Archive for January, 2009

Weekend Thinking

January 31st, 2009

Bows 

I'm sitting here in my craft room looking at this table full of Christmas bows.   These are Martha Stewart K-Mart holiday bows (the kind you peel and stick) that my local K-Mart store was giving away.   They had huge boxes of them with a sign reading 90% off.    So I bought 10 large bags and paid $4 thinking there could be some project you could do with these.   

Any thoughts?  

Feeding Birds 

So, as I'm sitting here thinking… I just realized a flock of birds showed up to feed on some bird seed I put outside.    It's kinda peaceful and fun to see them…. when suddenly…

Feeding Birds 2   

It's the attack of the bird seed eating squirrel.  Every day, he crawls up the window right in front of me and dine away….   So cute, but so ferocious!

Okay, back to the bows.   I don't normally stock up on "stuff" is see marked down to nothing for the sake of just buying it… but I felt compelled today…  

Eco Painting

January 30th, 2009

Paint 

Coming up in my column in Better Homes and Gardens magazine are some product finds that have come to market recently making home painting a little bit greener.

Now, we all know that it's easier than ever before to find low and even zero VOC paints in the marketplace.   One good paint I like is from Benjamin Moore and it's called Natura; it comes out this Spring and it's totally zero VOC and you can tint it a million different colors.  

But what about the actual painting supplies?    Tarps, rollers, trays, etc?      On a little trip to Lowe's last week, I found these items that I am recommending in my BHG column. 

First up, this eco paint tarp called Eco Drop.   It's designed to truly protect your floors and surfaces from drips and splatters, but it is totally biodegradable when you're done.   And it's just about $3 to purchase.

Paint 2 

These paint trays are made from recycled cardboard with a very thin layer of plastic on top.   The plastic is there so the paint doesn't soak into the cardboard (which would make the tray useless).  One thing I do is that I also line the tray with aluminum foil to make it extra strong and to make cleanup easier.   Just lift the aluminum foil, rinse it off, and recycle.   Your tray should actually be in almost new shape and can be reused over and over.

Paint 3 

These rollers are also at Lowe's and they made from recycled materials.    Rollers are really hard to reuse over and over.   You can scrape the paint off with a putty knife, rinse the roller and let it dry.  But if it's definitely past its prime, go for the recycled and toss if you need to.

Natural Arrangements

January 29th, 2009

Arrangement 

I recently hosted a luncheon at the Four Seasons in New York City to celebrate the launch of my Wholearth Beauty and Bath line.   I'll share pictures from the luncheon with you soon right here on the blog.

One thing I had so much fun doing was creating aromatherapy arrangements for the table centerpiece that didn't involve using any flowers at all. 

I just used an assortment of dried moss, red and white seaglass chunks, raw wood silhouettes (hearts, peace signs, leaves), Indonesian river rocks and a slice agate stone on the side.   All of them were sprayed with the fine fragrance from the Wholearth line (it's USDA certified organic!) and left to sit on the table and perfume the air gently.

Arrangemnet Supplies 

The materials were so easy to find and inexpensive, which I think is key when doing a large event.   I'm thinking of doing a very large aromatherapy arrangement like this for the master bathroom of my house.    Might even make a nice gift! 

Stay tuned for more pics from the party…had a great time and I'm glad all the editors and store buyers had a chance to preview it.  Can't wait to share it with all of you!

Plastic Bag Rehab

January 28th, 2009

Bag 

The other day, I found this perfectly clean K-Mart shopping bag at my house (people from photo shoots leave stuff behind ALL the time)  and thought it would be a good opportunity to show my little trick on recycling a plastic bag into a fun little plastic flower.  All you need is a bag (check!), scissors and a piece of scotch tape.    That's it!

Bag 2 

Star by crumpling up the bag into a long strip and folding it in half.  And again.  And once more.

Bag 3 

Tie a piece of tape around the middle.  It'l look like a big bow tie.

Bag 4 

Snip off the ends of each "bow tie", about 1" in from the ends.

Bag 5 

Star snipping into the cut parts.  This gives the plastic bag flower some detail..

Bag 6 

Now start to pull the bag apart by fluffing it on both ends.   I find if you just keep smushing it with your hands and seperate the layers, it's enough to get a great looking flower.

Bag 7 

Voila!   Plastic flower.  It reminds me of a peony.   It's really easy to do and it can create fun, oversized flowers for a party or an arrangement in just seconds.  Have fun!

Trophy Holder

January 27th, 2009

Trophy Container 

Winter weather can be a good thing for the budding cook, because there's something comforting about baking, sauteeing and cooking up something fresh and new in a warm kitchen.  When it's freezing cold outsidce, it's nice to be warmed up by a sizzling stovetop and oven.

As I'm cooking, I've been bringing in more utensils to help me at the stove.   I keep a long tray of commonly used herbs, spices and condiments by the stove for easy access.   And I just brought over this vintage trophy (or champagne chiller…probably a champagne bucket) to hold all the spatulas, wooden spoons and other essentials organized and accessible.

I'm tackling the organization of the kitchen right now and trying to figure out how to keep open cabinets neat, but realistic for everyday use.  I'll post some pics and ideas soon.