Thursday, February 4, 2010

Straight From The Heart - No Monkey Business!

Every year my sister trys her best to get new art & designs done for each holiday. Of course, like it or not, before we know it Valentine's day will be here and although her heart is in it - she says her mind often wonders. To quote her read the following: It feels like I'm ahead of the game - until I figure out it's just an illusion - and I need to get it into gear! I've been working diligently at putting up Valentine's day images, designs and artwork that I find fun, humorous or just plain cute. There are one or two new designs that I have yet to finish but first things first...

Please know I am honestly doing my best to get it all done for February gift giving.
Instead of sleeping - and am considering giving up eating too (...still on the fence with that one!)
- I am currently working on ... (say the following words as fast as you can - it's just more fun that way!) filling orders, tweeting, retweeting, following, facebooking, drawing, learning new programs, tech tools and the howtos of networking devices, updating websites, html codes, light java code and ordering a new computer, software etc - with all the details, file prep and device sharing required - along with actually having a life and the responsibilities and obligations therein while keeping a positive attitude with a sense of humor. ... and breathe

So if you read this blog or look through our popular Holiday designs on any of our sites, you'll be sure to see the latest ideas once they're up. Please keep checking back My Goodness Duds, Bella Baby Art, DanceTheNightAway, Lyndas Lines, Bella Baby Art Fan page or follow us Twitter. I'm cutting down on writing and using pictures, since they're worth a thousand words - consider me a jabber jaws and just look at the images, they should speak for themselves!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eco Friendly Recycled Bags

I would like to introduce Matt from Eco Friendly Marketing Solutions - he's working for a great cause, please read.

Eco friendly recycled bags have seen their popularity surge in the past few years. They have a dramatically reduced environmental impact. So far this year nearly 318 billion disposable paper and plastic bags have been wasted and are piling up in landfills. Many countries across the globe are passing laws to tax or ban plastic bag usage and people are starting to act on the
Earth's behalf. Together we can help save this planet with every bag we reuse. Seattle's bill for taxing plastic bags was just voted down, but it is just the beginning and a sign of change. Communities need to continue to strive towards a solution and be proactive about setting an example for others.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

8 Reasons to Say NO to Leather

by Beth Doane

Many people have asked me why I have personally stopped buying and wearing leather products and I really think the reasoning is so simple once the facts are known. So, to help us all get up to speed on the issues we have laid out the basics here.

Saying no to leather products is not just a statement against animal cruelty, its a statement about our need to be conscious of what we consume for the sake of our planet. Here are eight reasons why:

1. The process of leather production has devastating results. Not only does it inflict unnecessary and often cruel suffering upon millions of innocent animals but the chemicals used to treat leather are often toxic and can leach into our water-systems and even onto our skin.

2. Most animals slaughtered for their skins endure the horrors of factory farming. Factory farms are mass production facilities for animal products, and like any product it’s all about how much, how fast and how cheap. These facilities are notorious for animal overcrowding, un-anaesthetised castration, branding and tail-docking as well as dehorning. Ironically many of these animals are used solely for their skin, wasting the rest of the animal.

3. Not only does the leather process cause intense animal suffering, it also causes mass damage to the environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), factory farms are the biggest sources of river, lake and stream pollution. The farms are also the biggest users of water and almost half of the water consumed in the U.S. is used to raise livestock for food and leather.

4. Another major concern with leather production is the output of waste and chemicals that result from the process. A report by the U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee, released in 1997, revealed that livestock raised for food and leather produce 130 times as much excrement waste as the entire human population in the U.S. That’s a lot of crap!

5. Unlike the human population, there are no waste-treatment systems used for our nations livestock. This means that because of the concentration of this “poo” we get ridiculous cases of pollution, human illness and even death in areas where livestock operations are concentrated.

6. Tanneries (leather making factories) treat animal skins with a number of minerals and chemicals that can have dangerous and even carcinogenic results. For example, the EPA has stated that all waste containing chromium is hazardous. Chromium is just one of many mineral salts used on leather to keep them from biodegrading. So, when we buy a pair of leather shoes or a handbag, these chemicals are in contact with our skin and we have no way of knowing just what levels of chromium were used.

7. It’s obvious that livestock production within the U.S. poses an array of complicated issues but the cattle industry abroad is just as terrifying. Overseas there is often less regulation of animal safety or humane treatment than here in the USA and a report recently released by Greenpeace explores how the cattle industry in Brazil is slaughtering not just cows but also the Amazon in order to meet the high demands for leather and livestock.

8. As the demand for leather continues to rise, more of our world’s most delicate ecosystems will be cleared to create grazing space for the cattle. (See “How Cows kill Rain Forests.”) Brazil has also become the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gasses as a result of the deforestation process-and of course cows. Coincidence? We don’t think so.

To make matters worse, the Brazilian government is financing further expansion of the cattle industry, which will likely result in the continued deforestation of the Amazon.

These are just some of the reasons it is vital for consumers to be aware of what we are really supporting when we purchase leather. If consumers continue to accept the status quo, the destruction of our Earth’s most important source of climate control, the Amazon, will continue; the inhumane and heavily under regulated treatment of animals will continue; and the massive consumption of vital resources by livestock farms will continue.

What Can We Do?

As we always want to stay focus on the positive and be pro-active, there is plenty we can each do to help.
Take action now!

1. Remember to purchase the faux leather and vegan products that are available because true fashion should never be cruel.

2. Visit the Greenpeace Web site and demand change from the companies using leather from the Amazon to create their products.

Here in the U.S., four states – Arizona, Oregon, California, and Colorado – have already enacted farm animal cruelty legislation. Write to your legislators and demand action in your state!

Without the support of us as consumers, companies will never be inspired or forced to change their practices. The power is truly in the hands of the people–so wear what you believe in!

. . .

About the author: Beth Doane is a fashion designer and consultant focusing on eco-conscious product development and marketing. She founded and designed the internationally acclaimed Rain Tee collection and Andira International.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ya say it's your Birthday....

Happy Birthday!

Once again I try to think of what to write about. Then it hit me - birthdays! The latest designs my sister worked on are everything to do with b-days (as she refers to them). Hers are just as clever as Sandra Boyton's - "Hippo Birdie Two Ewe" but none-the-less she doesn't think so. She created the following.

There are generally five questions that can go along with birthday etiquette. We begin with a new baby - "Is it a boy?" or "Is it a girl?" Then progress to - "How old are you?" (this one works best with little kids - it gets into dangerous waters with women!) Eventually we wander into - "When is your birthday?" and finally the old "What's your sign?"

So I'm posting three images here to celebrate bdays. One for "Happy Birthday" or "Happy bee-day!" - and the other two are "It's a Boy!" and "It's a Girl!". The fourth and fifth images are spin offs and say "I'm a Boy" and "I'm a Girl" for babies who's parents get annoyed with admirers guessing the wrong gender.

Oh and by the way, she happens to be a "Leo" because her birthday is in August (today) and she usually celebrates with our family, we sing "Happy Birthday" (not well!) eat cake and ice cream, open gifts and enjoy spending some time together laughing and handing over insulting age cards - and yup, today's her birthday and she claims she can hear the Beatles singing to her! Life is good! and if today is your birthday - Happy Birthday to ya!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Can you say Fabulous, Fresh & Fruity 3 xs Fast?

I guess getting to blog every day or week, isn't happening exactly. I have to admit I'd rather be dancing and that's not happening anymore - so when I'm not filling orders, socializing on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter or spending time with my daughter and family I'm doing dreaded house cleaning and other fun chores. eeeek!

Although the title of this post sounds like it could be a rave review of a drag show, its' nothing quite so entertaining, just some of my thoughts and scribbles to tell you about. It doesn't feel like I have anything clever to express at this moment and "this moment" is about all I have to fit in a blog post, so I'm going for the quick post and leaving wit to the wind. I really do try to eat healthy, of course I rarely succeed. I do honestly love my veggies but not so much fruit. As a special
message for kids and moms, I am instituting the "do as I say not as I (don't) do" rule of thumb. Check out some of our new designs, there are five designs i all and they are fabulously, "fresh & fruity and fun too! Who doesn't have a sweet peach in their brood?!

We have a bunch more designs that are being worked on for Twins, Halloween and Dog lovers and more. Sort of all over the place, but it's that artist thing, everyone discusses out loud that I can't quite control. So please stay with me, have a little patience and for goodness sake, if you actually found me and are reading this gibberish - write to me already! Oh and by the way, I was totally stoked (even though I don't live on the West coast) and so I have to tell ya - the "real" Nia Vardalos DM'd my sister on Twitter - ha! "Ha" like in can you believe it and I swear it's true! More another time...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I once was a Steinert Spartan...

It's been a while since I last posted, so my apologies to anyone that has actually visited my blog. I've been busy on Face Book. A turn of events put me back in touch with classmates from elementary through high school years. Names and faces were truly foggy at first but as more people reached out with the familiar FaceBook "request a friend", I found the years flying back to me with memories of kids and smiles, from forgotten days, standing right in front of me - and it was yesterday once more.

It's been alot of fun recalling old times, friends and places till the wee hours of the morning and all from home through a free social network! It's a really comfortable platform to re-introduce yourself to classmates from long ago, without the odd conventions and competitions that begin with any reunion. There is a kinder, more even playing field that comes with a written social gathering, especially as adults now. People say what they think with a certain amount of tact and humor. If someone has an opinion that differs, others often post comments, as if to defend that person from being judged too harshly, it's like team effort. There are photos shared to show our accomplishments over the years - usually of each others kids and all the stories to go along with family life. Of course there are all the "old" pictures scanned from school yearbooks and treasured photos that we all can look at now and make fun of. We can look back on the imperfections and insecurities of the past and gain support, compliments and admiration through a little older and wiser reflection now. In some instances, apologies are even passed along, amending past indiscretions and making today better somehow.

I had forgotten so much about the times I once loved and even those I couldn't wait to forget but now it's a different feeling altogether. These old and new acquaintances that have come together, are like an addiction each day. There is now common ground for those who wish to participate. It's not just the same schools we attended, there are no more unapproachable boys or girls, no more awkward times, rivals or clicks that we once struggled with. There is no longer the need to judge by looks, money, popularity or lack thereof. We've grown up in some respects it seems and have come to learn about human frailty and faced some of life's uphill climbs. Maybe we've discovered we're no longer the most popular kid, teacher's pet, star athlete or coolest, hotshot, geek, freak, stud, beauty queen, on the blocks.

I kept thinking what could I draw in honor of my old classmates. Only one thing repeats in my head and even if no one buys it, it will have been created out of pride and affection. I was once a Steinert Spartan, and so a new logo came into my head. All Hail Spartans! - the above design is for all of you and in place of the the word "Alumni" - also available is: "Cheerleading", "Sports", "Marching Band", "rock" and a few other designs that can also be personalized with softball, swimming, track, student, future student, you get the idea. I'd sure love to know what you think - good or bad. Don't worry, if it's bad I'll delete your post! ;) The design will be available in "Lyndas Line Art" Zazzle store under Fun Gifts: School spirit.

Turns out, we're just boys and girls that needed to learn what is important in life. There will always be those personalities that still think social standing, looks, power or pretentious manners matter - but in truth, it seems that friendship, family, laughter and compassion are at the top of the list. The rest we'll figure out as we go and now, no matter where in the world we are, we have some familiar faces, new names and shoulders to lean on - for a time to laugh, a time to cry and a time to say goodbye.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baseball Fever - Yes, it's that time of the year!!

One of the latest designs that popped into my head came from something I've been around all my life. It's something my Dad and my uncle loves. It has now consumed my brother, along with his sons, one of them has even been inducted into this competitive activity. It comes around every Spring and lasts all Summer and is known for it's infectious addiction, especially with regard to men but there are woman also fall prey to this seasonal epidemic which has grown to pandemic proportions. It is an outdoor event which many become excessively dependent on and at it's worst compulsion is known as the dreaded "Baseball Fever"!

Baseball starts out as a sport played with a bat, ball, bases, gloves, two teams of nine players each, a big diamond, some hot dogs, peanuts and of course cracker-jacks. Oh yeah and there's always a big guy with a face mask and some padded equipment that makes everyone mad and he gets yelled out through most of the game (most likely practicing for a political career). The goal is to score runs by hitting a pitched ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of diamond shape. Players are either at bat or in the field - or dugout, if they stink. The teams switch between batting, fielding, getting three outs and scoring runs & errors. Throughout the game, the players spend time swinging a bat, adjusting their hats and cups, spitting, chewing, catching, throwing, running, sliding and cussin. This goes on for nine innings. The team with the most runs, usually wearing the dirtiest uniforms, at the end of the game - wins.

The best explanation of this legendary sport and American past time is well know and can be found here: Who's On First? In honor of this time honored sport and it's sickness - is my baseball fever design with all the men in my life - in mind - they're all young at heart. So take me out to the ballgame and Good luck on your new team - CJ!