Thursday, August 29, 2013

The American Dream. (with a side of Martha Stewart)

Hey, it could happen! 

Did you know that TrashN2Tees is a nominee for the American Made || Martha Stewart Audience Choice award? With your help I can become a finalist and join the likes Jessica Alba, actress, author, and co-founder of The Honest Company; Lauren Bush Lauren, Founder and CEO of FEED; J.J. Ramberg, author and host of MSNBC’s “Your Business”; Tracy Anderson, author and fitness entrepreneur, best known for her Tracy Anderson Method; Bobbi Brown, Founder and CCO of Bobbi Brown cosmetics; Barbara Corcoran author, entrepreneur and current television personality on ABC's "Shark Tank;" and more for an all day creative maker event in NYC. Oh and there's a grand prize of $10,000!

Now I wouldn't dare turn down the dinero but if you've learned one thing about me yet- you know that the opportunity to network among this caliber of passion and talent of (change) makers, doers, and creative entrepreneurs is where I want to be. I need to be.

We believe we are in the midst of a shift in our culture where creative entrepreneurs are defining a new American economy. From Detroit to Des Moines, Spokane to St. Louis, people are choosing Main Street over mini-malls—supporting the local and the handmade. Our country’s makers are sparking this change by taking a leap, banking on their creativity and craftsmanship, and living their version of the American Dream.
The American Dream used to mean if you work hard, you can be successful and build a good life for you and your family. I still believe in the American Dream. And now more than ever it's crucial that you do too. It is about opportunity; not about wealth, but about community and hard work for all people. As a rad human being exploration is part of our innate make up. The challenge today is to rekindle & redirect our adventurous spirit towards a more just society that fosters sustainable growth and innovates new & creative solutions. Cultivating (reconnecting with) community is the best place to start; including buying local and handmade.

You're here with me at the fork in the road. The depression of the 1930s showed us a society willing to reduce, recycle and conserve because there were no choices. A whole generation of Americans grew up where clothing life was extended by resourceful mothers who mended handmade garmets, passed them down, and even added sock necks to the sleeves of shirts to make them longer when bare wrists began to show. Somewhere along the way we forgot that lesson. We have a choice to change the way we consume and create. We have a choice to make changes that will protect and ensure a world for our future generations. Don't let that opportunity slip away.

Do you still believe in the American Dream? What does it mean to you?

 You can learn more about TrashN2Tees, my commitment to changing the way we consume, create, and to innovating a better future for our children here in the USA and around the world. Vote now for TrashN2Tees in the Martha Stewart || American Made Awards.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TrashN2Tees Takes Times Square

I have a confession to make, last week was a whole feverish frenzy as I prepared for my New York City fashion show debut in Times Square- I'm still in recovery mode, but there's enough coffee in my system for a blog post recap.

Designer Karina Kallio, KallioNYC

My fashion show experience as a designer (or any other form) is... well.  I once went to a screen call for a Band-Aid commercial as a little girl and then there was that time I send some TrashN2Tees fashion to the Yono Fashion Show in Louisville. Luckily one of the first people I met in Times Square was Karina Kallio of KALLIO.  She is an amazing, generous, and sweet visionary. We're totally friends. Karina worked hard behind the scenes coordinating kid models and helping me stay confident and comfortable in an environment that could easily be overwhelming (and chaotic!) I'm so grateful.

photo credit: colin/

Sunday's Times Square Fashion Show event was part of the 25th Annual EcoFest and sponsored in part by Manufacture New York. The showcase included 20 eco designers ranging from swimwear, accessories, couture, mens, womans, and kids. I fell in love with these handcrafted shoes from BHAVA. There are tweed styles coming- you'll not be disappointed! In addition to spotting some amazing products, meeting other designers, and hanging out with the models; we had beautiful weather! I love connecting the dots and creating conversations at any event- I'm excited about the ones that are continuing and can't wait to share more details on future upcoming NYC events for TrashN2Tees and myself.

Indeed there was a bit of chaos between constant changes to set up, line up, racks moving, tight spaces all amid the bustling passersbyers and stinky exhaust of sewage- but I had an amazing time. I spent a few hours getting to know Beth Pilger over a few glasses of wine after the show. I'm excited to view her newest collection during Fashion Week. (I'm going!) My phone had died earlier in the day and desperate to call the boys (who you might have guessed: requested me to stop and visit the Lego Store!) I asked a fellow subway sitter if I might borrow her charger. And before leaving NYC I had a chance to learn about beautiful Megan, a passionate 2nd grade teacher from Albany, NY who without hesitation helped out a stranger. Thank you!

For more photographs from the event check out TrashN2Tees album and Epoch Snaps

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Studio Spotlight

All week long some amazing and talented woman have been inviting us inside their creative spaces all a part of the Studio Spotlight series hosted by Jennifer of Ellison Lane and Heather over at The Sewing Loft. Today we're trekking to the 3rd floor of my home studio here in Eastern cost of Pennsylvania, where all the magic happens. Not that kind of magic. The creative kind.
 In case you have to catch your breath at the top of the stairs, this might be your view. Now would be a good time to warn you, there is really no method to my madness. I store things in clear totes (lots of totes!) I have multiple hanger racks for finished garments, but I also live by the "organized pile" storage method as well. So away we go...
At the top of my steps you're greeted by my vintage wire dress form by Dritz. Sadly she's nameless- but she really is my double. The 'cage' is put onto your own body and fitted by pinching the metal, it's a two person job. Take a look at the Dritz My Double instruction manual! This dress form belonged to my grandmother-in-law and not too many changes had to be made when I fitted it to myself. That leads me to believe that Bootsie was 1) one hot mama and 2) hadn't used it in a long time.
Looking straight ahead, oy vey! You get your first glimpse at an overflowing tote of clothing- and for those of you who are just being introduced to TrashN2Tees, it's important that you know that I design clothing & accessories using only 100% reclaimed materials. If I had to guess there is no less than 700 lbs of clothing stashed around the studio today. The rack you see, those are all blanks. I have a walk in closet that homes all finished tees. Turning to your right...
My computer space. Nothing fancy, but if you squint your eyeballs ever so slightly or, in my case, stop being lazy and put on your glasses you might be able to read the notes for my "All Waste Has Value" presentation.
The other side of the studio space is where I get busy. I have everything set up in a U shape, if I had a rolling chair I'd never have to get up again! (Oh look more totes!) Out the back window there you can see into my my yard, the spot where my roses bushes used to grow... before they were stolen (true story), neighbors yard, a tree, an alley way, and really pretty steeples from the church. Pretend you're going to turn right here... that's where my walk in closet is. 
The necessities, ya know. My Bernina B350 PE, multiple cutting mats, scissors, acrylic rulers, and a vintage tomato for good measure. I have a motley crue of thread, in fact I might be a hoarder of thread. I'll let you be the judge: 
As you may have noticed, my two little boys are always welcome here in the studio. Their little creations and company are a constant reminder for me on how truly blessed I am. Did you happen to notice the light saber in an earlier picture? 
 Semi organized shelving over here- this would be the place you'll find any misc. craft supplies. I know there's a dremel with case, tons of notebooks (blank & filled with genius ideas), embroidery floss, every stinking type of glue you can image, block printing supplies, sewing patterns, stamps, fabric markers, paints, extra packaging supplies, batting, interfacing, jewelry making supplies, oh and I can't forget buttons! 
There are so many nooks and crannies stuffed with inspiration and love here in the studio, these are just a few. My dear friend Colleen reminds me to relax and spreads joy with her recycled art, gifts from friends and family, handwritten notes of encouragement, and one of kind works of art on my walls. Plus illustrations, fabric scraps, snapshots, and snail mail from creatives around the world. 

Did you know TrashN2Tees was started humbly sewing on my kitchen table? The counter top in our old home is scarred from a hot iron incident too. Tell me more about the places where you create and I'm curious to know one 'tool' you couldn't live without.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Playful Learning Around the World

Wrapping up week one of world wide travel on the #PlayfulTour lands you right here, in the TrashN2Tees studio based out of Easton, Pennsylvania, USA. Today I'm sharing the blog with my two boys, Sam (age 7) and Tristen (age 4) All month long we'll be learning about the similarities & differences of how
families play globally- today is our chance to talk about learning and playing as a family in our home town.

Where do you live? 

Sam: In a house, in Pennsylvania.We used to live in a house in Kentucky, too. 

Tristen: In this house!! 

Side note from Mom: Our little town is also home to Crayola and America's Longest Continuous Running Open-Air Market. Visiting the downtown area has become a weekly adventure for us whether we're sampling home grown local sweets or supporting the amazing variety of artisan shops.

What season is it here now? 

Sam: It definitely has to be summer. (Why? I asked.) Because in summer no one goes to school. 

Tristen: It's Friday.

What is your favorite way to play?

Sam: I like to play with my legos all day. I build all different kinds of stuff, mostly battle ships and I give them to (mom) and dad and stuff. 

Tristen: I like to play with my monster trucks and He-Man.

What do you like most about learning with friends?

Sam: I like playing badminton and pretending, we have a lot of different costumes. 

Tristen: My friend little Brad, I like to play Ninjago with him. He has full potential Zane!!

Can you tell us something special or different about where you live or games you play?

Sam: We live close to the Delaware River, I like to go there for fishing. I also collect rocks and find crayfish in the water at the park. 

We've learned that in Australia, it's winter and they don't really say g'day to their mates- but rather they just say "hi." (We say that here in America too!) Taking part in the tour, working with Mariah, and connecting with this amazing community has been so much fun. I know it's helping my boys to build leadership skills, awaken creativity, and inspire a love of discovery while meeting new friends from all over the globe. I invite your family to get involved! Meet new friends by searching and sharing the #PlayfulTour tag on Instagram or Twitter. Sign up any of the Playful Learning Ecademy classes, print out your Playful Passports, and come on tour with us!

August 1st: Playful Tour Kick Off

August 2nd: Oh My Handmade, Canada
August 5th: My Organized Chaos, Japan
August 6th: Childhood 101, Australia
August 7th: Mindful Parenting, Australia
August 8th: Picklebums, Australia
August 9th: TrashN2Tees, USA
August 12th: Simple Kids, USA
August 13th: Mee A Bee, Japan
August 14th: A Happy Adventure, NZ/China
August 15th: Story of Mum, UK
August 16th: Poppy Haus, USA
August 19th: Kid World Citizen, USA
August 20th: Salsa Pie, USA
August 21st: Everything Mom & Baby, Canada
August 22nd: Simple As That, USA
An Everyday Story, Australia
August 23rd: Made By Joey, Canada
August 26th: Growing Up Herbal, USA
August 27th: All Done Monkey, USA
August 28th: Thirteen Red Shoes, Australia
August 29th: The Tiny Twig, USA/Africa
August 30th:  Swoon, USA


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