Charlie Brown Christmas tree

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Too pooped to post anything as I spent the day preparing photos to accompany my Christmas articles. Here's a little something I thought you might enjoy. 

I love the whole Peanuts gang - Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Schroeder, and especially Charlie's little Christmas tree which this one resembles.

Photo via Anne Sage

Christmas Card Recycling from BHG

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I don't know about you but I still get quite a few Christmas cards in the mail and enjoy receiving them even though e-cards are more eco-friendly. Besides, coming up with ideas to recycle them is one way of keeping the kids busy while you make your hoilday preparations. 

Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) has oodles of ideas and how-to projects for recycling holiday cards. These little card trees are similar to those over at Stone and Rose that I blogged about yesterday but a little easier to make.

And I simply love these little decorative houses made from cards. For complete instructions for these and other card recycling projects, visit BHG. For house templates, go here.

A couple of Christmas ideas

Posted on December 18, 2011 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Gosh, it’s onlyys to Christmas! I’m away from home and haven’t been able to visit my recycling bin for project inspiration. So I went a’cruisin’ today and found a couple last minute Christmas decoration ideas you might enjoy.

Both ideas use stuff from the recycling bin. For example, here’s a nifty way to wrap up a Christmas tree container that I spotted at Ikea’s Livet Hemma site. All you need is a bit of newspaper and a recycled red ribbon.

And just look at these gorgeous paper Christmas trees made from the pages of old books. Before you get your knickers in a twist over using books for recycling projects, use only books that are musty and smelly, discoloured, waterlogged, missing pages, or otherwise no longer loved and read, and would end up in the landfill anyway. So having said that, you can find out how to make these Christmas trees, at Stone and Rose

Santa Clothespins

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I don't usually pitch buying stuff but I just love these little Santa baby clothespins from House 8810. You could probably make these yourself  by repurposing what you've got on hand but as these are only $3.00 US for a set of 6, so why not save time and get them. 

You can use them to display your Christmas cards by stapling a wide ribbon across the top edge of a bookshelf or on a door and then pinning on the cards. Or use them to pin a gift card to a present. 


Christmas Tree Pickup 2010

Posted on December 26, 2010 at 10:59 AM Comments comments (0)

City of Ottawa

Christmas trees will be collected from January 11 to 15, 2011. Go to the City of Ottawa Collection Calendar link, enter your street information, click on the calendar for your street and you will find the collection date for your address.

Trees will not be collected if wrapped in plastic bags or if they contain decorations, especially tinsel. In order to avoid problems with collection or snow removal operations, place your Christmas tree at the curb the night before your scheduled collection day. Trees frozen in snow banks will not be picked up.

City of Edinburgh

For Christmas tree collection, put your trees out beside your rubbish bin or with your black sack on your regular collection date.

You can also use any of the temporary skips located across the city.

if you'd like to recycle your Christmas tree, take it to any of the city's four Community Recycling Centres.


Image jamespot

Last-Minute Green Christmas Gift Ideas

Posted on December 22, 2010 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (2)

Image thekitchn

Okay, ‘tis the day before Christmas Eve and you’ve still got a whole lot of gifts to buy. Should you worry, should you fret? Well, yeah – after all you’ve had all year, right? But no worries, here are a few ideas to save your bacon (or tofu). To avoid the crowds at the mall, head for two places: your local grocery store and the neighbourhood hardware store. At one or both of these shops you can buy what you need and not break the bank. Clever, no?


Don’t worry about containers. Anything around the house can be used – jars, cups, scoops, etc. Just add a ribbon and your gift will draw oohs and aahs.


Vanilla- and Lemon-Scented Bath Salts

Easy, peasy. All you need are sea salts and vanilla flavouring and concentrated lemon juice (in those lemon-shaped plastic things). You can buy all three at the grocery store. 

How to make it:

Add a few drops each of the vanilla flavouring and concentrated lemon juice to about two cups to sea salts. Mix thoroughly and then pour into a recycled (but very clean) clear plastic bag and tie tightly with a repurposed bit of ribbon. Plop into a container such as a laundry scoop and voila!!

Coffee Foot Scrub

Again, the grocery store for olive oil (cheaper stuff than what you'd use for cooking), sea salts, and some medium-ground coffee (the least expensive is okay).

How to make it: 

Add half cup of coffee grounds to a cup of sea salts. Pour in a tablespoon or two of your olive oil and mix well. This you should put in a glass container maybe with the little plastic scoop that comes inside the coffee tin. Add a circle of gift wrap around the lid and tie it with a ribbon. Again, voila!


Goodie Gourmet Fare

For the gourmet in your life, the grocery store has all the organic ingredients you need to add to a pretty basket (or box). Buy organic honey, jam, artisan breads, and cheeses that will keep. Line the basket with a pretty kitchen towel before adding the goodies and you’re done.

Goodies in a Jar

Using a repurposed, squeaky clean jar, put together a cute DIY package with all the ingredients and instructions needed to make a special recipe – try a chocolate cookie mix, or hot cocoa mix.

Bouquet Garnie

Fresh herbs are available in the produce department of most grocery stores, and make a great gift, especially in the middle of winter. Pick up a mixture of different herbs, tie up in bundles, and present in a small basket.

Image Heather Bullard (with thanks!)

For the Garden Lover

Rosemary Tree

Most grocery stores (at least where I live) have Christmas tree shaped rosemary plants for sale at Christmas, so why not pick up one or two for gifting someone. You may want to change the containers so once you get home, root around the cellar, kitchen, or garage for a suitable one. Even a neat old pot you're not using will work. After the holidays, the rosemary can be planted in a garden and will last, well, as long as it gets plenty of sunlight and someone doesn’t overwater it!

Tools for Gardeners

Pick up a few hand tools for the gardener on your list at the hardware store. Gloves, weeder, hand trowel and fork. Toss it all into a small canvas shopping bag that can be reused for trips to the garden centre..

For the DIYer

Picture Hanging Kit

At the hardware store, pick up a measuring tape, wire cutter, picture hanging set that includes wire, nails and hooks, a level. Put into a small tackle box (vintage if you've got it), and you’re done.

Wall Banger Kit

For Mr. or Ms. Fix-it, you only need to pick up three items: a multi-head screwdriver, a pair of Vise-Grip pliers and a utility knife. Add a carpenter’s apron to hold the tools.