A great recycling idea – phone book into pencil cup

Now this is very cool. Take an old phone book (yeah, we’ve all got them, and who uses phone books anymore?) – and turn it into a useful, funky, and attractive pencil cup holder for your desk.

Upcycled phone book into pencil cup - first pic
recycled phone book into pencil cup - second pic, with your colors

I found this nifty idea over at Chico and Jo’s Blog and they have pages and pages of terrific do-it-yourself ideas.

Of course they also show you how to do it, and as you can see, you can use the phone book “au natural” or choose your own colors. And you’ll probably think of other variations to make it your very own.

So – a useful and decorative way to get a little more organized, and if you’re like me, you can really use THAT.

And it’s fun, and it’s recycled, and it’s practically free. Too cool!

Add a Pop of Color to your Home (and go Vintage of course!)

You know I’m always talking about decorating with white – and I really do love it. White, and/or neutral, mostly. But that makes color even more important and vibrant when you do add some. Take a neutral room (make a neutral room) and then add a splash of color – and it really sings.

Imagine how gorgeous these would be in a white room!

Vintage Blue Glass Candleholders

I found them at a terrific vintage Etsy shop, Design Through Time. There are lots of goodies over there – you’ll want to go peek 🙂

She also has another shop on Etsy, ModernSpecific on Etsy, where I found this fabulous

Vintage Rosti of Denmark Melamine Yellow 4 Liter Mixing Bowl
Vintage Rosti of Denmark Melamine Yellow 4 Liter Mixing Bowl

See what I mean about the color just singing to you?

Even if the items I’m showing here are gone when you go look – she’s got lots of treasures. And (I think) all vintage. So: good design, reasonable prices, and fabulous character pieces. Go look!

Cute Shoes – and they’re Vintage!

I found these totally adorable shoes today on Etsy:

Cute Vintage Shoes

They’re available from Tbone4Life and they’re only $12.00 (plus shipping)! If they were my size I would be buying them today. But they’re not, so you have a shot at them 🙂

If they’re gone when you see this, go look at her shop anyway – she’s got some super cute goodies at great prices. And they’re vintage, so you’re being eco-friendly and fashion conscious all at the same time.

Comfy and cute shoes – totally of the good!

Home Decorating – with Craigslist

I just wanted to point out something you probably know already – the great finds you can score at Craigslist. If you’re in the U.S. – and a lot of cities worldwide – there’s a local craigslist, or close to “local”. And if you’re shopping for goodies for your house – you really ought to check it out before you go and pay Retail!

For instance – here are a few goodies I found today in my local CL. If I were Seriously Shopping, and not just looking around, I would call the owner to check any of these out!

Table and Chairs on CraigslistTable and Chairs on Craigslist
They’re asking $75 for the table and five chairs. $75! And that bench has lovely bones, I think. They’re asking a whopping $20.

Patio Set on Craigslist Patio Set on Craigslist

The patio set? The owners mentioned the chairs need new cushions (or covers) and maybe a coat of paint too. But hey, they’re asking $50 for all the pieces shown. And the sofa? It might not look as good in person, or it could be all smoky-smelling, or torn up and down the back. But it might be as good as it looks. And doesn’t it look good? They’re asking $150. Might take less 🙂

Yes you have to inspect your purchase carefully, and not be afraid to say “Sorry, don’t want it.” But sometimes you really will want it – and you might get a great deal!

PS You are also Going Green – you’re reusing and recycling, and maybe rethinking too 🙂

Now THIS is a prom dress. Recycling at its best!

I’m a member of Craftster. It’s a wonderful place to go explore ideas for do-it-yourself craft goodness – but I don’t mean “just crafts”. I mean glass work and recycled furniture and how to make a wedding dress and probably everything else you can think of.

How to make shoes. There’s threads and tutorials for those. So yeah, there are a gazillion good and useful and fun ideas to explore. You should go there and explore and learn and have fun.

But this! This one blew me away. It’s a prom dress. And as you can see from the pics, it’s a gorgeous prom dress.

Prom Dress made from ribbon and recycled pop tabs
Prom Dress made from ribbon and recycled pop tabs

Isn’t it beautiful (so is she!) And here’s the kicker: she made this dress from ribbon – and recycled pop can tabs, and she got inspired to do a plus size prom dresses as a collection. I am serious. LOOK at that dress! It’s lovely. It fits beautifully. And yet! Pop can tabs! Here’s a closeup of the “fabric”:

>Prom Dress made from ribbon and recycled pop tabs

Truly, you want to go read the whole thread. You don’t have to be a member to read the articles. It’s just that you will want to be a member after you see all the goodies over there!

And here’s a side note I thought was pretty interesting: she’s in high school – a junior if I remember correctly (if I’m wrong I’ll come back and correct that!) She had made another recycled prom dress the year before – out of Doritis packages. Really. And her principal told her she couldn’t wear the dress to her dance – possibly he thought she was going to Make a Statement, or do Something Outrageous, or whatever.

After he saw the dress he apologized to her. Publicly. And allowed her to wear the dress.

I mention this only to say: this girl has grit, and determination, and the willingness to See It Through. And she’s either talented, or knows how to get talented people (family) to help her, or both. And she’s beautiful.

We should probably keep our eyes open for her. She could go far. She can do anything.

But most of all – what a dress!

Spring Flowers Brooch – recycled, of course!

It’s springtime. I’m in the mood for color and look what I found 🙂

Orange Recycled flower Brooch from Bahee on Etsy

It’s from Bahee, on Etsy and she has a shop full of goodness for you to explore. Happy and colorful goodies. And recycled!

Here’s a pic of the brooch modeled on a garment, so you can see how it would really look:

Orange Recycled flower Brooch from Bahee on Etsy

Also did I mention recycled? I did? It’s worth repeating. Recycled – and adorable 🙂 Go peek!

Thrifty and Green! Alternative Uses for Kitty Litter

Yes, clean kitty litter, all right? The guys in the back can stop snickering.

Fluffy the Cat

(I thought a pic of one of our cats would be a little more interesting than a picture of kitty litter.
You know what kitty litter looks like.)

This may sound silly, but I ran across a couple articles about “alternative uses for kitty litter” and I thought, you know, there’s probably a lot of people like me who wouldn’t have thought of these – and they’re pretty smart. So here’s some I thought were the most useful:

1. If you get motor oil on your driveway or the floor of your garage, sprinkle on some litter. It’ll absorb the oil.

2. This is one of the first ones I ever used: Keep a big bag (this can be the cheapest non-clumping stuff) in your car all winter (or all year, depending on where you drive). It’s great for adding weight when you need it on icy roads – and sprinkled in front of your tires can help you get traction if you get stuck!

3. Treat it almost like vermiculite when you’re planting your garden. Sprinkle in amongst your compost before you plant your veggies or flowers. It’ll help the soil retain water and it’s safe for the plants.

4. Not surprisingly, it’s a pretty effective “odor eater”. Slip it into a small muslin bag (or old socks!) and insert into your smelly sneakers. It’ll act like charcoal and draw out the odor.

5. Same kind of a deal – odor eater – fill a small bowl or other container with litter and place it in the back of your fridge. It’ll help absorb odors.

6. And one more on that line – sprinkle an inch of kitty litter in the bottom of a diaper pail. You get the idea 🙂

7. This one I haven’t tried but it makes sense to me: sprinkle it in the bottom of your grill (outside grill that is!) It’ll help prevent grease fires.

See? Even non-cat people find it handy to have some kitty litter. It’s cheap, it’s useful, and hey, you might get a cat!

Fabulous Upcycled Fashion – One of a Kind Fashion Forward Clothing

You can’t get more “fashion forward” than upcycled, newly created one of a kind garments that are made from recycled clothing 🙂

It’s the best of both (all) worlds – unique styles, handmade quality construction, AND eco-chic! Take a look at these wonderful items from Broken Ghost Couture on Etsy.

Women's upcycled one of a kind top from Broken Ghost Couture on Etsy
That top is so much fun! I love the colors, you know it’ll look great with leggings or skinny jeans, and the black lace adds a cool edginess, www.shieldrepublic.com check their latest collection.

Girls Upcycled Dress from brokenghostcouture on Etsy
This is such a darling dress! The colors are so happy, and it would be warm with those long sleeves, and those buttons and gathers on the skirt are adorable. Think how much your little girl would love wearing it!

The seller (creator!) on Etsy has lots of other goodies – one of a kind, original, unusual garments. You should definitely check out her shop!

PS By the way. Some people think that creating garments from recycled clothing is easier than starting from scratch with new fabric. I have to tell you, I do some sewing myself, and the truth is, it’s much more work to recycle/reconstruct, than to just cut out fabric and sew. You have to pick and choose carefully what you can use from the cast-off clothing, often you have to de-construct, and your ‘eye’ for construction must be more finely honed. It’s a demanding skill!

Purple, Amethyst, Lilac – February Birthday Colors

Let’s face it, it’s the middle of winter, and some color is looking really good right now. And if you’re a February baby, your colors are rich purple, shimmering amethyst, lively lilac 🙂

How about a pair of vintage boots – in purple?

Purple Faux Suede Vintage Boots from To Be Determined on Etsy

They’re gorgeous purple, they’re faux suede (the best kind), they’re only $28.00 – and they’re purple! How can you go wrong? And if they’re gone when you go to peek, stay and look around – the Etsy shop is To Be Determined – on Etsy and she has lots more vintage goodies at great prices!

Of course, you can also get a pretty pair of earrings (insert blowing-own’s-horn-here) from my own Paper Jewels shop 🙂
Like these:

Custom Lacquered Paper Purple and Amethyst Earrings with Your Name in Japanese

This example says “Alicia” in Japanese kanji – but of course you can choose any name (or word) you like. Perhaps the birthday girl? Or your own name?

Get some color, get some purple, celebrate a February birthday!

Happy 2011

It’s a brand new year! I’m hoping for…

More beach time!

Fort Myers Beach
Curious local resident at the pier at Fort Myers Beach
Sunset from our rental house at Fort Myers Beach