21 December 2013

Printable: Bottle Tags


ZOOM! How did the holiday season get here so fast?

I designed these little bottle tags for those gifts that are difficult to tag - wine, olive oil, vinegar and anything in a bottle. I love to make my own flavored vinegars and olive oils -- they are delish and make great gifts.

Here are some easy instructions and recipes for flavored vinegars and oils if you'd like to make your own. You can also purchase them in specialty shops if you didn't get the DIY gene or are in a hurry for last minute items. :)

Download them by saving the image below and printing it out on letter size card stock. If you're giving oil or vinegar the back of this tag is a great place to share your fave recipe using the item.

Happy Gift Tagging!

13 December 2013

Recent Custom Order Reveal

I recently created this custom reclaimed paper garland for Cody of Lu and Ed. Our conversation about it started on twitter. I'm so happy that she loves it and tweeted a couple shots of it in her space.

Before packaging it up to send to her I took a couple quick snaps too! :) So happy with the way it turned out!

05 December 2013

Eco Gift Guide

It's that holiday shopping time of year again already! So I put together a list of eco happy, tasty treats to help you with that shopping list. Here are six ways to support small business this year. Just click on the item below to go to the item page and learn all about it.

1. Lucky Fisherman's Anise Soap, $5.50 by Aquarian Bath
This vegan handmade Anise Soap is made with all natural Anise Seed essential oil, which is often used as a flavoring in black licorice. We hand stamped these soaps with fish, because according to herbal lore Anise Seed is reported to be attractive fish.

2.  Red Bicycle Notebook, $10 by Made By Rori
Ride right with this fun notebook. This notebook is 3.5 x 5.5 inches with a pocket inside the back cover and lined pages. The front of this kraft notebook is handstamped.

3. Eco Chic Paper Zinnia, $55 Pin by La Alicia
Who knew that the contents of my mailbox (catalogs, uninvited mail and magazines) could add a little paper floral zing to a girl's outfit? No two pins are exactly alike.

4. English Toffee, $12 by Austin Mason
The best English Toffee this side of the Atlantic! At least, that's what we think at Austin Mason and from the feedback we've gotten, others agree.

5. Organic Herbal Shea Butter Solid Lotion Bar, $8 by Herban Lifestyle
This warmly herbal-smelling, richly emollient solid lotion bar is made with Fair Trade organic shea butter and scented with organic lavender and clary sage essential oil.

6. 15" Laptop Sleeve With Pocket, $49 by Sew Beastly
Do you ever wish you could keep your laptop and techie gadgets in one place when out and about?
Now you can with the zippered pocket on our sleeves.

29 November 2013

Small Business Saturday

I love the idea of Small Business Saturday and encourage everyone to support the small local shops in your local area. In addition, I hope you'll check out handmade shops online. Many of them are offering some great offers for the holidays. Here are some great places to find those online offers.

NerdWallet.com has coupon codes for lots of different kinds of items and they even has a special section for discounts from Etsy's handmade goods here.

EtsyCouponCode.com has oodles of searchable deals from Etsy sellers all in one place. Check them out here.

RetailMeNot.com also has bunches of discount codes for a multitude of things and a special section just for Etsy Deals here.

I love Thanksgiving and the easy going feeling of taking things at your own pace. With that said, rarely will you find me at the in person Black Friday sales but I love shopping online in my jammies. Can't wait to support handmade and local in person tomorrow.

Which small businesses will you support?

27 November 2013

Yummy Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe

1. Wash one medium sized butternut squash, scoop out the seeds and cut into 1" chunks. Place them in a large bowl. (I used my squash with the peel on but you can peel it if desired.)

2. Add the following into the large bowl as well;
1 heaping tbsp of herbes de provence
black pepper
kosher salt
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

3. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

4. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

5. Line a large baking sheet with edges with parchment. Mix the squash and marinade one last time and pout it all out on the baking sheet. (Try not to faint from the delish smell!)

6.  Bake at 400 degrees until golden and fork tender - about 45-60 minutes. Enjoy! Wonderful warm or cold.

23 November 2013


So on my walk around the lake last week I saw something that really bothered me. There was a small group of middle-schoolers waiting for the school bus that were yelling and throwing acorns at the ducks. As I approached them, I considered if I should say something and if so what exactly to say. Thankfully, there was enough distance for me to give it some careful thought. I didn't want to come across as an adult worth ignoring but really make them think about their actions.

As I got in hearing distance of them, I said, "How would you like it if they did that to you?"

It got quiet all except for the ducks quacking. The kids dropped their acorns and looked at me, mouths agape. I kept walking. As I rounded the next curve in the sidewalk, I could see them out of the corner of my eye going back to their backpacks to wait for the school bus.

I think I shocked them because most adults walking by didn't say anything. I made them think and reconsider their actions and I'm glad they stopped terrorizing the ducks.

It's amazing to me that unsupervised kids in groups that know better will do destructive things out of boredom. Let's keep them engaged in conversation, reading and positive things instead.

21 November 2013

Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away? Wow it really snuck up on us, huh? Here's a little free printable worksheet to help you get it all organized. A place to get it all on paper.

Make a list of your guests. This will help you visualize how to seat them all and remember who has special dietary needs to consider.

Make your shopping list. Survey your list of dishes, list of guests and your pantry to figure out what you'll need to pick up at the market. Mark the things on your list that you can look for at your farmer's market. Shop early to avoid the rush and so you can make a last minute trip for any forgotten items.

Write down all the dishes you plan to make. Bust out the recipes to see what all you want to make them and maybe recruit your willing guests to help with the cooking.

List all the activities that you can get help with leading up to the meal - like setting the table. These are fun things you can get help with that will get everyone involved and take a little pressure off you. Also list some things to do after the meal to do as a group to be active - play catch or talk a walk. We all want to avoid the food coma. I love to talk about what everyone is thankful for too.

Anything that you don't want to forget goes here - like when to take the turkey out of the freezer so it's thawed in time, when to pick up Aunt Mabel from the airport, etc.

Just double click the image to open it, save it and print it on a letter size sheet.

16 November 2013

Cap the Tap? Really?

I've always heard that drinking at least eight glasses of water a day is good for you. I've been told this by many physicians, nutritionists and my mother. I feel better when I drink water and it is my drink of choice in most cases. So I was shocked to hear that a large corporation is doing something sneaky to try to get us all to "cap the tap".

Considering the health concerns and obesity problems in the US, you'd think we could all work together to help each other make healthier choices. Drinking something other than water on occasion is a treat or a special event -- but strategically and secretly scheming - that's another story.

Coca-Cola has put a plan in place to get servers and restaurant workers to do their best to get you to drink their products instead. Read all about it here via Huff and let me know what you think in the comment section  below.

12 November 2013

A Good Thank You Note And Why It Matters

In a world of instant gratification and hurry up gotta get there, sometimes it's easy to forget those little niceties that may seem to be from a time gone by. In reality, it is worth it to take a minute...

Before I was old enough to write a thank you note on my own, my mom would ask me to color a picture for the person we were sending a thank you to. When I was done, she would write a note from both of us on the back of my picture and send it to the person we were thanking. As a little kid, I'm not sure that I completely got the concept of gratitude yet but I understood that a thank you was a socially polite thing to do. When someone had us all over for dinner, we would send a thank you via snail mail. After a birthday party, we would send thank yous for gifts received.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/106087446/holiday-cards-blank-cards-four-robins?ref=sr_gallery_29&ga_search_query=blank+cards&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=2&ga_search_type=all&ga_facet=blank+cardsWhen I was old enough to start writing my own thank you notes, my grandmother got me a small box of monogrammed stationary with the letter A printed in a lovely script on the front and a nice pen. When she gave them to me they came along with a conversation about why it's nice to send a thank you note. She spent some time explaining that when someone gives you a gift, they take the time to pick something that they think you'll enjoy, take the time to wrap it and so on. We are not only thanking them for the gift but for the thought, their kindness and for remembering us on an important occasion. Ok, so at this age I understood much more what it meant to be grateful.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/61601551/squirrel-salutations-paper-cut-squirrel?ref=sr_gallery_19&ga_search_query=blank+cards&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=3&ga_search_type=all&ga_facet=blank+cardsAs an adult in a digital world who receives entirely too much junk mail (a topic for another day), my heart races when I see a handwritten personal piece of snail mail correspondence in my pile of mail. It doesn't matter if it's an invitation, a thank you note or a letter - even a postcard makes me happy. A thank you note in particular warms my heart. This is physical proof that someone appreciates something I did for them. It's a mini form of validation -- not only is it gratitude, it is a mini reflection of a kindness I extended to someone else. In this crazy world that is such a nice little thing to experience. As an adult I totally understand the concept of being grateful -- expressing as well as doing kind things for those I care about.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/150491154/origami-greeting-card-black-white-and?ref=shop_home_activeSo before you brush aside the idea of doing thank you notes this holiday season or anytime really. Think twice. Thank you notes should be quick and fun not drudgery -- so be yourself. You're not writing War and Peace - short and sweet totally gets the job done! You can use whatever stationary you like and postcards work great too. Pick a pen you like writing with and some pretty stamps. Make it a fun event. (Nope, it's not ok to send an email thank you note.) A thank you note isn't the place to share other news, ask for recipes or talk about other topics. A thank you note is just to say thank you.

Here's what makes up a good thank you -- hoping to make writing little thank yous of your own as painless as possible.

• say hello
• say thank you
• mention how you'll use the item
• mention seeing them (past or future)
• thank them again
• sign off

Here's an example that does all those things;

Dear Louise-

It was great to see you at the holiday party. Thank you so much for the custom handmade scarf and mittens. They're absolutely beautiful and your master knitting skills totally show - you know blue is my fave color! I can't wait for it to get cold again so I can wear them to the outdoor skating rink.

Thanks again,

*for information about the cards shown, just click on the images

04 November 2013

Wow, repurposing takes my breath away...


 I just saw this incredibly beautiful and unique backsplash over on Earth911 and had to share it! It's made with repurposed skate board decks! Love this! See more cool repurposing inspiration on their site here.

02 November 2013

Free Screening of Genetic Roulette


Your private screening of the 1 Hour version of “Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives” movie is here for you to enjoy. You have unlimited access to watch the movie for 1 week (Nov 2nd -Nov 8th). Click here to watch.

21 October 2013

Eco, Fun and DIY -- Be Still My Beating Heart!!

It was a happy accident that I stumbled across the link to this awesome site, ikatbag, on twitter. Once I started reading and saw what she was up to I got so happy that I just had to share here about what she's doing!!

This is a link to my fave post about reusing cardboard for extended creative play related to Narnia. (OMG, did I mention how lucky her kids are?)

08 September 2013

I'm teaching this class on Saturday...

Wings and Things -2 hour Eco Art Class
Sept 14th, 9a-11a
For Kids 5+ | $15/person
Limit: 20 people

A class perfect for the budding creative nature lover. We’ll take an exploratory walk around Trinity River Audubon Center to see some Wings & Things. With that inspiration in mind, we'll let our imaginations take flight as we create our own wings using reclaimed materials.

Please call 214-398-TRAC (8722) to sign up.

31 August 2013

Just in time for Back-to-School...

Teardrop shaped tote that is not only eco-friendly & functional but oh, so versatile! The genuine leather straps are double riveted for extra sturdiness.

Outside zippered pocket + two inside slip pockets help keep you organized, too!

Tired of digging around for your keys? Click here to learn more...

29 August 2013

Finally Gone Electronic

I noticed on a recent trip to the Post Office that those pesky Change of Address cards seem to have disappeared.

What an earth friendly change! Now to change your address is an online adventure. Simply go here to put in your old address and your new address and once it's verified, your mail will follow you to the new place.

27 August 2013

Texture Tuesday

I just had to share that I've been working on lots and lots of new garlands for my Etsy shop! They're made with magazine's catalogs and junk mail! I find it very relaxing to make them and they are so fun to decorate with!

I'm loving the way their texture looks - all stacked up like this!!

22 August 2013

Places To Find Reading Inspiration

Brain Pickings bookshelf, Book Pickings, always has great reading suggestions.

20 August 2013

Texture Tuesday

Blueberries so good that they made the colander smile! :)

17 August 2013

Poetry For The End of Summer

maggie and milly and molly and may - e.e. cummings 

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

 and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly
she couldn't remember her troubles,

and milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:

and may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

maggie and milly and molly and may went down to the beach(to play one day) and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were; and molly was chased by a horrible thing which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and may came home with a smooth round stone as small as a world and as large as alone. For whatever we lose(like a you or a me) it's always ourselves we find in the sea - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15406#sthash.W0R4782J.dpuf

15 August 2013

Summer Reading

As you already know, David Sedaris is one of my fave authors. His quirky humor always make me laugh and this one has a darker than usual edge to it. It's sort of Aesop's Fables meets Grimm's Fairy Tales with an always unique Sedaris twist.

If you're looking for one more summer read before school gets rocking and rolling again -- this is a good one!

07 July 2013

Recent Paper Fun

I've been teaching a class on creatures at the libraries. We start by reading Where the Wild Things AreThere's a Nightmare in My Closet and some children's poetry. I love this literature and so do the kids! They are really classics.

Did you know that this year would have been Maurice Sendak's 85th birthday?

Then we all go to the tables where I have our art supplies. We make a few pieces of eco origami (hat's, boats and other fun stuff) and then create our own creatures with reclaimed materials.

The kids never fail to blow me away with their creativity and imaginative stories about their creatures. There's always someone in the middle of the class that asks, "do we get to take these home with us?". The answer is yes and it always cracks me up that they ask. I wouldn't dare keep anyone else's creature hostage!!

The images in the bottom two pictures were made by two 8 year old boys, who are cousins, and came to the library together. They had great fun and I heard many choruses of, "that's so cool" coming from their end of the table while they were making those creatures.

What are you reading and making this summer?

06 July 2013

You will be missed...

My friend Laura passed away last night. She fought a hard core battle against pancreatic cancer. She went through many rounds of chemo, lost her hair multiple times and still managed to keep her sense of humor.

When I didn't recognize her one afternoon when we met for lunch -- she blamed it on a "bad wig day".  :)

I originally met her through a local group of handmakers. She was a lovely person with an easy smile and a wicked sense of humor. She designed and sewed beautiful quilts that made people happy. She did lots of custom orders and always had a quilt going.

Her dogs (Daisy and Jess, pictured) were truly her furry babies and they were recently rehomed in South Dallas with the right humans. I know she was so incredibly relieved to find the right next home for them.

You will be missed, Laura. May you always have a full bobbin.

04 July 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

I'm taking a moment to share how grateful I am to have been born in such a great country. I'm truly grateful to all of those who have fought for, are fighting for and will in the future fight to maintain our country's freedom.

What are you grateful for today?

01 July 2013

Do You Know Fibbonacci?

I never heard of Fibbonacci (an Italian mathematician) until a college Botany class. He fascinated me because his sequence could determine where the next leaf would come out on a given plant. How cool is that?

Later in an art class I learned about the golden mean and that it is based on his sequence too. It's everywhere!

I recently came across this article and it's the best description of his sequence that I have found. I love the suggestion that understanding it could affect one's success.

29 June 2013

Summer Reads?

It's that time of year that people are traveling for fun and going to exotic places. What better time to take along something fun to read?

For road trips, I love books on CD. You can rent them, check them out from the libraries or swap with friends.

For plane trips, I love books in any form -- on readers, tablets and real actual books.

As far as authors, my faves are too many to list but I highly recommend David Sedaris. He's hilarious. I listened to his Me Talk Pretty One Day on a road trip on CD and about laughed myself silly!

What are you reading this summer?

25 June 2013

Texture Tuesday: I can never wait...

... until Fourth of July for watermelon! Fourth of July, watermelon and fireworks just go together. I gave in this week and bought a personal size watermelon and it was perfect!! 

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