Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weekend Without Oil - Take The Pledge!

On one of my favorite sites, someone posted this pledge in the forums. As I'm reading it, I realize that I already do most of it on a daily basis.  Read the pledge, then scroll down to where I comment on each item. See what it is that I do to lessen my impact on the oil craze. I was pleasantly surprised that I do what I do without realizing too much that I am doing it.  (wait, does that make sense?  hmmm...)

Weekend Without Oil - Take The Pledge!
Call to Action

On August 21st and 22nd, commit to these 11 actions!

   1. Walk or ride your bike: Avoid using cars and if you must, always try to carpool. Transportation accounts for 40 percent of our petroleum consumption and is easily one of the biggest areas we need to improve upon.
   2. Enjoy the outdoors: Avoid buying new sporting equipment, since oil makes up nearly 25% of rubber. Footballs or basketballs, for example, can last for many years and used equipment is often just as good and will reduce demand for oil needed to make new rubber.
   3. Use reusable bags: Avoid disposable plastic. Plastic bags are a huge waste for very little benefit. Nearly 10 percent of U.S. oil consumption, approximately 2 million barrels a day, is used to make plastic products alone.
   4. Be conscious about what you eat that weekend: You can reduce oil demand by changing your diet to eat less meat, more local foods that require less transportation and organic food, which doesn't use petro-based fertilizers.
   5. Don't buy new make-up that weekend: The majority of cosmetics are petroleum-based, including lip gloss, face powder, nail polish, and more. So avoid buying new make-up products this weekend and research the brands when you purchase in the future.
   6. Drink tap water: Avoid beverages bottled in disposable plastic, they make up nearly 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year, so get a reusable bottle and fill it up.
   7. Make your electronic gadgets last: Avoid buying new electronics. Electronics take a lot of oil to produce and the gadgets you already have can last much longer than the rate at which new ones are released.
   8. Go to the movies or stream them on Hulu: Avoid buying new DVDs/Blu-Rays, as oil is a key ingredient in their production, packaging and shipping.
   9. Skip buying new clothes that weekend: Swap clothes with friends or check out the local vintage store. The less new clothes you buy the less oil is used in the manufacturing process and transportation.
  10. Head to your local library or read online: Avoid using a printer and buying printed material including daily newspapers. Printing doesn't just waste paper, nearly 100,000 gallons of ink each day is used on daily newspapers alone.
  11. Spread the word! Get 3 friends to sign the pledge and help raise awareness on ways they can help reduce their dependence on oil-related products.

1. Its kind of hard to get around Houston without a car and it is really too hot to try to get around via bicycle. I mean, I wasn't made to sweat. And then there's the simple fact that I don't own a bike. However, I try to only drive to work and back home during the week. I live about 7 miles from work. so I'm really not putting many miles on my vehicle, and I can go two weeks on a tank of gas... so in a way, I have been doing ok in this respect. The exception to that is my having to retrieve my son from the dark streets at night when he's missed his curfew. oh, yeah... and when I get a hankering to go play bingo (its a new obsession). On the weekends, I try to make sure I get all my errands done in one trip. I really do prefer to stay indoors the whole weekend.  Its always my goal, anyway.  

2. Enjoy the outdoors? haha, No, I do not. However, you can be certain that I will not purchase any new sporting equipment anytime soon.. (Confession: I have been thinking about getting a bike, but that won't be until it gets less hot... which is almost never here in Houston.)

3. Yes. My favorite of the list. I USE CLOTH BAGS! I make them too and give to whoever wants one, or two or three or...  PLASTIC STINKS!  Have you read my zine? want a copy?

4. Two months ago, Barry and I became more conscious of what we put into our mouths. We shop at the farmer's market, at the sides and back of the supermarket where all the good stuff is, and we are gradually adding more organic foods to our basket.  We've made a *lifestyle* change. and we're enjoying it. I've lost 15lbs since we began. He's lost about 20 lbs. That is with no real exercise. so imagine if I wasn't so afraid of sweat, the progress I could make? 

5. I buy make-up as needed and I use the mineral kind of make-up. My make up lasts quite a while. So I rarely buy new make-up.

6. Drink tap water? ick! I can't do that. However, I do own a huge Brita dispenser. We use filtered tap water for almost everything we need for drinking and eating. Also, I bought a set of reusable water bottles to refill. They are plastic :( but they're a lot better than the throw aways.

7. Electronic gadgets? I think I have all that I need. If anything I may have to purchase batteries. but if I do, I get the rechargables. 

8. I am not too into going to the movies. I have a rant from long ago on my *myspace* page about how the cinema disgusts me. I'd rather wait for the DVD and rent it via Netflix. Speaking of Netflix... I love them! been a customer of theirs since 2001. This year they made me an even more loyal fan... by allowing us to stream via the Wii!!! Love. It. We also get cable. So we're not buying any DVDs to add to a collection.

9. Skip buying new clothes. I do this already. Since losing weight, I'm not buying any new clothes until I get to where I want to be - it will be a while.  So I won't be purchasing any new or used clothing. (I do shop at the thrift stores for clothes, too.).  OH, wait... I may have to skip on this one.  School starts on the 23rd. My son needs new school clothes. I don't get paid again until that weekend, so... I will have to go out and buy new clothes for my 15 year old fashion victim.  sorry. I thought I was doing good. oh, to make up for it, I'll clean out my closet of the clothes I no longer wear and freecycle them. Will that a good compromise??

10. Library. Yes. I love it. I picked up 3 books yesterday, 7 books today, and I have two more that are still *In-Transit*.  I also downloaded 4 audio books to listen to while I work. Most of the are craft/sewing books, I plan to learn more about sewing and fabric choices, etc.  Newspaper? No, we do not take the paper. We get news and sports online, television, and from the radio. I try my best not to print anything. I did buy a new printer a few months back. I rarely use it though. Its mainly to print stuff for my crafts.

11. I am hoping with this post, I can encourage three people to take the pledge, not for the weekend, but for a lifetime.

So, who's with me?

I am all about: REDUCE * REUSE * RECYCLE and DIY(ODS).

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Messy Creative Craft Space

I joined a swap on Swap-bot. An email swap. Usually, if I join an email swap its because its an easy one and most times involves taking photos... This swap is called Your Creative Space. It was featured in Rachel's Blog a couple of weeks ago. If she had not featured it, I probably would have never seen it. I don't usually search for swaps. And to be honest, I don't really get on Swap-bot too much either.  (shhh... don't tell)... I came across Rachel's link by way of Facebook.

What caught my attention about this one was it involved peeking into other crafty people's creative spaces.  I love that... wait... not in a stalker kind of way... I like to get ideas on how I can make my space more... cozy? cos it ain't getting any more organized than it is which is what I wanted to say is my reason for wanting to peek at everyone's space.   OK, OK, OK... maybe I am a stalker... oooh, be afraid...

Ok, so, lemme tell you about my space.
First off, I have to say that it took me so long to complete this swap (which is due today) because I didn't want to photograph my space all messy. I wanted to put everything in its place and then take photos... but... I got lazy. then I realized... hey, that's just how it looks. I can't be creative in a clean, well organized space... and the fact that everything doesn't exactly have its own space... so, there you have it... my messy creative craft space. Enjoy!

First photo:
Its a sort of full view of my craft corner. You see I have a ton of the plastic storage drawers. In the drawers you will find all sorts of stuff to sew, crochet, knit, stuff stuffies, quilt quilts, make jewelry, play with polymer clay... There are all sorts of paper cutting stuff, rubber stamps, ink pads, scrapbook papers, markers, all sorts of adhesives... lots of good junk. I have 4 wide drawers, 5 slimmer ones, three single drawers, and then a couple of bins and baskets.  As you can see, I need more space... or I just need to de-stash.  I should probably de-stash... but i don't wanna!

Second Photo:

Its my newest sewing machine. I have some issues with it... but not about the way it handles... mostly about the way that I am used to the other one and I grab for knobs and levers that aren't there.

A view of my table and wall. Oh yeah... a peek at my new... I don't know what you'd call it... but the bar with the hanging baskets... I got that last week at Ikea. Really inexpensive. I believe all the pieces together were under $10. There is a better photo of it down below.   Also in this photo (and another view down below) is a bulletin board.  I got the board through freecycle. it was freaking ugly but I needed something for the wall, so I found - what I think is - cute fabric and covered it. me likes.

The Fourth Photo is a photo of my kid at 3 weeks old.  hahaha... yeah, that's true, but that has nothing to do with my craft space.  :D (gah, I'm so funny, I crack myself up...) Anyway, it is a bookshelf. Another Ikea find ($24.99 and easy to assemble). My plan for this was to store all of my bins and boxes... but I never really got around to it. On the top shelf, the boxes hold all sorts of patterns. I put some of my craft books here as well. I have another shelf in another room with some my other craft books.  Next to the books are boxes filled with embroidery floss, ribbons, seed beads, beads, and scrabble tiles. Next shelf has shoe boxes. one full of vintage buttons (the sack on the top is also vintage buttons!!), the next box has my supplies for making scrabble tiles. On top of that, a box with jewelry findings, and then on top of that, jewelry making tools. In the bag there are more findings and beads in cute containers. Under that... Paper/Photo Paper/Labels (printables cos I also *craft* on my computer using illustrator and photoshop). There is mailing crap like envelopes and a couple of boxes - cos I do recycle! And there is just stuff that I have no idea why I keep hanging on to.

Look at all that juicy thread!

My bulletin board. It holds... well you can see what I put on it.

The rail/bar with buckets.

There is a table ironing board under that fabric.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I've been slacking... again

I've kinda been MIA. Sorry.

I got my butt in gear last night and worked on more produce bags and some book thongs that I'm giving to a coworker as a valentine's day gift... I want her to be my valentine. haha jk.

For the produce bags, I used some happy veggie graphics that I printed on fusible, printable fabric paper? (I know what it is, just not what its called and I'm too lazy to look up the name).  I'm using fabric scraps that I've accumulated over the years.   Finally, huh? I never thought I'd use those funky prints on anything that I thought would be cool.  (in my head kind of cool)


Book Thongs or better know as book markers.

I used waxed linen and butterfly and heart charms and glass beads. No big deal. Really easy and quick to make.



Now, for the weekend...
I plan on setting up my craft area with a new craft table and more shelves!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

BTW, Here's a mug for today

Me. Today. at work. like always.

2-3 Unofficial Thing A Day

Originally uploaded by fleasha_
Here is my submission for the Unofficial Thing A Day for Day 3.

It is valentines day cards inside hand made envies.
I am in a swap on Swap-bot called Old School Valentines.  The deal is to send valentines cards like we sent in grade school.  We have 5 partners.

Easy swap. So I go to Walgreen's to buy a box of valentines cards.  I was a bit put-off by the selection.  They had a decent variety but they were not like they were when we were kids.  They were all commercialized. I can't even tell you which characters there were, all I know is that I didn't like them.  I finally ended up with some farm animal related cards. They're cute, but I still wanted something more generic, or plain.


The next thing that irked me was that there were no envelopes! I already knew I was going to have to mail them in a larger envelope but I had expected to be able to put them in their own envelope!  I got a bright idea to make my own.  So that is what you see up there... handmade envelopes.  I used a template for a small square rectangle envelope.  In doing this project I realized that I'm not too good with paper, glue and scissors. well, I don't really care to use them together like this.  I'll use them again, I just won't like it.  :P 

So there you have it, my Unofficial-Thing-a-Day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My UTAD #2

Yesterday, I was looking at someone's etsy faves and noticed a pair of simple earrings. Simple looking but really pretty.  I thought to myself, I could do that...

I've been playing around with jewelry making stuff for a while now, but haven't really gotten into it.  When I was making dotees I bought a lot of beads and charms, and received as swap extras.  But then I grew bored with dotees and still had a butt load of beads. So I figured I'd buy a set of the basic tools and some findings and a couple of books and try to teach myself something new.  When I get urge, I go into my beads and try to make stuff.  But I haven't actually sat down and studied the books to really get it.  I've picked up some tips here and there and learned some really basic steps.  I think I do ok with what I have learned.

So, back to today... I went to Hobby Lobby at my lunch break in search of some similar looking beads as the ones in whats-her-name's faves... (I'm not telling who, cos when I get it right, she's getting a pair.) anyway, I went to Hobby Lobby in search of some cool beads. I spent the majority of my time in the wall decor section.  I want something different for my wall! I didn't find anything I liked for the wall or the beads like I wanted... but I did find some tiger eye and pottery beads (I've been on a brown and blue kick lately)...  I also wanted to try a different finish (or whatever its called) for the findings.  I chose what I think is called antique ...

So, yeah, I made these.  Simple. and I like the finish but I don't have much else in that finish so this is pretty much all I can do for now.

On Another Note...

OK. so if you know me, you know I'm sorta a freecycle freak.  I have scored some bad ass shit through my local freecycle group.  once, I got about 4 huge boxes of sewing notions... all vintage!  I'm still giving away the stuff -- buttons, anyone?  Well, today, after my two-hour long lunch (I swear, Hobby Lobby, held me hostage- I swear!!), I'm at work and I get an email from the freecycle group...
OFFER: Beads
Lots of beads! Mostly seed beads. Also includes a bead loom, a beading book and a random  assortment of other types of beads. Porch pick up only.

I hurried and replied. Gah, could I be so lucky to get picked?

I had planned to come home after work and make these earrings (along with dinner and cleaning the kitchen afterwards and doing laundry...) I really didn't have time to go anywhere else. So by the time I got home (I also stopped at the art supply after work looking for a bone folder - no luck) I still hadn't heard from her.  I had already went through the drive thru for dinner cos I was spent and my toes hurt. No cooking for me tonight... We get home, eat, then I go to sort the clothes to wash when I hear a ding on my phone letting me know I had an email.  It was about 7:30. It was her!!

She gave me her address and said I could pick up anytime as she was leaving it on the porch.  She said that tomorrow would be fine with her.  (sometimes some freecyclers are anal when they tell you to pick up at a certain time or its going to the next taker...)  It didn't bother me none that it was late in the evening already. She said, anytime.  So I went and picked up my new beads and stuff.  This is what I got...

I dunno about that loom, though.  It looks complicated.  But I'll give it a shot.