Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour!

So today Earth Hour is happening. If you haven't heard about it, please go to:
www.earthhour.org

From 8-9pm today (Saturday), your local time, it is asked that you unplug all electronic equipment and turn off all lights. Just for one hour! Sydney, Australia just went dark for Earth Hour!

So I'm trying to figure out what I can do that is etsy-related that doesn't involve electricity. I think I will knit by candlelight. I also want to work on a new profile for my shop. If I still have more time? I will go through some of my craft books for inspiration.

I'm totally stoked! World Wildlife Fund just sent me an e-mail of 10 things you can do during Earth Hour, I thought I'd share:


1. Host a Green Party
Get your friends together for an Earth Hour eco-party. Fire up the flashlights and battery lanterns, serve organic food, avoid the disposable utensils, use natural d├ęcor (like flowers and hanging plants) and have a friend provide acoustic music. Talk to your guests about how you're each reducing your environmental footprint and share ideas and solutions for saving more energy, money and carbon dioxide.

2. Give Yourself an Energy Makeover
Use Earth Hour to make your home more energy efficient: Replace your old light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs; install power strips (so you can turn computers and electronics on and off more easily); and change your air conditioner filters. Or go one step farther and install one new energy-efficient item, like an EnergyStar qualified DVD player. And on Monday, call your local utility and sign up for green power-like wind, hydro or solar.

3. Go Green with Your Kids
Earth Hour is a perfect time to talk to your kids about the environment and why we need to protect our planet from the dangers of climate change. Check out books on the environment from the library and read by flashlight, or head into the yard and have a night picnic. Or how about a night of board games? Check out our downloadable Earth Hour kids' activities.

4. Do a Recyclables Scavenger Hunt
Get your flashlights and scour your cabinets and shelves for cans, bottles and cardboard (like cereal boxes) that you don't normally recycle. Make a list of all the non-recyclable containers you're using now (like plastic shopping bags and butter tubs), and figure out ways to reduce your consumption of items that end up in landfills. One easy tip: get reusable grocery bags... and reuse them!

5. Green That Workspace!
Working the night shift? Even if you can't turn off all the lights at work, look around and see what you can unplug, turn down or use less of (like consuming less paper by printing double-sided). Every day millions of computer screens and speakers are left on overnight--shut 'em off! And talk to your coworkers about what they can do to help make a difference, too.

6. Involve Your Local Leaders
If your city or town isn't hosting an Earth Hour event, ask your local government to set up a community "green" discussion this spring. Help organize attendance by reaching out to local environmental and community groups, and come prepared to ask your leaders what they're doing to make your city greener.

7. Clean Up Your Neighborhood
Grab a flashlight and take a long walk through your neighborhood, picking up trash and recyclables as you go. It's a great chance to do some stargazing, too!

8. Unplug and Chill Out
Most of our daily activities--like watching TV, shopping online and texting friends--require loads of electricity, but do we really need to do so much stuff all the time? Take one hour for yourself to just chill... turn off the screens, put down the handheld devices and just take some "you" time to reflect, read or talk to your family. After all, why do more when you can do less?

9. Take Your Temperature

Your thermostat and your refrigerator are responsible for a huge portion of your carbon footprint. If you lower your thermostat by just 2 degrees and set your fridge to 37 degrees F. and the freezer at 0 degrees F., you'll make a big difference.

10. Make a Pledge for the Planet
Earth Hour shouldn't end at 9:01 pm--it's a chance to take a first step toward lowering your overall impact on the environment. So use part of that hour to make a personal pledge to do more--recycle, drive less often, turn off or unplug electronics, and beyond. The only way we're going to stabilize our climate is if we make real changes in our everyday lives. That change begins with Earth Hour, and ends with a healthy planet.

Of course, there are more than 10 ways to make a difference. Visit WWF's website for additional ideas on things you can do every day to help the Earth and reduce your environmental footprint.


Here's to being more environmentally conscious!

<3 Always,
--Taina

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It must be Spring!

Good morning!

It's a grey rainy day today here in my little neck of Northern Manhattan and I woke up this morning to find that I have somehow pulled a muscle in my lower back. Sore, sore sore! I called in a sick day at the fulltime job so I can rest up. I took some advil and sat up to list a new coin purse and blog a bit before taking a nap.


(click photos for more info!)

I love this new coin purse because the two sides are so different but they still work together. The placement of the red flower couldn't be better. So cheerful and Spring-like! Below is the other side of the same coin purse:



Okay, I have a confession to make, I cannot spend only 5 mins on Etsy, it's impossible. I'm addicted to that lovely, lovely site! I checked the forums, admired the frontpage selection, went through countless pages of shops and items I've "hearted" (Etsy's way of making a shop a favorite). Was inspired by all the gorgeous handmade items, listed my latest coin purse and came here to blog. Now I don't even know if I can sleep, I may work through the pain for as long as I can sit behind my sewing machine.

My cousin Andy is headed to Afghanistan today. I've got so many mixed emotions on this one. I'm feeling anxious, sad, already missing him...he was deployed to Iraq a few years ago and not a day, hour or minute went by that I wasn't worried about his safety, what he was seeing, what he was doing. He's more of a brother to me than a cousin, as we grew up down the hall from each other and he's less than two years younger than I am.

On a brighter note, his wife Avis and baby (Andy Jr.) are in town today, so hopefully I will be seeing the baby! I haven't seen him in a few months now. I bought a "Tale of Peter Rabbit" boardbook for him, and thought it might be nice to make a little stuffed rabbit to go along w/ it to bring to him today.

In other news? My final Marketing class was last night. I have mixed feelings, as I love being in school but didn't feel I got much out of the class. Between the homework and the class & commute time, it was time I could've spent on Etsy, so I'm glad I've got those hours back!

I hope I can sell a couple more things this month, as the charity Operation Dreamseed is closer to my heart than ever before since my cousin's deployment.

I'm off to sketch Peter Rabbit patterns while lying down and resting my back for a bit.

<3 Always,
--Taina

Monday, March 24, 2008

Back at work...

I spent all day Saturday sewing, made 3 clutches, I will be listing them in the next couple days. I am so excited! They have magnetic snaps and everything. I have been searching for fabrics I can use for both clutches and baby dresses and found some in FabricStash's shop. I plan on making another big order in April and making lots more baby dresses, in different sizes.



Sunday was spent with the family, so I got absolutely nothing handmade done. Although, I made birdsnest cookies and irish soda bread for Easter w/ the fam.

I am absolutely in love w/ my latest etsy purchase. I wanted a swallow necklace for a while and contacted OffBeet to see if it was possible to receive it by Easter. She was great, responded right away, shipped the item as soon as I paid for it and I've been wearing (and loving!) the necklace ever since!

Short entry, I'm back at work today after my 3 day weekend. It's hectic and crazy and I wish I'd taken another vacation day. =) I hope I'm not too tired tonight to make things!

<3 Always,
--Taina