Tue 21 Jan 2014

Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions

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Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions
You’ve heard it phrased a million different ways: essentially, green is the new black. 2013 brought us many new options for livin’ the green lifestyle. Whether you switched to a hybrid vehicle or didn’t get a chance to “go green” last year, there are lots of ways to easily transition to a more eco-friendly way of life.

Here are a few of the easiest, most impactful, and most affordable green ideas;

FOOD
Eco Friendly DietSurprisingly, what we eat has more impact on the environment than the kind of vehicle we drive! But how can we know what the most eco-friendly diet is? There is so much conflicting information out there!

Well, let’s take a look at the facts and see which foods are kindest on Mother Nature while also providing us with absolutely radiant health.

Surprise, Surprise: organic fruits and veggies always come out on top!

Want a planet and a body that are fit for a king? Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, and slowly reduce your consumption of animal products and grains.

MEDICINE
Pharmaceuticals are wack, on so many levels. One of the quickest ways to take back control of your health and stop financially supporting chemicals as “medicine” is to go natural. Homeopathic Treatments are a powerful, natural way to heal just about any illness. Plus, they are far more affordable than prescription medicine and don’t have any dangerous side effects.

COUPON: Save 12.5% on homeopathic remedies from Forces of Nature using coupon code “tweetdeal2″ :)

BOTTLED WATER
our favorite water bottleYou already know what happens when you leave a water bottle in a hot car, right? If water bottles are proven to be that toxic, then why would you gamble your health by using them at all? You deserve a better bottle, bro!

The Mable’s Team upgraded our water bottles in 2010 and we’ve been pleasantly astounded by the results. Our VibesUP water bottles have a funny little coaster glued to the bottom of the bottle, which uses simple quantum technology to make the water easier to drink. But here’s the really weird part… we’re not sure how, but this weird “vibration raising” technology makes it so that our water bottles never smell. You know how often you have to clean reusable water bottles, right? Not with VibesUP!

CLOTHING
Recycled green goods Here’s a fun way to make a stylish and eco-friendly change: update your closet. When the time comes to replace any part of your wardrobe- from shoes to jeans to accessories- look for sustainable style. According to the Organic Consumers Association, “Cotton accounts for 50% of the world’s fiber needs, 24% of the world’s insecticide market and 11% of sale of global pesticides, making cotton the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet.”

Thankfully, there are many great retailers of organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo clothing such as XYLME, and Blue Canoe. Amazon also has a growing selection of more affordable organic clothes, as does magical eBay

There’s a new company, Fashioning Change, that we’re really interested in, because they help us find eco friendly clothes based on our unique style preferences. Just choose your favorite style icons and designers, and Fashioning Change will match you up with gorgeous choices.

Plus, if you share the love and invite a friend to shop at fashioning Change, both you and your homie get $10 off.

Stylish. Safe. Sweatshop Free. Save Money. Give Back. It is our vision to help shoppers make better purchases and create bottom-up change in the fashion industry. ~ Fashioning Change

Another rad option is 10 Tree, which plants a whopping TEN trees for every item purchased. When people ask you how much your top cost you can be like, “$35, and it came with ten free trees. No big deal.”

10 trees planted with each item

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle?
Recycled green goodsThis is a broader concept that challenges how we think about every area of our lives. You’re probably familiar with the first 3 concepts, but “upcycling” is quickly gaining momentum in the handmade community. Etsy has a great article that discusses how everyone can learn to “repurpose” trash-bound items into something useful. Not only can you upcycle your own goods, but you can also purchase products that are made of upcycled or recycled material.

Feeling DIY? Upcycle That will keep you inspired all year long.

Have you decided to go green this year? We’d love to hear your experiences and tips; please leave us a comment!

New Year’s Resolutions

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Tue 18 May 2010

Play Nice with Spring Showers at Umbrella Heaven

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umbrella heaven umbrella heaven umbrella heaven
What can you wear that matches a rainstorm? One of the gorgeous handmade umbrellas at Umbrella Heaven, of course. They contain a unique “Double-Dome wind resilience technology” and are handmade in the UK. At just $25 and up, they’re not just lovely to behold, but kind to your wallet, too. According to their bevy of customer testimonials, you’ll be smiling each time the skies turn grey. How’s that for a silver lining?

$25 and up

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Mon 29 Sep 2008

Custom Natural Makeup from Pink Quartz Minerals

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Natural Mineral Makeup from Pink Quartz Minerals
Sometimes having too many options can be a little overwhelming, but when entering the Pink Quartz Minerals shop I feel like a kid in a candy store! Doree is a one woman DIY powerhouse who makes a variety of all natural makeup, but she always makes time to create any item to your exact specifications. What color do you want that lip balm? How opaque do you want the color? Want to add a flavor? An all natural sweetener? How about customizing the label with any text you want? Even cooler, these options are standard and there is never an extra charge for them. I have been loving my marshmallow flavored, stevia sweetened, deep rose lip balm for months and I’m actually excited to order a few more.

As someone who really doesn’t wear much makeup – usually some tinted lip balm or mineral foundation – my affinity for Pink Quartz Minerals might seem surprising. Keep in mind though that I’m a really particular shopper; I always know just what I want… and what I don’t want.

Natural Mineral Makeup from Pink Quartz Minerals Unlike most products out there, all of Doree’s handmade goodies are safe for your eyes, lips, skin, and face, which says a lot about how “natural” they really are. The ingredients consist of only 6 minerals (except the lip balms of course), and there are never any preservatives, chemicals, or animal-based ingredients. Everything is vegan friendly, and truly hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. I was visiting family recently and took a peek at the ingredients on my little sister’s sparkly lip balm set. Talk about night and day! There was a huge list of chemicals and it was petroleum based, too. Yuck! What bums me out is that makeup containing dangerous, junky ingredients is standard. Thank goodness for businesses like Pink Quartz Minerals who have integrity and create only safe and exquisite makeup items.

I also had the pleasure of trying the mineral foundation and the fabulous vegan kabuki brush. Both are amazing! I bought the sample kit to find the perfect shade for me, but you can also have a color custom blended. I’ve been asked so many times “Are you wearing makeup? Your skin looks so nice.” Could there be a better testimonial? During the visit to see my family, my mom tried the kabuki brush and could not stop raving. “It’s so much softer than the expensive one I bought and doesn’t shed all over the place either”. Since she doesn’t stop by this blog too often I’ll let you guys know that I’m going to order her a brush and sample kit, too :)

Unless you’re madly in love with your makeup and can identify all the ingredients on the label, I really encourage you to try some of the lovely handmade products from Pink Quartz Minerals. They’re safe, affordable, and bring out your natural beauty so you’ll look and feel like a million bucks.

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Fri 06 Jun 2008

Handmade Items for Father’s Day

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Etsy Father’s DayFather’s Day is just around the corner and buying brand new factory produced items is so 1900′s so be sure to give something special to your Dad. Now you could bust out your craft supplies and make a macaroni portrait of yourself made with love, OR support some professional crafters and buy from Etsy’s Father’s Day Showcase.

Supporting Etsy stores helps keep crafters crafting and spreads the knowledge that we don’t need to shop at big box stores for everything. There are many ways to browse an online store, but Etsy makes it even easier with their Gift Guide section that uses the community to pick gifts for special occasions or that special someone.

Don’t forget about eBay as well. They have a handcrafted category that is worth checking out as well. Below is the most popular item from the HandCrafted category.

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Mon 31 Mar 2008

Handmade Vintage from Miss Brache’s

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Miss Brache’s Handmade Vintage-Look Clothing We are fascinated by all things vintage and have been known to dabble in many decades. Mid-century is a particular favorite though, as you can probably tell by the recently launched 50′s clothes section and our wedding photo that can be seen there. It was no surprise then when I discovered Miss Brache’s vintage-look Etsy store and promptly fell in love. Halters, wiggle skirts, high waists, and bust/waist enhancing styles: Miss Brache creates clothing that is the epitome of 1950′s glamour and style. In addition to gorgeous pinup dresses and unique separates Miss Brache also designs swimsuits! They are all vintage-inspired as well, ranging from pinup bikinis to reversible monokinis. (I know where I’m getting my bathing suit this summer!) She says that “Her goal is to make women all across the world feel happy in the swim wear or anything they wear. All her items are made by her hard working hands and are limited items.” Some items are pre-made, but most are custom ordered to your exact size and specifications. If you’re a vintage loving vixen, Miss Brache’s is the store for you.

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Sat 15 Mar 2008

2 Day Go Green Sale @ Etsy

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Go Green Sale at Etsy
This St. Patrick’s Day, why not keep it green without resorting to the green beer? Mallory at Miss Malaprop organized a 2 day “Go Green and Save” sale that includes 6 Etsy stores that “feature recycled materials predominantly in their work”. Awesome! The discounts will vary by store so check out the full list of participating artisans and get to browsing…

Sunday and Monday, March 16 & 17, 2008

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Wed 06 Feb 2008

Handmade Valentines Day Gift Ideas

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Last year, the handmade revolution caught on like wildfire. Giving handmade gifts says so much more than any factory made item, and it supports independent artists, too. We scouted out some unique Valentine’s Day gift ideas that would make a loving and unexpected gift for your special someone.

funny, snarky, mean anti Valentine's Day cardsIt’s official: Etsy is the place to get handmade items year-round. They have a beautiful Valentine’s Day Showcase to make it easy for us shoppers to find those truly unique items.

Let’s begin with a couple anti Valentine’s Day gift ideas, because not everyone thinks hearts and candy on February 14th. The one of a kind creations from Snarky Cards make me genuinely LOL. Over the course of about a week, I’ve read every card to Sean, which prompts us to cackle with delight. (I almost wish I had more questionable relationships so that I would have a reason to use these cards. Almost.) They’ll send the perfect message to your ex, or anybody else you want to stick it to this V-Day.

handmade Anti Valentines Day SNARK bracelet This Anti Valentines Day bracelet from Ben can Dance Creations is similarly blunt and snarky. With such unmistakable missives as DIE, KTHX BYE, and U SUCK, your target will get the message loud and clear. A perfect piece of jewelry that says “I hate Valentine’s Day”, but is still super cute.

For those of you with more traditional- and functional- relationships in mind this holiday, here are our absolute favorite picks from the myriad of handmade cards on Etsy:

handmade Valentines cards
Handmade Valentine’s Day cards (from left to right) from Art by Nakisha, Twisted String, and picklehead.

Although Etsy is increasingly popular, there are still lots of handmade Valentine gifts on eBay, so be sure to check those out, too:

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Sat 12 Jan 2008

Save up to 50% on Eco-friendly Handbags

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Recycled Handbags 50% offStart the year off right and buy products that are eco-friendly and useful. Right now the Ecoist Winter Sale is going on and there are plenty of handbags, clutches, and coin bags made from recycled and repurposed materials at 50% their normal price. Most of the bags on sale were handmade in Mexico or Peru with recycled goods and fair trade in mind. As an added bonus from being made from recycled newspapers or candy wrappers, these bags are very sturdy, and most are water resistant.

Want to save even more?
Take an additional 10% off by using coupon code wintersale08 during checkout. Coupon is valid now through 1/25/08.

Want more variety in your recycled bags? Check out the vast collection of handmade recycled bags on Etsy.

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Fri 14 Dec 2007

Indie Christmas Part 1

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We planned on doing another gift guide this year: something similar to last year’s Green gift Guide. However, the new site design just ended up taking forever to finish and now we don’t have the energy to start another big project. What we’re going to do instead is blog like crazy about our personal favorite gift ideas.

Pledge to Buy Handmade this holiday season Have you pledged to Buy Handmade this year? Buying Handmade makes for better gift-giving, it’s better for people, and better for the environment. (The BH crew elaborate on these points nicely.) As the purveyor of all things handmade, here come our top picks from a few choice Etsy categories.

Indie handmade laptop totes on Etsy
Clockwise from top left: Custom Laptop Bag: any size, and print from BlueTwirls, Artist Tote from SuperbKitsch, Echino Wolf Full Size Messenger Bag
You have a LAPTOP; Yay! Now you need something to keep it safe, portable, and stylish. It’s hard to pick a favorite from this bunch, but I sure appreciate all the pockets inside the Artist Tote. And with a name like that, I’m already feeling tempted to carry around some colored pencils. Be sure to look at close-up product shots because these are all made with amazing attention to detail.

Handmade stuffed animals on Etsy
Clockwise from left: Four Eyes No. 1 from Lisa Brodar, Fergie plush toy, Chandrea Collection no.46 art doll by Chad Frick. Now these STUFFED CREATURES have some personality. I especially like the geeky cute glasses on plush Four Eyes.

Recycled Art from artists on Etsy
Clockwise from top left: Vintage Shadowbox Art from theArtCreations, Cupcake System print by Kelly Newcomer, 3 painted robot floppy disks by gammaraybots
There is ART for everyone on Etsy. Like lots of other items, the shadowbox and disks are made from recycled materials, making them an even better choice.

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Fri 11 May 2007

Vandalized Vintage: reclaimed art from trixiedelicious

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Art and products that feature recycled/reclaimed objects are a Mable’s favorite. In our disposable world, it’s refreshing to see people who find creative ways to reinvent castoff goods, and Trixie has made an art of it. At trixiedelicious you’ll find her delightfully twisted take on pretty vintage New Zealand tableware. Pairing dainty prints with bold, black text or images, Trixie creates a unique hybrid that could be equally at home displayed on a wall or at a dinner party. Imagine the reactions of your guests when they eat their way to the bottom of their “Dirty” plate! The tongue-in-cheek designs range from cute and coy to racy and smirk-inducing. Trixie’s “hairdo” illustrations (featured to the right) also regularly make appearances, with saucy retro hairstyles and featureless faces.

trixiedelicious3.jpgSince these “vandalized vintage” pieces are recycled and hand painted, each item is totally one of a kind. You can even customize any plate and add the word of your choice. So if finding words like “filthy”, “deadbeat” or “pest” at the bottom of your plate isn’t your cup of tea, then you can add something more personal or sweet. There are also pieces with themes like sexy (“wink”, “tease”, “pout” plate set), and love (“kiss” and “tell” plate set or the “lovesick” cup and saucer set), which would make fun gifts for a loved one with a cheeky sene of humor. Letter plates (at left) are universally cool for all occasions, and would liven up any wall or dinner table.

Related: Subversive Cross Stitch

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