Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My New Mantra

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

And not just because it's Earth Day. This is something I've been thinking about for a while.

It's not something I've always been interested in doing, in fact, I'm still probably a bad consumer in some ways, but after working in a "Green" building for the past year, I've gotten a little more educated about ways that I can help save the Earth.

First off, you have to go check out this article on Design*Sponge today. Before I'd even read it, I'd made up my mind to celebrate the day and the things that I was going to try to do better by buying a Baggu bag. It's something I've been wanting for a while now, since my co-worker introduced me to them and I figured, why not, since today is Earth Day. But I was so glad to read this article, because number one, I think it's totally true and the facts are amazing, but it also made me feel just a little bit better since the three things it asks me to do are things I've already done in the last couple months!

One thing I was kind of forced into. My work, in an effort to not only cut the budget but live up more to our "green" title, has decided to stop buying paper coffee cups, which I will ashamedly admit, I used pretty much every day. What a waste! I now have my own mug that stays at work to use in the mornings for my hot chocolate. I also have been better about putting my cans and containers into the recycling, which I used to be bad about, although as the D*S article points out, even recycling isn't the best option, it's better than nothing, but it does use a lot of energy resources.

I also bought a travel mug at the dollar store a couple months ago which I was excited about because it was personalizable and I've been using it in my car when I want to take something to drink.

I was also given an aluminum water bottle by my roommate (it's got a pharmaceutical advertisement on it which I'm going to cover with some shelf liner paper) which I'm still trying to remember to bring to work... but I have it! And I actually don't buy water bottles all that much.

Anyway, on top of the three things they suggest, I've been trying to buy more second hand things and donate my things I'm getting rid of rather than just throwing them away. If you think about everything you throw away in a week let alone a year that's a lot of stuff going to land fills! I've also started buying more energy efficient lights which last longer (keeping less out of land fills) and save money and energy, so win-win-win!

OK, I'll get off my little soap box here. This is something I'm still trying to get better at, I'm by no means an expert, but I think we can all agree there are things we could be doing to reduce our impact on the world. I hope you'll all try making some of these changes with me as well!

Oh, I've also heard that if you shop at Target today they'll give you a reusable bag with your purchase! I'm heading there after work!

{ Happy Earth Day! }

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I've seen this list floating around on a few blogs and thought I'd share my own answers. I really love to make lists, most of the time I never complete everything, but I don't know, I guess I like have things that I'm working towards, even if they never happen.

So here we go, things I've done are bold in pink:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld/Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you were not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (well a copy in London...)
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
>44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (although I was interviewed for TV...)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (kind of, but not officially "on the books")
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been laid off from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

So that's about 43 out of 99... not bad, but there are so many things on this list I've always wanted to do. And so many I hope I never have to (like getting food poisoning). Anyway, kind of a fun little exercise. Play along if you want!

Monday, April 20, 2009


So one of the things I was looking forward to do now that Gemma and I are BFF's is check out some Flea Markets, but the season hasn't gotten into full swing yet, plus I haven't found any recommendations for good ones that don't happen on Sundays, so for now I've been checking out the local Thrift and Antique Stores as well as Craig's List for things I've been needing (or wanting, really) for my room.

My desk chair has been broken for a while now, the seat will no longer stay raised, and although it's cute, it's been very annoying trying to work at the computer or sewing machine when I'm about eye level with the desk. So my initial goal was to find a cute chair to re-do a la Design*Sponge, but I wasn't having much luck with the flea market thing and the antique stores were a little pricier. I got lucky and found a chair on Craig's List that was pretty close to what I was looking for and it was only $15!. I wanted something more like this one above, but I'm not about to spend $150-300 on a chair for my desk. My only requirement was that it had a padded seat, since I've been using a pillow from my bed to sit on for the last few months, and for the price of the Craig's List chair I couldn't go wrong. The one I bought looks more like the one to the left (it doesn't have a skirt) but I'm ok with it. So I now have a project to put to use the brown damask fabric I bought a couple weeks ago! I'll have to post a before and after picture when I get it done. I'd like to go with a lighter color really, but I figure I should use what I already have. Plus, it does go with my room.

I also made a great find and I was super excited about! I've been wanting a mirror like this for a while, and I found one that was gold at one of the consignment antique stores I went to and couldn't resist. I brought it home and put a couple coats of blue spray paint on it and voila! I'm really happy with how it turned out! I'll have to take a good picture of it and post it, the lighting in my room was too bad for Edwin last night. I also found a vintage tea cup to go on my dresser and hold some of my jewelry which is another little thing I've been wanting to find for a while. So it was a successful weekend Thrifting!

{ Time for some Design }

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Meet Gemma

Yep!  I bought a car this week!  So there's a little bit of bad news that goes along with this decision... I'm not going to England this year for Grad School.  It's no longer the right time, with the way the economy is going, to leave a great job I love for 40K dollars of debt.  So I decided if I wasn't going to England, I was getting a car!  I really don't think I could have taken another year without a car here in Boston.  So although I really wanted to go to England, I am so happy I have my freedom and independence now it almost makes up for it!

So meet Gemma.  Keeping with the whole British thing, I figured, she's a gem (in my opinion), so it fits!  (btw, she's a 2007 Mazda 6 Sport)

It was that or Lola, but I kinda want to save that name for a dog someday... I can't name my dog after my car...

Yeah, she's got a spoiler (or wings as my Dad likes to call it) and dual exhaust... lovely.

And she greets me every time I start her up.

She's got lots of fun options, which was something that was kind of important to me since I plan on driving this car for many many years to come.  And I really just can't explain how happy I am to be able to get around.  And in style to boot!

Anyway, enough about the car.  Here's a look at some of the fabric I bought to finish up my quilts.  

The fabric to the left on the bottom is for the back of the Amy Butler Modern Block quilt with some pretty damask fabric I found that I'm going to make some pillows with.  The one to the right is the pink backing fabric I bought with the finished quilt top of my Charm School Quilt.

These are just a couple other fun fabrics I picked up.  I've already used the yellow and gray to make the purse from my last post, and I'm going to make a messenger bag from the brown damask.  Man I love that fabric! (As you can tell since I bought the same print in three colors...)

So I haven't gotten as much done on the quilts as I'd like, but I'm determined to finish at least 2 quilts before the summer really kicks in.  Oh, I should mention that I have plans to start two other quilts as well.  This Cathedral Window Quilt and also this denim quilt (normally I don't like denim quilts, but I think this one is really cute!), which I think will make the perfect summer picnic blanket!  Plus, I'm going to use up the old jeans I never wear anymore!

I'm going to try to finish the other two quilts before starting the new ones, but we'll see what happens... I always say that, but I think I have project ADD sometimes...

Oh and in the next post I'll have to show you what I've been up to at the letterpress studio!  And last but not least...

{ Happy Easter! }