A little upcycling for rubber bands

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have rubber bands bursting out of our drawers, mostly acquired from the produce we buy at the market. What on earth to do with all those pesky little guys?

If you don’t want them at all, take them to your local farmer’s market. You will likely find farmers thrilled to take your rubber bands (and berry containers, egg cartons, etc.).

I, myself, have found them to be invaluable for knitting. I like to knit with bulky yarns, which usually means using large needles (size 13 and up). Standard stitch markers usually do not fit onto larger needles. I’ve found that rubber bands make fantastic stitch markers, however, on those larger needles. I also use them to hold my needles together when I’m working on a project and want to be able to travel with it without worrying about it slipping off the needles! Try it – you’ll never curse your rubber band supply again! ;)

Here are a few more tips from green maven, Sophie Uliano:

Do It Gorgeously – Rubber Bands from Gorgeously Green on Vimeo.

Good Seed: Lolailo

Since the Christmas shopping season has starting sparking up, I wanted to feature some small businesses here on Five Seed so you can find what you want while supporting small, sustainable businesses who offer handmade, green items. One such business is Lolailo owned by one of my Eco Etsy teammates, Gloria.

Here’s what she has to say about green business, creativity, beauty and natural remedies (yes, we covered it all!):

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

When I am not unemployed, I am a winemaker. But I have been a craftster for much, much longer. I grew up in Spain. My mom is a very creative person, and I’ve been crafting since I was able to hold a pair of scissors, pretty much. I live near the Napa Valley, I am married to a winemaker, and I must say we drink quite well at our house. In my newly found spare time I have reconnected with my crafts, which is something that had been falling by the wayside little by little. I also take classes at the community college by my house and practice kickboxing.

Gloria, owner of Lolailo

Tell me a little bit about your business. What green elements of your business make you proud?

My love for corks came through my job. I was fascinated by the typography and design that each producer used. I was dismayed at these very interesting and diverse corks ending up in the garbage after a tasting, so I started hoarding them. I investigated what to do with them, and of all the many crafts you can use corks for, the bulletin board was my favorite. I am a pragmatic person, so I like things that have a function. I go to thrift stores and garage sales and look for frames suited to become cork boards.

What makes your business unique? How do you keep your creative juices flowing?

Corks are a very irrelevant thing. Not all that many people drink wine on a regular basis. When you do, you open the bottle, drink it up, and the cork goes into the trash. I bring the cork into center stage for all those who never figured it could have a second, and useful, life.

I get a lot of inspiration from the frames themselves. There is nothing standard about creating something out of a “found object”, so when I’m ready to tackle a new project, I just throw some corks into the frame and start playing with them, forming a design, changing it, and eventually I come up with a plan.

What makes someone truly beautiful, in your opinion?

Tolerance, flexibility and quiet confidence.

What makes you feel truly beautiful (beyond makeup and hair care) and what does “true beauty” mean to you?

I am never more beautiful than when I come home after a good workout. I don’t exercise just to look good. I want to have the best health possible, and the strength and the reassurance I get from working on this goal is what is reflected in my face.

True beauty is a combination of qualities. Like I mentioned before, a kind view of those that are not like you, an ability to listen to those you may not agree with, and the strength to know who you are all come into play.

What do you think about beauty in today’s society?

We are a superficial bunch with collective ADHD and don’t have the time to reflect on what is artifice and what is real.

What are your favorite natural remedies?

During allergy season, my eyes get really puffy, so I save used tea bags in the fridge and put them over my eyes for 5 or 10 minutes when I feel like scratching my eyes out.

I have a glass cooktop, and the best thing to remove stubborn, burnt spots is to put a bit of baking soda on them, plus a few drops of water. Make a little slurry, walk away, come back in 10, wipe off with no effort.

Thank you so much, Gloria!

Look for more of Lolailo on Facebook, Twitter and Kaboodle!

Photos used with permission.