Friday, June 8, 2012
After 2 years of trying to coax myself into being a dedicated crafter-maker lady, I have moved onto something new. My naturopath convinced me to start a fermented foods business. For about a year now, I've been giving him fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha) in exchange for his services. I've been working on starting this business since the end of April and my efforts are starting to pay off!
After a few weeks of planning meetings with insurance companies and trying to figure out whether I want to apply for a sole proprietor or LLC license, I invited my friend Amber to give me a hand on a whim. She enthusiastically accepted and is just the woman I need as a business partner! At this point, we are rearing to go with how excited we are and how excited neighborhood restaurants and stores are to sell our product.
Our staples are traditionally made sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha.
All we need is funds to get going.
Which is why we're having a benefit concert at the end of the month. If you're local, click here for more information on the night. There will be tons of samples of our eats + drinks plus four great bands.
On top of all this, I'm training to become a birth doula with Crowning Lotus. It's fascinating work. I feel so honored when families allow me to come to their birth! Since I'm still training (and have yet to attend a birth), pregnancy & labor is still very new to me but this work is so satisfying. I don't know if I'll ever have kids someday but I feel educated enough to know what options I have, and can also share those with friends if that time ever comes for them.
Monday, April 2, 2012
|Stretched on a hoop where I stitched this adage: Bless this house and its heart so savage. -J.N."|
A friend of mine is in New York studying art this spring semester. I went to visit him during his spring break a few weeks ago. One highlight of the trip was visiting Purl Soho. Upon walking in the store, I almost started crying. Really, really. Having wanted to make a pilgrimage there for five years, it was such a joy to see, touch, and experience the store first hand, especially because it was all so familiar. The zippered fingerless mittens, the bright cowls, the scarves with pompom trim, the beautiful yarn, felt, fabrics... and on top of it all, one of my favorite local bands from Michigan - Breathe Owl Breathe - was playing over the speakers! You can see why it was so emotional for me. [On top of all that, it was my first day in the big city and I had navigated the subway trains and walked through a few neighborhoods all by myself to get there. I definitely treated myself to some tasty little cookies - pignolis! amarettis! macaroons! - in Little Italy afterward as a pat on the back.] After floating around the store for 15 minutes, I finally touched back down.
"Here I am in Purl. I must buy materials to make something special, something I'll use often." For a steal, I brought home a pack of new embroidery needles, a piece of light mossy green felt, a fat quarter of warm coral red cotton fabric, high quality wool thread by Sajou, and a Pocket Guide to Embroidery. Together, these are being stitched together into a sewing kit that will hold a small scissors, a few cards of embroidery thread, and most importantly: embroidery needles. The front of the book is a little sampler of stitches. Cute, practical, and it will definitely remind me of Purl whenever I use it. The trip was dreamy, but I'm glad to be back home again.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Ate free lunch at the grand opening of the Uptown Kitchen where I will hopefully soon run my own fermented food business.
Chatted on the phone with a good friend of mine.
Biked to Nourish to return my glass milk bottles. After and learned that their current supplier of kimchi is planning to stop making it. I hope to fill that need!
Biked downtown and worked on embroidering my current map project at MadCap.
Biked back up to eastown, was served dinner at the hen house (inhabited by some of the most talented, lovely, and inspiring friends), and was taught how to spin on a spinning wheel.
Carried the spinning wheel back to my house a few blocks away. And then then practiced spinning while watching one of my favorite Miyazaki films, Castle in the Sky.
It has been one hell of a Saturday. Supporting local businesses in Grand Rapids is so easy! What a wonderful feeling it is to walk into my favorite businesses and be greeted by my first name by the employees and owners of these places. I say this not to boast but because the people who work in these places are so friendly, it's hard not to get to know these people and get excited about what they are doing!! Grand Rapids really is a phenomenal city and I'm proud to call this place my home!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Sometimes I get asked if there's a "special someone" in my life. These are my someones.
|Fig is my sweet blue budgie who lives in our porch-office-greenhouse-closet. She enjoys winging around the space.|
|Pancake is the sweetest inside-outside cat I've ever met. Cuddling is one of his favorite activities.|
I have been working on this map for almost 8 months. 8?! The commissioner had no due date when he gave me the assignment last August. "No pressure! Take your time!" He is the very last person who I have let do this. No due date means that other projects with due dates take 1st priority. This is why I am so OVERJOYED! to send this one off tomorrow! It was a pleasure working for you, R.J. from Chicago! I hope these colors are precisely Michigan State's colors, just like you wanted. :)
|Cowden Lake, Coral, Michigan. 12in x 18 in. Cotton thread and fabric. "Google-type pin point" denotes location of cottage.|
Friday, March 9, 2012
I hope you caught a glance of the moon last night, or even caught a sign of the aurora borealis! Here's what's up with me.
I drew up the design above a few months ago. It's primary meaning has to do with my sense of time. The phases are arranged in a circle like a clock face, but they transition "counter-clockwise" which is how the moon travels around the earth.
We have this saying in our culture: "time is money." For many people this is true. At work this morning, I had a conversation with a patient about this. She sees time linearly and says that my generation of 20-somethings and younger doesn't feel this way. Making people wait for you is wrong, she thinks. Why don't we see time linearly?
I have an ambiguous sense of time and have difficulty being "on time." I really work hard at it, especially for my job. I am fascinated by the way that seasons and cycles of the moon mark months and years.
Imagine a culture where "meet me for coffee at 2:00" meant nothing.
Other meanings have roots in herbalism, birth/labor, and astrology.
This picture was taken a few days after it was done on the work scanner. It has since healed enough for me to return to yoga. :)
Sunday, February 12, 2012
This song has been on repeat-repeat-repeat at my house. My friend Peter who I live with is talented at picking up a guitar and figuring out chords to any song he listens to. Peter said, "If you figure out the words (in Icelandic), we can be a duo. I mean it." So I did. Learning the word of this song (Innundir Skinni by Olof Arnalds) required going to this Icelandic pronunciation page on Sigur Ros' website and editing the lyrics so that they are phonetic to me.
Littu á, eitthivað varð til Littu ow, aihvath vath til
innudir skinni. innudir skinnih.
Vex þar og dafnar í skjóli. Vex thar o dabnar í skyóli.
Við erum á rétttu róli Vith erum ow ryéttu rólih.
Ég læt mér fátt um finnast. Yeh lite myair fout oom finast.
Við eigum eftir að kynnast. Vith aygoum eftir ath kinast.
Samt finnst mér eins og ég þekki Samt finnst myair ains o yeh thekkih
það þó ég þekki það ekki. thath thó yeh thekki thath ekki.
það býður þess að líta ljós Thath býthur thess ath líta lyós
og lýsa upp veröld mína. o lýsa oup veruld mína.
Og mitt í henni stendur þú O mitt í henni stendur thú
með opinn faðminn í trú meth opin fathmin í trú.
I've been busy in the best way. I seem to think that jam-packing my weekly planner with events and to-do items makes me feel successful, but by the end of the week, I just feel stressed out! No me time! I'm an introvert and if there's no time in my schedule to do normal stuff, like wash dishes, do laundry, make my lunch, (be alone), it's as if the other fun things I do are of no use! How can I enjoy a concert if when I get home, there's a sink full of dishes waiting for me? Saying 'no' is something I have been practicing. So that's where I am. Finding balance.
I just started going to yoga recently. Hot vinyasa yoga. I got a 30-day unlimited class package, and have been going 4 times a week. It's lovely. Especially when temps dip below freezing. This yoga is helping me discover physical and mental health in a new way.
-sip (aged) elderberry liqueur spritzer
-finish latest map project
-listen to the entirety of Olof Arnalds' discography