FAQs About the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

FAQs About the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

FAQs About the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

This page is copied and pasted from the Remake.org website to foster information about this topic.

What is the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (aka The Accord)?

The Accord (or Bangladesh Accord) is a groundbreaking agreement on workplace safety launched in the aftermath of the worst industrial accident in fashion history, the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster. The Accord has been hugely impactful, protecting the lives of 2.7 garment makers in 1,600 factories in Bangladesh through factory inspections, upgrades, and training, putting a stop to the cycle of fires, building collapses and other accidents that senselessly take garment makers’ lives. The Accord agreement was first signed in May of 2013 between unions and more than 200 global apparel brands, including H&M, Zara, American Eagle, PVH (parent company to Tommy Hilfiger), C&A, UNIQLO, Primark, and Adidas. The Accord first expired in 2018, but a successor Accord agreement was extended again until 2021. We are now demanding the Accord’s continuation and expansion!  

When and why was the Accord developed and what is the Rana Plaza disaster?

On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed with thousands of people inside. At least 1,134 people died and thousands more were injured. It is the worst industrial disaster in the history of the fashion industry, and it came on the heels of several other deadly factory accidents, including the Tazreen and Ali Enterprises factory fires. 

Disasters in the fashion industry are entirely preventable. Garment makers were forced back to work at Rana Plaza even though they knew the building was cracking and structurally unsound after they were threatened by management with lost wages. Rana Plaza made it clear that the fashion industry needed a bold, systemic solution to unsafe working conditions in the form of a binding agreement. The Accord was signed within a month of this travesty. The result has been eight years of extraordinary progress, with the Worker Rights Consortium estimating that hundreds, quite possibly thousands, of lives have been saved. 

What is the goal of the current Accord campaign? What counts as success?

Remake and PayUp Fashion’s campaign goal is for these five brands (H&M, Zara, American Eagle, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A) to publicly commit to sign on to extend and expand the Accord. We are also looking for brands to not only commit to a new Accord, but commit to the most important 3 components of a new agreement, namely:

  1. Individual brand accountability 
  2. An independent secretariat to oversee the Accord
  3. Expansion of the Accord model into other countries

To see an example of what a strong and sufficient commitment to the Accord looks like, see Asos’s statement. We are also working with other labor rights groups to confirm brands’ commitment to the Accord extension is sufficient.

Have any brands committed to extending and expanding the Accord?

Yes! As of June 12, 2021, five brands have committed to extend and expand the Accord:

  1. ASOS
  2. G-Star
  3. Tchibo
  4. KIK
  5. Zeeman 

These brands have also agreed to the three important components of a renewed Accord, namely brand accountability, independent oversight and expansion into other countries. 

You can read Asos’s public commitment here, which states that “Given the importance of this issue, ASOS would like to state our commitment to continuing the progress made over the last eight years through the Accord, and to ensuring worker safety.” 

What’s also noteworthy is that KIK, a German discount clothing retailer, was producing clothing in Rana Plaza, as well as Tazreen and Ali Enterprises factories, all deadly factory disasters that happened in 2012 and 2013 in Bangladesh and Pakistan that led to the Accord. After seeing the success of the Accord, Kik continues to strongly support this agreement, saying that they “support the expansion of the Accord model to other production countries as we have witnessed the Accord’s success and effectiveness.”

What other organizations support the Accord?

The Accord has broad international support. In addition to global labor rights organizations like the Clean Clothes Campaign, which has led the #ProtectProgress campaign for years, global unions industriALL and UNI Global Union support The Accord, as do local unions and factory-level worker groups in Bangladesh representing hundreds of thousands of workers, including Awaj Foundation and Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity. Even politicians support the Accord: Most recently Agnes Jongerius, a Member of European Parliament for the Netherlands (S&D), issued a strong statement in support of extending and expanding the Agreement. 

Why target H&M, Zara, American Eagle, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A?

Quite simply these five brands–H&M, Zara, American Eagle Outfitters, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A–are well-known global apparel companies that source a lot of apparel in Bangladesh and throughout Asia. They are all original signatories to the Accord and they all tout their social and environmental leadership. We expect them to fulfill those lofty goals by continuing to support The Accord. As experience shows, once these leading brands sign onto the Accord, the rest of the industry will follow.

H&M for example has made public statements on the Accord extension, but the companies appear to favor the replacement of the Accord with a voluntary initiative that has no binding element or accountability for brands. We can’t let this happen. Individual brand accountability is the defining feature of the Accord, and what made it successful, and what we are asking brands to commit to.

C&A has made a similar public statement saying they support the replacement of the Accord with a locally run body. What that means is that C&A wants the binding agreement to fade away and be replaced by a voluntary initiative. What’s more, global unions will withdraw from that locally run body in August (the Readymade Sustainability Council) if the RSC fails to agree to a new legally binding Accord agreement on safety, as promised.

So far, Tommy Hilfiger and American Eagle have remained mum on the issue of whether or not they will #ProtectProgress and sign onto the Accord. Zara recently said they support a strong new agreement with individual accountability for brands

 Should we be pressuring other companies to support the Accord? 

Yes! We encourage folks to pressure any and all of the 2018 Accord Extension Signatories to support the Accord. Here is the full list. Within the list, we will be tracking the support of 25 large brands in total on the PayUp Fashion website: 

Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters (Aerie) Benetton, Bestseller, C&A, Carrefour, Cotton On, Esprit, Fanatics, Fruit of the Loom, H&M, Hugo Boss, Inditex (Zara), Loblaw, LPP, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, New Look, Next, Otto, Primark, Puma, PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein), River Island.

  1. Adidas 
  2. American Eagle Outfitters (Aerie) 
  3. Benetton
  4. Bestseller 
  5. C&A 
  6. Carrefour
  7. Cotton On
  8. Esprit
  9. Fanatics
  10.  Fruit of the Loom
  11.  H&M
  12.  Hugo Boss
  13.  Inditex (Zara)
  14.  Loblaw
  15.  LPP
  16.  Mango
  17.  Marks & Spencer
  18.  Mothercare
  19.  New Look
  20.  Next
  21.  Otto
  22.  Primark 
  23.  Puma
  24.  PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein)
  25.  River Island

How does the Accord keep garment makers safe?

The Accord is extremely effective at protecting workers’ lives and well-being for a few key reasons. Most importantly, the Accord is legally binding (meaning it has a contract behind it obligating its participants to fulfill their responsibilities) and it’s enforceable against individual brands, meaning brands can be held responsible if they don’t follow through. It has teeth and real consequences for brands that don’t comply with its conditions to upgrade factories and make them safe. Under the Accord contract, brands can even be sued in court by unions if they break their promises. In fact, several brands have been sued since the Accord’s inception to remedy life-threatening workplace hazards. Voluntary initiatives have in the past been unable to prevent mass casualties in apparel factories, and the Accord by contrast proved what’s possible with a contract between brands, unions, and suppliers. 

What has the Accord achieved?

It’s important to celebrate the dramatic progress made by the Accord. The initial inspection of Bangladesh’s factories back in 2013 found more than 87,000 safety issues, including more than 50 factories that were at immediate risk of collapsing. By 2018, the vast majority, 85% of all the original hazards identified had been eliminated. Today, more than 90% have been eliminated. It’s estimated that hundreds, if not thousands of lives, have been saved in Bangladesh by the Accord. In order to expand the Accord to other countries, the agreement needs to remain in place. 

  • The Accord covers 1,687 factories, providing building and fire safety inspections, remediation and training
  • More than 38,000 initial and follow-up inspections have been conducted for fire, electrical and structural safety
  • More than 90% of factories found to have safety problems have remediated those problems. That amounts to 1,260 factories. 

When will the Accord expire? How and why was it extended for three more months?

The original Accord was a five-year agreement that expired in 2018. At that time, a three-year extension was signed by more than 100 of the original signatories, and that agreement was set to expire on May 31, 2021. Three days before the expiration, the Accord signatories announced they would continue to negotiate a new agreement for three more months. Advocates and consumers have until August 31, 2021 to pressure brands to extend the Accord and negotiate a strong new agreement. 

According to the Worker Rights Consortium, a witness signatory to the Accord, the three-month extension has allowed more time for a strong successor agreement to be negotiated: “This will maintain the brands’ binding obligations for worker safety in Bangladesh through August 31. We are hopeful that a new agreement, preserving the crucial provisions of the Accord and expanding its reach, can be achieved during this time frame.” 

You can view the text of the three-month extension agreement here and the overall Accord agreement here.

Why should the Accord continue? Aren’t factories safe now?

If the Accord expires, brands will no longer be responsible for addressing safety hazards in factories where our clothes are made. We risk the occurrence of another Rana Plaza factory collapse, and perhaps most importantly we will miss the opportunity to expand the Accord to more garment makers, including those in India and Pakistan.

What’s more, the work is not done. A recent report by the Clean Clothes Campaign showed that significant safety issues, including blocked exits and missing sprinkler systems, remain in some factories in Bangladesh making clothes for major brands, including H&M, Bestseller, C&A, Joe Fresh, and PVH, among others. What’s more, the Accord is effective. That alone is a reason to keep its life-saving safety measures in place and protect progress. 

Undoing the Accord now will prevent its expansion into other garment-producing nations. Unsafe working conditions continue to kill garment workers in other countries, highlighting the need to not only extend but expand the Accord. Recent workplace tragedies in North Africa, including 28 workers killed by electrocution in an illegal garment factory in Morocco in February 2021, 20 workers killed in a fire at a garment factory in Egypt in March 2021, and 8 people killed in a collapse later that month in the same country show the urgent need for brands to commit to not only extend but expand the Accord to other nations.

Why are some brands resistant to continuing the Accord? 

Some but not all apparel brands do not want to be held legally accountable or financially responsible for keeping their garment makers safe. They hope to replace the Accord with a safety plan that is not legally enforceable on them. We don’t believe that they will keep their promises if they can’t be brought to court individually, as their factory audits, voluntary initiatives, and empty promises failed to prevent Rana Plaza before. 

Other brands make a similar argument that all of the Accord’s functions and operations have been effectively transferred to the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC), which was established in Bangladesh in 2020 to implement the Accord. But the RSC was never designed to replace the Accord agreement itself and if the Accord agreement expires on August 31, 2021, the RSC will just be another voluntary safety program, which we know doesn’t work to keep garment makers safe. 

“Brands are proposing a type of [Accord] agreement that we know from before 2012, one that is no longer legally binding upon individual brands and has no independent secretariat to oversee brand compliance. Under the guise of setting up a lean structure, brands are in fact returning to self-monitoring, in direct contradiction of what upcoming [mHRDD] legislation is demanding,” says Ineke Zeldenrust of Clean Clothes Campaign. 

I have more questions and I want to know more. Where can I get answers?

  • The Clean Clothes Campaign, a witness signatory to the Accord, has an extensive Q&A on the Accord available here
  • The Worker Rights Consortium, witness signatory on the Accord, has an extensive list of reports and memos about the Bangladesh Accord. Their latest update on the Accord is also very helpful reading.
  • The campaign website RanaPlazaNeverAgain.org also has Action Kits, FAQs and a petition that goes to a number of brands asking them to protect progress. 

Quotes & Testimonials About the Accord 

Please use these quotes on social media; just make sure to give proper credit to the speaker! You can cut them down to a shorter length if you need to, but please try not to change the intention of the speaker.

“I firmly believe that if the accord stays, then we will not have to die in fire accidents and building collapses.” – Ronjona Aktar Hashi, a Bangladeshi garment worker at the Alliance Knit Composite factory

“Eight years ago, the Accord was established for good reasons, to protect workers against dangerous working conditions and to put their safety first. Especially in these uncertain times during a pandemic, it’s extremely irresponsible for brands to backtrack on the one agreement that is holding brands accountable to their promise to keep workers safe in the workplace.” — Agnes Jongerius, a Member of European Parliament for the Netherlands (S&D)

“The Accord has played an outstanding role in preventing fatal accidents since its creation in 2013, and the work must continue. This three-month extension is a very important commitment. It demonstrates that we will not allow the safety and health of the Bangladeshi garment workers to be jeopardized while we continue negotiating a successor agreement with the brands, preserving the achievements in Bangladesh and also expanding them to other countries.” Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary 

“The Accord saves lives. Why on Earth would we walk away from something that works so effectively to keep garment makers safe?” — Elizabeth L. Cline, journalist and author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion  

“The one thing I’ve experienced after the Accord started working here is that our workers have a voice now. If there’s a crack in the building they can say “no” to the factory managers, I will not come back until you fix it.” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“Because of the Accord, the work environment has improved very much. Before there would be sacks lying here and there in the aisles, there would be three machines instead of one. There was no way out. We would have to jump over one another to make our escape. Now the aisles are clear, the workspace is clean. Now we are working in a safer environment” – Parvin Akter, Assistant Secretary of Workers Union at Ananta Apparel

“Binding obligations for companies work much better than voluntary promises. As a result of that process [of the Accord], we now have vastly safer factories in Bangladesh.” – Scott Nova, Executive Director of the Worker Rights Consortium. 

“Bangladesh has experienced one of the most effective campaigns of the globalized era to improve labor and safety conditions.” — Lizzie Patton, The New York Times

“We can talk freely to Accord officials. When we file complaints to Accord officials, they respond very promptly. They don’t get easily convinced by the statements of the factory management. They regularly check compliance issues during factory inspections. We strongly believe that the Accord should stay and operate in Bangladesh.” — Mim Akter, garment worker and union leader, Dress, and Dismatic factory, Bangladesh 

“The Accord is a landmark agreement because it is a binding agreement. It’s not like the empty promises brands have been making to workers about their safety for years. That alone speaks volumes. ” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“We need brands to sign on the international Accord and continue to protect the progress that has been made in our country. ” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“Brands and retailers must make sure that an incident like Rana Plaza can not happen again, here in Bangladesh, or in any other production country. Our workers’ lives are important.” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“If we had had the Accord before, we could have saved all those lives that were lost in the Rana Plaza collapse.” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

Important Links:

Sign the petition at RanaPlazaNeverAgain: www.RanaPlazaNeverAgain.org

Videos to Share and Watch:

Please feel free to post these videos on social media with credit and attribution. 

  • Never Forget Rana Plaza. Credit: Remake
  • Rana Plaza & Tazreen Survivors Speak. Credit: Remake
  • Why the Accord is important. A worker explains. Credit: Clean Clothes Campaign

Additional accounts to Follow for Accord Updates:









This page is copied and pasted from the Remake.org website to foster information about this topic.

What is Transeasonal Dressing

What is Transeasonal Dressing

Transeasonal Dressing – Perfect for Spring and Fall – For a year around style. 

It is a concept to reduce production of clothing and consumption of clothing. A way of dressing to save on the amount of garments needed to live a full existence. Travelers think this way a lot. How many different ways can I wear this skirt or pair of pants?

Clothing that can be layered or worn alone. Clothing that can go from day to evening, or from work to play. If we are wearing functional pieces that can change with the seasons, and the activity, we are doing really well. 

The dress codes are not as strict according to social norms going forward or in certain circles. We can set an example by wearing dresses from morning until evening and to the playground or on a long walk. Finding versatile pieces. I once made a vest with panels that folded out on my lap while eating hot dogs at a game or eating lunch on a bench or it I could use it to sit on.

In my opinion, women lawyers should wear shorts with blazers and everyone should be able to wear shorts to work, church, and out to dinner. Men should wear skirts once in a while. The Scottish kilt has made a mainstream foray here and there and I think everyone all around loves the freedom! The Indonesian wrap skirt men wear seem so effortless. The tunics of clergy get to have that sheath comfort women experience with some dresses. 

TransSeasonal fashion are pieces especially found for your sustainable wardrobe of versatile quality to last.

They are the lightweight oversized white blouse that can be worn many different ways with or without layers. 

The great pair of skorts or baggy shorts made from a durable hemp or bamboo tencel with an elastic waist. 

The boxy t-shirt of organic cotton that looks so good it can be worn with a jacket or to court. (I am obsessed with court?–It kills me. Women lawyers do not wear pants?!)  

A comfortable tailored jacket, or well made, well fitting jacket, not necessarily fitted, but made out of a fabric that looks and feels good. A tweed from recycled wool (wool is a breathable year around fabric the Arabs of the Sahara wear) , or ethically sourced linen with sustainable silk blend. 

Other basics include a thin knit shirt. The h20 heat fabric is lightweight, warm and works as an overtop or sweater and as a base layer, bought from Costco (can not be good, but is it) Read ECO/CULT article about sourcing how a fabric is made is more important than anything else. 

The h20 has a Huggy feel to excuse under garments or not too tight to add a big bra underneath. 

Always perfect jeans, I would recommend Levis but there are so many brands to research to find the ones you love. I need at least three or four pairs in my wardrobe. I am lucky enough to always run across a vintage pair of Levis that I inevitably doctor up with a higher waist band addition, some embroidery, some extra length, some side panels, some inseam panels, the list goes on and on. 

We all need one go-to jumper/sweater for year around use. My favorite is a hand me down from my daughter, -it became too big for her?  It is white on the front including the sleeves and black on the back with the perfect boxy cut straight across at the neckline producing a mock turtleneck.  It works with everything when being prepared for cold.

Check out some of these versatile dresses to inspire making one of your own with some of the unworn excess in your closet. Look closely through the blurry pictures into your imagination of waking up one morning in April wearing one of these artfully combined upcycle easy dresses. 

Shirt Dresses to put on and wear all day long are also a must have to make your clothing more sustainable and functional.  Most have roomy side pockets. Some are wrap dresses designed to tie at the side or pinned in place with a brooch. One is an open front designed as a tunic or can be wrapped. 

Most of all Transeasonal is about shopping for more than one occasion or one season. 

To Cut or Not To Cut

To Cut or Not To Cut

To cut or not to cut? Cut all these clothes I have? 

These days I am not so hesitant to cut into more expensive designer garments. 

Although I still say I would not cut up a Chanel suit. I have only seen a Chanel suit once in a friend’s closet. She was someone who dressed more like Stevie Nicks with flowy silky dresses than wearing a couture jacket.

On a practical note, potentially losing a few thousand dollars by destroying what the coat is intrinsically worth? I ask rhetorically, should certain designers are off limits for upcycling? Of course not!

Does waste matter more by seeing less expensive clothes in the world? While clothes go to waste regardless of their cost, would you like to see it deconstructed, or should we always honor the original structure of a garment? A garment that has become disposed of, like most clothes end up, contributing to the Fashion Industry creating the largest portion of human waste today. 

Am I allowed to cut up anything I want? 

Well it was hard to actually sell a portion of what I considered unusable clothes on Ebay. Not because it wasn’t selling, I did not want to post it. I wanted it for myself, for my creative endeavors. If I had some nice business clothes, often I would then give them to a charity WHW Women Helping Women. But since things have been closed and donations restricted I decided to do a little more, combining jackets into one perfect one and so on. 

This time it was one Wilson House of Suede Black Leather coat from the eighties, a Goretex all weather coat, an Ungaro suit, an Ed Hardy hoody sweater and some other stuff. Mixed in was a hat from a company that will replace it when it gets worn out, and people put this hat in their will, where I got mine. These were clothes I had to “process”. 

A long time ago I sold an Isaac Mizrai shift dress and matching coat from Target, in a huge navy and white abstract flower print that I miss to this day. Maybe I got what I paid for them, around 70.00? Not worth it when I could have made so much from these. I have such fond memories of the ensemble and I actually wore them on occasion, usually as separates but a few times together. At the time I thought about using the fabric in something else, reworking the dress and making a vest out of the jacket but I thought not to mess with designer wear even if it was from Target. 

Nowadays I see Louis Vitton bags being cut up for wrist bracelets, used as canvasses for little paintings and new keychains. I love it actually. I have an LV bag my niece gifted me before she moved to the jungle and I almost sold it. It has about doubled in value. I may repurpose it or at least since it was a gift I keep it.

I had just moved back to Southern California when Isaac started selling clothing at Target. I had just gotten a job at St. John Knits in Irvine CA. They had a really funny dress code, no jeans. Well that left me with nothing to wear half of the time. So I started buying the ill fitting Target tailored Isaac clothing. Dress ensembles, skirts, pants, cardigan sweaters which none of it really fit me right. I was still skinny from living in NYC but always had a more high fashion model body, long waist, still skinny but more hippy, as in hips.

Although I quit that job after one year (another blog). I really should never have bought so many funky Target clothes to begin with for work. Nick, the patternmaker I worked with had a little intervention with me one day when I was wearing my chino Gap pants to say I should go out and buy five more pairs just like them and stop wearing the other shit. I bought a few more pairs and started wearing jeans too. I am at my best in a white sea island cotton or silk shirt tucked or tied at the waist with jeans and black shoes, boots, sandals, tennis shoes, wingtips or pumps. I like a few different styles of jacket or sweater to go with the outfit too. While I am at it, accessories with little silk scarves and easy jewelry too, necklaces have to go over my head only, not good with clasps except for earrings so they do not pull out. 

I digress, so I was hesitant to post these items for sale. Because while I was working at my many jobs back in the day we cut up a Calvin Kline jacket for the pattern. Somewhat recently a very hip company asked me to knock off a Row trench coat and already had it in pieces. I still see it on the line of the company. That is probably how I became so comfortable cutting up clothing. It was my job as a patternmaker, I either had a bunch of funky samples made out of the wrong sample fabric that no one wanted or nice first samples that needed some fit corrections. 

Anyway the abundance of clothing at my disposal was pretty incredible and yet, I didn’t even want it. Once in a while I would take a collar home and sew it on a tshirt or sometimes cuffs. Once I had an oversized coulotte that I took home and made a bunch of pleats in it and wore that piece for years to weddings and everywhere practically. 

I know not everyone has had the experience with clothing that I have where they feel comfortable cutting up clothes in their closet, or perhaps something just short of a Chanel jacket. 

But we all should try, while researching the sustainable fashion movement we are not going to have leather, cotton, and silk like we have in abundance in our closets right now. So I will love it, refashion it, make it into something I can cherish and wear.

In my case I am more inspired and excited to make something cooler out of the stuff for selling; so be it.  I will put it on the line of SaladBowlDress made into three or perhaps four garments on a good day.

For others thinking about making or upcycling their clothes I still say go for it to find your personal style and look your best.

March On!

March On!

Hi, Salad Bowl Dressers,

Happy March, Happy International Women’s History Month! For all the powerful women out there and the men who comfort us, I thank you! Salad Bowl Dress is happy to be part of this month’s history (HERstory), empowering all women everywhere fighting for the mother we all share, the Mother Earth!

Riding this “Earth- ship” one day at a time it feels good to spread the message of love and gratitude when I see the smile of people wearing their new SBD vests. I’m happy to have shared these moments with each of you that have made a change to fight climate waste by being fashion-forward in wearing your upcycled SBD vests. Two inspiring SBD warriors teach us a little about how to let their fashion be part of their action:

Hearing about the intense work all of our teachers have been doing over the past year, I wanted to help at least one teacher in particular by giving her a vest. I always say they are for the teacher, creative, and worker.

Pam Keller is teaching multi-age K-3 students going from lockdown zoom classes, to doing in class and zoom. We see her wearing her Salad Bowl Dress vest inside what looks like a bubble as she takes on the brains of our children on this facebook/saladbowldress post. She is a reminder of all the hard-working, adaptable teachers caring for our kids as the backbone of our society through these times who I want to thank so much!

Now please meet the talented Emma Caltrider who has become the unofficial face of SBD. She has worn the SBD vests since graduating from high school. Always tagging us when she has had performances singing on stage or galavanting around NYC in days of yore. She graciously models for us now. Always showing her care for fellow humankind performing songs or yoga classes on her Instagram, and youtube channel @Emma_andthe_BrightSouls, and acknowledging her privilege as a white woman. She is definitely a hero. 

Finally, the first day of Spring felt like the world was coming back from the dead and I sure hope so.

SaladBowlDress at Claremont Farmers market is happening around the third Sunday every month now. See you there this Sunday March 28.

On the website we have new Free Sustainable Fashion Guides for your wardrobe enjoyment and entertainment.


We are starting to open up the SBD store on Thursdays starting soon, until then you may call for an appointment. 

Salad Bowl Dress has been a grassroots business that’s been lucky to be fertilized by a very cool community since our beginning. As SBD has spread to higher heights and the SBD brand grows, I’d love to know more about your experience with our clothes so we can help make our community a little cozier.

What is your favorite feature?

What would you like to see more of?

March 9th was International Women’s Day so don’t forget to show your love and respect for mother earth by tagging your SBD @saladbowldress  clothes to show off your waist rather than putting waste in the atmosphere by purchasing unethically sourced clothes that contribute to higher carbon emissions. What do I mean? 

See the blog  Fashion and Climate Change Blog here.

History is written about wars fought and cities built, let’s make Herstory about Compassion revitalized and kindness breaking barriers. What do you want “Herstory” to represent? I would love to hear your testimonials of what Salad Bowl Dress means to you and what you’ll do to celebrate the female past present and future during this month.

Thanks so much in advance, 

[email protected]  

Warm Love,

Mary Colmar 

The Autumn/Winter ’21-’22+Spring/Summer’22

The Autumn/Winter ’21-’22+Spring/Summer’22

The Autumn/Winter ‘21-’22 + Spring/Summer ‘22 Fashion Forecast shared by Magic Sourcing Trends Digital Discovery Session, is a validation of everything we here at SaladBowlDress stand for… 

In a few words making hand-tailored deconstructed clothing for the masses with clothing that would otherwise end up in a landfill is right on trend. I was pleasantly surprised by how much SaladBowlDress represents all the core tenets of the forecast next year. 

The four major trends:

1. Prioritize functional trans seasonality

2. Focused on refined craft

3. Promote day to night versatility 

4. Create timeless appeal with classic heritage

Seasonless versatility, multifunctional, long lasting trend, nostalgic retro colors, textures and the same with interiors. 

Versatile work-life trends and home comforts continue to influence the materials sought. Tactile, comfortable and performance quality plus transeasonality is a big concept going forward. 

Transeasonal is the anti-season, clothes not specifically intended for winter or summer. A trend the fashion industry has promised to make sustainable fashion.

Those transeasonal pieces in a wardrobe are essential to layer, throw on and take off in accordance with a sudden change in temperature. I.e. A dress made of a model fabric that can be layered or worn alone, a SaladBowlDress utilitarian tunic or vest.

The performance quality goes from indoors to outdoors and has smart denim or antibacterial fibers to accommodate a back to nature movement. 

Textile space, feel good, easy care, strong focus on comfort and how fabrics behave, washable, stretchable, sustainable, and how it makes me feel, as in wellness. At SaladBowlDress all our garments are washable easy care pieces focusing on comfort.

Transparency and ecologically sound, sustainable fashion to help with climate change is a big motivator of this movement. Fabrics must be ethically sourced and manufactured. We want to know where and how and who makes our clothes.

The textile story is one of many textures, soft and plush, tweeds and fleece and a big craft element will prevail. SBD LOGo

Many of the textiles going forward are the 100 % recyclable polyesters for durability, softness, and work well going from indoors to outdoors. Needing performance fabric Tencel-lyocell, https://www.encircled.co/collections/tencel-lyocell breathable, luxurious, clean, and one hundred percent biodegradable.

31% of people in the USA have gone w/o touch all year. Looking for softness and comfort. Reiterating this idea with much more tactility, inherent stretch.

72% changed spending habits -saving money, although a lot of self gifting is going on.

44% will continue to save money showing us their cautiousness.

*The Craft trend #upcycling is the number one hashtag on Instagram. 2.2 m are upcycled. Using existing materials to enhance style, not in place of it. 

The tensions around consuming “There’s an aesthetic tension that’s arising that’s being driven by a key consumer desire- the desire for safety and psychological comfort. On one hand it’s emerging through products that evoke a sense of care and love through tactility and visible craft elements. On the other hand, it is appearing in a desire for the armor that protects us through a lens of uncertain economic landscape in technical fabrics and work from home wear that is comfortable but offers a sharper silhouette.” quote by Petah Marian, WGSN Senior Strategist, Insight

Core color palettes. Colors staying around longer.The color story for next year is more of a year around the basics: Navy’s, jade, artisanal red, yellow brass, Dark Oak, Olive Oil, Pewter, sweet coral, digital violet, see the slide.

01 The first big story is called The Domestic Plush about comfort being the main driver, tapping into the Home Hub duvet comfort inspired, felt, gently milled brushed flannel, wool, napped and softened fabrics coming through for day wear, sleep, head to toe softness. Everyday opulence with vintage providence, sustainability (peace silk), and eco conscience leather-(made from mushrooms). Dressmaking with a human touch, DIY, more romantic opulent and ornate.

Softer Loungy-Still femininity-adaptable- less occasion based unbleached cotton.There are different priorities. People are going outdoors more enjoying nature. Their clothing needs to perform, smart denim, cozy sweaters, sneakers. 

More adaptable:indoor/outdoor, layering

The stay at home or work from home(WFH) trends. Soft textures and plush polar fleece. Focusing on low maintenance easy care wovens and knit. Breathable, insulating and cozy qualities take on the’ less is more’ customer.

02 Second big idea is Protective Performance where a garment can act as armor increasingly fit for survival mode as in a SaladBowlDress vest with many pockets.

03 Big idea is all about repurposed craft. Hello SaladBowlDress the haven for

consumers who are looking for unique products with repurposed fabrics, embellishments and trims that are beautiful and spark joy, while also promoting sustainability. Honest Craft-DIY, appreciate craft in itself. Mixing in combinations of fibers for a zero-waste approach.

04 Next, the functionality of the clothing is important. A transition around performance, cleaner well put together, color blocking, utility Drills, and heritage denim.

The WFH Uniform is an idea we at SaladBowlDress have embraced for some time that you can put on one piece that will take you from morning to evening, summer to winter, indoors to outdoors. 

A utility look remains at the forefront of the practicality focused and built to last agenda, updating a simple silhouette. Describing our SaladBowlDress Vest again while celebrating a casually tailored and put together look.

05 Reconsidered Classics are smartened up, formal materials blend durability, comfort performance and sustainable elements together to support the longevity of these new classic meets future heirloom pieces. 

Natural materials are injected with technical enhancements such as crese-free, anti-bacterial, easy care and climate resistance to fit seamlessly into modern lifestyles. 

Here at SaladBowlDress we are tinkering with the idea of speaker enhancements to go with our durable materials and desire of being that heirloom piece.

This style goes across genders, and ages, using checks,stripes and simple fabrics like unbleached cotton.Tactility wovens look like knits and knits look like wovens 

Additionally, as in times of uncertainty, consumers are looking to nostalgia to feel grounded reflected in the patterns, textiles, and colors they will seek. 

What does that mean? Garments have to work harder for us. Work life trends looking for garments that make us feel better. We want problem solving designs and add ons that increase the value, longevity, multifunctional aspects, good fabrics, extended life, and going from season to season, transeasonal.

SaladBowlDress has been around for almost ten years upcycling your clothes from overstuffed closets. We do not purchase clothing anywhere by the pound or at a donation center. Although we are not adverse to doing that.

Sbd vests are seasonless, easy care/washable, and loaded with comfortable versatility. Various ways to wear them indoors and out through layering, zippering, and large pockets to hold shoes while walking on the beach or carry the tablet needed to brush up on the next lesson plan. We have added pockets around the neckline to hold earbuds. The vest is a kind of armor that protects us while having visible craft elements to make us feel at home.

Earth loving.

Everyone Knows About Fast Fashion?

Everyone Knows About Fast Fashion?

What is fast fashion? Zara, H&M, Forever 21, to name but a few since almost every brand went down the fast fashion slide in the hope of fueling a never ending thirst for more sales feeding the frenzy and addiction of everyone wanting more clothes for little cost. 

But buying cheaply comes at a high cost. 

I thought everyone knew. 

My generation always desired new clothes. We have memories of wanting a new pair of pants, 

(something very novel to us) an expensive dress, a new t-shirt and Levis jeans, but we either couldn’t afford new clothes all the time or couldn’t buy any Off the Rack like you can today. There were not always clothes in my size, not like today where everyone is accommodated from the very small to the very large. 

In my case, being so skinny and small, the only clothes remotely in my size were in the kids section size 14, super ugly big kids clothes for pre-teens, or they were too big for the pre-teen girl wanting more grown-up clothes, that I was.

Definitely just before the days of what we who worked in the industry called junior slut wear. It wasn’t that bad, but it did have sexier details such as sweetheart necklines and the like.

There were only boutiques I would read about in Seventeen magazine. 

geared towards the tiny preteen for my sister and I.

One store, in our area, was called Jabberwocky. Our mother brought us all the way there, two cities away, and it did not disappoint. 

All the clothes were so fashionable, just what we were looking for and they had small sizes. But they were expensive. I was allowed to buy one pair of pants that I wore practically my whole high school years. A pair of kelly green high waisted pants out of a brushed twill that never seemed to wear out. I only grew out of them eventually.

Friends I had who spent a fortune on clothes had mothers who took their daughters on clothes shopping sprees once or twice a month. They showed up at school with beautiful clean bright new outfits to go with their perfect hair, face, and smile.

The rest of us wore our outfits once or twice a week. That is how we dressed when clothes were expensive and we didn’t shop all the time. 

The Gap only had sweatpants for exorcising and sweatshirts or hoodies. Soon they started having a button-down shirt. The Banana Republic had army navy surplus clothes intermingled with other basics that cost more but had a few military-style pieces you could get for a reasonable price. 

As time went on, there were more options. We all noticed and started shopping more. 

There were strip mall stores opening up with long racks and racks of just tops or sweaters and always one or two we could afford and purchased. 

Boutiques in the malls opened up with names like The Limited (except it was anything but) and others all of a sudden, with young trendy cute clothes that were not going to break the bank. 

We all shopped more, and it felt like it, we only wanted to go shopping. We went to the mall frequently to buy clothes. 

It was an outing different than before when we went to the department stores. 

I thought at the time it was having our first real jobs with a need to look better or professional that we shopped. Sure that was part of it but there were so many more options and fashion seemed to embrace all the DIY details we had already made once by hand, but could now buy. Machine embroidered items, already frayed edges at the store, jeans with faded washes. 

Nordstroms became the expensive store while for a while they all were before the many boutiques popped up. Nordstrom has survived because in the maelstrom of fast fashion Nordstrom promoted service to the average shopper like no other department store. 

When did the Gap become a fashion maven? When did Penny’s become only a place to buy underwear, then after a revamp a place to buy inexpensive suits and dresses. At least they didn’t go by way of a Woolworth’s which touted inexpensive clothes but by no means could compete with trendy chain boutiques. 

All of a sudden you could find cute t-shirts at Forever 21 that were extra long and cheap, three for ten dollars. Before that I was sewing any extra fabric I could find to the bottom of my t-shirts to make them longer since low cut pants were in style. We really could not believe it. We couldn’t get enough. We wanted to go back for more. The fast-fashion addiction was beginning. 

How could we resist? We found cargo pants, the ones with tons of cute pockets a third of the price of real Gerards. We couldn’t help ourselves. Sweaters were affordable when we were making five to ten dollars an hour. 

I know we are still making ten an hour but it was a time of inflation, there was less income inequality. We felt a real option of moving up the pay scale and growth in our careers. 

Somewhere along the line, the fashion industry started making more than four or five seasons to feed the demand. There was Spring One and Resort, Fall 1and 2. 

We started manufacturing in China. 

Unending cheap labor made it possible to design anything we wanted without it costing a lot. It was designed by fax and spec at first. At some point, we started to send the actual clothing to copy. 

At first, we designed and made patterns, and traced them, and physically sent them over. 

In return we would get these squished clothes that had been sitting in ship containers for weeks, often smelling of chemicals. 

Sometimes the USA factories in Flint Mi, Pennsylvania, and the Carolinas would still make knits and mostly sweatshirts. There was money for artists to actually draw bunnies and sheep for sweatshirt designs. The competition for making a shirt ten cents cheaper would go to the lowest bidder for a store like Kmart. 

People were getting used to their clothes being made somewhere else besides Italy. When more and more madras plaids were pouring in from India and everyone had one because they were a cheap nice-looking plaid shirt made out of cotton gauze. 

Levi’s started being made in China too.

For the large majority of their jeans, Levi’s are not made in the USA. More than 99% of their jeans are made in countries like China, Japan, Italy, and others. Levi’s does have a single collection of “Made in the USA” 501 jeans, sourced from a small denim mill called White Oak in Greensboro, NC. Dec 23, 2019

All of a sudden we were emailing China daily, hourly, to get our goods, making only up to two corrections max in an afternoon. The turnaround time was getting shorter and shorter. When we used to plan a year in advance and finish the line to show three months in advance everything was moving faster now.  

People were buying whatever we put out there. The competition was fierce to keep making more to feed the fast fashion addiction. 

The Target, the H& M’s, The Forever 21’s were the competition with Gap and every big label jumping on board to produce the cheapest and the most sold in more and more stores across the states. 

Department stores started hurting not being able to sell designer clothing and quality pieces for twice as much. Plus their turnover was not as great. 

If you wanted something trendy in fashion the department stores lagged behind the cheap franchise stores. Manufacturers found the wait time for payment from traditional department stores unacceptable and had a hard time stocking some brands that did better in a boutique setting who paid when they made the order not six weeks later like the department stores. 

The competition for making something a dime cheaper for mass production to go into every store around the country and the world was formidable. The markup went from 50% in the old days to 30% and 20% to keep quantity and price down. 

H&M started hiring high fashion designers, then Target did the same and big designers started having a line of off-the-rack clothing for the masses.. It was hard to tell if the RL brand was the expensive one or the one made for cheap. So why bother buying the expensive one?  

The better-made clothiers were becoming more exclusive. All adding to the income inequality aspect of brands being for the very wealthy. At the same time, most brands were buying more, making six to ten seasons a year. Leaving the design in the dust and relying on surface treatments which are very labor-intensive but easy for China who had unlimited cheap labor.  

But now the fashion industry as a whole is having a reboot, some are closing down or slowing down with the help of the pandemic but the pandemic added a magnifying glass to the dilemma to stop the 2.5 trillion industry from destroying our planet. Embracing  Intersectional Connection​ to change the profit motive and discover what sustainable fashion is really all about.

Is Climate Change Causing the Coldest Winter?

Is Climate Change Causing the Coldest Winter?

Is climate change causing the coldest winter on record in Texas since the 1890s? Dr. Shahir Masri a Master in Environmental Sciences elucidates misconceptions about greenhouse gas emissions and offers insight into his research in his new book Beyond Debate. 

One degree or so seems like no big deal. Some areas are getting cooler and some warmer. Variability is enormous. 

Across the polar caps it is about 10 degrees different. 

At the peaks and troughs. How are they changing over time? Average is a scientific metric, not very useful to the average person.

Nevertheless, to give this experiment we are conducting with our planet Earth, not doing enough for a fighting chance of survival is an experiment.

The planet might make it but as a species humans and the animal populations are dying because of climate change now. 

We are in the sixth mass extinction. Eighty percent of our animals are being lost right now. A real siege we need to address.

Shahir belongs to the same Climate Reality group in Orange County, California that I do. He says joining a climate action group is the single most important thing anyone can do. 

We can read about what is going on or listen to a podcast, as in this case, Tristan Miller interviews Dr. Shahir Masri on the One Earth Podcast where environmental pioneers who are the beacons of tomorrow share what we all need to do collectively.

What can we do? Solutions involve the three pillars of climate action as Shahir likes to address it. 

One is civic duty-changing a few policies- make a phone call to the representatives who are supporting climate change initiatives. Of course voting is at the top, number one thing to do. Canvas for an elected official.

Two involve outreach and education. It is important to talk about these concerns. Share the ways you are taking action to care for your life and the livelihood of the planet. 

Are you composting? Are you planting trees? 

Have you worked towards having a more sustainable lifestyle and sustainable fashion

Well if you are doing any of the things that are moving the planet forward to offset the damage of Co2 then share it with your friends and neighbors. 

Be proud of it, whatever you might be doing. It is ok to care about certain topics, write articles and share existing articles. 

Tell the average person about the science of accelerating the climate crisis. We have had the twenty hottest years of all time. 

Read Bill Gates new book.

Three is considering our carbon footprint. Something we have been doing for a long time. Try to turn the a/c off in the summer, buy an electric car, and more by reducing fossil fuel energy on an individual basis.

More of what we can do is to buy from small farmers and local farmers’ markets. Use refill stations for shampoo etc. There are farm fresh market boxes that can be delivered to your door like one called imperfect foods. You can get 10. Off your first box here.  We are not trying to be perfect but trying to do a little more imperfectly.

One way to put it. We have not had carbon dioxide Co2 emissions this high since 3-6 million years ago, the time before that was 65 million years ago. 

Potentially it has never happened before. We are living a global experiment. 

Careers are dedicated to this experiment and the answers do not look good.

Fossil fuels liberate greenhouse gases releasing bad pollutants. It is a public health hazard on a global level. Air pollution impacts cognitive abilities, and impacts cardiovascular disease. 

Couple hundred thousand people are dying a year, 3.5 million are dying prematurely. 

Scientists are studying Air pollution not only as a human carcinogen but also possibly a cause of autism. A known fact is it affects developing brains. 

There are major correlations to disease by virtue of your surroundings. 

Improved sustainable energy is imperative. 

Ultra fine and fine particles coming out of the air can be reduced and is a huge public health gain.

There are major correlations to disease by virtue of your surroundings. 

We have to drive a halt to this experiment. Drive ourselves back to lower greenhouse gasses. 

Invoked as the planet but it is human civilization that stands to lose. 

Earth has been around 4.5 billion years.  

6.5 million years ago we had a snowball planet. That has happened twice in Earth’s history. 

Fluctuations have been extremely dramatic. Have not stood the test of time. The last ten thousand years have been a pretty stable climate.

If earth becomes unstable, nothing precludes the planet from disrupting or change, bringing life to a halt. 

On a positive note.

This book Beyond Debate is about trying to get the word out to everyday people around the country. It is less an academic approach but more a grassroots call to action to bridge the gap between science and the public. It is about climate outreach. How is it affecting people at a local level? Surveys were done and compiled for a paper shared on ontheroadforclimateAction.com website. A peer-review study.

Agriculture could be more of a community. We should support local permaculture.

Grow gardens which are good for our psychology as well. 

Consuming less. Heavy marketing on buying things perpetuates a culture of waste. 

Pay for more services that benefit our lives. 

Have experiences rather than things.

Diet is another main example of that. 

Small farming. We have to shift to green infrastructure. It is incredibly important. More subsidies for green energy.  

Subsidies for Oil and gas have to dwindle.  

Switching to electric vehicles for clean air burning car emissions. 

More conservationists like the imperfect food companies to curb the ridiculous 40% of food that is wasted. 

Look for ways to get more trees planted.

City officials want to hear from you. Consult a constituent that cares. Ask a climate expert to talk to your group.

Get Your Dressing On! What does it make you think of? 

Salad Bowl Dress yourself with sustainable fashion. Grow your own food. Buy imperfect food. Make imperfect clothing. Add pockets for gardening. Working at life experiences. Not by buying something new. 

Painting is Peasant Wearing Madras – by Realist Realism painter Gustave Courbet (1870’s)

Easy Make Kitchen Island

Easy Make Kitchen Island

Easy Kitchen Island

If you are lucky enough to have an eat-in kitchen but find the table not very functional while you’re cooking around it with chairs. Make it an island! Easy peasy simple style. Just add bed risers under each leg used to raise a college dorm bed. 

At first, we had a butcher block table from Ikea in the kitchen for a long time. It seemed like we could use it for cooking, etc. But it turned out to be a nuisance in a heavy traffic area with its sharp corners, we all were always hurting ourselves.

Butcher Block Table in the kitchen

This table used to be in the kitchen with its sharp corners.

The Butcher Block Table

Then low and behold we switched it out for our fancy french provincial worn-out oval-shaped table. Added the risers and now we have an awesome island! I bought a few red tractor seat stools online and thought we were good to go. Beware the stools didn’t come with footrests, hence the affordable price. The red stools proved hazardous for anyone who wanted to live.

Red Tractor Chairs in front of chalkboard wall.

Red Tractor Chair in Front of Chalk Board Paint Wall in the Kitchen

We were compelled to replace them with industrial chairs from the Tuesday Morning store. It just so happened they had the splotch of chartreuse paint on them matching the project. 

Industrial Stools

We found these industrial stools that push in close to the table.

Before long I will have hoof-shaped canvass covers for the risers. Update: The Tuesday Morning by our house has closed, a victim of the pandemic. I will miss it. It was too easy to shop there for gifts and the best stationery.

I ended up buying four of the pegboard rolling gorilla shelves there in the closeout sale, two for the art studio garage and two for YES a new storage unit, which has changed our lives for the better. Pros and Cons of having a storage unit could go on forever and the pros win. 

All this time later the easy renovations I made for the kitchen have proven lasting. This was done a few years ago when I made the backsplash, chalkboard wall, and painted the counters, but we have moved the stools to the backyard cocktail table and put the butcher block table back in the space against the wall, and raised the table an extra couple inches by adding another riser to each leg, they have two now and the height is perfect. 

The only thing I would change about the kitchen now is well… so much. The good news our landlord has agreed to replace the stove and hood because the whole unit has completely broken. These poor landlords really do not have a choice.  So as the perfect tenets we are, we will buy it ourselves and deduct it from the rent.

We have one picked out. The only caveat is getting a new wall oven to boot. Ours is kind of broken but still barely functional. We feel all three should be replaced together. So we’ll see?

The oval table still has not been painted as I had planned but we have it in our great room which has an area almost changing by the seasons for a dining room. We did get six new trendy chairs to go around it. I’ll add the Amazon link here. I love them although they have to get tightened every so often when a screw just falls out. Sound familiar?

The Easy Island in the Kitchen.

Oval Island with Ategeres Shelves in the background.

Next, paint the patina out of the table with glossy sign paint a terra cotta color.

The Kitchen Counters Needed Painting

The Kitchen Counters Needed Painting

The kitchen counters needed something. Who am I kidding, the whole kitchen needed a gut job. Because that is not happening anytime soon, I had to do some simple renovations in the meantime. Knowing I was about to install some beautiful handmade tile backsplashes in the kitchen, with my new island, and wall of chalkboard paint, the counters had to go. 

Or use Rust-Oleum countertop paint, easy peasy, again. I cleaned the counters really well (with a dab of tsp powder) not that that ever makes a difference, haha, and applied the paint with a little 4″ High-Density Foam Paint Roller.

Rustoleum Painted Counter

Decided to paint the counters with Rustoleum Counter Paint

I am tired of grey so I chose the rosemary herb color. It turned out a pretty grey/green, and I love it.

Everyone should paint their counters if they feel like we did. “Ugh, I hate these beige gross counters and I can’t wait to get some granite or better yet bamboo!”

Bamboo countertops are a renewable resource and look very attractive. This material looks and feels like wood. However, bamboo countertops are not from wood, but from the grass. The bamboo surface is an engineered product. It is an assembly of many pieces of bamboo that are attached to form panels and board, just like how plywood is made.

Bamboo counters are the best. They are easy to take care of and your dishes will not break if they are accidentally dropped from a foot above them. 

If I had a house where I could afford the best counters I would get bamboo over granite. 

Kind of like, I would get another all over, one sheet linoleum floor rather than a hard tile, or any kind of tile kitchen floor. Since that is our next project I will write a blog about it.



Kitchen Chalkboard Wall

Kitchen Chalkboard Wall

Thinking about all the quick fun decorating projects I have done, usually before the Holidays, I found this unpublished blog. The wall is still a lot of fun with the quote, “Creation or Consumption, does that make me a cannibal or a can of bull?”  Not worth photographing, but I will when someone writes or draws something new.

This wall was made a few years ago now. It has held up well except I would have sanded it better to have a smoother writing surface. Sometimes I just want to get it done, and won. Instead of taking the time to do something right, more refined.

Taping off the Wall

Taping off the wall preparing for the chalkboard paint.


Why bother I think sometimes when all the decor I make in this house is on the temporary side. It is a rental in a beautiful So. California neighborhood. But almost treasonous not to own our own home with real estate always, always going through the roof. 

This little rental, mid-century home I have been making little surface renovations on for many years would sell for ¾ of a million while my neighbor’s homes would sell for much more as they have made real renovations of adding on bedrooms, great rooms, vaulted ceilings, new kitchens, and more bathrooms besides many a year ago removed the popcorn ceiling. I made my own peace with ours by buying textured everything white in the bedroom, down to dingle ball sheer curtains.  

We opted out of the no money down housing options of ten or so years ago and with our fast-paced life and joyous neighborhood never found a way to move into a house we could afford. But as all renters say, that may end soon. Nah, we just always think that because our landlord only needs to give us a few months to vacate. If something were to happen to him, and his children have to sell the house. Since he seems happily able to accept our rent every month we should feel free as the free birds we are to flee the coup if the time comes. 

Chalk board paint wall long shot.

Finished chalkboard paint wall.

Meanwhile, we have raised three children here. The hardest part of inevitably leaving this house will be leaving behind a big back yard full of fruit trees, many kinds of gardening experiments from raised beds, cactus, flower, and vegetable gardens to pots with avocado trees and wild blackberries.  

Each project grew out of respect for the bones of our house and the implicit wishes of the landlord not to do anything at all to the house. So we have only painted a few walls black and painted many other varied bright colors all over the house. We have removed wallpaper, pulled up carpet, lived with authentic mid-century windows by covering them with the most contemporary dressings we could combine. 

Our kitchen cupboards have never been painted, all-natural wood, but we replaced the hideous handles at the start of living here. We found multi-colored balls and silver handles to go with the “rustic” wood. Our linoleum floor is about to be our next biggish project because it needs replacing. But honestly, we are afraid of what will happen if we lift the large happy offwhite sheet. Afraid of what we will find underneath or not find a solid floor. 

There are many things that have gone on here to suffice as living breathing artists in residence.

Chalkboard Paint Wall with One Inch Ruler

A wall to make notes and shopping lists.

The chalkboard paint was going over big in the teenager’s room, another blog of black teen cool, so I thought we should have the little wall in the kitchen painted. The little wall should have been demolished years ago, so why not be made into a chalkboard. I would write down my biz orders and photo lists besides quickly right down recipes and quotes to keep my business moving forward. It was easy and cheap. Looks great! Is fun! And can add new decor to the kitchen faster than new curtains and hot pads. 

The edge goes over the corner one inch to make a ruler on the wall. Not yet drawn in.