Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Beary Merry Christmas

A Bear for Gracie. I was inspired by a posting done on Green Kitchen about a quick and easy afternoon project that resulted in a soft, lopsided, but wonderful cat for the blogger's child. She made it sound so easy that I thought I too could make something cute and wonderful. I had all the fabric and buttons on hand, which is remarkable in it's own right, and it really didn't take too long to put it all together. The biggest challenge was overcoming my lack of sewing skills. Of course. I think she turned out fine and was almost tempted to keep her for myself! Love her lots, Elizabeth Grace.






Monday, December 10, 2007

Locks of Love

So I don't really have a lot to say about this posting. I had long hair. And now I don't. It's strange really, because I never intended to have long hair in the first place, but it just kept growing and I didn't know what else to do with it. When I finally realized I had more than enough to donate to Locks of Love I figured it was not only time for a change, but it was also time I step up and donate. My friend Sarah, in reply to my nerves, said, "It's a lot easier to do when you know who it's for." And my friend Lucinda said, "You're cutting your hair? But I like your hair! I guess someone else can like your hair now too."

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.

So. Here are the pictures. You'll have to forgive the "before" picture. It's a little fuzzy as I did not take any official before pictures. You'll just have to make due. My hairdresser took off ten inches for the donation and then trimmed it up into this hair style. I figure I lost I good foot in the back. Amazing.







Monday, November 19, 2007

Bag it Up

Introducing our Reisenthel grocery bag. When open, it is wide enough to clip over the sides of your grocery cart. (It even has little hooks to keep it in place.) You can fill it as you shop and therefore know exactly what will fit inside when it's time to bag. It holds a TON of groceries as you can see, and when you're done, it rolls up and packs away.

To be honest, it has taken us some time getting into the swing of things with this bag. I have a smaller version-- also by Reisenthel, that was easier to get used to. It is compact enough that I always have it with me, and it's is fantastic for small trips like in and out of the pharmacy, just a few items from the grocery store, or even quick trips to the mall. Although small, it still holds up to 26 lbs! Since it is stored in my purse, it is easier to remember-- "Oh, I brought a bag.."

The larger Grocery bag you have to remember to take out of your trunk (If that is where it's being stored) and you have to coordinate the shopping: filling it as you go, and the unloading/refilling at the end. BUT, if you can face that small challenge, it is a REMARKABLE, WONDERFUL bag. In all sincerity, we love it. We have had so many conversations over it and gotten so many looks, but it is such really positive attention. Which is exactly what you want when trying to save the world.

Check out these websites for your own reusable bags. I love the ones from Green Kit. Very smart.

http://www.reusablebags.com
http://www.green-kits.com/clgrba.html

So the next time someone asks you, "Paper or plastic?" Try something new and reply, "Neither."







And here's an addition:

The entire time that I was writing this blog, I was thinking-- I need to make sure and mention where we GOT our bags. And then I got so excited about how great the bags are that everything else totally slipped my mind.

SO. Here we go. THANK YOU SO MUCH KERSTIN STRAYER FOR GIVING US THESE WONDERFUL BAGS THAT YOU BROUGHT ALL THE WAY FROM GERMANY!!! WE LOVE THEM!! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Camping at Last!

Mid November and we finally got a camping trip in. A quick trip up to see the North Georgia mountains. It was an absolutely beautiful weekend, and the perfect time of year to see the leaves change color. And cold enough for hot cocoa, but not too cold that we were miserable. We've done that trip before!! We hiked up the mountain, and then back down again. You can see from our pictures below the distance we traveled. Good times!




Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Saving the world...

One jug at a time. My husband brought this to my attention tonight-- the fabulous little disclaimer on the back of our laundry detergent bottle. Just a friendly reminder to use less petroleum products. I am constantly surprised by the list of products made from petroleum, from scented candles, to the tiny bits of packaging that are sold with a pack of batteries. It's everywhere. Even though plastic has become one of America's greatest commodities, and some of it CAN be recycled, it is still important for us as consumers to purchase less. Both in packaging, products, and ingredients.

And here's a fun fact that I learned this weekend. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest recyclers of aluminum cans in the world. The whole entire world. They actually recycle more cans then they sell. They have also reduced the amount of aluminum in the beer cans they produce in order to better protect our natural resources. If you recycle your Bud cans, chances are, within about 60 days the cans you recycled will hit the store shelves again.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hello! Hello!

"I don't know why you say hello, I say goodbye."







O Christmas Tree (Skirt)

And my big project begins. I decided that I really wanted to make something functional. For myself. For Christmas. With rug hooking. And lo and behold, a tree skirt was born! I drew it on the computer, blew it up to 40 inches in diameter, printed it out (collated) on the copier at work, taped the 20 pages together, then traced it onto a giant piece of burlap. NOW. I just have to spend the next 20 years hooking it! Ha! I went with the 12 days of Christmas theme and started hooking in the middle at "Five Gold Rings." I'll add updates as I get more done. (In these pictures, "Five Gold Rings" is not entirely finished. Just in case you were wondering.)


Fabric Mountain

So as it turns out, I am a Hooker. A RUG hooker. I hook rugs, out of wool, into beautiful patterned works of art. It's something that my sister suggested I take up to make millions and millions of dollars after she saw it being done in England. It was a wonderful idea. Both the millions and millions of dollars part and the rug hooking part. The only problem is, of course, is lack of time. It takes quite a bit of time to do one rug, and I have very little time to do anything. So perhaps this is not how I will make my millions. But it is something I enjoy-- and something I enjoy doing with my girl friends. We actually have a regular Hooking Circle.

Gearing up for the holidays I decided to try and gather some supplies. A stop at Goodwill provided me with several women's brightly colored wool blazers that I have set about RIPPING to pieces. It was a lot more work that I had anticipated, but does provide a pretty good supply.




And Then There Was Pie

Taco Pot Pie, that is.

I made these pies for our friends Don and Andrea who just had their first baby about a week ago. I was so proud of the way they turned out that I had to memorialize them in pictures, and then of course, on the blogoshpere. They are just so... pretty.




Thursday, October 25, 2007

Busy Bee

It feels like forever since I've been able to add a new post to The Greener Bee. There are many, meany reasons for my absence. First, our internet has been down at the house. Second, I have been insanely busy at work, and third, I have been so tired that I haven't had much energy to do anything new to report on! However!! I do have many things started, ideas in the works, and some craft projects lying in wait-- so please don't go too far for too long! I will have much more to share in the near future.

AND. While I am here, I just want to say a big congratulations to my friend Doni-- the Illustrator on the Loose (check my "Get Personal" links for her blog site) For winning a FANTASTIC art competition and getting her own gallery showing in San Diego. Totally awesome.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Cleaner Clean

This week we switched to a new dish washing detergent. This is something that I honestly have rarely ever thought about. BUT. In the overall effort that we are making to try to be more GREEN, both my husband and I are suddenly much more conscious of what we do, how much trash we use, which items are not only recyclable but what numbers are they and will our recycling center accept them. On this journey of "learning as we go," my husband came across this new (to us) detergent at the store one night. I had actually seen it online -- I think at Gaiam, but I wasn't aware yet that it was available in stores. (Like I said-- Dish washing detergent was not really that high on my list of priorities before.) So far, it works great. And yes, this time I have taken the time to notice.

Click on the title above to go straight to LowImpactLiving.com's page about Green Cleaning Supplies.


Fall at Last

The first signs of fall have finally hit our Southern city, and the temperatures have finally begun to drop. Weather is a big deal in my house. We regularly start our days by tuning into the Weather Channel and seeing what's in store for us. Each summer day we'd watch with anticipation for even the modest amount of relief from the sweltering heat only to be disappointed when Marshall predicted temperatures upwards in the 90s and 100s. However, lately I have been elated by the somewhat sudden and wonderful turn of events that have finally brought us Autumn! Last Friday the air turned so cool and crisp, inspiration hit and my husband and I pulled out our camping tent for a fantastic night under the stars... in our back yard. We just couldn't resist. There is something magical about sleeping outdoors, snuggling down in your sleeping bag, being lulled to sleep by the sounds of crickets and, if your lucky, maybe an owl or two.

Our night didn't actually end up being quite so magical. The ground seemed to be exceptionally hard, it turns out our yard slopes at an awkward angle, and it ironically ended up being unseasonably cool in our little tent, even with two little heater dogs curled up beside us. We ended up abandoning the entire thing about five a.m. and returning to our big, soft, king sized bed indoors.

The moral of the story is this: if you are accustomed to camping on an air mattress, don't assume your own lawn will be more comfortable than that! All that being said, the next day, once the sun had risen again, I could not help but be beckoned back out to the tent where a luxurious nap took place out under the trees. I guess you live and you learn.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New News

Well, something exciting is happening in the world of Blogs today. I'm expanding! It feels strange to say this as I haven't been at my blog for very long, and I am sure that those who read and follow along are my own circle of dearest friends and family. It's a small community! BUT. Seeing as The Greener Bee has two very different focuses (my card line and saving the world) I have decided to separate the two ideas and complete my own train of thought.

Mainly for the purpose of trying to get my small business off the ground, you can now find all of my card designs at olivemylovedesigns.blogspot.com. I will continue posting to the Greener Bee with all sorts of wonderful and fantastic things, and will occasionally post some designs here as well. Keep your eyes open and check both sites frequently as I am hoping for an autumn FULL of productivity!

(You can find the new blog in my Get Personal list.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Olive My Christmas Cards!!









Baby cards are now officially put on hold until after the holidays. I didn't get as many done as I had hoped, but I do feel good about the start and will be excited to pick them up again later. It's always easier to go back to a job that has been started. NOW... We move on to Christmas! Well, Holiday cards to be exact. Neal and I decided to go ahead and offer the entire line that we developed last year in addition to the new ones that will be done this year. We want to build up our inventory, see what sells, and then eventually take out the ones that never do. (Like THAT is going to happen!! Haha!) This should be a busy week for me as I scurry to get some done before our business meeting next Sunday. Keep checking back for updates!!

Here are my first few Holiday cards for this year.

And by the way-- let me just take a moment to thank all of my wonderful sample models! Without you, my cards would just look empty. These are all actually clients of Neals at iNward Studio.