Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas!

>> I've been a terrible blogger lately, but now that I've got a brand new laptop, I hope that I can update more often (right now, I'm projecting about once a week). I'm sure that no one has been bothered by my absence, seeing as I only have one follower (shout-out to Roeshel :]). As I write this, snow is just beginning to fall outside my window ^.^ It's odd that I still find myself excited to see snow falling when I terribly hate the cold, but somehow it brings out my inner child.

Anyway, in the spirit of Christmas (or just the winter holidays in general), I thought I would share a few cute ideas for reusing old ornaments. I find that using the same ornaments on my tree every year is pretty boring, so I like to purchase some new ones just to switch it up. Changing the color scheme makes each year unique, but that can get a little expensive. So for a cheap fix, you can just breathe new life into old ornaments, and keep a few staple colors around to use every year like white, silver, and gold.

>> Idea #1: {Raid the Kitchen}

>> Find inspiration in your cabinets: Tie long lengths of ribbon to cookie cutters and display them above a window seat or in a doorway — or deck out a charming homespun Christmas tree if you have more than a baker's dozen.

Cookie Cutters from Sur la Table,, and Broadway Panhandler.
  >> Idea #2: {Fill With Feathers}

>> Dress up basic clear glass-ball ornaments by filling each with a delicate feather (available at craft shops). For a chandelier-like impact, suspend a cluster from a small hook you install in the ceiling. Or pile them in a large glass bowl as a striking centerpiece.

Glass ornaments from Michaels and Target. Feathers from Sunshine Discount Crafts, Jamali Garden, and Michaels.

>> Idea #3: {Paint it White}

>> Unify a hodgepodge assortment by coating the ornaments with matte white spray paint, which lends the luxurious look of porcelain. Choose simple shapes for the most wow factor. To do: String the ornaments up on a clothesline outdoors, prime them, then apply the paint in light, even coats on all sides. Let dry for 24 hours.

Tree from Lowe's.
Ideas from here.
Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Neozoon: Upcycling Old Animal Fur into Urban Art

>> It's been a while since my last post. I caught the flu and spent the last week or so in bed and on the couch.... that was no fun at all. Now I'm back and feeling much better, so I thought I'd share this very interesting site that I came across today called Neozoon. Neozoon is greek for "new" and "animal", and the neozoon artists explain in this video that neozoon means animals introduced by humans into a foreign habitat. These masked artists upcycle old animal fur clothes into urban art that are meant to make a statement: in the case of these bears in berlin, it is about the lives of animals taken from their natural habitats and confined in zoos.

I thought that what they were doing with recycled fur was amazing, and that it should be shared, so here it is! More amazing pictures:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Craft Corner: Trick-or-Treat Tote

>> I was looking for some cute halloween craft ideas and I came across these stylish totes on If you have a little one who's tired of carrying around a pillowcase on Halloween, this is a fun alternative.

"You'll want to tote more than candy in these graphic carryalls. Scan or download a copyright-free image of your choice (find a variety at, and adjust the size and orientation of the picture to fit your bag. For this project, we used a 9- by 11-inch and 13-inch-square canvas satchel (from $2.79; for similar). If your design includes words, try printing them in different directions. (To make the words face the right way on the bag, use a program like Photoshop to flip the letters first.) Next, print your selected image on iron-on transfer paper ($8.99;, then iron the transfer — following the package directions — onto the bag. For a distressed effect, do not let the transfer cool completely before peeling it off the fabric."

I love the distressed effect on the ink, it gives the bags an eerie feel. I definitely plan to try this craft out, so pictures should be coming soon, and I'll be able to offer tips once I've actually done the process. Quite often, crafts aren't as simple as the directions make them out to be, but once I make a bag I can tell you how long it took, and what I would have done differently (if anything).

There you have it: an adorable trick-or-treat tote that costs a little under $4.00 (each) to make, which is sure to be used for many Halloweens to come. +Plus+ it takes up almost no storage space! Happy Crafting~


Saturday Savings- DIY vs. Buying decor

>> I'm back, this time with a new segment called Saturday Savings. Now usually I would use this to post about great Garage Sale finds that I scored on saturday mornings, but until I get my camera fixed and I can post photos, that can't happen. Therefore, this weeks Saturday Savings segment will be focusing on the money you can save from doing things yourself rather than buying expensive decor from specialty stores.

Now, I expect that everyone knows the benefits of DIY projects. I mean, what's not to love about the facts that they cost next to nothing and you can fully customize your projects to your liking? Whereas when you purchase decor items in stores, there is likely to be something you don't like about them, and the main issue is often the price. And now I reference a great DIY project done by Roeshel of The DIY Show Off.

Here she replicated a Mercury Glass Pumpkin from Pottery Barn ($26 for a 6" one) for only the price of a faux pumpkin from Michael's (they're pretty cheap with a 40% off coupon) and some spray paint. No doubt, this project was a slam dunk! It even inspired me to make a few of my own, but I'll have to wait until my 40% off coupon comes in the mail.



Great job Roeshel!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Cleaning!

>> Well, a quick post before I hit the sack. In the spirit of cool weather and colorful leaves, I have decided to do some fall cleaning. Rather than cleaning at set times throughout the year, like in the beginning of spring or the end of fall, I usually just do a complete cleaning of my bedroom whenever the inspiration strikes. I've been laying around my house for a few days while I was sick, and decided that I needed to do some cleaning. I always sort and purge my stuff before I begin physically cleaning, so here are some organizational tips that I'd like to share with you:

1. Always start by clearing any items that are lying on the floor first. Either put them in their proper places or recycle them.

2. When sorting and purging, it always helps to have a series of large boxes nearby labeled "donate/sell", "repurpose/reuse/repair", "belongs somewhere else", "trash", and "recycling". If you'd like to keep the item, make sure it is still functional, not broken or stained, and is something that you will actually use or has sentimental value.

3. When cleaning, I always start with my closet. There are often clothes or shoes that are out of style, do not fit well, or I simply do not want in there. This makes it much easier to get rid of stuff, and when I look at how much I accomplished, I feel the inspiration to do more.

4. Next, I tackle all surfaces that are covered with stuff. I have an awful habit of piling clean clothes on top of a hope chest that is in my room, because I'm often to "busy" (read: lazy) to put them in the closet. Again, anything that doesn't fit or I don't like will go in either the trash or the donate/sell box (I only throw out items that are totally unsalvagable).

5. Desks and bedside tables are other places that are often covered with papers, books and other miscellaneous items. It is easiest to sort papers directly into file folders if they need to be kept, or into the recycling box. Consider placing a standing file folder on top of the desk for bills or items that need immediate action so that they are in plain view. Once the action is completed or the bills are paid, file or recycle the papers respectively (don't forget to shred sensitive documents and then recycle the shreddings).

More tips coming soon!


Rare Green Launches!

>> I'm incredibly excited about this new blog! I've been wanting to create a blog for quite a while now. However, I figured I should read other blogs and see how more experienced bloggers do it before jumping right in.

I guess you'd like to know a bit about me (and if not, sorry- I'm gonna tell ya anyway). I'm very interested in design- specifically the inexpensive, eco-friendly, trash-to-treasure type of design. The two main reasons for this are the fact that I go to school and only have time for a part-time job (which wouldn't exactly support high-budget design projects), and my desire to help the earth by recycling old materials or other people's "junk". I have an eye for seeing the potential in other people's garage sale items or things they leave on the curb. Plus, I'd love to share my trash-to-treasure transformations with more people, so perhaps I could inspire them to do some transformations of their own. I'm the organizing, design and "green" guru to all of my friends, and I hope to someday combine all of those into a career that will support me and excite me every day. It would be great if anyone cared to read this besides me, so if you decide to follow this blog, or even just read it once, drop me a comment or shoot me an email, I'd love to hear from you!

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