Friday, September 7, 2012

It's Compostable

I have a compost pile in my backyard and it is a wonderful thing! Not only does it cut down on the stuff that goes to the landfill but it makes wonderful food for my garden so it can make wonderful food for my table.

The other day at the farmers market I bought a cup of coffee at my favorite booth (of course the one who sells coffee would be my favorite) and just happened to notice that not only the cup (which I knew) was compostable but the lid was, too! This led me to investigate what else may go into the compost pile that I hadn't thought of.

I'm going to make a long list here and add to it if I find other stuff that will compost. This will be in addition to the kitchen and garden waste most people already know about. I'll also include a few links on articles about composting at the end. Just remember meat, dairy and bodily waste of carnivores are all no nos they stink and attract pests as well as having the potential of causing illness.

Cardboard toilet paper and paper towel rolls. These not only compost but they keep the pile aerated.

Paper can be added, just remember to crumple it. I usually go for small stuff like receipts and junk mail. Whole newspapers need to go in the recycling bin. Unless you're composting on a very large basis. The daily newspaper can quickly take over the bin.

Coffee grounds, filters and tea bags are great for the compost pile (I think this is my main source of compost)

Dryer lint, the dust from the vacuum cleaner bag, and the sweepings from the floor can all be tossed in the pile, too.

Wood ashes.

Got a long haired cat or dog? Losing your hair? the hair from the brushes can be thrown in the pile.

I kill houseplants on a semi regular basis, good thing they and their soil can be thrown into the compost.

Natural fiber fabric such as cotton, wool and silk can be added. This is great for me since I do a lot of sewing, all those scraps that are too small to do anything with can be added to my compost as long as they're 100% cotton or silk. (I don't work with wool much).

Have a small animal such as a hamster or gerbil? The used bedding is great for the compost pile.

As my friend Helena just pointed out in her comment, used Kleenex can be thrown in there. Also used paper towels unless they wiped up greasy stuff can be added, too.

EPA site on composting

If you have anything to add, or have a question please leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Birthday Contest Winners

The winner of the $20 Gift Certificate is Tab, who would pick the Christmas Ornaments and Christmas stars if she won. (She can change her mind if she wants to.

My birthday is August 20th and two people guessed that, I tossed a coin and the winner is ambre.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

St Louis' Festival of Nations!

The Festival of Nations is a yearly event in St Louis on the last weekend in August. I've been attending for three years now, since before I actually moved here. I would have loved to have gone both days but had to work on Sunday. They have music from all over including this Reggae band. We had been walking around for awhile and took about half an hour to sit and listen. They were awesome and although I was too tired to get up and dance plenty of people did.
If your trying to decide what this has to do with living green, I guess I'll have to come up with something. Hmmm, well I did park about a mile and a half away and take the shuttle bus to the festival instead of driving around, wasting gas, trying to find a closer parking space. Does that count?

I love listening to bagpipes and this man in the weird skirt (OK I know it's a kilt) was wandering around playing it. It was wonderful, we took the time to listen even though it was starting to rain.
There were plenty of venders selling items from all over the world. This booth was from a store here in St Louis called MacroSun International. I love the place and loved browsing their booth. The offer quality, fair trade items from India, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan and Refugees of Tibet, Burma and Afghanistan. Their online catalog can be found at

 There was lots to do and lots to eat and lots to buy. Since it's so close to my birthday every year my son let's me pick out my present here. This year I went back to my hippie roots and choose this great handbag. Already thinking about next year. If your in the area next August you need to check it out.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nature Becomes Art

Into the Trees is another Etsy shop I love! This is what this wonderful artist has to say about her work and her shop.

"I am a self taught artist native of Florida in the land of sunshine and palm trees. I create my original fun art on my found reclaimed palm frond wood for about 14 years now. Never know what that new found frond is going to turn into."

I'm not going to yadda yadda yadda here. I'll just let her art speak for itself!

Only a couple days left

To enter my contest for a $20 or $10 gift certificate to my Etsy shop! Contest ends August 31st.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Here's a Great Etsy Shop from Mexico

OK, so I have a thing for earrings, but this shop, sofiatrinker on Etsy has more than just earrings, I'll get to that later.
The kitties (aren't they cute?) were made from the bottom of a soda can. I love cats, especially black cats

This is what Sofia says about the heart earrings:  "These hip earrings were created while contemplating an empty soda can, while regretting having to throw it to the waste basket... I was reading on how much time it takes for aluminum to completely disappear, and I definitely wanted to do something about it. Hopefully, I will be able to gather as much soda cans one day, as to dramatically decrease the amount of garbage not only at home, but with my neighbors, family, friends, and gradually, all over town."

She also uses dyed orange peel for earrings. They still have a citrusy scent. I love the color!

This gorgeous necklace is made out of an upcycled tuna fish can and glass. It's really awesome!


I told you she has more than jewelry. These little candles made from cans are cute, cute, cute. Perfect for Christmas gifts or to keep yourself.

You can find these great items at

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Absolutely LOVE these Earrings!!

I have this earring addiction. I make no bones about it, I love earrings and keep buying more. I especially like anything that is unique and out of the ordinary. Having three shops on Etsy and always going to the forums and belonging to lots of teams I am always coming across earrings I just have to buy.

Recently though, I came across this shop, LeftTDesigns, that not only had wonderful earrings but they were upcycled. The owner of the shop uses broken china to make not only earrings but necklaces, too. I really had a hard time, at first I tried to resist but it was just too much. She had such beautiful earrings!

Since I can't really afford to buy all of them, I had to make a decision. I looked and looked but just couldn't make up my mind, they were all so pretty and I had to be practical. (yeah right). So I went to my earring collection to see what colors I needed. I had a lot of pink and purple so I decided I needed a pair of blue ones.

These are the ones I picked and I absolutely love them. The owner of LeftTDesigns carefully sands down the edges and they were nice and smooth. They dangle perfectly and I feel beautiful when I wear them. What more can you ask from a pair of earrings?

Check out all the Broken China Jewelry!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Look at These Cute Pincussions I Found!

What would be better than sewing upcycled items using these adorable upcycled pincushions. I absolutely love them! I found this shop, Nature's Touch Boutique on Etsy.

This wonderful little pincushion in a trinket box even has a cover that will fit over the pins! What a great idea to make use of all those small trinkets and knick knacks you see at every garage sale.

I really like this one, too. It brings back memories of when I was younger. I think everyone had these small ceramic shoes for some reason.

She uses everything from planters to shot glasses to make her pincushions. Check out all the pincushions here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's My Birthday and I'll Have a Contest if I Want To

August is my Birthday Month but I'm not telling you the day, that's going to be part of the contest. I'm going to make it an easy contest, lots of ways to enter because I really need to get my Deb Upcycles shop off the ground. The prizes are going to be a $20 and a $10 Gift Certificate to the shop. Twenty dollars will buy just about anything in my shop. So the first entry for the $20 you will receive is when you tell me what item in my shop you would get if you won. Just post a comment in the comment section.

Do you tweet? Follow me on twitter, Make sure you leave a comment  telling me you did and a way to identify your twitter. Or would you rather just Tweet? You can get up to 3 entries for tweeting this post, my shop or anything in my shop. Use #debupcycles so I can find it and leave a comment here to tell me about it..

Follow this blog and leave a comment that you did so. That one's pretty easy isn't it?

How about Pinterest? Follow me at for one entry (I'll even follow you back). Then pin up to three of my items for extra entries. Again, just leave me a comment and your pinterest name so I can verify it.

All verified entries will go into a hat at on Sept. 1st for a drawing. Winner will be notified, please leave a way to reach you. If the prize isn't claimed within 72 hours of notification another drawing will be held.

And that's it.... Wait a minute I never told you how to win the $10. That ones easy, for every entry you have for the $20 you get to guess what day in August I was born. If nobody guesses the exact day I get to keep the $10. If more than one person gets it right, there will be a drawing to determine the winner. We'll forget about what year, I don't even want to think about that.

Garden Harvest

Purty, ain't it? Homegrown and organic!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fabric Samples Galore

The Upcycle Exchange was given what was described as a "truckload" of fabric samples. They posted it on Face Book and I dropped everything and ran over there. This is only part of what I came home with. There's very large pieces and also small ones, everything from cotton/polyester blends to handwoven silk. Lots of colors, textures, designs, patterns and more.
Of course I can make more pillow covers, some of them are going to make great pillows but the pattern on some just don't lend themselves to good pillows, either the pattern is too large, small or intricate. I've made one pillow so far, it's on the right. I have about 8 more of that type of fabric sample. A couple more in blue and then in purple and green. Many of the samples I have two or three pieces that are the same making it easier to piece out pillows.
There's also some pieces that are too small for pillows that I want to make drawstring bags of one type or the other. I've made a couple project bags so far and am intending on making more. Still working out how the best way to do it.  But I still need ideas. There's an awful lot of fabric here that I need to use up.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

OMG I Had to Pay Retail.....

I had to go to Hobby Lobby yesterday for some things I've been unable to find at thrift stores. The only reason I choose Hobby Lobby is that it was the closest to where I live.I hate shopping at regular stores (except maybe for groceries) but sometimes it's necessary. I keep giving away my pillows to friends and when I do I give them the inserts, so one of the main things I needed was pillow inserts. I got two new sizes to add to my collection at Debupcycles.

Just as a side note, I loved what it said on the side of the bag about recycling it. The only problem I could see was one of the suggestions on this huge bag that held a bunch of pillow inserts. Do you see it? They must be packing a lunch for a whole class of first graders or something.

One of the other things I needed was cording to make some small project and tote bags. I bought a huge stack of fabric samples at The Upcycle Exchange the other day and they are too nice just to use for gift bags and many are too small for pillows. I've been looking all over for cords to use in the bags and although I found a few things, I really had to break down and buy it new so I could make more than one or two at a time. I've only made two, the first one I'm keeping, the second one is to the left. I'll be adding them to my store as they get made.

I had a couple stained Christmas tablecloths I was planning on making something out of and yesterday I finally got moving on them, I think they came out beautiful! You can find them and other Christmas pillows in my shop.

Today I'm at work and brought a bunch of Hawaiian shirts with me to cut up. That sounds like a good project! Watch for the Hawaiian pillows in my shop soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

From Old Curtains Come...

I was strolling through the thrift shop one day, in the merry, merry month of May, or was it March? Anyway I was taken by surprise by some very colorful curtains.

 The colors just screamed 70's to me although I had no idea how old they actually were. I swear I had sheets with this or a very similar print when I was a teen.

Anyway, visions of pillow covers and other things danced in my head and I decided to spend the outrageous price they were asking for them (I think they were $1 per panel, so $3). I put them away and forgot about them.

Yesterday I was looking for some Hawaiian shirts for some pillow covers I knew I had (Coming Soon!) and found them again. So this morning I cut them. I was even able to use the side seams for the envelope closure in the back. I sewed them up this afternoon and am so pleased with the results. The set made two 16" pillow covers and three 14" pillow covers with a nice piece that was too small leftover, to do something else with.

If you think you could give them a good home, they can be found in my shop at Deb Upcycles.

16" Pillow

14" Pillow

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Garden and Shops

Wow, I've got to start taking this blogging seriously again. Have a lot to say, lot of different things going on. I have a great garden this year, my new landlord actually built me a couple raised beds for it. I've been out watering it everyday because of the heat, not real efficient on the water conservation but I haven't had to buy many fresh veggies lately. What I do buy is bought at our Farmers Market. It's a little bit more expensive but it's local and organic. The money I've saved growing my own, covers the extra expense.

I've also been working hard on my Deb Upcycles Shop on Etsy. Made some more gift bags and a few more pillow covers. I'm working towards the day I no longer have to have a day job. I don't know if it will work but I'd love to try

I've added a lot more to my other two shops, Deb's Crafts and Deb's Patterns. Both of them are stocked with sewing and craft supplies I've saved from thrift shops and yard sales.