat eaters out there who have a little bit of land, raise chickens!  Unlike cows, pigs and other large animals, if you decide to make a chicken into a meal, you don’t have to worry about preserving the excess, its small size makes it easy to work with.

While the chicken is waiting to become dinner it can also serve many other valuable functions like providing eggs, feathers, manure for your garden, heat for your greenhouse, it can reduce pests, and the habitual scratching in the dirt chickens do works great to prepare the soil for planting your garden.

(Better yet, let the little cluckers live, they’ll do lots of great stuff for you in return and they’re kind of hilarious.)  🙂
http://www.small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable-living.com/chicken-powered-permaculture-design.html

#2)Fish…they’re like water chickens.  😛  They can perform many similar functions while they wait to make it to your dinner plate.   Consider starting an aquaponics garden and the fish will help provide food for your plants and vice versa.  You’ll have a sweet little ecosystem in no time, and none of it will need to be refrigerated.
However, you will probably have to use some electricity to aerate the water, fish need oxygen too; or you could always raise bettas…but that’s not much of a meal.  :/
http://www.permaculture.co.uk/videos/greenhouse-aquaponics-diy-system-farm-fish-vegetables

#3)Sand Storage. Sand has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years to help preserve fruits and vegetables.  I found an awesome modern twist on traditional methods of sand preservation here.
http://www.notechmagazine.com/2012/01/saving-food-from-the-fridge.html

#4) Root Cellar.  Another oldie but a goodie is the root cellar.  Root cellars have also been combined with sand (above) for use in preserving food.  We have an insulated room in our basement which we use as a root cellar.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_cellar

#5) Nestled Pot Fridge.  By nestling a terra-cotta pot inside of a slightly larger pot, and filling the space between them with wet sand, you can effectively create a DIY, no electricity refrigerator.  The wet sand has a cooling effect on the inner pot, studies have shown the space inside the smaller pot to maintain around 40 degrees farenheit.
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pot-in-a-Pot-Refrigerator

#6)Canning Food.  Everybody’s grandma has done it.  There are two methods for canning food, pressure or a hot water bath, just remember that if you are using a hot water bath, you will want to stick with foods with a high acidity, such as tomatoes or pickles.  Other foods might run the risk of spoiling and should utilize a pressure canner instead.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/canning.aspx

#7)Drying food  Using a  food dehydrator will extend the life of many different forms of food, including meats.  (Jerky anyone?)  You can also use them to dry fruits, and even make your own versions of fruit roll-ups. (Minus all the gross unpronounceable chemicals)  You could buy a food dehydrator at the store or make your own:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/build-a-food-dehydrator-zmaz93fmztak.aspx

#8)Going with the flow.  Eat sensibly, seasonably. Eat local food that is in season in its natural time.   In this way, when you’re hungry, just pick it and eat it.  (Being from the cold north, I know that’s sometimes easier said than done, but it’s not entirely impossible, especially if you’re equipped with some of the awesome methods of food preservation listed above.)
http://www.sustainabletable.org/seasonalguide/seasonalfoodguide.php