Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Green Holiday

Did you know that a lot of wrapping paper is not recyclable? I read here that on average, over 8000 tons of wrapping paper and almost two billion cards are thrown out throughout the season- which adds up to 300,000 tons of holiday garbage each year. There are a lot of great ideas on how to reuse wrapping paper and cards, but I thought I'd take some preemptive approaches as well.
At Clementine, Lisa, the very creative and talented director, was making flowers by cutting magazines into strips, punching holes in each side, and then putting a pipe cleaner through the holes. I don't know if eggnog has gone to my head, but I just saw gift bows. So I made one. Then another. And now I've decided to make enough for each gift I'm giving. It is great in a few ways- first of all, I'm reusing the magazines (which I get free at the library!), second of all, it's recyclable, and third, if whoever receives it is not able to recycle (ahem, I'm talking to you, K!), it'll break down in the landfills waaaaay faster than the store bought bows. And it looks cool! (*If you would like a more detailed how-to, please leave a comment and I will post one if I get enough requests!*)

I also bought recycled brown craft paper for all of my wrapping paper. It's recycled to begin with, and it's recyclable, and I just like it. I bought a HUGE roll at a paper supply store for about $30. I'm sure there are better deals out there, but I personally hate shopping around. If I get bored of this plain paper I can stamp it up or paint it, or whatever other ideas come to me over the next few years as I whittle down my supply! If someday I'm totally over the craft paper, I can make envelopes for my cards.

Here is my last little bit of inspiration: I collect paint sample cards and had some lying around (it's a compulsion. Whenever I go to the hardware store I'm inexplicably drawn to the paint section where I find myself picking up colors of interest. When I cleaned my studio I found probably 25 of these samples!). I got the idea to use my samples as a colorful way to add tags. I punched a rectangular shape at each end, cut a magazine page into a tiny strip, and used it as a ribbon to lace the tag onto the present. It could be taped on, or you could punch a hole at the top and tie it on as well.

Not only are these ideas more eco-friendly, but it's also economy-friendly too. The only thing I spent money on was the craft paper, and I know that if I bought that amount in wrapping paper I'd have to take out a loan!

Please feel free to use these ideas! And let me know if you have some other eco-wrapping ideas you would like to pass on.

I made a boat!

Ann Wood posted a tutorial on her blog, and it is one I've been wanting for so long! Her boats are amazing. Her birds are amazing. Really, she is amazing. So I made a boat. I still need to fancify the sail, paint the yet-to-be-decided name on the side, and maybe give it some passengers, but it is finished enough (and was finished enough last night at midnight) for me to be happy with it for a little bit. I hung it in front of my light to show off the white embroidery on the sail- made from a tattered recycled pillowcase. I used a pizza box for the boat form so that next time I eat pizza instead of thinking about how unhealthy (and deliciously so) it is I can think about future boats instead!

Here it's hung in front of a painting that I might still add something to. I've always envisioned a boat, but didn't think it would come in 3-D form!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Art

The kids at Clementine have been making some really sweet holiday art that I wanted to share! This christmas tree was made by Julia, age 5. I just love all of the decorations her sassy tree has! 'Santa and his Reindeer', by Ania, age 5. I want to make some of these guys into stamps for my holiday cards next year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Adorable Ornament

zakka life is one of those rare blogs that just leaves me speachless with its ingenuity and creativity. I consider myself a pretty crafty gal, but Jessica blows me away! I couldn't resist trying her tutorial for the christmas felt ornament. It is simple yet elegant. The steps were so easy to follow, this might become a family project tradition.
(I added sequins and beads to my version, and I stitched along all of the edges just to give it a little more flair, and because my felt was a little crinkled. More versions in the making!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Clementine Cards

Did you know that besides ReLove Projects I'm also an art teacher at Clementine Studio? For some time I had the idea that I wanted to separate the different parts of my life: ReLove Projects was one part, family and life was another part, and Clementine was another. Of course there are many many other parts, and they all do overlap a little, but I've been pretty mindful of not getting too into my teaching or my family in my ReLove part. Now, in retrospect, I don't even know why I thought that would be a good idea! So get ready for all sorts of other information that you maybe didn't know about me, my life, my family, and my other work.

Tonight I was put in charge of packaging up beautiful cards featuring creations by Clementine artists (ages 3-6). Each package contains 11 cards with a different masterpiece, 11 envelopes, and a postcard about Clementine Studio. The sales goes directly to Clementine's scholarship fund. I started thinking while I was looking at these, first of all, how great they are. I just love kids' art. Kids have a certain vision, freedom of expression, and creativity that gets lost somewhere along the road to adulthood (don't get me wrong, I love adult art too, it's just different). I was also thinking about how many people would probably LOVE to support Clementine and the little artists that may need some assistance. If you're interested in more information, or would like to purchase a set of these cards, please leave a comment or email me. I really really believe in Clementine, I believe in art for kids, I believe in providing the opportunity to explore art to everybody, and I believe in supporting great things!

(this fabulous piece was made by Evelyn, age 5. She says, "I like making collages because you can choose all sorts of colors-art is fun!")

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wish List

It's December. Christmas is coming, which we've all known since the Halloween decorations were taken down to be quickly replaced by happy santas and reindeer and snow men frolicking about. My organized family is already asking me what I want. I could go on and on about how strange this holiday has become- when did people start giving and expecting presents? Why can't I just tell people I don't want anything (and have them believe me and actually not buy me something)? My sister says, "But I like giving gifts!" and that's fine, but really, it's not necessary. But I guess if I'm absolutely going to be forced to receive something, I'd like to support artists in the process. Here are some ideas off of Etsy:

This Gorgeous Necklace by Doloris Petunia. I just love the colors, the use of older jewelry, and how bold these necklaces are.

Little Ones print set by AshleyG or this or this all by AshleyG

I LOVE this ring by Adorn Jewelry

And just for the record, I'm going to be shopping for my loved ones on etsy too. If anyone would like to put some shameless plugs in about your etsy shop, or if you are also going to commit to supporting artists this season fire away in the comments! Together we can turn this strange gift-giving custom into a holiday that makes poor starving artists into rich & fed!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Project Monday

Today is Monday, and for me Mondays are my almost-entirely-work-free-days! I teach an art class in the afternoon, but other than that my day is open for whatever I wish. Unfortunately, being a business day, I often end up running boring errands like going to the post office (and yikes! I need to do that today!), but I do try to do some enjoyable things too and I try especially hard to do those things without feeling guilty. So that leads us to my new goal for Mondays- I would love to devote a few hours to working on the on-going projects I have and other whimsies that come up.
First of all, I have to have to have to keep plugging away at this painting I started a month ago. (remember all the pondering I did?). I was looking through American Craft Magazine June/July 2009 and came across this great article about Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman. They both have contributed so much to the design world, and in so many different areas too. This is a hook rug designed by Evelyn:

Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my young students about art and creating things we want. He made this amazing Caterpillar out of play dough, based off of one he saw in a catalogue. His exact quote was, "I saw it in a catalogue and wanted it, but couldn't have it, so I made it!" I think this is part of how/why I became an artist. I've always loved pretty things, but I can't buy everything I want, and so I figure out ways to make something similar. Which I'm doing with Evelyn's rug. I'm going to change a few things, just so I'm not copying it exactly (which I couldn't do even if I tried!). Maybe the colors? I don't know. More pondering.
(I primed a piece of plywood, put screws and wire in the back so I could hang it up, and am painting with acrylic, if anyone is interested!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Big news

I am very pleased to announce that ReLove Projects Dog Collars will soon be in PC's Pantry! I've been working working working, trying to get my systems down, ordering labels and stickers, designing tags... I didn't realize how much goes into a product until I was diving in. But my hard work has led me to something that I'm really proud of. Each collar is made from recycled jeans and vintage clothing. The jean provides a strong 'base', and the vintage clothing gives each collar some spunk and flair! And of course, each is one-of-a-kind.

If you can't make it to Boulder, don't worry, I'll have my unique collars on Etsy! I can take a limited number of custom orders as well.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Oh how I wish I had a teepee and a big backyard to put it in!

found via verhext

Sunday, September 13, 2009

DIY Light

I've spent way too much time over at Apartment Therapy today. Mostly I was just filling my eyes, but it did lead me to this great instructional at Addicted 2 Decorating. It is made from recycled egg cartons. If I can peel myself away from my computer I'll make one for my daughter's room!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Years ago I worked in a maternity store. I was a retail pee-on. I can't say that I advanced my career, became financially independant, or learned very much about running a business there, but one great thing my experiences brought me was some new ideas about cloth diapers. I did a little research. Everything I found out about cloth was just so much better than disposable. Environmentally, health wise for the baby, economically, everything just seemed better. There weren't any really convincing arguments not to use cloth. I tried to talk my older sister into using cloth, who was pregnant at the time. I bought her some fancy schmancy diapers, and begged her to just try it. I was so sure that once she saw how easy it was and how much money she could save I would be the hero that showed her the light. She tried it. She put the thick, soft diaper in the washing machine, and then hung it up to dry. Living in the mountains, at a really high altitude, and hanging out in her dark windowless laundry room, the diaper took forever to dry, and my cause was lost. I made a few mistakes- first of all, she didn't even want to use cloth to begin with. As much as I whined about how many tons of disposable diapers end up in the landfills, and how many thousands of dollars she could save, and how disposable diapers often contain harmful chemicals, she just wasn't interested. My second mistake was thinking that the "all-in-one" diaper would be the right fit for her. Diapers are kind of like cars- it really depends a lot on the needs and priorities of the drivers. A BMW wouldn't be the perfect car for someone who likes 4-wheeling on rocky dirt roads. If I could re-do my efforts to convert my sister, I would get her different types of cloth diapers, and maybe, just maybe she'd find one that she liked enough to use occasionally.
I'm so happy that I learned some lessons with my older sister, because now my little sister is pregnant, and actually wants to use cloth! I would love to set her up with some FuzziBunz. I've gotten the chance to use FuzziBunz with a few kids I've babysat, and they are GREAT! I love how adjustable they are.
If my little sister doesn't end up being a cloth-convert, well, at least I can make that decision for my children.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Estate Sale Heaven

I usually don't like to visit estate sales. The few I've been to just gave me a weird feeling, and I didn't see a single thing that looked interesting. I can't seem to get it out of my mind that someone died. That is why when I saw a big neon sign for an estate sale I passed right by. My friend said, "Let's go check it out, you never know what you might find!" So we looped back around. Holy moley, it blew all of my past bad estate sale experiences away! We got there on the last day, but there were still plenty of treasures, and because it was the last day there was a free pile! The best part (yes, even better than 1920's National Geographics), was that nobody died. An elderly woman decided to sell everything- all her stuff, her house. I didn't find out why she'd made that decision, but my imagination is coming up with all sorts of adventures for her. Maybe she is travelling the world, or joining the circus (or both!).
Here are some of my favorite things I picked up:
These are both probably a handmade. Did you make loop rugs as a kid? I did. I can't decide if I'm going to hang them on the wall or keep it on the floor.
All these plates were freeeeeeee!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2 hot pink flowers

I just finished posting a new bunny card on etsy! I just love this one. I almost kept it. Hopefully someone will love it as much as I do! Do any of you run into the dilema of what to keep vs what to sell? How do you get past it?
(you can find my etsy store at www.reloveprojects.etsy.com)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Paws for a good cause

I just finished listing this Paw Card on Etsy. 10% of the purchase price of all paw cards will be donated to Rescue Rehab Home! RRH is such a great non-profit. They provide care for injured, neglected, abandoned, and mistreated dogs. Some of the stories are so sad...Like Gypsy, who was found in a dumpster barely alive. The good news is that RRH got involved and gave Gypsy the care he needed! Now he is in a loving home, healthy and happy. I know from experience and working directly with a few of the the dogs that RRH is very worthy of all donations and volunteers. Whatever anybody can do directly benefits the DOGS. I'm always weary donating to any cause because I just don't know where the money is going. I saw firsthand how RRH improved all the dogs' situations- and how much time, effort, and support goes into making these dogs' lives better.
More ReLove Projects Paw Cards coming soon! If you decide to help support RRH in any way I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Etsy Tuesday!

This week I am so exited to share more Etsy artists that use recycled materials. If any of you missed it last week, I find these items on Etsy by searching for 'handmade' and 'recycled'. It is wonderful and daunting that my last search pulled up 4217 pages, and the page I counted had 22 listings... Which equals A LOT of recycled items. I waded through and found what I think are some very special and creative recycled goods! Enjoy! (ps- you can go to the Etsy listing by clicking on the pink words. If you decide to purchase from any of these artists due to this blog I would love to know!)

This mouse by Marjji is just so cute. Some of them are meant to be cat toys, but I doubt I would let my cat get its claws into something this adorable!

Celeste Earrings by AntiGenre. These are made with recycled sterling silver. These would be great to wear on a date night!
I just love the smell of old books. And I love the covers on them! Some of them are just so bizarre and have nothing to do with the story at all. The stories themselves usually don't live up to the covers- which is why I was so happy when I came across this:Write a new story journal , in the beyondthebook Etsy shop. There are blank (recycled) pages inside these funky covers. So fun!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Arting Ideas

This week I really want to get my artwork started- the same art that I didn't start last week! Usually starting is the most difficult part- once I know my idea and jump in I work away sacrificing sleep, food, breaks, and other human necessities.

I've been saving art ideas off all sorts of different sites for some time now. I've just been right-clicking them willy-nilly and can't give proper credit to anybody. If I use your photo let me know! I'd love to tell the world how inspiring you are.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Fess Up

Here we are already, at the end of another week (and the start of the weekend!). This week was a big one for ReLove Projects. If any of you tuned in on Monday you'll know that I created a lofty list of goals for myself and a promise to show you pictures of my studio today. I am sooooo happy I committed to that- it made me really stick to my 20 minutes + of organizing every day!
I didn't achieve everything on my list, but that wasn't really the point. I knew starting off that it wasn't realistic but that if I got through part of it that would be a huge accomplishment.
Now comes my full, detailed, itemized confession:
Goal number:
1)Clean/ organize studio at least 20 minutes a day
I did this! I sacrificed some of the other things on my list to clean and organize, but now that it's done I'll be able to do so many things so easily. I took photos of every angle and section, because I cleaned it all! I am very proud of myself, and wanted to show off a little. Unfortunately I didn't finish until after the sun went down, so the lighting isn't the best.

2) Finish the 12 cards I started
So close. I'm so close to finishing these that it's frustrating. My sewing machine was acting up and I gave it a break and never got back to it. But I'm closer anyway :).
3) Finish 2 of the 4 commissioned pieces
Hurrah! I'm so pleased with how they turned out. Hopefully my client will be too!
4) Blog every day
Yep, as evidenced here (Monday), here (Tuesday), here (Wednesday), and here (Thursday), and HERE!
5) Create something just because
Again, this one was on the back burner behind cleaning my studio. But again, now I can make stuff for fun so much easier now that I have an organized space to do it in!
6) Start my empty artwork
Unfortunately, I didn't even take them off the wall. They are still hanging up, still blank and primer-white as ever.
So that is all the nitty gritty. I hope you enjoyed this week, I know I did. Thanks so much for helping to keep me on track!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hippie Christmas

I'm not sure if I've written about Hippie Christmas before, so I apologize in advance if I'm repeating myself. It's worth repeating! It is a holiday for recyclers, reusers, dumpster divers, and well, hippies. We met a few when we were out "celebrating"! Urban Dictionary defines Hippie Christmas as: The day following move-out day, in areas where most leases expire simultaneously, during which the curb is a treasure trove of discarded items.
I'm pretty loose with the term. If I find anything for free I consider it a Hippie Christmas present.

Boulder is a college town, so the findings are especially great here. Everything imaginable can be found- electronics, furniture, dishes, clothes, sports gear, school supplies... One of the aforementioned hippies bragged about finding packaged food, but I that's where I draw the line.
The first year I really got into it I couldn't believe all the things that the students were just throwing away. It made me angry, really angry, that it was going to such waste. But as I rifled through sets of dishes, skis, hampers full of clothes, and saw that there were about 5 other people at that one spot also picking up salvageable things, I realized that hardly any of it actually makes it to the landfill. Some people take Hippie Christmas very seriously and have strategic maps to hit all the sweet spots. I still get angry at the laziness- how hard is it to call a local charity to pick up your items?! But I also do enjoy finding free stuff in an alley.
This year we found a few treasures including 2 fans (one was set up in my sauna/studio window last night and felt like heaven), a garden shovel, a folding chair, a lamp (with an energy efficient bulb in it!), and a sombrero. My very favorite Hippie Christmas gift is this:

It was sitting by the side of the road with a 'FREE' sign- what a beautiful thing, those 'FREE' signs. If I lived in a more populated area I'd put free stuff outside all the time, just for fun. In Telluride they actually have a free box. One of my dreams is to create something like this in Boulder. Anyway, back to my pram! Thank you, sweet husband, for hitting the brakes then getting all turned around on Boulder's one-way streets so that we could navigate back to pick up this treasure! I'm thinking it'll make a great display for baby items when I sell them (and, ahem, after I make them). Do you have any ideas for what I could use it for?

Happy Hippie Christmas to you and yours! I hope it is an abundant season for everybody.

*I haven't forgotten about the giveaway I promised. Check in tomorrow to find out the details!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Have you heard of Tumblr? It sort of reminds me of Twitter, but with pictures. It's really fun to get lost! These are some of my favorites (so far).

Just be spLendid. A mixed bag of quotes and photos. Very uplifting and inspirational.

Home Sweet Home. I want to save almost every picture! So many great rooms and houses, all chosen in great taste and style.

Maluna. These are some of the best treehouses I've ever seen!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tuesday Etsy Finds

I just love Etsy. I love checking the new treasuries, I love seeing what other artists are doing, I love being able to sell my work online, and I love all the inspiration. I would love to spend all my money on Etsy! Here are some great things I found by entering the word 'recycled' in the search box. REKAP makes these great hooks from using 100% post-consumer bottle caps. I love how modern and fun a bunch of them hanging on the wall look. And they're very affordable. I have this purple one coming my way!

William Dohman makes these adorable wood robots and whales from reclaimed wood.

And 'hunchblocks', reclaimed wood signs, gorgeous prints, photographs... This guy is a creative dynamo! I'll take one of each, please.

MissMosh created Summers Bounty Pillow II using recycled t shirts for all of the beautiful flowers added on. I love the bursts of color on the gray. And I love what she had to say about it (below the photo):

"I don't believe that art is purely aesthetic and should remain relegated to walls and shelves. It should come from all corners of a home, participating in life and infusing itself into the everyday -to be truly enjoyed and truly absorbed! Summers bounty II is the epitome of functional art, lovingly handcrafted layer after layer over many hours. A joyous riot of color representing all that summer has to offer; a bounty of roses, peonies, sweet peas, ruffles of foliage, and strewn about leaves. In colors of bright pink, peach, white, yellow, off-white, and foliage in blues and greens."

Next up is studio K aka Kailey Hawthorn. She hand painted a recycled record and turned it into this clock! It reminds me of all the vintage fabrics I work with. So cool.

And finally, a link that has nothing to do with Etsy but everything to do with recycling-
http://www.recyclethis.co.uk/. If you ever wondered how you can recycle or reuse anything, check this site out.
Thanks for visiting, and be sure to check in next Tuesday for more recycled Etsy goods!
*If you have any ideas of artists I should feature let me know reloveprojects@yahoo.com.