"If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud." ~ Emile Zola

24 February 2011

Walk in the Snow

Monday gave us what may be the last snow fall of the year. Winter is my least favorite season, so normally I can't wait to see it end. But this year, despite my adoration of Spring, I have been reluctant to see the winter go. After the crazy warm weather we saw scattered throughout the past couple of weeks, I was feeling uncharacteristically sad about the coming of a new season. So this beautiful, gentle, brilliant snow was a hugely welcome blessing. :) We celebrated with a hike in the new layers of white in the woods of Frick Park. The forest was quiet, the sun was bright, and the sky was an unbelievable shade of blue. Our steps were some of the first to break the pristine blanket that has fallen upon the park's paths. Blissful.

23 February 2011

Animal Cruelty in the Wool Industry

There's an insidious evil in wool production that is usually justifed as a necessary practice- it's called "museling". Museling is an insanely cruel procedure whereby the flesh is removed from around the . Sheep owners claim it's the only way to stop , yet often flystrike happens anyway. What results is an open, festering, excruciating wound. Australian wool producers make up a huge proportion of those employing the use of museling, causing the horrible, inhumane, and senseless suffering of millions of lambs every year! Despite a promise from wool industry leaders to stop the heinous practice by 2010, very little, if anything, has changed there. This demonstrates that the only viable solution is government intervention and legislation to permanently and completely ban museling as soon as possible.

Watch this video for a more indepth explanation about why banning museling is so critical:

Sheep are sentient beings, thinking and feeling animals that, by many in the wool industry, are subject to unspeakably cruel and unusual suffering! That museling is allowed to go on when there are humane and effective alternatives to flystrike available is incomprehensible and inexcusable.

Please help to end this barbaric practice and the continued infliction of pain and terror on animals who look to humans only for care and protection. The wool industry must be forced to follow through with ending this senseless mutilation! The lives of millions of Australian lambs hang in the balance, waiting to be rescued from miserable lives. Please act now and commit to boycott merino wool, or better yet, all wool!

12 February 2011

DIY: Crafty Valentine's Day!

I'm all about DIY for gifts, even on Valentine's Day! Handmade valentines both save money and make unforgettable gifts filled with love, truly something your sweetie will remember. This is sort of last minute to be sharing this, but thaat's sorta how I roll. ;) I recommend VegNews Magazine's Savvy Vegan blog post about how to do Valentine's Day on a budget. Photo from VegNews. On my own search for DIY Valentine ideas, I happened upon an awesome one (thanks, Karen) on the Paiges of Style blog- a darling DIY Valentine's Day Advent Calendar. I fell in LOVE with this calendar, and it's free to print out on your own and allows lots of room for embellishing. :) Since it's too late to use it from Feb. 1st as intended, I'm going to use it as a Hearts Day garland-card for my sweetie to open. Each one will have written a little love secret inside- sweet nothings on paper! Photo from Paiges of Style. Happy Valentine's Day! UPDATE: My own garland!