Monday, December 13, 2010

Some Christmas Funnies :)

We headed out into the Gallatin National Forest on Saturday to pick out our Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  It was quite comical as we got out of the car at Moser in Hyalite...  I said to my son, oh look we can head up that road, or use that trail...  Instead my strapping young man decides to head up...  Straight UP!  For the most part going up wasn't a problem until we got to an area that had not been blazed by someone else first...  So picture me stuck hip deep in snow, unable to move with two dogs floating near my face wondering if I am okay and licking my face out of love and concern I'm sure, and my son behind me pushing on my arse trying to get me unstuck!!  I died laughing hysterically after I was freed from the snow and we then continued tromping in another direction to find our tree :)

Now mind you, even after 6 years I can't get used to the Christmas trees available to us here in Montana.  Being a Pacific Northwest girl, I grew up with the most AMAZING trees to choose from.  For many years now that has been the one thing that I have refused to compromise on living here in Bozeman, until now.  You know that old cartoon, "due to the economic downturn Christmas has been cancelled"?  Well that's kinda what it's like at our house this year. 

Not one to be deterred, I decided that Christmas should just be different this year...  So we are doing white elephant gifts and making a game out of our gift giving.  We are having breakfast instead of dinner, we are playing poker on Christmas eve (only for pennies!) and watching Dr. Suess' "How the Grinch stole Christmas".   Now that the course has been set, I am starting to look forward to the festivities!!

Leaving you for the day with some Christmas funnies...  Enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Newest Treasury :)

I got an e-mail a few weeks ago that one of my bags was being featured in a treasury by Hannah with PureReflections .  Her treasury is 16 ways to recycle your old jeans , which of course is right up my alley :)  I love the items she has featured in this collection, from the jeans, to the ornaments and the cute little apron for little girls!

 So head on over to Etsy and see what else you can find that is repurposed, upcycled or recylced!!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Treats :)

One of the best things about Christmas is all the goodies and sweet treats that come out of the woodwork this time of year.  Of course we all have our faves :)  For our family it's the peanut brittle...
and the divinity...

but this year I am also going to add a new one...  Chocolate and Peppermint Woopie Pies :)

You can find the recipie for these scrumptious looking woopie pies at crave indulge satisfy .  I found this website (among many more) at tastespotting .  This in one of the most yummy looking foodie blogs I have ever come across.  It works like a comminty with people from all over contributing recipies with links to their blogs.  If you have never been to tastespotting before, make sure you have a good cup of coffee and paper and pen, and settle down for a good hour or more of perusing just a little bit of what they have to offer on this site!

Cheers :)


Monday, December 6, 2010

Green Minded Fashionista :)

Okay so really what does this term mean?  This one was a little harder for the google queen to find, so I am putting my own definition out there.  Being a green minded fashionista means re-using or repurposing.  This is a powerful way to impact your environment. Using existing items cuts back on emissions from the transport of goods and reduces unnecessary waste. Shop at consignment or thrift stores or even your own closet.  Is there something in your closet you can spruce up by adding some retro buttons to it, or finding a gently used scarf at the thrift store that compliments that sweater perfectly?  What about taking and item and completely remaking it into something different?  If so then you just re-used or repurposed an item and voila, you are a green minded fashionista! 

I perused the internet to bring you some inspiration to help you on your way to becoming a green minded fashionista :)

this smart little vest is made from a pair of jeans...

ties anyone??

cozy little handwarmers with flair :)

belt from recycled bike tires....  Hmm, really inventive, but smelly!

 An absolutely gorgeous dress made from old shirts and dresses
 With this in mind, what have you done to become a green minded fashionista?



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Color Crush...

Recently I have found myself drawn to a certain color combination... Turqouise and red. So rich and vibrant, icy yet hot at the same time. I love the mix of these two colors, they are so enticing and pleasing to the eye and they just POP into your field of vision. Something about them, says "hello, I am over here!"   Here's a little bit of eye candy for inspiration :)


So what's your color crush???



Saturday, December 4, 2010

a little photo shoot :)

A few weeks ago I ran over the hill to Livingston to see my gal, Jenn and have her take some photos of my bags.  I LOVE how they turned out and now that my big show is over I have some time show them off!  Michaela was a sport about it, the wind was blowing so strong (of course, it's Livingston right?) and it was a little chilly this day.  But she made the best of it and the photos turned out amazing!!  Most of these are of bags that are already in my Etsy shop , but I thought I would share them here as well :)

Don't ya think she did a great job modeling the bags??!!??  I am ever so grateful to Michaela and Jenn :)  Smooches!



Friday, December 3, 2010

Bozeman Christmas Stroll

Be a part of Downtown Bozeman’s greatest holiday tradition…the Christmas Stroll. On Sat., Dec. 4th at 4:30PM Santa Claus works his way from the Emerson Cultural Center down Main Street, singing Christmas carols and lighting the downtown holiday lights with more than 6,000 people in tow as Bozeman's annual Christmas Stroll gets people into the holiday shopping spirit. Enjoy horse drawn wagon rides, pictures with Santa Claus, the gingerbread house display, entertainment, holiday treats and much more! The fun lasts until 7:30PM and I will be right in the middle of it!!

Come and see me at the old Fantasia Tile Co on the corner of Tracy and Main (5 E Main) and check  out in my bags in person :) 

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Handbag vs shoulder bag?

Got a question for ya'll...  I want to branch out just a little from my totes and handbags but I need some opinions first :)

Currently my handbags only come with a smaller handles and unless you are a tiny person (like my model Michaela) you are unable to carry the purse over your shoulder.  I want to start making them with shoulder straps, possibly adjustable ones.  So please chime in and let me know if that option appeals to you more than the smaller handles!

Thanks everyone!


Custom orders :)

As the holidays approach I thought I would let you all know that I do custom orders.  I recently did a custom totebag for LoriJo at work.  She wanted a LARGE totebag, one that would hold all of ther gym clothes, lunch, wallet, etc.  She loves the fact that it had a pocket on the inside and one on the outside.  She claims the outside one has been a lifesaver as a place to put her keys.  You can see her review of this custom totebag on my Facebook Fan Page .

So if you are thinking that you want a bag with maybe your colors, your jeans or your belt, drop me a line and we can work out the details :)



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Little Green Things...

No I didn't loose my mind and I am not seeing little green things everywhere :)  Little Green Things happens to be the name of a local business owned by Leah Boelman.  She takes old vintage belts and attaches wonderful belt buckles to them.  Each belt buckle is unique and done with vintage pictures from old books and magazines.   Don't ya love the owl! 

She also has a few that have been painted with chalkboard paint so you can have your own message on the belt buckle :)

Her switchplate covers are amazing as well.  She had some at the show this past weekend with a Boy Scout theme, camping, fishing, birds and so much more.  All of her designs are one of a kind, original works.  She takes amazing pride in her work and she is a really neat person to chat with!  She definately helped me get through the craft show when things were a little slow.  Be sure to check out her shop and drop her a line.  As a matter of fact, I think she is running a sale right now!



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Upcycled, repurposed or recycled???

So one of the questions that came about from the show this weekend was a disagreement on whether or not I was upcycling, repurposing or recycling the jeans that I use in my bags.  Well I have to agree, that is a very good question...  I was not really familiar with the term "upcycling" although I know one of my friends classifies my bags with that term.  I really thought of the three terms, that recycling best fit the bill, but being the google queen that I am, I hit the internet in search of information :)

The following are definitions from Wikipedia :

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

Repurpose - To use or convert for use in another format or product:

Recycling involves processing used materials (waste), into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production. Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" waste hierarchy.

umbrella skirt  - I can't imagine this would be very comfortable!

So the analytical part of me says that based on this information, the term "repurpose" fits what I do best.   To upcylce I would need to be taking waste materials or useless products and converting them into new, better quality products.  Well most of the jeans and belts that I use are still fairly new and I really wouldn't consider them "waste" products.

wallet from measuring tape, quite inventive really...

I don't think that my bags could be considered recycled as I am not reducing the consumption of fresh raw materials.  I purchase brand new purse handles, purse feet and magnetic clasps for use in my bags.  I also use thread and new fabric for the lining.  Also just like the jeans, the bags will end up in a landfill someday.

handbag from old sweater...  Love the colors!

I am a little bummed that I was thinking I was not only being crafty with my bags, but being earth conscious as well, only to find out that I am really not helping.  At least in this area, I am not helping our planet.  I still recycle my newspapers, I take reusable bags to the grocery store.  We recycle our aluminum and metal cans.  We try not to use plastic water bottles, each of us carries a metal water bottle instead.  I recycle packaging, boxes and any plastic bags that come my way.

So with these thoughts in mind and the overindulgent holiday season upon us...  What are you doing this holiday season to upcycle, repurpose or recylce??  Leave me a comment letting me know how you are doing your part and on December 15th 2010, I will randomly draw a name to win a free "repurposed" checkbook cover :)



Monday, November 29, 2010

Sucessful people fail quickly...

This was a quote that I heard from a speaker a few years back.  I have often pondered it and wondered how I could apply it to my life.  After my "okay" craft show this weekend, I decided that I really wanted to research this more and take it to heart, to apply this mantra to my daily life.

I know that I have a quirky, fun and unique product.  I do realize that it doesn't fit the needs of the masses.  I am sure that there were things I could have done differently this past weekend, just as I am sure that some things I hit right on the head.  I take comfort in the fact that I am a work in progress and as long as I learn something from this experience, I feel confident that I will push forward and find my place just as these famous people did :)

R. H. Macy - Most people are familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn't always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City.

Harland David Sanders - Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.

Walt Disney - Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

Isaac Newton - Newton was undoubtedly a genius when it came to math, but he had some failings early on. He never did particularly well in school and when put in charge of running the family farm, he failed miserably, so poorly in fact that an uncle took charge and sent him off to Cambridge where he finally blossomed into the scholar we know today.

Orville and Wilbur Wright - These brothers battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

Oprah Winfrey - Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was "unfit for tv."

Lucille Ball - During her career, Ball had thirteen Emmy nominations and four wins, also earning the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors. Before starring in I Love Lucy, Ball was widely regarded as a failed actress and a B movie star. Even her drama instructors didn't feel she could make it, telling her to try another profession. She, of course, proved them all wrong.

Harrison Ford - In his first film, Ford was told by the movie execs that he simply didn't have what it takes to be a star. Today, with numerous hits under his belt, iconic portrayals of characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and a career that stretches decades, Ford can proudly show that he does, in fact, have what it takes.

Charles Schultz - Schultz's Peanuts comic strip has had enduring fame, yet this cartoonist had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Even after high school, Schultz didn't have it easy, applying and being rejected for a position working with Walt Disney.

Stephen King -The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time.

J. K. Rowling - Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination.

Elvis Presley - As one of the best-selling artists of all time, Elvis has become a household name even years after his death. But back in 1954, Elvis was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck."

Michael Jordan - Most people wouldn't believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn't let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

When I read these stories, I find faith that I too will one day carve out my niche.  I don't ever want to or expect to gain fame and fortune as these people did, however it gives me hope.  So the next time you are down, remember that sucessful people fail quickly.  Learn from your mistakes and experiences, grow from what you learn and take heart that you are not the only one to have ever walked down this path before...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I am the winner!!

Okay, so I NEVER enter drawings, giveaways, so on and so forth...  Hence I NEVER win anything!  But for some reason I stumbled upon a blog by Jensine at Scarlet Ivy Soaps and she was running a giveaway for a bar of soap.  All I had to do was post what I was grateful for due to approaching Thanksgiving holiday, hit enter on my keyboard and easy peasy lemon squeezy I was entered in her drawing :) 

It was a nice surprise to come home last night to find an e-mail from Jensine letting me know I had won a bar of soap!  Now, I LOVE handmade soap...  They smell divine and they lather so nicely...  mmmm, just love it!  Since our economic downturn, I don't often indulge myself with handmade soap anymore, but I still peruse all the soap shops on etsy with great frequency!

I chose the Sweet Clementine bar for my prize... (top picture) but I have to admit, I was really considering the Sweet Grass bar as well... (bottom picture)

I will definately do a product review for you all after my bar arrives, in the meantime, be sure to stop by and check out her shop :)



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Home from the show :)

I've got tired feet, some new friends and a little bit of extra cash in my pocket from my first big show.  Life may finally now return to some sort of "routine"...  The booth looked amazing, my husband really outdid himself with my picket fence displays and the booty bags looked so cute all lined up.

I am hoping to get into a few more shows in the next couple of weeks, the buzz on the street this weekend was that there are openings at Craftapalooza in a few weeks and also at the Livingston fairgrounds next weekend.  So I will be leaving you with some pictures of the booth and a quote one of my friends posted on facebook. 

"Beauty captures the attention, Creativity captures the heart and personality captures the soul."  unknown