Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Scoutie Girl Giveaway

Check out my interview and giveaway on the absolutely amazing Scoutie Girl blog.

Jan said some really nice things about me-

"Cat Ivins is a very 'cool cat' (shucks!)- her originality & commitment to her ideas, techniques and materials rocks in every which way. she is currently focused on two materials in her work: sustainable cork and recycled steel. using these materials in conjunction with gorgeous artwork and other repurposed items, like barnwood & galvanized steel, she creates ingenius cork pendants, magnetic lockets, earrings, bulletin/magnet boards, pushpins and so much more. when i see an artist who pushes boundaries like this in such simple yet unconventional ways - and do it so well - i can barely stand it! progressive artists like Cat are such an asset to the modern art movement of their/our time. in her words: "I seek to use repurposed, recycled and sustainable materials in new, unique and beautiful ways leaving the lightest possible footprint in my wake." that's passion baby!"

*yes, Jan, your check is in the mail*

Actually I have hung this in my studio to remind my family I am one cool Cat!

This giveaway is double-trouble and includes my favorite GIDDYUP seahorse cork necklace by Uncorked and a TinyArtbyJMullin Locket from my Polarity artist series featuring the gorgeous collage work of Jennifer Mullin. The contest runs through July 5th so drop your barbecue mitts and get yourself entered!

Friday, June 26, 2009

An Obsession Confession

OK- so I admit that the tv show Obsession - at least I think it is called Obsession-

(I always miss the first few minutes of it because I always forget its day and time and channel- I am a very passive-aggressive tv viewer and I have my own little obsessive ritual to perform before watching it)

*just kidding about that last part*

has become my obsession. The strange habits of strangers has me thinking about my own little quirks.

(and, yes, when they belong to strangers they are obsessions, but if they belong to me they are quirks- as in cute little quirks- see how this works?)

The first thing that comes to mind is my cute little quirk (ie obsession) with the shower curtain- as in what is behind the shower curtain- as in who is behind the shower curtain- as in I must open the shower curtain... and check...

Now I really like the way the bathroom looks (in theory) with the shower curtain closed and hubby always closes it, claiming something about it needing to be open to dry and mold and mildew prevention or something that he knows it will be hard for me to argue against, but that closed curtain makes me a little uneasy when I am in there.

(and ... when I have gone out and I know there has been enough time for someone to sneak into my house and find my shower and climb in there and reset up the shower curtain just how they first found it.... well, then I just have to check it... again)

Luckily this cute little quirk (ie obsession) has not extended into my needing to check on other curtains (like say behind the livingroom curtains or the bedroom curtains) because this would really eat into my day.

And luckily for me our other tub does not have a shower curtain or even a shower for that matter and when hubby sometimes mentions installing one... well, let's just say this is one little project that is not top priority on our to-do list.

(If we had a to-do list, which we do not, believe you me- but if I was a list maker and we did have a list this little project would be on page 107)

I have other cute little quirks (ie obsessions) too, but so as not to alarm everyone that I am crazier than your funny uncle (not THAT kind of funny uncle...geez...)- I will move on and hopefully the tv show people don't decide they need a shower curtain obsessor on the show and come to New Jersey (definitely where I would go to hunt down obsessives) and throw a net over me or maybe a shower curtain over me ...

(although I could use a new one, maybe something from Anthropologie....)
1. Shower Curtain by Anthopologie
2. Today's Obsession by YouHeartUs
3. Vegan Clay Mask by LighthouseMinerals
4. Vintage Robe by VonleskaVintage
5. Monogrammed Towel by SpringCartDesigns
6. Aromatherapy Mist by SweetPetula

Put a Lid on It Sister


When the plastic soda bottles that we sort out for recycling get to our local recycling plants- the hard plastic caps are removed (if you haven't removed them). Those caps are made with Polypropylene which gets them a 5 rating and are virtually unrecyclable.

Any hard plastics that you can't squish with your hands get this rating and usually do not end up being recycled. Last Christmas I wrote about a program at Aveda Hair & Skin Care Products to reuse these caps in their packaging and now they have really expanded it.

With more than 3 million tons of pretty little plastic parts floating in the Northwest Pacific Ocean and often being mistaken as food by fish which end up dying of asphyixa and malnutrition, not to mention the gazillion tons of this stuff rotting (well, actually it's not rotting) in our landfills and down storm drains- this is a much needed step in the right direction.

So save your rigid plastic threaded caps for the Aveda drop off location near you (any retail location)!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

8AM Tuesday....


Locked myself out of the house in the rain
(well it looked like it could rain)
Climbed through a window
(scraped my elbow on the sink)
Fell onto the floor in a graceless heap
(granite; well, the cheaper stuff, but hard as granite anyway)
Ate some cookies
(felt a little better)
Olive licked my face
(felt alot better until I realized she just wanted the cookie crumbs)
*sigh*

Some Tuesday Love on Etsy:
1. Bendy TUESDAY By TangleAndFold
2. TUESDAY Morning By CrimsonPeachyArt
3. Lonely TUESDAY By Krize
4. Ruby TUESDAY Earrings by LittleBrownBird
5. Liesel Print by TUESDAYMourning
6. Vintage Pasteurized TUESDAY Mirror by ClutteredMind
7. TUESDAY Cloche by Tissage
A. Peanut Butter Cookies by TheHotCookie

Saturday, June 20, 2009

some random stuff I LOVE

After spending a few hours (yes, HOURS) on the floor in my studio untangling computer and equipment wires I am thinking about my floors again (like how I really need to keep them cleaner- the dust bunnies are overrunning the place and how I really need to stuff those cords into some old vacuum hoses) and how I need a change and maybe a change from the bottom up would be a good thing.

I headed back to the Flor website to ogle their goodies as well as some cork flooring (can you believe all these color choices?) I have been pining for and some amazing little t-shirt covers by Sartoria Vico that are totally adorable (and have nothing to do with floors, but I can't just sit around and think about floors all day now can I)!







Thursday, June 18, 2009

If something HAD to crash...

So, I arrived home from my great Oregon adventure two nights ago. After some hugs and "missed ya's" and hints of parties that I just don't want to even know about I was finally able to sneak away from my family and head to my studio

(aka the room that used to be called the garage)

which felt oddly quiet with the computer screen blank and I felt oddly disconnected after only 4 days away (more proof that this room is starting to feel alot more like WORK and alot less like fun these days).

I pushed the start-up button on my Gateway and waited to reconnect with the world... and ... NOTHING happened... before I had time to analyze the situation (ie PANIC) hubby caught up with me (it was after midnight) and demanded (ie pleaded) for me to go to bed with him -

(totally NOT what you are thinking)

he confessed that he had tossed and turned all night without me (I did NOT confess that I had slept like a rock without him), so I went off to bed convincing myself that pup Olive had pulled a plug and that my life was not about to implode.

(how long ago HAD I backed anything up, anyway?)

Fast forward about 7 hours and $70.00 later and I am on the phone with a Gateway tech named Tommy.

Now, in the normal, real world I would NOT be taking advice from anyone who called himself Tommy- well, not since 6th grade anyway and would likely be trying to get past Tommy to a Tom or a Thomas or a Thomasina but in the techie world the people named Tommy and Billy and Jimmy are king and I am immediately convinced that he knows what he is doing.

(Note- I never trust anyone over 30 with my computer and drive my hubby crazy when I ignore his advice for that of my 12 year old neighbor Lucy)

Dead motherboard (really bad), maybe dead harddrive (really, really bad), since all of Tommy's diagnoses (is that a word?) involve the world "dead" as in NOT COMING BACK TO LIFE - this is all very bad news.

I wish I could wrap this up with a happy ending, but right now I am still in the middle of "the crash" and using a VERY old computer and my laptop in some strange combination with each other that has me tripping over cords and attempting some leftie mouse maneuvers AND doing really fast research on a new system. Luckily, I do have ALOT backed up on my external- unluckily I do NOT have everything backed up.

Looking at the bright side of all of this-

(yes, I am a very Pollyanna type personality who always looks on the bright side in case you hadn't noticed this about me before)

at least this crash didn't involve the airplane I was on the other day because to be honest with you I never listen to those crash procedures and would be looking around for a 12 year old to tell me what to do- they always seem to be paying attention ....





Me meeting my new little mini me in Oregon pre-crash (Elise daughter of ButtonEnvy's Miranda)






Some Etsy crash survival gear:



1. Lost by YaelFran
2. Crash Pin By Hariette Estelle Berman
3. CrashTest Dummy Shirt by DesignedThreads
4. Crash and Burn Notecard by GramkinPaperStudio
5. Crashing Waves Pendant by Chickory
6. Laptop Vinyl by Vinylville

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Minding Their Manor

Just a few days until my great solo Oregon adventure- heading to Portland to visit my sister and her family including my new little niece (whose cute little pics show a remarkable resemblance to her Aunt Cat, if I do say so myself). My family is staying put in New Jersey, so I am on my own for this one.

(drops mouse to happy dance around the room)

I have been thinking about proper houseguest etiquette and googled some rules so I don't make a pest of myself.

(not that this is even remotely possible... we are family, right?)

1. Share your itinerary - let your hosts know if you have other plans - easy one to follow since I have no itinerary and no plans. BUT I don't want to be one of those, "I don't know... you choose" kind of guests so I need to come up with something... and it has to be something that can be done in the rain... because this IS Portland we're talking about here...

2. Bring a gift / leave a note - this is an easy one since gifts for the kiddies, especially my new little mini-me, are easy peasy and I know any 4 month old would be pleased as punch to wear (ie gnaw on) a cork necklace, right?

3. Buy a meal - well, I guess if my sister is going to cart me around for 4 days, she can at least get a hot meal out of it, or a warm meal or at least a cold Dr. Pepper - let's see where she takes me ....

4. Never use the soap/razor/washcloth/loofah that's in the shower - that would be gross AND rude (shampoo and toothpaste are possible sharesies though). Also carry your toiletries to and from the bathroom- nothing says "Diva" like a complete bathroom sink takeover. And don't drape damp towels over the antique highboy (not that my sister has an antique highboy, but she HAS been buying alot of stuff lately at garage sales and off Craig's List so I have to be careful).

5. Make your bed- now I have to admit that most days hubby makes the bed around here (most days he also sleeps WAY later than I do) and making is really just kind of straightening so this is also a no-brainer and strip (the bed, that is) before leaving on that final morning.

6. No noisy sex - well, since I am traveling alone this would be a little hard to do and a little sad if I attempted it, but if you are traveling with Mr. Right or Mr. Wrong it is still a no-no in my book.

(and by MY BOOK I mean the etiquette book I am now thinking I should be writing since I am really, really good at this stuff)

So, what else am I missing, does anyone have any other good houseguest tips to share?



1. Sherry Truitt - Custom Destination Vintage Map Necklace (super houseguest gift I think)
2. GetReadySetGo - Upcycled Luggage (except this little elephant bag is mine - get your own)
3. JJill - Dress (I have this in every color they offer and it is perfection- it can be worn over tights, jeans or as a dress- total versatility with this one)
4. NectarJewelry- one of her new Polymer Pendants, total awesomeness
5. StrikeBooks - Pink Paper Journal - nothing screams 'my sister' like pink, believe me
6. SpaGoddess - Travel Size Scrubs - pure bliss in little jars

Monday, June 1, 2009

Father's Day Fantabulous Giveaway

AND THE WINNERS ARE - First prize goes to Sarah! Check out her beautiful blog. Second prize goes to Nicole of Lillyella - good luck with BOB Nicole- keep him in line!

Father's Day is June 21st and I know your dad (or hubby, or grandpa or even yourself) would love to win one of the amazing prizes I am giving away here!

Yes, that's right I said PRIZES, as in plural, as in 2 amazing Father's Day goodies and that means 2 winners!

So in honor of my own dad who passed away when I was 18 (and who has a special connection to these fantabulous goodies) and my wonderful hubby; both of them avid repurposers, upcyclers, artists and amazing dads - the FIRST PRIZE is:

An amazing 15" square magnet board from Polarity made with a retro cedar record frame that was recycled from an old cedar barn and stained with a gorgeous honey stain. Inside the frame is a beautiful map fabric (dad really won't have to ask for directions now) which covers a piece of galvanized sheet metal which has also been repurposed. It comes with 5 matching 1.5" magnets which have been assembled from sustainable cork.



SECOND PRIZE is BOB. Bob is an acronym for “Bunch of Bolts, a creation in honor of SomethingWhimsical artist Vincent Corona-Evans' father (who also happened to be my father) who used to make robots out of nuts and bolts and copper tubing and pretty much anything else he came across. Sporting a timeworn look, these little guys come on a 20" ballchain and are super- fun to wear. Packaged within an antiqued, weather-worn box, each BOB comes with a very informative (and hysterically funny) 16-page mini-manual.





HOW TO WIN:

Leave a comment about a favorite Father's Day gift or memory OR check out either of these shops and let me know of a favorite item or something that you would like to see us offer - Polarity or SomethingWhimsical

For some big time additional entries:

(10) Follow my blog
(10) Twitter this post
(10) Blog about this contest, linking to this post

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. Enter up to once a day by leaving a comment.

DRAWING:

Midnight EST on Saturday, June 6th! Good luck!

FREE SHIPPING on any jewelry order in either of my shops through June 6th - Uncorked or Polarity by noting Father's Day Giveaway (or some such something) in the comments to seller section of your order and waiting for a quick refund!