Saturday, April 25, 2009

Solar Summer Lighting and the Living is Easy

We entertain a lot in the summer in our itsy bitsy urban backyard (very quietly, after midnight, as not to impose ourselves on our neighbors) and I always try to find ways to do it with as little environmental impact as possible (see my discussion of our Halloween party for some of the things I think about when planning a party). Anyway, there is a tree that hangs over our yard - its the best place to hang lights for when it gets dark, creating a lovely ambiance for our little cozy yard. I already have a lot of lights, so will NOT be running out to buy these immediately, but it is nice to know that when I do have to replace some, I will be able to with these Solar Powered ones from IKEA. See more here. Although I might consider investing in the garden sticks above - they have such a fairy quality to them - and Mark has worked so hard on the front garden. Most of the lanterns have LED lights - the most efficient form of lighting discovered thus far - although still a bit expensive for larger applications.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day may have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you have to stop loving our fine planet.

Do so by recycling your old wallpaper scraps (or old wrapping paper, or old tissue paper, or...) rather then adding them to your collection of garbage. A new book out by Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith shares with you 50 SUPER cute craft projects using wallpaper.

From useful note cards to flashy serving trays, Fagerstrom and Smith are experts at making crafts look classy, not kitsch. Check it out on Amazon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Delayed Earth Day Rant (I Mean, Blog Post . . .)

Hmmm . . . perhaps I am feeling a bit cynical this year, or perhaps its just that I've been too busy with Earth Day prep for my full-time job to have time to really enjoy the idea that one day a year, many people pause and think about the environment . . . wait, maybe that's just it. One day a year.

Just. One. Day.

Grrr . . . I've been thinking that Earth Day has become a bit of a sham . . . an excuse for companies to market some product that is just a little better for our world than the one next to it. I swear, it seemed like almost every store had an ad circular focused on Earth Day.

Sigh. Maybe I'm feeling a little disappointed, too. I have finally joined the ranks of the small percentage of people in this world who are actually paid to increase the "green" in the world around them. But, let me tell you, the ranks aren't all I imagined them to be. Many of them don't "walk the talk" as they say - I don't know, its a little frustrating. Like, if we can't avoid buying bottled water and using disposable cups ourselves, how can we ask our colleagues or the populace at large to? It is surely an interesting endeavour to promote culture change for the best, but how can you make it happen if you can't even convince yourself?

Continuing on my rant . . . the other thing I've been especially annoyed about are all the "green" blogs out there now that primarily focus on highlighting new "eco-friendly" products. Same products on every site, it seems. Sure, some "green" blog authors have a better eye for style, or a particularly interesting background that gives them a different perspective, but I feel most are just recycling (haha) items from other blogs. "Look, isn't this a cute organic cotton baby romper?" And "Oh my gosh, this bamboo t-shirt looks so soft . . ." Honestly, it kind of makes me gag. I am definitely not immune to this, of course. I see neat products and want to share them with my readers, but the whole purpose of my blog (when I actually have time to write regularly) is not to be the eco-friendly product cheerleader. I mean, I understand that its good to let people know what kind of options they have in the "green" section of our product universe - more and more each day - but, really, unless you are interested in such topics, you will not be reading a green blog. So, basically, these product-heavy blogs are just preaching to the choir, as they say. But, maybe that is all they really want to do.

I guess where I am coming from is that, to me, it would be more interesting for some of these "green" blog writers to explain a bit about how they make the changes in their lives that make a difference - not just what cute products to buy. People are struggling to change their habits or think its too hard to change their habits, so they don't even try. We need more individuals, more writers, who share their experiences, not just their opinions on the cute organic t-shirt.

I know, I know - there are many blogs that do just that. Fake Plastic Fish is an awesome example. But what about all the green design, green style blog writers - they hardly ever post about their own behaviors. It makes me think that they are also part of that group of disposable cup users that I am so disappointed in.


Another Earth Day gone.

The good news is that my compost bin has finally thawed out and I can start recycling my banana peels again . . . : ) Woohoo.

Larsen Gray Wows Me Again!

I just saw this skirt in the latest issue of Lucky Mag.

It is made from hundreds and hundreds of friendship bracelets - yes, those ubiquitous, colorful woven pieces of thread that you wore 24/7 when you were in 7th grade. (Oh stop. You know you did.)

Besides being a well-made addition to your spring wardrobe repertiore, sales support the Sri Lankan villagers who weave them.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Loving My New Vintage Dress

I just bought this dress on Ebay last week to wear to a wedding in Atlanta in May. It is made from a yellow silk shantung and is from the 60s and looks like it has never been worn (there were tags still on!). I will have to take it to my local tailor, Chaudre, to have the chest taken in, but everything else fits like a dream!! I paid . . . wait for it . . . $56.

I plan to wear it with fushia flats . . . or gold flats . . . still figuring that out. : )

I got it from The Spectrum, a vintage reseller based out of Tulsa. Find them on Ebay here (honestly, I don't really want to share the link with you, but oh well . . . gotta spread the good vintage love).

Peace and cupcakes, y'all.

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