Thursday, January 20, 2011

a bit cozy

For those of you who are unaware of it - I wear glasses. All the time. Without them I'm practically blind, so except when I'm sleeping, those babies are always perched on my nose.
And since I have to wear the darn things constantly, I like to make sure I'm sporting the most fashionable pair I can afford, which is very easy since I discovered the world of online prescription eye-glasses. Got a spare 15 bucks? Well then, you can get yourself some brand new specs! 
But alas, along with each and every fabulous pair  I've ordered (I think I'm up to 6 now), comes a cheesy, plastic glasses case... Yeah, I guess if I wanted to carry ALL of my glasses around with me at once, I could use the spare cases. But that would be weird.
So, as I set about this morning to do a little woodworking, a light bulb went on over my head . As I removed my newest purchase - great big owl-like 'work' glasses - from their cheesy little case and turned to rummage through a drawer full of  loose and mistreated drill bits, a thought occurred to me: 

Cheesy Glasses Case meet Mistreated Drill Bits...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

DIY labels

Just had to share the end-product of what has been a 3-day project (including a trip to Bangor for materials I ended up not using. Sigh...)
It all began when I went into production on my newest item (details of which will be unveiled soon!), and found that I didn't have any labels swanky enough to adorn the latest addition to my creative offerings.  I've always made my own labels and hang-tags - mostly from paper sandwiched between transparent contact paper or some variation of that - but these needed to be something a little classier, professional.
So first I went online to see what I could find, and "you want HOW MUCH  for 100 labels, and it's going to take HOW LONG to get them??" - was my reaction. Then I noodled around looking for some DIY-fabric-label advice. They all pointed to printable iron-on sheet that you can use in your home printer, which I was lucky enough to find locally.

I had originally wanted to use twill tape for the actual label material, but found that to be too 'bumpy' and ended up using plain ol' muslin which worked out perfectly! The graphics came out nice and crisp and the adhesive from the label paper sealed the fabric and will prevent any fraying of the edges. Perfecto!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

flour power

Not unlike the Medieval British warrior from whence its name is derived, King Arthur Flour is the stuff of legends. This 100% USA grown wheat flour is - as each bag proclaims - "never bleached, never bromated", and is the purest, most consistently high quality flour you will ever use. Just ask any baker worth his or her weight in - well, bread - and they are sure to agree.

OK, but what does this have to do with  recycling? 

Well, all those bakers use a whole lotta bags of flour, and all those bags mean a lot of raw material for me to make my recycled tote bags out of! And that is just what I brought to the King Arthur Flour-sponsored Kneading Conference and Artisan Bread Fair up in Skowhegan, ME this past July. Was I hoping my King Arthur emblazoned tote bags would catch the eye of one of their reps? Of Course! And did that happen? Heck, yeah! And in a big way...
Long story short, my recycled flour bag totes are now available at The Baker's Store, King Arthur Flour's flagship retail location in Norwich, VT. And they are a hit! So much so that I've had to seek out additional sources for empty bags to work with, and was lucky enough to get hooked up with Amato's Bakery in Westbrook, ME. 
brothers John and Anthony Amato pose in front of pallets of King Arthur flour and a Medieval looking dough thingy
This huge bakery - family owned and run since its 1902 inception - uses tons King Arthur bread flour (by the 100lb bag-full) to create their amazing breads and rolls, and General Manager, John Amato and his merry band of bakers have been kind enough to set aside those empty bags for me! And if I time it right, I usually end up with a fresh-from-the-oven loaf to take home with me (not that it ever lasts that long...). Thanks guys!