S/S 2015 Fashion Trends

We sat down with owner/founder of Flying Colors Baby, Faye Segal, to talk children’s fashion – trends for 2015 and what parents should look for when buying their child’s clothes.  Since FCB opened in 2008, it has become one of the premiere online (and brick and mortar) destinations for children’s fashion. Offering quality clothes, from all over the world, and exceptional customer service, all at an affordable price.

 

What are the trends you are seeing for Spring/Summer 2015?

Let’s talk color. Yellow is going to be very popular this Spring and Summer.  What better way to greet the warm weather than with cute yellow jeans and spring dresses from 3 Pommes? Also, pastels and pale colors are going to be very popular.

As far as design, this Spring and Summer is going to be funky and classy.  Printed tees are huge right now! There are so many different types of prints on teeshirts.  The printed tees make your kid look like he is wearing 5 layers, but he is only wearing one.  Sierra Julian has some super cute tees.

 

Sierra Julian

 

What are the three most important factors when buying children’s clothing? 

1. Quality. That’s the most important. Children get dirty very quickly, so you need to purchase cltohes that are durable and washable over and over again.  It’s important to spend on quality clothes that will last, even beyond your child to your next, lessening families’ carbon footprint.

 

Fashion life

2. Comfort. Parents need to be attention to the comfort of their child.  Think before you buy that 100% wool sweater.  Your child may look like he’s got the chicken pox because he is so itchy.

3. Care. I see so many parents burning through clothes because of the way they wash them.  It is important to pay attention to the washing directions.  If you are going to spend a pretty penny on quality clothes then you want to make sure they last.  I always tell my friends to machine wash quality clothes, but hang dry and iron them.  Never put them in the drying machine.  Dryers are wonderful for things you do not care about.

 

Do you think moms look for “Made in America” clothing? Is that important?

Well, let’s not kid ourselves, the majority of clothes are not made in America.  In fact, even European brands might say “Made in Paris,” but the manufacturing was outsourced.  What’s important to moms is finding trustworthy brands that use great fabric and don’t shred, i.e., Hugo Boss and Moschino.  These brands will never let you down.

Fashion Children

 

What are some new designers to Flying Colors Baby parents should look for this year?

We are really excited about bringing Marney to Flying Colors Baby in the Fall.  Billieblush and Billiebandit – made by the company that manufactures Chloe and Marc Jacobs.  With clothes available from ages 1-12, these new two new lines are more affordable, but still deliver that high-end quality.

 

Quality comes with a price. Any suggestions for families who can’t afford top prices to get quality clothes?

Right now we are running a 70% Fall/Winter promotion. That means that a $70 Moschino tee is now $20. You can’t beat that. Our shipping rates are so competitive.  We offer $5.95 flat rate no matter the purchase.  However, what really sets us apart is our customer service.  The customer is always right, and we want to make sure the shopping experience with Flying Colors Baby is unmatched.  Our customers always come back.

Trending Now In Sustainable Fashion

Dhana Teens : For The Good of The World
Girls and Boys / age 8 to 16 years
Dhana Teens represents fun and fabulous eco fashions for girls and boys ages 8-16. Teens are all about steppin’out and making statements, as they discover their own power to impact the world!
The organic, low-impact styles and accessories in our Dhana Teens collection support smart, socially conscious kids in their quest to express themselves and make a difference.
Dhana is an earth-conscious brand celebrating our global connections in life. Our mission is to inspire our younger generation to adopt a green, global philosophy for life. We strive to unite the beauty of nature, the choice of natural, organic elements, the celebration of world cultures, the creative genius of global artists, the passion of entrepreneurs, and the voices of children through the universal
medium of Fashion. Dhana represents collaboration between people all over the world, made with respect for the planet, honoring each other along the way and celebrating the gifts we share in common.

www.Dhana.com

Burt’s Bees Baby
Girls and Boys/ sizes 0 to 7T
Burt’s Bees Baby’s Fall Collection takes the family on a trip to the Great Redwoods. The colors are a base of natural browns & greens with pops of color for a playful look. The incorporation of their signature bold stripes keep the line fun & whimsical. As always, their graphics are inspired by nature, with exploded
florals & little bugs. Their line is both sophisticated, laid back and features soft French terry, cozy pajamas, hosiery, and “back to school” season essentials. As always, everything is 100% organic.

www.burtsbeesbaby.com

Go Gently Baby
For boys and girls from 0 to size 8.
Inspired by the thought of us all going a little more gently in life.
The American made brand offers infant & toddlers up to size 8. Known for its simple & clean looks, this brand has created quite a following. With fits that provide a long wear time, moms continue to flock to have their Go Gently pieces each season. Using all organic fabrics & sustainable practices, Go Gently Baby continues to keep our children looking perfectly fashionable while showing us that you don’t have to sacrifice on style to be a sustainable clothing brand! For the Fw14 collection, A Woodland Adventure was the inspiration:
Winter florals, bark prints and colors inspired by nature and our world.

www.gogentlybaby.com

Ladida
For boys and girls age 4 to 10

Ladida, an upscale brick-and-mortar store located in New Jersey,
brings you the widest range of high end kids’ designers and a
guaranteed friendly and fun shopping experience. It’s not just a shop,
but a way of life. Are you a Ladida kid?

www.ladida.com

poème & poésie
Boys and girls from 0 to 24 months
Inspired by cherished family heirlooms, poème & poésie is a line of elegant handmade babywear that blends loving craftsmanship and a graceful, modern aesthetic. With classic details and contemporary silhouettes, it is designed to be worn, treasured and handed down from one child to the next. Each piece is rendered in fine, earth-friendly materials like soft, breathable organic cotton
and finished with bespoke details including hand-stitched embroidery, handmade lace and mother-of-pearl buttons. Bloomers, shirts, gowns, blankets and shoes are a few of the signature pieces in the collection. Made in Ceylon, poème & poésie revives the distinctive art of handmade babywear.

www.poeme -et-poesie.com

Shan and Toad

Boys and Girls from 0 to 14 years old.

Shana Laub has always been passionate about fashion…and then she had three little girls. Shopping for children’s clothes became quite the hobby for Shana. She’d often get stopped in the street, being asked where she had found her treasures and troves, prompting her to put her shopping savvy skills to use, and open a children’s boutique. And today, another two girls later, Shan and Toad is steadily becoming one of the premiere children’s e-tailers in the U.S. Shan and Toad has garnered a style-conscious clientele that values fine quality along-side style and cutting-edge design. Both elegant and chic, the Shan and Toad collections are redefining children’s fashion, offering a well-balanced mix of designer and indie brands.

www.shanandtoad.com

SPENCEBABY
Boys and Girls From 0 to 24 months
SpenceBaby clothing offers timeless style in high quality organic and eco-friendly
materials. Sophisticated and classic looks are only a portion of SpenceBabys no
compromise story. Every portion of each product is made from the highest quality
organic cotton and bamboo fiber. Your baby’s comfort and health are the fundamental driving factors of Spence Baby, which uses only 100% Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) certified premium organic cotton and bamboo fiber to produce our high quality and stylish baby apparel. But it doesn’t stop there; we even ensure that no harsh or toxic chemicals are present in the dyes used to make our original and timeless designs.

www.spencebaby.com

Velveteen 
Boys and Girls From 0 to 10 years old.

Velveteen was founded with the idea of dressing bold, kind and happy children, who strive to discover the world around them. Velveteen embraces the exciting, fascinating and magical world of childhood. Since its inception, the brand has been offering chic, comfortable and timeless collections for babies and for girls. Next spring-summer season, Velveteen will also launch its first collection for boys !
The brand’s clothes are beautifully and ethically manufactured in India with the finest fabrics. They are handembroidered and have unique details. Velveteen teams up with fair trade artisans whenever possible and seeks out social enterprise partners in India who are focused on providing sustainable income to marginalised communities.

www.velveteenclothing.com

INDIGENOUS
Fashion must do good to feel good. That’s why INDIGENOUS has, since 1994, forged a new and better road for an industry notoriously in need of a conscience. This eco-friendly fashion brand doesn’t just express your personal style, it also preserves both our planet and artisan traditions. INDIGENOUS’ fair trade artisans create gorgeous knit and jersey clothing. They work in safe conditions, earn fair wages, and receive training to better their lives and incomes.
So, indulge in sumptuously knit sweaters, boiled alpaca wool jackets, and twining pocket scarves. Drape yourself in the finest organic cotton tops and skirts, all while helping to alleviate poverty and empower women in Peru.

www.indigenous.com

Prophetik
Romantic visual artist, pioneer, and unconventional designer Jeff Garner and his
sustainable, organic label Prophetic are on a path of transformation, leading the evolution of fashion and changing our perception of luxury. Garner’s garments have the sophistication that sets them apart from typical organic clothing. Using organic dyes from garden, recycled bottles transformed into greenspun fleece, working with materials like flax and durable hemp that is naturally softened with baking soda, and employees who receive fair pay to produce his designs are all a part of what makes Prophetic distinct. Prophetik has also received extensive attention in technology-based media, an iPhone case was launched that was designed and handcrafted using reclaimed leather in collaboration with Griffin Technology.

www.prophetik.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Harmony And Balance Within Using Essential Oils

As we grow in our understanding about health and the connection between mind, body and spirit, we can recognize that achieving balance takes a multi-dimensional approach.

The chakra system is part of an ancient tradition of understanding the vital role that the energetic body plays in the balance of our daily lives.  Energy flows through the body and the chakras – or centers/wheels of energy – correspond to the different aspects of human life and development.  Each governs a unique physical, mental/emotional and spiritual state.  It is believed that when these energy centers get blocked or the flow of energy is disrupted, the result is an imbalance of health.  When the chakras are balanced, life flows with ease and harmony.

However, most of us experience daily imbalances in many aspects of life.  We struggle to maintain health and vitality, and seek restoration. The practice of yoga is one method used to restore balance to the chakras, but there are a variety of other balancing practices including the use of essential oils.

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Here an essential guide on how to use the essential oils with the seven main chakras:
The Root Chakra (Muladhara)
The Root Chakra governs foundational aspects of like, like home, career and money. When the root chakra is in balance, you feel secure, safe, connected to the world and able to provide for your family.

To assist in creating a sense of grounding, stability and security you can use essential oils like myrrh, vetiver and patchouli – all which contribute to the balance of Muladhara.

The Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana)
The sacral chakra is connected to passion, relationships, creativity and reproduction. When the sacral chakra is balanced, you can experience pleasure and are open with your feelings.

To support creativity, emotional stability and passion consider the use of aphrodisiac essential oils like sandalwood, ylang ylang, neroli and jasmine.

The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
The Solar Plexus Chakra relates to empowerment, strength and self esteem. When the solar plexus chakra is balanced, you can be spontaneous, powerful and self-confident without being overbearing.

To  bring balance to Manipura, you can try empowering oils like sandalwood or cedarwood, and citrus oil which are oils of a happy spirit – joyful, positive and encouraging.

The Heart Chakra (Anahata)
When the heart chakra is balanced you feel open and secure in your emotions. You are your most creative, loving and inspired self.

To expand your capacity for love and to encourage more love in your life, you can connect with romantic floral oils like rose, jasmine and geranium.

The Throat Chakra (Visuddha)
The Throat Chakra relates to communication. If you  struggle to communicate with those in your personal or work life, balancing the throat chakra will not only help you express yourself to the world, but also ensure you are listening to what the world is saying to you.

To support calm and clear communication, the chamomiles – both roman and german can be used to restore balance to Vishuddha

The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
At the level of the Third Eye, we are relying on our deeper vision and perception. When the third eye chakra is balanced, you are your most intuitive and visionary self.

To support mental clarity and focus, rosemary and sage essential oils can benefit Ajna.

The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
If you are feeling tense, disconnected or spiritually void, you may need to balance the crown chakra. This energy center governs spiritual awakening and enlightenment.

To support the crown chakra, consider using essential oils with strong spiritual ties like neroli, lavender or frankincense.

To support each chakra with essential oils, diffuse any or several of the above oils in your home. You can also wear these oils diluted right behind the ears or around the base of the head for closer influence.

Article from The Fashion Issue

Fighting Cancer One Smile At A Time

Up Close & Personal With Jon Diaz, photographer of the Beautiful Faces Of Hope™: national campaign to fight and prevent pediatric cancer.
NCW: When did you start making children’s wishes come true with your lens?
JD: I started doing the images depicting kids and their dreams in early 2012, but it
wasn’t until this year that I began doing it for kids with cancer. In December 2013, I decided to use what talent I had to help others, to inspire and give hope to children who are fighting for their lives.

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NCW: How did you start? What was your previous background?
JD: I assume you are speaking of my photography background. I began taking
photographs seriously in the middle of 2011 when I opened my photography
business J.M. Diaz Photography LLC with my mother MerriLyn Diaz. We did mostly family portraits and weddings. The business was mostly a means to find more people to take pictures of in order to fuel my creativity as well as a way to fund an expensive hobby! While fun and interesting, family photography and weddings was not the kind of photography I was interested in creating. I knew I wanted to be more creative with my work and I knew that I wanted my work to mean something. So that is why I started the Anything Can Be project.

NCW: Can you talk a little bit about the Anything Can Be Project?
JD: The Anything Can Be Project was created as a way to use my photography to
better peoples lives and to allow myself away to continue creating the types of
images that I was interested in doing. Anything Can Be was derived from a Shel
Silverstein poem. The poem teaches children to ignore the negativity of the world
and to believe that anything is possible. Specifically I take the dreams of children
who are battling cancer J.M. Diaz Photography LLC and bring them to life through photography! I try to base the images in reality but I also attempt to add an element of fantasy and whimsy as well. During each photo shoot we attempt to make it memorable by making each shoot an experience that reflects their dream.

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NCW:How was your experience at the photo shoot for THE BEAUTIFUL FACES OF HOPE™?
JD: Shooting the images for The Beautiful Faces of Hope™ was a great experience, everyone was professional and respectful. For me the kids involved in the shoot were the highlight of the experience. Like most children I have met who are fighting cancer they were optimistic despite dealing with something so scary and painful. The kids were a lot of fun and definitely having a good time. Anytime I can be a part of putting smiles on kids faces, especially kids fighting life-threatening diseases, it is a good day!

NCW: What is one of the things you learned by photographing children
affected by cancer?

JD: I have learned that there is so much more to be done in the fight against pediatric cancer. The fight is far from over. Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children. The damage done to these kids through their life saving treatments, often leads to more problems later on in their lives. Because childhood cancer drugs are not profitable for pharmaceutical companies to develop, advancements that improve treatments are virtually non-existent.

Article from The Fashion Issue

Toxic Clothing

Parents understand the important role that they play in the everyday lives of their children. Part of that role is to protect them from as much as possible, even from something as innocuous as their clothing. You might be asking yourself, “Their clothing? Why would my kids need protection from that?”, but the truth of the matter is that the excess of cheap apparel, and the superfluity of unnecessary foreign manufacturing has grown exponentially, resulting in  toxic clothing and man made fibers of polyester, acetate, rayon, and nylon that will not only poison our streams but hurt our bodies and our children’s bodies.

 

The Change Of An Industry

A short background on the subject matter might be in order as we continue this journey. Essentially clothing used to be made with plant-based fibers, such as cotton, flax, banana, linen, hemp, and wool; and dyed with the beautiful colors created by both plant and Earth, such as marigold flowers, and red matter root. When consumer demands increased along with the industry’s greed, there was a shift – moving away from plant-based fabrics and dyes, because they were too costly for this new business model and were limiting the production numbers. Strangely this was not enough for commercial companies that thrive on growth and sales every day, so without consumer awareness, chemicals and toxins were added to clothing manufacturing for cheaper quality and faster production.  This resulted in cheaper price points to drive more product, and more accessibility to consumers without the knowledge that what they were now buying would poison their bodies.

Coloring for Clothes

 

Cheaper to produce, brighter, more colorfast, and easy to apply to fabric, these new dyes changed the playing field for the textile industry. According to the Wall Street Journal, imported clothing in the US is one of the few products whose pricing has decreased in cost by 25% since 1995 instead of inflating.  There is always a reason for cheaper pricing, and unfortunately this one is linked to our health. We are now beginning to see the results of these changes in clothing manufacturing.

 

Risking Our Health, And That Of Our Children

Although many mothers are aware of the bleach in diapers and the resulting diaper rash, they are not aware of the chemicals found in clothing and how they effect our skin.  The body’s  most breathable living organ,the skin, was not designed to be covered in clothing. If a parent places synthetic fabrics with toxic dyes onto the fresh baby skin of an infant, one would typically see the resulting effects appear in the form of  a rash or allergic reaction. Bleach, formaldehyde (which is a carcinogen linked to cancer), dioxin another carcinogen, and toxic heavy metals such as chrome, copper, and zinc are a few of the many toxins found in today’s commercial brands of children’s clothing.

CNN reported that several years ago they used “bio monitoring” technology to test for chemical legacy in infants and children. It was discovered that children had 18 times the potential harmful chemicals in their bodies than their parents’ generation.

Dr. Leo Trasande, Assistant Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Children’s Health and the Environment in New York City notes, “we are in an epidemic of environmentally mediated disease among American children today.” He adds, “rates of asthma, childhood cancers, birth defects and developmental disorders have exponentially increased, and it can’t be explained by changes in the human genome. So what has changed? All the chemicals we’re being exposed to.”

Bioaccumulation is the name given to the accumulation of toxins in our bodies, and everyone has different thresholds in regards to the amounts of toxins we can accrue before our health is affected and shown by the body. Exposure to certain toxins for five years in one person, could be equal to a lifetime of exposure for another person. These toxic agents that accumulate have been discovered in food, cleaning products, diapers, skin care products and clothing. Of these categories, clothing is the last frontier for toxin awareness. Food-coloring additives that have been outlawed in the food industry for decades due to their link to cancer are still being used in clothing dyes, plastisol inks are used for printing those cute baby graphics, and bleach continues to be used to get those pretty whites, white. As many people who are not aware of these toxins, are also not made aware that these toxins never wash out of their clothes, and that heat opens the pores resulting in toxin off-gassing which the wearer consumes. It is time for change.  Be proactive in your search for non-bleached, un-dyed, natural fabric options for you and your kids. Stay away from printed pieces, and if dyed, make sure it is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified.

2014 ECO EXCELLENCE AWARDS WINNERS

Our Mom’s Lab tested products from all over the world. They rated performance, style, design, footprint, socially conscious endeavors and ingredients. Five finalists were selected in each of the 40 categories, and were voted on by you, the fans! We have collected all the votes,  and have notified the winners. Now, we are ready to share the winners with you!

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Cancer Prevention

Cancer in humans continues to make headlines, however cancers in pets, particularly dogs, is still considered a normal course of events. But it doesn’t have to be.

 

WHAT CAUSES CANCER IN DOGS?

Cancer is a “multifactorial” disease, which means it has no known single cause. However, we do know that hereditary and environmental factors can contribute to the development of cancer in our pets, especially dogs.

Symptoms of cancer may include:

  • Lumps (which are not always malignant, but should always be examined by a vet)
  • Swelling
  • Persistent sores
  • Abnormal discharge from any part of the body
  • Bad breath
  • Listlessness/lethargy
  • Rapid, often unexplained weight loss
  • Sudden lameness
  • Black, tarry stools (a symptom of ulcers, which can be caused by mast cell tumors)
  • Decreased or loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

 

PREVENTION

No one has done any clinical trials or statistical studies that prove it is possible to prevent cancer in at-risk dogs, but common sense and clinical experience make a strong case for avoiding anything that exposes an animal to known carcinogens or weakens the immune system. Just like their human companions, dogs live longer, healthier lives when they eat the right foods, get enough exercise, breathe clean air, drink clean water, and stay away from harmful substances. They may also be helped by immune-boosting herbs, supplements, special foods, and a few things you might not have thought of.

Here’s a review by CJ Puotinen of recommendations from holistic veterinarians and other experts:

 

MINIMAL VACCINATION PROTOCOL

Increasingly over vaccination has been identified as a health risk by holistic vets and veterinary colleges. “Vaccines really disrupt the immune system, “ says holistic veterinarian Dr Hershman, “especially combination vaccines that are given annually.” Like many holistic veterinarians, she recommends a single-dose parvovirus vaccination at age 10 to 12 weeks, followed by a single-dose distemper vaccination four weeks later and a rabies vaccination after age six months.

 

WE ARE WHAT WE EAT. SO ARE THEY.

Dog Eating Food

 

As we grow increasingly conscious about what we feed ourselves and our families, we should consider what goes in our pet’s food.  Many veterinarians blame grain-based pet foods for diabetes, digestive problems, and other canine disorders. Keep in mind that the canine digestive tract evolved on a diet of prey animals, consisting mostly of meat and bones, not wheat and corn. Pet food is not tested for many carcinogens (like human food is) and pesticides and it has been proven to contain chemical preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, or by-products of high-heat processing.

 

IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOST: SUPPLEMENTS

Antioxidant supplements, which help protect the body from damage by free radicals, have many health benefits, including cancer protection. Food-source antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients derived from whole foods are recommended by many holistic veterinarians because they are recognized as food by the body and are more easily assimilated than synthetic vitamins grown in a laboratory. The words “whole food” or “food source” indicate natural rather than synthetic ingredients. One of the simplest cancer-resisting supplements you can add to your dog’s food, according to Bruce Fife, ND, is coconut oil. Dr. Fife, the author of several books about coconut’s health benefits, recommends feeding dogs 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds of body weight per day in divided doses.  “The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil help treat or prevent all kinds of illnesses,” he says, “and they have significant anti-tumor properties. Giving your dog coconut oil every day is inexpensive health insurance.”

 

THE GRASS IS NOT ALWAYS…GREENER

Lawn treatments and agricultural chemicals are known to cause cancer in animals Dogs pick up pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals through their feet and, when they sniff the ground, through their noses. Keep your dog off the grass in chemically treated neighborhoods, and explore organic alternatives for your own lawn and garden.

Cute Dog

Even household chemicals pose a threat to our canine companions. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 150 chemicals found in the average home are linked to birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities. If labels carry a “keep away from children and pets” warning, or if product labels suggest they should be used only in well-ventilated areas, look for alternatives.

 

STAY AWAY FROM TAP WATER

Fluoride has gotten such good press over the decades that most Americans think it’s essential for healthy teeth. It’s even added to some canine toothpastes. But in many countries, fluoride is considered a hazardous industrial waste, and its use in water supplies is prohibited. In September 2005, eleven unions representing more than 7,000 scientists and researchers at the EPA called for a national moratorium on the fluoridation of America’s drinking water, citing cancer risks.

 

LET THERE BE LIGHT

You probably haven’t thought about light as a cancer preventive, but it may well be. Not just any light, though. Unfiltered natural light, Mother Nature’s full-spectrum light, activates the hypothalamus and keeps the entire endocrine system balanced. All dogs can benefit from access to the full-spectrum light found outdoors, which activates the hypothalamus and keeps the endocrine system balanced. Light enters the eyes not only to facilitate vision but also to activate the hypothalamus. This region of the brain, in turn, controls the nervous and endocrine systems, which regulate functions throughout the body.

To learn more on how to keep you pets healthy in a natural way visit www.whole-dog-journal.com

I Didn’t Make Him Sick (I’m Told)

I wear this statement of insistence as a badge of honor, proudly adorning my crinkled button-up shirt. My laptop computer perched atop the adjustable rolling table, precariously set among the previous evening’s clutter of paper cups, juice boxes and half-cans of soda that have been procured under the assumption that I was just raiding the patient fridge for him. Not that the combination of orange juice and lemon-lime soda, with a few creamers and artificial sweetener stirred with bendy straw was actually a delicacy I enjoyed for myself behind the closed door and dim lighting of our spacious hospital room, in the west wing, on the seventh floor – Oncology.

The hollow sound of cable news leaks over my left shoulder as I sit in the overstuffed vinyl covered recliner that has become a home of sorts, for me, and for my son Joel, who is folded into my side – content and asleep.

 

I am a good father.

 

I move to reposition the computer so that I can type, but the machine protests; the line is  occluded; the one that tethers Joel to the Mothership through the small plastic tubing that will feed Joel saline and medicine, and neon poison to kill the beast that lives inside of his head, platelets and red blood cells, and finally when the time comes that he is no longer able to breathe on his own, oxygen to his lungs.

 

And it will come, but not yet.

 

All things alien in this hospital ship have become commonplace.  Its creatures traverse the dim quarters, speaking of my son and the thirty other children on this floor in detached, hushed clinical tones that belive the seriousness of his condition for those who speak the language. A language that I am learning by immersion.

The clinical ones feed substance into his veins, attach leads to his heart, drill holes in his head and look inside at my authorization with their space-age technology. I sign the forms that warn of complication, sickness and even death. And that is ok, because they will save his life.

 

They will save his life and I am a good father.

 

I did not make him sick. I checked. There’s nothing we could have done to prevent this, I am told.  My mind swirls in the sea of carcinogens, which seem float as a film on the surface of existence. What about the cheap toy we let him put in his mouth? Our cell phones? The fast food? The sun? The sin and corruption I see in my own heart? Certainly I had something to do with this, and so I can fix it with my love.  I have him here by my side and I don’t leave him  unless I must, and I only browse the internet and watch movies on the computer, but I don’t play video games, because I am a good father.

Tonight, as I sit here at my kitchen table writing this column, awash in the memories of Joel and the last four years that blend together, indistinguishable in their time, and blurring in their space.  I feel them drawn away from me in a current that travels one way. So I have made it my job to gather them, hurriedly reassembling them in poetry and prose, reanimating them in code and sculpture and reliving them in the one form I refused to let myself escape into – a video game we are constructing by the name, That Dragon, Cancer.  Come to think of it, maybe I should add some aliens.

Photo Credit: Ryan Green

Tree Houses

 

Suspended above the ground 26 huge laminated timber ribs surround tree house like the canopy of an ancient tree. Each of the 6m high timber ribs is finished with a unique and sustainable timber product called Kebony, a sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood. Kebony is a fitting choice for the tree house because of its strength and environmental credibility.

“When you say the word ‘tree house’ most people think of a few pieces of timber and palette up in the branches of a tree. As you can see this is not the type of tree house we build. We have completed a wide variety of strange tree house requests, including installing: an Aga oven, hot tubs, home cinemas, offices, wet rooms, secret tunnels and even a tree house with a separate door for the fairies!!” Says Simone Payne, Director of Blue Forest Tree Houses, a bespoke luxury tree house builder in East Sussex, England. Blue Forest has been fulfilling clients’ dreams for a wide range of unique structures from fairytale play areas to romantic tree house hideaways. “We have built residential and commercial tree houses from hotels and Bed & Breakfast all over the world, to private Zen retreats for wealthy celebrities, even royalties.”

 

BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN HUMANS AND NATURE
These arboreal architectures are inspired by nature, organic shapes and how animals and insects build their nests, using natural material and building techniques that have minimal impact on the environment. The designs are aimed to blend in with nature and try not to dominate the surrounding area. These are the principles of biomimicry, whose shape mimics organic forms that exist in nature which intended to help disguise the design of the structure into the woods as a way to further unite the two.

Log Tree House

Tree Log Insides

 

Suspended between fantasy and reality, the Roost treehouse embodies this concept mimicking the organic curvaceous forms found in nature. “The aim was to create a tree house that could blend in and almost become part of the tree itself, camouflaged in the surrounding forest.” Says Antony Gibbons, creative designer of the Roost and principal of Antony Gibbon Designs. The Roost treehouse consists of a series of pod like capsules that are harnessed to the trunk of each tree using a bracing technique that causes no harm or interference with the trees growth. Each capsule has a central spiral staircase leading up to an outdoor platform. This connects to the adjoining pod allowing access into the next structure a well as providing additional support to the overall structures. Only one of the pods has the spiral staircase running to ground level. The interior of each pod sleeps 2 people and the above exterior platform is designed to interact with the forest surroundings providing panoramic views of the trees canopy’s. All the materials used for the construction are from sustainable materials and do not damage the trees in any shape or form.

 

TREESORTS

Treesorts

Treehouse resorts, dubbed Treesorts, are instead the latest trend in luxury travel, springing up everywhere from the U.S. to New Zealand. Rooms can range from $50 to $600 a night, according to The Wall Street Journal. Building a hotel in the treetops is hardly a new idea: Brazil’s Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel has been inviting guests to explore the jungle canopy from its rooms since the mid-1980’s. But the concept has blossomed and the level of luxury and comfort achieved is unparallel. This is the case for example of South Africa’s Tsala Treetop Lodge, in Plettenberg Bay, and you’ll find infinity pools and fireplaces. In Sweden instead, leading Swedish architects gave the backyard staple a strange futuristic makeover at the Treehotel outside Harads village. Perched four to six meters above the ground, each of five treetop suites has its own look, whether resembling a bird’s nest, a flying saucer, or a construction of Lego blocks. The most ingenious suite has a mirrored exterior, reflecting the forest on all six sides.

 

DIY
What better way to learn how to build a treehouse than to acutally get started building one! Treehouse Workshops are five day, interactive training courses for people interested in learning how to build treehouses from scratch. These small group workshops are open to enthusiasts of all skill levels and take place at various locations around the country. Not only will you learn the basic concepts about treehouse design and construction, through hands-on experience you’ll practice all steps up to, and including, the construction of the platform that will hold the treehouse.
• Tree selection and protection
• Basic tree climbing
• Tool safety
• Installation of specialty treehouse hardware
Participants enjoy meals and down-time together—a great opportunity to share dreams, stories and ideas about treehouses and life. You’ll leave with printed informational materials, practical treehouse building experience, a climbing safety helmet and new treehouse friends!

Tree House

If you are looking to re-connect with nature, a romantic gateway, or to awaken your inner child, tree living maybe just a new opportunity to explore.

Photo Credits: Blue Forest and Anthony Gibbons

Giveaway #36 – 24 Days Of Christmas

Christmas Day is almost here and our best biggest gifts are here. To make this holiday season even more special we’ve teamed up with unique, eco-friendly brands. Each day we will be giving away amazing gifts; from fashion to accessories, toys, nursery items, pet toys and even more! This year your holiday shopping is on us!

Day #24 – Gift Basket by Himalayan Dog Chew

Himalayan Dog Chews come from an ancient recipe by the people of the Himalayas. In the mountains, at more than 15,000 feet, it is made using traditional methods with yak and/or cow’s milk, and all natural products without chemicals or preservatives. Now, this piece of Himalayan culture is available to you and your dog.

www.himalayandogchew.com