baby / tots

Cool Find – Baby/Toddler Recycled Chanel Hoodie

From Fashion Designer Julia Cepp’s mamamija children’s line … a bit pricey at around $72.00, but oh so cute!  Love the idea of making these recycled hoodies … now, if only I could sew!

chanelhoodie

fashion spotlights

Spotlight: Tammy Wilson of Earth Lover

Back in June I featured the Batik diaper bag from Earth Lover.  A few weeks later I received a lovely email from the owner, Tammy Wilson, thanking me for including this item.  We wrote back and forth a few times and it became apparent to me that this shop was something special and I wanted to know more.  We set up a ‘phone date’ and talked our heads off about everything under the sun.  In her sweet southern drawl, Tammy told me all about her wonderful family and the journey through life that eventually gave rise to Earth Lover.  “Sometimes you just work your way to a place. It is not a lightening bolt. Not really a sudden brilliant idea- just a place that you find yourself on your personal journey, and then it evolves from there.”

Fourteen years ago, Tammy retired from a long career as a Respiratory Therapist.  Since then she owned and sold several small business – all of them born out of passion for the things she loves.  She took a few years off when her son started high school, but fears of an ’empty nest’ and a need to give back to the world won Tammy over in 2008 when Earth Lover was founded.  Her daughter, Micah Elaine, is working on her Masters in Teaching in Atlanta and her son, Spencer Ryan, has been working on restoring a ’67 VW Microbus [his recycling project] and plans to attend MIT after high school.  These amazing children were part of Tammy’s inspiration, as she wanted to set an example for them as they go out into the world and choose their roles in society.  Since she had experience importing goods and a love for handmade, starting a green business and working with Fair Trade products seemed like the perfect fit.  With the support of her architect husband, Tammy got busy searching for goods from all over the world, “that not only bring joy into the lives of the recipient, but give back so much to the world and the beautiful people struggling to live in many parts of it”.

Tammy calls Earth Lover an alternative shopping experience.  It’s a place to shop, to learn, and to give.  “If my site can make my customers think about how simple it can be to help others through a small purchase of a beautiful product, then maybe they will begin to think about ALL of their purchases and one tiny step at a time we can make a difference.”

You can find earth-friendly products at Earth Lover for your home, your pets, your children, yourself, and your friends.  Like these handmade Fair Trade Christmas Stockings – perfect for the upcoming holidays!  Handmade in Guatemala and Armenia, the stocking on the left is made from recycled burlap coffee bags and the stocking on the right is 100% cotton with a fluffy wool top!

Click on images for more info.

coffeestockingarmenianstocking

Wrap yourself up on those cold winter nights in the comfort of a Swazi Blanket.  Handmade from 100% cotton by the lovely women of Swaziland and made available in the USA through Creative Women [a Fair Trade organization based in Vermont].

Click image for more info.swaziblanket

Q & A

Tammy Wilson of Earth Lover [You wouldn’t believe how shy she was about sending me a pic!  For a while I thought she might have one eye, a warted nose, and horns! – LOL.  Soooo not the case – great picture, Tammy – thank you!]

tammyearthlover

What is your best selling item right now and why do you think it’s so popular?

jutebag“Right this VERY MINUTE my best selling product is the Recycled Jute Backpack– it is CUTE , colorful, unique, and a great price. It is starting to slow down, now that back to school has settled in, but still quite popular. Right behind that would be my Cruelty Free leather backpacks, messengers, and the Hemp Messengers. They are just great products, unisex, and really hard to find in cruelty free leather. I have a hard time keeping them in stock, as the Fair Trade makers in Nepal have limited production, and I ALWAYS sell out!”

Where do you find the products you sell?

“EVERYWHERE! I have products from Fair Trade members, local artists, small US companies, Non- profits. And I have NEVER been to a wholesale market!! (I KNOW!!)  SO much of what I have is found by web searching for hours on end, late into the night- and from networking. People involved in Eco products, and Fair Trade tend to be very open and helpful, so it is not uncommon at all to be working with one group or person, and they share with me about another – I love that!

What is your favorite way to relax?

“Can you define that word, I am not familiar….. I am only 5’2” – and I frequently remind my friends and family that I am actually about 6’ Tall- I am just wound very tightly!! Haha! I do quilt- by hand- I know, who DOES this any more- but it is very relaxing. And I cook. Too Much. (Not too often, just too much- can you say LEFTOVER?) In the spring I grow vegetables.  Organic, of course.  I can totally chill in the garden for hours picking weeds.”

Why do you think people should buy eco-friendly and fair trade goods?

“Why WOULDN”T you??? Maybe I am naive, but I really believe that if people are educated about their choices, it is just not a choice any more!  If I ask anyone if they would rather have this handbag, or flower vase, from a sweatshop somewhere in the world, or a filthy polluting factory- or this other product from a Fair Trade Co-op that is supporting the welfare of people and making products in a way that considers the impact on our environment…Really, WHO is going to say, “Oh. I really Prefer the Sweat shop, thank you!” I really do believe it is just a matter of OFFERING an option, and educating the shopper. Maybe I am just a True Believer- but I really do believe that people are inherently Good, and would much prefer to choose Good when it is effectively offered!”

What’s something silly that most people don’t know about you?

“I talk too much to have any secrets. Really!  Ha! I don’t know…I am a vegetarian (no surprise really).   I am terrified to fly.  So I may never see many of the places that I work so hard to support – how sad is that?  Maybe someday…but I am REALLY terrified.  I have flown- lots of times- but it is hardly worth the trauma and I am getting more terrified every year.
I also like to sing stupid made up spontaneous songs during any time of great stress for my loved ones.  Yea, they REALLY appreciate this.  I recently had a Greatest Hits  involving the SAT!  It is REALLY silly, but it does relieve stress when someone is making a complete fool of themselves on your behalf.  Shannon, that may be way too silly for ANYONE to know!!” –
Tammy, you are not alone.  I sing about diapers, going to the grocery store, taking a bath, and a few other things I won’t mention.

BIG THANKS to Tammy Wilson of Earth Lover!!! This shop is definitely one to watch!

XO!



decor

Wicker Chairs. Yes, Wicker.

Every time I pass through a yard sale or visit a thrift shop, I see some sort of wicker chair sadly sitting out with a low price tag dangling from a piece of string tied to the arm.  When I think of wicker chairs, images of tacky yard furniture come to mind, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  I found some great looking wicker on Flikr – cozy nooks, inviting porches, weathered vintage, and even a few modern looks.  The next time I see one of those wicker chair cast-aways, I will not turn my nose and walk away – I am in need of a chair for my “office” [which is really just a corner of our living room w/ a desk and a bookcase] and I think a nice wicker chair with a cozy cushion would be the perfect fit.  If you have some good looking wicker, I’d like to see it.  Email me.

XO

via C a l v i n a

restvia DeepFriedBacon

favoritechair

via Crafton

garagesale

via gtcowgirl

greenchair via sfgirlbybay

saarinen

via NapaneeGal


storefrontvia jmail13789

bathroom

via deardaisycottage

nookchair

via jlee 2008

southern

via On Bradstreet {Amy}

oldblue

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

cooking

Amazing Birthday Cakes Anyone Can Make!

My little Ava babers turned one this week – unbelievable!  I baked her an organic chocolate cake with chocolate icing and spelled out “Happy Birthday Ava” in puffs – her favorite treat.  I thought she would just dive right into the cake when we set it in front of her, but instead she daintily picked off one of the puffs and put it in her mouth.  She wanted nothing to do with the cake.  Eventually she got into the frosting when she started smashing her treats down into the cake, but there was no face in the cake like I expected … maybe next year.

I just made a chocolate sheet cake – no fancy schmancy decorations, but next year for Ava’s second birthday I plan on going all out.  I found these amazing cakes that actually seem fairly simple to bake and decorate – no elaborate piping, no fondant, no ‘cake boss’ skills required.  Just a little imagination and a whole lot of love!

This super cute Castle Cake uses sugar and waffle cones for the turrets and you could customize this cake in so many ways with your own candy choices.  For more details, visit the Parenting website.

castlecake

I found this Sledding Party Cake recipe at Better Homes and Gardens.  Coconut snow, pretzel rod trees, and cute little teddy graham sledders!

sledcake

I think this Cookie Crown Cake with M&M and gumdrop jewels is so pretty!  Find out how easy it is at Family Fun.

crowncake

The Family Fun site also has an A to Z list of cute cupcake ideas like this Mini Monster!

minimonster

I found this cool site called Birthday in a Box – they have everything you can imagine to put a party together – including this awesome Daisy Cake Pan!

daisypan

And this Dinosaur Cake Pan!

dinopan

Have you made an amazing birthday cake??  Send me a picture and the recipe and I’ll feature it on the blog!!!

fashion

Holiday Inspired [Handmade] Jewelry with Year Round Appeal

With the big holiday season approaching, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some selections inspired by major holidays that can be worn all year.  There is nothing like a great piece of jewelry to add a little flair to your outfit.  Jewelry can be very personal or just for fun. Like a necklace I have had since I was small with a tiny ruby hanging on a tarnished gold chain or a big chunky colorful bracelet that makes me smile.  Since baby Ava loves to tug on my necklaces and earrings [ouch!] I have been wearing more bold rings and bracelets … but still find it hard to resist a killer necklace.

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I’ll start with this Wishbone Necklace by Lanyapi Designs.  Make a wish and this gold charm could be yours for only $23.00.

wishbone

I debated whether this Candy Corn Lariat should be part of the Halloween inspired jewelry, but the autumnal colors made me lean more towards Thanksgiving.  Hanging on an antiqued copper chain, these agate stones are lovingly strung through a hand hammered brass and copper ring by Sally Stearns of SASessories$39.50.

candycornucopia

I cannot believe Christmas is next month. There are some people in our neighborhood that already have their decorations and lights up – ridiculous!  If you can’t wait for that yuletide cheer, adorn yourself with this awesome “made from vintage” piece by That Jewelry Girl.  A rhinestone button attached to a brass locket and strung with a medley of brass chains make for an eye-catching piece.  “Hanging of the Greens” can be purchased for $32.50 [free shipping for November!!].

greens

I looked at hundreds of snowflake jewelry trying to find something that didn’t look so ‘tacky Christmas’ and it was no easy task.  Finally, I found this charming little necklace by CrArt.  I love the copper patina snowflake pendant falling down the side towards the bluest of blue teardrop briolette.  It looks so delicate … just like a snowflake.  $29.00.

snowflakepatina

Next on our journey through the holidays is Valentine’s Day.  A day easily associated with jewelry.  I am hoping that this “Yes No Maybe Love Me Love Me Not” charm bracelet by A Likely Story will BE MINE soon!  Charm bracelets are so fun … I would wear it all the time [hint hint, Michael].  $39.95.lovemecharm

I had to include these beautiful earrings by Royal Princess Designs – they are made from REAL ROSES preserved in thin layers of resin.  How cool is that?!  $42.00.

realroseear

All Those Threes is to thank for this gorgeous Love Mandala necklace.  Handcrafted from 99.9% pure silver and hanging on a fine sterling 17″ chain.  $58.00.

mandala

There are so many icons associated with Easter – crosses, colorful eggs, lilies, and of course bunnies. This adorable little bunny charm created by Mariska goes by the name of “Tumsy”$28.00.

tumsy

This wonderful Easter Lily Bracelet was made from antique spoons [circa 1907]!!  Village Boutique, in my home state of Ohio, turns vintage silverware into amazing pieces of jewelry!  $44.99.

easterlily

The Fourth of July doesn’t have to be all Red, White, and Blue.  Rebecca Dubay of Vernon Bea Studio created this Patriot Necklace – a hand cut star and stamped tag hanging from a 16″ sterling ball chain.  Love it!  $53.00.

patriot

Halloween is such a fun holiday.  Pretty much anything goes.  Maybe that’s why I was so taken by this steampunk “Gothic Owl” Necklace by Cosmic Firefly$45.00.

gothicowl

And the final piece of jewelry inspired by a holiday is this “Death by Citrus” piece, which conjures up images of Dia de Los Muertos [Day of the Dead].  I love the color in this necklace – that vintage enamel flower is awesome!  It can be your very own one of a kind Bionic Unicorn creation for $76.00.

deathbycitrus

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!

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