Saturday, December 5, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Before the bias tape maker came along, I either made my own bias tape or bought the premade kind - neither option being the best. Making it myself is time consuming and sometimes painful having to iron the fabric so much. Buying the premade kind, while easier, is not the most economical option.
But now, I have this awesome little machine that in 60 seconds does what used to take me 10 minutes. I LOVE it! I can't imagine not having it, and I am already so attached to it. It is brilliant.
Two minor things I wish were different about it: I wish it would make multiple sizes of bias tape - it only makes one size. This is ok as the size it makes suits many purposes just fine. And I also wish it would make double fold bias tape - a pretty easy fix with an iron and an additional few minutes.
Even still though, I see myself using this handy little machine all the time now. Wonderful. Simplicity.
Friday, November 27, 2009
The order is from a web store that will soon launch called Water's Edge Organics. They will carry an incredible selection of organic and earth-friendly products. I've seen some of the products they will offer and they are truly amazing - this store will take eco-lux to a new level!
The site will launch soon - I'll post their grand opening. When it's open, you'll find the store at http://www.watersedgeorganics.com/.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
So, I have been on the hunt for a good roast chicken recipe for a very long time. I've been looking for a recipe that is simple and easy and that doesn't require a special trip to the grocery store. I have tried half a dozen different recipes that have never quite been the perfect one, until now. You know, the fall back recipe. The one you can make anytime for anyone and always have it turn out well.
And I finally have found it! The best roast chicken recipe ever thanks to Foodgawker, Thomas Keller, and Ninette Enrique at BigBoldBeautifulFood.blogspot.com. This is a photo from Ninette Enrique at BigBoldBeautifulFood.blogspot.com featured on Foodgawker along with the recipe down below.
This recipe is amazing and only requires salt, pepper, a little thyme, and of course, the chicken. The result was tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned, and completely easy. I will be using this recipe again and again.
Here is a link to the recipe:
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
There is quite a collection of delicious looking recipes on the site, each leading to wonderful food blogs with more recipes that look delicious. Genius. I have shelved my cookbooks while I explore all these incredible worlds.
First up is a split pea soup recipe. I've never made it before, but I found some split peas on sale at the grocery store today and thought I'd give it a whirl. Plus with cooler weather on the way, it sounds pretty yummy. I found this recipe from foodpeoplewant.com through Foodgawker.
Doesn't this look delicious! Thank you FoodPeopleWant.com. Here is a link to the recipe:
Here it is:
What do you think?
Friday, October 30, 2009
Check out the link: http://newparent.com/go-shopping/
Thank you so so much NewParent.com! And a big big thank you to Etsy too!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
But there is a really good thread in the Etsy forums right now that may put me on the right path. Check it out here:
Monday, October 26, 2009
1. Open your first photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo on your blog and tell the story behind it.
4. Tag people to do the same.
So this is a photo taken at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center over the summer. It was so hot, somewhere around 102 degrees. And this is a view from under this beautiful trellis that walks into the Center.
I also found this great article on creating a media kit and thought I would share. As you probably know, a media kit is a packet of information about your business that you share with the press. They are great tools for promoting a small business, and relatively easy to put together.
Create a Media Kit for Your Small Business
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Princess Tiana's hair detangler by Carol's Daughter is paraben-free and gentle on your child's hair. It's also gentle on the budget, costing only $10.00. Granted, this is more than the cost of Johnson & Johnson's detangler. But, this one is earth-friendly and will last for a long time. Totally worth it. Go to: carolsdaugher.com.
Another great find is a set of four makeup brushes in the Eco-Tools kit by Alicia Silverstone. The entire set is only $14.99! The set is soft and cruelty-free and the bag they come in is made of hemp with nontoxic inks. Wow! What a great deal and green too! You can find this set at Target.
Do you have a great green find or green tip? If so, share it here and help us all shop more earth friendly.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
The lemon yellow bamboo leaf print is part of Robert Kaufman's greenSTYLE line and is 60% cotton and 40% bamboo poplin (excluding the red trim.) This sustainable fabric is low-impact dyed, leaving less (or no) harmful waste.
The dress is a wrap-around, so it will grow with a child. It can be worn as a dress, over a pair of jeans or tights, or as a tunic next year. Throw a long sleeve tee under it and wear it all year long. Or I can make it with long sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves if you prefer.
So, what do you think?
You can see more details on this dress when I open my shop in a few short days!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
After an entire summer of temperatures over 100 degrees, this morning the weather decided to be chilly and cloudy. We delayed the shoot for an hour to let the temperature rise a bit, which it normally does here in Texas. Still hoping the weather would warm up, we decided to take pictures of each dress on the form before putting the girls in them.
And then I stepped in a big pile of dog poop.
In the end, the temperature decided not to cooperate with us at all and lingered around 57 degrees all morning.
Despite the weather, I think we got some terrific shots. As it turns out, searching for ladybugs, playing with sticks, and watching a big puppy run around make for an excellent photo shoot.
You can see a sneak peak of our photoshoot on Brandy's site here: http://brandylewisphotography.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/talented-momma/
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I am a big fan of wrap-around dresses. Wrap-around dresses are comfortable for play, they grow with a child, they can be casual or dressy, they can be worn with jeans or tights or alone as a dress...the list goes on and on. Needless to say, I have designed a wrap-around dress for my Etsy opening, and today's red organic cotton dress is a wrap-around.
All night long I've been looking at this dress on the form trying to figure out why it doesn't quite work and I've finally figured it out. This is a grown up's dress. It's a dress that I would wear. I think I've subconsciously designed something for myself in this wonderful, beautiful, perfect fabric that happens to be my favorite shade of red.
Since there is no way this dress will ever fit me, I must somehow figure out a way to "toddler it up." I'm going to look in the kitchen right now for something gooey to spill on it...
Sunday, October 4, 2009
In the meantime, here is an amazing tribute to Disney's birthday - which was October 1. It is a really cool video technique called tilt-shift and features an entire day at the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
The cuff just didn't work, and instead of simply taking it off, I proceeded to hack it off. Yep. That was my brilliant fix. So my long sleeve turned into a 3/4 length sleeve. But the sleeves weren't even. So more hacking. And more. Until now I'm left with an uneven, sleeveless mess, mocking me.
Friday, October 2, 2009
First, organic cotton. It turns out that being left untreated does wonders for fabric. I never realized before how much softer organic cotton is - mostly because I thought it would be too expensive to buy. But with all the research I did, I was able to find some beautiful options for about $11.00 a yard, a price that includes the shipping it took to get here. That isn't too much more than the fabric I used to buy in the fabric stores around town, and in some cases it's even cheaper.
That being said, organic is now the only way to go for me. Having worked with organic, there is no way I can go back. Admittedly, there are fewer cute options with organic right now, and some of those options are very expensive still. But there are more and more manufacturers going green and producing green products. That means more choices are being made everyday!
Now on to bamboo. Bamboo fabric is by far the most luxurious and wonderful fabric I've ever touched in my whole entire life. I want to be surrounded by bamboo fabric. I want to sleep in it. I want to sleep on it. I want to wear it everyday. If I could wear shoes made out of bamboo fabric, I would.
I've read before that bamboo is really soft and feels like silk. I never got it until now. It's way better than silk. It's incredible, and I am in love with it. The best part is that this fabulous and amazing fabric is sustainable. It is fabric heaven.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So the measurement session went something like this: come on in!, play, play, play, oh trains!, play, play, play, oh a slide!, play, play, quick measure, play, play, play, play, bite of lunch on the run, play, play, play.
Overall, a very successful session for 2 two-year-old models hard at work!
Monday, September 28, 2009
The first fabric here below is a really cute and fun fabric that I found in Baby Bird Design's Etsy shop. All of the fabric in Baby Bird Design's shop is 100% organic cotton and is certified by Global Organic Textile Standards. I think this fabric would make a beautiful little girl's dress for the holidays!
I found the next beautiful fabric at Fresh Fabric Australia's shop on Etsy. Fresh Fabric Australia has a lovely collection of fabrics from independent designers and some very nice eco-friendly options. This particular fabric is a print by an independent Australian designer Bianca van Meeuwen (Hollabee). It is hand screen printed with eco-friendly, solvent free inks on an unbleached cotton/linen blend.
Some other non-Etsy sources that I have found with great eco-friendly options include:
So this is what I have so far. What do you think - any sources to add? Let's make sure our favorite places stay in business by sharing and promoting!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I first saw this really cool video clip on another blog that I read, Bacon is My Enemy. It's a clip of Bobby McFerrin at the 2009 World Science Festival. This clip is so awesome I've watched it a dozen times now. Without fail, it makes me smile.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Today, my focus has been on messenger bags. To find the perfect one, I look to Etsy. I was very happy with the selection of eco-friendly messenger bags I found and finally settled on this hemp bag from Uzura as my favorite:
The bag is 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton so it's good for the environment. It's also beautiful, durable, and most importantly, functional. I love it!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I had them done by Nina at The Paper Kingdom on Etsy. She was so nice to work with, and she chose the perfect colors as borders and accents. She gave me some great advice and tips on what would look best for me. I'm so glad I listened to her. And she lives in Athens, Greece! How cool is that?
So, the hang tag is on top, and the sticker is on the bottom:
One step closer!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
At Spoonflower, you design and print your own fabric on demand. They have several base fabric options, including organic cotton and a bamboo-cotton blend. So they use eco-friendly fabric! And Spoonflower fabrics are always printed with water-based, nontoxic inks that are wash fast and light fast.
You can browse other people's designs on the site, and there are really some beautiful creations. I could spend hours looking through all of the awesome fabric prints.
Spoonflower even has a weekly fabric design contest. Juliann Law is this week's winner and here is her fabric design:
What a cute print! This fabric is available for purchase on Etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30683319.
Thank you Mary for your email!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Trips to the local fabric stores were a complete bust - terrible selection with matching terrible prices. So, I have turned my attention to the internet. As it turns out, there really isn't a great selection of fabrics that meet all of the criteria: cute, sustainable, and affordable. But I am narrowing a few sources down and have found some online stores that seem promising. So, the search continues.
In the meantime, if you know of an awesome fabric supplier with sustainable fabrics, please share!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
The best part: these are eco-friendly too!
Thank you HydraHeart for bringing us beautiful, eco-friendly shoes that are affordable!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
This week, we have been focusing on laying the groundwork to start a business - doing some necessary things like deciding on a business structure and suppliers. These are all extremely important. But I thought I would take today to talk about some of the reasons we are so committed to producing sustainable clothing at Happy Banyan.
Unfortunately, beautiful fashion often comes at the expense of the environment. Much of the time, the production of textiles is done in a way that permanently damages non-renewable resources such as our waterways, our air, and our groundwater; harming marine life and entering our food chain along the way. Sometimes, production takes place in sweat shops by workers who are poorly paid and work long hours in horrible conditions.
These are a few of the many reasons we support sustainable clothing. Sustainable clothing avoids the depletion of natural resources and seeks to conserve an ecological balance between what is used and what is replaced. To protect our environment, we believe in using natural and organic fibers, reusing and recycling, and in the conservation of resources.
We believe it is time to change the way we consume, the way we produce goods, and the way we affect the environment. Join us in our commitment to the Earth!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
So this law applies to children's products made on or after August 14, 2009. It applies to anyone who manufactures such products - including makers of handcrafted goods and clothing made primarily for children under the age of 12. That means that we at Happy Banyan must meet the requirements of this law.
What I've learned so far is that the law requires a "tracking label" for children's products. This tracking label must include, at a minimum:
1. information on the location of production (country, city, and state); and,
2. the date of production.
There are other parts of the law such as product testing that do not appear to apply to children's clothing, so we are not going to talk about them here.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a very helpful FAQ section on their website. Here is a link: http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/faq/103faq.html#103q8.
They also have a Guide for Small Businesses, Resellers, and Handcrafters that is very useful. Here is a link: http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/smbus/cpsiasbguide.pdf.
You can sign up for email alerts about information on this law from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission by going here: http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html.
In addition to the new labeling requirements of the CPSIA, it appears there are some general label requirements under the federal Textile and Wools Act. Under this Act, the label must disclose fiber content and country of origin.
Here is a helpful publication on the Textiles and Wools Act from the Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/textile/bus21.shtm#covered.
All in all, I'm very glad I read all this before I ordered fabric labels for my Etsy grand opening! Now, I just need to figure what else, if anything, federal laws require for handcrafters of children's clothing.
Chime in if you have anything to add on this topic, and if you have pictures or examples of the fabric labels that you'll be using because of the CPSIA, please share!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
But here's the thing. I know nothing about photography or how to take a good photograph. There are important things like lighting to think about and so many other things I have no idea even exist yet when it comes to good photography. Having taken a few not so great photographs of my designs, I have a newfound respect for photographers.
All this to say that the countdown to the Etsy store launch is now 37 days! 37 days to get up to speed on how to take an awesome photograph and everything else.
I thought I might start by reading the instruction manual to my digital camera. After that, maybe I need to figure out how to get the lighting right.
Does anyone have any ideas?
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I am now embarking on a quest to build a company that embodies my vision for attractive and practical clothing for young girls (and possibly boys!) that tries to be eco-friendly and sustainable wherever possible.
Based solely on a two-hour class about sewing in a local fabric store, I learned that I could in fact manage to sew a cute dress or two and perhaps have fun along the way. As it turns out I love designing and making clothing! A big thank you to Cynthia at the Bernina sewing center in Hancock Fabrics in Austin, Texas who taught that class!!!
Shortly after the initial course and the first half dozen dresses, it became clear that I would have to share some of my creations with the world at large or risk drowning both self and family under an avalanche of dresses.
So with no more than a newly discovered passion and talent for sewing I am working to launch a new fashion brand and e-commerce business.
Follow along as I relate my experiences and feel free to share your experiences with me!