Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Future Elf in da House

Matthew, as you know if you follow my blog, is my very unique and interesting 8 year old. He loves Christmas more than anyone I know. His favorite colors are red and green, and his room reflects that.

After taking the boys to see Arthur Christmas, Matthew has decided he wants to be an elf. Actually, it's all he talks about lately (between singing Christmas carols and talking incessantly about all things Christmas and becoming an elf). Here's what he's devised to get Santa's attention.

Note to Santa #1

Note to Santa #2

Here's the note to Santa outside his bedroom door, cause we wouldn't want Santa to miss where his room is.

And, last but not least, the note to Santa on his bedside table to indicate exactly where he is (pointing to his bed).

Gotta love him!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Journey into Summerfield Soaps

I've been remiss in telling you about my friend, Kate, who is the proprietress of Summerfield Soaps. Now, mind you, I'm completely biased when it comes to talking about her products. I LOVE her products! I keep putting it out there in Internet-World that she makes the Best.Soap.Ever. Of course, that's purely subjective, but whatever!

Not only is she full of amazingness, we are collaborating on a gift basket for the press at the 2012 GBK Golden Globes Gift Lounge.

Here's the thing. I've never tried a handmade artisan soap that lathers the way Summerfield Soaps' does. Not only that, but they smell wonderful and keep my skin from drying.

Violet & Bergamot Shea Butter Soap

Buttermilk & Carrot Complexion Soap
I also use her lotion. Great lotion that moisterizes and sinks in fast for a non-greasy, soft feel, and don't get me started on the lip balms. And, one of my favorite Summerfield Soaps products is the Body Butter Stick. My heels and elbows thank me every single day.

Let's not forget this incredible Lump of Coal Soap!

Follow her blog to find out about news on what fabulous-ness she's concocting, and don't forget to check out her website.

If you're local to Northern Virginia, you can find some of Summerfield Soaps items at:
The Plains, VA Farmers Market
and at
Bedheaders Home in Great Falls, VA

You won't regret it!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

600 Facebook Fan Celebration Giveaway

What a great morning! I woke up this morning to over 600 likes! Time to do a celebration giveaway this weekend for a VHS wristlet clutch! I've decided to let the winner choose the lining from those shown in the album of wristlets on FB.

This is the same wristlet that was designed for the GBK Emmy Gift Lounge and also sent to Jessica Alba and Zooey Deschanel.

Follow my blog and comment below to enter. Giveaway closes on Sunday, 11/20 (tomorrow) at 5pm Eastern. Winner will be randomly chosen soon thereafter. Good luck!

Congrats to our winner!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jessica Alba and Zooey Deschanel to Receive TDD Eco Evening Wristlets!

To say I'm excited to be included in this special celebrity gifting opportunity via The Artisan Group is putting it mildly. The VHS/yarn eco evening wristlets will be headed to California for inclusion in the bag this week and will be headed to these two fabulous actresses the week of December 1st.

As excited as I am to gift to both ladies, I'm really so thrilled to be gifting Jessica Alba, a fellow Air Force Brat.

Jessica Alba (left) - actress, film and tv
Zooey Deschanel (rt)- actress/singer, currently of "New Girl" on FOX

These wristlets were initially designed as press gifts for the 2011 GBK Emmy Gift Lounge. Both Penny Marshall and Nia Peeples spied them and asked to take one home.

Here are the wristlets, with cotton cheetah print lining, that are going into these two special bags:

I hope they enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

TDD is sponsoring a GIVEAWAY on Sweet Stella's Blog!

My good friend, compatriot and fellow artisan is having an anniversary giveaway on her blog! Up for grabs is a TDD eco peppermint basket filled with Sweet Stella's goodies. Head on over and check it out. Super easy to enter. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Help My Eco Business get a Grant to Expand

I decided to post about my trying to win a $25,000 grant from Intuit's Love a Local Business Program. The grant is given every month, but the voting goes in three month cycles, so businesses can expand on their votes. The ending date for this cycle is December 31, 2011. There's no sign up to vote, and you only need to vote once. If you vote, you should put your name or business name in the space provided before your comment (otherwise it looks like I'm voting for myself multiple times and the votes are kicked out).

So what would I use this grant for? I could pay more people to make plarn for me which, in turn, would free up crazy amounts of time to crochet and design and enable me to make more product available. Having multiple people making plarn would also benefit them, as they will be making extra money AND make a small dent in the number of plastic bags floating around in landfills. I would also be able to pay a seamstress in order to offer more bags that are lined.

So, with all that said, I'd so appreciate your vote for my business. Here's the direct link:

Thanks so much!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Emmy Gift Lounge Excitement Wrap-Up -- Part 2

As promised, here's Part 2 of my wrap-up. Better late than never!

The Gift Lounge wasn't just a ball of excitement for me, but also for my fellow artisans. Here are some of their shots. :)

Jeff Probst w/ Sweet Stellas

Rico Rodriguez w/ AJ Sweet Soap

Maria Canals-Barrera w/ Atutudes

Wes Ramsey w/ Fancy Designs

Beverley Mitchell w/ Bellaroma

The Artisan Group table at the 2011 GBK Emmy Gift Lounge

View all the pictures on The Artisan Group Facebook page.

Here's a list of all the display participants where you should consider doing some of your holiday shopping from: :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saving Some Money on Detergent

One of the things that I've done for my family to save money is make my own laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent.  Now, I have tried making my own liquid soap (which looked quite gelatinous - read more practice needed), and also toothpaste which I got way too much salt in, so more practice needed there, too.  BUT, the two things that are a major savings to the family are the detergents.

There are a number of recipes on the web, but I'll share the ones that I find the easiest (both are powder).

Laundry Detergent
2 cups grated soap (I use Ivory)
1 cup washing soda (You can find Arm & Hammer Washing Soda in some grocery stores)
1 cup borax

Easy peasy - Use a couple of tablespoons for a load, or more if you've got a large load washer like me.  I also like to triple the recipe so I don't have to make it as often.  I've got two boys and a husband who create lots of laundry.

I store the detergent in a large plastic container, the kind you put left-overs in.

Cost: About $.03/load vs. about $.30/load of commercial detergent.

Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup citric acid

Use 1 Tbsp per load.

Ok, I cheat on this one and skip the citric acid.  I put vinegar in the compartment where the JetDry goes instead.

I store this in an old large peanut butter jar, and keep it handy under the sink.

I hope these little things help!  You'll notice a difference in your pocket, for sure.

Cost: You'll get double the loads and save around $.05/load for a few minutes of work.

Want more money saving ideas?  Click the icon below!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Emmy's Blog to Blog Giveaway!

There's a huge blog-to-blog giveaway happening right now!

If you want a chance to win $950 worth of swag, get the details on Fancy Designs blog!

Have fun!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Emmy Gift Lounge Excitement Wrap-Up -- Part 1

The excitement of being in the GBK Emmy Gift Lounge was unbelievable. Of course, when I wanted to do this post, I wound up catching some creeping crud from Andrew (my 12 year old). I'm still trying to recover, but wanted to congratulate my fellow artisans for a job well done! Our table was quite impressive, and we received great feedback.

I was particularly enthused, not only about hearing that Penny Marshall took home a clutch and Catherine O'Hara took home the display purse, but also that Nia Peeples took home a clutch as well. I am also loving the photographer assigned to The Artisan Group for capturing some great posed photos and some great candid shots as well.

Catherine O'Hara loved the eco purse so much, she took it home!

Nia Peeples - currently of Pretty Little Liars

Kathryn Joosten - of Desperate Housewives & The West Wing

Nia Peeples decked out in TDD's purse, AJ Sweet Soap's Banana Split Sundae (and you can see Atutudes tutu in the background).

The Artisan Group Founder Valerie Guerrero explains to Nia Peeples that the clutches are made of vhs tape & yarn.

Nia Peeples showing a friend the clutch.

Beverley Mitchell - of 7th Heaven - finds out that the purse is made of plarn.
Here are some quotes I received on my product:

"That's amazing! Out of grocery bags? Whole Foods, I see." -- Jennifer Carpenter (of Dexter)
"Oh, my God! That's incredible!" -- Cloris Leachman
"This is awesome! This is fantastic! Look at this! Can you believe it's made out of bags?!" -- Nia Peeples
"Oh, I love that!" -- Jason Isaacs (of the Harry Potter films & the upcoming film Abduction)

So that wraps up an amazing ride that was the GBK Emmy Gift Lounge. My next post will focus on my fellow artisans who were there, too. :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

GBK Productions Emmy Gift Lounge Excitement - Day 2 Recap

Day 2 was a rollercoaster ride, too! We found out that we'll all get at least TWO celeb photos with our product, so that's a great bonus.

The Artisan Group was interviewed by Splash! Magazine and Gosh tv, and the feedback the group has gotten over Twitter and other avenues has been stellar. :)

Some celebrities in attendance yesterday who were lovin' The Artisan Group:
Nia Peeples, Rico Rodriguez, Michael Trucco, Jennifer Carpenter, Cloris Leachman, Andy Milder, Zach Woods, James Woods, Loretta Devine, Catherine O'Hara, and more!

And speaking of Catherine O'Hara, I got this message on the updates:

"Catherine O'Hara fell in LOVE with your purse, and asked to have it, so I hope it'sOK we let her have it. She really loved it."

So, if Day 1 wasn't exciting enough with Penny Marshall picking up a clutch, Day 2 was equally as heart-thumping with Catherine O'Hara picking up the purse!

This purse!

Also extremely happy for my TAG colleagues whose products were also adored and snatched up.

Extra, Extra: READ all about the Emmy's Weekend from the rest of The Artisan Group members (so many fun posts!) starting with Stevie Lynn, of Jewels for Hope.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

GBK Productions Emmy Gift Lounge Excitement - Day 1 Recap

Yesterday was an incredibly excited, nerve-wracking, amazing day! It was the first day of the GBK's Emmy Gift Lounge, and Valerie and Nikki of The Artisan Group kept us up-to-date on some of the goings-on.

Some celebs that came through were Kevin Eubanks, Jeff Probst, Niecy Nash, Lorraine Bracco, Beau Bridges, Alan Cumming, Patti Stanger, Penny Marshall and more!

The mini-tote/purse that I made for Gavin B. Keilly's daughter is apparently her first purse. I hope she enjoys it for years to come. It was fun to make and certainly an original. It's primarily made of upcycled plastic newspaper bags.

I almost fell outta my chair when the update came that Penny Marshall saw the wristlet clutches I had made as press gift and specifically requested to have one!

This one:

I'm so looking forward to see what today brings!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Emmys Are Coming and The Peppermint Mocha Eco Tote Bag

After working hard, psyching myself out, and more, the Emmys are THIS week! I'll be glued to my computer for updates (as many of The Artisan Group members will be) from Valerie and Nikki. It's an exciting time, and I can't wait to hear how my product is received. So over three days, starting on Thursday, I'll have a stomach full of knots. :)

I'm also excited to announce a new eco tote that I just listed on my site.
Introducing the Peppermint Mocha Eco Tote Bag!

Crocheted from plastic grocery bags (or plarn), it gets it's name from my good friend, Denise of AJ Sweet Soap! She's a naming genius. Really. The name is perfect, too, describing the brown with red accents so well.

I'm working on more designs, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not Long Until the Emmys / New Product

September 15 and 16 are the days that my eco purse will be on display at the Emmys gift lounge. Can we say ---- SUPER EXCITING?!

Not only is it exciting, but I will surely be a nervous wreck awaiting news as to what reaction to my product is.

I've also been working on a few new items. One of these items is an eco iPod/Smart Phone case. Crocheted from plarn (plastic bags) with a magnetic snap and button decoration. They will be available soon on my site in different colors. Here's one:

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