Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Citizenship is for Everyone: Creative Communities

I always giggle a little about how the world works around us- sometimes it's easy to see a common thread weaving in and out of your day while others that life lesson can be less pronounced. Always fueling my fires, tickling my thought train- is the amazing community of creatives at Oh My Handmade Goodness. For those of you who've been following TrashN2Tees and my personal journey over the years- you know very well how much these connections have impacted my life. Professionally and personally. Occasionally I contribute businessy goodness posts to the Oh My blog where I talk about real mentorship and fostering thriving communities.

Contributing, in any form- is the least I can do to give back to a community that has nurtured my soul. There's something to be said about working together as a collective for the common good of all. We've built up our resources, collaborated on stellar projects, and mastermind world take overs- sometimes all in the same day. Nurturing the seeds of what we has a community of makers, a legion of human beings need- we've made a space that invites you to explore, asks honest hard knocked questions, and inspires you to reach for the stars. Today, we at Oh My! have opened our doors to offer a give what you can payment plan- because our community cares. We are leading by example and show community isn’t something to sell, it is something to give.

If you have ever alone in the world, in business, if you've ever had questions to ask but google didn't find the answer, if you've ever wanted to know what I had for breakfast, if you have views to share about the state of handmade or a view of coffee. If you're working a 9-5 and managing a crafty empire into the wee hours of the night hoping to one day make it a full time job, we understand. Trying to juggle the balance of running a business (home/creative/otherwise) comb your hair, and feed your kids something more than premade Smuckers PB&J- we would love to invite you to join us.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Empty Thread Spools Are Recyclable:

There's nothing worse then sitting down to finish a sewing project only to find that you're spool is. almost. empty. I've made the joke that if genie granted me one wish it would be for magic thread that never runs out and changes its color to match whatever I'm sewing. Seriously- that would be great.
Until then, we're just going to have to deal with the occasional empty spool. Just last night I was browsing some of my favorite groups when another lady posted the question:  
"What do you do with spools that are almost empty?" 

Some of the responses included crafty reuse, which I'm always a fan of- check on Pinterest or Craftgawker from some great inspiration! But for a many few of you... empty spools add up quickly. I was flabbergasted that some responses suggested throwing them away. Wahhhh! People we are in 2015. Plastic thread spools are made of polypropylene which is a recyclable plastic product. You can toss empty spools right into your recycling bin! The shrink wrap packaging around your new spanking spools- that stuff is made from PET (the same thing as recyclable soda bottles) and can always be recycled. Take a moment to comment on the blog post below and tell me what you do with empty spool threads- I'm excited to see what creative ways you reuse them and/or if you knew they were recyclable too?

For more sustainable sewing alternatives check out this article in Through The Needle Magazine. Be sure to follow @TrashN2Tees on Instagram so you don't miss out on any weekly #TIPS2SEW.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Memories of a T-shirt Quilt

Nearly 2 years ago I made this quilt for Nick from over a dozen t-shirts he, his mom, and his step father had acquired from years of attending World of Outlaws dirt track racing events. They had gone ever since he was little. Long after he was grown, Eldora Speedway was one track we'd all go to meet at- us driving up from Kentucky and them from New Jersey. Memories I'll always cherish. Some of the shirts dated back to 1980's (and some vintage shirts I kept for myself because they were too good to cut up!) It's one of the best gifts I've been able to give him. Yesterday I had a chance to shoot some photographs of it- I got all mushy and sentimental thinking about how much more meaningful this gift is today compared to the day I made it. You see, just a few months ago we lost his mother to lung cancer. It's a comforting reminder that her legacy will still warm the boys hearts (and tiny toes!) for years to come.

In my upcoming book- The Upcycled T-shirt I collaborated with Britta Folden to design and construct a unique quilt made from tees. It's unlike anything you've seen before. I can't wait to see what you guys think of it... can.not.wait! If you are interested in having a custom made t-shirt quilt made check out Queen B Quilts or sew one yourself using this easy memory tshirt quilt tutorial from Pellon. 

to receive 25% off MSRP

Monday, January 5, 2015

Revamp your V-day Wardrobe- Easy DIY's for Valentines Day

Love. Love. Love. With all warm and fuzzies floating around why not lend your families wardrobe a little extra yummy TLC in time for Valentines Day? I've put together a collection of do-it-yourself-mad-skills-not-required projects for mending a hole or an occasional broken heart. Hey. We've all had to kiss a few frogs along the way. Am I right?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sam's Nerf Wars Birthday Party

It seems like each year these birthday parties grow and have become their own DIY extravagant event. My mom keeps asking me why I feel like I need to "go all out" every year (twice a year) because growing up I only had parties every 5 years. (5y/10y/etc) Celebrating, planning, and hosting parties for the boys and their friends is really a lot of fun for me... even when I procrastinate and stress- it's still fun! Most of the parties are pulled off on a budget and include lots of do it yourself crafts and games. We've hosted May the 4th Be With You Star Wars Birthday Party, Lego Ninjago: Green Ninja Birthday Party, Lumberjack Party, Comic Book Super Hero Birthday Party, Buzz Light Year Birthday Party, Jake and The Neverland Pirates DIY Birthday Party and a Hot Rod Birthday Party. Truth be told, I think that they would have a Star Wars themed birthday every year if I actually let them.

Turning 9 this December- Sam and I decided on a Nerf Wars. I found some great ideas on Pinterest- you'll find my favorites on the We Celebrate board. 
I crafted Nerf Bullet garland and lots of targets that were hung throughout the house. We also tacked up large scale 'bad guy' posters hidden around corners and nooks. When you came in the front door you were greeted by a bread rack converted into an ammo supply booth. I used some of my trade show display to rig up a gun hanger that held 6 big guns while the smaller hand held ones were placed in a metal basket. There were enough protective eye glasses, guns, and bullets for all of the kids & even some of the adults got involved. I was able to pick up 6 Nerf guns for $2 or less each at our local thrift shop. I purchased a package of 75 Nerf Elite bullets at Target on sale for $16 and they fit all of the guns we had (Nerf and imitation ones too)  We also asked our guests to bring their own guns if they had one. 
 Our party favors doubled as a craft we did during the party- using shrinky dinks to customize dog tags.
I'm still finding Nerf darts throughout the house and we're certainly prepared for any large scale battles erupt in our hood this summer.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

I don't want you to miss out on the 25% offer this year- fill up your cart and check out using code: save25 at or in the Etsy Shop. There are a ton of great gifts you'll feel good about giving this year including DIY Sewing kits perfect for those tweens, kids tees, and upcycled accessories for her.
Check out these amazing shops & their offers too!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Scrap Fabric Society: What to do with fabric scraps?

Selene Gibbous

Do you have a tote, box, or even a closet over flowing with scrap fabrics? Over the years one of the most frequent questions I'm asked is where/how to get rid of fabric scraps!I have always taken them in, despite the fact that our textile recycling programs do not accept fabric less than 24'' x 24''. This isn't an issue that only plagues crafters, quilters, or seamstress alike- this is an issue that has to also be dealt with in large scale manufacturing.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit with eco-designers, the NYC Department of Sanitation, and representatives of the NYC Garment District in efforts to create a solution to this scrap problem. There are mandates in place for production waste that frequently go ignored due to various factors- no one following up, building codes, logistics, etc etc. It's frustrating to see so many people who truly want to the right thing but don't have the resources at hand to make it happen easily. I recommended that we connect the fabric waste (mind you this sizable waste is much more then comes out of our home studios) with women's shelters in the area- provide on site training- and pass on not only a viable life skill but allow the organizations to sell/profit to help fund their programs. Not only was this solution great for the designers who can now say 100% of their materials are used and or repurposed, we're cultivating and strengthening our own communities, and keeping usable materials from our waste streams. 

This all brings me back to you- and your fabric scraps. What do you do with them? Of course there are so many fun scrapbusting projects, you can sneak scrap bits in with plush filling, create your own altered journal, or supersize them into a sweater seat! I always suggest you check with local schools (especially art teachers!), quilting guilds, and mixed media artists. Check out this list to find a Creative Reuse Center Near you. I can't believe I almost forgot to mention this- did you know that you can compost organic cotton, hemp, wool, silk, linen, bamboo viscose!? Just snip or shred those scraps into your compost bin, just remember to remove any tags, buttons, and zippers first!

Your time is valuable and so are your scraps! I hear your request and decided to take a first step at creating a wide scale solution. It's a modest effort but with your help we can develop it into something that really works. I started an account on Instagram: ScrapFabricSociety. I'll be using it to connect scrap fabrics with anyone and everyone who would like to use them and/or get rid of them. My posts will include any materials that have been collected through TrashN2Tees programs and offered to followers for FREE (just pay the shipping) I encourage everyone to use the #scrapfabricsociety and post scrap bundles you're wanting to get rid of too! I'll repost and make sure everyone gets to see it.

Like I mentioned it's a small effort but scrap lovers are out there and I want to help you find them. I would love your help creating a list of organizations or programs that might take in scrap materials- post any you know of in the comments below!
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