A little bit of everything…

Category Archives: Green

Have you ever visited Comfortable Shoes Studio? Leslie Herger is an artist through and through. I’ve had the privilege of chatting with her on multiple occasions via Twitter. She’s amazing! I stalk her site and visit her Flickr photostream often.

Leslie’s one line bio is perfect. “I’m a bookbinder with a DayJob just trying to find my way to making art.” Her blog is a great window into her artistic adventures. She also runs an Artfire shop where she sells amazing handmade journals and notebooks along with original paintings. When she offered to send me a sample of her bookbinding work to enjoy, I couldn’t say no.

Comfortable Shoes Studio Jotters

Leslie generously sent me three jotters. They are a very convenient 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches. She uses old advertising posters for the covers. Each design is different and very graphic. You might end up with a letter or word or just abstract color. The three she sent me have a few letters but only one has a complete word on what I have positioned as the back cover. (I like the graphic nature of the mysterious letters over a complete word.)

Comfortable Shoes Studio Jotter

The paper inside varies to what she has on hand. My three contained a different paper in each, including Fox River 100% Recycled Ninja Speckled (ha ninja! I love it!), Environmental by Southworth, and Neenah Environment. The paper is 24lb and only one notebook had some printing on one side of the inner pages. Each notebook has between 40 to 60 pages. The jotters are stitched with a sewing machine with cotton thread. I can tell you, these are going to hold up to a lot of abuse.

Comfortable Shoes Studio Jotter

I’m not going to do a paper test because Leslie utilizes materials she has on hand and I’m sure they vary from batch to batch. From experience, 24lb paper should hold up well to even wet writers. Some fountain pen inks might want to feather a bit but I don’t predict having any problems.

Comfortable Shoes Studio Jotter

A lot of people love cahier style notebooks, pocket sized jotters are handy for notes, lists and random drawings. They fit comfortably in purses, bags, pockets, and glove compartments. I love making my own but not let’s face it, not everyone has time and energy. Instead of supporting big faceless companies, why not support handmade artists like Leslie? I just peaked and her shop is stocked full of great recycled jotters and other notebooks for great prices. Go take a peak!

I hope you enjoyed this review. Take care and be well.

I have been meaning to post but I haven’t really been up to much worth blogging about. I finished reading “The Lovely Bones” and Matt and I finally watched “Ponyo.” I recommend both! Work has been work and Iggy has been adorably mischievous as usual.

I did reach one milestone recently. March 9th was my one year anniversary on Twitter. To celebrate, I put together a recycled jotter notebook this afternoon. It is 4.25 by 5.5 inches and is made from security envelopes, 20# copy paper – both hand rescued from work recycle bins by yours truly, and an empty Cheerios box. The pages are mostly blank but some have one or two lines of text printed on them. I used bright blue embroidery floss to stitch the pages to the Cheerio’s box cover. The outside of the notebook has a security envelope pocket (with removable tear shapes) and the inside of the cover is the same security envelope pattern. There are 20 pages (40 sides). Keep in mind that this is a handmade recycled item so it is imperfect ~ just like me ^^

The Front
Inside front cover
The middle

To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment. On Sunday, March 28th I will post the winning comment and ask that person to contact me via an email I will list in that post. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me before I pick a new winner. Please only enter once and feel free to spread the word about this giveaway!

Thank you. Take care and be well.

Spring is in the air... think GREEN

My Daffodils are sprouting! Spring is in the air... think GREEN

It’s occurred to me that being “Green” has become fashionable more out of hype than necessity for many people. This greatly saddens me but I’m happy that its catching on.

I have leaned toward a low impact lifestyle my entire life. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and recycle everything you can. My mother taught me to put a bucket in the sink during the summer and let it fill up during regular activities like washing hands or your afternoon snack apple. When its full, run outside and water your flower gardens! She also instilled the value of less is more. I adore my mother and cannot thank her enough for all the lessons she has taught and continues to teach me. (I love you Mum!)

Here is a quick list of things I do to help limit my “footprint” on mother earth. They are easy to do and I encourage you to take steps to minimize you impact as well.

  • Turn the lights out. When you leave the room or close your book, flic the switch and save some energy.
  • Bored with the tele? Nothing on? Shut off the boob tube. Still need some background noise? Try the radio or internet music options.
  • Driving somewhere? Slow down! Speeding wastes gas and on average you only get there 3 minutes faster. Don’t believe me? Try it some day. Oh and coast… I love coasting… from red light to red light… a little bit of gas can go a long way and saves you money too.
  • Compost. Don’t have a compost pile? Does a friend or family member or your community have one you can contribute to? Don’t throw that bag of spoiled veggies away – recycle it back into “black gold.”  Afraid of odor? Keep a bucket with lid or bag in your freezer and stash your banana peels, potato skins and all that green goodness until you can get to a composting site.
  • Cook and bake efficiently.  Cooking for two? Make food for 4 or 6 or even 8. The freezer is your friend. (Labeling is recommended for anyone like me who forgets). Also, listing what is available in the freezer might sound a bit overboard but can help on those nights when you’re hungry and don’t want to forage.
  • Get your clean on! I use vinegar and baking soda all around the house. Vinegar may not smell pretty (still reminds me of Easter egg dying with Nani) but it sure does work. Baking soda is awesome at attacking and defeating stains on counter tops and scrubbing tubs and sinks (without scratching delicate surfaces too). Tough grease mess on the stove top? Give it a try! I have also dumped baking soda down drains followed with a vinegar chaser and cleared up some serious clogs. Vinegar is also great for windows and safe to use around pets. (I use vinegar during my weekly tank cleanings for my pet mice).
  • Unplug things. Done with your laptop and the battery is charged? Unplug. Leaving for a weekend – unplug the unnecessary electronics like the television. Don’t leave your cell phone chargers or the toaster plugged in when not in use. Surprisingly they do still draw energy and run up your bill.
  • Recycle everything you can. Run unwanted junk mail through the shredder and recycle. Plastic, paper, and more. Mulch your grass clippings back into the lawn or use around your garden to keep the moisture in the soil. Grind up leaves and use them as a mulch in your gardens. (We do this every fall. Its great to protect your plants and can be dug into soil when Spring rolls around).
  • Clean out your street’s gutters! You may not realize that what goes into the sewers often is not treated before it runs back into local river or lake. Don’t let things go down the drain. Also, keeping the gutters clear helps your street not flood in rain storms. (My city is on Lake Michigan and I have seen neighbors dump chemicals down the sewer EEK). Pick up trash in your yard… it is likely going to end up in the gutters anyways.
  • Second hand is okay. I love rummage-sale-ing and thrift store shopping. Ask friends if they want to swap clothes or even hand them down to younger generations in the family. Don’t forget to donate to local charities if you have a stash of unwanted items.

So… I hope this has given you a new idea or at least inspired you to think a little greener today. If everyone does a little bit – it will add up to a big difference.

Here a few links to blogs that I’m subscribed to. I find them informative, inspirational or just plain fun:

Anything I missed? Do you have an idea or currently do something “green” that you want to share? Know of a great “green” site? Please add a comment.

Be well.