Saturday, September 25, 2010

Say What Recycled X-mas Napkin Rings? Sign Me Up!

If you love to craft/make art/whatever you feel most comfortable calling your creative process that results in the possession of some physical, tangible object, you, dear reader, need to get your little behind over to (and the blog Craft Gossip). Both sites will fill your head with more ideas and inspiration than you'll ever have the time to fully deal with and that, my friend, is an awesome thing.

Should you be a celebrator of Christmas, or perhaps, want to make Christmas crafts even though the holiday doesn't really exist in your world, then the Christmas Projects at are just what you need.  Many of them are even simple enough for you to work on with your kids (you decide how old is old enough to start the mad crafting). [There's also a small collection of "Christmas crafts for Kids."]

oh yes, the napkin rings!
I don't normally do much Christmas crafting in particular--though I do craft most of my Christmas gifts to others so, perhaps that statement's not entirely true. But, I do so love anything I can make using upcycled, recycled or re-purposed materials. And, for that reason, I love the Upcycled Napkin Rings project at

Essentially, the tutorial provides you with all of the information (including a proposed materials list) that you would need to make some creative and cool Christmas-themed napkin rings on the cheap by using recycled, upcycled, and repurposed materials that include toilet paper tubes, old ornaments and so much more.

Of course, you can also check out this project for inspiration to make just about any kind of recycled napkin rings! Why limit yourself to ones that will be used, at most, for two days (the eve and the day) out of the year?

All I Want For Christmas (from is...

Well my dearest readers, after having launched, run, killed, and rebirthed this here blog o' mine, I've once again become remiss in my posting.  Oh, never fear, I have tons, eegads, mountains, volumes...mega excuses. But alas, while they may matter to me (as most of them are health-related), there's no need to trouble you with them. So, without further ado, here comes my desperate ploy to actually be a "winner" for once (of a contest I mean; I'm not THAT hard on myself).

the dealy-o (or, how to enter to win what you want for x-mas)
As a devoted reader of the daily crafty e-newsletter from the blog, and a faithful Facebook and Twitter follower as well, when I read a plea in today's e-newsletter for additional contestants to enter the giveaway, sponsored by to the tune of $150 for your ultimate Christmas gift, I knew that it was fate...and that choosing would be nearly impossible.

That said, here's my current, half-selfish/half-altruisticish wish list:
  • $75 of $150 prize for the purchase of beading supplies, including findings, accent beads, seed beads, and decent tools for the volunteer jewelry instruction that I provide to immigrant, refugee and low-income women in the Washington, DC area through the awesome organization Empowered Women International (EWI), which is a certified green business. I'm not just an EWI volunteer, I'm also a client. (And, yes, I totally ripped that off from a certain men's product commercial.) [More details about my personal debt to EWI below.]
  • $75 of the $150 prize would go to me, me, me! All me! Mwa-ha-ha. I mean, um, yea, it would. After ripping up the allergy-attack-causing carpet in my office/craft room, I would DIY a decoupage floor with recycled brown grocery bags, leftover scrapbook paper, and anything else I could find. Then I'd put down a protective coating of resin, slap brightly colored paint on the walls (all paid for by my half of the prize) and call it a happy day!
more love for empowered women international

As an EWI client, I am able to market and sell my products in the organization's Etsy shop, at local events, and home parties and, I happily donate a portion of my proceeds to EWI, as do all EWI artists. (And we're talking about some mind-blowingly talented female artists who, for the most part, came to the U.S. seeking a better life -- or women born here who have fallen on hard times.)

Next week, thanks to the generous scholarship provided by a female EWI supporter, I will begin the organization's Entrepreneur Training for Success program, which will teach me what I need to know and guide me through the process of formally launching my new, all-natural and handmade bath & body product line: Briggy's Bath & Body. 

I'll also be learning alongside incredibly talented women--mostly artists--from around the world. Perhaps you can tell why I try to give as much back to EWI as possible--the emotional support alone that I receive is what keeps me motivated as I struggle through the process of becoming an entrepeneur nine months after having been laid off from my career due to downsizing.