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Do Something Healthy: Waste Not

June 24th, 2010 by admin | Permalink

Leftovers Container Collection, image courtesy of ConanTheLibrarian's flickr stream

Have you ever looked in your refrigerator and found last week’s leftovers?  That spaghetti you made (which now has grown a nice beard of green and white) wound up buried under the take out from three nights ago, shoved behind the milk jug, and obscured by the vegetables you bought for today’s meal.

Have you been making enough food for four (or even eight) at your table, when you’re really only two?

Can you finish a loaf of sliced bread by yourself in a week?  Chances are, if you live alone the answer is probably “no.”

Do you buy a box of cereal, eat half, then forget about it and buy a new box of cereal?  Do you find the first box of cereal two months later, when it’s so dry and stale that the only thing you’d feed it to is your garbage can?

There are so many different times throughout the lives of our groceries that we end up wasting food.  Now this isn’t a finger-pointing session.  The truth is that these types of scenarios could be true with any of us.  Whole Living, a division of Martha Stewart, has provided a great list of 12 ways to prevent food waste.  All it takes is one read and you can easily learn how to make small changes that will positively affect your families, wallets, and the community of local growers that may live in your area.  For the list, click here.

(For more from ConanTheLibrarian’s flickr stream, click here.)

DIY: The Coffee Cozy

June 21st, 2010 by admin | Permalink

Coffee Cup Sleeve, image courtesy of The Small Object

I love coffee.  And I love coffee from coffee shops.  And I love coffee in to-go cups .  I know, you hate me because I am wasting precious resources (some in the office do recycle, so fear not!).  And sometimes I really do feel bad that I haven’t brought my own traveler’s mug to the coffee shop… but those bad feelings quickly fade as I happily sip my coffee and drive away in my gas-powered, exhaust-creating car.

One thing that I do think can help reduce waste, and more importantly look cool, is creating a coffee sleeve.   This is such an effortless DIY project that you will have made 5 by the end of the week.  They are cute, inexpensive, and can be personalized for your friends, family, or even co-workers.

Coffee Cup Sleeve In use, image courtesy of The Small Object

For the very small tutorial, head on over to The Small Object and check it out.

How to dress up your iPad

June 18th, 2010 by admin | Permalink

The iPad instantly received some flack when it debuted earlier this year.  Many people said it was a depiction of what you see above: an enlarged iPhone or even iPod touch.

While now I think more and more people are ooohing and ahhing about it, what we’ve been most interested in seeing is what accessory products emerge for this giant iPhone.  That has been one of the most fast-paced emergent markets we’ve seen in the last decade—accessories for phones, smart phones, ladptops, tablets, iPods, and every electronic piece of hardware in between.

Over the past few months, I’ve seen a lot of these different products, and have been totally intrigued with the different materials being used, whether traditional fabrics or recycled ones that are being totally transformed into guardians of your precious electronics.  Some of these products enable you to look as professional as necessary, while others show off a unique style, and some are just designed beautifully, in both aesthetics and function.

Here we list a few of the ones that have emerged, both from large companies and small ones, to highlight what’s good for iPads this year.  (Count how many times we say “iPad” in this post!)

WATERWEAR iPad case, image courtesy of TUNEWEAR

TUNEWEAR

The first thought is that you can use the WATERWEAR product for keeping up to date poolside this year.  But the company actually makes a good point about using this product in the kitchen.  As the majority of recipes have gone digital, rather than print out a copy, you can use the WATERWEAR and cook in confidence!  It’s sealed with a zipper, Velcro, and snaps, to block out all water.

De Invasie

Het Product is a great product because of its soft wool quality.  But also because it is natural wool, with no chemicals, and it’s hand rolled and hand stitched.  De Invasie is set on trying to incorporate fair trade policies and eco-friendly production methods into their products, which is something we can definitely get behind.

Freitag F23 iPad case, image courtesy of Freitag

Freitag

The F23 iPad sleeve is probably my favorite product on this list.  It reuses old truck tarps and matches them in very modern patterns and color schemes.  And the inside of the bag is lined with velvet so that every time you remove your iPad, it’s cleaning the surface of any fingerprints or smudges.  Pretty and functional in one is what good design is made of.

Kenton Sorenson iPad Sleeve, image courtesy of Kenton Sorenson

Kenton Sorenson

This is handmade at its finest.  Kenton Sorenson makes all of his products in Wisconsin, piecing leather together by hand in his shop.  According to his website, “Each iPad Portfolio is oiled and conditioned with beeswax and finished with a heavy linen thread side stitch. Kenton’s 4oz leather strap closure combines form and function.  The strap can be wrapped around to keep the portfolio open while in use, or looped to a close.”  It’s a simple, yet bold design.  And as with all leather, extended use of this iPad case will break in the material and the case will wind up with a unique look from all your carrying.

Hard Graft Tilt iPad case, image courtesy of Hard Graft

Hard Graft

The Tilt iPad case is another great example of function and aesthetics at their premium.  It’s not difficult to see the need for a stand sometimes with the iPad, so Hard Graft created a case and stand in one.  Wool and felt create a flat protective sleeve while carrying your iPad, and then roll into a stand which is perfect for reading or elevated typing when you want.  It’s been a clear trend that wool and felt are making a comeback, and that grey is here to stay awhile.

Temple Bags All Leather iPad Case, image courtesy of Temple

Temple

The all leather iPad case from Temple is totally stunning.  While the other cases would probably be slipped into your backpack, purse, or messenger, this one gets carried all by itself—and I don’t know that you’d have it any other way.  The soft leather will totally acquire a distressed, unique look and truly, the manufacturing of this bag is superb.  Steve Opperman, Temple’s bag designer, has created an impressive product legacy thus far.  Whatever electronic wonder comes next, you will probably see one of his products with it.

Recycled iPad Case, image courtesy of My Green Monkey Designs

My Green Monkey Designs

While this product is not as stunning as the aforementioned ones, I had to post it.  I never would have looked at a pant leg and seen the possibility for an iPad case.  The designer has taken care to pad the pants and add a strap to keep the iPad secure during travel.  I have to give credit for the creativity and for the recycling of materials on this one.

Black Eyed Sheep's iPad case, image courtesy of Black Eyed Sheep

Black Eyed Sheep

This iPad sleeve just looks comfortable for your iPad!  I mean, your iPad could probably fall asleep and take a two hour nap in this thing.  I love the texture on this sleeve, and the overall simplicity of its design.  The label makes for such a nice contrast color and I can totally see this product being a hit.

Happy iPad-ing!

DIY: Attention All Quilters (or wannabes)

June 16th, 2010 by admin | Permalink

Bear Paw Quilt, image courtesy of the Moda Bake Shop

We’ve had the privilege of providing our label services to some fantastic quilters.  While quilts can be stunning and many become heirlooms, the labor behind creating one is not for those looking to complete a DIY project on a Saturday afternoon.

But I felt I needed to post this for several reasons.  One, because if you’ve never talked to a quilter, you should.  They are some of the nicest and most helpful people I’ve ever encountered.  And some of the designs and work that are possible today with the use of software and sewing machines can transform a simple quilt into a piece of art.  But the main reason I decided to post this is because if you like what you see (and have used a sewing machine before), you can actually make this quilt… really.

Bear Paw Quilt, image courtesy of the Moda Bake Shop

Angela Yosten, of the Moda Bake Shop, was kind enough to give, literally, step by step instructions on how to create this beautiful quilt.  For full tutorial, see here.

2fifty

June 14th, 2010 by admin | Permalink

Sample of Semi-Custom Woven Labels

2fifty.  Two50.  2hundred&50.  Two hundred and fifty.  However you choose to say it, 250 labels can be an overwhelming commitment.  It can be the difference between having labels and not paying the car insurance this month, or having labels and not having a social life for two weeks.

We’re not saying that having your own start-up isn’t an act of sacrifice laced with blood, sweat, and tears.  Whether you’ve got chest full of medals to show your valor in business or you’re just thinking about diving in, your list of priorities is your life line.

How can you afford woven labels for your new, small business and still buy groceries this week (we mean groceries, not canned beans and ramen noodles)?

There is hope!   Have we met?  We’re the company offering you 50 semi-custom, boutique, or border labels for $75.  That’s seventy5.  7-5.  That’s your grandma’s age and she’s the hippest lady you know.  That’s the age of your two kids put side by side (bet you’re busy).

We’d love to help you with your woven label needs, whether you’re sewing garments in your kitchen or have a handful of factories at your disposal.  Check out all our label options here.

(Yes, this was a business plug!)

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