Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gifts to Give Giveaway

Amidst the chaos and impending snowmaggedon - the party will go on. I've been celebrating my birthday week by giving back to those I love the most. Sending out snail mail, attempting to bake goodies, and spreading the love with random acts of happiness. I couldn't forget about you. I would never!

For the sake of not getting all mushy and gooey on you- I know that I wouldn't be here doing amazing things without the support of others including you! If it was possible to pull together all the awesomeness, throw confetti, and eat cupcakes all day I would totally do it. Until then I'm just going to shower everyone with light and laughter and those little gifts you'd love to get but would never buy for yourself. Enter to win some TrashN2Tees Tshirt Shard Textile Jewelry for you and friend using the Rafflecopter dohickey below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bess Top & Birthday Celebration Kick Off

Ready to hear some good, no GREAT news?

This week I'm turning 30. To some it might not seem all that exciting (who wants to be reminded they're getting older?) To be honest my birthday usually passes unannounced and ultra low key but this year I want to celebrate!

Today I'm kicking off the party with some selfish sewing. I made myself a Bess Top from Imagine Gnats- using... you guessed it: all reclaimed materials. The pattern calls for 2 yards of fabric but I was able to pull it off piecing together two mens sized large long sleeved oxford shirts. The biggest challenge for me was trying to match up the checkered and striped patterns of the fabric. It was a big headache- but totally worth it! Learn how to deconstruct a shirt to get yardage.

You can enter for a chance to win a set of 5 garment pdf patterns from Imagine Gnats. ( bess top, tumble tee, roly-poly, meridian for kids, meridian for women) by visiting me on Instagram. This giveaway is open 2/9-2/10. The lucky duck winner will be chosen at random and announced and tagged in the Instagram post.

Doubly celebrating today because Rachel the lovely rainbow haired matron of IG has kicked off an Indigogo campaign to help fund the production of offering her designs as printed patterns as they're currently only available as PDF's. (What does that mean exactly? That means that if you purchase any of these patterns now you immediately get the file via email, then you print out the pattern and put it together using tape/glue before you're able to begin.) You can support her campaign and for the cost of one pattern, you can help reach her goal. Act fast because there are only a few days left to score some of the Early Bird Deals.

What's the last #selfishsewing garment you made?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Earth Science & Life Lessons: I am #boldbrilliantbeautiful

Photo: Colleen Attara Studio
How often to you celebrate your awesomesauce? If you're anything like myself of the rest of the worlds population (with the exception of my friend Luke Haynes- who regularly celebrates himself by putting his face on crazy awesome quilts) I'd go out on the limb to say not often enough.

Last month I told you about some things that happened in my life- things that I've been put up against and overcome. That stuff that's usually tucked up your sleeve and hidden away in closet somewhere. I was overwhelmed by the thoughtful, caring, and inspirational comments and support. Thank you for allowing me that space to share my journey and process. I use process because if we look at our lives the way we look at nature you'll find something interesting. Remembering that I was an Environmental Science major it shouldn't come as a surprise that I look at things in life cycles. For example, sand must be exposed to extreme heat to transform into molten glass. Coal must undergo extreme heat and pressure to be turned into diamond. An object is turned into something else that is of greater use and value. I strive to be of greater use and value tomorrow than I am today- and everyday there after. 

Today grateful for the chance to share with you what and who I am today.

I am 5'8"

I am Italian, my family The Monteleon's derived from Bologna, Italy.

I was born & raised a Jersey Girl... minus the big hair, accent, and bling. 

I will not confirm or deny ties family ties to the mafia.

I am the oldest of 3 girls. 

I am an Aunt to 16 nieces and nephews. 

I am an Aquarius.

I am a wild soul.

I am a boy mom x2

I am as fierce as any mama bear you might encounter

I am blessed... 
and thankful for every single breathe and moment I share with them.

I am doing the best that I can. 

I step on a lot of Legos. (Is it ever acceptable to suck them up in the vacuum?) 

I am their #1 fan. 

I am a Soccer Mom. 

I am an art collector- sometimes it's on my walls permanently... if you know what I mean. 

I am lucky.

I am supported by friends and family. 

I am loved.

I am always up to something. My brain works like a chaotic hot mess of spit fire balls zooming around- I catch what I can and write it down. 

I mastermind in notebooks using pen & paper the "old fashion" way.

I am a morning person- I do my best thinking between 3am - Noon. (Eastern Standard Time in case you ever have to call me.) And its 5:23am as I type this. 

I sew more than I clean house. Come check out my studio space

I believe all waste has value. 

I am a saver of things I think I might use. Reread the part about the hot mess brain & ideas & waste having value. Like the time I turned a sewing machine into a planter.

I am a wanderluster. 

I sometimes make up my own words. 

I am a trend setter. Wear more macaroni necklaces!! 

I am a mentor and mentoree. Read: Each One Teach One 

I am an author.

I am an award winning small business owner. 

I am "an innovator to watch" - The NYER says so. 

I am a collaborator.  

I am a maker, baker, but never a candle stick maker. 

I am not afraid to fail. 

I am net worker.

I am bold..

I am a "sweet and light" coffee drinker. Preferably French Vanilla flavored. 

I am a lover of outlaw country music, Eminem, and New Found Glory.

I am a truck driver. My first truck was a 79 Ford F-150 and I worked on it that means

I am kinda a mechanic too. 

I am always learning something new. 

I am a thrift store junkie.  

I am totally a meat & potatoes kind of gal. AKA: I'm a potential vegetarian who can't give up steak. 

I am an athlete. I play co-ed basketball and football weekly. 

I am inked.

I am right where I need to be.

I am the same person offline you meet online. Maybe a little taller. 

I am a collector of all things that make me smile. 

I have unique genius.

I make play dates with adventure. 

I am beautiful. (Anyone else have a hard time saying that out loud?) 

The #boldbrilliantbeautiful movement is a community of amazing woman who are making a vow to support, inspire, and empower ourselves and others to be bold and step out from behind the lens, projects, and mama status to show real ourselves. We're doing something just for us. I am, You Are, We Are Enough. Will you join us?

Let everyone know you're joining in by sharing an "I AM"  photo of yourself or your own list- using the hashtag #boldbrilliantbeautiful on Instagram and Twitter or join us on Facebook. Search the hashtag and visit these blogs to find other women like you, looking to make 2014 their best, most authentic year yet!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Super (Bowl) Waste- What happens to the losing teams t-shirts?

Photo: The BQE
Are you counting down the minutes until kick-off? This Sunday boasts the biggest game in sports and people will be hanging out in man caves, bars, on couches, and tailgates around the country are rooting on their favorite team! I'm not writing today to discuss trick plays or favorite teams- but rather ask (and answer) the question of 'what happens to the losing teams tshirts?'

Watching the final seconds tick down and wishing I was there to see the bursts of confetti and fire works in real life- I silently wondered how in the heck they printed the tshirts so fast! Super Bowl XL Pittsburgh Steelers Supers Bowl Champions!!! (That happens to be the last time I watched the game.*) Players, in an instant, are donning their straight brimmed hats and tees as the losing team is still trying to make their way off the field. The truth is, it isn't in an instant. Manufactures actually produce and stock two sets of t-shirts, hats and other merchandise, declaring each team the champ. According to this Metal Floss article Sports Authority alone printed 15,000 shirts proclaiming one team as the winner weeks ahead of time. There ends up being a whole lot of misprinted merchandise wasted- estimated at more than 100,000 tshirts for the Superbowl game alone. Let's take into consideration the MBL, NHL, and NBA too. Is your brain boggled yet about the massive amount of waste happening here? 

Photo: World Vision
That’s a lot of apparel that can’t hit store shelves, and seem like fine candidates for the incinerator, instead.(Gasp!!) And for a long time, thats where it went because all four major American pro sports leagues — MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL — require the destruction of incorrect post-season apparel.
There is good-ish news, the leagues have changed the way they do things and now all four - plus manufacturers and retailers like Reebok, Sports Authority, Dick’s and Modell’s — instead give the gear to a group called World Vision, which saves the merch from certain doom and puts it to use.
Photo: World Vision
World Vision "has accepted hundreds of official shirts and caps from the sporting world immediately following big events," says Jeff Fields, the organization's senior director of gifts-in-kind. "Instead of being destroyed, the 'runner up' team’s shirts and caps are shipped from the event site to World Vision’s Gifts-in-Kind Global Distribution Center in Pittsburgh." From there, the apparel is packaged with other needed items to be sent to the charity's field staff around the world. In places as diverse as Romania, El Salvador, Rwanda and Mongolia, "World Vision workers distribute the apparel to children and families in need, many of which have never owned new clothing." On average, this equates to about 100 pallets annually — $2 million worth of product — or about 100,000 articles of clothing that, instead of being destroyed, will help children and adults in need. World Vision thinks that’s 100,000 reasons to love the Super Bowl even more.
But is it? I'm happy to learn that the tees aren't just wasted- but I still don't understand why they can't hold off making them until after the game (minus a few needed for the players). Who really need a championship shirt at 9am? 


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