Biodegradable Leaf Wreath

I don’t know about you, but come autumn I’m always itching for some new home decor. It’s not like Christmas, where I want to collect objects for nostalgia’s sake. I want something new each fall and I’m also always eager to concoct a new visage in my nest. But then the flower child within convicts me. How can I justify buying or making something new to add to the pile of stuff already cluttering my apartment, my life, and the planet?

What to do, what to do? Ah-ha! The solution! A biodegradable craft!

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Fall foliage. It’s the thing that makes it a thing, is it not? Without the changing leaves, the sweet smell of decay filling the air, we might as well be approaching spring. Seeing the changing canopies of the city’s trees is what makes me feel electric, feel renewed, feel distracted from the foreboding threat of winter. So why not capture that feeling by collecting the very thing that gives the season its mark: leaves.

For this project all you’ll need is some non-toxic glue, a pair of scissors, recycled cardboard, and some freshly pressed leaves. A pair of hyper helper hands, should you have a toddler waddling about, is good too!

First things first, you’ll need to cut a semi-accurate circle out of your cardboard. This is the part best saved for those of us old enough to wield a sharp object. Once the main circle has been cut out, shave out an inner circle so you’re left with a big “o.” That’s your wreath. Now, dab on glue around the cardboard, placing your first layer of leaves around the perimeter. Next, you’ll repeat this step, but pop the glue on the leaves. I find that three layers works best.

If you’re a strategic sort you can place the bigger leaves at the base and alternate colors so you have a more aesthetically appealing display. Once complete, allow your wreath at least 24 hours to dry before hanging it up. We took our little creation and hung it on August’s bedroom door using some doubled up washi tape. That lasted all of a single afternoon as he insisted that the door remain as-is. Oh toddlers. So we’re now enjoying it as part of our table centerpiece.

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There you have it! A simple, festively fall, biodegradable wreath that’s easy enough that even a kid, or an overly exuberant pumpkin-spice-latted-up adult, can do it.

Enjoy!

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An Indie Biz: The End of an Era

store closing sale

It is with a heavy, yet elated, heart that we announce that we will be closing the Pierogi Picnic Etsy shop on July 31st.

I founded Pierogi Picnic in the fall of 2008 with the hopes of changing the face of eco-friendly fashion. And I believe that I was able to do just that! Made in small batches using recycled cottons, Pierogi Picnic was the first clothing collection of its kind that offered fun-loving, affordable and sustainable designs. I’m pretty darn proud of how far the line has come, but now it’s time for bigger and better things!

Since Pierogi Picnic’s launch so much has changed in the green goods industry, fashion and Etsy – and for the better! A lot has shifted in my personal life too. A flourishing career in the animal welfare field, a bouncing baby boy, a new design aesthetic, and more, have led me to make the decision to shutter the Pierogi Picnic brand as it currently stands. Change is a good thing and it’s time to move on to the next big thing!

So what does this mean for all you Pierogi Picnic fans? Well, prepare to get excited because there’s some pretty nifty things up ahead! I’m in the process of developing a brand new line of products in collaboration with my talented husband, artist David Paul Downs. Think bright, joyful, and of course, eco-friendly. That’s all I can reveal for now – it’s a mega secret at the moment! Tune in mid-summer for an official announcement about our new endeavor.

In the meantime, there’s a ton of super cool one-of-a-kind handmade goodies I’m looking to re-home from the Pierogi Picnic Etsy shop at a deep discount. To give you, my faithful followers, a head start on scooping up all my close-outs, I’ve created a coupon code that will knock 50% off the current price on anything and everything in my shop. Just type in “solongfarewell2015” in the coupon field upon checkout and the discount will come off your final total. We’ll open up the sale to the general public on June 1st – so get in on the fun while the gettin’s good! Just think – this may be the last time you can score handmade and eco-friendly clothes at such a great price!

We are so excited to be entering into this new chapter of our lives as a family and can’t wait to share details with you this coming season. Until then show us some love and scoop up some handmade goodies while you can!

Spring Fling Sale!

spring fling 1

It’s that time again – time for my annual SPRING FLING SALE!

Giving you the best deal of the year on handmade and vintage goodies in my shop, the sale helps me make space in my studio for new designs. It’s spring cleaning season after all!

Take 40% off your total by using coupon code “springfling2015” during checkout. Plus – refer a friend to buy something and I’ll refund both your shipping fees. Simply enter the note “I referred a friend” in the notes to seller upon checkout and include your friend’s name and I’ll reimburse you both for shipping. Talk about a great deal!

The sale starts today and will be taking place for a limited time – so stop reading this post and start shopping now!

DIY: Eco-Friendly Handmade Gifts

DIY upcycled sweater stockings

Are your fingers feeling itchy to craft? Then get those digits to work!

To get your creative juices flowing, I’ve assembled my all-time most popular DIY tutorials for you to peruse through. Click on any of the photos below to read the full set of instructions on how to make these practical and design-savvy eco-friendly gifts for the holidays.

After all, nothing’s more festive and heartfelt than something that’s handmade with love!

dit printed eco gift wrap

diy orange spice face scrub face scrub

diy upcylced sweater leg warmers

homemade cheek and lip stain

embellished heart elbow patch sweater

diy sweater bracelets

Featured Design: The Dodger

Pierogi Picnic: The Dodger eco-friendly cowl scarf

There’s a chill in the air and the month of November is well underway – which can mean only one thing. It’s bundling season! And for that reason we’ve chosen The Dodger cowl as our featured item.

Whether it’s for keeping yourself or an eco-savvy giftee warm, this elegant and utilitarian accessory is the perfect piece for the chilling season. Available in several color combos, the grey on grey is my personal favorite as it has unisex appeal and a slightly military vibe.

Handmade using recycled sweatshirt fabrics, these uber soft and snuggly cowls are great for day-to-day wear, biking, or spicing up a weekend outfit. And with the holidays just around the bend, they’d make a great stocking stuff too! To check out which color combos are currently available visit my Etsy shop here.

Events & Sales: Making Room for Baby!

making room saleWe are officially past the six month mark or our pregnancy and our nesting instincts are now in overdrive! We’ll be crafting together the babe’s nursery in November – but we’ve got quite the de-cluttering to do first. And for that reason I’m hosting a mega sale this week!

Starting on Thursday, October 23rd through Monday, October 27th I’m cutting and slashing prices on many Pierogi Picnic designs throughout my Etsy shop. We’re calling it the “Making Room for Baby” sale! Catchy, isn’t it?!

I’ll be putting many classic items on deep discount, as well as creating grab bags for retired designs. I’m also knocking dollars off newer creations and vintage – so if you’re starting your holiday shopping early – you won’t want to miss this!

PLUS, help get the word out about the sale and I’ll send you a coupon for free shipping that you can use anytime between now and the end of the year. International buyers included! Simply share our status off the Pierogi Picnic Facebook page and I’ll private message you the code.

Here’s to finding new forever homes for lots of my designs this weekend!

Starved Rock Babymoon

Pierogi Picnic: Starved Rock Babymoon

Things have been really quiet on the Pierogi Picnic website as of late as we eagerly prepare for the arrival of our very first little bundle. Between battling all-day-sickness, doctors visits, and nesting, we’ve been quite the busy bees these last six months – which is exactly why it was high-time to get away and recharge. So this past weekend David and I embarked on a low-key babymoon.

Pierogi Picnic: Starved Rock BabymoonWhat’s a babymoon? It’s the latest trend in pregnancy, encouraging the parents-to-be to get away one final time as a twosome before the babe’s arrival. When planning our getaway we knew we wanted it to be as close to home as possible, while still allowing ourselves to be immersed in nature and the outdoors. And with it being October – camping was off the list – so the choice was easy: Starved Rock State Park.

Nestled between miles of farmland and the Illinois River, Starved Rock was the perfect place for us to get out for some fresh air while disconnecting from all the hub-bub of home. Less than a two hour drive from Chicago, this picturesque preserve was one of the nation’s first sanctioned national parks, adding a rich history to the already spectacular forests and cliffs of the region.

Pierogi Picnic: Starved Rock BabymoonWith the confetti like fall foliage, deep earthy smells, serene visage and winding trails, we were able to hike all our anxieties about the coming bebe away. Having the opportunity to slow down and reflect on this coming new chapter, all while surrounded by the gold and amber hues of the changing season, was the best possible way for us to celebrate and prepare for our little human.

So should you be in Chicago, and looking for a way to at once connect with nature and unwind, let me be the first to recommend Starved Rock and all its glory. You won’t be disappointed!

Pierogi Picnic: Starved Rock Babymoon