'Green' Clothing Collections

As part of a conscious approach to Design I have opted to use unwanted fabrics in the clothing collections I design and create. Every season is different and every garment is unique. I begin by scouting the fabric stores in the garment district, 35th, 36th, and 37th streets between Broadway and 7th. You’ll see me diving under tables, and inside giant cardboard boxes to look for fabric that is in usable condition, by usable I mean I can wash it, rip it, sew it and/ or paint it. Once I find fabrics I coordinate color stories including the various fabrics mixed together and the trimmings I will add later. You can see this in the pictures below. The colors are approached as if they are finished garments on the rack, how do they look next to each other? what is the presence of the colors as a full collection? what is most attractive to a customer? This aids me in making a decision on whether I use the fabrics as accents or as full garments. Once this is set I usually choose 1-4 items, tops, bottoms, or dresses, which I will make with variations on silhouette or trimmings. Creating a few items is useful because I want to be at an affordable price and make my producing time smooth. This also allows me to design smaller capsules within each color or trim idea, with minor variations like a big shirt with a square, scoop, or a u neckline. Also in this manner the collection can be expanded and items can easily be mixed and matched.

I approach the Design process by being inspired with fabric and trim first, I then do lots of research on style and finally I add my favorite crafting finishes. The silhouettes are kept simple to allow the craft details to stand out. Part of the ‘think green’ movement is not just to create instead of buying for yourself or others but to also cut down on the demand of more fabric, try finding unwanted fabrics, and also trimmings, that will stand the wear and tear of creativity and keep them from being dumped in a landfill this is a truly conscious way to Design and craft.

eco-friendly hair care

as maryanne just taught us all, baking soda + vinegar are miracle products, and are practically the only things you need to have a clean and fresh-smelling home.

and now i'm here to tell you that they can work equally miraculously on...your hair.

i've fought a long fight with shampoo/conditioner. the day i washed my hair, no matter how well i conditioned, my hair looked and felt like straw. it would be okay the next day, good the next, perfect the next, then all of the sudden super greasy and gross the next, and i'd start the dance all over again. then i read about the natural method of cleaning your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. possibly better hair plus better for the planet? sign me up.

the process is fairly simple. wet your hair thoroughly, then take about a tablespoon or so of baking soda and plop it into your palm and splash in some water to make a fairly watery paste. get the paste onto your fingers and work it all over your scalp, starting at the crown of your head and working outward. massage your scalp with the paste for about 1 minute (for extra green points, turn off the shower while you're massaging:), then rinse. do another rinse using a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in about a cup of water (i keep a large chinese take-out soup container in the shower for this purpose...), then rinse that out thoroughly. that's it!

it does take a little perserverance to make the switchover from shampoo to this method. everything i read about it warned that you'd have "yucky" hair for the first couple of weeks, because your scalp would continue to overproduce oil, as it had been doing to compensate for all the oils that the shampoo stripped away. i could never get a more precise description than "yucky", but now that i've lived through it i can give you one: my hair felt like it was coated in a mixture of wax and motor oil. by day 13, i was getting a little cranky, and tired of bandanas. but then like magic, on day 14, my hair was perfect and soft and glossy.

you may have to fiddle with the proportions of baking soda and vinegar a bit—everyone's hair and scalp are different. if you use too much baking soda and your hair turns out dry, you can use a little bit of natural oil to even it out; just smooth a tiny bit over your hair, avoiding your scalp, once your hair is dry.

and no, you won't smell like a big pickle. :)

- cakehouse

Thinking Green - Let's Reuse Plastic Bags

Let's aim to keep the world as green as this painting of a tree that I created:

In the past couple of days, I have been reading articles on the internet about ways to reuse plastic bags.
I thought that I had come up with every idea associated with reusing plastic bags.
I am happy to say that I was mistaken and that I acquired new tips for the reuse of plastic bags.

I love the ideas put forth in this article, for reusing plastic grocery bags.

Here is another link to tips for reusing plastic bags.

From now on, I will continue to reuse plastic bags to:
-line the garbage bins in my house

I also plan to reuse plastic bags for packing my paintings.

Here is an article on repurposing plastic bags that I found in the Etsy blog. It's a good read.
Plastic bags may be used to create craft items, too!

Nina Kuriloff