Sunday, December 7, 2008

Downtown Holiday Market


Hey all! I'm tired!

This weekend was a good one. I got to know more of the talented individuals at the Del Ray Artisans and got some *fantastic* gifts- both for myself and others! I am way too tired to blog about it all right now and I have to make some more fingerless gloves to sell at the Downtown Holiday Market! So, I'll keep this short and sweet~

The info:
What: Downtown Holiday Market

Where: 801 F Street, in front of the Smithsonian Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, Washington DC

When:
Monday, December 8, noon-8pm
Tuesday, December 9, noon-8pm
Wednesday, December 10, noon-8pm

Website: www.diversemarkets.net


If you can't make it this week, I'll be there next week December 15-17 and the week after December 22 & 23.

Thanks!~Jen

Green Tip~
Take metro to Gallery Place for the Downtown Holiday Market.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Del Ray Artistians Holiday Market


In case you weren't able to make it, my trunk show at A Show of Hands was so fun! I got a chance to get to know some of the customers and help them find some great winter hats, both from my collection and from other artists carried at the store.

Time is coming up for one of my favorite shows of the whole year. First, just the fact that it is inside is so wonderful! As I do many, many outside markets, to be inside during the first weekend of December is just such a blessing. Second, I get to be surrounded by talented and creative souls, some people which I only get to see once a year at this time. I *always* get beautiful gifts from my fellow artists that people love.

There is also a baked sale of *yummy* homemade goodies, with the proceeds going to a local charity. I always bring something to sell there, but end up buying a bunch of treats too. I just can't resist chocolate...

The info:

What: Del Ray Artisans Fine Art and Fine Craft Holiday Market

Where: Nicholas Colasanto Center, 2704 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria

When: Friday, December 5 7-9:30pm
Saturday, December 6 10-6pm
Sunday, December 7 noon-4pm


In addition to this event, on Saturday, December 6, the Del Ray neighborhood will celebrate "Holiday on the Avenue". This includes a tree lighting at 6pm right next tot he gallery, Santa leading a procession down Mt. Vernon Ave, open houses and special sales all down the street. Check out the Del Ray Business Association's website for more information.

Looking forward to seeing the Del Ray Community this coming weekend~Jen

Green Tip~
Recycle your gift wrapping or use recycled paper to wrap gifts this year.

Robert Lilienfeld, co-author of the book Use Less Stuff: Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are, notes that if every family reused just 2 feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. (From National Geographic News website)

When I was young, I would take a long time to unwrap my gifts,making sure not to rip the paper and taking the tape off. I would smooth out the paper and fold it up to save to re-use. (I didn't keep the tape!) My family would get so upset and lose patience, waiting for me to *finally* open their well thought out present. I was broken of this habit by the time the green movement swung around again this time. Sadly, I don't have much re-usable paper to wrap with this year. However, there are some wonderful, creative options to spread green cheer.

First, you can make an effort not to use as much paper and wasteful wrapping this year. Try to utilize re-usable 'wrapping'. For example, use that throw blanket you were going to give to Grandma to wrap up her robe.

For the green thumb, check out Blooming Wrapping Paper from Uncommon Goods. The handmade paper is embedded with wildflowers that will grow when the paper is planted and watered.

For the artist, wrap up in beautiful ethnic looking wrap, printed on 100% post consumer waste paper with soy based inks. From The Green Life, their website has a huge selection of earth friendly, usable gifts for everyone.

This article has compiled many of these tips and much, much more, including instructions for making your own wrapping paper. So Martha! Christmas Recycling, Making Earth Friendly Gift Wrap

Whatever you do, please make sure that you *recycle* your used paper!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Del Ray Shopping Tour


We've all heard the mantra 'shop local'. This is not only environmentally, but economically friendly. Supporting small, local businesses this holiday season is a great way to make sure the wealth is shared with people who really live in your community, not major national corporations.

Making a whole day of this is more fun than you might think! In honor of my upcoming trunk show, I have created a walking tour of the unique and diverse establishments in Del Ray. So, come spend some time shopping and supporting local business.

Start at Caboose Cafe, 2419 Mt. Vernon Ave, for a hearty breakfast and some hot coffee. Walking south on Mt Vernon Ave, check out the international cheese offerings at Cheesetique. Peek into Eight Hands Around (2301 Mt. Vernon Ave) for fun antiques and cute baby items.

For the REAL DEAL, stop at A Show of Hands and get a *huge* bag fix. I'm having a solo trunk show this coming Saturday, November 15 from 11am to 4pm. Also while there, check out Sandy Pea soaps and Leah Sturgis earrings. Baby blankets and ribbon head bands, painted boxes and Christmas ornaments, the selection is endless!

For all the dog lovers in your life, stop in at Barkley Square, which is a gourmet dog bakery and boutique. Situated in a bright pink building, it will be sure to catch your eye and your doggie's heart.

Stroll down The Ave toward Mancini's for an afternoon snack and pick me up, such as homemade brownies and cupcakes. Take something home for later!

These are just a very small sample of the wonderful shopping pickings in Del Ray. Full of great restaurants, one of kind shops and interesting finds, you will be able to easily spend the whole day doing your holiday shopping!

See you on Saturday~Jen

Green Tip~

I'm dreaming of green Christmas....
Diane MacEachern, author of The Big Green Purse, will be hosting a "live telephone conversation about decorating, shopping and entertaining with minimal environmental impact."
Monday, December 8 - 3:00 p.m. EST
Call: 1(712) 580-7706. Conference Code: 1735162
(note: regular phone charges may apply)

Perhaps she will discuss the new LED christmas lights. While at $15-20 a strand, they are more expensive than other options, they use up to 80% less energy to operate. "A string of 300 mini’s cost on average $13.12 to operate; LEDs use so little energy, 300 of them will only cost $1.25 to power up." Likewise, this option is much longer lasting and safer, as these lights don't run as hot.

Check out Brookstone for a huge selection of LED lights.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Show of Hands Trunk Show



The weather has -suddenly- turned cooler and more seriously toward Christmas. With that in mind, I am honored that A Show of Hands with be hosting a trunk show in a few short weeks. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a jump on your holiday shopping with the best selection at the beginning of the season.

I will be showing my usual suspects- funky patchwork purses, little recycled bags and polar fleece reversible hats. However, I also have challenged myself to create a few new pieces, such as comfy shawls, more unique hats and perhaps true artwork bags. Who knows! You'll have to come by and check it out.

This is a great chance to get introduced to A Show of Hands, and the neighborhood of Del Ray, if you aren't familiar with it. The shop, which opened its doors nearly 3 years ago, carries almost exclusively local artists. The variety of offering is astounding! From fine ceramic platters, brightly colored glass pitchers and knitted hats to dip mix and precious gemstone jewelry, there literally is something for everyone. This trunk show will not only highlight my own work, but it would be a great time to pick up a truly unique item for the hard to please person.

Please join us for this very special event that I am so looking forward to!

The Details:

Where: A Show of Hands, 2204 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, November 15, 11am-4pm
Who: Owners Pat and Maria, great local crafts and you!
Why: You want to support local business women- and get some great gifts.
Website: http://www.ashowofhands.biz/Site/Home.html

Looking forward to showing all my new products off! Come and check it out~Jen

Green Tip~ Compost properly.
The fall is a great time to start a compose pile. As you rake and clean out your yard and garden, these plants can be the beginning of a new adventure. I personally don't know much about it, but you can find a huge amount of information online.

This website will show you how to do it from scratch. The Compost Warehouse will sell you a fun machine to help with the process. Happy Composting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yummy Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Fall is HERE.

I have been focused with tunnel vision about festivals going on, so I hadn't really noticed a subtle shift from the Indian summer to early fall. I Love Fall. I LOVE IT. Really!! The cozy sweaters, aromatic comfort food, the crunchy colorful leaves. All these things add up to a great season. And, I feel better when I have more clothing on, so I love getting out my coats.

In addition to warm scarves and flannel sheets, fall also heralds in YUMMY pumpkin spice lattes. I so *heart* these. Perhaps it is the mere fact that I can't get them all year long that make them so special....and the first one of the year is perhaps even the most special of all. Coupled with a pumpkin doughnut or muffin, sheer fall heaven...

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The pumpkin spice lattes are also partly a celebration for such a great festival weekend at the beginning of the month. BOTH festivals were wonderful, better than I even expected or could have really hoped. The weather was spot on, people out in full force and were so complimentary to my work. I was sold out! On the one hand, it is exciting to have a clean slate in front of me, and I can explore some new ideas. However, it is scary to think I had almost nothing left! I have been working like crazy to get some stock back together ever since.

I had a fantastic show at Art on the Avenue, which I always love doing. It was Takoma Park that was a real pleasant surprise. I had never been, so didn't know what to expect. I had a great day...thought I would share some with you....

Traffic jam in the morning, crowds of happy people later in the day



The weather was so nice, which helped. The people were fun and the vendors around me very friendly. I had a great show and snagged some interesting gifts for Christmas. I got so much fun stuff that I just have show off my finds to you.


My sister pointed out to me last Christmas that I seem to get soap for everyone each year. What a wonderful coincidence that I was right next to one of my soap makers. Sandy Pea makes smooth and fragrant soap. She is carried at A Show of Hands, in Del Ray, like I am. Being next to her, I thought I was able to get first dibs. However, by the time I got over there, she was already sold out of a few scents! Oh, well, I still was able to grab a fine selection for my family.


My neighbor to my left was a huge Hokie fan, through and through. Karen makes soy candles in such enticing scents as Autumn Spice and Crisp Cotton. She even makes a maroon and orange candle for other VA Tech fans too. I picked up several, claiming that they would be gifts. By the end of the day, I did consent that I would probably keep one for myself. Karen said she's heard that before!


Right next to Karen was a delightful couple from Fairfax, selling under the name New Moon Jewelry. Debbie makes the jewelry and Jeff makes the jokes. They both helped make a better day! I snagged an adorable pair of dragonfly earrings. I don't know for sure who will get them for Christmas, but I do know they will be loved.


Across the aisle was a very talented mixed media and collage artist, who came over late in the day to lust after my new polar fleece scarves. Bobbi was so cute and enthusiastic when I suggested a partial sale/trade. She acquired a scarf and little bag and I got a wonderful collage piece. I have yet to put it up, but it is sitting on my desk and I can enjoy it while I write this blog.

The day was just such a fantastic experience all around. Takoma Park really put out the welcome mat for all the vendors, musicians and visitors. I can't wait for next year!

Thanks to all my great neighbors~thanks for making it a truly enjoyable day.~Jen

Green Tip~Go shopping in your friend's closets.
I might have mentioned this before, so bear with me. I truly do believe in this and it worth a re-visit now that the season is changing.

Clothing swaps are a great way to get some new clothes, in an economically and environmentally friendly way. I recently commented to a friend that all my pants seemed to shrink while in the dresser all summer (and how did that happen??). She mentioned that hers seemed to have grown and she would pass them on to me. FIVE bags later, I have tons of new clothing and am so happy!

So, keep some friends in mind when you are switching out summer to fall. Do you still have some great pieces that don't fit anymore? Have you dyed your hair that green sweater doesn't look right now? Did Sally's daughter just have a growth spurt and could use some jeans?

In this economy, many people simply can't afford new clothing, but who won't love to get some free 'new' things. I've done this for years with my sisters and friends and I simply love being able to get -and give- clothing without going to the mall!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GIGANTIC Festival Weekend!!

A few weeks ago, I had a huge festival weekend. Well, this one coming up will ecilpse that. I'm hitting both sides of the beltway, so there is no excuse not to come out!


Art on the Avenue is one of my biggest and most *fun* event. This will be the third year I will be there and I am really looking forward to it! I know I write that a lot, but I really do mean it. The festival is family, dog and craft lover friendly. With a whole street closed off, there is so much to do, the day will fly by.

What: Art on the Avenue

Where: Mt. Vernon Ave, Del Ray neighborhood, Alexandria, VA

When; Saturday, October 4th, 10am-6pm

Who: Over 300 vendors of handmade crafts, arts, food and music galore!

Website: www.artontheavenue.org
Find directions, artists exhibiting and information about a free shuttle from the metro to the festival.


As much as I am looking forward to this event, I am also excited about the following day, which is the Takoma Park Street Festival! This will be my first time there and it looks like a really cool vibe. This neighborhood event also has great musical acts lined up, lot of artists and craftspeople and the like.

What: Takoma Park Street Festival

When: Sunday, October 5th, 10am-5pm

Where: Old Takoma, Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, MD

Who: Lots of great food, kids activities and more talented artisans.

Website: www.takomafestival.com
Maps, directions and music schedule.


Again, I sound like I broken record, but I have been working hard, trying to develop some fun and functional new products. People have been responding well to my mixed messenger bags, which I am pleased about. AND, also to my weird 'sea urchin' scarves. What's that?? you ask...well, come and check them out. ;)

The weather is supposed to be perfect and it is a great time to get out of the house and start your holiday shopping! I hope to see you at one of these events.~Jen

Green Tip~ Re-use paper before you recycle it

This might seem like a no brainer, but re-using scrap paper before you recycle it makes even more cents. Save on buying pads of paper. Take sheets that have been used to print out, say directions, and rip or cut into fourths. These are a perfect size for shopping lists, love notes, reminders and such. After you have used both sides, then recycle!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Big FESTIVAL Weekend!!


Look Ma- I'm on the postcard!


WOW!! I have a really busy weekend coming up and I really hope that you join me. I am majorly excited about Arts on Belmont, which is a part of Adams Morgan Day. If you aren't familiar with this diverse DC neighborhood, this special event is a great way to be introduced. Arts on Belmont is an offshoot, with only hand crafted items. Some very talented artists, photographers and craftspeople will be attending, hope you do to.

Thursday Night Update~ The weather looks to be clearing up for Sunday~Put it on your calenders!

What: Adams Morgan Day Festival, Arts on Belmont

When: Sunday, September 14th, 10-7pm

Where: Washington DC, Belmont Road directly off of 18th Street

Where for me: Space #10

Metro: Nearest metros Woodley Park or Dupont Circle

Website: www.adamsmorgandayfestival.com


However, I get to hang out with you guys in Ballston again on Saturday too! If you can't make it all the way to Adams Morgan, see me in Ballston the day before.

Ballston Arts + Crafts Market, Arlington, VA
Saturday, September 13, 10am-4pm
www.ballstonarts-craftsmarket.blogspot.com


I'm working like crazy to get together some great new bags- my version of a messenger bag. Made from recycled upholstery fabric samples, I call these patchwork creations "Mixed Messenger" bags! With thick straps long enough to go across the body, this will appeal people who have asked for something like this for a long time!

See you this weekend!~Jen

Green Tip~
Take metro this weekend to Arts on Belmont. The parking is horrible in the neighborhood on the best day, but it will be nearly impossible this weekend. Check out www.wmata.com to plan your trip, and see current closures. Save time and gas by not driving around, looking for a parking space!

Friday, September 5, 2008

First Sunday Art Festival



I am WAY too busy to post much here right now- new bags, new purses, new recycled business cards and a NEW logo that I will launch very soon! SO much to do and not enough time. AND, a big storm coming this way and perhaps knocking out the power...oh, well, I'll play 'little house on the prairie' and sew by hand! ;)

Looks like the weather is supposed to clear up for Sunday, so see you out in Annapolis!~Jen

Green Tip~
Come by some of my upcoming shows and pick up my new 100% post consumer waste recycled paper and printed with soy based ink business cards.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Heated funkiness @ Artscape!






Some of the Art Cars on parade at Artscape. So Cool! Makes me want to make my vehicle into an art car. Almost... but to read more about art cars and how to make one, check out www.artcars.com.
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Thanks to all my new customers and admirers in Baltimore! I had a great time a few weekends ago, even in the heat! It was truly a fantastic experience and I am so flattered to be a part of it all.

As it was DIY@Artscape's first year, I was even more happy to be in on the ground floor. There was a huge amount of talented designers and crafters. My tentmate's jewelry was so cute and pretty...I had to get a pair of earrings. They are so simple and lightweight, I have been wearing them non stop! Check out cutie Nancy's designs at www.nancynelsonjewelry.com.

I do have to apologize that I haven't posted this before. I got totally and completely focused on the Del Ray Artisans Art Camp, which I ran last week. I have been finishing up a ton of things for it ever since, while also trying to make some new stock for Saturday....



Ballston Art & craft Market is this weekend, again!

In case you are trying to make it for the first time, here are the details:

What: Ballston Arts + Crafts Market
Where: Welburn Square, Arlington, VA
When:Saturday, August 9, 10am-4pm
Metro: Ballston stop, between the metro and the mall, easy!
Website: www.ballstonarts-craftsmarket.blogspot.com


Above is a photo my very talented friend Stacy took of our booth in June. She will have fun hand painted frames, lifestyle shadow boxes and sweet jewelry. And, some new stuff too!

Hope to see you there~Jen

Green Tip~ Recycle Right

I had to do some recycle picking to get glass containers for the art camp. It made me realize that tons of people are recycling- almost every house had a bin outside it. However, I also realized that most people aren't doing it correctly. I only found one bin that was completely 'correct' and it only had two beer bottles in it! When I got back home and cast a discerning eye on my own container, I could see a few things we are doing wrong.
Some of the common mistakes are: leaving lids on bottles, not rinsing the containers, and putting non-recyclable materials in the bins.

From the Alexandriarecycles.org website, these are the basic steps to follow for general recycling:
* Empty and rinse all beverage containers and metal cans.

* Remove all caps, tops and lids.

* Flatten plastic and aluminum beverage containers and metal cans.

* Do not use plastic bags to hold recyclable materials.

Each jurisdiction has different guidelines for their programs, so please check with your local government to find out what can and can not be recycled. In Alexandria, where I live, we are very lucky to have single stream pick up. This means that everything we recycle can be put into one bin, not separated out. It has been found that this type of system encourages and increases the participation levels in the community.

Even if you don't have single stream in your neighborhood, take a moment to educate yourself about the procedures. Why bother doing something, if you aren't going to do it right? ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

DIY@Artscape



I'm going to Charm City, Charm City here I come,
I'm going to Charm City, Charm City here I come!

Folks, it is July, it is hot and it is time for Artscape! I have never been, not even to attend and check it out, which is too bad. It looks like a really cool event, complete with tons of music, contemporary visual arts, cutting edge fashion shows, great food and fun artisans. Tagged as "America's Largest Free Public Arts Festival", it will surely offer more than enough to do in a weekend.

This year, they are offering a new feature, which is allowing new and upcoming artists, designers and crafters the chance to display at Artscape in a more intimate setting under one big tent. It is called DIY@Artscape and should be full of really different stuff. The DIY tent is right in the center of all the fun, at the corner of Charles Street and Mt. Royal Ave.

The stats:

What: DIY@artscape
Where: Baltimore aka Charm City
When: Friday, July 18, noon-10pm
Saturday, July 19, noon-10pm
Sunday, July, noon-8pm
Who: Masses of people who will be having a lot of fun

Website: www.artscape.org

The website is a *great* resource, with maps, participants, transportation info, including a coupon for discounted Amtrak tickets


I am really pysched about this weekend, hanging out, having fun and hoping to see you! ~Jen

Monday, July 7, 2008

Weird Etsy World!!

(do do do do- creepy strange music theme)

As of this moment in time, I completely think that Etsy is magically FANTASTIC!

No, I haven't sold anything yet, but I did buy a big ole' jar of buttons...from the wife of a manager I had 12 years ago, in a different state! One of the reasons I remembered his name (and hers too) was that he is a talented artist. I was asked to sit for a piece he worked on and he gave me a print as a thank you. All these years later, I still have the print, which is hanging up over my head right now.

But, we had no contact since 1996, so I had no idea who she was online, I just bought from her. Well, I truly believe, Etsy does really bring people together...or at least jars of buttons do. :)

It just proves the world is a much smaller place than you might think, so don't burn your bridges.

I use way too many cliches.

One I don't use is "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." Perhaps I should say "A button in the hand is worth two from my past"?

It is way too late! I'll post a green tip later, with some pictures Stacy took of a few markets lately.

Oh, go check out www.tommazzullo.com. Although he doesn't have my picture up, his work is all so beautiful, truly.

Thanks for reading my ramblings!~Jen

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

This is the first day of the rest of my (Etsy) life


Miss Cherry Pie Purse, 2008 (available at jenafusion.etsy.com)

I finally took the plunge!! I'm on Etsy!! You can buy my stuff online!! So go and check it out, darn it!!

Wow~ it has been a long road, but I truly put my mind to it, that I would do it and get a little store up and not get distracted. You know those days where you try, try, try, try to get stuff done, even little errands and chores and you can't seem to get even one thing "done". I had one of those days today. BUT, my main goal was to get an Etsy store up, which I did, right before midnight.

One of the major problems is, I'm kinda a perfectionist. I didn't think my pictures are that great, I don't have a nice banner, I don't know how much, how long... blah, blah, blah. Then, I look at other stores and they are a little rough around the edges too. So, I put on my best little red hen hat and got to work. And, I'm fairly happy with the result.

Check it out and let me know what you think. It will be a work in progress, like everything else in life. jenafusion.etsy.com

OTHER NEWS AT JENAFUSION!!

**Up on this blog is a shiny new F.A.Q.s section. I get asked a lot of questions, so I thought others might have the same inquiries. Well, here are the best and brightest. If you have one you think I need to add, let me know.

**Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, if you need a break from partying over this holiday weekend and want to get out of the city, head over to Annapolis.

What: First Sunday Arts Festival

When: Sunday, July 6, noon to 5pm

Where: West Street, Annapolis, between Church Circle and Calvert Street

Who: My good friend, designer, Stacy Rausch (www.lovetocreate.net), who will have cutie handcrafted picture frames, shadow boxes and handpainted mirrors.

Website: www.goweststreet.com


Remember, check out my Etsy shop (jenafusion.etsy.com) See you this weekend!~Jen

Green Tip~ Use baking soda to clean with.


Not only is it completely non toxic and safe, it is very inexpensive. It is readily available almost anywhere. It is safe for kids and pets. The scrubbing and neutralizing powers make it an ideal cleaning product.

Check out www.bakingsodabook.co.uk, http://bean-sprouts.blogspot.com/2007/09/more-about-green-cleaning.html, and http://homeparents.about.com/cs/householdtips/a/baksoda_part1.htm for more information.

A GREAT tip from my sister and brother-in-law~ they suggested re-using an old parmesan cheese container, with a removable lid. This makes it a lot easier to shake out for cleaning, especially in a sink or tub. Just remember to take the label off and mark the container. You don't want to dump baking soda on your spaghetti!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Great Mud Out 2008



WOW! I shouldn't be surprised, but the Revival was... wet and fun and long and just a great experience all the way around.

I went the day before it all started and set up my tent and got the lay of the land. The weather was prefect, not too hot and not too cold. Blue skies, absolutely gorgeous. And, of course, too good to last.



Saturday was wonderful too, but much warmer. We were right down by the Hudson River, so we got a nice breeze once in a while and that helped. My mom came to assist and she is the best salesperson! I was able to go with my boyfriend and walk around just a little, see some exhibits and get some lemonade.

During the day, we were able to hear fun and upbeat music, as we were near the dance tent. Clothes for the Soul, run by Denise and Randy, were right behind me,and so nice and helpful. Truly wonderful people. (More on them later). I was sandwiched between Lennie, from Metal Magic and Freddy, from Churoncalla. Both great guys that had been doing the festival for years and they had such wonderful laid back attitudes, it totally added a chill vibe.



The booth looked wicked good! I had up fun fabric for my backdrop and my great new table cloths. I also had paper lanterns for lighting and they added a nice touch. I met so many cool people, and everyone was into the recycled aspect of my products. I was glad for the warm reception.



In addition to clothing, Randy makes fun colored hoola hoops. All day, we watched bunches of people playing games and hoola hooping.





Later, I finally got a chance to try. It was really hard at first, then Randy switched me to a larger hoop and it wasn't too hard anymore. SO MUCH FUN! And good exercise too. Jeff, the b.f., tried one too, but didn't get into it nearly as much as I did.



I really got into it and just stood outside my tent (to the left) and hooped it up for a while. Randy came over and took the hoop away, as a women wanted to buy it right off me! Soon, the sun started to go down and the day moved to a close...



Then next day, we weren't so lucky. The day dawned damp and dull. Then the rain started. It poured on and off for a about two and a half hours.



People still wandered around and came in the tent, but the festive spirit of the fair was dampened, pun intended. ;(





However, some people's enthusiasm couldn't be taken away. While people were bundled up, running for cover, this man played Frisbee, danced and totally enjoyed the rainy weather.

About 2:15pm, they called the festival to a halt and I sprang into action. I needed a t-shirt for my grandma! I needed to go see the Green Living Expo tent! I needed a hoola hoop! I ran around for a while, trying to get a few things done, then we started packing up. About 45 minutes after they canceled the festival, the rain stopped, the clouds totally dissipated and the sun came out. It was nice not to pack up in the rain, but frustrating to have to leave as it had stopped. I didn't get to see the Green Living Expo tent, which I was sad about. Next year?...



We still had a great time all in all and I truly enjoyed it. I think I'll try to do it again, but we'll see. Perhaps next year, we won't have storms every day!

Hoping it won't rain next weekend in Annapolis! July 6th, First Sunday~ Come by it you don't have anything else to do on your holiday weekend~See you there~Jen

Green Tip~ More store brand madness!

I have been scouting more eco (as in economical) solutions to the organic cotton trend. Earlier this year, I found really soft and fluffy 100% organic cotton towels at Bed, Bath and Beyond. At $14.99 for a large bath size, they are about the same price of a 'regular' towel. Don't forget to use those 20% off coupons.

Target has started to carry their own brand of 100% organic cotton sheets. I got them on sale for about $40 for a queen set, which included two pillow cases, a flat and a fitted sheet. Even at the normal price of about $48, this is a really good price for a set of sheets. They are extra roomy for thick mattress and are silky soft. These were right next to the bamboo/cotton sheets that felt so yummy too.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Clearwater Festival~ The Great Hudson River Revival


Thanks to all who made it out to Ballston Arts + Crafts Market this past weekend. While it was hot for the most part, it was a really nice day, great to be back to there. And, of course, freaky weather played a small, but crucial part. Right at the end of the day, a major storm came up and the wind howled. My friend Stacy, talented crafter I got to share my spot with all day, and her husband Ron, helped me carry all my stuff to cover before the rain started! It was great not to pack up wet products.

I got to see quite a few familiar faces, including Laura, above. She is a doll that has been coming to see me, and get a bag, for the last three years. She has always approached my work with such enthusiasm and love, it warms my heart! She was gracious enough to allow me to snap her picture. She was so happy and it positively comes through. Thanks, Laura, I hope you and your new bag have wonderful adventures this summer.

So, onward and upward! Next weekend, I will be in New York State, at the Clearwater Festival, The Great Hudson River Revival. The show is an environmental folk music extravaganza. I am: elated, frenzied, riotous, skittish, fidgety and utterly addicted to the thesaurus! This is literally and figuratively going home. First, I will be able to see my some of my family that still lives in NY. Second, I grew up going to the Clearwater Festival, which my family always called "The Revival". I remember many years of sorting through rubbish, to make sure that people haven't put recycleables into the trash. Lots of great music, dancing and colorful characters. Sunburns and heat stroke, rain while camping out and awesome sesame noodles. Getting politcal buttons and fair trade clothing. Now that I look back, I can see how much the Revival has shaped my life. I still pick through people's trash, to make sure they have recycled properly! ;-)

I will be among some very cool looking artists and craftspeople. I can't wait to check out my co-vendors, especially Metal Magic, Three Crazy Friends and Sound Earth. Check out the info at www.clearwater.org/revival/craft.html. I have a feeling that I might be spending at much money as I make!

Details~

What: The Clearwater Festival, The Great Hudson River Revival
Where:Route 9 in the Village of Croton-on Hudson, Westchester County, New York
When: Saturday + Sunday, June 21-22, 10 am to dusk
Who: Check out the website for the list of performers!
Website: www.clearwater.org/revival/index.html


Even if you can't make it to this weekend, please pass this along to those in the downstate New York area that might be interested. I'll try to remember to take lots of pictures, to post when I get back.

Thanks all and send me good weather luck!~Jen

Green Tip~ Fix it yourself

I have a three headed lamp that I use in my studio, that illuminates my ironing board and sewing machine. It is over 10 years old and has been through many moves. One of the heads doesn't even work anymore, but that is ok. What wasn't ok was when the plug fell off the wire! It literally came apart in my hands. However, I didn't want to be wasteful and just chuck it in the bin. Not very earth or purse friendly, as I would have to buy a new lamp. I went to the Lamplighter on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. It is a family owned business that sells and repairs lamps. For $3, I bought a new plug to fix this exact problem. It took less than a minute and I was good to go! Before you toss something 'broken', try to find out if it can be fixed, either by yourself or someone else, for less than a replacement would be.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shows, Markets and the Weather, oh my!


What crazy weather we have been experiencing lately!! The only show this whole spring that it hasn't rained, was in Philadelphia, and I had one dog pee on my table cloth and another poop in my tent!! That day, I could have used some rain to wash it away. ;)

Other than battling these freaky storms, I have been truly busy with some other great Jenafusion things~

"Think Green" is the current show on display at the Del Ray Artisans, in Alexandria. It is a wonderfully curated and organized show, that I am so happy to have two bags in. Like most of my products, they are mainly made from recycled items, in this case, a silk skirt and blazer, upholstery samples and a duvet cover. These pieces are some of the only 'functional' art there, as the show has some beautiful prints, painting and photos. Try to stop by and see it, as it both educates and enlightens the eco-artist in all of us.

"Think Green", Del Ray Artisans, 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA, June 5-29,
Hours: Thursday: 12-4pm, Friday: 12-9pm, Saturday: 10am-4pm, Sunday: 12-4pm
Website: www.thedelrayartisans.org

In addition, I have TWO vending gigs this coming weekend, yes, not one, but TWO!

Friday, June 13th, I'll be at the NIH Building 31, Cafeteria in Bethesda, MD from 8am-3pm, for those of you who mainly find me there. This will be my last time at NIH this summer, I'll be back in September.

AND, the very next day, I'll be back at the Ballston Arts + Crafts Market in Arlington. I posted an entry when I found out about it. I don't want to repeat myself anymore that I usually do, so go back and re-read that blog. (http://jenafusion.blogspot.com/2008/03/ballston-arts-crafts-market.html) My good friend Stacy will be joining me, with fun jewelry and cute shadowbox frames. I am hoping the weather stays pretty good and we have a great day on Saturday.

Here are the details:

What: Ballston Arts + Crafts Market
Where: Welburn Square, Arlington, VA
When:Saturday, June 14, 10am-4pm
Metro: Ballston stop, between the metro and the mall, easy!
Website: www.ballstonarts-craftsmarket.blogspot.com

As for my location, I got moved!! I'm now a full 180 degrees around the circle, closer to the mall. I'm actually happy about this, as I think there is more shade over there.


AND, I have been really, really, really busy getting ready for my biggest show ever. (really!) It is the weekend of the summer solstice and I hope that brings me good luck. I'll be at the Clearwater Festival, The Great Hudson River Revival, in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. More on that next week, you'll have to check back.

I know this is a lot to throw at you right now, all at once. You have other things going on, like, perhaps finding a new bathing suit, or what to get your Dad for Father's Day, or does that cute guy down the hall fancy you? Well, grab the guy, head to the market, get a gift for Pops and model some suits for the guy. You'll find out soon enough if he really does fancy you! ;)

See you this weekend~Jen

Green Tip~Change your air and oil filters when needed!
Getting the MOST gas mileage right now has many people slightly obessed right now, as in the case of the new trend of 'hypermiling'. Which is a way to get an extremely high amount of miles per gallon, sometimes in common sense or comical ways. However, we can still learn something from these folks. (For more, read http://www.gasolinecreditcards.com/ecotrekker/2008/03/04/the-ultimate-guide-to-hypermiling-100-driving-and-car-tips-and-resources/)

I do many of these things already, like lightening the load of the stuff in your trunk, having tires inflated properly and the like. However, the last time I went to get my oil changed, they also changed the air filter. My miles per gallon(mpg) jumped from about 35 (which is higher have a lot of people's) to about 40-45 mpg!! Which, is higher than a lot of hybrids!

However, one thing I probably won't do it use an "ice vest" instead of AC in the car. Just doesn't seem practical. :) Happy driving!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First Sunday Arts Festival



Two of the kinetic sculptures at the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, May 17, 2008, Philadelphia, PA. Funnnnn!


Summertime living...a cool drink by the water...a relaxing meal at a cafe...casually strolling around town....all in Annapolis!

That, plus, talented local artists and various musicians all in a quaint small town setting. This coming Sunday will be my return to the First Sunday Arts Festival, which I am looking forward to. We are wishing for the best weather, but don't always know what to expect at this time of year... So, here are the stats...

What: First Sunday Arts Festival

When: Sunday, June 1, noon to 5pm

Where: West Street, Annapolis, between Church Circle and Calvert Street

Who: Me, you and a long list of fun others, including my good friend, Jewelry artist Leah Sturgis

Website: www.goweststreet.com



**UPDATE** Saturday, May 31~ Weather is calling for severe thunderstorms, with possible hail this afternoon, so I won't be there... sorry!
Also, if the weather is good, I'll be at the Western Market on Saturday, May 31. Info:

What: Western Market
Where: 18th Street in Adams Morgan, in front of the Marie Reed Community Center
When: Saturday, May 31, noon until dusk
Website: www.dcwesternmarket.com

I've been working a ton on some really great new bags- bright yellows, mellow greens and fun turquoise are all gorgeous! Come check them out this weekend and I'll see you there~Jen

Green Tip~Scan instead of copying.

I often want to have a record of things I have to mail off, such as bills, applications, or other documents. However, I don't have the space to store these copies, or even the time to file them. Plus, the paper, ink and energy is mostly wasted, as I don't usually need the copies again. So, I scan the documents now. I still have a record of the information, which I can view at anytime, or print out if needed, but it doesn't create waste.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Old Town Arts and Crafts Festival




WOW! I'm a little jet lagged right now, so please bear with me! I just got back from a week in Las Vegas. My favorite cousin was getting married and I had to be there. Plus, it is Vegas, Baby, so you gotta love it. The top photo from our room at the Flamingo, overlooking the Bellagio fountains and the Strip. It was a great view, day or night. The bottom photo is my sister and I, hangin' with the King at the wedding reception. You never know who is going to drop by in Vegas. Although it is one of the most un-earth friendly places I've ever visited, all in all, I had a great time. And, I'm back now and getting ready for a full weekend show coming up. I can't believe it is already here!

The Old Town Arts and Crafts Festival is put on by the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau each year. This event not only showcases the wonderful talent and craftsmanship in the area, but allows you to find out more about volunteering opportunities in the community.

What? Old Town Arts and Crafts Festival

Where? Market Square
301 King Street
Alexandria, Virginia

When? Saturday, May 10, 1pm to 5pm AND Sunday, May 11, 10am to 5pm

Who? Everyone, especially people looking for great Mother's Day gifts.

Why? Although it is not as big as the 8 acre Bellagio water works, Market Square has a very nice fountain as well.

Website? More general info at www.alexandriavolunteerbureau.org


This two day show gives ample time for you to come down to Old Town and hang out. in addition, stop by a local restaurant and get a bite to eat. Many now have outdoor seating open and the weather should be nice!

See you there!~Jen

Green Tip~ Wrap it green

Earth Fact~According to Business Week, 5 billion dollars worth of gift wrap is thrown away each year!

When wrapping up gifts, save waste (and money) by re-using gift bags, tissue paper and ribbon. Use fabric, such as a silk scarf for a mother's day gift, or a baby blanket for a shower gift. Re-use boxes that you have received, and use shredded paper as filler. Wrapping up in used newspaper isn't as tacky as it used to be. It is GREEN!

Or, buy specific re-usable gift wraps, such as www.reusablebags.com/store/wrapsacks-reusable-gift-assorted-starter-p-470.html or, www.luckycrow.com or www.wrapsacks.com. The Wrapsacks website lets you track a bag as it gets re-used and passed around. Cool to see where the bag travels.

Perhaps I should start making these! ;)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Art on the Green


The last little blooming cherry blossom tree on the tidal basin, last Friday.

Spring has officially sprung!! It is so nice to see green grass, bright yellow flowers and sunshine. I have been waiting somewhat patiently to get back out to markets. Given the weather and my schedule, I haven't been able to do this as much as I would have liked. However, this coming Sunday is Art on the Green and I am really looking forward to it. I've been sewing like it will save the world and have *tons* of stock for you to pick from. Little coin purses, fun and funky fabric patterns and even a new table cloth for you to admire!

What? Art on the Green
Where? Chinquapin Recreation Center Fields
3210 King Street
Alexandria, Virginia
When? Sunday, April 27, noon to 5pm
Who? All of us!
Why? Because Art on the Green is "held in conjunction with Titan Expo 2008, a T.C. Williams High School annual student-teacher-parent-sponsored multicultural festival." The funds raised at the Expo go toward scholarships for T.C. Williams seniors.
How come? In addition to the art market, Titan Expo will have book and bake sales and other family centered events.
Website? More general info at www.acps.k12.va.us/tcw/expo.php

Hope to see you for this really great community event. I'm looking forward to getting a peak at the new T.C. Williams school building, and seeing all of you out there! ~Jen

Green Tip~ As the weather gets warmer, buy and use a windshield sun screen in your vehicle. Such as http://www.woolworthonline.com/spring-shade--collapsible-auto-windshield-sun-screen.html This will save you in gas and engine wear, as you crank on that a.c. to cool off your car. Also, it helps protect the interior of your car, lengthening the good looks of your dash, and the coolness of the steering wheel.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Artomatic 2008!


If you don't know about it, well... go to the website and read about it. I'm trying to write a short blog here! ;)

In a nutshell, a totally free, volunteer driven art extravaganza! Professional installations, amateur musicians, free form dance and the like. Plus, a marketplace that I hope they hold again this year. I participated in it last year and really liked it. I guess we'll see...

However, I wanted to let you know about the opportunity for you to participate, even if you aren't an artist or don't have the time. There is a call for furniture donations- a *great* way to recycle and do some spring cleaning!

From the website:
Design on a dime
We need furniture donations to fill the music halls and multiple lounges. Couches, chairs, love seats, folding tables, folding chairs, coffee or lamp tables, and lamps (floor or table). Contact Patrick at 202-413-0956 to arrange pick up.

Get rid of it, help them out and have your castoffs be a part of something bigger! Then, when you go to Artomatic, you can point out that lamp to your friends and say "That was mine! Look how happy it is here!"

See you at Artomatic!~Jen

Green Tip-
Reduce the junk mail you get by signing up with a FREE service such as Catalog Choice (www.catalogchoice.org). You tell them what publications you want to stop getting and this will slow the amount of junk mail coming to you. Other such companies include DMA’s Mail Preference Service and GreenDimes. And, this website has a lot of good information for stopping other unwanted junk mail. www.obviously.com/junkmail
Happy un-reading!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pure Heart Yoga Studio Spring Special


Hey all! Spring is a great time to *really* put those New Year's Resolutions into action. Yoga is a fantastic way to help with your fitness goals. The movements tone and stretch with little impact. The breathing centers and relaxes the mind. Yoga has been shown to lessen depression, mood swings and the waist line. I can say from my own experience this is true. I have been doing yoga on and off for eight years. When I am off, I feel really off. I miss it during those times!

A great friend of mine (and wonderful teacher) owns a yoga studio and is having a spring special to introduce new students to her center. Nestled in among trees in Fairfax on the Oakton border, the center is a little oasis away from the stress of life.

Come and try out three classes for only $15! This deal is good for any of the classes, at any time. Print out and bring the above card to obtain the deal.

For a class schedule and more information, check out www.pureheartyogastudio.com

Perhaps I'll see you in a class! Namaste~Jen

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ballston Arts + Crafts Market


WOW! Is it spring yet? I can't believe that it is almost April... and I haven't been to many (read- 4) markets this year. One might think that I would be aching to get out and into the fresh air, selling my buns off. One might just be wrong.

You see, just like you, I have been *crazy busy*. The folks at the Shakespeare Theatre seem to want more little bags all the time. They are great salespeople and the theater goers seem to like my products. I just got back from a week long moving trip with my sister. From Atlanta, to Killeen, Texas, which should have been a 14 hour trip. Well, it might be, without a blown tire and tornado winds and rains. All in all, I'm back, ready and excited!

While away (I think driving through Mississippi), I got my acceptance notification about the Ballston Arts + Crafts Market. I'm so glad to be in again this year! This will be my third year and I am really looking forward to what the organizers have in store. Last year was the first season The Ballston-Virginia Square Partnership headed up the events and they did a wonderful job. Kristina Bilonick manages the market and she is pretty damn awesome. I have been to many shows and even organized a few myself, so I know how hard it can be. Well, for the vendors, these guys and gals make it so easy, lining up cool local bands, goodie bags full of treats from area merchants and just are all around so supportive and helpful. This one of the reasons I am looking forward to this summer.

The other reason is some of the great customers I have gotten to know. People keep coming back and supporting us crazy artists, which are so diverse and talented.

The market is in cutie Welburn Square, right in between the metro and the mall. It is every second Saturday of the month, starting in May and running through October. Sadly, I won't be there for the opening Saturday, but I will be there several times over the summer. Keep tabs on the market blog (www.ballstonarts-craftsmarket.blogspot.com) for listings of the artists, bands, special events, and such. I'll be seeing you there!

AND, as for seeing you, I have been adding more and more shows to my expanding list of events this year. Keep checking back, as I find out about more all the time. I will try to be at Western Market this coming Saturday, if the weather is good.

Looking forward to getting out there and seeing some of you soon~ Jen

Green Tip~ Switch your paper bills over to electronic bills. You can receive bills and pay them online or the phone. Most banks offer bill paying services, mainly for free. Most companies will allow you to pay your monthly bill online, even offering and encouraging setting up an automatic deduction. This saves paper, postage, time and late fees! I can't remember the last time I sent a check in for my phone!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Martha Stewart blogs my sister!


So, of course, I have to blog Martha...

My sister is a certified saddler and saddle fitter. A major part of her business is educating riders and horse owners about the proper saddle fitting and how important it is for both the horse and rider. Martha Stewart is just one of her many clients, but probably the most famous outside of the equine world.

Proper saddle fitting is a very time consuming, skilled task that is detailed on the blog. If you have a horse, or are just interested in what a saddler might do sometimes, check it out. http://blogs1.marthastewart.com/martha/ You can always go to Dutchess Bridle and Saddle's website for even more information. www.dutchessbridlesaddle.com

This featured blog was just in time for International Women's Day, which is March 8, also my birthday. How fitting for a great woman, my sister, to be profiled by an original domestic goddess herself!

Enjoy~Jen

Based on the blog right before this one, I decided to include a 'green tip' at the end of each new entry. Here's the first one:
Shop with re-usable bags and recycle or reuse the plastic ones you do get. Many stores are not offering them or might give a discount when you don't take one. Sadly, 99% of the 100 billion plastic shopping bags used per year are not recycled.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Big Green Purse


It's not easy being green

One of my goals this year was to blog more...and it has been over one month since my last blog! Well, I'll do 17 Google searches and 21 emails and that should balance my electronic communication karma. ;)

In keeping with the above blogging goal, I wanted to also help spread the 'green word' to my customers, friends and family, even more than I already do on a daily basis. I love that there are so many people trying inspire others to help themselves help the world. One such movement right now is The Big Green Purse. The website is www.dianesbiggreenpurse.com. The idea is, in their words, to "use your spending power to create a cleaner, greener world." This concept is an old one, using monetary power to make changes in the world. The new twist is that the changes would be for the benefit of the environment. The theory is to take your money muscle and use it to support and encourage companies that are making environmentally responsible, sustainable and affordable products. The end result is that other companies will wise up and make more of products people are asking for now. Ah, the power of green!

This idea is not revolutionary, as money has been used to 'win friends and influence people' since way before Manhattan Island was supposedly bought with beads. However, this movement is ingenious on many levels. First, the environmental impact- educating and empowering people to make small changes that add up to big ones. Second, it revives good ole feminism. According to the B.G.P. website, "women spend $.85 of every dollar in the marketplace." We have power in numbers alone. (Forget I even said anything if you get hives at the thought of feminist power. lol) Third, people love a organized crusade, especially if someone else does the organizing. Forth, it will work!

Small Effort, Big Effect

OK, so here's the nitty-gritty, from their website, as they said it best:

"One of the fastest, easiest, most effective ways to protect the environment is by shifting money you already spend to eco-friendly goods and services.

The more money you spend on green products, the more you encourage manufacturers to reduce pollution, save energy and water, use less packaging and protect natural areas.

In fact, if a million women intentionally shift at least $1000 of their existing budget to environmentally-friendly products, we can have a noticeable ONE BILLION DOLLAR IMPACT in the marketplace."

For example, if you take the $3 you were already going to spend on Windex and get Method Mint Window wash instead, you have not spent any extra, but rather used your money wiser. Multiply that by every consumer choice you make, then by one million women, well, perhaps that is a revolution.

The idea is NOT to throw everything evilly unearth friendly away and go to Whole Foods and My Organic Market to stock up with cleaner, greener options. The idea is to divert the funds to a better option when the time comes to replace. Check out the website for more information and sign up. You might find you get to that $1,000 mark faster than you think!

Are you Green with Greed?

There was a fantastic article in the Washington Post yesterday. It hit many good, valid points. "Greed in the Name of Green" comments on the fact that in this warp speed, over consumption, consumer driven society we live in, 'green' buying has become a horrible trend that totally disregards the real environmental concerns it is meant to support. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/04/AR2008030403198.html?sid=ST2008030501534) It is true that many people out there are just becoming aware that the little choices they make everyday, every minute and the big choices they make one a month, once a year, once a lifetime all effect the planet. The author of the article makes a point to say that consuming 'green' items that one does not need merely because they are such has become yet another example of corporate peer pressure.

Sure, of course! There is 'green washing' everywhere! Corporations suddenly put 'natural lemon essence' in their product, put it in a recycled container and voila, instant eco-friendly product! Well, we all know that this is not true. Just isn't, can't be. Why? Because that large corporation is still making that lemon product in a plant in the mid west, draining toxic sludge into the water supply that has spiked the rate of cancer for the town resident 4 fold over the last 20 years!

Phew... wow, I think I have watched too many Lifetime movies! I'll get off my soap box now....

As the article points out, to an extent being a green consumer is 'an oxymoron'.
Author Leslie Garrett, author of "The Virtuous Consumer," a green shopping guide, is quoted as saying, "the greenest products are the ones you don't buy."

True that. Many people have memories of their grandmas washing out plastic zip lock bags to re-use. Or, great uncles making little tables out of scrap wood left over from redoing the kitchen. These folks lived through the Great Recession, and knew what it was like to do without. They lived through the Great World War and knew what it was like to make do. They recycled aluminum cans and didn't wear stockings. Then the 1950's hit and they bought everything in sight! :)

In many ways, this GI Generation was the first wave of environmentalists and then of run away consumerism. We can learn from both examples, taking bits and pieces and finding our own way.

Consuming less, whether the items are eco-friendly or not, is the first step of being 'green'.

Live Green, Buy Green, Dispose Green. OR Reduce, recycle, reuse.

If you have made it this far, I totally and completely congratulate you! I have been thinking about this topic for a while and I got up this morning at 4:45am to start writing this. There is so much more I would like to say, but I think I'll save most of it for other tantalizing blogs. But, I will try to get to my point here...

I touched on making educated choices in the marketplace and buying 'green'. I mentioned also that conservative spending habits also make for being 'green'. Part of living a green, socially responsible life is also taking into account what you do get rid of, and how you get rid of it. The Post article points out that your evil linoleum tile floor is probably doing the earth less harm in your house than in the land fill. A slash and burn method of greenifying your home is just wasteful, in time, money and garbage.

For example, I finally decided to get new bath towels this new year. I wanted to get organic cotton ones, if I could. I checked on line and at a few places. The least expensive one I could find was $25 online, plus shipping (via diesel truck no doubt), and only came in ivory or natural. Ugh. Aren't the days of hemp colored everything over?

Then, I found that Bed, Bath and Beyond carries organic cotton towels. In a variety of nice, earthy colors. And only $14.99 for a large bath towel, which is 5 dollars more than the non-organic cotton ones I was looking at. I got two large ones (clay and indigo) and two hand towels (clay and celery), using those great coupons I always get in the mail. (Did you know that you can use more than one at a time? And, the store I went to took expired ones also.)

I ended up getting all four for about $40! Yes, I did drive to store, about a 40 minute drive. However, I was able to look at the quality, the size and the colors, which are better in real life than on the computer. I actually preferred this because I could tell if I liked them or not, without wasting the gas of mail delivery or return. I love the towels and am so happy with the purchase. If I get more, I'll just order them online, as I now know. Check them out - http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=111966.

I had the old towels about 13 years. So, you can see I am not a out of control consumer of bath towels. But, I didn't want to throw them out. NO way! I didn't think they were good enough for a thrift store. I took them, and a bunch of old bedding to a homeless shelter here in Alexandria. I had a few comforters that were bad off, but not too bad for someone to still use. I'm sure that they were well received.

Old towels and bedding can also go to animal shelters. They can be used to line cages, clean animals or wipe up spills. Perhaps you have animals or kids in your house. Do you have junk towels? Or, do you use paper towels for everything?

So, this is the last tenant of the green life lesson for today. Don't throw everything away. Recycle when you can. This means your shampoo bottle, old shoes or used lined school paper. Pass it along to someone who could use it by donating to a school, organization or church. I found a pamphlet put out by the city of Alexandria telling about different places that accept such gifts.

Another fantastic resource is Craigslist. I gave away about 10 bags of art supplies to a lady whose kids love to create. I just bought 14 rolls of fabric from a women who was moving. No, it isn't all recycled fabric, but I am a fiber-phile so I couldn't resist! Put up a post for something you want to get rid of, either free or to sell, or an ad for something you might need. I love to barter and this system makes it so much easier. Also, Freecycle is another resource, as well as your company email list, or building bulletin board.

The long, long, long story short is, educate yourself, make more informed choices about living and buying, pass stuff along instead of throwing it out. Know you are making a better life for yourself and your family. Do what you can and don't beat yourself up about what you don't do!!

But, wait, there's more!


(This is going to sound so infomercial, but here goes...)

I want to support each and everyone of you in your green goals, newly made or long held. However, I am also a business woman trying to make a meager living. So, if you have made it this far in my rant, then please email me at jenartist_9001@hotmail.com for a 10% off coupon on your next Jenafusion purchase. My products are made from mainly recycled materials, each bag being a different percentage, depending on what I used. Most are 80-100%, with all having at least 50% recycled, reclaimed or vintage fabrics and materials in them.

So, if you were planning on getting a fun, new spring bag and a roomy shopping tote, look no further than the two above. The purse, which retails for $50, is made from recycled upholstery fabric swatches from a sample book. The tote, a steal at $30, is made from some of the Craigslist fabric and large enough for grocery shopping or a run to the library or to the yoga studio... So, get a wonderful new accessory and put it on your Big Green Purse balance sheet and be that much closer to being one in a million!

Working on spring show schedule and more new products! Shorter updates to follow! ~Jen

PS I executed about 19 Google searches in writing the above...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Shakespeare Theatre Company Gift Shops



UPDATE~ 2/19/08 I dropped off a **huge** shipment today at the Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F Street NW! Not to totally toot my own horn, but the table I set them up on looks great. Christopher, the manager, and I even sold one while I was putting them out. Go and check them out!

The Shakespeare Theatre Company Gift Shops are now carrying Jenafusion!! This has been a very fun recycling project that I have been working on. I was approached to use the left over fabric from the costumes to make my little bags. I just dropped off the first shipment this past weekend and everyone who saw them was so excited. Needless to say, so am I. :D The fabrics are very good quality, great designs and just beautiful to work with.

These are being carried exclusively through the gift shops. Right now, they are at the Lansburgh Theatre at 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC. They will also be carried at the Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F Street NW, right around the corner, in downtown DC. The hours are mainly centered around the production schedule, so you might want to check the website or call before you head down there to check them out. www.shakespearedc.org

Fun at Crafts and Kisses!




Thank you all who came by Crafts and Kisses yesterday! What a totally beautiful 'spring' day to be out ~and so many of you did come out. The place was **packed** with great vendors and LOTS of customers.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Patty Lee, a very talented book maker whose work is both very modern (think robots) and old worldly (think used maps). See for yourself at bookwyrmsart.com. Plus, she makes a wicked good chocolate dragon lollipop!

I hardly got a chance to walk around, but when I did, I got a absolutely gorgeous little raku bowl from Sabri Ben-Achour. (www.thesabritree.com). It is peachy and pale aqua and I can't wait to use it for ice cream...yes, the weather was that nice. :)

Don't forget to look back at the main website, to visit the artists again and keep up with their shows.

I am working on getting my shows and festivals together, so keep checking back to find out where I'll be. I'll try to post up some new things I'm working on...Hope to see you soon!~Jen

NIH Vending Dates 2008

These are the dates that I am scheduled to be at NIH, Building 31, Bethesda, MD. Illness, weather and other unforeseen events might change these dates. General hours are 8am-3pm.

Friday, February 8, Snack Shop
Friday, March 21, Cafeteria
Friday, June 13, Cafeteria
Wednesday, September 24, Cafeteria
Tuesday, October 28, Snack Shop
Friday, November 14, Snack Shop
Wednesday, December 3, Snack Shop

See you there! ~Jen

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Crafts and Kisses


Thanks to all who came out to the DC Counter Culture Festival this past weekend! It was a mob ~ although everyone was happy to be together, drinking beers and looking at some very cool comics and designs. There were fun cow paintings, groovy t-shirts, hand made and self produced graphic novels. I treated myself to the first installment of Girl Ninja by Rebecca Simms (www.webcomicsnation.com/dcconspiracy/ninja/toc.php). My table neighbors were the creators, writers and stick figure drawers of Full Sanction, in which they wield bats for justice. Rusty and Joe are so slick they presented me with a selection of their editions and a full set of buttons! Thanks guys! (www.fullsanction.com) If you missed it, check out the DC Conspiracy Website for videos. (www.dcconspiracy.com)

Likewise, you can come out to Craft and Kisses, where there will be many of the same vendors, plus some other great ones. This is a hand crafted only event, so it will be showcasing some major DC area talent.

The Low Down:

What: Crafts and Kisses 2008
Where: Josephine Butler Parks Center, 2437 15th Street NW, Washington DC
When: Sunday, February 3rd, Noon-5pm
Who: Crafters, jewelry makers, printers, book makers, bag ladies and the like.
Why: Because even if you have a sweetie, you deserve to get yourself something nice. And, perhaps for your sweetie too?!
Website: craftsandkisses.wordpress.com, has full list of participants and directions.

You will have so much time to come to the show and then flit off to a Super Bowel party, so come get something fun to wear, like a t-shirt with a monkey! :)

See you there!-Jen