Friday, July 25, 2014

Inspirer. Inspiree. Inspiring.

A little over a year ago- I had the opportunity to head into Brooklyn for a Hello Etsy event at Pratt Institute. I'm sitting here shifting through the blog in hope that I might've mentioned it, or maybe even given a full recap. But naturally I didn't. The entire 2 day event was aimed at empowering independent, creatives to explore new methods of production, new patterns of consumption, and more lasting and purposeful ways of working. It was about building the creative economy of the future — one that is connected, human-scaled, joyful, and long lasting.

It was amazing, insightful, and you guessed it... inspiring.

Reminiscing about my time there I'm beginning to laugh at the ridiculous way I transformed from a polished creative entrepreneur into a total fan girl. Complete with shuddering and stammering- and worrying about what I'm wearing.

Heather and I visiting Colleen Attara Studio
Last week, Heather of April Heather Art wrote some very sweet things about me- it's a fun cycle when someone you love and admire proclaims to the world that she thinks you're inspiring. *Always surround yourself with people like this, not only is it good company but they'll be the first ones who support you in any of those crazy ideas! She asked me to share someone who inspires me in a blog post this week. That's how these blog hops go, right?

Now I've had my fair share of rubbing elbows with important folks at round tables, conferences, or runways. But while in Brooklyn I had the chance to meet Majora Carter- an environmental activist whose first TED talk can be seen below or click this link Majora Carter Urban Renewal TEDTalk:

Ever since then I've followed Majora, inspired by her determination and ideas of making change right in her community. Her passion to redefine the accepted ways. There I was after her talk, waiting for a chance to thank her for being such an inspiration, and making sure someone was nearby to capture this epic moment on camera. As she reached out for a handshake I jumped right in for a hug. I went on and on about how amazing I thought she was, about the time she put Al Gore in his place, and yes of course I slipped her my card! Oh, and Rebecca was sure to catch a picture for me too! (She doesn't look freaked out, does she?)

Jenelle Montilone, TrashN2Tees with Majora Carter

Who has inspired you?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Scrappy T-shirt Rope Vase Tutorial

You'll need: 
1 Glass or Plastic Bottle
20 feet of continuous T-shirt Yarn
5 Hot Glue Sticks (and the gun to use them!)

There are so many ways out there to create t-shirt yarn- and if you haven't given it a try yet... well, what are you waiting for? Here are a few tips for cutting your own continuous yarn that can be used for making a t-shirt vase, wash clothes, macrame, or any crochet project you can dream up. In my previous post I talked about using t-shirt that do not have side seam. Today I'm sharing the trick to making a continuous length using scrappy strips or shirts with a side seam.

1. I created a single strand of t-shirt yarn using a series of slip knots from short scrappy strips. After cutting all of your strips to desired width and length- make a small snip cut on both ends.

2. With 2 strips at hand, take one strip (strip #1) and pass it through the other (strip #2)

3. Next take the beginning end  of strip 1 and feed it through the opposite end of strip 1 and pull tight

Once you have your strips all pieced together cut it into 2 equal parts. You'll need approximately 20 feet of yarn total. Each strand once split will be 10 feet.

Make a dime sized blot of hot glue on the bottom edge of your bottle, adhere both raw edges to the bottle. Begin twisting the double strands together, tacking to the bottle ever 1'' or sew with glue to hold its place. Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the bottle.

Friday, July 4, 2014

How To: Cut Continuous T-shirt Yarn

As you know I'm always concocting some newfangled way to creatively repurpose t-shirts. This is hands down one of the easiest and most practical ways- making t-shirt yarn!

To make continuous yarn use a t-shirt that does not have side seams. Lay your shirt out on work surface and smooth out an wrinkles.

Fold one closed edge of the t-shirt towards to the other, leaving a 2” space at the top. Smooth the t-shirt out. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but large creases can give your strips jagged, inconsistent edges.

Cut into strips (desired thickness) – do not cut the space at the top. Be sure to cut completely through the

(4)  layers of material stopping just after the fold line. In other words you do not cut the 2” space at the top.

Carefully, unfold the t-shirt so you can see the separate strips. Following the photo, begin cutting the strips diagonally across. Starting at the first strip, cut diagonally to the second strip. Repeat across.

Now that you have a single strip of t-shirt yarn, pull it through your hands to create the tube shape. This enables the edges to curl.

 Keep pulling until it is all tube-shaped and roll into a yarn ball.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How Much of A Difference is Eco-Fashion Really Making?

Just the other day I was having a frustrated discussion with Nick about sourcing recycled content clothing- or any eco-friendly sustainable fashion for that matter. Specifically after flipping through the pages of an Alternative Apparel catalog that had arrived that day. It might not come as a surprise but 95% of my wardrobe has been purchased second hand- buying gently used items means I can use the money saved to purchase new items that are handmade, eco-friendly, or Made in the USA. Like most of us, we really want the money we spend to matter.

With that being said a few weeks ago I had requested the Alternative Apparel magazine so that I could find out a little more about their company, mission, and styles. Their fibers are dyed from natural elements and made in Peru. It's all documented on the site. They have a line that includes 6.25% recycled cotton and 6.25% organic cotton. Awesome! Right? But a basic white t-shirt costs $30. Ever since launching my own line of t-shirt made from 100% recycled content I'm trying to swallow this idea that's been accepted: Green Fashion is just more expensive.

Yes, organic cotton is pricier than conventional. Buying fair trade by definition means you’re paying higher wages to workers. And ethics are great, but I don't have $220 to buy a butterfly shirt, even if it does benefit monarchs in Mexico.

This left me wondering, how much of a difference is eco-fashion really making? If green clothing is only being marketed at a higher price point rather then being available to the masses.

Will we ever see $5 or $10 basic sustainable organic/recycled tees?

If we can all agree that this is better option for the environment why isn't it so widely accepted?

Why aren't companies switching the way they manufacture and source?

Why are we, as consumers, still supporting the companies who aren't willing to take initiative?

I'm feeling torn in every direction- wanting to support ethical production, but also knowing that organic doesn't always mean sustainable. Check out this chart on LearnVest to find out what/if any your favorite brands are doing to make a difference. As an informed consumer, the choice is entirely up to you. Now, all you have to do is weigh in- and tell me what you think. Is eco-fashion actually making a difference? Post a comment below.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Getting Gunk Off Your Iron: Tipsy Tuesday

Tip: Get rid of sticky residue from the bottom of your iron. Run the hot iron (no steam) over plain paper sprinkled with salt. The coarser the salt the better, but in a pinch table salt will do. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Call me the Hamburgerler

Infinity Tank Top/ Etsy
 Ever since the warm weather hit & grills everywhere have been fired up- I can only think about eating hamburgers. I have no idea what kind of twisted craving this is, but maybe it started when I tasted my first In And Out Burger in Ventura, California last April. Not only did I enjoy my burger "animal style" (did you know In and Out Burger has their own secret menu?) but I also dined at the Best Burger Joint in Ventura- The Hook. Back here on the East Coast we're pretty proud of our hot dogs (Hotdog Johnny's and Toby's are legendary) and pizza- but I will tell you Jake's Wayback is delish and Buffalo Wild Wings Black Bean Burger- Yummo.

With burgers on the brain- I share with you these awesome finds.


Dieters Downfall/ Big Mac Burger

Lostinthepancakes/ Etsy

The Sock Guy/ Hamburger Time!
TrashN2Tees/Heartland Dreams   
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