Category Archives: Recycle & Reuse

Trying to stay Green!

Ready for Baby Boy

Moving back to the South from California has been a major adjustment. We left many a close and true friends back in LA – it’s probably the hardest adjustment I’ve had to slowly accept. But the good thing about moving back to the South is that we moved BACK to the South. That means, we’re back where we have old ties. And to my surprise and much thankfulness, I have had many of those old ties pop up and flourish here in Nashville.

One of those is Claire.

Claire and I met blksjhk years ago as Freshmen in college at Furman University (no, that’s not a typo, I’m just not admitting the number of years it’s been because I would have to admit that I’m actually getting old and I refuse to damper my gorgeous fall weather buzz). We lived next door to one another on our Freshman hall … well, my first Freshman hall, but that’s a WHOLE other story for a totally different blog. Claire is from the Mississippi gulf, I grew up down the road in Pensacola, FL, so I liked her immediately. We didn’t become besties during our one semester as neighbors, but I always admired her (ok, and I was totally intimidated by her…but come to find out a few weeks ago she was intimidated by me, which I find hilarious. If we had both just known then!) After my awesome roommate and I moved to a second Freshman hall after first semester (ok, let’s just leave say our third roommate wasn’t so… compatible…even after group therapy, no, I’m no kidding), Claire and I remained friendly, but we lost touch after graduation. So, cut to the chase, when I was settled in Nashville, I began reaching out to fellow Furmanites on good ol’ Facebook. And there she was – Claire. We had coffee one day, started some sewing projects after that, swapped bargain shopping secrets, and the rest is history. She’s married to a fabulous gentleman, has a precious 2-year-old daughter and is having a little boy TOMORROW!  Eeee! BABY!

Well, naturally, I had to make sure baby boy would look great coming home. So, I took a sleep onesie that Claire got at a consignment sale for practically nothing (she is seriously the QUEEN of bargain shopping and Craigslist. Honestly, she should give workshops) and monogrammed his initials. After all, he will be a Southern gentleman.

 

And in the process, I, of course, went to the consignment sale shopping for my new niece and found another sleep onesie for baby and monogrammed that one too.

 

Baby boy can never have too many sleepers.

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Filed under Baby Presents, Baby Solutions, My Awesome Creative Friends, On a Personal Note, Product Line, Recycle & Reuse, Vintage Finds

More Burping of the T-Shirts

I have fallen in love with the vintage t-shirts turned burp cloths and bibs. It’s a one of a kind, handcrafted item that no one else in the world will ever have. So unique and cool. What else would I ever make my second cousin to wipe his spit up?

Jon and Mindy had their handsome son, Paul, back in June. Yes, June. I know, I’m slightly late. But, I look at it like I was waiting until all the “fuss” passed and then, BOOM!, surprise gift to make the fuss come right back (at least that’s what I’m telling myself).  Nevertheless, I think I came up with some presh designs. Jon is from Louisville, KY, so the slugger and horse cloths are a nod to home turf. And the 70s skiing dude, well, they live in Colorado. Need I say more?

Hope they enjoy using them as much as I loved creating them.

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Filed under Baby Presents, Baby Solutions, Family, On a Personal Note, Product Line, Recycle & Reuse, Vintage Finds

Treats for my Peeps

Ok, I admit it. I have a hard time accepting help and gifts without wanting to give something in return. I love giving treats. So, when my cousin, Lisa, saved me from death’s door with her cough syrup and an Etsy friend, Jennifer, helped me with marketing fonts – free of charge – you know treats were needed!

Oh, what to make? Nothing too big, but extra special to let the ladies know how much I appreciate them and their generosity. After much debate, I settled on pot holders/trivets and coasters. The next dilemma, what colors?

Well, Lisa was easy – Ole Miss colors, UGH. Now, understand, I’m a hard core LSU fan, most of our family are the same (being from Louisiana, it makes sense). But Lisa has always been the black sheep when it came to football (49ers instead of the Saints? Good Lord.) Nevertheless, I managed to suck it up and cut and piece the fabric together… Of course, playing the LSU fight song and drinking an Abita beer during the process did dull the agony a bit.  

Now, for Jennifer, it was a little harder. We know each other through Etsy. She designed and printed all my labels that adorn my creations – gorgeous, right? I know, she’s awesome. But Jen and I never really chatted beyond our professional messages back and forth. So, instead of guessing I just asked – What’s your favorite room in your home? What are your favorite colors? What’s the color scheme in that room? She answered as if she were my long-lost twin, “I LOVE blues and greens together…and some brown added too. My furniture is like a light olive green. Some may call it baby food/puke green. My walls are aqua-ish. 🙂 Dark brown furniture. I love natural browns, beiges, blues, greens…Does this help?” Um, YES, Jennifer, it does…and by the way, we are the same person.

It was super fun going through my scraps and making art from nothing. And both gals were super excited to get their treats. I’m just happy that I could give something in return and tell them how much I treasure them. Love you gals!

Get your very OWN custom coasters, pot holders and trivets in my Etsy shop! www.etsy.com/shop/Lilbumpkin.com

Lisa’s Response: Just got home to find my treats in the mail! I love love love them- and the Ole Miss colors are awesome ( I know that was hard for you so that makes it even more special!) I am already using them! Love you!  P.S. Great LSU game today!! So happy they beat Bama.. you know that I am a closet LSU fan ( except the weekend before Thanksgiving!)

Jen’s response: Got the treats!!! I got them on Saturday. I LOVE them! 🙂 The fabric is DEFINITELY what I would have chosen…and the labels are just awesome on them! I can’t believe I made those labels…they seem so much better than usual. LOL. THANK YOU so much!!!!!!!
Jennifer

Need labels? Visit Jen’s Etsy Shop! – http://www.etsy.com/shop/JennifersJewels

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Filed under Decor and Parties, Family, In the Kitchen, My Awesome Creative Friends, On a Personal Note, Product Line, Recycle & Reuse

Vintage Shirts for Baby’s Burps

We all know I love sewing for my besties. Nicole is one of my closest friends and also my manager. She hosted a baby shower for one of her best friends, Stephanie. Steph is waiting to find her baby’s gender until the birth, so Nicole was looking for something  neutral. She also wanted to get something that Steph really NEEDED. I asked her what did she use most when she was a new Mom and she answered, “You can NEVER have too many bibs and burp cloths.” Done!

As I was sketching ideas, I came up with something completely new for me – Vintage T-Shirts. They are one of the most absorbent things ever, so I figured they would make great bibs and burp cloths. Talk about making something that no one else could every have. Plus, you know how I love to recycle and reuse. Double bonus.Nicole loved the idea and put her complete trust in me. 

Though I personally know and adore Stephanie, I wanted more details about her. Nicole  answered a questionnaire and gave me all sorts of fun Steph facts: eats organic, loves green living, her hubby is from Brazil, she is an artist, loves dogs and all things California.

I spent the weekend shopping at various Goodwill stores with David. We had so much fun plundering through the racks. Of course, we found shirts for our friends who are expecting (Needless to say, I have more sewing to do). We stocked up, people.

It took me a while to get the right size and shape for the bibs and cloths. It was a large learning curve, to say the least. I designed a pattern, but each bib or cloth took on is its own life depending on the design from the shirt. So, I had to make adjustments as I went. The edging was the hardest – and after consulting with a few senior crafters, I bought a new sewing machine foot and finished the edges.

I am in love with every bib and cloth.

The MTV bib is in honor of us growing up in the 80s. I’m sure Steph will appreciate it.

The doggie bib is in honor of Steph’s dog, Buddy. We musn’t neglect the first baby.

I wanted to visually honor Stephanie’s love for green living, eating local and organic and recycling and reusing. Luckily, I found three t-shirts that screamed green – literally. With all the cloths, I had to piece them together to give as much length as possible and give room for the neck cut-out (these won’t fall off as you’re burping baby!). The piecing made for some beautiful designs and imagary. I even added a decorative leaf stitch to the first cloth. It ties it together perfectly! 

Since all the cloths are reversable, I wanted both sides to be interesting. On the Tree Cloth, I appliqued the logo from the front of the t-shirt along with my logo label. It’s my favorite.

One of the most iconic places in California is In-And-Out Burger. We all love it and go often. I’m so incredibly jealous of this one, I’m currently on a mission from God to find another T-shirt to make one for me…you know, for the baby that I don’t have. Of course, I could always use it to throw under my cat when he throws up (when tends to happen on a bi-weekly basis).

When I gave them to Nicole all wrapped up and purdy like, she went ballistic she loved them so much.  The baby shower was this past Saturday and Nicole said, “Steph and the girls went [monkeypoop] over your stuff!!! They all asked about you. Thanks so much!”

I love love making my friends and clients happy. I can’t wait to see photos and video from the shower. I’ll share as soon as I hear from Nicole. You’ll see the bibs and cloths posted in my Etsy store for custom orders soon : www.etsy.com/shop/Lilbumpkin

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Filed under Baby Presents, Baby Solutions, On a Personal Note, Product Line, Recycle & Reuse, Vintage Finds

Happy Birthday to Me!

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!

I love birthdays, but am especially obessed with my own. It’s the bestest day ever. I do a count down ever year for my loved ones starting a month ahead of time. It’s a tradition. In the past I’ve gone all out and threw crazy themed parties: Annie and 80s Roller Skating (yup, wood rink and all!) being the last few. As fate would have it, my love of the 70s made this year’s slightly different.

As you read in my Inspiration from the Past posting, while on our Pacific Coast trip, David and I found an awesome Antique Mall in Bellingham, WA where I found my birthday present – a vintage 70s light fixture. I was instantly in love and knew I would regret not getting it. So, I did what had to – bargained with the seller…and my husband.

Now, let me explain a little. David and I are EXCELLENT bargain shoppers and are major recylers and re-users.  We’ve both grown up in modest households and we were taught early on to use coupons, repourpose and make deals while shopping. When we buy clothes, we go to resale stores like Buffalo Exchange, Crossraods Trading Co. or Goodwill. We buy furniture off of Craigslist and at Swap Meets (Flea Markets for you East Coasters). We book all our travel itenraries on discount websites. In otherwords, we never pay full price for anything (’cause we’re awesome and why should we? Why should anyone?). In addition, we when we DO buy things, they’re usually not big ticket items – we have an one-bedroom apartment, we don’t have room for big ticket. So, I don’t think this light fixture was a thrill for David since it was more “big ticket” than the $30 lamp I bought at TJMax last year.  I knew in order to score my gorgeous light fixture, I had to pull out the big guns – subtracting money from somewhere else.

Understanding what a HUGE deal my birthday is in my world, I turn to David and tell him if I can talk the seller down on the price, I will sacrific my usual crazy birthday party if I could buy the light fixture as my present. I KNOW. HUGE DEAL. Of course, Mr. David is wise and knew this light was probably cheaper that throwing a huge party anyway and left it up to me to decide.

You know I got the light.

I am in love with it and it adds the most beautiful ambiance to the room. I’m happy with my bargain. To make things even sweeter, I put up a large mirror on the wall behind the light fixture. I know it wasn’t in my original bargain, but it just sort of happened.

I was at Salvation Army shopping for vintage t-shirt to make burp cloths out of for a client – that’s another post. I turn around and see a huge black bamboo frame. PERFECT. It’s 3′ x 4′ and only $20. SERIOUSLY?! You can’t get a 8 x 10 frame for that these days.  I snatched it up. Gave it a new coat of high gloss black spray paint and then had a glass guy put in mirror for me. The result – perfection. Very sassy and makes our place feel like it’s twice the size. Why we didn’t think of hanging a huge mirror 6 years ago is beyond me.

But the cherry on top of this story… I’m still having a party…it’s a Come See My Birthday Light Fixture Potluck Birthday Party. Instead of presents, friends are bringing some food to share and will join me in staring  at and oooing and ahhhing over my light fixture all night.  NICE. Everyone wins.

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Filed under Decor and Parties, On a Personal Note, Recycle & Reuse, Travel & Nature, Vintage Finds

Rewiring a Vintage Lamp – What a Theatre Major Will Do for You

I am a proud Theatre Arts graduate. Basically, because I have a Theatre Ars degree, I can do anything. Seriously, you name it, I can do it. And yes, brain surgery and rocket science is in that category, thanks.

When I saw an awesome vintage lime green lamp at a swap meet a few months ago, I had to have it. The only problem was that it didn’t have a harp on it and the cord was split at the plug – um, safety first! Well, since I’m an amazing Theatre Arts major and specialized in lighting, I knew I could easily dismantle the lamp, put on a harp and put on a new plug.  So, I set out to do all of that…and quickly realized how old the lamp was – new parts aren’t made to fit old parts. So, in the end, I just rewired the entire lamp. Which was fun because it was easy and I got to put in a fancy modern clear cord instead of keeping the nasty old brown cord. In decor it’s all about appearances and aesthetics.  Now all I have to do is find a shade I like. Oh, that’s another journey.

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Let’s Hear it for the BOYS!

FINALLY, it’s that time – it’s all about the BOYS! From previous posts, you have read that I feel so bad for the little men in our lives because boys’ clothes are soooo not as cute as girls’ clothes. They just don’t have many “cool” options. So, I’m trying my best to design some boy clothes to remedy that problem. And this is my first official shirt (after Pierce’s Gator Shirt, but that wasn’t “official.”).

Say hello to Wiener Dog Chase

Front of Shirt : the dogs wrap around the sides to and from the back.

Back of Shirt

This particular Wiener Dog Chase is for our friends’ son, Alister. We’ll see them for the first time in years in about two weeks for a wedding in Vancouver.  So, naturally, I had to make him a treat! I found a fabulous American Apparel shirt at It’s a Wrap! (it was used on ABC’s All My Children) and appliqued the wiener dogs. I just hope it fits, he’s growing like a weed!

As I get more boys’ clothes designed and made, I’ll be posting – keep on the lookout!

This shirt and custom-made shirts available in my Etsy store! www.etsy.com/shop/Lilbumpkin

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