Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TNT Inside Green Child Magazine

A few months ago I was asked to be a craft contributor to Green Child Magazine, of course I jumped at the opportunity- not only do they offer up a FREE (paperless) magazine chock full of inspirational ideas for green parenting but the editor originally contacted me with the possibility of featuring Trashn2Tees designs in the magazine! I like the magazine and Amber too (shes the editor)! Hehe. The newest, paperless, edition of the magazine is available today- Be sure to check it out!

After you get a chance to sit down and read the magazine I would love to know what you thought! I loved seeing all of the great costumes in Greener Costumes. psst! My little guy is featured there too! He's the Max from WTWTA!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wearable Business Cards: Tutorial

Not so long ago I made the confession. You don't need business cards from Moo, although they are pretty sweet! I shared a few inexpensive and unique ideas to market and promote your biz including but not limited to buttons, magnets, and temporary tattoos. Well thanks to my pals over at ATOC I have another awesome and upcycled idea to tell you again. WEARABLE BUSINESS CARDS!!

 Now here is Chelle, the mastermind behind the wearable biz card, to tell you how to do it!
You can find more on her blog at Upcycle Your Life on Aisle 3

I don't know about you, but that's never the case with me.  As a shopper, I rarely pick up a business card.  And if I do, it usually ends up in the bottom of my bag because I either 1) never really know where to put it for a quick future reference, or 2) forget to ever look at it or for it again.

After working my butt off prepping for last week's event, I wanted to do something fun and easy with my left over crafty energy.  I came up with an idea to promote my Etsy shop to the weekend's shoppers without having to rely on them to pick up my business card.

Mini Business Card Rings!

Everyone wants a fun freebie, right?  Well, these things went like hotcakes genuine diamond rings, I tell ya.  As soon as shoppers found a size that fit them well, they instantly slid it onto their finger, then ran to tell their friends who came running over for their own.  I am definitely going to make more.  I may do a more unisex print this time, or perhaps make a couple different patterns for shoppers to choose from.

To last weekend's event I brought 98 rings and 98 business cards.  I ran out of rings before lunch on Saturday, and had 62 business cards leftover.  How do you like them apples?

Fabric Stick
8.5" x 11" Scrap of fabric
Scissors (I used a flat rotary slider)
Glue (I used a hot glue gun)

After printing my image on the Fabric Stick and attaching it to the back of my fabric, here's how it all went down:

Cut out the rings

Dab hot glue to the inside of the ring, then fold both ends together

Repeat, and repeat and repeat and repeat and....

Dab hot glue over the seam where the two ends meet

Press the button lightly into the glue so the glue doesn't seep out the holes
  That's it!  Easy huh?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fresh Off the Scissors

New Design! Not yet listed anywhere- 
New in the shop below
Boys 3t Skull Striped Tshirt 
Boys 6/7 BMX Striped Tshirt 

Mustard Yellow Tshirt Teether 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Keeping Relevant on Etsy: Recency still matters, folks

I've written a few posts now that will help you get your Etsy shop found via etsy searches and the world wide webbernet, including How to Get Found: Shop Sections are Meta Tags and Keeping Relevant on Etsy: How to get found but I felt that we all needed a little reminder. "Recency still matters, folks!"
 Relisting is much less important with the search changes, but it hasn’t entirely gone away. There are still places that recency is a factor:

Category pages are still sorted by Most Recent. Customers that navigate to categories like Coffee Tables will see the most recently renewed or created items.

The Etsy home page still has a Recently Listed Items section. It’s the easiest way to get on the Etsy home page - although if you blink, you might miss it.

Broad search queries – searches that return more than 100,000 results – will use recency to sort the top matches. Etsy’s example is a search for “dress” that returns nearly 180,000 results – “jewelry” returns over 2 million. In these hotly-contested areas where so many items match exactly, recency will still put you on the top.

Searches – while defaulting to Relevancy for sorting, there is also a prominently-featured strip along the top of each search showing Recently Listing items that match the search. There are 4 items showing, but 40 total if you page through with the arrow buttons.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Upcycled Sweater Scarflet

I stumbled upon this really cute and (easy!) tutorial from I Am Momma- Hear Me Roar for an upcycled sweater scarflet. Click here to check it out!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Upcycled Tshirt Fall Cardigan Tutorial

It has been nothing but dreary rain here in Kentucky, and I've had to break out my light sweaters to keep the chill off. Here is fun and easy tutorial for you to create your own cute cardigan to wear this fall using a tshirt! I love to wear mine paired with jeans or a dress for a casual and comfortable every day look. When choosing a shirt to cut up for this project I like to find one that just about fits (a little big or little small is okay too) doing so will help keep the cardigan fitting and lend a flattering shape.

I started with this medium weighted long sleeve shirt from Coldwater Creek. It was comfortable but I didn't like the length in the tummy area. (Remember I had two babies!?) I'm a firm believer in the fact that I should be able to raise my hands up above my head and not show any stretch marks.
 1) Hack off the bottom of the shirt. It looks like I took off about 4 or 5 inches here... Remember theres no right or wrong way to the design, so feel free to make variations along the way.

2) Crop your sleeves to preferred length.
 3) It looks tricky but I promise you its not. Fold you shirt so that its creased in the center front (and back) Tip: line up the seams! Feel free to use pins and chalk here- I tend to create on the go so I just went at it with the cutters.  Chalkers: From the bottom you want to draw a semi circle on the font center. Heres how it looked after I cut mine:
Your shirt should look something like this after you've made your last cut. 
*I went back and cur the remaining bit of neckline, which could've been taken care of in step #3

Head over to your dandy sewing machine and lay down some thread.You'll finish all of the edges with this lettuce edge. You do not need a high dollar machine, additional foot, or mad skills to pull this off. Creating a lettuce ruffle is simple! Adjust the zigzag stitch width to about1/8 inch. Adjust the stitch length so that all the stitches are close together so no fabric shows through. Remember every machine is different- so don't jump the gun- be sure to test on practice on scrap before you go for it. (Trust me!)

To create the "lettuce" look to the edge you need to stretch your fabric.  You have to use fabric that stretches. (Pssst! tshirts stretch!) If your fabric doesn't have a good amount of stretch to it, forget about a lettuce edge. It isn't going to work.

Now, you need to stretch from both sides of the fabric. When I say both sides, I mean in front of the presser foot as well as behind. That means you need to use BOTH hands, no drinking coffee while sewing ruffles.You want to stretch the fabric as much as you possibly can while sewing and gently guiding the fabric through your machine.

Finished up and still have time clean. Yay. (or not)
Thanks for reading along, be sure to let me know if you have any questions. I hope you'll take some time to check out my other tutorials that I hope will encourage and inspire you to consume less and recycle more.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Production Block: Inside the Studio

Not unlike that of its counter part- the creative block, a production block is just as frustrating. Not being able to produce... or in my case not producing enough. I seem to struggle with how to manage my time between family- housework- trashn2tees. I guess a lot of work at home moms (and dads too) have this battle. I'm going to give myself a habitual make over and test out a few different strategies to break through the production block.

Maybe I should clarify a little bit, I'm getting my custom orders filled and work done... but I feel like I should be able to stock more new items. I'm not suffering from a creative block, my juices they are aflowing- in fact I have a few designs just sitting around waiting to be cut out. I just feel like I don't have the time. But the time is there- if I can figure out how to manage it.
Reading this today.
 The first order of business was to clean out the studio. I believe that a messy disorganized work space can be a total production block. It had gotten to the point where I was constantly having to move something to work. I was previously storing clothing in totes sorted by cut/uncut, colors, patterns, and gender. Once my totes were all maxed out I thought that I could neatly pile organize, ha! Needless to say things got a little out of hand and the piles took over the studio.  I spent the past 2 days cleaning and reorganizing and I swear its been like a breath of fresh air.

You see a pile there don't you? I know, I know- I completely underestimated the amount of blank tshirts I had (you see the pile on table and on rack) I need to pick up more hangers. The clothing rack and smaller white table are new additions to the studio. The table is covered with a cutting mat and will be the perfect place to slice and dice tees but also gives me additional light when making earrings and tinkering with little pieces.  (Old age= bad eye sight) I ended up unloading 190lbs of clothing and material which were donated and/or sent to recycling. We had some fun guessing the final total on my facebook page where Rosemary and Theresa came [this] close to guessing the exact amount with 192lb and 193.3lb! Thanks to everyone who joined in!

How do you manage your time as a mom or as a small biz owner? Do you have any advice or ideas that will help me break free from this production block? I can't think of a better time to become more productive with the holiday season rollin in. Let me know if you need some encouragement as well.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Old Clothes? Recycle 'em!

Fall is just around the corner and as we celebrate the onset of cooler temperatures (hopefully) and back to school, most of us will be cleaning out our closets and drawers. Have you ever found yourself  wondering what to do with your  unworn, unwanted, outgrown, stained up, old, and out of style clothing? The average American throws away 68 pounds of clothing each year. Stop! Take a few steps away from that garbage can and listen up- 98% of clothes thrown into the landfills can be recycled, I’ll one up that - because 100% can be upcycled or repurposed. 

 There are companies and organizations that will take your unwanted clothing and some even offer pick up services at your doorstep! You might be surprised to find out that some Goodwill and Salvation Army stores also participate in clothing recycling, while they do not sell stained clothing- many locations do bundle up the unwanted unwearables and sell them to rag sorters. After the clothing is sorted and processed it may be shredded into fibers and made into new shiny new products like insulation for stereos, archival-quality paper, blankets and even plastic fencing or rubberized playgrounds. Clothing can also be shipped to Third World countries where they may have an extended life. Here are some other options:

Patagonia's Common Threads Garment Recycling Program accepts worn out fleece, cotton t-shirts and some polyester, and transforms the old fibers into new fashions, like the fleece vest pictured above.
Other options?
Dress for Success - This international not-for-profit organization promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire along with job counseling. Each woman "dressed for success" receives one suit when she lands a job interview; she can receive a second suit or outfit when she finds work. Since 1997, Dress for Success has served almost 300,000 women around the world. You can donate suits, blouses, pants, shoes, jewelry, briefcases, black tote bags, and other appropriate business apparel.
Soles4Souls - Providing free footwear to people in need around the world, this nonprofit organization startede after the Asian tsunami in December 2004, continued in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and today distributes shoes worldwide. It also partners with Dress for Success to provide career footwear.
One World Running - This Colorado-based non-profit organization ships donated running shoes, soccer gear, and baseball equipment to athletes in Central America, Haiti, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe - The program grinds up and recycles discarded shoe material to build playground mats, basketball courts, and running tracks.

TNT using 100% reclaimed materials
 To complete the recycling circle, it is also important to consider buying clothing secondhand or made using recycled materials. 

* You save money: buying reusable, quality products is less expensive
* You conserve natural resources: decreasing energy and raw material consumption helps the planet
* You eliminate waste: sensible consumption frees up natural resources for other worthwhile purposes

I mentioned earlier that not only can you recycle your clothing but you can also repurpose them and here at the TrashN2Tees blog I share a few great ways to upcycle including this easy no sew tutorial that will turn your t-shirt into a scarf in 20 minutes! 
I'd love to hear about the actions your taking to recycle your clothing- Please feel free to share your tips and/or any relative resources you might have!


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