April Is Earth Month! Let's Celebrate!

Happy Earth Month, Crafty Readers! 

I have to be honest with you though, there is many a day where I sit in front of this space and scratch my head not knowing what to write.  I know, I should an editorial calendar, but I've been slacking (and I admit it) and therefore don't.  For me, the basics are simple- feature helpful environmental, crafty, artisanal, and accessible tips, projects, artists, products for those looking to make an impact whether large or small in their own art, craft and/or business world. At least that is my mission; I hope you find it agreeable and that you've been inspired thus far.

Anyhow, I share this with you so that you can imagine me sitting in front of my computer blank, scratching my head not just in the time before the article is due, but in the days leading up to it.  Don't feel bad though, usually, when I've reached peak frustration, something amazing happens- I am inspired!  Which means when you view my post the next day it is fresh off the brain.

For today's post, I was stumped. See,  I was planning to discuss my new favorite recycling option I just discovered, but didn't know how to loop it in without it seeming like a red stain on a white blouse.  But then something even more magical than just being suddenly inspired happened-I got an email from the Etsy Gods reminding me that it is Earth Month!  I mean "duh, Sara! How could you forget Earth Day is April 22nd?!"

In the spirit of the Etsy reminder, I've decided that this article should be about ideas to celebrate our incredible planet with ways to celebrate and add my tip to help conserve/reuse/recycle. This post will get you through at least the first two weeks of April, although my favorite tip at the bottom, I hope you incorporate in your life, especially during spring cleaning periods. Without further ado, here are ways to celebrate and make with the help of Etsy and my favorite tip:

Etsy Events and How-To's: 
How-Tuesday: Embroidered Cork Jewelry- Online
Craft Night at Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA  - Thursday April 5, 2012
Etsy Hands-On: Dirt in NY - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 

Favorite Earth Month Tip: Recycling Plastic Cards (Gift and Credit): 
My purse is swimming with those plastic cards. You know the kind- the ones you get in the mail for guest reward programs, or at holidays to use at shops. In many cases, you use the card and then throw it in the trash, never wondering where that little scrap of plastic is headed...to the landfill where it won't disintegrate for millions of years.

However, now there's an alternative, and boy, am I excited about it- a company called Earthworks recycles your old/unused/expired cards and turns them into reusable sheet stock for future plastic coated cards. Amazing, right?!  Even better is that by recycling these cards, you're helping reduce the demand for virgin PVC plastic that is used each time a new credit or gift card is made.

I went ahead and registered my email because I have quite a few cards that could stand being recycled. The address and instructions for recycling the cards is as follows:

       Earthworks c/o Halprin Ind.
       25840 Miles Rd.
       Bedford, Oh 44146
  • Please just send plastic cards, no rubber bands, paper clips or paper
  • Please put a label or hand write the name of your organization on the package so we can track it.
  • If sending credit cards, please make sure to call and cancel the card so that the card is no longer active
The other reason why I share this tips is in the case that you begin to offer PVC coated gift certificates, you know an alternative that is healthier for the planet.

Which reminds me, I'll have a follow up post to Earth Day on the 23rd, that hopefully includes a first hand account of their event Etsy Hands-On: Dirt, where participants will get to make their own tiny terrarium and seed bombs on April 10 at the Etsy Labs with the expertise of Kimberly Sevilla of Rose Red and Lavender.

Oh and if you have any tips or want to share how you are celebrating Earth Day/Month please do so. I'm interested. I may even want to join you, or feature you in a future blog posting!

Enjoy your Earth Month!


Around the Corner: Craft Night at Etsy Labs

Looking for a good, crafty time?  Craft Night at Etsy Labs is where it's at!  Located within Etsy Headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, you will find a wonderful, creative space dedicated to weekly craft workshops and open craft nights where you can even work on your own project.
Photos courtesy of Etsy Labs
Yummy materials, books, and tools are available for your use -- I dunno about you, but I seriously salivate at the sight of buttons, glue guns, scissors, and just about anything art & craft related.

Previous Craft Nights have included projects such as Glass Ornament Painting, Stenciling Postcards, Stitching Pet Portraits, Etching Jewelry, and even making homemade jam.
Photo Courtesy of KimmChi
So come join the fun!  And since the Etsy Labs is a favorite hangout spot for the {NewNew}, maybe  we'll see you there!

Who: You!
*Not in the NYC tri-state area?  Join the party online at the Etsy Virtual Labs
What: Craft Night at the Etsy Labs
When: Mondays from 4 -8 pm
*Always double check the Craft Night Schedule first (some holidays it is closed)
Where: 55 Washington Street, Suite 712, Brooklyn, NY
Cost: Free!
Craft on,
Virginia Kraljevic

Knitta Project: A work in progress

On a summer-like day in April, I headed to open craft night at the Etsy Labs. I came with a project in mind: a parking meter cozy. That's right. Even parking meters need love as they collect your quarters. The meter sleeve is one of 69 for the the Knitta Please project commissioned by the Montague Street Business Improvement District. For more info read Knitting for the Streets.

I'm an occasional knitter with more projects started than completed. With an impending deadline for the project installation and a strong desire to participate, I decided to see this through. Craft night would be the perfect opportunity to get things started.

On my list of things to bring were needles and yarn. Although initially missing in action, I managed to find the biggest needles I own, size 17. The yarn would come from a scarf, the first knitting project I ever completed. I spent my time on the train unraveling 2 skeins worth of yarn. Shortly after arriving at the Labs, my project was underway.

Scarf yet to be unraveled

Unraveled yarn from scarf yields 2 skeins

Several {NewNew} members are participating in the project, including KnitKnit and Kimmchi. They were both in attendance on Monday, making for a lively craft night. KnitKnit graciously provided some scrumptious chocolate pear bread. YUM! Most of the knitters participating are from the New York area. However, word has arrived that member May Luk has secured 4 sleeves all the way from from San Franciso.

Since craft night, I've been knitting on the train. Bigs needles require ample elbow room. So I have to be careful not to elbow someone or take an eye out with my needles. I'm more than halfway done and look forward to submitting it. Stay tuned for an update on the installation on Montague Street.

Knitting Stash on the train

- Red Bridge Studio