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

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Furbaby Contest Winner :)

Congratulations to Vivian are in order!!  Her little guy, Toby (aka Pig) was voted the cutest furbaby by my facebook fans!  Vivan is the winner of a booty bag from my Etsy shop!! 

I will be back in touch on Sunday after the big show this weekend.  If you are a local and want to check out the show head on over to the fairgrounds Friday or Saturday for this 33rd annual Arts and Crafts show. 

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, eat lots of turkey and pumpkin pie :)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sola Cafe

A few weeks back I met with Tiffany Lach at Sola Cafe about having my bags on consignment there after my big show next week.  The meet was incredibly fast (the bags speak for themself in person) and I was on my way out the door with a handshake agreement and a pumpkin spice latte in 15 minutes!  Not to mention that I sold a bag in the lobby before I ever got to meet with Tiffany!  I am over the moon excited about my bags being on consignment there, and my decision to approach Tiffany was cemented as earlier this week she was given the Prospera Business Networks 2010 Women Entrepreneur of the Year award!!  Since this article came out in the local newspaper her business has been booming even more!

If you are a local and haven't experienced Sola Cafe yet, stop by and see them at the corner of Kagy and South 3rd just down from the Museum of the Rockie.  The food is funky and eclectic (like me!) but amazing and very local.  Plus her pumpkin cheesecake is to die for!

Have a super Saturday :)


P.S.  Thanks so much Kate for turning me on to Sola in the first place!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness...

Not sure if you all remember that I attended an event in late October for Breast Cancer Awareness, put on by my lovely friend Brandi :)  Anywho...  she just sent me some photos of that night!  I wish we had gotten a picture taken together, I am actually kinda bummed about that now that I think about it!  The pictures were taken by Jessie and turned out super cute!

 This little booth set up is usually what it looks like when I attend a farmers market.  There will be lots of changes for the BIG event on Thanksgiving weekend :)  Already I have so many more purses than pictured here and hoping to have even more for the event.  The countdown has begun and I am really hoping that I can keep up with my self imposed expectations!!

Have a great day!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Which banner do you all think?

Need some help here everyone...  My first Ecelectique Banner is amazing, but very bright.  I really do like it, but I thought the shop needed something more subdued so I had another one designed.   Now I am really not sure!!!!  So please, let me know which one you think should adorn my lovely shop :)

Number 1)

Number 2)

So speak now or forever hold your peace folks and let me know which one you like the best!


Furbaby Photos are up!!

Now onto the second stage of the furbaby photo contest.  The pictures are loaded onto the Eclectique Butterfly fan page and are waiting for your votes!  If you don't already "like" my fan page, you will need to click "like" before you can vote for these cute fuzzy little guys :)  But it's worth it to cast your vote...

May the best pet win!!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

More Etsy love...

I just can't get enough of Etsy...  I love finding new and unique treasures around every corner and most of all I love to pamper myself which leads me to my next incredible shop find :)  This shop is founded by an 18 year old college student, Caitlin.  This girl has it all going on!  She features some scrumptious looking cold processed vegan bath bars, dust salt soaks, linen sprays and milk bath powders.  I find it amazing that she does this, keeps up with school and attends local shows with her wares.  I certainly wasn't that organized at 18!

Her shop is appropriately named ReviveYourBath and this is my fave item in her shop right now :)

Be sure to stop by her shop and give her some Etsy love :)


Friday, November 12, 2010

My new sewing machine ;)

I boogied out to Belgrade at lunch on Monday and picked up my new Necchi sewing machine after my trusty Singer took a nosedive on Sunday.  It took me a little bit to get used to it, but it works like a dream!  This baby sews through TEN layers of denim!!   This machine has all the bells and whistles on it.  I really like the double stitch feature and all of the decorative stitching patterns.  It's super heavy duty metal instead of a plastic casing, this baby is made to last.  I picked this machine out in August when I picked my Singer up from getting serviced.  I got to sit down and play with several machines and this was the one that I felt would work the best for me.  The shop owner had told me I was a lucky girl because the machine was on sale for $329 and I could even put it on layaway to fit my budget needs.  That was all I needed to hear, where do I sign!!  I was impressed that I could get such a good quality machine for that price.  Funny thing is I didn't even do any research on this machine when I got home and other than making monthly payments on it, I really kinda put it out of my mind for a while.

Fast forward to this morning when I was trying to find a picture of it to post here, I just about dropped out of my chair when I found out the suggested MSRP.....    $799.....   I am a liitle in shock that I got a brand new, out of the box machine for less than half of MSRP!!  I almost feel guilty!  But seriously, the machine is amazing and I whipped through two more bags on Monday night and got four more done Tuesday night and two more on Wednesday night!  I took last night off from sewing...  I could barely keep my eyes open :(  I am fast approaching my new revised goal of 60 booty bags by show time in a little over two weeks.  I have almost every minute of my days and nights scheduled to be able to hit my goal.  No goofing off for me!

Have a great day everyone ;)


Monday, November 8, 2010

Madison... finally :)

I swear I have the worst luck trying to get a photo of this one!  She is so antsy and NEVER sits still when you want her to.  She has this cute little prance that she does when it's dinner time or when she thinks she is going somewhere.  The only time she sits still is when she is laying on the bed...  which is why you all get to see my messy bed and stacks of pillows!  We rescued Madison from our local shelter last March and she has truly been a wonderful dog.  She fit right in with Chevy and our family, and unlike most German Shepards, she spreads her love around.  If you are unsuspecting for even one second, you will be getting your face washed courtesy of Madison :)

Just a reminder, the last day to enter your precious furbaby in the contest is this Saturday the 13th at midnight!  Please send your photos to eclectiquebutterfly@gmail.com and don't forget to put "Furbaby contest" in the subject line and please resize the picture so it is no larger than 1000 pixels.

Also please include your pet's name or nickname and location. This information will be included in the caption under the photo as well as the owner's first name, just trying to make it easier for your friends to vote for you!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

What did you do with your extra hour today?

I have heard some grumbling today about daylight savings time coming to an end.  Personally I am happier than  heck to have that lost hour back!  I was still up at the same time this morning and feel that even though my sewing machine took a nosedive, I still got a lot accomplished :)

At first I was bummed about my machine not being in working order today... and then I realized that it's the perfect opportunity to push forward financially and pick up the Necci machine that I have had on layaway for the last few months!  I have plans to pick it up tomorrow during lunch and by tomorrow night I will be back on track.   I can't wait to use this baby...  It sews through TEN layers of denim!! 

At least this downtime gave me a day to do some stuff on the back end, answer a few e-mails, plan some blog posts, cut quite a few totebags, do some of the hand sewing on the bags and take inventory of where I am and where I need to be for my upcoming show. 

I know my local gals have heard of Bequet Confections and know just how incredible their caramels are.  I decided that I want to share their yummy goodness with everyone that places an order.  Just another little slice of Montana ya know.   I purchased an assortment so you will never know which ones will come with your purse or totebag order, but you can see all the flavors here .  Every order will be getting 3-4 of these yummy candies with your bag.  I hope you all like them as well as I do :)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sharing some Etsy love :)

Recently I had been on the search for a butterfly necklace that suits my style.  I found an amazing handmade one on Etsy from Sandra at Glass Realm .  I continually get compliments on it whenever I wear it so I thought I would share here creations with you all :)  Sandra's work is beautiful and really speaks for itself.  Turns out, she is also from my home state of Washington so we have a little in common :)  She is truly an incredible designer and her work is top notch.  I love her vintage style!!

The necklace below is one that I have had my eye on...  I can't wait to do a little Christmas shopping  from her Etsy store.  So check out her shop and send her a little love while you are at it :)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Furbaby Contest!!

We all love our little furbabie's right?  They are sweet and cuddly, big and small, fluffy and furry.  They lift up our spirits when we are down, give us kisses when we need them, they help us keep up our exercise routines and they are our constant companions...  Our pets are such a huge part of our lives, in fact most of us consider them family members!  So why not have a giveaway contest featuring our furbabies?  I thought it was a great idea!  Disclaimer here, honestly I didn't think this up all myself :)  I have been racking my little brain trying to come up with a good giveaway contest when one of my fellow etsian's Heather , graciously let me "steal" her furbaby contest. 

This is one of my fur babies, our black lab Chevy.  I am working on getting a good picture of our german shepard Madison, however she is a bit camera shy :)

So are you ready for the rules and details??

You enter your cutest, funniest or favorite photo of Dino or Tiger.  I'll post them all on my Facebook fan page . People will vote for their favorite photo by "liking" the photo.  In the end the photo with the most votes wins!  As Jenn says, "easy peasy lemon squeezy"!!  So I am sure you want to know what the prize will be huh?  I will be giving away one of my fabulous Booty Bags!  And since each of us has our own sense of style and color the winner gets to pick their favorite Booty Bag from my etsy shop as their winning prize :)  I know there are only five Booty Bags in the shop right now, but remember I have an upcoming photo shoot with Jenn and will be uploading soooo many more after that!

How to enter:

E-mail me a photo of your furbaby to eclectiquebutterfly@gmail.com with Furbaby Contest as the subject line.  Please resize the picture so it is no larger than 1000 pixels.

Please include your pet's name or nickname and location.  This information will be included in the caption under the photo as well as the owner's first name, just trying to make it easier for your friends to vote for you! 

Deadline to enter your photos is midnight on Saturday, November 13, 2010.  The photos will be uploaded to my Facebook fan page in the album "Furbaby Contest".


Voting will begin on Monday, November 15, 2010 and run until Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at midnight.  Winner will be announced on Thanksgiving Day :)

Once all the photos are up, share the album with all your Facebook friends and encourage them to vote for YOUR furbaby by liking his or her individual photo.  A person will need to "like" my fan page before they can "like" individual photos.  In keeping with Facebook's Terms of Use, "Liking" my fan page is NOT a requirement to enter, it is only required if you want to vote in the contest.


By entering this contest, you agree to comply with the following rules :

This contest is only open to residents of the USA or Canada.  If the winner does not have a mailing address in either of those countries, the prize will go to the entry with the next highest amount of votes.

This contest is open to FUR babies.  This means the pet must have FUR or HAIR or be FUZZY!   I don't want to see pictures of your pet snake Henry or your Siamese fighting fish...  It's not that I don't like those kinds of pets, we are just looking for the furry ones this time around, sorry!

One entry per person per pet, to a maximum of THREE total entries per person.  In other words, if you have 10 furry little critters, you can only send me pictures of 3 of them.  Pets in Heaven count too.  If you beloved pet is no longer with us, please feel free to enter him or her into the contest, after all they are still your furbaby :)

This is a cute pet contest, not a photography contest.  The picture does not need to be taken you.  It could have been snapped by the hubby, the kids or your sister at the last family gathering.  What matters is that your pet is adorable and you are the owner.


Prize will be accepted AS IS, no substitutions or cash allowance.  Winner will be responsible for all duties and taxes.  This applies to Canadian residents only and it's not likely you will be charged as the package will be marked as "gift". 

Winner will get to pick ONE BOOTY BAG from my Etsy shop :)  The Booty Bags are all one of a kind and very unique.  Because we each have our own sense of style and color, I will be allowing the winner to handpick their prize from my shop.  And have no fear, even though there are only five Booty Bags in the shop right now, I have several more that will be uploaded after my photo shoot within the next week. The Booty Bags retail at $42 and will be an ongoing topic of discussion and source of compliments!

So hurry up and get those photos entered!  I can't wait to see all of your pets!!