Thursday, July 29, 2010

DIY Upcycled Flea Market Finds - Door Handles

This week's tutorial had to be put on the back burner since I am still finishing up my tradeshow display that needs to ship out in about 48 hours ... ugh!

Hopefully, I will be back on track next week, in the meantime here is a great way I have gotten to use one of last month's flea market purchases.

These are two vintage letterpress pieces (I had a major coup earlier in the summer with a ton of these) reused as armoire door handles.

Almost anything can be a drawer pull or door handle and even just mixing and matching pieces like the 2 samples shown below on the right can make a big difference. If I'm using real drawer pulls I like to just change 1 pull to add some interest and whimsy and save a few bucks since the nice ones (like those from Anthropologie) can be pricey.

Kids vintage blocks and rubber stamps would work great, too! And there is always some amazing inspiration on Etsy:


1. Still Memory's amazing photograph Exit
2. Monkeyshine's brushed nickel draw pull with vintage crab
3. 1950's hardware store cabinet at FrenchbyDesign
4. Letterpress fist from TurnersCollectibles
5. Pink painted mahogany chest by Rubyrhino1

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Take 10 Tuesday - the lazy girl summer version where we get to 8 this week


1. Annie Leonard's The Story of Cosmetics - a must see!

2. On Perfect Timing - when things aren't happening fast enough at Tiny Buddha

3. Time Management Tips for Shop Owners at the Ecoetsy team blog by Greenearthgoodies

4. The Awareness of Pain and the Pain of Awareness at BlissCick

5. 3 Reasons You're Not Charging What You're Worth at the Launch Coach

6. Cowboy Up! break away from the other artists at the Art Biz Blog

7. Too Smart for Your Business at Awake at the Wheel by Alexis Neely

8. Getting Unstuck - solving the perfect problem by Seth



*courage poster by lillebarntoo*

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Big Easy ....

It’s easier to be busy than it is to get things done.

It’s easier to critique than it is to create.

It’s easier to talk than it is to listen.

It’s easier to not feel like it than it is to just do it anyway (thank you Nike).

It’s easier to fall down than it is to pick yourself up.

It’s easier to allow than it is to choose.

It’s easier to resent doing things you don't want to do than it is to say no in the first place.

It’s easier to blame someone else than it is to take responsibility.

It’s easier to "play at" than it is to commit.

It’s easier to slow down and annoy the tailgater behind you than it is to just get out of his way (this could just be for me).

It’s easier to skim than it is to read.

It’s easier to avoid bad things because we want good things than it is to say no to good things because we want freakin' amazing things.

It’s easier to buy something made in China because it's cheap than it is to buy something made in New Jersey because you love it.

It's easier to check your email constantly and scatter your attention than it is to check your email regularly and focus on the task at hand.

It’s easier to say you don’t know what you want than it is to figure it out.

It's easier to eat out than it is to cook.

It's easier to copy something that someone else has already taken from step 1 to step 10 than it is to originate your own work from step 1.

It's easier to get lost than it is to ask for directions.

"It is easier to be brave from a safe distance" ... Aesop

Let's pledge no safe distances for us this week - we're in it all the way!

easy peasy print by sewsaucystitches

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Finds- Inspiration is Everywhere!


Designer Armin Fischer set out to create a mix of hotel and hostel and the result is Superbude (Supershack) a budget-hostel in Hamburg with funny design elements like coat-hangers made of plungers.

You know the guests will never forget this!

How can we add some playful elements to our own work that will make us unforgettable?

Are we taking ourselves too seriously?


Melbourne indie artist Kimbra has created this beautiful video clip.

It got me thinking about all the amazing illustrators I know and how incredible their work could look when collaborated with photogs or with unusual surfaces.

How can we create something amazing with our own work by adding another medium or unique product surface?




This bicycle helmet by french designer Kévin Goupil is based on an old french army helmet. Entirely made of cork, it's green, lightweight and definitely looks cool!

What new materials can we use to give our work a whole new life?

How can an iconic image be updated with a modern material?



The girl scouts have been rebranded with an updated shade of green, bangs and a nose job!

And since I am on a mission to bring back bangs I just love this!

Even an iconic image like the scouts can use a little updating (did those lips get a little plumping, too - ugh!?)

Can our own logos use a little boost this summer?


Have a wonderful weekend everyone and keep your inspiration notebooks handy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vintage Rolling Pin Towel Rack DIY Upcycled Tutorial

I have been wanting to add a towel bar or two to my kitchen butcher block counter (which was originally a potting shed cabinet) for a long time.

I recently picked up a couple vintage rolling pins at a flea market and knew they would be just perfect!

I had some hardware left over from this bottle project last Christmas, but you can easily pick some up in the electrical or plumbing department of your local hardware store.

Plus it spins when you pull the towel - how cool is that!

you will need:

a rolling pin
2 galvanized split ring hangers (bring rolling pin to store for sizing)
2 3/8" galvanized ceiling flange (plumbing or electrical department),
3/8 threaded pipe cut to size (store will cut),
(4) #12X1" screws
measuring tape, screwdriver and drill

1. measure for placement
2. measure twice!
3. mark and drill screw holes
4. screw in ceiling flange and then add threaded pipe
5. add split ring hanger with rolling pin



Now head over to Etsy and get yourself an amazing handtowel:

1. the heated advice by theheated
2. pistol bar towel from branchhandmade
3. mr. darcy proposal hand towels by brookish
4. kitchen bits tea towel by wonderthunder
5. organic summer pennant tea towel by katherinejlee
6. essential herbs kitchen towels by nestahome
7. mussel organic linen tea towel by madderroot

Monday, July 19, 2010

Crafting the Intention for Your Business - a brief bit about why you may need to figure this thing out


"An intention synchronistically organizes its own fulfillment."
— Deepak Chopra

When I created Olive Bites I never really sat down and took the time to think about my intention for this venture and how this intention (desire without attachment to the outcome) would guide my business decisions.

This is different than goal setting- it's not about earning X amount in X amount of time, numbers and percentages - it's more about your big picture thinking.

The WHY of your business - the inspiration for all of this in the first place.

I knew I wanted to create original work, work with certain materials and show that eco can be beautiful because mostly people do not connect the two things. And because this is my intention - I do these things.

But I didn't give alot of thought about how (and why) I intended for this business to grow and most importantly how I intended for this creative adventure called Olive Bites to fit into my life.

And because I set no big-picture intentions for these things, these are exactly the things that have grown in unintended directions.

As I move into wholesale I had started to question my own intentions with this growth -

- it's not like I have to grow in this particular direction (selling to stores) and hubby is not a big fan of anything that sounds like more work for me -

I did not want the growth to be out of fear and I knew that part of my push to do this now is the culture of copying the internet has fostered.

(more on this some other time, I never have the stomach to talk much about this, it is enough to say that it is totally heart breaking and expensive to have to deal with)

I know I cannot grow out of fear.

I need this growth to be from love; love of my creations, love of the process, love of the sharing with other people (this cannot be done on my own - something I always tend to want to do), love of the change this growth will be creating in my life (and other people's).

So I am taking the time to set some big old intentions for all of this and then releasing my attachment to the outcome (and I am determined to let my day to day decisions be guided by these intentions).

Setting your intention helps you make the right decisions ... for you.

If it is your intention to have your own business so that you can set your own hours, have time with your children, etc then you will make different decisions than someone whose intention for their business is to pay the rent or someone whose intention is to be the number one creator of thingamajigs in the universe.

There is no right way or wrong way, but I am thinking this 24/7 life would be a little bit easier for us if we let our big picture intentions guide our day to day decisions.

Note that often when we set our intentions things will happen to 'test' them.

When you set your intention to not work weekends, you will likely be offered up an opportunity that will require exactly this. It is like the universe is checking in with you to see if this is what you really want.

And when this happens, remember this is not something that is happening to you, it is something that is happening for you.

If you are living an expansive life you always get to decide, there are no wrong decisions here, just decisions that are better ... for you.

(amazing growth illustration - maidenhair fern #3 by gollybard above)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Finds - Inspiration is Everywhere!

SUCK UK Apron Cooking Guides - the cooking info is on the apron upside down geared to the wearer!

This is reminding me of the baby clothes where the designs were right side up for baby's viewing that I featured a couple weeks ago.

How can we make our own designs more user friendly in a unique way?



Something about the minimalist nature of this amazing piece by Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulsen inspires me so much!

The usefulness, re-use and unlimited opportunities for expression this piece offers speaks so dramatically!

How can we use these lessons of dimension change, functionality and minimalism in our own work?


I absolutely love how these amazing DiCorte chairs share the materials and process of the work.

They also make the consumer think about the tree that birthed these babies

and remind me of the hard earned scars and imperfections that are the soul of hand-made.

How can we make our own materials and processes more apparent in our work - how can we use these to tell a larger story?

This iconic message first appeared on the back cover of the very last issue of the Whole Earth Catalogue in 1974.

stay hungry
stay foolish


Let's live this one!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Heating Duct to Amazing Mail Holder DIY Upcycled Tutorial

This is another easy-peasy summer project for an old metal vent.

Why not turn it into an awesome little mail holder?

The plastic diffuser (magnetic) can be picked up at a hardware store for under $5.00.

I attached mine to the side of a desk and love it so much I am going to add a few more!

you will need:

1. metal vent
2. magnetic plastic air diffuser (hardware store about $5.00)
3. spray paint for metal
4. screws and screwdriver
5. drill (camera shy)

1. Clean your vent and spray paint it
2. Measure for placement on the wall, side of desk, etc
3. Mark holes, drill for screws
4. Screw in your vent
5. Add your magnetic plastic cover (note I switched mine to some stronger magnets since I wanted it to hold quite a bit of papers)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Whining Wednesday - stuff that is stressing me out, will be stressing me out or had been stressing me out

1. The current stress - I am just a few weeks away from my first ever trade shows and I am suddenly realizing that I have a gazillion things to do and no time to do them.

So, if you pop over here and see no posts feel free to envision me in some kind of manic craziness where I am subsisting largely on the kind of cellophane-wrapped mistakes only available at my local Wawa -

deliriously humming the theme song from the Titanic - did I tell you the first said trade show is called Pool - as in someone please throw me a life preserver, you get the picture - and barking orders at my assistant; ie Olive, who is actually the only one around here who can get anything done.


And that these tradeshows, added to my normally massive amount of personal issues and annoyances have created an overdose type of situation where I am either manic or catatonic but either way unable to sign into blogger.

Please forgive me when this happens. I see it coming. I have taken on too much and unwisely used my time watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey and New York and all the other housewives that don't seem to ever have any type of actual homemaking responsibilties, but like car crashes are hard to resist watching.

And yes, the tradeshow design above looks amazing, but nothing like the real thing which is actually still a figment of my imagination, too, but luckily I have always been very good with a deadline.

(I just hope the word dead isn't the word I will be using to explain the final outcome).

2. The old stress - After many weeks The Artisans Collective website is launched!

My brother and I designed this site and even though some of the potential bells and whistles had to be trashed, it keeps the form and function of its intention and can't help but be beautiful with all the amazing artists on this incredible team. I am loving it!

(although I do worry a bit about their sanity for letting me anywhere near this website, no clue why they thought I could do this- I guess because I said I could, silly artists)

3. The future stress - ok, so you may remember the crop circle incident of last month and also my failure to get the documentary evidence that some demanded requested

(my excuse - it happened at dusk, it didn't occur to me and by the time I saw the potential for a Wednesday whine in it - everything was blown around)

but, since we have been fairly convinced this was a squirrel/corn take-down situation I have been on the lookout for any signs of unusual super squirrel activity to try and track down the culprit.


Now, I realize these are not the best images, but I was working through a window which may not have been cleaned in a while due to all my Real Housewives watching the work I've been doing lately.

The squirrel got the lid off the trash can, ripped open the trash bag, grabbed an entire slice of cheese pizza, dragged the pizza across the yard and up a tree (where the cheese likely got stuck on the branch) - a couple hours later it was gone, so I'm sure Super Squirrel got a couple other members of her Super Squirrel posse to give her a hand and they got it unstuck.

I think the Super Squirrel situation here in New Jersey

(which may or may not be connected to the superfund clean up site designation of our local gas station)

is creating crop circle making, pizza stealing, Linda Blair head spinning

(I forgot to mention that when Super Squirrel looked up at me through the window she gave me a freaky Exorcist head twist that had me grabbing a pair of scissors and my neighbor's 12 year old son before I ventured outside)

super rodents (and yes, squirrel lovers, squirrels are rodents, I looked it up) that may be plotting some type of backyard takeover we had better all be ready for.

Also I have poison ivy that hasn't gone away in a month and I guess I have to give up and see a doctor and I can't help but think there is some kind of Super Squirrel connection in this, too. I am sure some research on my part, which I am way too lazy busy to do right now, would tell me that squirrels are impervious to poison ivy

and since these Super Squirrels spend alot of time outside my bedroom window, they have had plenty of opportunities to stuff some poison ivy leaves into the air conditioner or something equally clever ... sigh

Now, there are some positive things about stress, like the kind of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine rush that athletes get and I am sure this will be kicking in for me ... any day now ... in the meantime I better get my head back into my linesheets and my eyes on Super Squirrel ...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Take 10 Tuesday - the lazy-girl summer version


This will be my last full week of blogging before I take my blog down a notch for the rest of the summer with less frequent posts.

Poppy's giveaway (don't miss this one!) will be the last until I pick them back up after Labor Day (many incredible goodies on the schedule and I don't want to be unfair to those talented sellers by posting them during my summer slow down)

and lots of wonderful things coming up like a brand new look for my website and blog, my first tradeshows and a brand new collaboration blog (this fall) with the amazing Sherry Truitt!

In the meantime here is some stuff you might have missed and maybe wouldn't want to:

1. The Grateful Dead 4 Step Guide to the Magical Influence of Content Marketing at Copyblogger

2. Crude Awakening - The photography of Jane Fulton -->

3. Work it on Kaboodle on Etsy's blog The Storque

4. 3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Unconventional Website by Holly Jackson for Crafting an MBA.

5. Great article on rest and the creative spirit by Tara on Scoutie Girl

6. Once a week they get together and drop hundreds of love bombs- you will love this!

7. Ideas to Help Green Your Business at the EcoEtsy blog by AnarchyinBeauty

8. Do It So Good That You Don't Doubt Yourself Anymore over at ArtBizBlog

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cell Phone Safety or listen more, talk less

Now, I am a person who doesn't use a cell phone very much, because

1. I forget to charge it and
2. no one calls me

but hubby and I are in the process of renewing our phone contract which has expired and it got me thinking about the latest information on the safety of these things.

I found a great article on The Daily Green on just this subject and thought I would share it here.

1. Use a headset or a speaker

Now speakers I get- keep that phone away from my head sounds smart- but headsets??

It turns out headsets emit much less radiation than phones. Experts are split on whether wired or wireless headsets are safer. Some wireless headsets emit continuous low-level radiation, so take yours off when you're not on a call. Using your phone in speaker mode also reduces radiation to the head.

EWG guide to headsets here.

2. Talk less, listen more (sounds like a life lesson here)

Your phone emits radiation when you talk or text but not when you're receiving messages.

3. Text

Phones use less power (which means less radiation) to send text instead of voice. And texting keeps the phone away from your head.

4. Hold phone at arm's length

(this is actually kind of empowering, I felt rather exotic swinging my phone out and about as I chatted yesterday, plus people were staring at my wrist which helped publicize the Polarity locket bracelet I was wearing)


Hold the phone away from your torso not against your ear, in a pocket, or on your belt, where soft body tissues absorb radiation.

5. Buy a low radiation phone

Some phones are better than others. Look up your phone on EWG's buyer's guide (your phone's model number may be printed under your battery).

Be sure to recycle your old phone.

6. Stay off the phone when there is a weak signal

Fewer signal bars mean the phone has to step up its emissions to contact the tower - not good for us.

7. Skip the radiation shield

Radiation shields such as antenna caps or keypad covers reduce the connection quality and force the phone to transmit at a higher power with higher radiation.

8. Limit children's cell phone use to emergencies only

Young children's brains absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as adults. We need to teach our kids cell phone safety.

I hope someone else finds this info and these links helpful. No need to panic and ditch your phone, but if you are a cell phone addict you may want to rethink some of your actions for your long term health - in case some agency finally gets the balls to announce that cell phone radiation is dangerous.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Flea Market Finds Today - Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!


“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach; one can collect only a few and they are more beautiful if they are few” Anne Morrow Lindbergh ...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Finds - Inspiration is Everywhere

Forbes and Lomax invisible switch plates are inspired by 1930's glass plates, but with a modern twist- they give the illusion that the wallpaper (or paint) runs seamlessly behind the plate!

I love these!

Is there a part of our own work that would be improved with a modern and seamless innovation?



I love the amazing Korefe branding for this line of products Stop the Water While Using Me!

How can we create authentic packaging for our own brand that creates a memorable experience and a bit of branding with a purpose?






The Reisenthal Mother-Child Bag promotes safe shopping in a brand new way!

Maybe the same kid who balks at holding your hand can be convinced to hold onto the bag - worth a try.

How can we add something to our own work to differentiate it and give it an entirely new niche?



The frame napkin at SPRGA allows the buyer to create and frame their own work of art.

This truly gets me thinking about all the 'kits' we could be creating in innovative and unique ways for all the crafty buyers who want to have a hand in some way in the creation of their piece.

How could our kit represent this union between our customer and ourselves?


Have an amazing weekend everyone - inspiration is everywhere!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Upcycled DIY Tutorial Golf Ball Keychain!

When I was a kid we were told that something incredibly toxic

(yes, even more toxic than the gazillions of toxins we faced all the time)

and incredibly yucky was at the center of a golf ball.

My sister and I had peeled one or two (dozen) open and gotten to the gigantic rubber band inside the hard outer shell, but never ventured into the "poisonous" golf ball center.

Recently I wanted to make a few golf ball keychains for a neighbor who has a business making golf club grips - just little giveaways he could pass on to some of his customers.

When I mentioned my plan to drill into a golf ball, hubby reminded me to check and see just what is in the center of one of these things.

(I didn't want to cause some kind of nuclear meltdown or chemical explosion with my drill, after all)

Well, it turns out the liquid center of most golf balls today is a not-so-liquid solid core, but the old liquid center balls are still around and preferred by the pros because they give better control and feel.

So, what is that mysteriously hazardous liquid anyway?

Salt water and corn syrup. Just another of those doomsday scenarios created by parents intent on getting us to not destroy our their stuff (it never worked).

what you need:
1. a golf ball
2. a drill
3. keychain slip rings (1 tiny, 1 large - sorry this is about as specific as I will be able to get since I have long ago tossed the packages)
4. eyehook & washer

1. mark your hole - check for front placement of insignia
2. drill your starter hole
3. screw in your eyehook and washer
4. add your slip rings

Totally easy peasy, but could make a great little gift for your favorite golfer!

Note - if anyone wants to make one, but doesn't want to go out and purchase the individual pieces - contact me through the mail link on the right of this blog or through convo and for $5.00 (includes shipping) I will send you a little kit you can assemble. I'll even pre-drill (while supplies last, I have a few left).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Gift of Making Something or how to bring more creativity into your life - Part II

"If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it” – Albert Einstein

So last week in Part 1, we talked about our intention to create (and the difference between creating and getting), success in the moment of creation and our subconscious brain (where all our gazillions of experiences are stored).

(this sounds like alot of stuff to talk about and you may have nodded off during some of it and naps are totally allowed and encouraged actually)

This week we are focused on the practices that will get our creativity flowing and work with those blocks.

(I think blocks will always come up - sometimes to test how badly you want to do something, sometimes to get you going in a new direction and sometimes just to give you a break - there is an ebb and flow to all of this creating that is bigger than we are; bigger than any plans we may be busy making)

We are all creative- that is really all we are. There is no one who is not creative.

There are people whose intentions are elsewhere (or nowhere) and people who are blocked from the flow (all of us at one time or another most likely), but we've all got it.

(and we've always had it, to quote Glinda)

You don't have to be able to draw anything to be creative, you just have to know what moves you.

1. Practice authenticity. Now, this has become kind of a meaningless buzzword these days, so let me get specific. This is about practicing creativity in other areas of your life and letting that authentic creativity spill into your work.

And the more creative you are with the rest of your life - the more that same passion has to flow into your work!

Prepare food from scratch. Write a letter by hand. Plant something. Get a pet. Spend time with a child. Have an important conversation. Tell someone how you really feel. Be mindful of what you are eating. Clean up after yourself. Be mindful of how you are spending your money. Don't ask for other people's opinions. You decide.

2. Create change. Small changes can trigger very big things.

Listen to music you have never listened to before- really spend some time with it.

Read a book from a section of the library you never visit. Wear something you would never wear. Try a new food.

Before you do almost any mindless task ask yourself if there is another way to do this - tie your sneakers the double loop way. Put on a sock and a shoe and a sock and a shoe - you get the picture.

3. Create experiences. Remember how your subconscious brain takes all these past experiences that your conscious brain doesn't even remember -

(I am really hoping some part of my brain is remembering something these days)

and uses those experience to generate ideas and solve problems creatively -

so you need to get out and do things.

Go for a walk. Visit a gallery - it is not ok to just check out the website. See a live performance- there is something about the exchange of energy in a live performance that creates a different creative spark than a movie or television.

Try a new craft. Do something you think you will probably not be very good at- this is about creating experiences, not a resume - you are totally allowed (and even encouraged) to stink.

4. Set up the right systems, habits and schedule. Although inspiration and creation needs spontaneity, we can't sit around waiting to “feel like" making something or drawing something or writing something or for an idea to hit us over the head.

(because it probably won't and I guarantee the day a huge idea falls out of the sky and hits me on the head I will have looked skyward for just that one second and this massive idea will probably break my nose and leave me unconscious and unable to recall what happened to me - luckily my unconscious mind will retain this idea so that when someone else has a huge creative breakthrough with it, I can realize it seems slightly familiar)

You need to make time for this stuff. Have a system in place before the practice begins. Make a schedule, make physical room for creativity in your work room. Set up a table just for creative work. Get a timer and play. Start a journal. Make a collage.

You can't phone this stuff in. You just have to do it.

(can you tell I have been working out to Jillian Michaels - by this expression I mean, not by my abs ...)

5. Have fun! We created our lives minute by minute when we were children and we did it by having fun.

We have the choice to ask ourselves if we really believe that everything is falling apart- that things are going nowhere fast, that things are hopeless or do we really believe that we have something different to create? A different way of being in the world -

something that is totally unique to us. The thing that if we don't do it, it "don't get done".

We get to decide whether we want to play small or whether we want to expand - it is always our choice. And sometimes this is a choice that we have to reinforce with ourselves daily when things are not going exactly as we would like.

But, the great thing about being creative, about being a creator, is we get to create another way. We get to embrace change in a really big way.

If we only "get" one life – why not decide to create a freakin' amazing one?

(do what you love print by letterhappy)
There is an amazing post on Kagan's blog expanding on this same theme!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Take 10 Tuesday - the lazy-girl summer version


1. Maintaining confidence in a competitive market by Lauren Venell on Design Sponge - this includes some great business networking links, too.

2. Have fallen in love with Sebastiann Bremer's amazing work -------->

3. Green kettle corn at Not Martha.

4. Nicole at Lillyella wrapped up her amazing stained glass adventure - you will want to check out all 3 parts.

5. Brenda of Phydeaux Designs (an inspiration for amazing product photography) offers us part ll of her "on photography and product styling" series.

6. Waiting until you have all your ducks in a row to do something new? Why Kirsty Hall says to Ignore Your Ducks.

7. The non-optimized life by Seth (or just ready anything/everything by Seth)

8. Chip Conley's TED talk on What Makes Life Worthwhile

Monday, July 5, 2010

GIVEAWAY Poppy'sWickedGarden Famous Poppy Longstockings and Book! CLOSED

AND THE WINNER IS MEEYEEHERE! #42 chosen by random.org (out of 287!)

Poppy's Wicked Garden is the amazing shop of Poppy who makes incredible, one of a kind creations in her beachfront cottage outside of Cleveland. Poppy's shop is celebrating her 4 year Etsy- anniversary this week!


With her two boys, an amazing fiancee (and many pets) at her side Poppy creates some of the most original clothing you will find anywhere including her famous Poppy longstockings!

Poppy has been sewing her entire life - her work is serged to last for years and most of her fabrics are upcycled or factory thrift (the extra fabric that is not used and would otherwise be thrown out from big business) so Poppy is an eco-friendly shop, too!

Poppy also sews aprons and home accesories at PoppysGardenGate, super fun tutus and junior clothing at XPoppysWickedGardenX and handmade kid's boutique clothing at PoppysSprouts!

We are "sew" lucky to have one of her amazing creations for this week's giveaway!

WHAT YOU GET:

One lucky winner will receive a pair of Poppy Longstockings (one size fits small-large or a child's size fits 5-10) and the wonderful Pippi Longstocking book!



HOW TO WIN:

Visit Poppy's Wicked Garden, Poppy's Garden Gate, XPoppy'sWickedGardenX or Poppy's Sprouts and check out Poppy's amazing work- then come back here and leave a comment letting her know which piece is your favorite!

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:

Enter by midnight, Sunday July 18th! Good luck! CLOSED

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July! plus some green-grilling tips from Treehugger


HCAs form in meats and fish cooked at high temperatures when amino acids and creatine (a chemical in muscle) react. Another nasty culprit, PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) form when fat drips off the meat into the flame or heating element. PAHs rise in the smoke and deposit on the food.

Yeah, lots of delicious stuff is bad for us.

Here's some steps to greener grilling with lower or no carcinogenic risk:

1. Flip meat frequently when cooking to prevent HCAs from forming.
2. Raise grilling surface from the heat source to reduce the temperature and black char.
3. Cook at lower temperatures.
4. Marinate meats to decrease HCA formation up to 96 percent.
5. Pre-cook meats to limit exposure on the grill.
6. Trim fat off meat and grill leaner cuts that drip less to reduce exposure to PAHs.
7. Spread foil on or under the grill to reduce dripping fat that causes PAHs. 
8. Grill veggie burgers, vegetables and fruits (HCAs only forms on muscle meats). Note: organ meat (liver), eggs, and tofu have little to no HCA content.

Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

photo by gerald l. campbell- stars and stripes forever