Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pass it On

On March 31, 2011 we found out that we were expecting a baby girl.  I didn't think I'd care, boy or girl, just healthy.  You know the line.  I even thought that maybe I'd prefer another boy to add to our very boy household.  But "it" was a she.  A girl.  My girl.  And something inside me changed - other than my blood pressure, which is a story for another day.

I had been crafting for sometime, sewing curtains, stockings, pajama pants, learning embroidery, etc, but suddenly I wanted to craft ALL the time and for everyone.  I wanted EVERYTHING to be homemade.  I also started reflecting on how quickly time was passing with our boys and how things you think swear you'll never forget become foggy at best.  It occurred to me that I was trying to make the memories more concrete by associating them with items that my children could pass on to their children and recall all of the fun times they had with them as a child.

Then one day I woke up and decided I wanted fine china.  Seriously?  Fine china?  Me?  I told my hubby and his reaction was very much the same.  But I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I wanted china to pass on to my daughter and with it all the memories of important meals, holidays and all the silly, serious, sad and loving conversations had during those meals.  I had never wanted china, ever.  I'm casual to a fault, but knowing that it was a little girl making herself at home in my uterus made me yearn for beautiful china to pass on to her.

But there's a catch.  I didn't want just any china.  You see, I grew up in a suburb of Syracuse, NY - home of Syracuse China.  I own and have owned many of their casual pieces and enjoyed shopping at their outlet store at the factory in Syracuse.  Since I'm far from my roots I thought it would be perfect to pass along a little piece of my history as well as world history (or at least Syracuse history).  You see, on Monday, April 6, 2009, after 138 years in operation, Syracuse China manufactured it's last piece in Syracuse and closed the factory.  The company, originally called Onondaga Pottery Co. when it was founded it 1871 would now be another part of Syracuse's industrial history and I wanted it to be part of mine as well.

I searched high and low for six months or so.  I had my Aunt, a professional yard saler by day and ER nurse by night, searching all summer long.  I was stalking keeping tabs on ebay and craigslist, but wasn't finding the perfect thing.  So as it turns out the girl who never wanted fine china was now a Syracuse China snob - but with good reason.  I didn't want a dated pattern that my daughter would never want to use or at least display.  I wanted something simple and timeless.  Oh, and since the factory closed price was becoming a factor.  People were asking a lot for their no-longer-available-for-retail-sale treasured china.

Then I found it.  On craigslist listed for $100 was a complete set of fine Syracuse China, service for 8 with several serving pieces.  My mom kindly agreed to go pick it up for me but when she got there the woman couldn't find it all - major bummer.  We spoke on the phone and she promised to keep looking and get in touch when she found it.  Fat chance, I thought  So imagine my complete amazement when my mom called to let me know that the missing china had been located and I was now the proud owner of  Syracuse China pattern Polaris!  Sorry for losing faith.  And here is my beautiful legacy china.

Can't you just see a turquoise or yellow plate thrown into the mix? Or a fun black and white or modern floral?  I love the versatility of this set!  And the seller packed it up so nicely so it would survive the trip from NY to NC.  Hopefully I'll actually have the guts to eat on it as the kids get a bit older.  What material things do you plan to pass on to your children?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Name My Business

I attended a DONA birth doula training in October and am finishing up my certification.  I have attended 4 beautiful and completely different births that taught me a lot about the miracle of birth, the strength of mamas, and myself as a doula and as a person.  I am in the process of joining DAMA (Doula Association of the Mountain Area).  It seems that the next logical step is to establish myself and my "brand".

I have narrowed it down to the following options.  My fabulously talented and generous friend Katie took my crazy ideas and ramblings and created two amazing logo options.  Please take a look and then vote for your favorite in the poll just below my blog title.  Thanks!

Friday, May 4, 2012

DIY Natural Air Freshener

With two kids in diapers, a dog, a cat and a sweaty athletic family there are often interesting odors wafting through our home.  We do our best to avoid artificial fragrances so I'm always looking for natural ways to freshen our home.  I was thrilled to find many solutions on pinterest.

1. DIY Room Air Freshener (pretty covered with lace and rubber band hidden by ribbon)- The Burlap Bag
2. Air Freshening Spray (add vinegar and it doubles as a window cleaner) - Smashed Peas and Carrots
3. Williams Sonoma Spring Scent - One More Moore
4. Essential Oil Air Freshener - Foodie With Family
5. Two Essential Oil Room Sprays - A Delightful Home
6. DIY Wallflowers Scented Plugin (replace the bad stuff with some good stuff) - Holy Crickey

I haven't tried them all yet, but my favorite so far is the Williams Sonoma Spring Scent.  I've only been to Williams Sonoma once many, many years ago so I can't say whether or not my house smelled like the store, but I will say that it made our home smell cozy like a cup of tea with a dear old friend.  Add a teaspoon of cinnamon for an extra bit of warmth and comfort on a rainy day.

After simmering all afternoon a lot of the liquid had evaporated, but it still smelled great and I didn't want to waste it.  After letting it cool I poured it into a Ziploc container and stuck it in the freezer.  I've used it three times and it still smells great.  Simply add water each time.  I can't wait to try some of the other air fresheners.

Update: If you've chopped your lemon and rosemary into small pieces you can also pour it into an ice cube tray and then store the frozen cubes in a freezer bag.