Thursday, July 14, 2016

VIDA: Art on Clothing!

Printing art on clothing has taken a new leap forward with an innovative company, VIDA, which I recently discovered. VIDA was founded in 2015 by Umaimah Mendro, a woman born in a village in Pakistan, who formerly worked for Microsoft. Based in San Francisco, VIDA deals directly with artists to put their work on high-quality clothing. They sell only on-line, cut out the middleman, and pay a true living wage to the producers of the clothing.

Montezuma Quail top
(All art by Narca)

At this time, their manufacturing partners are located in Florida, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and they plan to expand to other countries. Funds generated by the sale of clothing support literacy programs for their workers in poor countries.

45,000 designer/artists from 500 cities in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America are now part of the VIDA program!

Hummingbird Joy

VIDA's clients are primarily women who appreciate fine design and are also concerned with their impact on the world. Their line of products include silk and modal tops and three styles of scarves. Contributing artists include designers associated with Vogue and Elle magazines. I feel honored to be included in such company!

Here are a more few examples of the art-clothing you can buy from VIDA:

Singing the Blues

Bluethroats, Baby!


Juniper Hairstreak

Kick Up Your Heels!

If you'd enjoy wearing or gifting high-impact art on clothing, here's the link to VIDA!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tribute to a Toilet

After several years of a failed experiment with Envirolet composting toilets, I've installed two new ones of an innovative design –– Nature's Head, a urine-diverting, composting toilet. Already I'm a convert, and elated with the results.

Our Nature's Head composting toilet

I'm posting the news here in case others of you who are reading this, don't like the idea of flushing perfectly good drinking water down a toilet, especially when we live in a desert!

After a month's trial of the new Nature's Heads, we can say they're working great and are very easy both to use and to clean. Four friends staying in our guesthouse adapted beautifully to the novelty. We even emptied one before its time, being eager to see the outcome, and indeed, the compost was just... compost. Its aroma was pleasantly earthy, nothing else. Our overarching plan is to finish the composting process in one of our compost piles, which is dedicated to fertilizing the orchard and other trees.

You can read about Nature's Head at their website, and check out the fun videos at the "Gone with the Wynns" blog. The Wynns answer questions about Nature's Head while taking coffee atop their toilet seat.

It was kinda fun taking the old (empty) Envirolets to the trash compactor down at Garbage Corner. I had come to despise the things because they were so difficult to clean and had a host of other problems. The fellow running the compactor said, "This is my favorite part," as he crunched the two Envirolets. It was a high point in my day, too.