25 April 2011

EcoMonday: Cease the Grease, Please!

At a recent Earth Day celebration, I met a very knowledgeable lady, named Helen, who was running a table for the Dallas Water Utility to reminder people not to put grease down the drain - Cease the Grease. I learned so much having a table next to hers -- I just have to share all the cool stuff I learned!

In short, don't put oil, grease or fats down the drain (duh!) -- it can really make problems down the line for your pipes and the city's sewer system. Be sure to scrape your plates before you wash them to keep as much as you can out of the water system. If you cook something that results in lots of grease, like a big fish fry or frying a turkey, think before you toss that oil. Did you know that you can drop off that oil and it will be shared with the Dallas Independent School District to be processed and used as bio-fuel for school buses? This process saved the city $300,000 last year! WHOA! Those are HUGE results!

How can you get involved? When you cook and have left over oil, collect it in a plastic bottle like what it came in. You can drop it off at many local drop off stations. This is non-animal fat that's liquid at room temperature. Help the kiddos get to school and keep the pipes clean.

Here are some locations where you can drop off your oil;

• 4901 Maple Ave., Dallas, TX 75235 (Elliot's Hardware, by propane exchange)
• 11234 Plano Rd., Dallas, TX 75243 (Home Collection Chemical Center)
• 4849 W. Illinois Ave., Dallas, TX 75211 (East and Westside entrances)
• 12800 Abrams Rd., Dallas, TX 75243 (Next to soccer field)
• 4615 W. Lover's Lane, Dallas, TX 75209 (Cake Italiano)
• 702 N. Buckner Blvd., Dallas, TX 75218 (The Green Spot)
• 1010 S. Pear Expressway, Dallas, TX 75201 (Dallas Farmer's Market south side of shed 2)
• Brookhaven College (on the West side of the baseball field)

24 April 2011

Hoppy Easter!

Vogue challenged designers to create their own easter eggs! What a fun creative challenge! This one's my fave but see the rest here.

21 April 2011

Getting to Know Dana of CafeD...

Fellow Etsian and LabRat, Dana (CafeD), is a very interesting person. Here's my interview with her and the fun things I learned about her and her Etsy shop.

What's your favorite part of vintage goods? How'd you get started?

Well, my love for vintage - specifically WW2 era - began early. Growing up, our home was filled to the brim with bright bold VERY modern furniture. Red, white and blue giant beanbags. Black and white plastic stackable cubes. There used to be a 60's and 70's style magazine called Apartment Life. Our house would have been perfect for the cover. Ironically, while that brought energy and vibrancy to the home for my Mom, to me it was cold and lacked intimacy.

It's funny - Mom's favorite music was WW2 era - Andrew Sisters, Glenn Miller, etc. We'd sing and dance to it. Nice warm memories. From an early age I was drawn to things like lace, needlepoint, deep dark warm wood furniture with marble tops. Mom would say it's so old and "Grandma" - yet, there was a sparkle of comfort in her eye when she said that.

That's what draws me in.
Warmth and love. To me, some minor chips of scratches in a vintage piece simply mean that it's been handled - probably loved and cherished. I like that. I used some vintage Samsonite on our recent honeymoon where we stayed one of our nights in a vintage Airstream trailer - just like Lucy and Desi.

Do you collect anything specific in your home/work space? (secret set of cream pitchers somewhere maybe?)

LOL - sorta of. I have a set of vintage china pats. For those unfamiliar, butter pats are tiny plates that would sit at each place setting with a pat of butter on each. It's similar to having an individual salt cellars with each setting. Butter pats are sometimes accidentally sold as dollhouse tea settings. I fell in love with them in college and went antiquing and junking on the weekends to avoid studying! I have a small collection of different kinds of pretty flowered butter pats.

Other than that, I try to have things around the house that are what I call "everyday vintage." We use vintage stoneware plates with snowflakes on them during the Winder. We have vintage cheese boxes holding our wii controllers and the tv remote - you can see ideas like that on our blog. And, you will soon be seeing some vintage cheese boxes of different sizes for sale in our Etsy shop. I have some milk glass bowls and silver vases that get used (not just dusted) in our home - and similar items will appear here and there in our Etsy shop, too.

Your sets of vase and bowl filler are so intriguing -- what do you think makes a good bowl filler?
Aw, thanks! Well, to me the vase and bowl fillers are simply an easy way to bring some outdoor love into your home. Casual outdoor style. What makes a good bowl filler? It can be different colors of like textures - such as the Tan and Chocolate Pom Poms currently in our Etsy shop. Or, it can be fun to contrast shapes and colors - like our Tucson Sunset set. (Yep, that's Tucson, not Tuscan. It was inspired by our recent honeymoon in Arizona - driving to Italy would have been one wet adventure!)

Our family loves the outdoors. And, we know that we are blessed to live in an area where pine cones, acorns, seed pods and pieces of fallen bark make our day a more beautiful place. We have fun collecting and sorting it and we are glad to share our bounty with others.

Are you working on any super secret projects you'd like to share?
Well, it wouldn't be a secret if I told, would it? Just kidding.

It's not shock to most that our wedding was mostly DIY. (And, many Etsy sellers played a part, too. It's how I decided to open a shop.) Our Outdoor (again, no surprise) DIY Rustic Wedding featured many of my vintage loves. So now I'm rolling around the idea of making some of those items available in larger sets - perfect for weddings. For example, our Rustic Candles wrapped in Twine are currently available in sets of 2...I can make those in sets of 12 for easy one-stop rustic shopping for brides! I have a handful of wedding focused ideas rolling around in my noggin. And, other non-wedding rustic and vintage treasures coming, too. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for new listings.

Can you tell us the story behind your name -- CafeD?
A few years ago I started our blog - Cooking at Café D - focusing on...no surprise here...Cooking. I had a voracious appetite (pardon the pun) for everything food related. And, since I was single, yet cooking enough for an army - I was feeding everyone from co-workers to the washing machine delivery men. )I literally sent the delivery men off with plates of food). The blog was a way to get some of that energy out.

Over time, my vintage style has made more of an appearance on the blog. Then completely out of the blue, God re-introduced me to an old college friend and his 2 fabulous sons. I soon married that amazing guy. My life - and my blog - became more eclectic...focusing on food, family, and frugality.

When we decided to open our Etsy shop, it was partially out of necessity. I needed to make room for my new husband and 2 step-sons! So passing on cherished treasures to new homes became my goal...and our shop slogan. My blog and Facebook page are still called Cooking at Cafe D - but they're much more than cooking! Both are great ways to find out about new things in our Etsy shop, CafeD, too.

Any advice for Etsy newbies?
Sell what you love. Really. Because by the time you make it, photograph it, tweak the pics, write it up, list it, and water it and feed it...if you don't love it - you cold easily resent it. If it's your passion, then you'll get energy from the process. Otherwise it will zap you, rather than fill you up.

We are still a new store - we just opened at the end of October! So each new sale brings a smile to our faces. Literally, we cheer...Yea!!!! Yeah, we can be dorky. *wink*

Anything else you'd like to share?
I really hope that those who are on Facebook drop by our page. (I have an on-going contest with my husband. He has a blog that constantly gets more "likes" than me and I want to pull ahead. Just kidding. Sort of. *grin*)

Actually, I love hearing from folks, whether it's through Facebook, the blog, Twitter, or Convos (Etsy calls messages "conversations.") If you've tried our Corner Bakery's Chicken Petso Cavatappi recipe off the blog and your family liked it - let us know! If you have a Rustic Bowl Filler color combination in mind that you want to see - tell us! You might our next inspiration!

(And, if you just want my "likes" on Facebook to pull ahead of my husband's...well, you get the idea....)

You can enter below to win rustic decor of your very own - AND, then head to CafeD's blog to enter to win something from La Alicia!

Simply leave us a comment below telling us color rustic decor you'll choose.
I've given you a glimpse into her shop but you'll want to check out her FULL SHOP!
There will be 2 winners - each winning a small set of 3 Handmade Rustic Decor Balls in their choice of colors!

EVERYONE is a WINNER with 15% in CafeD's store with code "CafeD15".

This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE!
(Dana will ship directly to you)

Contest runs through Friday, April 29th, 2011 at 8 p.m. (Central)
Winners will be randomly chosen.

For up to 5 additional entries:

1. Twitter - Rustic Decor - GIVEAWAY!

2. Facebook status - Rustic Decor - GIVEAWAY!

3. "Like" Both of our Facebook pages.
CafeD's is here and mine is here.

4. "Follow" - Both of our blogs via Google Friend Connect.
Our blogs are Cooking at Cafe D and Creative Adventures.

5. "Heart" Both of our Etsy shops.
Dana's Shop is Cafe D and mine is La Alicia.

Leave a separate comment below for each entry.
Please be sure to either leave your e-mail address...
Or, be sure your e-mail is easily found if I click on your comment.

So, check out her store, then tell us below:
If you win what color rustic decor will you choose?

Treasury Thursday: Cherries!

18 April 2011

EcoMonday: Earth Day

With Earth Day coming right up, have you decided how you'll celebrate? Each year, I try to adopt a few new "green habits". This year I have committed to;

• Taking shorter showers (this is a biggie for me)
• Researching products thoroughly before purchase to make sure my purchases are green
• Doing three new "green" craft shows this year

What are you committing to this Earth Day to be a greener citizen?

16 April 2011

Saturday Search: Cat

These fluff egglettes from Poppyseedcats is a fave with cat lovers! ;)

15 April 2011

An extension!

I was delighted to see that taxes are normally due today -- but we have an extension until the 18th to get them finished and postmarked! Yay for extensions!

If you still need to download forms, look for them here.

09 April 2011

Saturday Search: Bacon

Check out this fun pillow by Fellow Etsy Dallas Teamie, YellowBugBoutique! Having this in my sofa would make me smile! :)

04 April 2011

Scissor-tails & Cocktails: You're invited

Scissor Tails and Cocktails
benefiting the Trinity River Audubon Center

Date: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Time: 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
6500 Great Trinity Forest Way
Dallas, TX 75217

If you'd like to attend this event you can purchase tickets online.

Perhaps you're not familiar with TRAC? Please see my previous blog post here.

02 April 2011

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