Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Tour of My Upcycled Art Studio and the Two Books That Feature My Artwork!!

Hello! I'm the Etsy Recyclers Guild Team Captain Jessica Woody of the Etsy shop Eco-Friendly Freckles...Welcome to my art studio! Here you will find my hand-painted upcycled vinyl record wall art...a couple of the pieces are sold, but will soon be replaced with more artistic eco-conscious creations!

Me in my art studio hand painting "Eco-Friendly Freckles" onto one of my original upcycled decoupage vinyl record art pieces...after my local Tulsa People Magazine "Artist in Residence" photo shoot yesterday!! 

My hand-painted upcycled art cans, canisters, and tins, and the two fabulous books that my art is featured in!!! Jen Karetnick's "Brie Season" food and wine poetry book...
...and Julie Rawding's "Upcyclers U.S.A.: 21 Eco Folks Who Made It"...which features a wonderful variety of eco-artists, including myself!
For each copy of Julie Rawding's book "The Upcyclers U.S.A.: 21 Eco Folks Who Made It" sold 10 trees will be planted!!

Back to my art studio, in front of the pretty daffodil flowers are some stationary art cards printed with my original Eco-Friendly Freckles artwork on them...Thanks to my thoughtful twin sister Andrea (Etsy Recyclers Guild Team Leader and owner of the Etsy shop Storybook Artifact) for getting me this awesome gift! These cards will soon be available in my Eco-Friendly Freckles Etsy shop; sold in sets of four (one of each card).

Next up, my art collage assemblage/packaging station; with some of my vintage print ads and retro wares from my Etsy shop nestled underneath...

My precious Mod Podge and museum putty that I couldn't do without, along with an assortment of acrylic paint and brushes, and some of my Etsy bling, badges, and pamphlets from local art events where I've had my art shown: RAW Natural Born Artists Tulsa and The Drunken Artist...and I have Jen Karetnick's beautiful Brie Season poetry book and accompanying postcards pictured here too. I love that my artwork is featured on the cover of her book!!

 ...and that's it! Thank you for taking a tour of my home art sweet Flame Point Himalayan kitty Nozomi says, "good bye!"

I've added some of these photos to my updated Eco-Friendly Freckles Etsy shop About Page; which I encourage everyone to stop by and check out...Thanks again!

This blog article was contributed by the Etsy Recyclers Guild Team Captain Jessica Woody of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Friday, March 13, 2015

Green Bug Killer Insecticide Natural Epazote

Natural Bug Killer , Prints from FatDragonfly on Etsy
When killing bugs, are you killing the good ones and the bad ones?  Pic: FatDragonfly 

Kill Bugs Naturally
In our previous post we talked about green alternatives to household cleaning agents. Right in line with living green and finding eco friendly solutions to chemicals in our lives; today we've decided to talk about bug killer and harmful insecticides.

Spring is here and soon the flies and bugs will be rampid.  There are many problems with store bought insecticides and too many to list--from the albeit known facts they contain harmful poisons to your family, your pets and your body. Have you ever considered that by using them, they are not only killing the bad bugs, but the good ones too?

To maintain a friendly eco system some "good bugs" are needed. Spraying tons of store bought chemicals on your lawn, garden, plants, or in your house is messing with the greater good. Not only are you wiping out the bad insects but possibly harming the good ones.  The good news is now you don't have to be in a catch 22 anymore.

Dinkum Seeds : Natural Bug Killer via Epazote  for Bug Killing
The Epazote herb helps kill bad bugs , but you can grow your own, Pic: Fair Dinkum Seeds.

Fair Dinkum Seeds has exposed the secrets of the Dried Epazote Herb.  They say, "It's a dried herb that has a natural chemical component that is toxic.  This toxic chemical kills insects and is much safer than standard insecticides. "

The catch here is that it is not harmful to some bugs if used properly. Thereby, you can leave the bees buzzing while killing off the pests that aren't needed.

Now you may know already that many herbs and plants work naturally to deter pests or insects, and Epazote works as good as Confidor, but if used per Fair Dukum Seed's instructions, it does not harm bees at all!   This is one issue with using other insecticides --- it kills the good bugs and bad.

Natural Bug Killer Recipe by Fair Dinkum Seeds

Grow Your Own vs Buying Epazote Plant Already Grown

What's better than buying a plant and making your own insecticide?  Perhaps starting from scratch. Plant your own seeds, watch them grow and then make into the finished product.

Fair Dunkum says, " I also sell the seeds here and am hoping folks start to dump the conventional poisons and start to use natural alternatives instead. They are just as effective, and there is a subtle explanation about only killing insects in necessary. Most insects are good, so generally it is best to leave them alone, but if you really must, then this is a lesser evil than the rest."

Find out more here: Fair Dinkum Seeds Epazote Page.
How to Make Your Own here:

Grow Your Own with Fair Dinkum Seeds
Thank you to Fair Dinkum Seeds for sponsoring this post and educating us on the wonders of alternative solutions.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Clean Green with Natural Cleaners

Vintage Window on Etsy
Vintage Window on Etsy: Find it at VintageWindowPanes
Clean Green : Natural Cleaners 

Living a greener lifestyle often means trying to find viable solutions and alternatives to harsh chemicals and cleaning agents. There is a greater need for consumers to uncover just what has been placed in their regular household cleaning products - in fact even I  was originally shocked to find out that in regular old window cleaner can exist many harsh chemicals and detergents.

After doing a little research, many blogs and websites now give advice and recipes on making DIY friendly cleaning agents or explain where to purchase eco friendly and sustainable products and I will share some of my favorites with you below.

Go Eco When Hiring Maid Service or Commercial Cleaning

Taking it a step further,  I am pleased to see how this need has impacted the commercial cleaning industry.  if you have the luxury of hiring an Eco cleaning service to clean your commercial offices or clean your home ; you should find one that knows the importance of eco friendly cleaning and dangers of using harsh chemicals.

For instance, the company Natural Cleaners says that by using natural cleaning agents and microfiber rags, they provide the customers with the cleanest and healthiest indoor environment. They also use HEPA vacuums which will capture 99.9% of all dust, dirt, and dander.  By using natural chemicals, they say, you already have a defense against germs and ailments.  This proves to be true: read below!

Reclaimed Wood Mirror from Etsy
Reclaimed wood makes this mirror, find it at CountrybytheBumpkins

Window, Mirror, & Surface Cleaner : Quick and Natural Recipe

Let's take regular old Windex or surface cleaner. I for one was shocked to read how much hidden harmful chemicals may be hiding in that spray bottle.  If you or someone you know buys those dollar store spray cleaner in an effort to save money, tell them to stop. Making your own Windex can be as little as .35-.50 per bottle and much safer!

Have you ever done your windows and seen them streaky? No doubt detergents used in window washing fluids are built up on your windows. Not to mention, it contains ammonia and other items that are no good for you to be breathing.  Many places online will show you how to make your own Windex, and essentially they are instructing you to use Ammonia. Look for the eco friendly recipes like the one below!  Doing your own windows at home with green cleaner is easy!

I use equal parts vinegar to water for my cleaner .  Example:

2 cups water 
2 cups vinegar

This is the strongest mix yet is pretty pungent yet to me, I have pets and a husband with a low immune system. It's important for me to make sure I'm killing the max amount of germs. You you could actually use less vinegar and it will still work.   The smallest ratio I've seen (via Wellness Mama)  is :

2 cups water 
2 tablespoons vinegar 

Vinegar is: 

  • Non Toxic
  • Biodegradable
  • Kills germs 
A lot of people ask why vinegar could kill germs? According to it's composition it contains a small portion of acid that has been proof positive at killing household pathogens. It's the acid in the vinegar that's killing the germs.

Vintage Washboard on Etsy
Vintage Laundry Board from CynthiasAttic on Etsy

Natural Laundry Detergent & Softener

Back in the day of your great , great , grandparents circa 1800's soap shavings used to be added to heated water to clean clothes. The lye in the soap such as the later popular Octagon soap would be used to whiten clothes. Unfortunately lye is still present in many items today...

Quick Green Laundry Softener 

First let's talk softener, that's a bit easier.  I use 1/2 cup WHITE distilled vinegar or 1 cup of baking soda in cycle.  It's quick, and easy and both work well.

Making Your Own Detergent

Many people suggest using Borax, and here is the official Borax list of ingredients.  You should read this article first  by Crunchy Betty to see if that's the way you wish to go. I can't tell you yeah or nay. My father is a die-hard Borax user and he's got high allergies, so he swears by it.

Some quick and easy recipes using equal parts Castille Soap and equal parts Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (different than baking soda) have proved favorable and other reviews have been epic fails.  Many say to use Fels Naptha soap but other blogs say this contains harmful ingredients.

The truth is making your own detergent sometimes is a long process, but it can be worth it not only financially but for the safety of avoiding the harsh chemicals and additives. There are plenty of recipes online. I found this recipe by Cleaning out the Clutter seems to work which includes use of:

-Baking Soda
-Epsom Salt
-Castile soap or Tea Tree Oil Soap

To read the actual recipe or find more go here. 

Note: This is a sponsored post wherein we may receive some form of compensation, either financially or in product for mentioning a company, product, service or blog. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Woodsy Decor for the Nature Lover Tree Hugger

MarkedCo Woods Decal
Found on  this woodsy decal adds depth to the wall for $28.00,

If you love the woods, nature walks or just love to hike, we've found the best natural decor ideas for you. All from crafters who sell on Etsy (some also in their own stores) at affordable prices.  Above we have a great "Pleasure in the woods" decal from Karen Simpson, who sells on Etsy but also direct at  She handmakes her decals and feel that instead of spending tons of money on paint.

Pine Tree Print

Vintage Pine Tree Print from Etsy , TheBlackVinyl $15

The print above is reprinted on eco friendly paper taken from an 1800's print. This would look great hanging in your home to give a woodsy feel. 

Birch Log Pillow from Etsy
Plantillo Birch Log Pillows $60

The log pillows above are what happens when Sabine Herrman takes nature photography and turns them into functional items.  Hunting down cool things with her camera in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, you never know what may turn into something decorative and that you can rest your head on!
Lakehouse Sign on Etsy

Lake House Sign , Benchmark Custom Signs $39.95

Cool lake signs can adorn your home handmade in a variety of woods (ie: Custom Sign) from Benchmark Custom Signs on Etsy. They started some time ago making great signs on high quality woods. Phil has the fastest ship time on Etsy and don't be fooled by imitations.  A variety of sizes and styles can be great for inside the home or outside, to welcome people to your cottage!

Eco Friendly Childs Blanket Etsy

From masacoche shop, $65 repurposed kids blanket

We love the eco friendly repurposed wool blanket for your child in retro colors, adorned with cute woodsy animals sure to please!  Not to mention would go with any cottage or natural decor in great hues and earthy tones!

Reclaimed Wood Desk
Reclaimed Wood Desktop $500 FreshRestorations

Old floorboards have been restored into a variety of desktops and tabletops by Fresh Restorations, in Bound Brook New Jersey.   This could prove as a functional workspace, tabletop or focal point in your shabby home!


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