Double Duty Green Design: Solar Flowers

Dubbed the "solar-power generating tree that bears two fruits – green power for public areas and a treat for the eyes" the Solarflora design is taking center stage.

The Long Beach California company launched the product in the fall of 2010 and has been taking this solar powered flower on tour around the country.

From their website: "An engaging and elegant sculpture intended for use at public squares and parks of all kinds, outdoor malls, museums, festivals, business complexes, universities, and sidewalks, the Solarflora houses up to four solar panels and can supply as much as 750 watt-hours per day, powering evening park lighting, on-site offices, street lamps, and charging stations for electric bicycles and other small vehicles. Made in Long Beach, California from locally produced materials, this highly original combination of environmentally friendly technology and public-space friendly artwork is creating new solar power enthusiasts of all ages and professions..."

Lush living: 3 Ways to Decorate with Living Greenery

Pouring over some delicious magazines (thank you library!!!) I found inviting indoor projects to try.  These are nature crafts sophisticated enough for adults but things the kids can do to.

Hopefully they can help to help fill the winter void when I'm missing my time in the flower beds and gardens.


From The Vintage Modern blog
The Vintage Modern provides a handy tutorial on making your own terrarium. Featured in the September 2011 issue of Real Simple, the terrarium is described as adding many components to the home:

-- Like a fish bowl it adds life
-- Reflects light, brightening dark walls
-- Feels calm and homey
-- Adds sophistication when used in modern shapes

Living Cactus Wreath

Featured in the October 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens this succulent wreath can provide an easy care decorative element for indoors and out. 

Check out the complete instructions at their site.

Living Moss Balls

From Carissa's Creativity Space
Carissa offers a great tutorial on inexpensively making a real life living moss ball for display. 

It will need to be kept moist and out of the sun, but otherwise is a simple way to incorporate greenery a display for any season.

Upgrading the grilled cheese sandwich

I hate cooking. I hate making lunches. I do not like making changes to my comfort foods.  My mashed potatoes are just fine without garlic or potato peels, thank you very much.

So I'm a little surprised I actually kinda liked these suggestions in the September 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine for tinkering with the classic grilled cheese sandwich.

James Wojcik at Real Simple
1. California Grilled Cheese = Grilled cheese + 1/2 small avocado thinly sliced + 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced

2. Pear and Bacon Grilled Cheese = Grilled cheese + 2 Tbs currant or fig jam + 2 slices cooked bacon + 1/2 small pear thinly sliced

3. Pesto and Tomato Grilled Cheese = Grilled cheese + 2 Tbs pesto + 2 thin slices tomato

Take your own Project Runway Challenge: Design your own fabric

I've always love the Project Runway challenge in which the contestant-designers get to design and use their own fabric.

(And it always reminds me of my talented high school classmate Kris M. who wanted to design her own fabric. I hope she got to do that.)

So for the rest of us who might want to indulge in our fabric-making fantasies we can turn to places like Spoonflower and design our own custom fabric.

Ice Cream Paraphernalia
Ice Cream Paraphernalia by kayajoy on Spoonflower

Fabrics start at $16.20 per yard and $5 swatches.  Lots of user designs are featured so it is a great place to get lost for a while.

I can almost guarantee you'll find fabric designs you'll want to buy and use, especially knowing that the fabric isn't something you'll see sitting on the shelves at every fabric store.
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