Category Archives: creativity

creativity

Upcycled Vintage Suitcase Ideas

I love the look of old luggage – it has so much character, so many stories to tell.  But what do you do with it?  Many vintage suitcases are too heavy or too musty to use for packing clothes.

So why not turn it into a pet bed?!  This idea falls into the category of “I could totally make that …. but I won’t”.  There are several different styles of these vintage suitcase pet beds at Love-Nostalgic-Whimsy on Etsy!

catcase

The Love-Nostalgic-Whimsy store has several other upcycled vintage suitcase items for sale, including this retro looking side table.

table

A vintage suitcase filing cabinet?!  Love it!  Courtesy of Poetic Home.

filecase

Another side table idea – this time on casters!  So easy and so cute [doubles as storage too].  Via sassycrafter on Flikr!  Oh and be sure to check out Kim’s blog – The Sassy Crafter – she’s going to be posting a DIY tutorial for this lovely piece!

sassysuitcase

Just stacking a few vintage suitcases can make a great side table too!

[Via m.bibelot]

sidetable

[Via deardaisycottage]

shells

creativity

Alternative Wrapping Paper Ideas

I’ve been buying gifts like crazy online today, trying to get my orders shipped so they arrive before the big day.  Pretty soon, the boxes will start piling up and I’m going to need to bust out the tape and ribbons and rolls of – WAIT!  NO!  There’s got to be a better way.  I can’t see all that paper getting shoved into trash bags and tossed in the garbage this year without feeling guilty.  [Thanks to an article I read on Earth 911 informing me that most wrapping paper cannot be recycled due to dyes, additives, the tape, etc. and that around 4 million TONS of wrapping paper and shopping bag waste is produced during the holiday season.  This is definitely going to lead to a post on ways to reuse wrapping paper.]

Know someone that loves to sew?  Wrap their gift in old sewing patterns!  Even if they don’t sew, the idea is still really cool – I’m stealing this one for sure!  Read the full tutorial by Rikkianne at Creature Comforts.

rikkianne

This idea is similar to the one above, but with a masculine touch.  Recycled architecture plans [via re-nest]!  Now, where can I get my hands on some of those?  [Andy Taylor, are you reading this?  lol]

archtctpresents

These wrapping alternatives are even better than the traditional wrap if you ask me … so much more personal and creative.  I love the idea of wrapping up wine bottles with tea towels – two gifts in one!  These lovely designs are from Studiopatro in San Fransisco.

teatowelstudiopatro

A burlap sack?  Yes, a burlap sack.  It never looked so good thanks to Faded Plains [there are some other great wrapping ideas to check out there as well!].

burlap

So what have we learned?  Traditional wrapping paper usage is wasteful.  Tea towels, burlap sacks, old sewing patterns or blueprints, newspaper, wallpaper scraps, old book pages, magazines pages, shopping bags … geez – almost anything is a better alternative.  Take a look around your house and wrap up something unique.  Then send me a picture. XO!

ELholidays300x150

creativity

Christmas Tree Inspiration

I am so excited about Christmas I can hardly stand it!  Last year we just had a mini [fake] pine tree, daintily decorated and placed on a side table … our place was tiny and we couldn’t accommodate a full sized tree.

2008 tree

Ava was only a little over a month old and spent most of the day sleeping, completely oblivious to the mound of presents waiting to be opened.IMG_1927

This year she is running all over the place and into everything, so I am chomping at the bit to get our tree and finish putting up all of our holiday decorations.  Despite the fact that I am trying to be more eco-conscious this year, we are going to pick out our [real] evergreen today.  I want the house to be filled with the scent of pine and a big full tree and memories of Christmas’ of my youth.  My dad was a big pine tree fanatic – he planted them all over our property and I’m all for planting trees too – at sites like goevergreen.org you can ‘plant’ a pine for $35.00 – good stuff!

Now we have tons more space and I am going to take advantage of it!  I’m still deciding how I want to trim our tree and spent some time looking at other people’s decorations on Flikr for some inspiration.  Here’s what I found …

via boopsie.daisy – so bright and colorful!  and love the sweet stuffs on that sofa, turning formal into fun!

christmasboopsie

via craftybeaver – the tinsel tree looks great w/ those walls – so retro!

holidaze

via floodinpdx – great alternative tree … such a natural look … and i’ve gotta have those lights!

branchtree

via ATLITW – i would keep this up all year round … genius!

atlitwtree

via dottie angel – very crafty, very inventive, very awesome

whatnottree

via Super*Junk – so adorable for a kids’ room … and i just love that rug.

pipecleanertree

via Simple Tess – so simple and some would say bare, but i really like it.  sometimes less is more.

simpletess

via matt-pearson – another simple, yet very elegant look.

whitelights

creativity

DIY Bows, Plantable Gift Tags, & Holiday Cards!

I love the holiday season!!!  Twinkling lights, festive decorations, and of course PRESENTS!!!  This year I want to be a little more eco-conscious than in years past, so I’ve been searching the internet for creative ways to top my gifts and send out my holiday greetings without wasting tons of paper and going through endless bags of bows.  [And don’t worry … I’ll be talking about wrapping paper solutions later in the week.]

Check out this tutorial on making your own bows from magazine pages from Talk Crafty To Me [they also have tons of fun holidays crafts!].  I think they look even prettier than store bought bows and the customization possibilities are endless!  I am going to be making some of my own bow creations this week and will definitely share the results with you.  How about you?  Will you be making your own bows?  What are you using to make them and CAN I SEE THEM??bow

I am really digging [no pun intended] all the plantable cards and gift tags hitting the marketplace.  Grace Graphics in Eastern Oklahoma turns out these plantable creations using recycled fibers and soy & vegetable based inks.  She has quite a selection of Christmas and Hanukka cards available and I just love the “Seeds n’ Greetings” phrase printed on the gift tags!  1 dozen gift tags for $11.50 and cards are $3.75 each.

seedsngreetingsletitsnow

I came across a lovely little blog today called ormolu, belonging to Kaitlin Sheaffer who is a mom who loves paper, handmade, and interior design.  She has an Etsy shop filled with all sorts of wonderful things like these A is for Angel Alphabet Gift Tags – 26 for $8.00 …. and these Love Song Paper Chains [that I completely ADORE], which would make an excellent garland [there are also some Christmas themed chains available] – approx. 1 yard for $4.50.

aisforangel

As I perused through the holiday cards on Etsy, I smiled and maybe even chuckled a little when I saw this letterpress print by Paper Elixer.  I laaaave it!  $4.00.peacejoylaaave

Be sure to check out all of the great holiday deals at Earth Lover!

earth lover

creativity

Really Awesome Advent Calendars!

I can remember opening the little paper windows on an advent calendar every December when I was younger.  Sometimes I would sneak a peek a few days ahead and steal the chocolate goody that was waiting for me.  I want to start the same tradition with my little Ava and I found some great ideas to inspire me.  Pretty soon I will be counting down to everything!

This calendar is so cute and colorful!  Felt circles and little numbered coins to pull off as the days pass by.  For more info on how to make your own, visit She Knits Shiznits.

colorfuladvent

This Christmas Countdown Kit, put together by a mother and two daughter team called Sweetwater contains everything you’ll need [fabric, thread, rope, iron-ons, pattern] to create these delightful pouches you can fill with treats of any sort.  $23.95.

countdownkit

There is a great tutorial for this pretty advent tree on The Red Thread [by Lisa in Sydney, Australia].  It’s such a simple idea and blends beautifully into the decor of any home.  This one is my favorite.

adventtree

These little beauties were made by Ashley of Nouveau Designs in my former home city of Brooklyn.  Inspired by the cityscapes of Brooklyn and Amsterdam … get one of your very own for $20.00.

brooklynadventamsterdam

And just for fun I thought I would include this photo I found on Flikr of a Beer Bottle Advent Calendar … just be sure you don’t drink yourself to Christmas all in one night!

beeradvent

creativity

Reuse Those Lightbulbs!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I am STUFFED and was just killing some time on the computer when I saw this awesome How To on Instructables.  This light bulb vase is such a clever use for your burnt out bulbs [that you are now replacing with CFLs – wink].  The base is just an aluminum ring from a recycled hard drive and they have some other options for keeping the bulb upright as well.  They have also made a light bulb terrarium – LOVE IT.

lightbulpvase

creativity

Terrarium Keychains, Jewelry, and How To Grow Your Own

I’ve always loved terrariums, but for some reason thought they were difficult to make or maintain.  I was so wrong.  They are so simple and soon they will be all over my house!  They also make really pretty gifts – anybody want one for Christmas??!!

A terrarium is a collection of small plants growing inside of a [usually] glass container … like a mason jar, fishbowl, etc.  A tiny little eco-system.  So tiny you can even put one in a keychain.  I found these tiny bamboo plants on ebay.bamboo

This ring by ILDVED [Danish name meaning ceremonial firewood] is made from oxidized sterling silver and a bit of copper and features a glass dome with preserved reindeer moss inside.  How cool is that?!  Made to order for $65.00.

mossring

A love of outdoors and living at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains were the inspiration for these moss terrarium pendants by Warm Country Meadows.  Hang them around your neck, from a keychain, or just sit them somewhere in your home and admire their loveliness.  The shop also has some great terrarium ornaments!  Two pendants for $10.00.

mosspendants

These beautiful terrariums were created by Stephen Orr [What Were the Skies Like] and his friends during a weekend in the Catskills.  You can read his tips on making them at Apartment Therapy.

woodland

A little bit of charcoal, some stones, potting soil, and of course a jar and plants are all you need.  Check out these other tutorials for more pointers:

CRAFT Project:  Mason Jar Terrariums

craft

Moo Mama:  Build a Terrarium

moomama

creativity

Please BEAR with Me

Although today’s post is all about teddy bears, I couldn’t resist taking advantage of the play on words in the title.

As you may have noticed, Furious Shirley has a different look – part of many new features I am adding to the blog.  So, “please bear with me” this week while I finish tweaking the new design.  Soon I will be introducing my guest bloggers, some giveaways and discounts as well as launching a Gift Gallery in time for the holiday season!  Now, back to lovable snuggable teddy bears!

This adorable teddy bear from Aurora is hypoallergenic and made from sustainable materials – the outer covering is soy based and the inside is stuffed with kapoc filling.  With stuffed animals like these on the market, is there any other choice?  Oh, and did I mention that it comes with a super affordable price tag?  $10.50 at Rush Creek Merchants.

ecoteddy read more »

creativity

Coasters Your Gramma Didn’t Have

My grandmother has had the same set of coasters for over 30 years.  They look very much like this set of vintage coasters I found at Moxie Thrift.

vintagecoasters

Nowadays, coasters have a lot more flair … but I’m not sure that will make you any more likely to actually set your drink on one.

I love these Rock ‘n Roll coasters by INOUDID’S Attic!  They are made from recycled album jackets and you can choose from various genres [Big Band Era, Rock, Country, Jazz, etc.] so you can put your drink on anyone from Barbara Streisand to Def Leppard.

fleetwoodmacdavidbowie

These cool pebble coasters are made by Little Factory and although they look like stone, they are made from microfiber and EVA so they bend and absorb!

pebble

pebblebend

These cool coasters available at EarthLover are made from recycled circuit boards – how awesome is that?!  Colorful and definitely unique – a great gift idea for your tech loving friends!

circuitboard

Find yourself thinking, “Hey, I can make those!”? Check out the coaster how to’s at Miss Behave!!  XO!

creativity

Halloween Costumes for Your Pets

This is our cat, Biggles.

biggles

I was planning on putting her into a cute pink argyle sweater with a choker collar and saddle shoe booties to make her a sock hop cat for Halloween, but she has other ideas.  Maybe if I could get her to come out from under the bed I could make another attempt at getting the sweater on, but right now not even treats can lure her.

If you have a more cooperative pet, there are some outrageously cute and outrageously ridiculous costumes you can buy or make for your four pawed companions.  At Pampered Whiskers, a portion of your purchase is donated to shelters and rescue organizations [more info on their site] so you can feel extra good about putting a sombrero or crown on your dog or cat.

sombrero

crownjewels

Down Under Dog Designs can turn your pooch into the Big Bad Wolf [custom sizing available]!

bigbadwolf

Ever wondered what your dog or cat would look like with braided hair or an afro or long golden locks?  You can buy pet wigs like this “Heidi Hound Hat” at Trixie + Peanut!

braid

They have a great selection of costumes [like this “Leap Frog Hoodie” – omg!] and tons of pet accessories.  If you’re NYC, you can visit their flagship store on E. 20th!

frog

And if you’re up for making something on your own, how about turning your beloved Fido into a Corn Dog?!?!  Love it!  You can find the instructions at Doggie Stylish, where artist Karen Friesecke and her ‘spokesmodel’ Jersey offer lots of great products and tutorials [check out her blog].

corndog

Happy HOWLoween!! XO!

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