Thursday, January 28, 2010

Small Things = Big Difference or organic cotton weary makes me SCREAM


Most people think of cotton as an eco-friendly, natural fiber; it breathes, it's washable, it's a renewable resource, but cotton is actually one of the most toxic plants on the planet. And it's not the cotton's fault.


The problem is the boll weevil. Boll weevils are "virulent pests that infest the cotton plant." I thought we should all get a look at one in case it ends up in your t-shirt. <------

(just kidding, but it is kind of gross looking)

This is reminding me that hubby and I may or may not have a stinkbug infestation (check back on whining Wednesday for details).

So, anyhoo these little boll weevils are very hard to kill and the farmers have to use all kinds of pesticides to protect their cotton crops. Eventually these little critters become immune to the pesticide and mutate around it, like a cockroach, and then the farmers get themselves some brand new pesticides. And these are not highly targeted pesticides, so they also kill spiders and wasps and all kinds of other beneficial insects and throw the whole eco-system out of whack.

And when the cotton field gets watered and when it rains these pesticides end up in streams and our water tables. They are also highly toxic to farm workers. And even though your fancy new t-shirt has had the chemicals washed out (probably not all of them)- where does the wastewater from the cleaning process end up?

Bottom line think organic cotton. It's grown without synthetic pesticides and with attention to the ecosystem. By wearing organic cotton you won't be walking around in clothes laden with residual pesticides and you are not supporting the introduction of more toxic chemicals into our already overloaded ecosystem.

I am still left wondering though:

Why does everyone remember that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin?

(does anyone have a clue what a cotton gin is)

And was Cotton Weary the worst name for a movie villain ever? Discuss .....
1. Infusion amazing organic cotton and hemp bag
2. Gaia Conceptions stunning long organic cotton and hemp skirt
3. Neena Creates soft and beautiful organic cotton t-shirt
4. Totally fun mustaches organic cotton dinner napkins by Parrishhw
5. The unforgettable Chakrapennywhistle's organic cotton pillow
6. Totally adorable animal collective tshirt for children by Xenotees
7. UndertheRoot's sexy and stunning organic cotton pantalette

Thursday was not Pugsley's Sister

Time out for a little look around the web for some inpiration that will make Thursday feel like Friday

(almost)

and make Pugley's little sister want to change her name.

First up the bold and beautiful clothing of Sweden's Gudrun Sjoden has me dreaming of spring.




Nectar Jewelry's amazingly stunning and original work (even though Sharon did once compare me to a Real Housewife from New Jersey ... it may have been after I threatened to throw a chair at her though)



I want a wall like this one at New York's Ace Hotel.



Wild Unknown's amazing Great Lakes Prisms!



Factory 20
has the most incredible vintage goodies!



If you haven't seen the gorgeous collection of Mika Organics- you MUST take a look!





Bouncy ball installation art!




Sturdy and beautiful furniture made from crates and pallets - found on Design Squish!




The gorgeous illustration at Liese Chavez's new shop Pale Preoccupation.




And yes, she has a new locket!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hearts for Haiti on Etsy Raises $19,000 in 2 Weeks!

A few days ago Stacey from Artsnark let me know about an amazing Etsy shop that has been doing big things for Haitian relief efforts and Doctors Without Borders.

Hearts for Haiti is the lovechild of Victoria van der Laan and her amazing group of volunteers who have been working tirelessly for the last 2 weeks.

I donated 4 necklaces yesterday to their shop and 3 sold within hours! 100% of their proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders- so if you are looking to make a difference with a handmade item donation from your own shop or to purchase a wonderful handmade or vintage item and make a difference with your purchasing dollars- check out this amazing shop!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tattoo Tuesday or crafty girls get inked

There is some amazing tattoo inspiration out there for crafty girls thinking about getting inked

(I am way too wimpy and once passed out after stubbing my toe...it was a really hard stub against a laundry basket, gets me dizzy to even think about it)

and what I like best about these tattoos is that once a crafty girl always a crafty girl, so you can show off these babies proudly forever ... in my humble opinion.








And no, I don't see anything disturbing about this picture at all, other than wondering why only one child is wearing a prison issue orange jumpsuit ------>

(the other one must be on a work release program)

If anyone has purchased this item, please take a moment away from watchin' your stories or puttin' a litter of kittens in a cardboard box to let me know in the comments section.

(if this toy doesn't hurt, it might be just what I'm lookin' for)

Tattoo pics from the Flickr Crafty Tattoo Group (toy from Walmart, of course)

Monday, January 25, 2010

GIVEAWAY Beautiful RAFYA Initial Necklace CLOSED

And the winner is:

Chosen by True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 610
Result:
16

Erin from TesoriTravoti!!

Rafya is the gorgeous shop of Alona Lahav who lives and works in Pardes Hana, Israel.

Alona's work is all about unique designs. Her jewelry is made using cold clay with special textures she finds in her environment. She finds inspiration in delicate pieces of metal and even the soles of shoes!

All Rafya's pendants and charms are painted in Alona's unique technique that gives them her own stunning, signature look.


WHAT YOU GET:

One lucky winner will receive Rafya's gorgeous initial necklace in choice of letter!




HOW TO WIN:

Just pop over to Rafya and let Alona know which item is your favorite in the comments section below. Also let us know your initial!

For additional entries:

(5) Twitter this post
(5) Blog about this contest; linking to this post
(5) Follow my blog

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. This contest is open to everyone.

DRAWING:

MIDNIGHT on Sunday, January 31th! Good luck!! CLOSED

Friday, January 22, 2010

Small Things = Big Difference or tying one on this weekend

This is the second post of a new weekly column this winter with tiny tips to save the planet by buying eco friendly items and maximizing the value of those items by making them last longer.

My guy doesn't wear many ties these days, so it is taking me a long time to collect enough to cover a chair seat in a cheap imitation of this amazing piece by Peter Russo.

Good ties are expensive so you want to help them last (even when planning your own recycled chair seat) and here are some tips to help that happen.

1. Ties are cut on the fabric's bias which gives them stretch for knotting, but it also makes them susceptible to lumps and bumps. So - no wire hangers (Joan was right about this one) - hang them vertically, lie them flat or roll them up.

2. Rest 'em - Even when you have a fave tie or a trademark tie- giving it at least a day of rest - unknotted - between wears will prolong its life.

3. Untie it - Tying a proper tie is becoming a lost art and gives some guys who don't do it very often a headache, but untying them is just as important.

The best way to remove a tie - for the tie - is to work these steps in reverse. Pulling the smaller end through the knot is much quicker but can stretch the tie out of shape.

4. Roll 'em - You can't wash a tie in water because it will shrink unevenly. You can't dry clean silk ties and you can't iron them or they can harden and get shiny. So, for wrinkles- first try rolling it- starting at the narrow end- and then leave it rolled for a couple days and see if it smooths out. If not, think steam.

5. Buy 'em to last - A lining of 100% wool or a wool mixture will help the tie hold its shape over time. A biased cut across the fabric grain makes the tie lie straight when you knot it. When buying a tie- try looping it on your hand- it shouldn't twirl in the air if it's high quality. Check closely for even weaving and if a silk tie feels rough to the touch- it likely won't last as long as finer silk, so pass it up.

Some Etsy finds for you tie guys and the tie guys in our lives.

1. One of Toybreaker's gorgeous screened ties.
2. Sherry Truitt's totally clever and amazing Knock His Socks Off cufflinks.
3. We Choose Joy (love that name!) adorable little So Handsome Onesie.
4. Dolly Knit's beautiful Knitted John Tie.
5. Linda Layden's gorgeous faux ivory scrimshaw tie bar.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chinese New Year's Resolutions or the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night (do you remember that part or did you just hum that line, too?)

So, anyhoo, during a giveaway a couple weeks ago everyone was nice enough to tell us all some of their resolutions for 2010.

And some of us are determined not to make any- which is kind of like making one anyway.

I have always been a bit lazy about resolutions and certain other types of long-term planning

(although I do have a nice family plot picked out under a shade tree in Tucson for hubby and I)

this is one reason we have never gone on a cruise

(there are other reasons involving seasickness and the joiny kind of things cruises require you to do- and of course, the cold hard cash part of the whole cruise experience)

because cruises, among many other things that I will probably never get to do, require some kind of long term planning.

Or maybe because I can still hear my grandmother saying "if you want to hear God laugh, tell her your plans"

(or maybe that was a country song, I forget now ...)

but anyway, planning has always been a bit of a problem for me- although I am a bit of a short-term list maker, so do get a few things accomplished here and there.

With the Chinese New Year about to roll into the Year of the Tiger (can you say that without hearing the Rocky song play in your head ... I didn't think so)

and I know it's Eye of the Tiger, but still ...

I can at least resolve to NOT do a few things in the new year.

1. Run in any kind of marathon

(I can't believe I even thought this was remotely possible last year- although I am determined to beat that damn race-walker at the reservoir- she will be at least 65 when we meet up again in the spring and I will be on a bike this year, so I am thinking I will finally be able to take her)

2. Choose logic over intuition

(nope, not gonna do it)

3. Watch a movie with Nicolas Cage in it

(sorry, but I can still hear him whining, "Peeeegggggy" to Kathleen Turner and it creeps me out- I did like Birdy though)

4. Join Facebook

(I may not say never to this one, but I can probably hold out for another 12 months)

5. Give up diet pepsi

(I've tried, I can't do it, I admit it)

6. Give up vampires

(even though I think know there is a connection between America's vampire obsession and America's obsession with not aging I'm still waiting on True Blood's new season)

7. Weigh myself

(because muscle weighs more than fat, remember, and even though I am feeling like I need to trade in my pencil skirt for the crayola model, I know it is all muscle)

8. Give up our vacation

(never again, we are taking one this year)

I could go on and on with things I am not going to do because, well I am a little bit lazy and most things are a little bit efforty, but just know that when you are multi-tasking and getting all sorts of things accomplished, I am most likely lying on the couch drinking diet pepsi and watching vampires .. or at least I hope to be.

(celebratory Tiger card by Frantic Meerkat)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Uncommon Goods Catalog is in the Mail!



Very exciting to come home and find the Uncommon Goods Valentine's Day catalog in my mailbox. If it is in your mailbox, too- check out page 65 for three exclusive sets of Polarity lockets only available through them - Unusual by Christy Zaragoza (Peppermint Daydreams), Nature by Holly Ward Bimba (Gollybard) and Whimsical by Jessica Doyle!

This is my first catalog for Polarity and I have loved Uncommon Goods forever and am so happy to be in there!

Time Out Tuesday - or more stuff to check out while you eat your tuna on an everything bagel


Roland Tiangco dirt poster- take a look at how this piece is created by the buyer.




The amazing compilation art of Michael Johnson- rooms in boxes.


The complete Miles Davis collection on CD with recreated record covers- be still my heart...


Sundance can almost make me like cold weather ... almost.




Can fast food packaging get us to eat healthier?


The intricate beadwork of Viktoria of Donauluft- can wearable art be any more amazing...


The beautiful pillows of textile and graphic designer Erin Flett.


These little book covers can hide your latest romance novel or vampire fiction with a cover you can be proud of.


George Hart 72Pencils sculpture.


A tattoo with changeable text? or for someone who has nothing to say?


The stunning art of Meluseena artist Lisa Falzon and yes, she has a locket!