Monday, November 21, 2011

Living Letters and Growing Gifts

Five Days After Watering Ornament

I said I would do as many updates this Holiday season as
I can, so I'm scrambling to write as I work, and I've got
some cool new things to show you!

So here are some of the Eco Gifts & Seeding paper
I have done this weekend---My Living Letters! Loving
lettered tags and Ornaments that can love the planet too!

When you have gotten your ornamental use out of them,
you can gift them or grow them, and they sprout within
days of watering!

Create your own little garden easily with these 
Living Letters & Growing Gifts, from
The Simple Siren.

No more cracked and crushed plastic baubles,
these babies are durable like fired clay, but easily
come apart when ready to grow!


All of my Growing Gift Ornaments are made with our special Eco dough blend, ready to be sprouted in a fertile casing. These festive Eco Ornaments come finished with rich colors in Soy based paints (or Au Natural Brown-Red) that can also biodegrade without harm to you or your environment while growing your gift.

And here is some updated picture info for my Living Letters handmade paper, from recycled and up cycled materials.

I'm quite pleased, as it has been forever since I last made paper from scratch.

--Homemade Screen--
...I am a Montessori Kid, yep that's right, a youth spent catching critters in creeks, climbing and jumping from trees, star gazing and mapping and cloud formation identification, among many other useful and fun DIY skills.

 I had amazing teachers who were so much more... They were dancers and dreamers, Artists and anthropologists.

They loved life and teaching to the point where a kid didn't even realize that they were learning, thats how amazingly a part of life and our natural curiosities they made everyday learning.

To this day, I use more of the early knowledge that I learned in Montessori than I did in any year in public school.

In fact, the countries that use Montessori style teaching, have students who rank in the top first or second place in the world...they learn more through experience, instead of standardization.

I believe it has served me well, and at the very least, I am never bored.

I will be making a lot more living paper, that will be turned into growing ornaments and special gift tags, that are little surprises in themselves. They will house my own Chef blends of Organic Veggie and Herb heirloom seeds, Butterfly blends, and Edible Flower mixes.

I have made a couple of new and different shaped screens for myself, so I can make shapes for the holidays and the soon to come Valentine's day...I know all you guys out there will be scrambling to find something your girl will love, so stop on by to check out what we will have at The Simple Siren, you can link yourself through my shop feed on the right hand side of the blog!

Holiday Pre-Order Extension!

Holiday Custom Gift orders are being taken through December 10th as an extension, as my Holiday show at Columbus College of Art and Design, will be December 3rd, and I understand my local supporters would like to see everything I will have before they make their decisions. I hope to see you all there, and again if you need more in depth information or would like to be a sponsor of the show, please contact the school through
For Show info:

Stop on by The Simple Siren table, even if it is just to say hi! Can't wait to see everyone there,
Happy Holiday Hunting to All!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eco Card: "Living Letters" Holiday Gift Accents

So one of the things I miss most when going into Winter, is that all of the plants and flowers and trees that bloom and grow their beautiful, colorful leaves...lose those leaves, for months. Leaves in shades of greens and yellows, and here in Ohio, Reds, Browns, Purples...really our Summer leaf collection is about as colorful as a good autumn turning.

Don't get me wrong, I love Winter for it's own charms, and I am indeed a snow baby, I learned to ski at age 2, because my father's family always had started their kids young. It snows quite a lot in Ohio, sometimes we get 2-3 ft over-nighters, and rarely (but often enough) 15-20 below, so I am no stranger to the cold and snow - and the cold weather creates wonderful sunsets...

Outside the SS studio

But my yearning for my friendly tendrils has had me reflecting on some of the DIY eco projects I grew up with, that can be applied even in the winter.

I am adding one of these projects as an item in my store and at this year's CCAD student - alumni Holiday art sale.

I call them "Living Letters", handmade paper cards and tags that not only add a gorgeous, rustic touch to any gift, but are useful as well and a great treat for those Eco conscious, garden loving, guerrilla seeding friend or loved one. These handmade paper tags and cards are seeded with different Organic heirloom seed mixtures.

The particular mixture I am starting with is one of my Ohio blends with Organic Arugula, Parsley, Cinnamon Basil, Sweet Basil, Flax, and Thyme.

I will be focusing on Ohio and Midwest blends this winter for my local show, although most of the seeds I use are fine for all zones in the US, they just may take longer to germinate or grow quicker, depending on the area.

They make great little thank yous in cards, as plant-able tags for gifts, guerrilla gardening cards to leave in those sad and abandoned dirt lots---or anything you can come up with!

I have spent a couple of days shredding all of our studio recycling for my paper (it's been a long time since I've done it and forgot how sore your fingers get!)
Normally I would try to rope a younger relative or friend to help out with it, but alas I am on my own until I get my next helper or intern.

At some point after the holidays I will do a DIY basic paper making tutorial for you all. This is a great project to preoccupy the little ones while stuck indoors this season, and just a fun project to do with a friend, or even on your own (hey we all like a little alone time!)

I will be adding <---these to my arsenal of Living Letters and other growing gifts at The Simple Siren; our Tera Balls, seeding balls (aka seed bombs).

Sturdier than the paper balls, these clay and vermi-compost combination is a strong deterrent to animals and insects, since most won't eat things covered in clay  or it's dust.

These sprouts are the beginnings of the Ohio - Midwest blend Tera Bomb, and only took about 3 days to sprout (some seeds in there take a bit longer so we will see what happens with these!) I have always been able to grow these indoors so we shall see what sprouts up!

Like my Little Morsels Soap and Subtleties line, these Tera Seed Bombs are stamped with a nature themed stamp and finished in a versatile & festive way (but I'm not sharing that part until the show! ;)
                                                                       Tera-form your yard or indoor environment with this very fertile start for new seedlings to spring forth into the world. (Speaking of Tera Forming your indoor environments..Check out our local friend Maxe Smith --- and her friend Chomsky The Desk Gnome, at ---Maybe he can help you out :)

Combined with black gold vermi-compost and other special ingredients, these babies will even grow indoors as you can see. Just water, throw in a pot, or throw somewhere they will get plenty of sunshine and water, and these Tera Seed Bombs will grow for you :) stay tuned and grab your first pick December 3rd at the CCAD student Alumni art sale! I hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Circular Breathing Technique: Self Help & Anti Stress

Since having to have my tooth taken out and jawbone shaved under Local Anesthesia, I realized how lucky I was to know Square breathing (AKA Circular Breathing). I went in thinking my Doc would just take a look, but they were ready to go and start the surgery. I was less than thrilled.

For the first time I had a nervous reaction so bad I could not stop shaking, and I almost had to get laughing gas to calm me down.

My saving grace was knowing how to meditate properly, otherwise I would have run out of the surgery room like a banshee out of hell.
This technique is also a life saver for those who get panic attacks and also for pregnant women.

The technique is as follows:

The Set Up
~ Sit in a comfortable chair with good back support that will allow you to keep decent posture (good posture is one key to being able to really benefit from the exercise and to allow you to take in as much oxygen as possible)

~Place your feet flat on the floor with your hands either in your lap or palms (up or down) on your thighs.
You can also do this by laying flat on your back on the ground (carpeting is probably more comfortable), with your hands resting on your stomach and your legs bent so your feet can be flat on the ground.

~It is also helpful to place some books under your head (not your neck!) That are about the width of your fingers together without the thumb. (Dr Seuss books work great ;) This is due to the fact that you are aligning your spine when you do this, if you just lay your head down, your spine is not aligned, therefore you wont get full breaths.

Ginkgo Baby grown from seedling
~ Close your eyes, or if you can't, try to focus on something that is unmoving, like a candle or a plant (I find staring at my studio babies to be very calming.


Now that you have settled yourself start by breathing in through your nose for a count of 3. By breathing through your nose you are absorbing more oxygen into your bloodstream.

Hold the breath for a count of 3

Release the breath through your mouth for a count of 3 again.

Hold the release for a count of 3 before starting the breathing cycle again through your nose.
In through your nose, out through your mouth.

When you can get the cycle going and are comfortable, you can move the count to five and then ultimately a count of 8, which is the most desirable breathing cycle count. It can be difficult to maintain when you first start this technique, which is why we recommend starting with a 3 count.

I really believe in this technique and many alternative (Reike, Alexander Technique, etc.) and Western traditional therapists use this technique to help soothe those who suffer from panic attacks and other nervous issues. I know it has helped me through college, running two businesses and with injuries or my famous impatience for when I'm (rarely) ill lol. It helps with patience, or in tight situations that can easily become overwhelming. Try it out the next time your boss is giving you a hard time or when your kids are driving you up the wall, it may save you from lashing out in a way you might regret later.

If you have any specific questions that I have not answered here, just leave your comment, or if you would like to message me privately you can email me at, I try to get back to everyone within 48 hours.

I hope this explanation is found to be helpful for those who need it.
~Stay Happy and Healthy my Friends~

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eco Pack Updates

Ok so I really thought I would have these up in my shop by Monday, since I got back from my trip, buuuut it seems like the cosmos had other ideas.

On the third or so day of my trip, I woke up with a very infected wisdom tooth(I got these suckers later in life than most), and had GA surgery to extract it as soon as I got back---so I'm slowly recovering and trying to get as much done for everyone as I can :)  I should be up and at-em by the end of the week.
I am hoping to post all of my new Bath Salt Tonics like this one to your Left. These are great soaks that help heal, and stimulate your skin, as well as sooth dryness and itchy-ness that some of us get during the colder months.(I know with the way I feel right now, that I will be using one of these tonight!)

Not to mention they just smell so darn good, you wont want to get out of the bath! This fresh lemon scent is great since it comes from organic cold pressed lemons, so no medicine-y smells. When my husband came home he asked if I was making lemonade again, because he could have sworn the freshness was from me cutting lemons(we love lemonade and make it all the time).
Along with the stimulation from the Lemon oil, this mix uses other organic healing ingredients like Calendula flower and hydrating oils like Jojoba and Olive oil, which contains an important anti oxidant, great for healing and protecting your skin and hair.

I have completed a Lemon and Citrus Eco Pack for the holidays and will be featured at my booth during the Columbus College of Art and Design Student and Alumni Art Sale. 
(Follow link for more info)

These packs will be between $16-$20 depending on the contents. This pack includes 1 Rosemary Lemonade lip balm, 1 Citrus Jasmine Organic Cold Process soap sample, and 1 5 oz pack of Organic Lemon and Calendula Bath salts (featured above).

It is filled with an Organic Calendula and Chamomile Soak, that also works as a tea. It is packaged in our 100% biodegradable/compost-able cellophane.
General Admission for the Sale is $5 after 10:30 A.M. and is $50 Starting at 9 A.M. for "First Pick". Parking is free and admission is taken at the door. If you would like to become a sponsor of the event or have any questions you can call 614.224.9101.

CCAD Campus
 If you are local (or even if you aren't) this is a great show that happens twice a year at CCAD.

There are so many talented people that will be there showing off their wares. I will be located on the Second floor of the Loanne Crane Center at table # 50.

Stop by even if it is just to say hello or for a nice chat :) I will be taking custom and holiday orders.

I hope everyone can make it. I will be posting updates until the event with some new releases (but some I'm keeping secret!), so stay tuned and mark your calender!

~Goodnight and Take Care ~