Archive for January, 2011

Silkscreening for Wholearth Beauty

January 31st, 2011

Last weekend, I decided to pay a visit to my friend Val who runs a silk screening studio outside of Frenchtown, NJ.    I met Val a few years ago when I was walking down the street and popped my head into her store/studio and—-this is no surprise here—started to ask questions on what she did and what her process was as an artist.  

I’ve always been fascinated with silkscreening because it’s really an under-appreciated art form that takes something so simple that can applied to a myriad of materials and surfaces.    This time around, I asked Val to help me customize some materials for my Wholearth Beauty line.  

We started by printing out the logo to size onto paper.   To make it transparent, Val suggested skipping the harsh acetate and instead using baby oil to make the paper clear. 

Into a light box it goes to be “burnt” onto the screens.   Any clear/white spaces are left alone, anything dark (the logo) gets burnt out.

Val is an incredbly talented artist and there are just row after row of her silk screens she saves and uses for her designs.  You can learn more and see more at http://www.civilianbasics.com/

And off we go to use a power washer to wash away the cut screen.    Yes, a power washer.  That’s how strong and durable these screens are.

Off we go!   Once the screens are dry, they get placed onto the items we’re silkscreening and the ‘ink” gets placed on top and run across a few times.

Finished Wholearth Beauty press presentation binders… looks nice, right?

These blocks of wood were a little tricky to do, but came out great.    Our products will look just right sitting on top of these.   I loved using unfinished wood to contrast the shiny, sleek, modern packaging of our line.    The rawness of the wood with the modernity of Wholearth products works..

Upcycle a Chocolate Box

January 28th, 2011

I have a couple of Valentine’s Day TV segments coming up and weeks and weeks ago, I was asked to submit project ideas to all of the TV shows that wanted to book it to pre-approve the ideas.   So, on January 2nd, just back from the holiday break, here I am already thinking Valentine’s Day.

One idea from my book Simply Green Giving that I love that, well, not a single TV producer liked was this one: upcycle a nice chocolate box into a surprise treat jewelry box.

I thought this was a nice idea to give to someone who loves jewelry or to a small child.   So, when they think they are just getting another ho-hum box of chocolates, instead they find a selection of vintage rings, charms, earrings and more you’ve collected for them.

For a small child, a mom could even raid her own jewelry box and just fill it with unwanted costume pieces so a little girl could play dress up?    Or you could leave all the chocolate inside and have the middle piece have a surprise engagement ring. 

Well, if not TV show will let me share this idea (but not to worry, there are 10 other great ideas coming to the Today Show on Feb 10th and on Access Hollywood on Feb 14th), then I’ll post it here on my blog where…. oh, yes, that’s right…. the person who decides what goes on this blog is just me!

Happy Friday!

Stylist Trick: 3M Picture Hanging Strips

January 27th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Los Angeles working on an Instyle home makeover story (it’ll be in their April issue…so be on the lookout for it!) and fell in love with a new must-have tool for my styling arsenal: 3M Command picture hanging strips.

For celebrity homes (or actually, any home for that matter that isn’t mine), you can’t just waltz in and start hammering nails into the wall to hang up artwork for the photo shoots.  Usually in photo shoots, you have to hang artwork that works for the camera’s angle, not for what looks good in real life.  In other words: artwork is often hung VERY low or VERY high, just so it looks JUST RIGHT in the 2-D photo.    Weird, I know… but it is what it is.

These 3M strips are amazing.  (By the way, I’m not being paid to endorse these or anything… but that said, I’m not against whoever monitors the Google Alerts for “3M Rabid Fan” to send me a few of these strips for free.).      You tear them apart and one sticky side goes on the back of the artwork and the other strip goes onto the wall.   It holds securely with no nails, no nothing… and if you want to remove it, the sticky strip removes without leaving a mark.

You need about four strips to hang a 5 pound piece of artwork.    Two strips for each side.

Press the velcro-y sides together.  The plastic teeth grip onto each other very securely.   It makes a clicking sound to let you know it’s secure.

Press each strip onto the back of the artwork.  I use my fingers to press it against the back for about 30 seconds to make sure it’s on nice and securely.

Remove the two waxy strips on the upper 3m command strips, and just press the artwork into place on the wall wherever you want it.    Then press the artwork firmly against the wall for about 30 seconds….let go… and it’s securely on the wall and going no where.    When you want to take it down, wiggle it so the top strip unvelcros off the other strip and just pull and the whole thing comes off the wall just like that.

Sure, some of you might be like “how is this green.”    And, frankly, this post is really more of a stylist insider trick/secret if anything else.    But I guess if I had to find a green angle, I’d say this: I don’t have to patch holes with putty, sand them down and paint it to match.    And to me, that’s enough to bow down to whoever invented these strips.

DIY Reusable Freezer Bag

January 26th, 2011

If you’re like and basically freezing where you live, the thought that taking ice cream home from the supermarket in your car and worrying about it melting seems like a moot point right now.   If ONLY I had that problem, I’d be thrilled because it means the temperature outside isn’t registering with a “-” in front of it.   

Anyway, the time will come when Spring has Sprung and the frozen organic peas and ice cream will need to be insulated on warm, warm days.  

There are lots of reusable bags in the marketplace that feature embedded insulation to help keep your frozen foods cold, longer.   But if you don’t feel like buying another bag, here’s a cheap and easy DIY trick: just use bubble wrap.

Invert your reusable bag inside out and cut two pieces of bubble wrap to size to fit the dimensions of the bag.     Pin them into place using safety pins.    I thought about sewing the bubble wrap into place or using glue, but the reality is the bubble wrap will eventually POP and you’ll need to replace it.    This is a great way to upcycle old bubble wrap you get in packages that come to you house, by the way.

Pin both sides and invert the bag again.   Voila.   Insulated bag.   The bubble wrap will actually double the insulation properties of the tote, add hardly any weight to it, and can also cushion anything from being crushed as well.

A Visit to the Original Rolling Greens

January 25th, 2011

LA, LA, LA, LA, LA.    I’m always in Los Angeles for work that I’ve eventually made enough friends in the City of Angels who are shocked to find out…. that I don’t LIVE there.     Yes, they see me with such frequency that they just assumed I lived in LA.  In fact, my old talent agency’s travel dept used to assume that I lived in LA, that they would book me airline tickets roundtrip from…LAX.     

But this post isn’t about my love/hate relationship with LA.  Instead, it’s about the LOVE part and my favorite shop in Culver City, CA called Rolling Greens.     I’ve been coming to this verdant sanctuary for years now to buy beautiful plants, arrangements and rent large landscaping bushes/threes for photos shoots.   It’s a respite in the crazy city, is open to the public and a must-visit in my book if you’re ever out west.

Yet in a store full of the most beautiful plants, trees and flowers you can imagine… what do I start with?   Mulch.   Well, specifically, recycled glass mulch.  A whole candy store of different colored mulch that you can use as as soil topper for your own arrangements you make in the store.

This one is my fave in the bunch: recycled mirror mulch.  You know, I have one of those classroom/science class rock tumbler kits I bought from EBAY last year I haven’t found a use for…. until now?  

Outside, there are tons of water feature items for sale and I happened to be there at the right time to catch this shot of a hummingbird grabbing a drink.    83 degrees in LA… and just hours before I was at home in Pennsylvania in 10 degree weather.   LA may not be the worst place after all?

Loved these organic looking glass containers.  I could see a sedum or cacti garden in one of these.     I just love how it isn’t pin-straight lines and molds, but something that looks hand-molded and rough around the edges.

AIR PLANTS!   Plants you don’t have to water!   Hanging living artwork!   I could go on and on about these…. but a whole wall of these outdoors on the patio in the summer would be pretty fantastic.

THE DETAILS:

Rolling Greens Nursery

9528 Jefferson Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-8656