FiNal ThOughTs

I know for myself that this month of purchasing Made in the USA was an eye-opening experience. I know that my choices were not a huge world-changing impact on the global economy but for my small world it was HUGE.  I am going to continue with being cautious with my purchases and research as much as I can prior to purchasing something new.  I think I will have to take an international business lecture sometime in the future just so I can grasp why it is so economical to have something made thousands of miles away, than here…on our soil.

Somethings are easier to find but some were not. Like Mandarin Oranges (only canned in China)…seriously, could not find them anywhere.  Coconut milk, made in either China or Thailand (I opted for Thailand). American Flags…made in China or Vietnam…really?! Come ‘on! Often the “store brand” is a China made product and though cheaper than American made, I would purchase the American made and if I had coupon, it all worked out in my favor.

Some of the finds were just cool, like the Wolverine 1883 boot, made in the USA!  Or jeans, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans are American made and can be purchased at Macy’s.

What’s next for October?! I will have to ponder this!

bye for now!

r’uH r’Oh

Or, how this month’s 2012 ReDesign Challenge was an uber fail. I had planned to re-organize the patio and storage room for August but I am a dorkfish.  What was I thinking?!? It’s Arizona! Way to hot to deal with outside crap like that.  So I went thrifting instead!

This was a Goodwill half-off Saturday so I started there. I picked up a ceramic container that is now holding rulers and larger items in the studio, Kerr mason jar, a black & white polka dot top (Made in the USA), recycled inter-tube purse (which I think I will bling out for Steampunk), a grab bag with a cat nail clippers/various must haves, and a skirt with top for a Dia de los Muertos event coming in October. At Epic I found a book, spoons (for an upcoming art project) and a tissue box top that matches the colors in my studio perfectly! Not a bad day for thrifting.

Goodwill and Epic Thrift Shopping

The “other” monthly challenge is coming to a close.  This  past week I was busy with working overtime,  so there wasn’t a lot of need for shopping. I have found quite a few alternatives to my purchases and over all have kept it Made In America. Like fast food, it’s all about convenience. It takes time to cook a good home cooked meal with fresh locally grown ingredients, but over all, it’s good for your body. It takes time to research and locate the Made in the USA items but it’s good for our economy.  Right?

Martha Stewart has a great link on her Pinterest board in support of American Made products and companies…take a look!
bye for now!

GotTa TrY ThIs

Pinterest has become one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world! I have a plethora of boards for decorating, altered art, cleaning, foods, style and most recently I added Gotta Try This. There are a gazillion DIY pins that I weed through and every so often one catches my eye. I thought this would be a perfect forum to check these out for myself and report back on how it worked for me.

So, welcome to my new monthly series, GOTTA TRY THIS! Beginning in September, the last Thursday of each month will feature a pin that I have tried out. Hope you enjoy and you can follow my pins here.

Here is the original pin. It was a DIY using cigar boxes as storage.

 

Source: bhg.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

 

Instead of using drawer pulls I used Martha Stewart Home Office™with Avery™Adhesive Metal Bookplate to categorize the items in the boxes. I like the eclectic look the cigar boxes give my studio. They are generally free at local smoke shops and I plan on getting more for storage in the future. I am starting to see them at the thrift shops but will only buy them if they are on a $! color tag day since I don’t want to spend more than a dollar if I have to.

bye for now

AgEnda

I am always in the search for the perfect day planner. For the last two years I have actually made my own using blank Moleskine books but I wasn’t too impressed with the one I made for 2012. I didn’t plan accurately for a monthly view and felt my space for appointments on the weekly view was mediocre.  Plus, I had yet another planner for blog content…too many places to have to check for one little person.

One a trip to the thrift store I came across a planner that I think is going to work perfectly for me. It is from Mixed Role Productions ,a Made in the USA company, that uses 100% post-consumer recycled paper for the calendar pages. The book was used but I picked it anyway since it had an order form still inside. I tried it out for the remaining months it had and found it was taking care of all my needs. There is plenty of space in the weekly sections to write out appointments and copious notes. The monthly section allows for my blog content planning and reminders of MeetUp events and doctors appointments.

The planners come in six different colors; Fuchsia, Licorice, Green Apple, Lapis, Turquoise, and Violet.  I went with Green Apple.  I use the Avery NoteTabs with Months for the monthly layout page for quick reference and use the Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ Removable Color-Coding Labels for reminders. I am careful to use pens that don’t bled through so I can read my notes on the next page. I recommend an art pen, preferably American made if you can find it.  Plus, I tend to bling it out with some sticker embellishments with give it a more customized look. I still use my smart phone for appointments but each Sunday, I review that and write in any new appointments. There is a saying “If I don’t write it down, I won’t remember to do it” and for the most part, that works.

bye for now

 

 

 

VeNtUre

I missed updating you last week on my quest to find USA made items while out shopping. I came across an interesting dilemma. What do you do when the store doesn’t offer an American made option?? Case in point, I went in search of some craft supplies. I needed two 5×7 canvas frames to complete a project for my bedroom. The manufacturers were either China or India…that was it. Now admittedly, I only went to one store. {Family works there, gotta support that ya know}. So I opted for the item made in India. I figure China has my nations debt and billions of citizens, they don’t need my hard-earned cash. I did a quick internet search and found zilch on canvas frames.  It does take a few extra minutes to read the labels but I did find some supplies made here.

Ever wonder how the whole overseas thing works? Since I am not an international finance kinda gal so I was happy to run across this post and found it rather educational.

And don’t get me started on pet supplies!! The national chains are full of products made in China. All the ‘store’ brand items, pet toys and clothes…all made in China. There were a couple of exceptions. My sister found a food brand called Bil-Jac that is made here in the USA and some various treats that were American made.  But, if you want to dress up your pup in something cute…forget it! I did find some adorable handmade items on Etsy plus links galore for patterns I can make myself. This whole venture has been quite an eye-opening experience.

It leads me to this weeks thought…what item would I not compromise on? Even if it meant buying outside the USA??

bye for now!

 

 

ReGioNal ShOppIng

This is the first weekend of the Made in the USA Challenge. Wow, the first day of the challenge was rough. I went in search of highlighters at my local Staples and spent at least twenty minutes or more trying to locate ones made in America.  Luckily, I found Bic highlighters, all made here.

Interesting thing about this challenge is finding the Country of Origin on each item and some of it can be misleading, imho. Such as “Made in USA with US and globally sourced materials” or “This part Made in NOT AMERICA with this part Made in the US”. For me, that means, it ain’t made here.  On the bright side, most candies I found were made in America!

I did change my original intent when it came to going to thrift stores. Since the money is being used to support local charities, I won’t carry over the USA only requirement of the challenge. I did find myself a bit depressed while going through my local thrift place this weekend. I found a frame and a table-cloth with no country of origin but every single piece of clothing I picked out either came from Taiwan, Vietnam, China, India or Brazil. These were top brands like Hollister and Ann Taylor…not one item I picked was made here. So, I didn’t buy any clothes. So depressing!

After a quick internet search, I found All American Clothing Co and Overstock.com‘s Made in the USA listings. Modcloth has a very unique vintage section for clothing and decor while offering Made in USA products as well. It’s out there folks, just have to look for it.

laters!