Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Iron Craft challenge 9: Customized Locavore Notebook

This week's Iron Craft challenge was to create something inspired by a movie.  I love movies--lots of movies--so it was difficult for me to narrow down my selection.  Films inspire me to make things all the time; I can't watch a BBC production of a Jane Austen novel without wanting to take up embroidery.  I dreamed of pies for days after watching the movie Waitress for the first time.  For this challenge, though, I really tried to think about a movie that has inspired me in a more meaningful way.  Almost two years ago, I saw Food, Inc. on PBS.  It's one of the only films that has actually changed my life.  I have always loved food, cooking and eating it, but I just didn't give a lot of thought to how it is produced.  After seeing Food, Inc., I was inspired to learn more about the people growing my food, and the impact such production has on human health and our environment.  I started thinking about ways that my legal education could relate to food systems; I am in the middle of a year-long writing project on farm-to-school programs that integrate local food into school meals (and the ways that law can support such programs).  Through this process of becoming more a conscientious consumer, I have found farms, markets, shops, and restaurants that produce and sell the food I want to eat.  As a result, I have purses full of scraps of paper with phone numbers and business names hastily scrawled on them.  Tidbits passed along by friends.  Random business cards and pamphlets.  News clippings.  So, I decided it was time to create a better way to organize them.

I started with a basic composition notebook.  I used spray adhesive to attach a partial map of Michigan (which I hope to soon consider 'local' once again).  I wrote two phrases on the cover and drew a heart around Genesee County--home.  I used the same letter stamps I purchased for the zombie Valentines (see previous post) to stamp my notebook divider phrases (food, farms, shops, notes) on blue card stock.  I cut them out and folded them in half so that they could sandwich a piece of notebook paper in the fold.  I used packaging tape to attach the tabs on the appropriate pages.  I also stamped food categories (beef, poultry, dairy, eggs, berries, greens) on the cardstock and glued these to the cover of my notebook, a reminder of the broad array of food that we can get from within 100 miles of our homes.  Once I was satisfied with their placement, I covered the front of the notebook with clear contact paper.

I used spray adhesive to cover the first page of each section with cardstock. Then I attached an envelope to the cardstock to hold any brochures, fliers, business cards, or scraps of paper I still find necessary.  I also figured that if I carry the notebook with me, I can jot myself notes about local producers and stick them in the appropriate envelope until I have time to check them out.  Within the "food," "farms," and "shops" sections, I stamped letters (from a-z) on the tops of the pages so I could easily find the alphabetized entries.  I figured the last section, "notes," would be a place to write down the simple recipes people share at the market or promising food leads I may want to follow up on.  I'm so excited to start filling out my notebook!  It's so easy to turn a basic, cheap composition notebook into something to suit your needs.  Redecorating a room?  You could have sections for paint colors, fabrics, flooring, contractors.  Planning an event?  Need one place for family recipes?  I hope you'll make a personalized notebook to help organize your special project.  Be creative and enjoy!

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