Sunday, November 14, 2010

Recycle Those Rolls Guest Tutorial from Jessica @ Noguchi Designs

Trash it? Oh no no no, Recycle it!
Gift it! Give it!
Even Decorate with it!
Fun projects for the old & young.
Quick, easy & fun

Have you ever thought of what to do with those toilet paper rolls? How about the paper towel roll? Over the years I’ve seen them be turned into Butterflies, Wands, Swords, & Rain makers. Kids seem to have lots of fast fun with them. That’s it though, fast fun, then they bend, rip, get stepped on or even wet. This year why not make something that can last. The following tutorial will show two final products. I’ll show you some basics, I know you can take these steps and move on with your own creativity to end up with some great & unique items.

Base supplies:
Cardboard rolls
(toilet paper/paper towel)
Extra supplies:
Hot glue gun & sticks
Tissue paper
Yarn or string
Pinking shears
(or any fun edged scissors)
Clear Coating Spray

~*3D Art*~

1. Take your Base supplies

2. Cut the rolls: I cut in half, then thirds, ending up with 6 pieces per roll

3. Place pieces in a floral & vine pattern  Glue where they meet &  pin until dry

4. Once dry remove pins and ta-da! It’s done. Hang as is with a few random nails as hooks or use up an old frame without glass glue piece to a backing and enjoy.


1. Take Base supplies &  your choice of Extra supplies

2. Rip up some tissue

3a. Mix a little white paint & water. Paint the roll & adhere paper all over, paint again on top of paper, stand rolls up to dry 

3b. Paint rolls with glitter glue or glue &  glitter or paint mixture & glitter

4. Once all are dry, lightly paint the inside with the same method (no picture because I didn’t do it,
after finishing I realized I should have)

5. Cut rolls

6. Glue & clip until dry (don’t forget the hanging string)

7. Once dry remove clips & viola! Your Ornament is done. Hang on the tree, top a gift, put on the kids rooms doorknob.

Don’t forget to have the kids sign & date them .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Because buying handmade is what your grandma used to do.

I have been scouring the web looking for a place to tuck TNT in. Your thinking... Etsy? Its okay, that was my first thought too (besides Hyena Cart) but I want to share with you a few other sites and online communities where you can buy/sell handcrafted items or just look around~


Tagline: Sell without fees. Create without limits.
Info for Sellers: With no fees or commissions for those who choose to sell via ArtFire with a “basic” account, there’s a $15.95 per month charge for “Pro” accounts, which offer what appears to be a wealth of extras including blog hosting and the ability to create a Facebook “Kiosk.”

Tagline: Think it. Make it. Sell it
Info for Sellers: There’s no charge to join and currently no listing fees. Commission comes in at 3%.


Tagline: Great design. Straight from designers
Info for Sellers: You have to apply to be accepted into the curated collection.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Whats in a name? on the WAHM front.

I am sitting here wondering, if everyone who has ever named a business had this trouble? I have spent countless hours now, brainstorming, researching, comparing, nit picking, and scribbling out possible names for my home front. I have grilled family, friends, and even complete strangers looking for a grain of inspiration.
I want a name that you see and wonder, hmmm I wonder whats inside this link? I want it to catchy and easy to remember. I want it to elude to whats going on, recycling/re-purposing clothes. Heres a short list of the suggestions I have gotten so far.
  • piddlin around 
  • sams designs 
  • play it again 
  • old to new 
  • previously loved 
and heres some of my own ideas:
  • trashy tees 
  • do over 
  • rerun 
  • wonky wares (i cant take credit for this, a mama on DS said it once, and i liked it!) 
  • recon (as in reconstruction) but i dont like having to point that out? 
  • undone
  • used2be
 Any takers on this challenge?

Other WAHM news... I've been asking other moms out there for feedback regarding pricing and so far its been pretty positive. Heres the post.  Blah blah blah, I want to skip to the good stuff and share with you all my packing ideas.
Brown paper bag envelope, Food box tag with inspirations quote and business info (site/etc), and scrap tee bow!

Friday, July 30, 2010

"If you want one year of prosperity, plant corn.
If you want ten years of prosperity, plant trees.
If you want one hundred years of prosperity, educate people."
Chinese proverb

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fashinista Mama Me.

Maybe I have an odd sense of fashion, but it seems like year after year I can not seem to find cool kids clothes for my boys!? Sure, you have tons of basketballs and footballs, cheesy looking monster trucks, cute bears, and lame dinosaurs... but can you really blame me for wanting something different? Now don't get me wrong, H&M, Mini Boden, Oilily, Paul Frank- They all offer some kick ass clothes but I can hardly afford those used!

Not so long ago I broke out my sewing machine (a Christmas gift I asked for oh, um... 3 maybe 4 years ago untouched until now) and pieced together this monster truck deal for Sam. I purchased a shirt from Walmart and the rest of it came from a cut up pair of boxers, a stained l/s thermal, and an outgrown onesie. Since this first experiment I have created a couple more 'custom' shirts for friends.

Somewhere along this life adventure, I think I lost touch with my creative outlets. Slowly, piece by piece, I feel like I am rediscovering small parts of myself that might have been overcast by the daily chaos of mommyhood. Picking up photography must have been the beginning.

The idea that I might be able to create pretty awesome, handcrafted, one of a kind, cool kid stuff, and keep it affordable... is a vision of sugar plums dancing in my head. I began hoarding up sale fabrics from my local craft store, but then it hit me. Like a side arm throw in dodgeball- I am not going to stock up on new fabrics- but I am going to do it all with recycled clothing or notions (sheets, blankets, etc.) I got to researching and here is what I found: Over one million ton of textiles are discarded annually, mostly from domestic sources, of which 25% are recycled. (Cupit 1996)

Not only are you doing a something to help keep recyclable materials from entering the landfill, but you also are consuming less!! For now, I need practice... and maybe an etsy shop is in my future? If your interested in partaking in my creative tshirt making awesomeness or have clothes to donate feel free to drop me an email. I am currently looking for solid color tshirts and onesies (to design) any colors or sizes. Interesting patterns, prints, and textured fabrics for designs-

Past Work:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.  ~Cree Indian Proverb

Friday, July 16, 2010

85 days, 16 hours and 25 minutes

... the amount days, hours, and minutes that oil has been spewing into our precious ocean water.
 Photograph by Win McNamee, Getty Images

You've undoubtedly seen the oil spill images: seagulls covered in splotches of thick brown oil, the mueky waters that now cover the entire coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Experts predict that it will take decades for the wildlife population to recover. So what can you do to make a difference even if you live nowhere near the coast of Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, or Mississippi?

I am excited to join Craft Hope with Project 8-
"(Craft Hope is) partnering with The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, the Audubon Nature Institute, and the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge to assist them in their efforts in caring for and cleaning oiled marine mammals, mostly dolphins, other marine mammals, birds, and sea turtles. Dolphins are naturally curious and have been swimming toward the oil plumes to investigate… and that curiosity gets them in a lot of trouble against the oil slick.
So here is what we are going to do… They need hand towels and wash rags to clean all of the nooks and crannies of the dolphins and sea turtles. They only need small hand towels and wash rags, no large towels please."
I've been sitting here for months feeling helpless, wondering what I can do? Until I stumbled upon this via another mommy blogger. Ashley Ann shares a project she did at home with her kids to help them understand the affects of the oil spill.  Don't be surprised if you see Karo Syrup covered manatees and dolphins soon- the boys and I will practice cleaning up wild life right here in our backyard~

You wanna get involved too? Great! For more information be sure to click the Craft Hope link. Wash cloths and/or Dawn can be dropped off here or shipped directly:
Kimberly Davion
c/o IMMS Oil Spill Relief
1700 East La Rua Street
Pensacola, Florida 32501

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Play Dirty. Exploring Mud-

Grit. Grime. Sludge. Slime. Filth. Slop. Its mud time! 

Let us go back almost a decade and reminisce of the days when I used to run the mud bog at the Warren County Farmers Fair. Ahhh yes- It looked a little something like this: 
During the intermission of the county fair truck bog, ladies have the opportunity to race through the mud to win cash prizes. (At least we won cash when I raced... I dont know if they still do that today) 
Doesn't that just sound fun? 

Even as a preschool teacher I made sure that my kids had a chance to get down and dirty... some how I managed to get the OK from my director and all the parents to take the kids mud sliding!?! Through my experience at the Toyota Child Development Center I realized (gasp) that the majority of my students never had actually played in mud!!

It should come as no surprise that in my house, mud pies are fresh daily. Unlike parents, who can view dirt and mud as a nuisance, I am plopping my butt down right in the middle of that mud puddle (ours is lake sized, so it does fit!)  and soaking up the opportunity to not only have fun and make memories but also embracing the valuable learning experiences mud play offers. 

Best ways to play in the mud, according to Sam:
  • Monster Jam 
  • Painting my screen door with mud 
  • Mixing mud pies with our Little Tikes Mud Pie Maker 
  • Painting my sidewalk with the mud 
  • Digging the mud pit bigger 
  • Dragging the water hose to the front of my house to make more mud when it dries  
Kids can  not only express their creativity, enhance their fine motor skills, science and math skills playing in mud but mud or clay can be used to create molded master pieces left to dry.

Are you ready to play in the mud? What do you need? Dirt- Just add Water.
Some other fun things you can choose to include... shovels, spoons, scoops, forks, cups, bowls, pie tins, sifters, tonka trucks, cars, trucks of any kind, sticks, leaves, rocks, more water!, worms, cookie cutters, funnels, animals, dinosaurs, flower pots

Friday, July 9, 2010

Look at me, and my very first blog post!

I suppose I should start by saying thank you- thanks for taking the time to read up on whatever it is I have to share. Also thanks to you out there who also hope to make a difference in the world- I am not just talking about recycling and our environment (as important as it is!) I'm shouting out to those parents and families (both birth and adopted), friends, teachers, crime fighters, doctors, fire fighters, volunteers, politicians (certainly I have to believe there's at least a few good apples out there)
You dont have to fly to an orphanage in Uruguay and drill a well for this thank you, but heck yeah if you did! Even if you dont know it, you could possibly be making a small difference sitting right where you are- by being you.

My point is, you can be making a difference and not even notice. Being green doesn't have to be expensive, disruptive, or difficult. Today I want to share a few small changes that we've made around the house, and you can too

1.) Switch to eco-friendly cleaning supplies.

Next time you’re stocking up on cleaning supplies, trade your standard brands for supplies labeled eco-friendly or biodegradable. Or you can make your own- Vinegar, salt and lemon juice are all great natural cleaning products.

2.) Switch to cloth napkins and unpaper towels

Not only do they add pretty accents to your table, but cloth napkins significantly reduce paper waste. Take it one step further and switch to handkerchiefs instead of tissues and rags rather than paper towels for cleaning.

3.) Shop local for produce.

Duh- Buying local reduces your footprint and helps support farmers in your community.

4.) Compare and contrast when you shop.

Look for items with as little packaging as possible, and buy items packaged in recyclable material whenever possible.

5.) Start composting.

Composting food scraps is a quick and easy way to reduce waste in your home. Once your pile is set up, it’s as simple as tossing your food scraps into a bowl and taking it outside every day. ((Yeah, I am still working on this one))