Saturday, April 3, 2010

Alex is four years old today!!

I have no idea how this happened. Four years ago today, I came to visit my sister in the hospital and she handed me a very tiny, under 8 pound baby. He reached up, grabbed my hemp necklace, and I declared him adorable, and promised him then and there I would buy him a hemp necklace of his own when he turned 10. Now, somehow this adorable little guy is four years old. I know it didn't happen overnight, but it is still pretty awe inspiring. For his birthday, we will be going to his house and enjoying a family style party. We will shower him with presents, necessary and unnecessary, but all chosen with his happiness in mind, and we will eat lots of yummy cake!

As a "big boy" now, he will be moving into a bigger bed. I wanted to get him something fun (a basketball hoop), but also something practical, so I went to JoAnn fabrics and got 2.5 yards of blue fleece and 2.5 yards of yellow and set to work making him a tie blanket. I like to think it came out really well, and it goes great with the Thomas the Tank Engine theme. But what is great about this blanket, is that it ties in with being a Hippie Earth Mama. Not only in the sense that if it is cold, he can add this blanket to his bedding instead of needing the heat turned up, but I was able to make the blanket in a meaningful way for far cheaper than if I had just purchased it.

Sewing my own things slips my mind quite often. I have to make a conscious effort to make placemats instead of grabbing the really cheap (and cute) ones from Target. But it's important that I remember, because sewing (or tying in the case of Alex's birthday blanket) is not just cheaper financially. It is more earth friendly. When a blanket is made commercially, wherever it is made, there is generally a factory. The factory uses water, electricity, pollutes, and then ships the goods using even more fuels. The factories are hardly ever all in one places, so where the fabric is made is different than where it is cut and sewn, and that place is different than the warehouse it stays until a big store buys it, the big store is different than the warehouse, and of course, the consumer's home is different than all of the above. I can cut out quite a bit of travel costs, electicity uses, and water consumption by simply purchasing the made fabric from a store and cutting out two of the steps (the factory and warehouse). I end up with the satisfaction of making something nice for my family, saving money, and saving a few resources.

I hope Alex has this blanket for many years, and I think he will. The beautiful part of a blanket like this is that even if he no longer uses it on his bed, he can use it for picnics as a teenager or in his car to protect valuables as an adult. He can reuse and recycle the blanket as many times as he wishes, and it will make me happy. Happy Birthday Alli bear!

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