Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Blog to Come

Well... I'm starting a new blog. I know, I said I wouldn't do even one, but now I have decided to go with something I love more than anything else (except my husband) in the world: free stuff. My blog will focus on turning junk into beautiful objects... it will have a before-and-after-type theme. My favorite theme. Stay tuned for the link!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Get on Over to JoAnn

Well... it's finally out there. I shop at JoAnn.
Ouch! Did someone just throw a shoe at me? Damn cat. She loves her fashion fabrics.

It's true, JoAnn is no Britex, but puh-lease. Like I have fifty bucks a yard.

And, JoAnn is having a CLEARANCE!

Yes, their Emeryville story is cleaning house. I bought 50 upholstery samples. Actually, I think it was 56. Hey, they are USED fabrics! They need good homes. I will be turning these babies into pillows for my NEW SHOP on Etsy, Kalia Home. More on that later.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Green Tip of the Day

I always save cards people give me (except the ugly ones, which get recycled) and yet... what do I do with them? Well, here's a terrific idea. This is paraphrased from a reader of CookingLight quoted in their December 2007 issue.

When you get greeting, birthday, wedding, or congratulatiry cards, save the fronts and write at the bottom who they were from. Then, flip them over and use them as recipe cards. I always make lines on mine in pencil so they don't get messy. What a great reuse tip, and a lovely sentimental one at that!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Vintage Indie's Wedding Guide

I was asked to guest blog at Vintage Indie for March. The original version of my first blog is below. Visit Vintage Indie's Wedding Month for more indie wedding ideas!
How to Save a Tree or Two on Your Wedding Day

A wedding needs save-the-dates, invitations, directions, thank-you cards, table envelopes, table cards, place cards, menus, confetti, and gift bags—I don’t want to know how many trees that adds up to. But there are ways to spare the Earth on your wedding day—I did it as best I could, and without sacrificing style.

First, forget save-the-dates. It’s very now, but it’s not very Zen. Instead, use that old-fashioned machine, the telephone. Get some help from your mom, dad, and future in-laws, and not only will you get the word out fast, you’ll make everyone invited feel special because their presence at your wedding warranted a personal call.

Most people want to give and get an invitation. So, the best way to go is to use recycled paper. Many paperies (such as Paper Source) offer this option, or you can purchase the paper yourself, and have a paperie print on it. A few online retailers let you DIY with recycled paper. Check out Twisted Limb CustomPaper, SealandSend and PristinePlanet .

Go online. Although some of the older generation may fuss, it’s not only better for the environment to put extra materials (such as directions, maps, local hotels, and other wedding-related event information) online, it’s also more convenient. Want to book the hotel? The link is right there. Wondering if Aunt Sally is coming? Put up an “attending” list so guests can see who will be coming. Want to print out directions? Place a link to a printable pdf. And, of course, encourage site visitors to print out their directions on recycled or scratch paper.

At the reception, rather than have a boring table of “table/escort envelopes” combine your table cards and guest gifts into one. Choose a guest gift container you can write on, such as the DIY Pillow Box from Paper Source (or a similar one from an independent vendor) , or small gift bags from Bags and Bows Bags and Bows (pictured). If you prefer the look of organdy bags, simply write names and table numbers on cards and place them inside the bag with the gift.

At each table, combine the menu with a seating chart for the table. Print two menus per table onto 4 ¼ by 5 1/2 pieces of cardstock, leaving space for the seating chart. Draw a circle (or square) table and write in people’s first names or initials. Or have open seating.

Confetti is fun, but we can all agree it’s a waste. If you want something to throw, get creative. Throw candy for the children to pick up later. Throw rose petals that will make the pathway colorful. Throw pieces of lavender that, when stepped on, will add fragrance to the air.

Using some of these tips will not only make your wedding less harmful to the Earth, but it will also add a sparkle of personal detail.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Eco-chic Boutonierre How-to

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote for the Storque, Etsy's online newspaper.

Make your own soon-to-be hubby's boutonierre...If you love roses and crafting, create a one-of-a-kind rose ribbon boutonniere. Choose a 1-inch wire-edged ribbon (ideally, recycled) in your color. Pull the wire ends to gather one side of the ribbon. It should make a circular shape. Cut two three inch pieces of floral wire. Roll the ribbon into a rose shape around the top of the wires leaving a wire “stem” and sew in place. Wrap the stem in floral tape then ribbon, and secure with a single pin.

Or, if your honey wants something more masculine, try herbs. An herb garden can render thyme, rosemary, or sage for a simple herb boutonniere. You’ll need three stems, floral wire, green floral tape, and a yard of narrow ribbon. A boutonniere should be about three inches in length. Cut your herbs, then position them in a triad, and wrap the stems in wire, then floral tape. Wind the ribbon over the floral tape and secure with a strait pin.

Thanks to Blake for donning his wedding suit for this photo... what a good husband.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The "it" blogs

I was recently "tagged" by my Etsy buddy Pegasus Soaps
so I'm going to share with you some green facts and some eco-blogs that I have tagged.

Wondering how to spend that chubby (prod the economy) check you'll be getting from the U.S. government? Buy green, of course! To help here are four online sellers of great eco-products and fun facts about them.

Patagonia: Did you know that they have a recycling program for their used clothing? For more information about this, visit here.
EcoEtsySellers: Handmade and Eco-friendly. Can you do both?? YES!
Gaiam: Their organic fireside throw is one of my reasons for living. I couldn't survive the summers in San Francisco without mine. Here's one for you.
Envirosax: Envirosax: You should NOT choose plastic or paper. You should choose reusable canvas (or fancy Envirosax) bags.

Now... for some exciting eco info, visit these blogs!
Everyday Trash News on trash from around the world from Leila Darabi, a Brooklyn-based journalist ... check out her links to all things trashy and green.
It's So Easy Being Green Check out the "Re-purposing Junk Mail" entry.
Veggie Revolution Check out the bike commute info--whoa! Blog by book authors Sadie, Rick and Sally.
The Lazy Vegetarian I had to throw this in there... most of you know that I'm a veggie, but in case you didn't here it is. The best blog for lazy veggies, like me. P.S. veggies save the planet BIG TIME!

If you were tagged, you can write about four fun facts in your next blog, and tag four more blogs that you would like to share.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Pincushion How-to with Leftover Fabrics

I made this pincushion for my Mom with leftover fabric scraps, leftover buttons, and recycled ribbon. It's a great little gift for a seamstress, and it's easy to make--with a few tips.

First, you can use three different fabrics, all the same fabric, or two, like I did. You need two pieces of square fabric five by five inches, or four by four inches. It's easier to work with more fabric than less, but if you're an experienced seanstress, by all means, make a smaller pillow.


two 5" square fabric pieces (same or different fabric)
one 2" by 10 inch piece of fabric (or several pieces sewn together to make that length)
two yards of narrow ribbon
two buttons (matching, or not)
one large-eyed needle (like a doll-maker's needle)
sewing machine (of course)

This is the important bit: set out your 2 x 10 inch fabric below your 5 x 5 inch square. Mark a dot 1/4 inch in from each corner (evenly) of the square. Then, place your square above the MIDDLE of the 2 x 10 fabric. Now, make dots on the 2 x 10 inch fabric that correlate to the 5 x 5 inch fabric. This will be where the corners come together, so it's important to be accurate. Work from the inside out, matching dots, so that you end up with four matching dots on each side of the long piece. Now, snip into the fabric with sharp scissors from the fabric's edge up to the dot (but not beyond) so that it can create a neat corner.

Once you have your fabric marked, you're half-way there. Sew one square to the side piece making sure to line up your dots, and leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance (or more if you like; just be consistent). Then, sew the top piece to the die, leaving a one-inch opening to turn it inside out and fill it full of poly-fil. Sew closed with a needle and thread in a matching color.

Now, take your ribbon and thread it through your large-eyed needle. Punch it straight through the center of your cushion, and pull it through, leaving a tail of about three inches or so. Now, loop the ribbon up around one side, and send it through again. You'll do this four times. Leave another little tail at the other side of the pillow. Cut your tails down to on-half inch, and fold in half. Sew them to the center of the pillow. Now experiment with a button that will look cute. You can use two different ones, or two of the same. Sew on the button, and look what a cute little pin cushion you made!

Monday, January 21, 2008

New York for Epicureans and Crafters

Visiting New York? Like to eat? Like to craft? Here are my recommendations for an amazing trip.

Eating: For brunch, The Spotted Pig on 11th at Greenwich in the best of the West Village. Not only is the place a terrific throwback to the little pubs of yore, it has a great tarnished classiness (imagine hammered tin ceilings and worn spinning wooden bar stools). And the service is friendly and fun. Be prepared to wait a little while for a table.

For an inexpensive dinner, try Piadina's in the Village. Located on West 10th between 5th and 6th Avenues, it is a little piece of Rome (and the lackadaisical feeling that goes with it) in the hustle of New York City. You can get a great dinner for two for thirty dollars. Easy to get into, but cash only.

For a truly New York experience, make reservations at The Modern uptown inside the MoMa. It's pricey, but you can practically classify your gorgeously presented, blissfully divine dinner as modern art. And who can put a price on modern art?

Shopping: SoHo is a great place to shop in New York. That's where you can find Purl where two shops (one with yarn--pictured--and one with fabric) can be found. For the best t-shirts in New York City, visit Flying A. And no crafter should leave New York without a visit to Kate's Paperie

If you're in the West Village (maybe for brunch at The Spotted Pig) stop by ArtWare on West 11th Street to see some incredible modern art for the home and garden. Nearby is Hable Construction, which features playful pillows, over-sized bags, and funky home decor.

A short walk away in the Village is MXYPLYZYK a store which defies definition. They have housewares, they have art, they have stationary, they have toys. But, as they say, they think you can buy happiness there, and I agree.

Enjoy New York!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fabric Finds in New York City

I mainly use recycled materials. But sometimes, the call of a new gorgeous fabric is just too much for me.

In SoHo, there is a two-store-front shop on Sullivan just South of Houston called Purl. On one side, there is yarn (hence the name). On the other, fabric. They have quite a few Amy Butler fabrics, and the sock monkey fabric, for those who were looking to find it again. The shops are small but the selection is fabulous. (See the photo of my finds?) Bright, cheerful, country but chic, I highly recommend a stopover at Purl if you're in the neighborhood.

Also is SoHo is one of the Kate's Paperie stores at 72 Spring Street, a huge, bright store full of decorative paper (with several that feel like suede), cards, ribbons, and gift items.

In the garment district, I visited M&J Trimmings (1008 Sixth Ave. btw. 37th and 38th), and recommend them for notions of all kinds. Also in the garment district are:
B&J Fabrics (525 Seventh Ave 2nd Fl. at 38th)
N.Y. Elegant Fabrics (222 West 40th Street btw. 7th and 8th Aves)
Rosen & Chadick (561 Seventh Ave. 2nd Fl. at 40th St.)
Mood (on 36th btw. 7th and 8th Aves)

Happy shopping!