New Natural Felted Soaps

felted_soapsToday I posted a new product to my Etsy shop, my felted organic soaps. I have been wanting to try this ever since I saw felted soaps in a pottery/gift shop in Sperryville, VA last year. 

I found a family farm that raises sheep and sells carded wool dyed with only vegetable dyes, and used this to wrap around my organic oversized soaps. It took a few tries to get it right, but I finally produced several nice examples.

The beauty of felted soap is that it makes the soap last longer, plus the wool acts as a gentle exfoliant. The wool shrinks as the soap gets smaller. And when the soap is all used up, you are left with a little felted pouch that you can reuse — you can even add a new bar of soap, sew it up and start all over again!

Earth Hour: Vote With Your Light Switch

VOTE EARTHThe World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Earth Hour has set the goal of inspiring people all over the world to switch off their lights for one hour on March 28, at 8:30pm local time, as part of a global vote. Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming.

WWF is urging the world to Vote Earth and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009. In December 2009 world leaders meet in Copenhagen to agree on a post-Kyoto policy for tackling climate change and 1 billion people voting with their light switch during Earth Hour will create a powerful mandate for our leaders to take strong and decisive action on climate change.

Cities as well as individuals will be participating. Washington, DC has signed on to be an official flagship city for Earth Hour 2009. Beginning at 8:30 p.m. on March 28th, the District will turn off non-essential lighting on many buildings and landmarks, including facilities owned by the local government.

Lights off!

DC Craft Mafia Meet & Greet 3/21

dccmCome on out to the DC Craft Mafia’s first Meet & Greet of 2009! We’ll be hanging out at Tryst Coffeehouse (2459 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009) on Saturday, March 21, starting at 4 p.m. Meet fellow crafters and greet your local mafiosa. Bring a crafty project in the works or one you’re proud to have completed – we’d love to check it out! Hope to see you there!

Thank you, Eco Art Addict

ecoart1

Image from Eco Art Addict

Yesterday I was featured in the Eco Art Addict blog along with three other EtsyTwitterTeam members who make eco-chic products. 

Eco Art Addict features stories on handcrafts as well as articles on eco-tourism, alternative energy and more. Plus, it’s where I found out about Brighter Planet’s 350 Challenge blog badge. Brighter Planet purchases and donates the 350 pounds of carbon offsets for every participant in the 350 Challenge.

Thank you, Eco Art Addict!

Please Help Me Name That Product!

Herban Lifestyle Gift Set

Herban Lifestyle Gift Set

Over the last few months, I’ve received many requests for truly natural baby products. So, I’ve been working on some formulas and have almost all of the names figured out. However, I have hit a roadblock when it comes to naming my new baby oil. I am trying to come up with a fun, descriptive name, but just can’t seem to find the right one. So, I am calling on you to help me out.

The baby oil is made from all organic ingredients, and is lightly scented with lavender essential oil. I would like a name that is playful, fun, and, if possible, a play on the title of a song or book.

If you would like to help me with the project, just email me at info [!at] herbanlifestyle.com with your name and product name idea(s). Entries will be accepted until 11:59 EST on Friday, April 3rd. I will announce the winning name on Friday, April 10th (you must be 18 years of age or older to enter). The author of the winning entry will receive a complete set of my new baby products plus a large Herban Lifestyle Gift Set

Thank you, in advance, for your help!

Soul Pancake and Wordle

wordle-words3I just found out about a fun website from my new favorite website, Soul Pancake. Soul Pancake is an interactive community, created by actor Rainn Wilson as a place where people can come together to ask and answer questions about life, spirituality, creativity and more. In their own words, “SoulPancake is, quite simply, the only place on the Web to debate, wrestle with, and explore creativity AND spirituality. We’re more than a forum. We’re a community. Express yourself. Debate a new friend.” Only a few days old, it is already full of videos, photos, musings, giving you plenty of opportunities for self-expression.

As for Wordle, it is a simple, fun web-based program that allows you to express your self-expression, by turning your words into art. To create your own word art, simply enter any text, and Wordle will create word clouds. You can play with the type face, color schemes and orientation of the words. This image resulted from the text from the About page on the Herban Lifestyle website.

St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt Contest

Find the leprechaun

Find the leprechaun

The Etsy Twitter Team is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt Contest. For more details, please visit the Etsy Twitter Team Blog.

Ten leprechauns pictures (like the one above) are hidden in the item listings in the shops below. Click through the shops to find the leprechauns. When you find one, send an email to etsytwitterteam@gmail.com with the URL of the item displaying a leprechaun in the pictures. You may enter more than once as long as you have a different URL for each entry.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Entries must be received by midnight EST on March 16th. Five winners will be chosen by random on March 17th!

The Fine Print: Etsy Twitter Team members and their immediate family members are not allowed to enter. Etsy.com is in no way affiliated with this blog or contest. Must be at least 18 years old to enter.

Here is a list of the participating shops:

Threepeats
Art by Betty Refour
In My Head Studios
Sandi’s Ts
Liv’nGood Jewelry
Firebird House
Rhodes Annals Designs
Jenco13
Emily Claire Creations
Fat Daddy Sweets
Joslin Jewels
Herban Lifestyle
Peanut and Tommy
Nikky Lee Designs
Linda B’s Creations
Sox and Patches
Angel Kisses Jewelry
Imogen’s Garden
Ambient Lights
Soap Rehab
Huayruro Peru
Bugs ‘n Bees
Pretty Cheap
Aquarian Bath
Scrap With Style
Bella Tu Jewelry
Tamdoll

Green Power

gpp_logo180Last week, I received news that Herban Lifestyle has been approved as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Parter. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that supports companies’ procurement of green power by offering expert advice, technical support, tools and resources. Green power is electricity produced from renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydro. 

Herban Lifestyle offsets 100% of its carbon footprint by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from Clean Currents, a locally based company. RECs are certificates issued by clean power producers and certified by independent auditing bodies. Each REC equals the environmental benefits of producing 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity from a clean energy generation source rather than a fossil fuel source or other non-renewable energy source.  By purchasing RECs you are paying the difference between market rate and the production rate for clean energy, thus subsidizing clean power producers and allowing them to compete against the big guys.

If you’re interested in learning more, The University of Maryland has a very thorough description of what RECs are and how they work. And Montgomery County has a good fact page on the benefits of purchasing RECs.

If you are interested in purchasing RECs, Clean Currents has a carbon calculator that lets you estimate what your carbon emissions are per year or month based on how much you drive, what type of car you drive, your electric and gas usage, etc. and can tell you how much it will cost to offset some or all of your footprint. The EPA has an enhanced household emissions calculator that lets you not only calculate your carbon usage, but also allows you to play with ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint.

A Flickr of Green

mosaic3948781The inspiration for this mosaic came from Erica Burns, a fellow member of the DC Craft Mafia familia. Here’s how it works: Type your answer to each of the following questions into Flickr Search. Using only the first page, choose an image.  Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Labs mosaic maker.

It’s very cool to see what types of images pop up. Have fun with it!

The Questions:

1. What is your favorite shade of green? Sour apple

2. What is your favorite green food? Avocado

3. What steps have you taken to go green? Compact fluorescent light bulbs

4. What is your favorite item of green clothing? Green dress

5. Who do you think does the most for the “green” movement (famous person)? Al Gore

6. Favorite drink that comes in a green bottle? San Benedetto Iced Green Tea

7. Favorite thing about St. Patrick’s Day? Wearing of the Green

8. What do you usually do on St. Patrick’s Day? Eat Irish Soda Bread

9. What is your favorite lucky charm? Lucky penny

10. What is the best thing you have ever done to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Seven Nations concert

11. What shade of green is your least favorite? Olive green

12. Your flickr name? herbanlifestyle

If you make your own mosaic, please leave a link to your version of this little game in my comments section!

Credits:
1. Sour Apple, 2. On the beach, 3. Google Yabusame, 4. just chillin’, 5. Al Gore is my hero, 6. drinks, 7. A Monk’s Life, 8. Irish Soda Bread, 9. lucky penny brain surgery, 10. Hadrians Wall, Cumbria, England – May 2007, 11. Green, Green, Green…, 12. Dolce de Limone Lip Balm