trešdiena, 2012. gada 26. decembris

Winter Solstice and gift preparations- a little insight

I love the Winter Solstice with it's traditional songs, decorations. I also like the Christmas traditions. So here on green carpet we enjoy all of them mixed together as usual.
Last year I shared some Advent decorations, everybody knows how a Christmas tree looks like. So this time I decided to share some of Latvian traditional decorations, we call them "Puzuri":

These probably are the most eco-friendly seasonal decorations since only natural materials are used- canes, wool and some bird feathers or dried herbs. I remember when we used to make them with my mom when we were kids. We would do little ones, and she would create a wonderful large piece.. This year we revived this tradition and made them together again.

Our gifts as well were all planned to be handmade by ourselves with few additions of either eco-friendly items or experiences instead of things people wouldn't need.

Gifts we made mostly were:

  • selection of specialty jams and jellies- chilly, jalapeno, garlic & lime, red currant spice jam, rhubarb & ginger marmalade etc. 
  • selection of home made liquors- blueberry, red currant, raspberry liquors that we did together with my brother already during the summer
  • selection of home made sweets and confectionery- various chocolate truffles with walnuts, almonds, dried cherries and ginger, dried pineapples dipped in chocolate, green tea chocolate truffles, caramelized almonds etc. 

  • selection of home made cookies and ginger breads, served on a large plate made as Christmas deco plate with decoupage technique by myself. 

The last one actually was a double gain idea. I had a set of soup and dinner plates that were showing wear quite a lot already. And they were not looking that nice in my kitchen anymore. So I decided to use my decoupage skills and turn them into nice Christmas themed decorative plates to give as gifts, full of edible goodies.

Unfortunately I was so busy that I completely forgot to make pictures of all 9 unique plates I made.. Here's just one that I gave to my dad (I have easy access to it now). 
Many of the sweets and other gifts were also packaged into up-cycled boxes with decoupage technique. It is a truly wonderful skill to use in making presents. I even managed to make my liquor bottles all Seasonal and good looking! 

I still continue reusing many boxes, packages, bottles and other everyday pieces into nice presents or interior elements with decoupage! 

What gifts did you make this year? 

ceturtdiena, 2012. gada 6. decembris

Rugs and dusters

I spoke about some good deeds to make my life, home and country a greener place.
Well, one of such things that I've done recently is change from paper towels to rugs for 100% finally.
Often you really couldn't  find a paper towel here on green carpet since I neglect cleaning with such disposables that in addition soak in so little water and can clean only very limited surfaces. At least comparing to my rugs now!
My rugs and dusters are torn or cut from old bed linen or table cloths that my grandma gave me because they were unwashably stained or worn out with holes. Oh, linen cloths are the very best to clean up all liquids . Since we are not using diapers at home and sometimes elimination communication is not really working that well on busy moments, these rugs are gold worth.

And, of course, they are good on every thing else you need to clean- dusty places, bathroom sinks, floors, juice splashes or runny noses. Just take a clean one from the rug-bowl and put it in the bin afterwards. Once the bin is full, I wash them, hang them to dry and they're good to use again. And again. And again. Something you really can't say about paper towels.
Have you already switched to cloth rugs?