December 18, 2006

She's Crafty: Bazaar Bizarre Crafts Fair (Don't Worry: There's also a Book!)

Spent Saturday afternoon with Jane and Russ checking out the Bazaar Bizarre, a kooky hipster crafts fair organized by the founders of Magpie. "Not your granny's crafts fair" is their tagline, and they live up to it with fun and funky DIY crafts sold by folks who are, well, as fun and funky as the stuff they sell.

Russ and I picked up some techno-tacular one-of-a-kind metal robots made of recycled screws and bike parts from 80GritArt.

I bought a recycled metal egg to go with my rooster and bird collection from Anna Johannson of AnnaBuilt.

And we picked up recycled cashmere hats, a porcupine pin cushion and other little treasures for folks on our lists.

Bazaar-Bizarre.jpgBazaar Bizarre happened this year in Boston and LA. But if you missed it, don't despair completely. If you're crafty, or know someone who is, you can always pick up the book - Bazaar Bizarre - by Greg DerAnanian, one of the founders of the fair.

The book takes crafts projects from actual Bazaar Bizarre crafters, and shows you how to DIY-'em. iPod cozies, hats with ears, cuff bracelets made from vinyl records -- DerAnanian's got the stuff. So if you missed the Bazaar Bizarre itself, or went and find yourself hungry for more, pick up a copy to tide yourself over until next year.

Available on Amazon.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

December 17, 2006

Eco-Friendly and Organic Stocking Stuffers

EO Foot Care Kit.jpgGot your eco-friendly and organic stocking stuffers covered? It's not too late to add these green items to your shopping cart.

EO Skin Care Products

Perfect for stockings - how about something for the feet? During our lifetime, our feet will carry us approximately five times around the earth (I'm guessing much of that happens during the holiday season!) EO's Foot Care Kit contains:
- Peppermint & Lavender Foot Salts
- Revitalizing Lotion (1 fl oz 30 ml)
- Peppermint & Lavender Foot Balm
- Peppermint & Lavender Foot Scrub
- Revitalizing Lotion for Legs & Feet with nourishing mango seed butter

EO Hand Cream.jpgTake care of the feet, then take care of the hands with EO Hand Cream. Lavender essential oil in this hand cream soothes while it moisturizes.

Burts Bees.jpg
Burt's Bees Head-to-Toe Starter Kit
contains sample sizes of all our favorite Burt's Bees products, including their Beeswax Lipbalm, their Lemon Cuticle Cream, and their Hand Salve. Give the whole thing to your favorite person, or split up the kit to create several stocking stuffers.

Burt's Bees also has great presents for the itty-bitty ones on your list , or at least the mommies and daddies who care for them - its Green Gifting Baby Care Kit. Little ones will coo for Baby Bee soaps, soaks and lotions that keep their skin silky soft and kissably sweet. The Green Gifting Baby Care Kit is packed wtih eco-consicous products in hand-woven abaca bags from Philippines - renewable, reusable, bio-degadable and 100% natural. It includes an embroidered terry washcloth, a Baby Bee shampoo bar, buttermilk bath, lotion and soap, diaper ointment, apricot oil, and baby powder.

Zia Face Lotion.jpgGot a natural man? Put him in touch with his softer side with Zia for Men Face Lotion.

Battery Charger.jpgRechargeable Batteries and a Battery Charger
Finally, for all those gifts under the tree that require batteries, how about making those batteries rechargeable? Energizer's E2 Charger works for AA and AAA batteries. It comes with adapters for the car and home outlets, and 4 AA batteries. Pick up a 4-pack of AAA batteries to complete the package.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

December 12, 2006

Watch Me Go: Suunto GPS Wrist Watch

Heading back to nature? A GPS wristwatch may come in handy. Plenty's gadget guru recommends this watch from Suunto, which comes with an altimeter, barometer, compass, and built-in GPS.

The Suunto X9i is compatible with digital maps - great for planning routes in advance and storing the best ones for re-use. It connects to your computer, so you can upload and download routes and trip logs. It also has a "find-home" function that lets you mark your position when you start out, and find your way back.

Available at Amazon.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

December 6, 2006

For the Birds: Holiday Gifts for Birders and Bird-Lovers

20_milletbirdhouse.jpgLooking for a gift for the bird lover or gardener in your life? Just came across Projects for the Birder's Garden: Over 100 Easy Things That You can Make to Turn Your Yard and Garden into a Bird-Friendly Haven by Fern Marshall Bradley. Created by editors of Yankee magazine, the book has simple, step by steps tips on how to use regular household tools, inexpensive materials and scraps to create a homemade bird feeder, a sunflower plantation, a bird teepee, a tent-style twig feeder, a pedestal birdbath.

Another idea: Buy an edible millet birdfeeder wreath (pictured at right) from The Sunflower Farm. Wreaths feed a variety of birds.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

December 4, 2006

Treehugger: How to Green Your Gifts

Treehugger published its 2006 Green Gift Guide, which includes some great tips for making your gift-giving a little greener this year. Among them:

1. Be sure your material gift will get used It may be the thought that counts, but a gift that the receiver does not use is simply wasted: not a very nice thought. Give material possessions only if you know the recipient well enough to pick out something they were on the cusp of getting for themselves, or which they really need and will certainly enjoy using.

2. Give a consumable gift

Your friend will love your consumable gift twice: once while enjoying the organic teas, fair trade coffee, fresh flowers, fresh or dried fruits and nuts, or other consumable gift; and again when they appreciate that your gift leaves them with no guilty conscience about a gift left unused in the corner of their closet.

3. Share a piece of yourself

Avoid material consumption altogether. Instead, offer your services to baby-sit while your friend enjoys a cozy date with their partner, give a gift certificate for a relaxing massage, or a winter’s-worth of driveway shoveling (in which case you just save that massage for yourself).

4. Make a gift of a green service
If your time is prioritized elsewhere, you can buy a green service. Consider a gift of carbon offsets for a commuting colleague or a Zipcar membership for a friend who more frequently must turn to taxis to supplement their public transport lifestyle.

Read more at Treehugger.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

December 1, 2006

Staple-Free Stapler from Made By Humans

staple-free stapler.jpgHere's a tip from the Self-Sufficient-ish boys: Lose your stapler.

Remember back in college when all the Environmental Science eco-hippy kids tried to convince you that using staples was bad for the planet? (No? Hmm...maybe I was hanging out with the wrong crowd.) Well, they had a point.

According to Eco-Logic, if every office worker in the world used one less staple per day, we'd conserve more than 120,000 tons of steel per year. For comparison, the construction of the Staples Center in downtown LA used 2,500 tons.

Do your part with this handy-dandy staple-less stapler from Made By Humans. It "staples" 4-5 sheets of paper by punching wholes through the sheets and weaving them together. And it comes in five fashion colors: red, black, blue, green and chrome. Enjoy staple-free living, at least for your memos and short stacks. Lord it over your co-worker the next time he bugs you about forgetting to print double-sided.

Available from Made by Humans.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 30, 2006

Candle, Candle, Burning Bright: LED Rechargeable Candles

philips aurelle.gif

My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light! - Edna St. Vincent Millay

I'm a huge fan of candlelight around the holidays. Heck, at any time of year. But I hate dealing with melted wax on my dinner table. And don't get me started about the time one of our dinner guests (who shall remain nameless!) set himself, and nearly the whole house on fire.

That's why I was excited to learn about the Aurelle Rechargeable Candles from Philips. They're kind of like our old reliable Candelas, only they come in pretty frosted glass vases and flicker like real candles. Plus, they're wind and water resistant, won't catch fire, and last for 10 hours on a single charge. Great for worry-free instant ambience - for your holiday decorating or as a gift.

Aurelle LED Rechargeable Candles are available from Philips.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 29, 2006

Bottle Caps: Fleece Hats Made from Recycled Soda Bottles

It's the end of November. Are your ears cold yet? Well, warm 'em up with one of Cagoule Fleece's bottle caps. Made from 87% post-consumer recycled fibers obtained from plastic soda bottles, the hats come in a wide variety of colors and styles. According to the Cagoule website, there are 2 one-liter bottles in every hat.

Available at Cagoule Fleece.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 23, 2006

Origin of Speesees: Organic Cotton Baby Clothes

speesees.jpgStop the presses. The Cute Patrol has discovered a whole new species of adorableness. Or Speesees, if you will.

Speesees is a San Francisco-based company founded by Rachel Pearson, a self-described "cotton diaper baby" raised by hippy parents in the 1970's. Pearson designs some of the cutest baby t-shirts and body suits we've ever seen, and has them manufactured in India using Fair Trade practices and principles. What does that mean, you ask? Well, according to Pearson,

Our cotton is organically grown and handpicked by farmers whose families live biodynamically and receive health care. Once spun, knit and dyed with low-impact dyes, our cotton garments are sewn and printed in a beautiful, sweatshop-free factory in Southern India. Natural light floods the premises and our energetic team, including disabled members, work decent hours for fair living wages. An organic garden surrounds the premises.

lambjacket_oat_lamb_rt.jpgAn integral component of Fair Trade is that the local community benefits from manufacturing. The local elementary school in the village where speesees is manufactured is called Zari Pada. They have needs from water hand pumps to small shelves and racks for each classroom. $1 from every $100 earned from online speesees retail orders will go to buy these children various supplies to support a more conducive learning environment.

The designs, like Chik, pictured above right, are truly, totally and completely adorable and come in t-shirts, body suits or long-sleeved body suits, as well as cute little skull caps. We also LOVE Pearson's lamb jacket, pictured right.

Available at Speesees.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 22, 2006

Green Baby Top Tomato Romper

More eco-friendly baby gear. Can you tell one of us has a baby shower to go to next weekend? Green Babies' "Eat Your Veggies" line puts the crunch into organic cotton baby wear. Ring spun cotton with natural snaps on the crotch. Made in the USA.

green babies hat.jpgAdd a red veggies hat and it's a perfect holiday gift set. Or baby shower present. Whichever comes first.

Available at Green Babies.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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