Monday, October 27, 2008


Need a quick, last minute Halloween costume? Dig through your recycling bin and gear up for this easy robot project. You'll be thinking inside the box in true recycled style!

>Utility Knife
>Silver spray or acrylic paint
>2 two liter soda bottles (for the arms)
>2 small water bottles (for the antennas)
>Large cardboard box (about your shoulder width)
>Small cardboard box (large enough to fit over your head)
>Assorted recyclables for gears and gauges (we used a yogurt lid, a CD, and junk mail)
>Dry, empty paint can for a trick or treat pail

1. To make a spot for the head to poke through, cut an 8.5" circle in the top, center of the box.

2. Cut an arm hole about 5" in diameter on each side of the box centered at the top. Then, try it on to make sure it fits.

3. For the head - cut a 7" square on the front of the box that's about 1" up from the bottom.

4. Unscrew the water bottles and place them upside-down on the top of the box where you want your antennas. Trace around the opening. Cut. Then stick the water bottle through and secure on the other side by screwing the lid back on.

5. To make the cylinders for the arms, cut off the top and the bottom of 2 liter bottles - keeping the smooth, center portion intact.

6. Paint the boxes and bottles silver in a well ventilated area. Let dry.

7. Add gears and gauges to the front of the robot. We used a CD and poked a hole through a plastic spoon. It's all attached with a brad for a fully functioning "candy meter". We added an old envelope and cut a yogurt lid cut in half for more bells and whistles. Take a look in your recycling bin and use what's there to give your robot personality.

8. Name your robot! You can have any kind of theme. Ours is lovingly known as Recyclobot. But you could use old CDs and cassette tapes for Dance Party Robot. Paper plates and plastic spoons and forks could make up Picnic Robot. Paint cans, brushes and lids could become Art Bot. The sky's the limit on this one! For your trick or treat pail, grab a empty paint can, make sure it's dry, and line the inside of it with paper.

And if you're in on the east coast and have access to Comcast, tune in to the CN8 morning show this Wednesday at 7:30 AM. You can see this costume live along with some other last minute crafty costumes from Craft Magazine.

Thanks, Anna, for sporting the costume in the photo above!
Yay Craft! Yay Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

colorful AND crunchy

As I ate my breakfast this morning, I glanced into my bowl of granola and thought to myself, "wow - I really am crunchy."

Everything in the bowl is from the farmer's market - the honey toasted granola, the seasonal fruit, and the maple syrup yogurt. And once upon a time I even handpainted the bowl itself when I worked at Our Name is Mud. Local, seasonal, handmade.... crunchy.

I've always known I'm part hippie. My parents met in the Peace Corps. I've been taught to live with as small of an eco-footprint as possible. I buy all of my clothes either from thrift stores (check out Beacon's Closet the next time you're in Williamsburg) or handmade (Etsy is a great place for that). Well, there are a few clothing exceptions. We'll just say the majority of my clothes are vintage and handmade. But that doesn't mean that everything has to be shades of brown and gray. Crunchy can be full of color!

Upon further inspection of my wardrobe I realize I don't currently own, nor ever have owned a pair of Birkenstocks. And I've never really cared for their clunky style anyway. Maybe I'm only 50% hippie.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

get your kits online!

Hey there recycling folks! ReMake It kits are now available online. You can order yours and start recycling over here at Karma Kiss.

There are 3 kits available now, with more on their way. The first of these DIY eco-treasures include the wine cork trivet, bottle lamp, and magazine envelopes. Each one takes less than 5 minutes to make. See - isn't recycling easy?

Hurray for recycling and do-it-yourselfing!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Talkin' Trash take 2

It's amazing what people throw away!

What would you do with a toy army tank, a toy bus, a mop handle, an old clock, a football, a bucket, and everything else left in the garbage in the Williamsburg hood last night?

Carly, Steph, and I set out to inspire others to do more with their garbage than just throw it out. In just a few hours we turned the toy army tank into a clock, the toy bus into a silverware dish drainer device, the football into a purse, a bucket into a padded stool, a pile of wood into a dog house, a mop handle into a drying rack and more.
Actually, we didn't do the turning, but we left talk bubbles that suggest these "trash formations".

Living in New York and being limited on space, you can't take everything useful home with you. But you can encourage others to scavenge what's on the street and turn it into new. Plus it'll hopefully it gives the garbage men a new way of looking at that pile of wood in the morning.

Stay tuned for more adventures in Talkin' Trash. To read the first of our finds look here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

it's half full

As I was drinking water from a Mason jar this morning I set it down and wondered:

Question: Is it a jar or a glass?

Pondered that for a second then realized:

Answer: It's whatever I need it for. Maybe it's a vase, a pencil holder, a paint brush cleaner, a (not very stable) hat, a lightening bug catcher....

It's all in how you look at it.