3.03.2009

Inspiration, Part 1

While I'm extremely grateful for the hard work and creative genius behind sites such as Whip-Up and One Pretty Thing, I don't visit daily simply because there's too much inspiration on these great sites. I'm extremely sensitive to inspiration overload - I want to make each and every thing I see, but end up making nothing because I don't know where to begin. So I only visit these sites about once a week, and without fail I find something I absolutely have to make.

Last week it was the fabric snack bags, ala We Wilsons, featured on both Whip Up and One Pretty Thing. The timing of this project was perfect - George had recently purchased new pillows for each of us, and the pillows were packaged in heavy duty plastic zipper pouches. He said, "I bet you can make something with this plastic," and he was right.

homemade ziploc bags

I've never sewed with plastic before, and have rarely used Velcro, but they are pretty easy materials to work with. I deviated from the pattern a little and sandwiched some pretty fabric between two pieces of plastic - cloudy plastic on the outside, clear plastic on the inside.

homemade ziploc bags

One trick I discovered along the way was gluing the Velcro in place before sewing it to the plastic to help prevent slippage.

homemade ziploc bags

Each of the bags measures 7" x 7". Just big enough for a handful of pretzels or dry cereal for a quick snack, or a half eaten chocolate bar that I want to hide from the rest of my family. I'm only a little concerned about whether the plastic I used is food safe.

To be quite honest, I'm more concerned these days about whether my food is food safe. I had the unique opportunity this past weekend to hear a local food activist speak about GMOs and GE, that is genetically modified organisms and genetic engineering. This topic has been on my radar for a few years now, but I had no idea how mainstream GE food had become. Chances are, our pantry, refrigerator and intestines are full of GMOs. I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of what this means. In addition to being on inspiration overload, I'm now on information overload.

Suffice it to say, our family will be making some very big changes in our diet and food shopping habits. I'd like to share a bit of this journey with all of you, so I'll be posting periodically about what we are learning about GMOs and GE, and more importantly how we are ridding our diets of these nasty products and the tasty recipes we are discovering in the process.

I can just imagine what my little brother is thinking now. First she makes her own Ziploc baggies, then she starts going wacky with reading labels. All I can say is, just wait. Inspiration and information are contagious.

29 comments:

  1. molly, these are awesome! I love them!

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  2. Those bags are seriously cute!

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  3. they're much prettier than ziploc bags!

    my question is - do you know what the plastic is made of? is it food safe? it actually looks more like vinyl. not trying to rip on these - they're an excellent idea - but i'm just curious about it.

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  4. LOL! Love it! It is contagious! You are right!

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  5. i am going to follow your journey closely.
    first, though, i am going to makes some of these cute bags!

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  6. Love your baggies, been thinking about making some out of just fabric. There aren't many foods that require water-proof material to keep the crumbs from building up in the bottom of the diaper bag or purse! lol Yours are darling. I'm with you, in that our food is probably more dangerous than the plastic, though. The plastic will eventually stop giving off whatever it has to give off, whereas the GE food we keep eating is a fresh batch every day! lol I'm looking forward to your thoughts on our food's safety. Got you in my reader! Sally

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  7. I love my bag - thanks! I know how you feel about making everything, I'm the same way! I do want to make the braided rug we talked about this weekend. I know I can get super cheap fabric at Joann's.
    Dad and I will be interested in your food journey, we're up for change.

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  8. I love these so much Molly, but alas, can not sew. If you start selling them, I'm buying!
    I do use something now called a Wrap-mat: cute fabric squares with one side wipeable plastic & a velcro closure.
    Good luck cleaning out the pantry. You will be amazed when you do it how many things that are in the mainstream have nasty junk in them. It's absolutely do-able and completely worth it. Best wishes and thanks as always!

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  9. I look forward to reading about what you've learned. We've done quite a bit of research about food additives in our quest to help Jake with his ADHD - some of the stuff we learned is scary.

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  10. These are great Molly - I love them!

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  11. I love the idea of unique snack baggies, even though I hate to use plastic, I still do for some things like that. And those are super cute.

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  12. Those are so cute! Even though I'm not that big into using plastic I'm much more into using plastic than disposable so I think I'll be making some of these soon!

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  13. I have made similiar bags. experimented with plastic lining vs. not. it really depends on what you are putting in them. most important thing...remind kids to bring them home : )

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  14. first, awesome bags!! i wonder if there are different "grades" of plastic/vinyl and if all are food safe. this is not a "digg" more a thought i am having as i think about what i need to buy to make these (and you might have a really great input).

    i've only scratched the surface of gmos and ges. it's on the back burner right now with all that is going on but i want to dig a little deeper. thanks for the insight and honesty.

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  15. They are FANTASTIC!!! Now Im a little scared to go to the sites you posted.....Im gonna get overload too...lol!

    Love to hear/read what you have to say about GM food etc. I am not a believer in them for many reasons but Im a little unsure where to start with some of it too. Like a PP said its on my list of things to change and research more.

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  16. Such sweet bags! Plastic is always a tricky one, but I love your thought process behind your decisions... always! I'm looking forward to your journey of info gathering. I'm an avid label reader.

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  17. The journey regarding GMO and GE food will make you crazy. I started with "no high fructose corn syrup" and went from there...I read the Omnivore's Dilemma and and went even more crazy. Like you anticipate, it quickly became information overload and I had to step away. I can hardly wait to follow along with you as you dive in!(Love the snack bags...)

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  18. I stopped reading your blog for a while because of the exact condition you mention. I, too, am subject to inspiration overload. In fact, I was talking to someone today about how I have a tendency to "chase rabbits into field after interesting field" without getting much done. But....now that I have noticed you starting on a "food journey" I may have to add your blog to my list again. What can I say, I love inspiration.

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  19. you are a mad mama genius!
    i, too am looking forward to your food journey. it's one i am always on too, but have to step back occasionally as not to get too fanatical. it can really be infuriating and if i continue talking about it i won't be able to stop. so i'm going to stop now.

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  20. That's very funny, because this family's "eat local" "no gmo or ge" food is starting to kick into high gear.

    Did you read Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver? I'm not only about to re-read it, but I think it's a good after dinner read for the whole family.

    I literally had nightmares about genetically engineered foods. The first thing I did was to banish Canola. We've been Canola free for almost a year now.

    I'd love to see your insights, and I'll be sharing mine more as well. Hey! Maybe we could start a club!

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  21. Love those little bags! The fabric makes them look really sweet. Look forward to hearing more about your food journey. Thanks for sharing it so we can learn as well.

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  22. we're on the same journey here. We've ditched plastic bags (and paper towels) and have come a long way on getting GMOs and GEs out of our diet. The next step is growing veggies as much as we can in our too small space and supplementing with the farmer's market.

    Jeff and I have heated discussions about GMO vs. pesticide use, etc. He's a scientist, so he sees the potential benefits of GMOs and thinks they were introduced poorly, but aren't inherently bad. For me, biodiversity is the most important thing, and that we agree on. Regardless, you've hit on a hot topic in this household!

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  23. I think those bags are so insanely cute! You are so clever!!

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  24. You know sis, sometimes I do think you've gone a little ga ga. But, I'm actually backing you up on this one. Keep it up!

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  25. Love these!
    First time visitor here...smiled at the comment about your little brother...
    I bake almost everything from scratch and was even baking crackers today...that got a few comments. They are delicious though and totally worth it. I stopped buying regular crackers a few months ago bc of the preservatives. Now, to find a Goldfish cracker recipe...

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