The Ride to SAM

Wow. Fablulous ride this week. Quite a contrast to the last trip downtown (see the Memorial). Did a test ride with my new tool roll and handlebar bag. Tool roll under the seat bag worked great but my basket gear on the front of the bike prevented me from putting on the handlebar bike bag (so I put the basket on and threw it in there).

Paisley tool bag in progress

The weather was chilly but dry. No wind either. Pretty sweet for November.

The only hitch was the loss of a library card by my husband earlier in the week. The Seattle Library has a fabulous benefit. You can reserve a pass to many of our local museums. We scooped today and have had it on the calendar for a month. I tried to print out our pass and was stymied by the change in card. Fortunately my husband remembered they had emailed him the pass when we reserved it and the day was saved.

The Andrew Wyeth exhibit was inspiring. The artwork was breathtaking and precise. As always my big question was about the unrecognized heroes. Who framed the art? Who selected the frames? The frame is an important piece of the art. Something to ponder and google later.

I forgot to get any photos at the Wyeth exhibit but loved these 2 nature inspired pieces that are also at SAM

We stopped at Henry’s Tavern on the way home. I was delighted by the ease of removing my bike bags for safety and by the beer selection at Henry’s. It was dark when we got out but traffic had eased. There was something magical about riding on this November night. It is like walking in the rain. Very cocooning and cozy.

I wish I had gotten a photo in Occidental Park. They have wrapped the trees with white lights and it is like fairyland. I did catch a shot of downtown framed by the palms and lights at Salty’s. My photo fails to do justice.

Night view from the Alki Bike trail

As the days get shorter, have you tried riding at night? What do you experience? I look forward to reading your night time notes.
Till next week remember to have fun and enjoy the passing seasons.

New Times, New Processes

The following article came into my news feed in a blog from Fashion University.

“Instead of researching for inspiration, research a current problem in the fashion industry.
Instead of producing more fashion industry waste, use waste from the fashion industry to produce.
Instead of using extensive (and often toxic) processing to achieve a new finish, explore a new process to reduce the fashion industry’s footprint on the environment.
Recently featured in an issue of Hue, a magazine published by FIT, Stacy Flynn and Christopher Stanev are a dynamic duo who have set out to change how clothes are made, in effect proving the “everything’s been done before” argument dead wrong. Formerly with DuPont, Target and Eddie Bauer, Flynn had sourced millions of yards of fabric and seen first hand the pollution produced by textile factories—in particular those factories using recycling technology.
While using plastic from bottles to create polar fleece may sound like a move in the more sustainable direction, unfortunately, the process necessary to transform plastic into fleece is almost as detrimental as creating polar fleece sans recycled plastic bottles. And those retailers who have started recycling programs in which consumers bring in clothes they will no longer wear are only making a small dent in the current landfill crisis in the US. Of the 16 million tons of textiles Americans dispose of each year, on 16 percent is reused or recycled.
And so, Flynn and textile chemist, Stanev began to research how they could create a virgin fiber by dissolving and purifying donated clothes, then extruding the results for use in creating new garments. The pair did not find answers overnight—Flynn started asking questions in 2010, partnered with Stanev and together they invested their savings and retirement accounts to discover a way to liquefy fabric, extract the raw cellulose (which makes up 98 percent of cotton) and turn it into a reusable sturdy fiber.
Stanev’s team of researchers developed safe, reusable solvents to break down fabric and in 2015, Patrice George (Flynn’s former weaving teacher) began to weave what Stanev and Flynn called Evrnu yarn into denim. At first the yarn was very weak. George described it as “a cross between cotton candy and peanut brittle.” Stanev worked to make each new skein of Evrnu he sent George stronger and she created 4.5 yards of denim with Evrnu as the weft and cotton as the warp.” (Credit From Fashion University blog)

To me this was super exciting! And I discovered they are in Seattle! And they had partnered with Levi Straus to incorporate this technology. I have spent a little bit of time digging deeper and can’t find a Levi product made with this. Unfortunately. I guess I will have to dig a little deeper on a day with a little more time. Does anyone have any knowledge of this or other partnerships using this technology? Would love to support it. Especially with an American made textile by the yard using this product technology. One can always dream.

 

 

The Memorial

It was wet and wild. Don’t I look happy?

This week’s ride was wet, wild and full of mishaps.
It began with the intent to get into downtown Seattle for a memorial without needing to worry about traffic from the pro football game that was also going on. And to save some $$ And to eliminate a car trip. It was raining/snowing and the wind was howling but I pulled on my rainpants (never before used for a bike ride because as I always tell my husband “I don’t ride in the rain”), down jacket, bike coat, merino wool cap, polarfleece gloves, and safety glasses over my dress and tights. And of course my prototype handlebar bag with my trusty extra tube and cell phone.
We stopped for a picture on the beach to document.
The wind was blowing so hard at times that I was probably only going 2-3 miles per hour. When my bike started pulling to one side I figured it was the wind pushing me. I rode a little more and it was still pulling. I looked down in disbelief to see a flat tire. I suggested my husband ride on and I would catch the bus. He insisted on changing the tire and continuing together. I reached into my trusty bag and handed him a fresh tube. He changed the tire. But the bike pump didn’t work. It had probably been tossed around enough over the years that things got jammed up. We started walking towards the gas station about a mile away. I suggested it might be faster if he rode with the tire and I kept slogging along.
Off he went only to return with a tire that had already lost its air. He reached for his phone for the bus schedule, we locked our bikes and hopped on the bus. I reached into my trusty bag for my Orca card. At that point he must have handed me his phone and I must have put it in my trusty bag. We were on the 132 which is full of distractions when he noticed he didn’t have his phone. He said go on ahead I need to go look for my phone.
When I got to the memorial I opened my trusty bag to turn off my phone and OOPS – it had two phones in it.
He eventually showed up. My moral of the story is – slow down and pay attention to what you are doing and always bring your trusty bag.
Tell me about your weekly ride.

Changes

Changes

If you have been reading this you know that this blog is like the impromptu speeches I have given at Toastmasters. A challenge to myself that I don’t always succeed at, that meanders all over the place with no point. It’s purpose has been to explore my style and figure out what to do when I grow up.

Along the way I wondered if I wanted to be a personal stylist (I know pretty odd considering all those awkward photos of awkward outfits). I wondered if I could teach classes on finding your style (but that has already been done in a much better way than I could do it). Could I be a blogger that links to items I like and gets a small return? (Now we’re back to the awkward photos). For a while I experimented with a sewing blog thought. With patterns and instruction. Then I asked myself could I design women’s clothes and or patterns? Maybe but there is still a lot of learning that needs to happen there.
Then there is the question of the guilt over adding to the mounds of products we already produce and consume. I really couldn’t bring myself to add to it. Or else it was that secret fear that always lingers in the back of our heads of “I’m not good enough”.

I decided to go with the guilt. At last after a year plus of awkward writing and exploring I have decided to launch a line of up cycled and refashioned bike bags that are pretty enough to use everyday even if you don’t ride a bike. They would also work on a stroller handle or walker handle if life has taken you there. They can carry your bike equipment or your life equipment. They are designed to be easy on and easy off and bring joy to your life.

Most items are made from pound store purchases (rejects from even the thrift store) on their way to be turned into rags. I LOVE the challenge of looking at something that was once something else and turning it into a useful well loved item again. Everything gets thrown in the washer and dryer and put in a stack for future creations. It is a slow process that provides unique items.

What isn’t a pound store rescue is a remnant from a project in my life or someone else’s life. Buckles and webbing are new and I am exploring which options are most eco friendly. I recently purchased some past their prime leather coats that may provide handles or other bag pieces.

With this launch I am officially changing my blog page name to The Weekly Ride. Yet another way to walk my talk.
I’ve finally found my joy. I hope it brings you some as well.
What have you found to bring joy?