Thursday, March 25, 2010

my how-to of the month - recycled packaging

Now, when I thought of recycled packaging originally, I thought of that beat up manilla envelope with the lines on the one side that the teachers handed back and forth in grade school - the wrinkly, torn, scribbled thing that you thought should just be chucked out.

Then I read on Paddle My Canoe the shop of my friend Leah, that she used recycled cereal boxes and the like.  My first instinct was that she cut them up and made envelopes out of them.  Which works, but only for small things.  So I experimented, ripped a few boxes, cut a few the wrong way around, and then discovered that it is ridiculously easy to make a professional looking, simple cardboard package with only a bit of packing tape!

really, I just turned the box inside out.  Here are the pics:

there!  doesn't that look like a nice professional packing box?  You can also cut the cardboard (when it is still flattened) to a custom size - just make sure to leave enough cardboard to make flaps!   

I usually add a colour printed thank you card with washing instructions specific to the item, and a handwritten thanks inside!  Oh, and a couple of business cards, of course  ;)  If  I have any tissue paper from a recent gift, I'll wrap the article in that too..But I never buy the stuff...
I have whole-sheet printing labels - when you print your mailing labels online they stick on the front perfectly and just look so professional and purty!  And then I just stick it in the mailbox.. No waiting in line!

Sometimes things are so simple they completely escape us as good ideas!  I have a whole box of flattened cereal, cracker, and snackfood boxes...mostly cereal though.  This idea is good for shipping just about anything - and it's great for gift giving too - for boxing fabric gifts before trying to wrap them - or better yet, get your child to colour all over the flattened box and make it the wrapping too!  the forests will thank you!

Hope this becomes an upcycling project in your neck of the woods!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

my love-hate relationship with crochet.

so it started out as a necessity.  I needed to learn to crochet so i could make the caps for the waldorf-doll hair.  (you make a cap, sew it to the dolls' head, and then latchhook each hair into place individually - tedious, but then the hair is playable and styleable).   I sucked at it.  HUGE.   But hey, no one saw it, cuz it was all latch hooked over, so it didn't matter.

Then, my friend tanja, of sewfunky slings, made my daughter a beautiful crocheted winter earflap hat for her first birthday.  I decided at that point that I wasn't going to remain bad and slow at crocheting, if only to get more proficient at making the doll wig caps....

Something happened.  I'm still no good at reading patterns, though a really really really good book is helping me figure that out (the stitch 'n bitch guide - the happy hooker) - i got it out of the local library, have used all 6 weeks (including my renewal) and am onto my partner's library card with it!  But I can crochet!  I can chain, single, half double, double, and triple stitch along with the best of them!!!!

And to top it all off... I'm HOOKED (pardon the pun).  I can't stop crocheting little hats and shoes!  It started with the hat and booties from my previous how-to post (the hand dyed wool), and now I'm doing summer hats out of cotton!  Eventually I'll consider moving onto other things, but the great thing about hats is that they're fun, I seem to be good at creating patterns for them in my head (I can see the end project and easily figure out how to get there - can't do that with knitting as well) and they're pretty quick (well, maybe not as quick for me as others, but the gratification is pretty instantaneous)....

So here they are.  A few more hats.  And I have a couple more on the go.  Trying for some bigger brims, and for some more gender neutral and "boyish" styles...Check them out at the shop, heart them, heart the shop, heart what you like!  (hearts are well loved on etsy.  they help us crafters feel encouraged to continue our passion.  Working from home means no co-workers to pat us on the back
  Oh.  And I'm opening the shop up to special orders, requests, custom orders, etc..  I've gotten a few orders from people who were brave enough to ask about it, so I thought I'd make it official.   I've done the slippers in toddler and children and adult sizes, I'm working to summer designs for the slippers with leather instead of sheepskin, and I'll do the hats in other colours and sizes too!!!  Just let me know in the conversation section of  my etsy shop and I'll let you know what I am capable of.

Coming soon:  Upcycled DIAPER BAGS - working on one of wool right now!  Will let you in on how it goes soon.

Monday, March 1, 2010

and the winner is.....

I wrote the names of the 5 entrants down on papers, shuffled them about a bunch of times and grabbed one: The OFFICIAL WINNER OF THE FEEDBACK DRAW IS (insert drumroll please) ☺☻♥☺☻♥♪♫♪♫♪KRISTI KEMP of Hamilton ON♫♪♫♪♥☻☺♥☻☺

contact me to arrange your prize!!!!!
thank  you to all who entered....
new draws and giveaways coming soon!