Posts tagged ‘environmentally friendly’
thank goodness it’s may. i made it through a whole month of april stash bust, meaning that i did not buy any craft supplies during the month of april.
do you know how hard that is?! maybe not for a normal person, but for me…let’s just say it was very difficult. i would see something online that i was just dying to make and start running through a craft shopping list in my head, thinking about where stuff would be on sale…and then i would remember my promise: only work from the stash. a quick mental inventory would reveal i didn’t have what i needed. hard to imagine with all the craft crap i possess, but still, it happens to the best of us.
so…not only is it the first of may but there’s a sale at joann’s and i have coupons. first up, the felt flowers above by sara at creative jewish mom and the gorgeous felt dahlia by megan of not martha on holidash. woohoo!
i have to say, though, thanks to heather at dollar store crafts, i am a changed crafter. this experience, though challenging, made me realize how much i love new craft supplies. and how i can make it a whole month without them. which means i can probably cut back on some craft purchases, altering the existing ginormous stash of paper and cardstock, stickers and doodads, fabric and knick-knacks, beads and baubles that i already have. and often, making cooler stuff just based on inspiration.
i actually plan on carrying this new philosophy through the rest of the year, beginning with some transformations of clothes that i already have in my wardrobe. i’ll have to get some matching thread, but i’m excited to be adding to my use-able wardrobe without having to make my credit cards (and hubby) sweat. so thanks, heather!
say what?! i heard on the radio today that walmart now offers organic cotton clothing. and despite some troubles, they’re selling organic produce. never though i’d see the day. i’m a target girl (mainly ’cause it’s closer to us) and did you know that if you bring your own bags, they give you 5 cents off your total per bag? for me, the biggest benefit is not having so durn many empties kickin’ around the house. but i love saving money, too! keep bags in your car or hanging on your door so you always have them with you (or remember to take them with you).
hate all those produce bags, too? here’s a cool tip from sprouts, our local store for bulk foods: hang onto clean bags for produce and bulk foods; keep them neat by stuffing them into an empty paper towel tube. then just pop them into your cloth bags, and voila! handy, eh?
sure, you opt out of the whole “paper v. plastic” debate by bringing your own cloth bags to the grocery store. you combine your trips to minimize gas; or maybe you take public transportation or use your own power to get places. (personally, i miss living close enough to everything to make this more feasible.) you recycle, even those little bits of paper that others might throw out. you reduce by buying bulk and limiting packaging. you reuse your brains out. but i bet there are tons of little things you do that help out, too.
kudos for those who keep a bucket by their shower and use the “warming up water” for their plants. yay for brooms and dry mops with reusable cloths instead of swiffers and vacuums every time. yippee for refinishing an old piece of furniture instead of buying new. woohoo for xeriscaping. and can i hear it for letting it mellow?
what other little things do you do that reduce waste and recycle/reuse? what little things do you do for mother earth? here’s one of my contributions for today. plus it totally helps me out when the heat comes on and i want an iced coffee–but am never together enough to actually make stronger coffee–the coffee ice cube!
why pour that coffee down the drain when you don’t finish it? okay, admittedly, that doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays and cool down coffee drinks without diluting them! keep the cubes in a reusable container and whip them out for a refreshing beverage. mmmm!
head on over to dollar store crafts, where you’ll find a contest for those who participate. inspiration, too! here’s my first stash busting project: a cute little pillow made from orange velveteen, organza flowers, fiberfill, and little green beads from my stash–i swear, i already had it all! the velveteen from a stuffed elephant (used for the inside of the ears); fiberfill from same elephant; the organza from a curtain i whipped up to hide an ugly view at our last apartment; green thread purchased for some burning man costume; and glass beads from the stash.
ps: you may recognize these little flowers from a plan i hatched up a few weeks ago and only just got around to. big or small, these flowers are a great way to use up little scraps of fabric and they’re super simple to make. check out some inspiration and a little tutorial here. use them on a pillow, turn them into pins, or sew them onto a t-shirt for some fresh style without spending a lot or having to buy new materials. especially if you have a shameful stash like i do!
i really like how this one turned out! i even managed it with a mangled hand! well, now i have a matching bandage on my left index finger, but it’s all good. this time it was my fault. i forgot how sharp those exacto blades can be…
i found this sweet vintage frame at an antique store. separated from all its bits and pieces, it looked kind of sad but like it had potential. so i took it home. well if that isn’t just the story of my life.
i cleaned it up and added a few details: i sewed a brown velveteen strip onto a rich taupe silk shantung at the bottom (very secure!); the pocket has an elastic band so it makes a great pocket for rings and bracelets. i added two strands of grosgrain ribbon for earrings to hang from and 14 brass hooks at the bottom of necklaces. the brads and buttons at the top are the place for hoops and i include 10 pearl top pins for leverback earrings. shazam!
the center is foam core, but i’ve added a sheet of thick chip board on the back to give it a finished feel and so that pins don’t poke through. the frame hangs from a matching grosgrain ribbon; over a nail, a hook, or a door knob. it even has little rubber bumpers on the back to keep it from scratching your walls.
1. an act or state of absent-minded daydreaming to fall into a reverie
2. (Music, other) a piece of instrumental music suggestive of a daydream
3. Archaic a fanciful or visionary notion; daydream
i’m really pleased with how this new addition to my upcycled jewelry storage collection turned out. in its old life, it was a candle plate. but with a little paint, a decoupaged bee, and a hand written quote, it becomes a jewelry storage tray worthy of your boudoir. i added a quote from emily dickinson to this upcycled plate:
One clover and a bee and revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
a daily reminder to dream a little dream. once i get a few more coats of sealant on it, you can find it at my etsy store. coming soon!
sneak peaks of my newest upcycled/repurposed jewelry storage and display. they’re one of a kind (in more ways than one, though obviously as happily-stumbled-upon thrift store finds, i can’t make more than one!)
you got your bowl o’ bugs made from a silver plate bowl that i decoupaged with a nice bright grass background and topped with reproductions of neato dragonfly, beatle, and bee stamps from around the world. bonus feature (not shown in photo): it comes with a plastic bowl insert so you could even serve food in it! creep out your friends! horrify your mother in law!
also pictured is a former soap dish that i decoupaged a reproduction vintage map into and then added the quote from Tolkien: “not all those who wander are lost” and a sweet little bird in flight. i can imagine this being the perfect place for his jewelry: just the right size for a watch and some cufflinks. the bowl is copper-plated and sits on four little feet like an old claw-foot bathtub. i was very excited to find it at the thrift store and give it a new life. collecting cool quotes is yet another favorite pasttime of mine, so i thought i’d bring that aspect of me into this creation.
i call him the grim keeper! he’s the latest in my series of upcycled jewelry storage and display. i can’t believe it, but i found this stainless tray at the thrift store. i have no idea what it was, a spoon rest maybe? now, with a little decoupage magic, it’s been transformed into a super cool tray to store your jewelry, wallet, cell phone…maybe even your skeleton keys. ba-dum-bum tsccch!
he’ll be available soon at my etsy store once i get him ready for his close up.
new to dogwood & poppy: storage with a side of snark. for those of us have been accused of having too much crap and/or leaving it all over the place.
i created this one-of-a-kind upcycled tray from a thrift store find (the silver plate tray) with some paper, stickers, and ink. i decoupaged the paper onto the tray, added the stickers and then stamped it so that it reads: “yes, but it’s MY crap”. then i sealed it, so you can wipe it down with a damp cloth when needed.
i think it’s perfect for storing jewelry or whatever else you need: keys, cell phone, ipod, loose change, whatnot. put it in your bathroom and keep make-up or soap in it. give it as a gift to your messy valentine. or for someone who has it all…and now needs a place to put it. i can think of some men who would benefit from a place to put their crap…
the tray measures 9.5wide x 5.75high and is about half an inch deep. that’s a lot of room for crap! it’s available at my etsy store for $22 USD plus shipping & handling.
sorry, the tray does not come with my crap; you have to supply your own. the necklace doesn’t come with the tray either, but you can buy it through my etsy store if you want.
KEEP STERLING SILVER JEWELRY CLEAN AND SHINY
STOP IT IN IT’S TRACKS: The best way to keep sterling silver jewelry shiny is to prevent tarnish in the first place. Tarnish is caused by sulfur dioxide from the air reacting with silver, and the best way to prevent it is to keep your jewelry out of the air. Try sealing your items in a zip top bag; there are specially made bags and anti-tarnish strips you can buy, but this is by far the cheapest.
GREEN IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE: Tarnish is natural and totally normal, so when the inevitable happens, clean your sterling silver with baking soda. There are a couple of ways to do this, but the simplest is just to make a paste with baking soda and water and use a clean toothbrush (not one that has ever had abrasives or chemicals on it as this could damage your jewelry) to gently scrub the tarnish away. Then rinse your jewelry thoroughly and blot it dry. I like to do this over a bowl, but if you do it over a sink, be sure to put something in the drain so you don’t lose anything.
YAY CHEMISTRY!: The baking soda acts as a super gentle scrubber, but it also oxidizes the sulfur that causes tarnish, releasing small amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas. A quicker way to deal with really tarnished sterling is to put jewelry into a bowl with about 2 Tbsp. baking soda, a pinch of salt, and a crumpled up piece of aluminum foil. After a few minutes, your sterling will look like new. How does this work? Again, the baking soda oxidizes, the salt helps transport the tarnish through the water, and the aluminum foil traps the tarnish, while the gas is released into the air.
SMALL PRINT: Of course you have to be gentle if you opt for the toothbrush method. DON’T leave your jewelry in the mix forever. DON’T dunk things with silk cord or pearls or water soluble crystals like flourite, as none of these stay the same when you add water. GOOD RULE OF THUMB: if you are worried about using this on porous stones, don’t. Just use it on the sterling silver. Use a little paste for any tight spots and carefully wipe away with a cotton swab or tissue. DON’T use this method on silver plated items; they are not actually sterling silver and the coating will come off. DON’T worry too much; I use this method all the time and don’t have any problems. I have heard people say that this method degrades sterling silver, but the reality is the degradation has already happened from the tarnish. When you remove the tarnish, you are removing something that USED TO BE sterling, but is now just the dark grey stuff covering up your pretty shiny piece underneath.
BONUS POINTS: For super shine, buff your jewelry with a soft cloth, like microfiber or chamois. It’s not environmentally friendly, but in a pinch I use a ‘sunshine cloth’, which is a soft cloth embedded with polishers (wash your hands afterwards!). You can find them online or at most jewelry and bead stores. They seem to run about $5 and I use mine a lot. It lasts a long time (I store mine in a plastic bag in between uses).