Thursday, July 31, 2008

Family Ties

It is summer break for me and I have a project. We went on a family vacation with my parents. It was a blast we went sailing, and everyone had their digital cameras. We would sail all day then in the afternoon we would meet up with my brother and his family and have dinner. The cameras were clicking non stop. The landscape was amazing (I posted a picture back in June). Now that everyone is back to their routines and the sunburns have faded it is time to organize the photographs. Since I am the one on summer break and a macbook with imovie on it everyone has sent me the digital photos to compile. This year I will be making a DVD movie from our video and pictures. Even though Macintosh has made its programs easy to use, the sheer number of photos that I have to go through is unimaginable. There are well over 1300 photos for the 8 day vacation, and I have to edit, sensor, and put the photos into the imovie timeline. The program imovie really is simple to use, it incorporates the photos from iphoto and the music from itunes. Click and drag these digital items to the timeline and add transitions. That sure sounds easy! The project is fun because I get to refresh my memory about the vacation, but it is time consuming. I estimate that it will take about a month to perfect the movie. I hope to finish it before going to visit my parents in Florida so that we can all watch it together!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Tunes

I got a nice surprise in the mail yesterday. The UPS man rang the door bell, and the dog went crazy. I love getting mail, so I ran to the door to say hello! I took the package and ripped it open. Inside was a tiny box with the picture of the ipod touch! My husband had ordered me a new ipod touch. The ultra thin ipod is so cool, only 8mm thick. I spent the day checking out all the features including the internet. I love the way Macintosh is so simple to use, I was able to just plug this in to the imac, and the computer instantly recognized it and opened itunes for me. I picked some of my favorite songs, and a few pictures of the pup! One of my favorite features is when you turn the ipod the screen shifts from portrait to landscape, it is great for surfing the internet and showing off my photographs. I went out to run some errands in the afternoon, and took the ipod touch with me. I had to look up an address while I was out, so I stopped by Panera where they have free wi-fi, and connected to the internet. I was able to retrieve the address, saving myself a trip home before mailing the package! How cool is that, my ipod touch helped me save gas! I am so excited about this new toy.

Some Times you Lose

In our effort to go green, we stopped buying the travel insulated cups that my husband used for coffee. They were very convenient but they were disposable and they are probably clogging the landfills as I write this. He did try to wash them and use them at least for a few days to cut down, but he decided it was time to stop buying them. When his last one was gone, that was it! Since that time about 3 months ago, he has been using a small glass mug with a metal handle we have a set of four. It is the only one of our mugs that fits in his cup holder, and he did not want to go buy a travel mug (most of the ones we found were made in China). This morning I got up to make his coffee and send him off to work, and everything went just as expected. I had just booted the laptop to check my Etsy page when I got a phone call.
It was him and he said in a sad voice "could you make me another cup of coffee?". Apparently, he had left the glass cup on top of the car as he drove away. He made it almost a half mile before the mug and its contents came crashing from the roof.
Sometimes you lose! I made more coffee and put it in another little glass mug and off he went again, this time he got to drink his coffee. As for the mugs, now there are three!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Give a Hoot!

This is one of the best contests I have seen! There are many reasons you should check out Treasures Under the Willow Tree.
First, this is handmade!
Second, she has an etsy shop!
Third, this owl is so cute!

Go check out TREASURES UNDER THE WILLOW TREE, and maybe you will win this fabulous set!

All ground up

Now with the new earth friendly filter for the Senseo, I have found myself wondering what I can do with the coffee grounds.
So I searched around on the good old internet. I came across thousands of things I could do. There was a recipe for reducing cellulite with your used coffee grounds (written by DIY Maven), or using them to wash the dog (supposedly the smell is offensive to fleas). From beauty tips to the garden there are many ways to reuse your brewed coffee grounds.

On they have a statistic that is amazing. They say that 40 percent of the trash by weight at Starbucks is the ground coffee. Can you believe that 40% of there trash is an organic matter that could be used for fertilizer. Some Starbucks offer there "fertilizer in the rough" to gardeners that want to green up there lawns, or stimulate the earth worms, so if you are interested talk to your local barista!

I will test the fertilizer for the lawn theory. I am saving the grounds every morning in a can. When I get enough of the grounds I will pick a patch of grass to test. The nitrogen in the grounds should act as a greening agent for the grass. Of course don't cover the grass completely, it still needs the sun. I will sprinkle the grounds when the weatherman calls for rain, and we will see what happens!

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Green

Turning to the kitchen, and my husbands coffee addiction, we decided to ditch the Senseo's coffee pods. He uses the Senseo every morning to get that caffine jolt, and the pods that the machine use were paper, and they are packaged 16 pods to a plastic bag. In our effort to reduce the plastic that we use we stopped buying the pods and purchased the Duck filter for the Senseo machine. This filter is great even though it was wrapped in plastic when it came. It works like a charm. Now instead of the plastic wrapper for the 16 (which equals 8 cups of coffee for him) pods, he can buy fair trade coffee in a larger bag. That translates to more cups of coffee per bag! Less plastic is great! To use the filter all you do is scope a bit of coffee place it in the duck, tap it down, put the lid on and set it into the Senseo machine as you would the original hardware. Press the button and you have your frothy coffee that you have come to love from your Senseo machine, with less guilt about the waste. It is just one more easy way to go green.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

After a Year...

Tomorrow marks the one year point of Threadbeaur on Etsy! I can't believe how the time has flown. One year ago, I found Etsy, at first I was just a buyer, spending time browsing the shops. After several months of browsing, one day, my husband said "why don't you just post a bag and see what happens". So I did, and well, it sold! I remember that feeling, it was the best, my first sale. Then a few moments after it sold, I thought, what if she gets it and doesn't like it... then I was nervous. Several days later the package arrived at my first customers house, and she left feedback on Etsy. I was again excited because she loved it, and I officially had positive feedback on my account!

With my first year coming to an end, I celebrate!
I want you all to celebrate with me, so I am running a promo for this one year celebration. Purchase from my ETSY site and receive a free coffee sleeve with every purchase. This promo will run through midnight on Friday July 25th. To receive the free coffee sleeve just type "Etsy year" in the message to the seller, and I will pick one of my fun coffee sleeves and send it along with your new bag!

To all my fellow etsy sellers... Here's to you and another year to come!

I accept paypal, and RME!
Remember to type Etsy year to get the free coffee sleeve!

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Yes, it rained...hard, and for about 2 and a half of of the 5 hours that I sat out at the farmers market. It was sad really. I got there to set up just as the rain started, at 7:30am. Both of my signs were painted by me, and I thought they turned out well. The sign in the back is made from a discarded portion of fencing, and the shopping bag sign is made from an old piece of canvas. Durning the worst part of the rain, the water was collecting on the top of my tent. I used my lint roller to reach it and push it out. Then it would cascade down and drench my feet. Good thing I was wearing my Keen flip flops. My trusty tent kept me mostly dry. There were no shoppers brave enough to face the downpour, but after 10:30 or so there was signs of life. This experience despite the rain was much better than my first visit to the farmers market. I was pretty happy with the way the tent was set up. I will be going back on August 2nd to try again, hopefully with better weather!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hip to Be Square

It is finally done. I had to go to the car dealer to get the car fixed yesterday, and I toted this along, and finished sewing on the binding. I was there for almost 3 hours, so I was very happy to have this to work on. Just as the guy came to tell me that the car was done, I just pulled the last basting stitch from the quilt! Perfect timing, I guess. It looks great on my big comfy chair in the living room! I can't wait until it is cool enough to use a blanket again!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Revolution Money Exchange (RME)

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange
I think that this service is great! It is like paypal, only they don't charge you fees for every transaction! You may think, oh I don't want to give all that info to them. Well, they are a bank, and it is all legit. I have not had any problems with m account. I got around the linking the account to my checking account, by having it linked to an online savings account at ING Direct, that way my ETSY money is earning interest. I think that RME is great and I am so glad that I signed up for it. If you are interested click on the link for a referral code I will get a $10 referral bonus!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mulberry Madness

Every year, about this time the mulberry trees in our yard provide us with an abundance of berries! I love it and hate it. It is wonderful because it attracts the birds by the dozens. We have so many birds in our backyard feasting on these berries. On the other hand I hate it because all the dog wants to do is eat them. She would eat them until they were gone, and that would cause a gastrointestinal problem that I don't want to deal with. So I took one afternoon a few days ago to go out with my ladder and a large old screen to collect as many as I could. I climbed the ladder and started shaking the trees until all of the loose berries rained down on me and the screen below! It was wonderful. I collected over 4 cups of berries. Last year we made mulberry muffins, and mulberry cobbler. This year was a cool summertime treat, mulberry sorbet. These berries are not the most delicious berry I have ever eaten, but the muffins were great. The sorbet, however, was not delicious. It was disappointing. I guess you have to really love the mulberries to eat them as a sorbet!
It was fun to make though and any fruit can be substituted!

Recipe: Fruit sorbet
4 cups of fruit puree (no seeds) (easier said than done)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup corn syrup
tablespoon lemon juice

Combine the water and sugar in a pot, heat until sugar is melted. About 5 -7 minutes.
Add to the puree and add in the corn syrup and lemon juice. Then you can use that old ice cream maker that is sitting in the closet collecting dust (not mine) to freeze the mixture into a wonderful sorbet.

We made a batch of watermelon sorbet, and a batch of Kiwi sorbet. Both of those were much better than the mulberry.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Free Advertising?

That is unheard of, but I was searching the internet and found it.
Indiego is a website that is offering free advertising. The only thing you have to do in return is put a small line of text on your blog that advertises another crafters site. No big deal.
So here is the low down. Easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. you sign up (free)
2. add line of text on your blog (easy with step by step instructions)
3. add you advertisment to Indiego webpage!

Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Why is this such a common site?

Is it because people are lazy? Are these troubling bags just that easily tossed along roadsides, waterways, everywhere? How do they get there and why? More importantly how do we get rid of them! I ran across a few facts about plastic bags on several sites, they indicated that the average adult consumer uses 300 plastic shopping bags a year! That is a lot of them, and more often than not they find there way to the trash directly after they make it home. Considering that it costs more to recycle a bag than to make a new one, it is not surprising that the plastic bag manufactures are still turning out plastic bags by the billions!
This fantastic article in the New York Times from Feb. 2008 sums it up. The article reviews the tax in Ireland on the dreaded plastic bag, and they have had great success limiting the use of them. It is about time that we jump on that bandwagon and make a difference before it is too late!
We should not treat our world as a landfill, we have enough of those around already.
No more plastic!