holidays and the new year (plus a video)

Hey lovelies,

Can you believe another year has gone by? It’s crazy. I feel like I just wrote out my goals yesterday. Which by the way, I barely scratched off any of my goals and no where on there did it say anything about going zero waste.

All this to say that goals are just guidelines, you can follow them but you have to remember that life throws you curves and waves and changes you and you’ll have no idea what you’re doing so the only thing you can do is: one day at a time.

To be fair though, I’ve always written out goals and even if I didn’t accomplish them in that year, I’ve looked back over the years and witnessed that I accomplished them eventually. And that’s pretty damn good, so I don’t lose faith in my goals when I don’t achieve them by their deadlines, I just keep writing them down and trekking towards it. I figure if they’re important enough to keep writing down, then I haven’t forgotten it and if I haven’t forgotten it then it’s important enough to keep working towards and so one day at a time, I do.

So while I contemplate whether or not I’m going to stay up until midnight tonight, I just want to go over a few gifts that I put together for Christmas. While, I’m not a huge Christmas fan, meaning I definitely don’t go store shopping, I do get sucked into the spirit of giving and a few people do get something.

So here goes:

1) I learned how to create a pattern for a t-shirt (a lesson from my seamstress friend), sourced a bamboo fabric and attempted to sew it myself until my sewing machine died on me. I did get it repaired eventually but my seamstress friend had to take over. This was both a gift and a prototype because slow fashion is better than slave labour.

making tshirt dream lived green bamboo dream love grow

2) I created a zero waste kit for someone because it’s easier to make it easier for someone and to show them that it’s possible rather than just talking about it. Convenience is what this world feeds off of, so I made it convenient for them. Here’s what the kit contained:

– A water bottle from Plastic Pollution Coalition
– 3 canvas bags  from leftover canvas I had (sewn by my seamstress bestie)
– 3 smaller jars and 1 large jar for bulk. 2 of which contained rice flour and tapioca starch so we can make noodles together
– 1 giant flat of beeswax wrap from Abeego. I cut mine into 1 large one and 2 smaller ones.

The water bottle and beeswax were ordered from Life Without Plastic. Everything else, I already had.

zero waste kit a dream lived green ottawa

3) My friend makes soaps and I helped her start her company Soap For Sale, so I also ordered one to give as part of the kit above. She hand sewed her cloth bags made from repurposed materials.

handmade soap dream lived green soap for sale

4)  I designed and printed my very first “colour in” book. Printed locally through a carbon neutral printer Loudmouth Printhouse and on 100% recycled paper.

Perfect for pencil crayons. This was inspired by my seamstress bestie who wanted a colouring book for her vacation and I figured what better time of year to make a long time vision come true. I printed 10, sold half and gave away half, and am reordering more  (with additional images) so that I can help fundraise money for A.R.T. in Action. Each book has 14 pages to colour and the second batch will have more. They go for $10 and will be available online at the A.R.T. in Action store once we have it set up. People are ordering them now though and paying e-transfer, which actually feels really nice to be supported like that.

Let me tell you though that this was not an easy or slow process and involved me learning each step of the way just to get it ready for print. Well worth it though 🙂

I’ve also decided that as a business woman, I need to start planting trees. So as part of 2016, my goal is for everything I ship in or out, a tree needs to be planted. My Dad is a tree planter and woodsmen, so I’ll be going out with him and my son and I just signed up to volunteer with Ecology Ottawa so I look forward to planting trees with them too.
dream love grow colouring book

5) I also ordered a puzzle with a photo of my son and his Papa for my son as a gift and was also a prototype. I ordered blank wood ones to paint too but I don’t feel good about where they came from, so I have to source a better company if I’m going to do it again. They also ignored my no plastic request. It’s always things like this where I’m like, how can I make it myself? I mean, I would totally cut my own wood puzzles if I knew how and could do it quickly and well enough to sell them. Basically this was another test so that I could raise money for A.R.T. in Action.

a dream lived green puzzle

And finally:

6) Baby love and I made clay using this recipe and he handpainted and stamped the ornaments himself. We gave these as gifts to our friends. Honestly, before I got sucked in, this was all the gifts I was going to make and give. Period.

diy clay ornaments dream lived green

That’s pretty much it.

And to end off this blog, here’s a vlog of my 2015 year end review so you can see me in person and get to know a little bit about me more than you do through words.

Life is pretty fantastic and when I look back at my year like this, I really know how I blessed I am and feel like I actually get what the meaning of Life is.

Be safe and have an amazing New Year everyone!

Love,
Mai

 

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