Archive for September, 2009

Displaying Pumpkins

September 30th, 2009


One of these days, I have to plant pumpkin seeds in my compost  bin in June and see what grows out of it.   I’ve been told if you throw an old pumpkin in your compost bin, the seeds will germinate and thrive in the rich, organic matter.   But like I said, one of these days (er, years) I have to find 30 seconds to give this thought a try.

The other day, I drove my hybrid SUV to the local garden center and rummaged through their piles of locally grown pumpkins and squash for the houses.    I’m not a big believer in intricately carved pumpkins or over the top arrangements; they kinda speak for themselves and can just be stacked or put on a table to turn a room into a Fall-like room.


This year, I’m displaying them on pedestals at both houses.   At the main house, I rolled some logs up to the front of the house and simply placed them on top.   I like the fact you can see the pumpkin from all sides, so when you drive up you see them and when you walk around them you see a different perspective.


At the river cottage house, I took some plant stands that you stake in the ground, filled them up with moss and just placed each gourd/ pumpkin on top.   I kinda like this elevated look a lot, plus it helps keep the pumpkin fresher, longer, since it’s not rotting away on the ground.

I see a compost bin in the background here and must remind myself: compost and see what grows!

Weird Collections

September 29th, 2009


The Philadelphia Airport has become my airport of choice lately.   And it’s not because of the cheap parking or close proximity to my house, it’s because of the rotating exhibitions throughout the airport.   I’ve blogged about a cool art exhibition that used nothing more than brown tape to make portraits before and now I’m going to share something else: weird collections.

That fluffy fabric “cake” in the pic?   It’s a collection of someone’s dryer lint over the years.    Why do I think there are hundreds of those mounds in their house?


Matchbook colletion.   Ok, that’s a bit more normal.  I’ve always thought about starting one of these and putting them in a large tarnished bowl in the living room.   Problem is, I end up using the matches all the time to light candles.


An owl collection.  Okay, here’s where I start to rant a bit about theme-only collections.  If you only collect owls, aren’t there tens of thousands of possibilities here?   Maybe millions?   Where does it end?   I’m all for the thrill of the hunt, but I’m also for not having my house crowded with more stuff.


Or Smurfs…


Although olive oil cans from around the world is interesting, since the canisters are always so intricately designed.   Maybe I’ll stick with my accidental collection of wine corks I have all over the house.   However did I collect so many?

Giveaway: 2 Abandoned Gift Bags

September 28th, 2009


Happy Monday everyone! 

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in craziness lately: photo shoots, TV shoots, and a big JCPenney visit from all the bigwigs to my homes in Pennsylvania.   So, today’s post isn’t going to be full of projects, ideas or inspiration pics.   But who doesn’t love a contest?  

As I’ve been prepping my house for all the chaos, I came across two gift bags: One from Super Saturday in the  Hamptons and the other from TheDailyGreen party a few months back.   I haven’t had time to go through them completely, but I can tell you they weight about 10-15 pounds collectively.   They are definitely full of good beauty and skin care products, some other goodies, a reusable bottle or two, some fragrance, Method handwash, magazines and a few other things.  

Giveaway time!  Just leave a comment (anything) and I’ll use a random number generator to choose a winner!

Good luck!

UPDATE:  Well, well, well…our random number generator picked “1″ as the number.   What are the odds.  Congrats to Deanna G on winning the 2 gift bags.

More contests to come…

Teaching Green at The Plano Balloon Festival

September 25th, 2009


Last weekend, I was in Plano, TX, home to JCPenney (my retail partner) and also for the annual Plano Balloon Festival.   This year, JCPenney partnered with Energy Star to create an energy savings pavillion at the fair to not only teach the thousands of attendees about simple things they can do to save energy (and money) at home, but also have fun doing it.

I decided to host a booth at the event for kids where they can customize a wood die-cut CFL bulb charm necklace.   It was lots of work, but lots of fun, too!


I had 1000 of these wood charms custom made just for the event.  Don’t they look just like CFL bulbs?  


Each of the 1000 charms had to be strung with hemp string so the kids could wear them around their neck.  Luckily, I had volunteers from JCPenney to help me all weekend long.  I don’t know what I would’ve done without ‘em!


A funny one done creatively with feet and hands!


Another CFL “man” made by this artistic kid.


Lots of color and glue-on charms on this one.


Love this one, too.

Had a blast working at the event and I think the JCPenney team did a great job giving away CFL bulbs, our quick-dri towels, Simply Green tote bags and more.   Always love doing a project with kids since they can use their creativity to come up with fun projects.    And I had a great time meeting everyone, too.   Until next year!

Eco Finds in Rosemont, NJ

September 24th, 2009


Last Sunday, I headed on over to Rosemont, NJ to take a look at a home on the market: The James Dean House.   It’s a meticulously restored historic home in the charming village of Rosemont; my pal Lise Thompson of Conservation Development under took the project several years ago and transformed a once neglected, delapidated estate into a breathtaking eco-gem today.

You can read all about the amazing upgrades, transformations and everything else all too much to list here by visiting their website:


In addition to the main house, the property also has several charming red barns that have also been restored, waterproofed and upgraded.   Everytime Lise and I walked into a barn together, I kept thinking “this would be great for a photo shoot.  This would be great for a TV studio. This would be great to shoot JCPenney product in…”  

I guess here’s my confession: I’m beginning to obsess over this house and I may need all of you to hold me (and my checkbook) back from buying it.    It’s a beauty, isn’t it?


In the village of Rosemont (Pop: 49), there’s a little store called Davis’ Old Things.   It’s a tiny store where they repair clocks and other timepieces, but also have rows of packed vintage dishware, fabrics, books, flatware, vases, vintage toys, furniture, etc.   It’s PACKED.  And it’s my kind of store.


Like this vintage metal incense burner, about 2″ tall, 3″ across.   $5.  


This adorble glass piggy bank, complete with a cork for the snout.    $5.75.    I mean, how could I say no to picking this up?   As you can see, it’s now living on the top shelf of the propping shelves in my craft room.  It’ll end up in a photo shoot very soon, I’m sure.


And trays full of old mismatched forks, spoons, and knives.   I loved these engraved ones: one from the Holiday Inn, the other from “The Standard.”   Seventy Five cents each.  These will go into the inspiration pile I have growing at my house for my own home line I’m developing.  Always fun to find things that inspire and get a collection going.