Saturday, February 28, 2009

This Week's New UNCORKED Listings

This week's new items in my Uncorked Etsy shop which offer free shipping through next weekend are my EQUESTRIAN RIDER piece 'heels down' - which is dedicated to all the girls out there who got their horses and those of us who didn't (remember when we really, really wanted a horse!) and my FOXY piece which is dedicated to all those Foxy mamas out there and wannabe Foxy mamas. I am thinking the FOX is about to be the next big thing! Both are now available in my Uncorked shop with free shipping.

Buy Your Wine With CORK Stoppers


About a year ago we organized a cancer benefit at the infamous Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ for a wonderful 27 year old man and great family friend. The Stone Pony people were amazing with us and if you grow up in New Jersey you most likely will have some great memories of the place. They are now going to recycle their corks through me and I am very excited about it! Most wine cork stoppers come from Portugal, one of the oldest countries in Europe. It is a huge part of their economy (and that of the other 6 Mediterranean cork-producing countries) and a vital source of rural employment. The forests support a fragile, bio-diverse ecosystem. The cork oaks in Portugal alone offset 10 million tons of carbon every year and are also important producers of oxygen.

The producers of plastic tops and metal screw caps are working hard (and using higher non-renewable energy consumption and producing more toxic chemicals) to increase their market share within the wine industry. Uncorking a wine bottle can be a bit of a hassle at times (I know I always have to hunt for my corkscrew) but what would your party be like if you just get to unscrew the top of your wine like a bottle of diet pepsi - without that energizing cork pop sound to get the party started!

If you really must buy your wine with plastic caps - remember they will end up in landfills even when recycled unless there is a specific program in your area to recycle them. Aveda, the beauty supply company, offers a program to recycle plastic caps. Send them by mail to ACA Waste Services, 40 Eads Street, West Babylon, NY 11704

I am hoping everyone will continue to support the 300 year old cork industry by buying your wine with cork stoppers! They are biodegradable (toss in your compost pile- chop them up and they will degrade faster) or can be sent to me for recycling (I collect them from many of my local bars and restaurants for a great program called ReCork America) - if you send me some I also promise to make you something very cool and send it to you!

Friday, February 27, 2009

LOVIN' WATER 4 ELEPHANTS

This weekend's special in my Polarity shop is my new vintage circus locket set. This piece was inspired by Sara Gruen's wonderful book Water For Elephants about Jacob Jankowski's experiences with a traveling depression era circus. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. The locket is available for a limited time with 5 interchangeable lids (this is like getting 5 lockets for $16.00 - what a great way to do more with less and save some green while spending green) and FREE SHIPPING. The locket is made from a little recycled auto part and the locket lids are guaranteed to stay on perfectly with a very strong magnet! The perfect locket for that special little picture. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. I love this little set and am hoping you will, too!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Recycled Soda POP Art

Those plastic bottles awaiting recycling can be easily turned into a piece of cool SODA POP FLOWER ART for your walls. Cut the bottom from each bottle with a pair of scissors and then re-cut the bottom 'flower'. Drill a hole in the center of each 'flower' and add a screw and a couple of different size washers. You can also skip the drill and hardware and glue on colorful various size buttons. Arrange your 'flowers' within a frame (I like to let the 'flowers' spill out from the frame)- I have held mine together with glue dots (with is easiest), but they can be stapled, sewn or tied. You have a quick little recycled POP ART piece for your walls!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Between the Folds - The Art & Science of Paperfolding


I am anxiously awaiting an inspiring little film for all us math geeks due to hit New York City in May called "Between The Folds". It documents the stories of 10 fine artists, mathematicians and theoretical scientists who have abandoned their careers to forge unconventional lives as modern-day paperfolders. The film also shows how paperfolding or origami (which literally translates in Japanese to fold paper) is being used to encourage peace in the world (yes, peace) as well as its practical applications in scientific research and development. Check out this little preview and keep your eyes posted for its arrival in a city near you.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Adorable New Mini Lockets in Polarity Shop


I added a few new mini lockets to my Polarity shop today. Each is made from a little recycled auto part (cleaned up like NEW) and comes with 3 interchangeable magnetic lids that are guaranteed to never fall off when worn! You will love them. They are totally addicting and a great way to do more with less!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2ReVert Celebrates 1 Year on Etsy

2ReVert is celebrating their one year Etsy anniversary with a $200.00 product giveaway! 2ReVert creates one of a kind jewelry pieces out of 100% post-consumer recycled skateboards (ie old, used, broken skateboards). Enter through their blog. 2ReVert is crazy in love with the earth and keeping things out of the balefills, landfills, and incinerators. I own a pair of their amazing earrings and they are pure perfection! I can get some serious air on my ali oops when wearing them ...seriously...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Brief History of Brief Moments

I have always been a little afraid of dolls. I'm not going to freak out around your Barbie or anything (well, maybe your Bratz but that's another story), but if you've got one of those old fashioned, eyes that shut when you move it, hair like Drew Barrymore in Firestarter kind of dolls, then I'm not going to stay in the same room with it. No way baby! So when I saw these amazingly adorable (ie terrifying) doll pictures on Etsy I just had to investigate the fearless photographer who had snapped them. After admiring Brief Moments amazingly eclectic and wonderful little corner of Etsy I decided to ask Maribeth about what inspires her and this is what she shared with me - "At first, I thought this was an easy question to answer. Everyday moments inspire me…but then when I really thought about it. Everyday moments are the comfort and peace in my life. Yet, when it comes to being truly inspired, I realized it wasn’t everyday moments that inspire me but instead I’m inspired by change. Change helps me remember what matters most, and it pushes me to adapt and move forward. The change doesn’t have to be earth-shattering or momentous. It can be as simple as rearranging my living room furniture or going on a day trip to a museum. But it does have to be…different, and that difference can be positive and it can be negative. And truthfully, I’d much rather have the positive, but I have to admit, the other has its benefits too. So, though everyday moments are the foundation of my day, change is what fuels my creative life and keeps making me strive to think outside myself and outside my little corner of the world." Hmmm, I notice she didn't mention her scary dolls.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

WIN One on My Necklaces at Lillyella!

Nicole is not only the artist behind the most romantic, addictive (I dare you to buy just one piece!) jewelry on Etsy - Lillyella, but she writes the most addictive blog! This week I am her featured artist! Check out my interview with Nicole (you will even find out which super power I secretly covet!) and enter her blog contest to win YOUR CHOICE of necklace from either of my shops. Thank you Lillyella!

Monday, February 9, 2009

So...Your Compost Bin is Starting to Thaw

OK, so I know we're not really thawing yet up here in the Northeast (hopefully you have been adding to your compost bin though). Next winter I want to try an indoor worm composting bin, but now that spring is just a few weeks away (and this prospect still makes me kind of uneasy) I will just work with what I have collected. Anything that was living at one time is great for compost piles such as leaves, vegetables and grass clippings. The microbes responsible for breaking down your compost pile need a balance of nitrogen and carbon. Nitrogen comes from green materials such as food scraps, manure, and grass clippings. Carbon comes from brown materials such as dead leaves, hay, wood chips and shredded newspaper. A ratio that contains equal portions of both and is well mixed (every couple weeks) works best. In the frozen winter mixing doesn't really work (and lets precious heat escape), so the best thing is to have your compost bin near your house (the easier it is to get to the more you will use it) in a dark bin in direct sunlight and fill it with brown material; leaving a hole in the middle for you to add your green materials as you collect them. When you add the green material (food scraps) cover it with a couple inches of brown material and just keep repeating this. After the spring thaw, you will turn the compost and water it as you normally would. An important thing to remember when composting is that you need those brown materials to add carbon or your pile will start to smell... bad. My pup Olive loves to roll around in our backyard compost pile if it starts to smell and believe me this is not a good thing. This year we have collected a couple wooden pallets and will be making a new outdoor pile that will keep Olive out!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Things Fall Apart So Things Can Come Together

Last year when my hubby and I were thinking we needed to spend more time together- we decided to take a pottery class (there is a bit of irony in this because pottery is actually a very solitary, almost mystical activity). I had never worked on a wheel before and he had just a tiny bit of experience many years ago. I found it hard. Of course, he picked it up right away, became teacher's pet (I will always believe the instructor had a little bitty crush on him) and drove me crazy offering up tiny bits of advice in his oh so patient teacher-voice. He was almost effortlessly making strong, interesting pieces while my own work was inconsistent, prone to collapse and reminded me of the hand-built stuff my daughter brought home from camp when she was seven. Although we used the same glazes, his always seemed to end up reflective of nature's simple beauty (or so enthused the other students) while mine more reflective of the stuff on the nature trails that you try not to step in. This experience has given me a deep appreciation of the amazing work that potters do and Etsy has many amazing masters. Recently I came across the work of Jeff Campana (CampanaCeramics) and was simply blown away. Through a process of dismantling and reassembling his pieces- he creates the most striking fault lines that add a fascinating dichotomy of fragility and strength to his work. I have always loved the things and places within us that are damaged and scarred and the concept of those things being healed over and made stronger in the process. I hope you enjoy CampanaCeramics as much as I do. I had to purchase the beautiful lavender vase for the V-Day flowers that had better be coming my way from my own Mr. Potter ...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Climbing out of the Box


At first glance this picture scared the heck out of me- some kind of genetic engineering had produced a more space effective watermelon! Yikes- what's next?! But the story is actually a great example of thinking outside the box (or inside the box in this case!). Small Japanese grocers had a problem. Watermelons, big and round, wasted a lot of space. Farmers told the grocery stores that watermelons grow round and there is nothing that can be done about it. But one Japanese farmer took a different approach. He didn’t assume the problem was impossible to begin with and simply asked himself how it could be done. It turns out that all he needed to do was place the watermelon into a square box when it is growing and it took on the shape of the box! This has got me thinking about my own assumptions, habits (I have saved myself so much time in my studio lately by asking myself if there is a better way I could be doing something), being able to look at problems from a fresh perspective and seeking the possible even in the face of what appears to be the impossible!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Olive's First Sleepover


After being advised there would be no boys, no drinking and no prank calling- Olive put on her favorite Lucky Fiona collar and headed over to Ruby's 4th birthday sleepover party. Ruby brought out her favorite recycled toy from WoofPurrCreations and the girls had a great time. They finally collapsed about midnight, although I've been told Ruby's folks didn't get much sleep.