Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wipe Your Face!

Friends of ours are landscape architects, which is funny, very funny if you had ever seen our yard. Before us, the house was owned by what my grandmother would call a 'bachelor' who was in his nineties. He apparently had a 'lady friend' and they liked to eat at the diner in town on the weekends. Where is all of this going? Well, he planted many random non-native plants in the yard and then tended to them with care, which is about how he cared for the home as well. It wasn't exactly modern but it was well looked after. Maybe his relationship was the same. Who knows?

Anyway, when we came along we really ceased all maintenance because we were busy being pregnant and caring for babies and have little to no idea about yard work outside of mowing the grass, which we don't do with much regularity either, to be honest about it. But, we are just getting our heads above water with the whole parenting thing and have started to realize our yard is pathetic. The plants are almost all prickly and are consuming the yard. When my dad visited he actually used the word 'ghetto' for the first time, ever, in my memory. So, we invited our landscape architect friends over and to our DELIGHT they agreed to draw up some plans for us for free (Yippee!). We ran through a million amazing and insightful ideas (Get rid of the bushes completely! Put in a fence! Plant native plants, they need less care! Use that space for compost and storage! Move the hydrangea three feet and create a nook!). As a thank you we treated them to dinner. My friend was intrigued by our cloth napkins and asked for me to make her some. She can rattle off native plants in her sleep and can visualize a beautiful garden where others see a weed lot but she is in AWE that I could sew two squares together and make a napkin. And, I'm not going to do ANYTHING to lose that mystique.
So, I made these ric rac napkins from the idea here. I'm calling it a 'summer set' of napkins becuase I used light, summery, kid-like fabrics. Mostly so the kids would be excited about the switch from paper napkins.

I was also thrilled about the alternative economy of napkins for landscape ideas---another barter! We've had a couple of those going on lately--a hot meal for a neighbor with a new baby and two days later we were the proud owner of two iris plants; baby clothes and items for a pregnant lady who works down the street at the chocolatier and we landed ourselves a box of gourmet chocolates. I just beam for weeks after this happens and feel like I'm giving the GDP a big 'stick it'!
Overall, it has been a crazy lazy summer. Few plans outside of book reading, bike riding, swimming, and popsicles. It's part of why I've been such a slug about my own barter. But, a few napkins here and there makes me feel busy enough to enjoy the lazy. Know what I mean? I'm going to add these to my barter market, I like making them and think they might interest others, too.


mama-pan | mary frances said...

way to go, Baroness of Bartering! I love those napkins--I'm sure your friend will be delighted to get them. I'll be excited to see pictures of how the garden turns out!

hey, any chance you'd offer some of your homemade beauty/cleaning products for barter? I've had my eye on them since you posted about them a while back--let me know if that piques your interest and what I might offer in return!

Little C and Little J said...

You bet, good idea! I will show off the garden, the question is can I swallow my pride and do some 'before' photos, I'm just not sure I can.