Friday, May 29, 2009

Winner of Gregg's Goodies!

21. baggypants said...
I am a Northern Mama subscriber!!
May 18, 2009 12:37 PM
Congrats baggypants I will email you shortly!

"Free Ecards" from Got Free Cards

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to send your love? We all love our family and friends but even the most organized individuals can be caught card-less at the last minute by a forgotten or unexpected event or special occasion! Why not save paper, save money, and save yourself the mailing time by emailing a unique and FREE ecard from got-free-ecards? Got Free Cards has a great selection of cards for every occasion featuring darling animated graphics which will tug at your heartstrings or make you giggle with one quick click of the mouse! From love and friendship to birthdays they have it all and the best feature of Got Free Cards is that you can personalize your cards by adding your own photos, voice, and a note from you. All this customizing is free and you are not required to register, unlike with other sites which speeds up the emailing process.

Got Free Cards now has a birthday reminder feature for those who find birthdays sneak up on them regularly and for those with a tactile nature who prefer the printed card free printable cards are also available at the click of a button with out the rush to a store and the frantic pocket search for cash.
Speaking of the frantic rush a special occasion has been known to cause remember that Father's Day is fast approaching! Why not surprise him with a personalized ecard? The unexpected, gift of letting one know you are thinking of him often lives longer in one's memory! Find Free Father's Day ecards or printable cards to match the sentiment you wish to express this year! And the website even has Free July 4th ecards for my American friends!

As time goes on and I experience the passing of more and more of my own birthdays...shhh I refuse to tell you how many...I find my list of friends and family growing! Each year I find myself extending more and more birthday greetings and salutations. The unending stream of greeting cards, envelopes, postage stamps, and trips to the post office could all be avoided with got-free-ecards Free Birthday ecards!

Mom Central comes to Canada!!

Mom Central has come to Canada!! Yes, this consulting firm which knows the importance and influence of mommies and hosts a one-stop online mommy site dedicated to providing us busy and hardworking moms with the resources we need to raise our children and run our households. Mom Central has been helping American moms make their lives easier and now Canadian moms can also benefit from the same trusted, and exciting information. At Mom Central, you'll find information on everything from toddler toys and baby-proofing to household finances and green living!

Moms trust other moms they know! Word of Mouth is becoming one of the most effective ways of marketing household and parenting products and in this digital age in which mothers research their purchases online mommy bloggers and other women of influence help to form a new community which expands the distance word of mouth travels. Mom Central wants to help create an online community of trusted mothers and you can be a part of it all! Would you like to test many of the latest and greatest products and services before they even hit the shelves and give voice to what mom's truly want and care about? Do you want the opportunity to pass on coupons and promotions to the moms you network with? You can just by registering to be a part of the Mom Central Testing Panel! It's simple and if you sign-up during the month of June you will have the chance to win one of five amazing Canon PowerShot cameras!
Allow your voice to be heard, be a mom of influence, and enjoy samples, and savings at Mom Central !

Teetering on the Brink!

Have you ever teetered on the brink of an issue? An issue many you often agree with may feel is black-and-white yet you can see the grey? Or even worse you can see the "black-and-white" of both sides? I am teetering on the brink of an issue that many of my readers may find completely obvious. It is the issue of Polar Bear hunting and endangerment.

I am extremely concerned about the endangerment of the polar bear. If you remember I worked in Churchill several years and have had some amazing experiences with these majestic animals. I however also lived and worked with the Inuit people of the arctic and know what subsistence hunting means to them. Now this is where this becomes an issue of complexity. As most people are aware the largest portion of the world's polar bear population resides in Canada and though many may question it the Canadian government does allow a controlled hunting of the polar bear by providing Inuit communities with a specific number of polar bear "tags". The Inuit in each community decide how many of those tags they wish to use themselves and how many they will use to allow outside hunters, often very well-off US hunters to purchase. This purchase meant important income for the community and for the Inuit hunters who act as guides and use their traditional knowledge of the bear to provide the outside hunters with a successful hunt. Wait! Don't start screaming at your computer monitor quite yet! I have always been aggravated by the fact that US hunters were able to invade our Canadian north for their trophies but after delving into the facts I realized there was more at stake than anyone can imagine in the south.

Let us start with statistics. There are 13 polar bear populations in Canada. The population trends vary for each. Five out of the thirteen populations are declining, five are stable, and two are increasing {the final population has insufficient data to define a trend but appears to be at less risk of decline in the next 10 years}. If one looks at a map of the polar bear populations and their trends one can see that most of those areas of the arctic in which the Inuit hunt polar bears are populations on the increase or stable. This could be coincidental or I believe it could be due to sound ecological hunting practices. Which populations are on a serious decline? Primarily those further north and those further south. The very popular Western Hudson's bay polar bear population is on a definite decline. This would be the population around our beloved Churchill. Though Churchill residents may have difficulty believing the population decline as they are inundated every year with their large furry visitors and of course the influx of tourists they attract! Churchill has always been the "polar bear capital". It is the ideal location for polar bears to land when the ice melts in the spring and the perfect place for polar bears to jump aboard the newly formed ice flows in the fall. In the meantime mother's can den and other bears can find less than favourable "sustenance" scavenging the garbage dump and the town. I would hazard a guess, though I must advice you now I am no expert, that tourism and habitat disturbance has a large role to play in the decline of this population of bears. Far north populations such as those of the South Beaufort, Kane Basin, and Norwegian Bay are likely on the decline due to climate change.
And it is Climate change and habitat destruction which is essentially the greatest threat to the existence of the polar bear! So while we sit on our cushy couches tut-tutting and shaking our heads at the horrors of hunting the beautiful polar bear and then proceed to hop in our car to buy a case of bottled water at the corner store {I speak metaphorically for some and literally for others} it becomes questionable as to who is really killing the polar bear! As I've written in a previous post it is the changes in ice conditions caused by climate change that greatly effects the polar bears' ability to hunt for seals, and survive out on the ice flows. As the ice takes longer to form the polar bears' period of starvation increases, as ice flows break up more quickly and more unpredictably bears drown in arctic waters or must desert their seal hunting grounds sooner!

Though US hunters may no longer be able to purchase the Inuit tags, the Inuit will continue to use them for themselves. Those same bears will be hunted. The meat will still be eaten by those same Inuit people whom were left the meat by disinterested US hunters before. The skins will possibly be purchased by Canadians or used for extra clothing like mitts. What has changed is that those Inuit individuals and communities who relied on the income of polar bear hunters to perhaps pay for a few more grocery bills at the local Coop or Northern Store will not buy those groceries and the community--which hoped perhaps for the income from US hunters' room and board, purchase of supplies, and maybe a few arts and crafts--will perhaps employ fewer locals. Unless you have seen how an Inuit hunter lives in a very small remote Nunavut community, unless you've paid $200 for one bag of groceries at a northern Co-op store you will never know the impact! I would never say that hunting for trophies is a noble pursuit and I would never say that people viewing this as a black-and-white issue are wrong in their convictions but I do feel their is a grey area that is sometimes unseen or unheard. The Inuit have been a people of little environmental impact. They are a "traditional society", I'll be it one now tainted by our own! They still hunt for survival. Many Inuit families regardless of social assistance, and casual employment could not feed themselves without subsistence hunting and special income opportunities. Caribou and seals are their staples but a whale can provide meat for a community and a bear for an extended family.

How do we learn to weigh all these complicated elements? How do we resign our consciences to the various sides of an issue so dear to our hearts? I am not in total disagreement with the American decision to ban US polar bear hunting and to put the polar bear on the endangered species list but those people most effected really need to be included in such processes and deliberations. A people and an animal so bonded must be considered as part of the same ecosystem. The Inuit and the polar bear are a kin to one another. They have co-existed for time in memorial. They hunt the same prey, the seal, and they utilize the same territory, and on occasion they hunt one another. I just live in the hopes that southerners come to realize that it is our society which is at fault, it is our society that is in "self-destruct" mode and to pass the buck on a society closer to nature than our own and to punish them with our holier-than-thou attitudes calls for us to wake up to the possibility that we are not always right even when our conviction and passion tells us we are!

As the post title indicates I am teetering. Please do not send me "hate" comments, and do not judge me based on this post unless you have lived in the arctic and advocated for polar bear conservation as I have. I think it takes a strong look at both sides to be in the boat that I am in! I just thought approaching this issue from a different angle might be significant. I am environmentally conscious but also care very strongly for human rights and in particular the rights of traditional/aboriginal societies. It is a struggle I understand within myself after having lived in aboriginal societies and having begun to understand the ways of a hunting and gathering society.
FYI: The only picture in which a polar bear skin appears is the very first one at the top of this post! All the other skins and clothing in the following pictures are those of caribou and perhaps some seal.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Easy Daysies Winner!

24. niki said...
The chores and reward kit would be my pic
May 15, 2009 10:16 AM

Congrats Niki! I'll email you :)

Endless week!!

It's been an endless week of pleasantries and despairs. I am exhausted both in body and soul! The weather has finally started to turn a corner so I was able to plant my garden this past week. We borrowed a friend's rototiller and hauled over a few loads of manure. Yes, one wonderful thing about living in the prairies there is no shortage of natural fertilizer. Our friends run a small organic beef farm which is wonderful for omnivores such as us. We know where the meat is coming from, how the cows are treated and what they are fed, and we reap the benefits of their waste! I am hopeful that our garden will provide us with a wealth of vegetables this year. With three children and the cost of groceries it will be economical as well as healthful.
The week has been filled to overflowing with kids soccer games, cub camp for my son, and my youngest daughter's birthday {she turned 5 Monday}! My husband as I have mentioned before has a very demanding occupation and has been working overtime almost every night. I once had pneumonia severely while living in the arctic and have had a weakness ever since to coughs. I came down with a nasty one last week which I am still wrestling and the cold nights sitting on the sidelines shivering as I cheer on my little soccer stars have not improved things. A week of coughing and running hither and yon, cold ruined dinners and sheer exhaustion. And did I mention, my now 5 year old daughter still refuses to go to bed at bedtime? Life can be so cruel!

Ah but I planted flowers today...things are certainly looking up and my parents are coming from Ontario to visit in two weeks...Breath :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kids Konserve Contest!

I have reviewed Kids Konserve in the past and remember your reader discount for Northern Mama is ending May 31st. But fear not Kids Konserve is offering a new 10% discount using the code: voice10 . Kids Konserve is also offering a lucky reader of their blog a Kids Konserve Summer Camp Kit. Just visit the Kids Konserve Blog and learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!
Did you realize that we are filling in the ocean with our wasteful habits? Our wastefulness is unfathomable! The Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to be the size of Texas!! It is outrageous to think that what we consider a common daily act of tossing garbage into a trash can is what is essentially destroying us and our planet! This is why my family has become more and more conscious of what we toss. Reuse, reduce, and recycle have become the tenents of survival!
Help fight waste by using reuseable lunch and camp kits like those from Kids Konserve!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Did You Know You Could Help Fight Hunger for FREE?

I'm on a social mission the find ways to make the world a better place not only through big acts, raving activism, and financial donations but through the small daily acts that are simple and manageable! Here's a simple way we can all help fight hunger. The Hunger Site was launched June 1999 and is aimed at using the power of the internet to meet a humanitarian need! How does this work? Just click the yellow "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button and this will trigger a staple food donation paid for by one of the site sponsors. Mercy Corps and Feeding America {formerly America's Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network} distribute the donations. 24 000 people in this world die of hunger daily and most are children! You may also wish to visit their online store, browse their news and articles about hunger issues in the world, and check out their teacher resources!!

The Hunger Site has expanded to include other click-to-donate causes such as saving the rainforest, helping to increase literacy, helping to provide child healthcare and more!! These can be accessed through their navigation bar.

I am placing the Hunger Site link on my right sidebar. Feel free to access them through my site and click daily!

Wow! Ecousable Water Bottle Winners!

Sorry I was a bit late posting but here they are...the lucky winners!!

25. elaine said...
I like the 25oz Metallic Blue Filtered Water Bottle.Elaine
May 11, 2009 8:49 PM


29. Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...
I have your button (finally!!)
May 12, 2009 11:50 PM

Congratulations to Elaine and Matt, Kara, Hunter, and Cavan!! Wow this is REALLY your lucky week Kara! I will contact you both now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

More Exciting Reviews and Giveaways to Come!

Some of you lucky giveaway contestants might notice my giveaway list is currently low. But fear not I have a great line-up of fabulous giveaways and reviews on their way! The mail is a bit slow and I truly do test thoroughly before reviewing. I'd like to thank all my followers for their loyal support of my endeavour and I will continue to bring you an eclectic mix of posts from northern experiences and book reviews to ecologically and kid-friendly product reviews and giveaways and craft ideas! My varied world as a mother of three continues to spark and inspire the varied world that has become Northern Mama!

O'Bon Winner!!

We have another winner! This is your lucky week Kara {2 wins}!!
I will message you again, Congratulations!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Icarus Girl -- Book Review!

Helen Oyeyemi has done something I always wished I could and she did it at the age of 19. Helen wrote her first novel, amidst A-level examinations and is now a student at Cambridge University. This alone is an amazing accomplishment but to write a novel so compelling is an even greater one! Icarus is the Greek god who is famous for his attempt to flee Crete by flying...the result a fall to death. In this novel it is a young girl who experiences flight and fall!

The Icarus Girl is the story of eight year old Jessamy Harrison. Jessamy struggles to fit in, struggles with life and is prone to frightening fits of screaming which lead to illness. Jessamy is the daughter of an English father, a Nigerian mother, and she is intelligent beyond her years, reading Shakespeare and Haiku she certainly is different from other children she knows. Concerned Jessamy's parents make the decision to take their daughter to Nigeria in the hopes that this will provide a cure for her mood swings and fits. Jessamy is introduced to her African family and soon meets a secretive, ragged little girl named Titiola whom she calls Tilly, Tilly. It is this new friendship which becomes the catalyst for the rest of this novel. A novel which embarks on what seems a rather ordinary story becomes a haunting tale of enchantment and horror which constantly keeps the reader questioning. What is real, what is imaginary, and can the spiritual and imaginary also be "real"?

This first novel is a remarkable literary accomplishment which weaves the Nigerian mythological world view with classic literary themes. Jessamy lives a life between cultures; She discovers she was once a twin and lives between the worlds of the living, the dead, and the bush. Gripping and imaginative The Icarus Girl is beautifully written and original. A read you will never forget and which will lead to much contemplation well beyond its final page!
Published by Peguin Group {Canada} This book is available at all the leading book stores.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Winner of the Wrap N Mat !

20. Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...
How creative! I like the catnip design.
May 13, 2009 1:55 AM

Congratulations Matt, Kara, Hunter, and Cavan!! Kara I'll message you tomorrow :)

Tilvee Eco-Ethical Skin Care Review and Discount

I must admit I am always extremely concerned about skin care and my skin's health. I had a terrible war with acne and though the battle is won the war rages on. My skin is therefore very sensitive to different products and I must always be terribly careful about my choices especially with regard to facial products. I have always believed that products containing more natural ingredients should in fact be a healthier choice for my skin but one often gets hooked on buying the old department store brands for fear that trying something new may cause a skin flare-up. When I came across Tilvee I thought with such luxurious natural ingredients and the absence of so many harmful chemicals how could I go wrong?

Tilvee products are not only made from pure ingredients but Tilvee's business practices are eco-ethically sound. Tilvee uses organic and fair trade ingredients which support sustainability, Tilvee does not utilize animal testing, and uses glass packaging and biodegradable labels. Their Green business practices mean you can rest assured you are not only buying products that protect and nourish your skin but also the earth.

I was given several products to test and I discovered a few wonderfully new favourites after trying them. The first product I tried was the Antioxidant Facial Cleansing Bar. This bar was ideal because it is suited to all skin types. After using the cleansing bar I felt my skin was clean yet still hydrated. I really dislike cleansers that seem to strip your skin of hydration yet there are also those cleansers that seem to leave an oily film which leaves you with an unclean sensation. The Tilvee Antioxidant Facial Cleansing Bar left me with neither of these hideous after effects. And listen to these ingredients: Rooboos and Pomegranate and Hemp Seed Oil! Rooboos and Pomegranate are powerful natural antioxidants and the hemp seed oil provides essential fatty acids for hydration and skin health. Tilvee fully discloses all it's product ingredients. You can read the ingredients list for each product directly on their website before ordering...this I love!!

One of my absolutely favourite items? The Tilvee Cranberry facial lotion or balance lotion!! This lotion is a light lotion which is meant for normal to oily skin and is extremely soothing for problematic skin such as mine. I found it left my skin feeling hydrated without being greasy or oily. I often find moisturizer the most difficult product to purchase. When you have problems with oily skin or acne applying moisture which sometimes translates into more oil and grease is a horrifying thought but without hydration your skin can feel even more irritated and unhealthy. This lotion is a dream! It did not irritate but actually soothed my skin. My skin felt soft, smooth, hydrated, and ...bottom line healthy after applying it! The lotion features antibacterial Cranberry and Wild Harvested Algae which infuses skin with essential nutrients and it combines these with antioxidants and herbal extracts that sooth problemed skin! Wow! I am definitely sold on this product! I also received the Antioxidant facial cream for normal to dry skin but used it only on a couple drier areas on my face as it was a little richer an emollient.
Another fabulous and rather unique facial product which I found wonderful was the Acai Pomegranate rejuvenating masque. When I was navigating through Tilvee's website this was one of the products I was eager to try. As you may already know Acai berries grow in the Amazon and are known for their high antioxidant levels. Of course I have heard more about the benefits of consuming Acai than external use. I was excited to see it being used in a skin care masque along with pomegranate in this dry masque. Yes, this is a dry powder masque to which you may add water, juice, or honey if you have oily/problematic skin or add yogurt, avocado, olive or botanical oils if you have normal to dry skin. I added water and was a bit skeptical when I spread it on my face. The colour is a roan red/brown and I envisioned myself as an Amazonian tribal woman with her face painted, how appropriate. I however also had visions that it might stain my did not! What it did do was dry quickly and left my skin smooth and supple! I truly enjoyed the results and it was fun imagining myself in the Amazon for the 5-10 minutes I wore the masque. What is the Acai Pomegranate Rejuvenating masque meant to do? It exfoliates to leave your skin softer and smoother, it fights free radicals and prevents aging, it detoxifies, improves tone, texture and elasticity, and helps to diminish sun spots and sun damage! All this in one pot of powder!

The final product I just have to rave about is the Pomegranate Body Cream. This cream is luxuriously rich, non-greasy and glides on smooth and silky. It has a light, delicious scent but you can also buy the unscented Pomegranate body cream. This cream is skin nourishing, restores elasticity,and prevents premature aging.

Tilvee included a postcard with their products which is quite revealing and I had to share. It is titled Toxic 10. It is a list of 10 toxic ingredients you really should avoid in your skin care products. The FDA does not regulate personal care products and companies are not required to disclose all the ingredients they include in their products. Here is the Toxic 10:
1. Fragrance-a blanket term which could include thousands of chemicals. Many of these may be toxic, cancer causing, and cause side effects including asthma, and skin discolouration. Phalates are chemicals that make fragrances last longer and are linked to birth defects.
2. Propylene Glycol & Butylene Glycol-The EPA considers these so toxic that it can cause brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities just through skin contact or inhalation. These chemicals are also found in windshield wiper fluid!
3. DEA, MEA & TEA- These are hormone disrupting and form cancer causing nitrates. They are used in shampoo and bubble baths and increase the risk of liver and kidney cancer.
4. SLS & SLES {Sodium Lauryl & Laureth Sulfate} - These are strong detergents and degreasers and are found in over 90% of foaming cleansers. Animal studies have shown these cause eye damage, immune system damage and death! They can cause carcinogens and can be retained in the organs.
5. DMDM & Urea-A preservative that releases formaldehyde which causes allergies, chest pain, fatigue, ear infections, immune dysfunction, asthma, heart palpitations, cancer and more!
6. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-This is a petroleum product which dehydrates your skin and is carcinogenic. It increases the signs of aging and leave your skin vulnerable to bacteria and disease.
7. Parabens-Used as preservatives they are hormone disruptors and are linked directly to breast cancer and heart problems.
8.FD & C Colour- pigments from coal that deposit toxins into the skin. Some can even deplete the oxygen in the body and cause cancer.
9. Mineral Oil {a petroleum by-product}-coats the skin, clogs pores, causes acne, and trapping toxins.
10. Isopropyl alcohol {a petroleum by-product}-Dries and irritates the skin stripping it of moisture and the immune barrier.
Information on the Toxic 10 obtained from Tilvee.
Tilvee would like to offer Northern Mama Follwers a 30% Discount! Use the Discount code: GF09 when ordering!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Here's a beautiful giveaway at Sandier Pastures!

I love the blog Sandier Pastures. While I raised my babies in the arctic desert this amazing woman is raiser hers in the desert...well Dubai most precisely!
She has a few wonderful giveaways but I think this is so darling. Prints from The Lalala shop.
So precious and whimsical. My eldest daughter really loved the one entitled "Late"!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Does the weather get you down?

I am a northerner to the core! If I were still living in Kugaaruk or Kugluktuk, Nunavut {Canada} I would still be looking out upon a vast white landscape of ice and snow. Why then does the slightly above zero temperature of today here in Saskatchewan depress me so? I believe it's to teasing tantalizing 20 plus degrees we experienced only yesterday! I think I would much rather winter stay rather than the taunting teeter-tottering weather we've been enduring. I am now hacking due to a sore throat and a body which just can't get used to the weather confusion! I would not allow mother nature to spoil my spring fun entirely however. I tilled my newly expanded garden today! When mother nature is through with her seemingly endless seduction games I will be ready!
The photo above is one of a May day in Kugaaruk, Nunavut. I guess a beautiful day is truly relative because we thought it was an absolutely gorgeous day at the time and spent it out on the land skidooing!

Posie and Me Winner!

5. Christy on the Craggy Moor said...
I follow and I also love the wool felt tea set w/ cookies! I love the colors and whimsy. My daughters just ooohed and aaahed over Posie and Me as we browsed :0) Oh, and I love wool felt!
May 5, 2009 12:28 PM
Congratulations Christy!! I hope your daughters love their new wool felt bake set !! I'll contact you now!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lotus Paperie Review and Giveaway!

I am a memory keeper! Photography, journaling, keepsake boxes, shadow box frames, and scrapbooking are some of the many mediums I use to keep these memories alive and safe for my children and I suppose myself and my husband in our old age! I am always in search of beautiful embellishments, lavish papers, and rich inks to inspire and to compliment my family photos. Discovering Lotus Paperie provided me with a great alternative to the mass generated scrapbooking kits I've found elsewhere.
I love creating my own layouts and searching out coordinating elements but sometimes when time is of the essence, which is most often I find with three children, I find it difficult to coordinate everything with efficiency. This is when a kit like the one I received from Lotus Paperie is a godsend! It allows me to pursue a much loved hobby without stressing over the time restraints. What is most wonderful about these kits is that they are not typical kits full of basic mass produced die cuts and paper only! Vanessa puts together a collection which includes the unusual and unique elements I love to include most. I received the Madera Island scrapbooking kit which included so many delightful treasures. Hatpins, felt flowers, mini-coasters, two fabric patterns, a library book card, a page from an old reader, and some tickets/stamps are just a few of the exciting embellishments. I spent last evening creating three double spread layouts and I still have enough paper and a few embellishments left for at least one or two more! The Madera Island kit inspired me to create layouts using the photos from our family trip to a nearby Corn Maze this past fall though I suppose I could have used it just as easily for a family camping excursion.
Lotus Paperie goes far beyond an Etsy scrapbook product supplier! Vanessa also creates fabulous knitwear. Funky leg warmers, cloche hats, and merino scarves are a Lotus Paperie signature! And who can blame a fellow northerner for adding warm products? Yes, I feel a true affinity as a former arctic resident to this business which is run out of Whitehorse, Yukon! From knits to mini-albums, cards, and creative coordinating scrapbooking supplies this is a truly eclectic and happening Etsy store!
Be sure to take a peek at the Lotus Paperie blog where you can enter monthly challenges, win great scrapbooking prizes, and upload your winning layouts! There is also information and layouts from the lotus paperie design team and featured designers each month! WOW!
Vanessa would like to fuel your creative fires by offering one fabulously lucky Northern Mama reader his/her own choice of Scrapbooking Kit !!
To Enter:
  • Visit Lotus Paperie and tell me what your favourite item is {Required}
  • Non-bloggers may also enter but please remember to leave your email with your comment.

Extra Entries:

  • Follow my blog
  • Subscribe via emailGrab my button
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back here {Please leave me the link to your post}{Please leave a separate comment for each entry}

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes May 31, 2009 10:00pm CT. For further details see General Giveaway Rules.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Lost Art Design Winner!

39. Mommydearest said...
I Grabbed your Button!
May 13, 2009 3:28 PM

Congrats Mommydearest! I will contact you shortly!

Happy May 24th Weekend!!

I have decided to spend this evening scrapbooking. I am a memory keeper! I adore finding new and creative ways of preserving my family's cherished moments. Scrapbooking is one of my favourites and tomorrow I have a special treat for all my readers who enjoy scrapbooking as I do. Scrapbookers better tune in for tomorrow's giveaway and I better get back to preparing for it!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gregg's Goodies Review and Giveaway!

I absolutely love Etsy! Etsy is a wonderful place to discover new and interesting items and meet the people who create them. I love handicrafts and am an amateur artist and crafts person myself so I admire those who turn their passions into a business! Gregg from Gregg's Goodies is a retired school teacher whose passion for flowers and love of paper crafts is becoming a business in bloom.
Gregg is a gregarious fellow and has been constantly improving his work. He was gracious enough to send me four sets of items to review and is offering one Northern Mama reader the same! Gregg creates paper flower bouquets which he designs to accurately mirror those in his gardens, symmetrical cutouts matted for framing or transformed into quaint greeting cards, and inspiring embellished handmade journals.

I received bouquets of Gregg's paper cosmos in pink. I am not a fan of plastic and fabric synthetic flowers for home decor but these fragile paper flowers add a delightful accent and conversation piece to my guest room. The flowers and leaves are delicate cutouts of paper accented with bead or felted centers.

Gregg's cutouts are folky and cozy. I am especially fond of the cut out greeting cards. Even with the advent of email and the newest in communication technology I am still an old fashioned letter writer. There is nothing like the personal touch of pen to paper! I enjoy surprising my friends and family with unique cards and these will be no exception. As I have said there is nothing like the emotional connection one feels when writing with pen in hand and as a writer, if I dare call myself such, I prefer writing traditionally without the click of plastic keys. Writers can be a queer lot. Some can only write using an out of date typewriter, some only certain paper. I am definitely one to hand write with pen and paper when the creative urge strikes. I love the inspiration aesthetically pleasing notebooks and journals can create. Gregg's journals have an element of romance that could inspire lovely poetry or personal thoughts.

One Northern Mama Reader will win : One bouquet of paper flowers, one set of cards, one matted cutout, AND a journal {all of the reader's choice}. How very generous!!
To Enter:
  • Visit Gregg's Goodies and tell me what your favourite item is {Required}
  • Non-bloggers may also enter but please leave your email address with your comment.
Extra Entries:
  • Follow my blog
  • Subscribe via email
  • Grab my button
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back here {please include the link to your post with your comment}
{Please leave a separate comment for each entry}
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes May 29, 2009 10:00pm CT. Please refer to General Giveaway Rules for further details.

May 22nd is International Day of Biological Diversity! ~Message from the David Suzuki Foundation

I recieved this article from the David Suzuki Foundation and thought I would share!
Weekly Science Matters column by David Suzuki with Faisal Moola.
We must fight the alien invasion - for the sake of biodiversity
Last year, customs officers at the Vancouver airport got a surprise when they checked the luggage of a woman returning from China. They found 70 live Shanghai hairy crabs! Meanwhile, people in England seem reluctant to flush unwanted goldfish down the toilet. So they give them a new home in the Thames River. Back in Vancouver, if you walk through Stanley Park this summer, you'll come across a pretty spot called Beaver Lake. It's covered in water lilies and is home to red slider turtles and bullfrogs. What's the common thread? It's all about invasive alien species. These are plants and animals that end up in an environment where they weren't previously found – usually with help from humans – typically causing harm to the native species and ecosystems they interact with. Most invasive species share ecological characteristics that give them an edge over native flora and fauna in competing for resources such as nutrients, light, physical space, water, and food. These characteristics include the ability to reproduce quickly and disperse throughout the environment, as well as tolerance to a range of habitat conditions. Thus, although the hairy crabs may have been destined for the cooking pot, as the woman claimed, customs officers couldn't take that chance. Environment Canada notes that the crab is one of the 100 most invasive species in the world. They compete with native species for food, they tunnel into riverbanks and dikes, causing erosion, and they carry parasites that can make people sick. The Thames goldfish also compete with native species for food and transmit diseases to competing species. In Beaver Lake, the lilies are speeding the demise of the lake itself, rotting and decaying in the fall and turning the lake into a bog. The United Nations has declared May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity, and this year's theme is invasive alien species. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity notes that these plants and animals constitute "one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, and to the ecological and economic well-being of society and the planet." Introduction of a species from one environment to another is nothing new. Early European explorers and settlers brought with them to North America livestock and grains that weren't previously found here, as well as stowaway Norway rats and numerous diseases. But globalization and human movement have increased the spread of invasive species worldwide. As with plants and animals introduced by European settlers and explorers, today's invasive plants and animals are sometimes deliberately introduced – often for food or decorative purposes – and are sometimes accidentally introduced, as with zebra mussels and invasive plants spread when ships empty their ballast in Canadian waters. As well as competing for resources, many alien species kill and feed on native plants and animals. They can also alter habitats, making them uninhabitable to plants and animals that previously lived there. And they can breed with native species and weaken the gene pool. The economic impacts can also be severe, as when, for example, valuable food crops or species are wiped out. Because they enter in so many ways, these invaders can’t be stopped through laws alone – although laws can help when it comes to things such as regulations governing where and when ships' ballast water can be dumped. Education is one of the best ways to slow the spread. Often people are unaware of the consequences of introducing new species to an ecosystem. Cooperation at local and international levels is also essential. Canada joined the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992 and developed the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy in 1995, with the goal of monitoring and controlling importation of alien species. Once an introduced species has established itself, it is extremely difficult to eradicate. Targeted control is commonly used where species have already been introduced. This can range from removing the alien species to using pesticides or herbicides to introducing native predator species. We should all become aware of alien invasive species and the ways they are spread. Many communities have volunteer programs to get rid of these species. In Vancouver's Stanley Park, people volunteer to pull out the invasive English ivy that has grown throughout the park, choking many of the park's native plants. We can't entirely stop the spread of these alien invaders, but we can all pitch in to make sure we keep our ecosystems as healthy and natural as possible.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bow Me Over Bows Winner!

8. My Moms View said...
May 2, 2009 12:52 PM

What a week of winners!! My Mom's View you have won the three Bow Me Over hair accessories. I will be emialing you shortly:)

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