Tue 24 Jun 2008

Wardrobe Refashion 2008

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Wardrobe Refashion pledge We’re barely a week into summer and now feels like a great time to try something new. In an effort to inspire ourselves and create an entirely eco-fashion friendly wardrobe, we’ve decided to take the Wardrobe Refashion Pledge:

We, Mables.com, pledge that we shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 4 months. We pledge that we shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for ourselves with our own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. We pledge that we will share the love and post a photo of our refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings! Signed Lauren & Sean

So from July 1st – October 1st we’ll be sharing our adventures with creating, living in, and loving our “preloved” wardrobes. Honestly, being huge fans of vintage and reconstructed clothing, this won’t be a big stretch from what we’re already doing. We like the idea of making a commitment to it though, and sharing our journey with others. We look forward to trying out new refashioning techniques, scouring vintage clothing stores on eBay and better connecting with the sources of our clothes.

Are you interested in taking the Wardrobe Refashion pledge with us? You can sign up for 2, 4, or 6 month period and rest assured you will be in great company. This is the 3rd year and participation gets bigger each time. There are currently over 400 members in the Flickr pool! Whether or not you’ll be joining us in this DIY fashion adventure, what do you think of the idea? Could you avoid buying new clothes for a few months?

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Fri 13 Jun 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different

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Integrity - artwork by Frederic TerralThe title of this post is very accurate. Whether you’ve been to Mable’s blog before or are a new visitor, you’re about to read something a bit different than the usual company or shopping blog. We’re about to get really honest.

Next month will mark Mables’ 2 year anniversary of blogging. It’s been a fun journey, full of interesting products and sales, as well as a learning experience for us personally. And like everything in life, this blog is not static; every post is an evolution of sorts. We’ve been brainstorming about possibilities for growth on Mables.com and today we’re proud to announce the next step for us. We’re changing the way that we write so that each post is really representative of products and innovations that we feel are important to talk about. Our focus on “Unique Gifts” hasn’t really been specific enough. It’s allowed us to talk about everything from handmade Valentines to replica jewelry and even blogs as gifts. Initially, we wanted to cover those diverse topics so we could offer “something interesting for everybody”. After 2 years of blogging like that we realized it just wasn’t us. That’s not what we genuinely want Mable’s to be. We quit our day jobs so we could be pioneers, not take the path of least resistance.

Starting today, Mable’s Unique Shopping Blog will become more focused on the topics we most enjoy and find important. For better or worse, it will also be written very honestly. In the real world we shoot from the hip, and our blog is really going to reflect that. We’ve always been a bit unconventional, but radical honesty is our goal now. In a world where it seems like every inch of space and every opinion is for sale, we want to be a transparent alternative. If we hear about a really great sale at Giant Company X, will we still let our readers know? Sometimes, but most of the time we will be writing about eco-friendly products and technologies, vintage items, independent companies, and a few geeky gadgets. These are our passions, and we’re choosing to follow them. Several of the blog categories might end up becoming a little bare, but we’ll really fill up the other categories to make up for it.

We hope you’ll join us for this new adventure. Come by and watch our progress, let us know how we’re doing, and share your links to other organizations or people who are trying to blog this way. We’re not sure what the outcome will be, but it’s a risk we’re excited to take. One final question: what do we call this kind of online communication? Blogging with Integrity? Honest Blogging? Blogging From the Hip? What are your thoughts?

* Integrity image courtesy of Right Brain Terrain, creators of amazing Alternative Motivational Posters

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Mon 17 Dec 2007

Gadget Gift Roundup Part 1

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Gadgets are a part of daily life for pretty much everybody in 2007, so gadget gifts aren’t just for computer nerds anymore! We’ve rounded up some great tech gift ideas for everyone on your list. Whether you’re shopping for a business professional, social network butterfly, or any gadget-lover in-between, keep reading for some retail inspiration.

6 Device Electronics Charger: This little beauty is going to simplify a lot of lives. It’s six tentacles contain “six adapters that fit most portable devices, allowing an entire briefcase-full of electronic office tools to be fully powered in an average of two hours”. Comes with a regular and car charger so that you can also power up on the go.

iRobot Roomba & Scooba Roomba 500 Series Robot Vacuum: It’s December 2007, and jet packs are still not available yet. The next best thing would definitely be the cleaning robots available from iRobot. Not only is the new 500 series vastly improved from earlier models, but there are also robots that mop your floors, vacuum up your shop, and clean your gutters. Also, with no AI chip* there’s no threat of your Roomba leading an electronic revolt. *(You’ll need iRobot Create developers kit for that)

Chaotic-Artistic Gadget Organizer: Shopping for an oxymoron? This beautiful tangle of wires is named Harry, and he is as unique and tech savvy as his future owner. Inside his guts you can have fun nestling not just gadgets, but keys, wallets, and whatever else you’re likely to throw on the table as soon as you get home.

DIY Laptop Sleeve/Bag: The laptop bags that we featured in our Indie Christmas part 1 post were amazing, but sometimes totally custom is the way to go. Let your laptop lover design every detail of their bag with the Skooba customizable sleeve that also cleverly transforms into a handled bag.

Bluetooth Rear View Mirror: Between cell phone laws and sloppy drivers, Bluetooth devices continue to prove themselves invaluable for traveling. The only question is, which will make you look crazier: talking to an earbud or talking to your rearview mirror?

USB Podcast Studio Kit: Blogging is so 2006. All the cool kids (and pretty much everyone else) know that podcasting is where its at. With this kit, give your nouveau podcaster “everything needed for crystal clear audio recording and editing”, packed up all cool into an aluminum briefcase.

Check back in a couple days for some last minute gift ideas in our Gadget Gift Roundup Part 2.

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Sun 20 May 2007

Pirate Week @ Mable’s Blog

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pirates of the caribbean at world's end premier at disneylandAt World’s End, the final installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy is less than a week away! Yesterday was the unconventional world premier, which was held at Disneyland, and many of the stars were in attendance. Tickets were sold to the public at a whopping $1,500 a piece, with proceeds benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

For the rest of us, we still have about 5 days left of waiting (or 4 and some change if you hit up a night-time showing on Thursday). To further add to the anticipation and excitement, and to speed the week along, next week is Pirate Week at Mable’s Blog. From Monday through Friday we’ll be blogging about “salty old pirates” and all the savvy merchandise they have spawned. Who doesn’t need a little more adventure in her life? So join us May 21-25 for a week of pirate booty!

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Tue 19 Sep 2006

365 Days of Halloween

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Remember the post we did on the Halloween Countdown? Well we took it a step further and have been working hard behind the scenes to bring everyone 365 Days of Halloween fun. That’s right Mable’s now has a new sister site named 365 Halloween and it’s chock-full of awesomeness.

This website is made for anyone who wishes that Halloween was longer than just one little day. Whether you spend a week or a whole year celebrating Halloween, this website is dedicated to you. Our aim is to fill a void that exists online for interesting, entertaining, and quality Halloween content.

365 Days of Halloween

It’s now officially launched and has some great content categories like Halloween Costume Ideas, Halloween Decor Ideas, Halloween Recipes with Pictures, and Halloween Event Trip Reports. (The trip reports are going to be my favorite part, but since the haunted attraction season is just beginning, it’s a bit barren right now)

We’ve already got some great content like how to make a bleedy cake, mummy dogs, a contest winning homemade mummy costume, clay skulls similar to the ones from Disney’s Haunted Mansion Holiday, a rare Jerri Blank costume, and more exclusive content. We are encourage you to submit your own Halloween articles & photos to help spread the Halloween love.

So if you are a fellow year-round Halloweenie or just wish Halloween was more than one day then you’ve got a new blog to subscribe to over at www.365Halloween.com.

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Fri 01 Sep 2006

Halloween Countdown has Begun

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Halloween is coming! September 1st is a beautiful day. Some welcome the great respite of Back to School or look forward to Fall or Labor Day partying, but for a select group of Halloweenies it means something else. As our friends at Ghost Droppings so eloquently said: “With the days of August now dead, we usher in the month of September. September is the month where hidden things begin to stir in their dark places. It is the month where Autumn more fully rears its head before the sun. It is a time where our Halloween activities become more focused and obsessive. September is that time before the month of months with the day of days, Halloween.”

In the US, Halloween is the 2nd most popular holiday, but around here it’s THE holiday. We wait anxiously all year for the chance to put together fantastic costumes, watch endless stretches of spooky movies, carve our Zombie Pumpkin stencils, go to haunted houses, see the new retail offerings, visit pumpkin patches, make freaky themed food, and generally just roll around in the cool, dark feeling of the season.

In this spirit, today kicks off our Halloween Countdown at the 365 Halloween blog. We will be blogging about Halloween topics everyday until October 31st. We’ve been working hard on our Halloween Costumes section at Mable’s, but have lots more spooky spirit left over. If you enjoy this deliciously dark “holiday of holidays”, be sure to subscribe to our Halloween RSS feed for a daily dose of the good stuff.

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