Sunday, May 29, 2011

Etsy Front Page

I'm super excited to share this treasury that was featured on Etsys Front Page including TNTees!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What I learned today: Etsy Circles

I try to keep up with everything thats going down on Etsy, but I admit the circle thing... I wasn't really interested. I decided to take some time today to find out what its all about.
Heres what I found- if someone circles me: my new listings favorites and treasuries created are fed into their activity as well as anyone I add into my own circle. Basically adding someone to your circle you are saying is," Duuuuude! I dig your style" which translates into I really like all the cool things you find and want to see more.

As a seller its beneficial:
-circles are a great insight for whats trending/what people are interested in
-help you improve your pictures (you see first hand what entices others and whats inticing you to click or heart as well)
-the more people who circle your shop the more feeds are filling w/ your items- treasuries- etc. you could be a dang gone trendsetter.

As a buyer its even more beneficial...its basically curating a list of stuff that you'd be interested in buying, with out having to search! If your circling people with interesting stuff and interesting taste- your going to get interesting stuff popping up in your feed.
On the Etsy Forums moonmothpress summed it up best:  
add shop to your favorites: you like what's in the shop

add item to your favorites: you like that item

add to your circle: alerts you to user's new favorites and treasuries (you like their taste)

being added to someone's circle: alerts them to your new favorites and treasuries (they like your taste)

subscribe to feed: alerts you to new shop listings from that shop
 Tomorrow, I vow to give circling a second chance.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fresh off the Scissors

Check out these great upcycled tshirt sleeve drawstring bags. They've got a ton of uses: 
-organize game pieces
-keep valuable jewelry safe while traveling
-pack a picnic and use it for dry snacks, utensils, and to keep napkins from blowing away!
-keep a small toy stash in your purse
-discreetly carry around your mama cloth or feminine products
-make up bag
-use as a wristlet on the go
-keep your coupons safe
-hang your garden bulbs
-reusable gift bag
-goody grab bags
-carry dog treats
-store nerf gun bullets
-first aid supplies
 dads tie. your bracelet. (silk)

I came back to add this: here are some embellished sleeve bags- I used them as gift bags for Sam's teacher gifts. (Inside are samplers of organic herbal teas)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lets Rock! and Freezer Paper Stenciling

Deborah from Mini Me Woolies asked me to create a shirt for her soon to be born (now born ) nephew- She was already in the process of making this fabulous sweater featuring Lets Rock buttons from Tessa Ann. Remember my post a few weeks ago about the benefits of artistic collaborations? Here is a great example.  Her brother is the drummer for the band JodyBoss. She created the custom shirt using the bands logo by freezer paper stenciling and shares how its done on her blog Sunflower Stories.

Freezer Paper Stencils Tutorial

I posted awhile back about my friend Sarah at Rum Tum Crafts gifting me with shirts she made with Freezer Paper Stencil designs. I loved the look and easy idea, so I finally took the time to try it out last night.

I bought a couple 100% cotton American Apparel shirts on, picked up some freezer paper at the grocery store and a few fabric paints at WalMart. Shirts & Supplies: $20.

I did a clip art search for images and decided on an elephant profile, since we like elephants in this house. I also pulled a kitty cat image from the Robeez Coloring Pages to match her shoes. I printed the images on regular paper to scale for her shirts, but I read you can run the freezer paper directly thru most printers (print on the matt side.) I just taped the design behind the freezer paper then used an Exacto knife to cut out the image.

I put the freezer paper, shiny side down on the front of the shirt. I put a second piece of freezer paper in between the shirt layers to prevent the paint bleeding through and ironed it all in place with my iron on the cotton setting.

Then I used a brush to paint in the image. I used Polymark flat fabric paints because they came in a big selection of colors and are only 95 cents a bottle.

After the paint dried, about an hour, I pulled the paper off to check it out.

I left them to finish drying overnight, then turned the shirts inside out, backed the image with a dry paper towel, and ironed the shirt to heat set the image. Done and ready to wear!

It was just as fun and easy to do as Sarah said it would be! I'm already thinking of other designs and colors to use to make more. The boys really like them, too, and asked for mom to make them shirts.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fresh off the Scissors

Vintage Neck Tie Cuff Bracelet by TNTees on Etsy
Neckties are no longer boring. In fact- they rock.

This is a custom order placed by a friend of mine from college. He was looking for a personal gift for a friend of his who serves in the Army and is veteran. I was, and still am, honored that he asked me to be a part of it- The hummer truck is actually cut from his buddies' fatigues.

Taking a moment here to plug him too, I'm sure you wont mind.
If your looking for a personal trainer in the Philadelphia area check out Epic Boot Camp and let Brian know I sent you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fresh off the Scissors

Set of 3 Upcycled Tshirt Bracelets
Available at TNTees on Etsy: 
Vintage Tie Bracelet Cuff
 Also available at TNTees on Etsy: 

Just in time for Fathers Day!

How To: Make Earrings out of Buttons

Todays post comes from Velvet on the Page blog. Head over there and say Hi ya or take a moment to visit her on Etsy at

Can you ever have enough earrings? (The answer: no.) With just one inexpensive trip to the craft store you can make post earrings with things you may have found at a tag sale or have tucked in your sewing drawer gathering dust. Start by buying a small package of earrings posts in the jewelry supplies and a good glue if you don't have one. I like E6000 medium viscosity glue, also available in the craft store.
As you can see, I use this glue alot. The great thing about it is that it starts clear and dries clear, is very strong and waterproof, and has enough body to it that it can hold the items together as they are drying, unlike super glue which is thin.

To make earrings out of two matching buttons, make sure the back of the buttons are fairly flat to glue the posts to them securely. Although typical  buttons with holes that show in front will work, they will still look like buttons. Buttons that look the best are the ones that have a plain front that are designed to be sewn onto the garment from the back only. If they have a metal or plastic loop like some of these do, carefully cut the loop off with wire cutters. If they have a raised metal back like the others here, very carefully use pliers to flatten the back of the loop so it is more flat. Be careful not to crush the front of the button while doing this.

These earrings were all made from vintage buttons- can you even tell that was their former life?

The same can be done with collar and cufflinks. Very few men wear french cuffs anymore (alas) so beyond collectors and very sharp dressers, these sit in the drawer. Why not take those family heirlooms or estate sale finds and remake them into something you'll wear often? Cut the cuff link posts off with wire cutters and replace them with the earring posts with a little glue.

Sometimes you'll find some great clip-on earrings at a thrift store or get as a hand-me-down. Try wearing these for a few hours- ouch!

These vintage pieces were all made from clip-on earrings and are from my personal collection. I love them and wear them often!

You don't have any treasures lying in your sewing or jewelry box? How about agates, shells or even small pebbles?

They also make great earrings! Find small rocks with a flat back that are similar in size and color and glue earring posts to the back- instant organic natural art jewelry! Not for everyone, but I have sold lots of them and wear them myself often.

These are my ultimate treasures I found at a tag sale. I changed them from clip to post earrings and oh- they are heavy and hurt to wear. Be careful that the button, cufflink rock or clip-on earrings you choose are not too heavy to wear as posts. I still suffer through the pain to wear these occasionally because they are so fabulous! (This does not extend to high heels, however.....)

 There is a lovely etsy shop I love called Whimsy House that sells jewelry and other things made out of vintage findings. Although you could put some glue on a couple of buttons, these treasures are really something special. You probably don't have the quality vintage findings she uses; you probably don't have the jewelry artisan skills she has; and you don't probably don't have the knack for putting more than one vintage finding together to make something very special. That's the thing about artists who use vintage things in their work- searching out the vintage things are the secret ingredient! Go here and find something you can't live without!
Todays Monday! Which means we'll be playing a few rounds of Monday Morning Mindarobics over at TrashN2Tees on Facebook- Come join us and get your thinker thinking.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What's Moo? A Business Card Review

I've heard a lot about MOO Cards, and have been wanting to try them out for myself. The fact that I ordered my first set of business cards on a promotion through and paid $7 for 250 double sided shipped kept me from splurging on the MOO cards that generally run $19.99 before shipping for only 100!

I finally got around to order from Moo a few months ago now, they were offering a 25% discount and I love sales. Naturally- I couldn't resist.
Heres what I love about MOO Cards: 
-Easy Upload. (If you choose to use your own images you just upload, they resize them for you)
... did I mention you can use 50-100 different images?!?!
-Easy Walk Through Design
-DOUBLE Sided!
-Option to use RECYCLED PAPER!
-Lightning McQueen Fast Shipping (Order placed 3/25 at my door 4/4)
- Once you place your order you have a grace period of time where you can make adjustments to your cards before they're sent off to print (3 hours I believe, I took advantage of it too... I'm so indecisive sometimes!)
-Customer Service!! I had a small issue with my prints and they responded to my inquiry within 24 hours and sent out a whole new order for FREE!!
-Tons and tons of awesome premade designs to use for your cards too
A Moo Design

Theres not much I didn't like about my experience w/ MOO cards. I picked up some of the Mini Moo Cards which are half the standard size card, they're great quality and certainly eye catching but I think if I order (when I order) from them again I will keep with the standard size (recycled paper). Mini Moos are cool, but I feel a little uncool when I'm fumbling around trying to get one out of my wallet... and then I have to explain [ this is my business card]

Mini Moos would be a perfect way to help brand your business using them has hang tags with care instructions for your wool like Julie from Libelle or you maybe you can find other ideas here, in the Inspiration Gallery

What do I love most about my Moo cards? I can share a variety of items in the palm of my hand- being able to actually SHOW people what TrashN2Tees is all about.
 In conclusion: I love Moo. Yes, the price is a little steep but they produce a quality and personalized branding experience for your business. Moo is helping to make marketing fun! Don't take my word on it-  You can try Moo for Free! They'll ship you a sampler pack using your own images so you can see for yourself!

Update: Be sure to check out my follow up article to this one: Whats Moo? You don't need business cards.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Whats YOUR favorite sandwich?

It was lunch time, and I was hungry. So many yummy finds on Etsy got me wondering whats your favorite sandwich?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Piratey Upcycled Tshirt Shorts

custom order set from 10/2010
Last fall we got into making a few pairs of pantalones- they're uber comfy kids lounge pants and guess what? they're made from tshirts. I haven't made any in a while but with the warm weather here I made a few changes and outfitted T with these cool piratey striped shorts. 

In other news, I'm in the works of cooking up some pretty cool and reusable packaging for The Coconut Crush- She makes yummy soaps and other luxurious bathing necessities. Check her out. We had the chance to test out some of goodies last December, and I promise you that they are the best handmade soaps I've used. Ever. My personal favorites: Oatmeal Milk and Honey soap and Chocolate Expresso soap- however she mentioned to me that she just finished up a batch of Cherry Limeade sugar scrub... I might need that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fresh off the Scissors

The winner from Apples N Amos giveaway requested a different take on the TrashN2Tees Tshirt Shard Earrings and I was happy to obliged. I took her idea and ran with it- loving how it turned out! Thank you Maria for the inspiration.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Video Tutorial Fail. & Tshirt Yarn Tutorial

Alright you crazy crafters, I did promise a tshirt yarn tutorial- however its not going to be mine today. I spent a few hours this week trying to edit and piece together my first ever video tutorial but... well lets just say some of the footage for important directions wasn't usable. What I learned: its really hard to direct, shoot, commentate, and construct all at once. I figured I'd just relocate the boys to the back yard and let me run wild... plop down in the grass with the loaner laptop... hit record... and go about my business. Nope. Besides crazy (noisy) vespa drivers enjoying a stroll down my country road, I also had company on screen- take a look. We sure had fun, and I learned a few tips that I'll keep in mind for the next attempt. There was a lot of interest in the how tos after I posted my upcycled tshirt yarn bowl that was featured on the blog last month.
Here's a great tutorial for tshirt yarn courtesy gracious rain blog
Start with a regular t-shirt that has lived a good life…no guilt now. It’s going on to a better place…really.
Cut off the bottom hem.
Now cut the top off just under the sleeves…
so you have a tube of fabric.
Fold it nearly in half, leaving the under side sticking out about an inch.
Now cut from right to left all the way up to and just past the top fabric, but leave the one inch margin of the lower fabric uncut. Repeat about 1 inch apart. Now unfold the fabric…
it should look like this.
The easiest way for you to hold the fabric and cut it into one continuous strip is to slide your arm through the two layers of fabric 1 inch uncut margin running along the top of your arm. I drew dotted lines  showing where you’ll cut your fabric–but you don’t need to draw the lines. You’ll be amazed at how fast you can figure this out and it’s really fun too, and for some reason deeply satisfying.
If you need more instructions click HERE for a sweet little diagram and bag pattern.
When you’re finished cutting, you’ll have one long, long, strip of fabric. Are you ready to make it more “yarn” like? Here goes!
Going down the entire length of your fabric, take a hold of it by one end and gently stretch it. It will magically curl up and behave it’s self just like it should. Very obedient stuff, I tell you.

So there you have it- tshirt yarn. Now what are you going to make?


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