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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