Monday, April 21, 2008

Earth Day is Every Day

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day. It was been celebrated on this day every year since 1970.


One easy way to cut down on your waste is to use recycled materials for your gift wrapping. Pages taken from magazines are glossy and often colorful, and you can choose content to match your gift recipient's taste. Rolling Stone, Real Simple and Interview magazines work well because their pages are larger than the average magazine and can cover more area. National Geographic, Vogue, and gardening magazines also have attractive pages that look pretty when they are holding in some sweet little gift!

The following photos are examples of recycled gift wrapping you can easily adopt for your own gift-giving. I made them for work at Half Price Books in Texas for their Earth Day display before I moved away. I would like to applaud Half Price Books for their ongoing efforts in reducing waste and educating the public about the importance of respecting the earth.



Did you ever think of using VHS tape instead of ribbon?? I got that clever idea from Danny Seo's book, Simply Green Giving, in which he hands out all kinds of neat ideas for greening up your gifting.

This is the little instruction card that is displayed with these gifts at Half Price Books, and it tells you how to wrap your gifts like this.


The candle paper on the black background is from an ad in Rolling Stone. The wine glass paper is from Wine Spectator. The pretty, bright paper with candles that has the instructions on it is from Real Simple.

If you don't have magazines on hand, you can get them really cheap at places like Salvation Army and Goodwill, and of course Half Price Books if you have one in your area. Check here to see if they are located near you. You'll be luckiest if you live in the midwest as well as certain western states. The highest concentration of stores is in Texas, where they began.

You can also ask the nice people at a local doctor's office or salon if they would like to give you their non-current magazines. They might not always be the prettiest and most colorful but hey, they could be free!

Finding VHS tapes is easy when you visit second-hand stores if you don't have the heart to pop open your old copy of Dirty Dancing or Short Circuit. I can tell you from experience that Half Price Books will be happy to sell you VHS tapes for CHEAP!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Well, it's on sale. Let's buy two.

Even if I had over $1000 to spend on a chair, would I? I don't know. But this chair would look nice and cozy in my living room and I'd sit it in to read books.

Oh, Anthropologie, how you tease me with your overpriced pretty things.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tree Ornaments!

The one thing, if anything, Quiet City has been known for so far is tree ornaments. Thank you, Martin and Anna!

These ornaments are easy and affordable to make. You'll need: (1) blank ornaments found at your favorite art and craft supply store, or use ornaments you already have and don't mind altering, (2) decoupage glue, (3) paper, fabric or other materials that can be decoupaged, (4) ornament hooks and (5) small paint brush or sponge (optional).

Cut your paper, fabric or other decoupagable (not really a word) materials to any size and shape you like.

Using a small paint brush or sponge (I usually use my fingers and have also used makeup sponges) apply decoupage glue to ornament, making a thin layer of glue.

Lay your paper on the glued area and cover with glue.

Continue until your ornament is covered in glue and paper.

Using my fingers to smooth the material works best for me. Hang to dry. Once dry, hang your new ornament on a tree, houseplant, or display on a shelf.

Here are my ornaments for customers past:

Dictionary Entry Ornament...

Alps Map Ornament...

Map of France Ornament...

Spanish Dancer Ornament...

Marie Antoinette Ornament...

As you can see, I favor scrapbook paper, magazines, books and maps for my decoupage materials.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wedding Invitations!

I married Adam in August of 2006, three and a half years after we first met and kissed and walked in the snow and ate pancakes at my table in the window.


In true Courtney Quiet City fashion (but not in a bridezilla kind of way) I insisted on doing several things for my wedding on my own. No wedding planner. No professionals. No one else telling me how my wedding should be or look. This wasn't always the easy way but we saved a lot of money and my wedding only had handprints on it from people I know and love.

My friend Danial took all of the pictures. My friend Alex played songs at our reception- performing some and DJing my mix CDs for the rest. My bridesmaids made the bouquets and decorations. My friend's aunt made the food. I was married in my aunt and uncle's yard and I walked down the aisle to a song from the Amelie soundtrack. My mum officiated the ceremony.

With Adam's help I designed and printed the Save the Date cards as well as our invitations. I enlisted some helpful and creative girls from work to help me get them mail-ready. This is what we did.







We cut out the invitations themselves to fit the envelopes I bought at Staples. We cut the response post cards to fit postal regulations. I had printed driving directions and travel info on plain paper and we trimmed those down.

For the outer decorative sleeve, we cut scrapbook paper and tri-folded it to fit the invitation. I snipped the edge of the paper with craft scissors. I used a multi-pack of scrapbooking paper so every invitation was different. Then we looped a ribbon around the whole thing and tied it in front where the folds met.


I addressed the envelopes by myself and by doing our own invitations we saved a TON of money. We sent out 80, so yeah... we needed to keep it cheap. It still turned out beautifully and personal.

If my description doesn't make sense, please pardon me, it's nearly midnight and I should have been in bed two hours ago.