Archive for October, 2007

Huff Post: Green House Effect

October 31st, 2007

I’ve recently begun blogging for the prestigious HuffingtonPost.   

In my first entry, titled The Green House Effect, I just introduce who I am, what I do and what my overall philosophy and take is on green living.      Over the next few months, I’ll be doing a regular weekly blog for them that will detail the eco renovations of my newest Bucks County, PA home (and I’ll post ideas and tips on this blog daily, too).    

When you share the same birthday as Earth Day, you can’t help but notice your birth date is celebrated on a "holiday" that reminds people that rainforests are burning, whales are being harpooned, and the ozone layer is disappearing. So, imagine me on my 12th birthday, eager to open presents, and seeing nothing but gloom and doom in the newspaper about the planet. We’re dying, I thought. I decided to start an environmental group right then and there, and used my birthday money (all $23) to launch Earth 2000. It was 1989, and I thought by the time I doubled in age, it would be the new millennium. So how hard could it be to save the entire planet by the year 2000?

You can continue by reading here.


Halloween Porch

October 30th, 2007

I haven’t had much time to decorate my porch this Halloween because of a crazy work schedule and the fact I’m in the process of selling my current home.    So, enjoy these Halloween pics from last year!


Rolls of garden burlap are perfect for outdoor Fall drapes on a front porch.  Use black ribbon to tie them back.   Paint terra cotta pots black and pop pumpkins onto the top of them.


Reglaze old plates using a bakeable porcelain glaze.    Use Halloween images like a witch, spider and bat to create silhouettes on the plate.    Bake the glaze permanently onto the plates and then serve Halloween treats on top.


Create a Halloween boooo-fet by skewering marshmallow ghosts on bamboo skewers…  filling teacups with candy corn…. inserting real twigs into caramel apples (and using Fall leaves as a base)… and poking pumpkins with skewers full of colorful and sweet treats….


Champagne Magnets

October 29th, 2007


It’s funny how in a stainless steel kitchen magnets do not stick to stainless steel.   Isn’t it?    So the only magnetic surface I have is washing machine at the end of my galley-style kitchen.     So, hence why I have magnets stuck to my washing machine in this picture.

Anyway, this is a simple and fun project to do: transform the metal caps on the top of champagne bottles into elegant magnets.   And it couldn’t any easier to do!

Just buy some round magnets from the craft or office supply store; choose some that will fit flat against the back of the champagne topper, since the topper tends to curve a bit.

Use hot glue or a strong adhesive (whatever you have on hand) to glue the magnet to the back of the champagne topper.   Let is dry completely (overnight is best) and then use them as magnets around the house.   Each time you say CHEERS! you can add to your magnet collection.

Magazine Wrapped Gifts

October 26th, 2007


A few blog posts back, I talked about taking a sheet in a magazine—-like a fancy fashion advertisement—and recycling it into curly magazine ribbons as gift toppers on presents.

I thought..why not recycle the magazine itself and wrap gifts with it?

Here are a few presents wrapped with full pages from glossy magazines and a few gifts wrapped with other found objects around the house: maps, brochures, color copy pages and even an oversized instructional manual. I’ve used blueprint paper in the past, which I found in a giant paper recycling center, but I’ve used it all up.     So, until I score another roll of blueprint paper, this might have to do this for this upcoming holiday season.

When matched with a nice ribbon (all cut extra long so the recipient can reuse the ribbon easily on other gifts), it all looks kinda nice!      

The Giving Tree

October 25th, 2007


I was at an event recently (hosted by another magazine that wasn’t Country Home magazine, where I work… so it shall go nameless to protect my, uh, job) where they had this barren tree set up covered in hanging manila price tags.

With the Fall season upon us and and all the leaves fluttering down to the ground, I thought this would be a fun idea to do for a home office. 

Take a branch cutting from the yard–something with lots of sturdy branches and isn’t rotting—and place it in a tall, very heavy vase.     Then clip (using paper clips) business cards of contacts you need or want to save and use them as leaves on the branch cutting.      It could be a centerpiece on a side table that’s both functional and decorative.

I’ve used branches in the past before to clip on Christmas cards and photographs… but this idea is something that could work to "warm" up a boring home office.