Monday, March 28

DIY Gift Card Holder and Note Card Tutorial: Reusing a Greeting Card That You Already Have

This is an awesome little project if you have ten spare minutes and a gift card that you're looking to give to someone! Here's all you need:

- A greeting card (standard 8 inches x 5.5 inches is perfect)
- A glue stick
- A paper cutter or pair of scissors

 Open card, and cut straight down at 1 inch to the right of the center line. You want to get rid of the plain side, but don't throw it away! You'll need it in a minute.
(See pictures above and below)

Card should now measure 8 inches x 6.5 inches

Turn card upside down, and fold at 1 inch down.

Turn card over and around, so that the 1 inch fold is at the top right corner.
Now fold the bottom right corner up at 2 inches.

Crease card horizontally through the middle and fold to the top so that the
edges across the top are evenly touching.You should have two pocket layers
in the top right corner of your card now.

Crease in half again; this time you'll be making a vertical fold.
Fold left half under the right half.
(above and below)

Are you with me? We're almost done!
Add a bit of glue to the edges that I've highlighted.

After you've glued the edges, press tightly for a minute or two so that the glue sets.
Now cut a rectangle that measures 3.5 inches x 2.5 inches from the discarded back side of the original card. This is going to be the note card that slides into your gift card holder!

After you write a message on your note card, you can tuck it in the back slot of the gift card holder.
The front slot holds your gift card.

Ta da!

What a nifty way to reuse that birthday card that you were going to throw away after it was displayed for a week or two. This project can be done with so many things, not just greeting cards. Decorative card stock is fun, too. But for those of you who want to ride the Eco Bus, I'd recommend greeting cards and heavy magazine pages/covers.

Once you make a couple of these, you'll be addicted I promise! I made a handful of them during the holidays with old Christmas cards from last year. They made fun little stocking stuffers and tree decorations, and it beats spending $5 on a greeting card that's just going to get tossed in the trash. 

Please share. Enjoy! 

Sunday, March 27

Some Creative Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

While searching for an idea on how to cleverly wrap a bottle of wine for the 50th Wedding Anniversary party we're going to this afternoon (WOW- that's a looooong time!!), I stumbled upon this article and found it very cool and worth sharing.

Did you know that American's spend almost 3 billion dollars a year on gift wrap and bows?! And what happens after the recipient opens their gift? Most throw the trash away. Well here are a handful of ideas for those of you who not only want to help save the environment and save some cash, but who also want to give a gorgeous repurposed gift-wrapped item that will surely stand out over the other gifts with department store tags and bows slapped on them!

CLOTH (above):
Vintage Scarf, Burlap Bag, Wool Scarf with Knitting Needle, Tea Towel with Rickrack, Vintage Kimono

NATURAL (above):
Banana Leaf with Cinnamon Stick, Bamboo Leaf with Twine, Bamboo Leaves with Star Anise, Banana Leaf with Reeds, Birch Bark with Feather

PAPER (above):
Vintage Wallpaper, Newspaper and Colored Paper, Map, Grocery Bag and Beads


Saturday, March 26

Some Fresh Eye Candy for Your Morning

I have some nifty things up my sleeve to post about later on this weekend, but here's a real quick, beautiful pick me up to start off your weekend. My husband came home from work with some flowers for me yesterday, just because. I love him to death and I'm thinking that he's a keeper!

I love how a small bouquet of flowers can spruce up any corner in the house. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's bought themselves a cute little handful of blooms to brighten up their space at some point.  Lucky for me, he did it for me!



Wednesday, March 23

High Spirits, Even With This Weather

Today was such a gloomy day. Gotta love that NE Ohio weather. Temperatures in the 60's, then the next day they're in the 30's. Ughh! It's so depressing, spring cannot get here soon enough. So on that note, I'm not quite sure how I was inspired to make these this afternoon. Usually the colors I use when I make things reflect my mood and my overall sense for the day, but today was just not the case. They are pretty fun I'd say!

I actually poured myself a glass of wine while I made them. If you enjoy a refreshing glass of sweet wine, you should definitely try Ferrante's Pink Catawba. It's my absolute favorite!

I've been a very productive gal today! I was able to get so many things done around the house, as well as catch myself up with everything I've been juggling online this past week or two with my little handmade business. I love the busy at-home lifestyle, it makes me want to wake up and get moving every morning. (thanks, Landon!)


Tuesday, March 22

The Little Black Box

I've been pondering the idea of being a participant in The Little Black Box Program and I've finally decided that it's for me.
TLBB Ad for Contributors

In a nut shell, assuming you are unfamiliar with it, people who run handmade businesses make and donate samples of their work. Each month, all the contributors' items are put in adorable little black boxes and made available for purchase to those who value the handmade lifestyle. It's a great way to get your products into the hands of those who will really appreciate them and give them a little taste of what you do. It's going to be a lot of work but I am so excited! Hopefully it will lead to a handful of sales and/or referrals. Fingers crossed! I'm sending in 50 samples, each of which will contain a set of 2 of my recycled water bottle wine charms. I've decided to participate in the June boxes, so that gives me plenty of time to get everything together. Anyways, I'll be updating on the status of this new adventure later..


Sunday, March 20

Team Eco Etsy

Some fun Etsy news. I applied to be a member of Team Eco Etsy about a week ago and had not heard anything, until just now! I've been accepted and I am now a proud member :) This is a very selective group of Etsy sellers that all have the same theme in their shops -- earth friendliness. There is a lengthy list of requirements your shop must have to even be considered. After your shop is reviewed by the currator, you have to explain why your shop would be a good addition to the team and what you have to offer. Pleading is more like it, but hey I'm a happy girl and it definitely made my evening. Note my badge to the left ----->


Wednesday, March 16

If This Isn't A Man Bag, I Don't Know What Is

If you haven't ever noticed, I'm really into the idea of turning regular old trash into quirky treasure. I've been looking for some inspiration to expand my items over at Etsy and I stumbled across this little project and I think it's so much fun. I just might have to make something kinda like it. The body of the bag is made from a guy's shirt and coat. Duh! The straps came off of a leather couch, but I was thinking that a couple of leather belts would do the trick, too.

Earth Month (April) is quickly approaching and I am working very hard so that I can have a fully stocked shop in honor of the recyclista. I'm pondering the idea of running a promotion or two for the month as well so that's exciting news in my world.

I hope you're enjoying the [soon to be] spring weather!! I just love this sunshine.

Thursday, March 10

Some $10 Entertainment Ideas

So I came to the conclusion that I'm a cheap date! I am easily satisfied with the little things in life and it doesn't cost much money to keep me excited. Here's a quick little list of things that cost $10 or less and keep me smiling!

1. Buy a bottle of Ferrante's Pink Catawba and a chick flick movie from Red Box and call it a night with your hubs :)

2. Purchase a $7.99 portrait package from Target and share some awesomely affordable pictures of your kids with friends on Facebook. Yes, they will try to upgrade your package, but you just have to say NO!!

3. Hit a Dollar Tree and pick up a few baskets, a new shower curtain liner, and a nifty hanging shower caddy. (I spent an hour organizing underneath the sink and inside the shower stall -- it feels like a new bathroom!)

4. Go to Pat Catan's and splurge! That store is my heaven :)

5. Pick up a couple of bags of mulch at your local DIY store and spruce up your trees and flower beds with some rich-colored neededness.

6. Take a trip to the zoo with your toddler. Kids under 2 are free, and so is parking!

7. Put 2.5 gallons of gas in your car. Ha!

8. Buy some hotdogs, marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers on a nice cool evening. You know what to do with these... 

I hope you can think of a handful of things that you can do for $10 or less. Life doesn't have to be expensive you know! Keep it simple.

Wednesday, March 9

My Perfect & Productive Wednesday

I have been a little busybee today and it feels oh so good! I was able to get my grocery shopping done before most people would even consider starting their cars on their day off. Then we took our little guy to his 9 month photo shoot, which was entertaining in itself. You try getting a 9 month old to sit still, smile, and not pull his shoes off -- all while a strange man is putting a flashing "toy" in his face and making weird noises. Mmm hmm. But all-in-all, the pictures turned out really well. Here's a quick peak at a couple of my favorites..

After making enough baby food to fill my freezer, I finally found some inspiration and had a nice little one-on-one date with my creative side after Landon went to bed. I love my quite alone time and it's been nearly impossible to get these days. So I'm trying my darn hardest to take advantage of it. I've gotten quite a bit of creative reading/networking/researching done this last hour or two and I'm slowly gaining the confidence I need to really move forward with the goals deep within myself.

American Idol is calling my name, oh how I love Steven Tyler this season!

Tuesday, March 8

(Not So) Inspired

I've had a bit of writer's block this past few days. I keep logging onto this space and just can't seem to find the words I need to make a post worth writing (or reading!). I'm on a bit of a creative burnout when it comes to my handmade business, too. I'm desperately attempting to rebound from it. Ugh, where's the inspiration?... (please let me know when you find it!!)

On a brighter note, things have been absolutely amazing in my personal and social life. I have a healthy family (finally, I swear it's always something in this house), a perfect marriage and family, and I've caught up with a handful of friends that I haven't seen in awhile, which has been so much fun. It's so weird how you can go months without seeing people and then one day you finally make plans and catch up and it (the time) doesn't affect/effect (?) your relationship one bit. Those are true friends, and I'm so lucky to have them in my life.

Off to dinner planning I go, I hope everyone enjoys their evening!

Wednesday, March 2

Week Recap

This week has been a very good one so far, I hope you can say the same. I grabbed lunch with one of my best friends and we did some much needed catching up while the two guys in my life had some fun bonding time at home! Afterwards I went shopping and actually bought myself a couple of outfits. It's terribly sad that I haven't done that since before I became a mom. I need to get better about making time for myself and doing the little things that make me feel good, whether its buying an outfit at the store or just waking up 15 minutes early to have a cup of hot chocolate in the morning.

For the last hour or two I've been reading some blogs written by people who work creatively full-time and are very good at it. It's amazing how inspiring it can be to read others' success stories and how they reached their goals; it just makes me want to work harder to accomplish mine. While browsing I came across this oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookie recipe and it's going to be the next thing I whip together when I get that sweet tooth. Is that not the best looking cookie you've ever seen or what??

Exciting news in my motherly life -- my son took his first steps this weekend (2 days before he turned 9 months old)! I'm in trouble, that's all I can say...