Friday, December 31, 2010

More About Fabrics....

I have been over at Green Sage Learning Center, and brought back a ton of information.  This part is a history lesson of sorts.....I am sharing with you.  Those of us who work with textiles and have focused on creating green products to sell need to learn what works for us.  We think green, buy green and sell green in our shops and in our homes.  I have learned that once we start we will walk the talk naturally.

At ecoVogue365 blog there is a lot of hip, up-to date and fun stuff. 

Before 5,000 B.C., experimentation with other natural materials produced the first basic woven fabrics and cloths. Then the first cloths came which consisted of plant fibers from hemp and flax and animal fibers such as wool.

For centuries hand weaving was the only production method. The spinning wheel developed in India and the technology traveled to Europe by the 14th Century. Not until 1733 with the invention of the flying shuttle, and the subsequent need for spinning to keep up with it, did production begin to increase significantly. The invention of the steam engine, and its adoption by the textile industry began the industrial revolution. (uh, oh).

 Conventional synthetic fabrics for the home and office....where we work,  sleep, breathe and spend most of our hours are usually chemically treated for fire retardancy, water- and soil-repellancy and permanent press qualities — all of which can outgas VOCs (or volatile organic compounds).

Sustainability criteria include textiles that are not made or treated with hazardous chemicals, use no formaldehyde nor have VOC-emitting materials. 

We can look for  natural fiber fabrics — some are manufactured to be biodegradable (for example felt byproducts sold to Swiss farmers who use it as insulation for their crops), or specify fabrics made from recycled content or are recyclable (such as recycled polyesters and nylons).

Over 4 million tons of post-consumer textiles enter the waste stream every year, mostly going to landfill. Only 1 million tons are collected for recycling. About 25,000 tons of new textile fiber is disposed of each year by manufacturers and mills. 

 Be sure to check out the Green Teams on Etsy and shop there often.  Shop using keywork TeamEcoEtsy sellers are committed to reusing, recycling, fair trade, creating with sustainable fabrics, going paperless,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Green Bed....

The green bed....

I have been keepng and eye out for info on healthier, more eco-sensitive snoozing. This information came up when I was researching the eco-home featured in this month's Sunset Magazine.  
Green Bed
Your can get an environmentally friendly car and an environmentally friendly washing machine. But can you get an environmentally friendly night’s sleep? According to Sunset the answer is yes.
As we become more concerned with the state of the planet ― and more aware of how personal and planetary health are linked ― the marketplace is responding with linens, mattresses, bed frames, and more that are beautiful, comfortable, and green.  Here are some ways to keep your snooze healthy:

1. Open windows to increase ventilation. Inside air can be more polluted than outside air, thanks to dry-cleaning solvents, aerosol sprays, cleaning products, and off-gassing from furnishings, carpets, and paints.

2. Bring in houseplants. They’re nature’s little air purifiers. Move in a couple from your living room.

3. Go barefoot. Keep grime out by checking shoes at the door.

A few eco terms defined:

Kapok: Fluffy, fibrous material harvested from the seedpod of a tropical tree; often used as non-synthetic pillow fill.

Natural latex: Thick foam made from the sap of the rubber tree; often used in mattresses and pillows. Don’t confuse it with synthetic latex, which is derived from petroleum.

Puregrow wool: A trademarked brand of wool from California and Oregon ranchers who adhere to strict environmental and quality standards. Often incorporated into mattresses because it’s naturally flame-retardant.

More green bedding info and sources in the Home by Sunset blog

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kid Craft from Zakka Life

I am a very big fan of Jessica Okui who creates original craft projects and tutorials every week on Zakka Life. She also shares about recipes, entertaining and tips. 

Our Grandkids will be here soon...we will decorate cookies, and if I can find the styrofoam balls (Ecokarenlee cover your eyes) we will be making these up.  Three kids and stormy weather calls for some fun crafts to have on hand.  So, I have posted this tutorial of hers for all of us to enjoy.  So,  get this tutorial of implanted in your head.  Collect your scraps and grab the kids. 

Kid Craft: Fabric Scrap Ornaments

This is an easy inexpensive craft for children 5 and up. Both my 5 and 7 year old made one of these ornaments and had no problems. Directions below.

One styrofoam ball - This shows a ball that's 2" in diameter, any size will work

Fabric cut into one inch squares - If you're going to use a bigger ball, I recommend making the squares larger as well.

Embossing tool or tiny screw driver - You don't want to use anything pointy like a toothpick or knitting needle ( it will just poke a hole in the fabric).

  • Yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
  • Knitting needle

1. Poke a hole all the way through the center of the styrofoam with the knitting needle. Thread both ends of yarn trough it. Tie yarn at bottom of ball. Cut loose ends. Refer to picture above.

With embossing tool, push the center of the fabric into the styrofoam.

Your ornament should look something like this now.

Repeat process until the entire ball is covered and no styrofoam is showing.


Jessica has recently been featured in "Glitter Can Add Magic to Holiday Crafting" and "Craft the Bag to Add Something Extra To Your Gifts" for The Associated Press. For a more complete list of articles, click here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I love, that is!

Wrapping up you your gifts just about now, aren't you?  I am.  I have always loved spending time on the wrapping process and have a ton of ribbons saved year after year and papers, wallpaper, berrypapers.  I have stamped paper, made it myself (that was an awful mess), used newspaper, used wine corks for stamps to make designs on the  reverse side of paper bags from the grocery....and on and on.

This year, I am using post-consumer tissue, fabric and recycled burlap.  For the tags....I have pretty much  depended on Martha Stewart for ideas and downloads.  I have a more relaxed and rustic approach nowadays, so I have perused the net for what looks like fun.  Well, holy cow....I found a huge list of downloadables listed together by Cassi Griffin at Beladia. 
She has them from all our favorites from Amy Butler to Sew Mama Sew to Zakka Life.   cardstock in  Also, check out Creature Comforts for some more downloads. Go take a look, pop some your printer and knock yourself out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Polyester fiber made from 100% post-consumer recycled pastic bottles.

In today’s world, more and more people are concerned about the environment. With so many disposable products on the market, it's no wonder eco-friendly products have become such a hot topic. From manufacturers to consumers, there are several ways to help preserve the environment. Foss Manufacturing has changed the way in which it produces its polyester fiber and fabrics by making textiles from recycled materials. Consumers are faced with many choices when it comes to which products to buy. The hope is that consumers think responsibly and buy products made from recycled materials, like Eco-fi (formerly known as Ecospun).

what is Eco-fi? Check it out here.

Eco-fi is a high-quality polyester fiber made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles. It can go into any textile product such as clothing, blankets, carpets, wall coverings, auto interiors, home furnishings, and craft felt. Eco-fi can also be blended with other fibers, such as cotton or wool, for enhanced qualities.

AN EASY GUIDE: 10 bottles = 1 pound of fiber

Watch the video clip from the History Channel (click here)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eco Etsy..Flickr Group

A peek into the Official Eco Etsy Flickr Goup has revealed some lovely goods from our members ranging from baskets to bags, and spices to scarves.  Here is but a sampling of what our members have been sharing.  Stop by the Flickr pool to have a look at more lovely images from our talented crew.  (pssst....that's my pea pod wristlet bottom row, center :))

Martha's Brain Dump...

Tons and tons of ideas from Martha.....Gift-Wrapping Ideas Gift-Wrapping Ideas :Punched Snowflake and Tree Gift Wrap Stamped Gift WrapEco-Friendly Paper Gift WrapGreen and Brown Gift WrapCloth Gift WrapTissue Paper Bottle WrapStick-On DesignNatural Gift WrapFabric Bottle WrapPotato-Chip Bag Gift WrapStamped Shopping Bag Gift WrapCandy Wrapping PaperTower of BoxesSilver Tissue PaperFlower Pot Gift WrapFabric Gift WrapKids' Artwork Gift WrapCandy Box WrapFabric EnvelopesModern Wrapping PaperChristmas Tree Silhouette WrapYule Log Gift PackagingKraft Paper Gift WrapColor-Coded Wrapping PaperA Unified Color PaletteBiodegradable StuffingDoily Gift WrapFitted Bottle WrapWood-Grain Wrapping PaperJapanese-Style Newspaper Gift WrapTranslucent Gift WrapYarn-Embellished Gift Wrap Wintry Scene Cutout for Gift WrapVintage Linen WrapButton Gift WrapGold Japanese-Style Gift WrapDip-Dye Wrapping PaperJingle Bells WrapWoven Ribbon WrapSatin Bow with Metallic EmbellishmentsBeaded LettersPurse-Shaped PackageCustom-Print Wrapping PaperTassel Gift WrapBrightly Striped Gift Wrap Bows, Ribbons, and Gift Toppers:Embellished Package ToppersCut Flowers BowTinsel Star Gift ToppersPlush Pom-Pom BowsSnowflake Gift ToppersPipe-Cleaner Gift ToppersPaper RosettesCurled RibbonsGingerbread Cookie ToppersCascading Ribbon CurlsSilk Flower Gift TopperPeony BowFloppy BowYarn RibbonsBows All OverRuffle-Top BowBunched BowsSatin Bow with Metallic EmbellishmentsPaper RibbonsRibbon Tower Gift WrapGift-Topper LeafCupcake-Paper CarnationsPhoto Gift ToppersBeaded Letter Gift ToppersJingle Bell TopperMistletoe Gift SealsCurlicue BowCrepe-Paper PoinsettiaHelix Bow Holiday Gift Tags and Labels:Mitten and Stocking Clip-Art TagsMonogram Gift TagsCheerful Message Gift TagsHolly Clip-Art TagsHoliday Wine Label Clip ArtChristmas Tree Clip-Art Gift TagsFelt Dreidel PouchSnowman Clip-Art TagsSpeech Bubble Clip-Art Gift TagsRounded Snowman TagsPatterned Gift TagsGroovy Holiday Clip-Art TagsClip-Art Christmas StripOrnament TagDrop Ornament Tag ToppersPatterned Ornament Clip-Art TagsStriped Clip-Art LabelsChristmas Tree Clip-Art Tag with RickrackPipe-Cleaner Toppers"Warm Wishes" Clip-Art LabelsWreath Clip-Art Gift TagHolly Gift EmbellishmentPaper Poinsettias"Sweet Tidings" Clip-Art LabelsPinecone Gift TagsPaint-Swatch Gift TagsRecycled Gift TagsSnowflake Gift TagsSparkling Gift TagsPhotocopy Transfer Gift TagsGingerbread Cookie Gift TagsPlant-Care Gift CardsMitten Clip Gift TagsPotato-Print Gift TagsStay-Put Gift TagsPasta Clip-Art Gift TagsTypewritten Gift TagsClip-Art Gift AdornmentsEmbossed Gift TagsMonogram Gift TagsHolly Leaf Gift TagsAnimal Clip-Art Gift CardsBread Pudding Gift TagsPhoto Gift TagHoliday Leaf Gift TagsSnowflake Clip-Art TagsPolka-Dot Clip-Art Gift TagSnowy Clip-Art Gift TagBlank Faces Clip-Art Gift Tags"Open Me" Clip-Art Gift TagNeedlepoint Clip-Art Gift Tag Holiday Gift Bags:Mini Shopping BagsElegant Gift BagsPleasing Paper BagRecycled Gift BagsRickrack Gift BagsPaper Sack Gift BagRice Paper Gift BagLaced Ribbon Gift BagPurse-Shaped Gift BagButton Gift BagCuff Link Gift Bag Holiday Gift Boxes:Glittered Gift BoxesTransparent ContainersTown House Gift Boxes

Read more at Index - Santa's Workshop

Friday, December 10, 2010

What Do People Want ?

Flower Power Crochet Garland | $25 | BobbiLewin from the Etsy Treasury Troupe

What are folks looking for on Google this holiday? Here is a clickable table that you can use to see what folks want for the holidays.  This info will give you ideas for tagging on your shop and what to list from your stock that might fill the bill.

This info came from Google via HandmadeSpark.  If you sell handmade online, then check out their Etsy Teams and the Shopping Guide.

Easy peasy to pick your gifts.  Go ahead and click on the links..

Thursday, December 9, 2010

....and sites like Etsy!

Got my Care2 daily email today. Care2 is a  reference that can give you information on just about anything that has to do with being a concious consumer to health and personal welfare.

This section talked about handmade and had a fun and personal diy for holiday gift giving, and lo and behold there was a big plug for Buy HandMade and Etsy.  I am an Etsy seller, a member of Buy HandMade and part of that community of people who love handmade. 

Becky Striepe wrote a nice piece in the Green Living section.   Here is some of what she suggests:

"Rather than head to the big box store for impersonal gifts and decorations, why not try out some handmade alternatives this year?

If you’re not the crafty type, you can still add a handmade touch to the holidays by pledging to buy handmade this season. When you buy from an independent artist or crafter, you’re helping directly support their art!

You can put together pretty, layered dry soup mixes in a mason jar, for example. Just layer the beans, spices, and grains, and tie some bakers twine around the neck of the jar with a list of wet ingredients and cooking instructions. We get so many tchotchkes over the holidays, many of your giftees will appreciate something so personal and practical. Plus, once they’ve made the soup, that mason jar has a million different uses!

If you’re not into making gifts yourself, it’s so easy to shop for handmade presents. Whether you prefer to shop online or in person, there are tons of handmade holiday resources available from craft markets and pop up shops to sites like Etsy."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Tree Tutorial

Click here to go to tutorial!
Aren't these adorable?  They are so 'quilty' I had to share.....
I found this while wandering through cyberspace this morning and want to share. 
This is not my idea or tutorial...nor are they my pictures.

This is just a teaser to get you to go see how to make it I am going to make one with all the little leftover pieces from my Paintbox Quilt along....

Well, head on over to Mama Mel's place for her beautifully done tutorial.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Scrapy Patchwork Scarf Tutorial
Look what I found!

Over at Olive and Ollie  a tutorial for scrappy patchwork scarf.  This would make a great side patchwork and the otherside is chenille...could be flannel...I am off  to make this....bye.  Let me know if any of you guys make this and how much you love it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

IPad Sleeve Tutorial

Thanks to Moda Bake Shop for sharing this fun pattern from John Adams (The Quilt Dad).  

This is not my pattern....I won't don't really hae no idea how to create patterns.  In fact I use patterns for almost everything I make the first time I make it.  Once I have made it a few times, then I feel ok about taking off on my own and adapting it for what comes into my head.  As John says:  Feel free to "hack" this tutorial to  "make it your own, dawg".

This pattern is very straightforward, and I think you will like it.  

You can see it on John's blog  he  will redirect you to Moda for the download.  Be to check out his place while you are there.  I'm sure it will be a fave. 

Click on this link iPad sleeve three ways to download the pattern over at Moda.

iPad Sleeve

 This tutorial contains three variations on the pattern to allow you to choose the one that best suits your style. These iPad sleeves use the new Moda Snuggle fabric to create an inner lining that is both soft and protective.


Version A - Simple strips:

iPad sleeve A

Version B - Pretty pleats:

iPad sleeve 2

Version C - Dynamic diagonals:

iPad sleeve 3

iPad sleeve
This tutorial is the sole property of John Adams of Quilt Dad and has been posted on Moda Bake Shop for personal use.