I want, I want, I neeeeeeeeeeed.

I have been finding some items lately via the Internet machine that I MUST share. I don't care if you "were the first person to EVER find this" and I'm such a copy cat for liking it. The following are on my "I want, I want, I neeeeeeeed" list currently.

1. ANYthing from Anthropoligie seriously. They have some pretty rad stuff, here is a little taste:

2. Jo Totes. I got a big Nikon camera about 3 years ago and the only thing that is annoying about it is its size and carrying it around. I would either have to have my purse items in my big ugly camera bag, carry two bags, or put my camera in my purse and risk it getting nicked- such the oppressed life here. Obviously I love the pink, but they are out of stock. So I'd go with the green :) 

Speaking of purses, I've also got my eye on this gem. Finally found it in pink at Nordstroms!

3. Novica/Nadeau/Etsy. One of my favorite parts of traveling is acquiring sweet things from all around the world. The only trouble is always trying to get it home. I first saw this type of store in Uptown called Nadeau they buy from all over the world and bring back unique, one of a kind (and reasonably priced) items. More and more websites are popping up allowing people to easily sell their hand made items, like Etsy. I am really liking black and white prints lately and want to get some canvases to make my own creation. I also really love vintage cameras.
 Novica brought to the world by National Geographic, does much of the same. The stuff comes from all over the world, and with each purchase you get a little description of the artisan. These two are my favorite, I'm really into vases....maybe its because I got flowers today at work :)

Junk in my Trunk

So, although it is nearing my bedtime, I wanted to share with you the FINAL product of my first estate sale find. Last winter my boyfraaaand and I stopped at an estate sale in Uptown. Although these are a little sad, they had some amazing finds. I was currently on a mission to find a trunk. I always wanted one, I think they are totally underutilized these days. So after a little digging we found this gem in the basement and snatched it right away:
Pretty fugly, but it had nice bones so I bought it (5$ less than originally offered too!) I liked the little shelving inside and the wood bars around the outside. It needed a little TLC though. After scrubbing off years of dust and grease I tackled the inside. There was a thin layer of tan wallpaper type of material that needed to come off. I used DIF and scraped it right off revealing some beautiful wood planks. The original plan was the paint the inside, but these were too pretty to cover.
The shelf inside was made from what looked like the same wood, but was in pretty rough shape....so that got a coat of paint.
Then I had the top and bottom interior to deal with. Both had the same wallpaper material on it but also a layer of insulation directly under that I didn't want to get rid of. I decided the cover the bottom in that stuff you cover your drawers with (and idea courtesy of my mother)...name unknown but it worked! When I acquired the trunk I also got some awesome newspaper clippings from the 30's. I wanted to keep those so I decoupaged them to the top.

The handle broke during transportation and needed to be 'handled'...hehe. My dad is the master of all trades and came up with a nice contraption that will ensure the handle goes no where...

There is a piece of metal behind there linking the two strips together. To hide this mess and beef up the strength of the handles I wrapped rope around them and painted it black (because I obviously only have hot pink rope handy!)

Sanded (and sanded....and sanded....and sanded....) and then varnished all of the wood, and spray painted the rest black and here is the final product!

Notice there is snow outside on the original photos....took a bit longer than I thought to finish but defiantly worth it!

Now onto my next project, involving the following stump my father and I rolled up our hill...care to take a shot at what I'm going to turn it into?!
Note: there were no trees injured in the making of this blog entry. The tree had long deceased and was chopped down by Paul Bunyan last fall. 

Identity Crisis

Good morning my loyal bloggers, as you can see there is a bit of revamping with the site. I have been having an identity crisis with this website...there are too many topics that I want to cover on here that one solid title just won't do. I have decided that the bulk of the website will be dedicated to my crafty DIY projects, sprinkle on a few random sustainable topics and finish off with some Jenn thoughts and there you have it- Jenn by Design. I have been crazy busy this last week and have been avoiding you, i apologize. BUT! I promise to have some pictures of my latest project in it's finished state later this week...here is a sneak peak:
Have a beautiful day everyone!

Buckminster Fuller: the man, the myth the legend.

I first heard about this cool cat in an architecture history course my sophomore year of college.  I love it when you hear about this super smart environmentally innovative people and then read that they got kicked out of Harvard twice; it helped me put college into perspective. Buckminster Fuller is a crazy architect/environmentalist/scientist/mathematician/crazy person. He was way before the times on this whole sustainability thing and was coming up with ideas that the present society just couldn't handle. He was also quirky which I think is why I was so interested in him. For example...since he travels so much he often could be seen wearing three different watches with different time zones. He also experimented with his sleeping habits and for two years would only sleep 2 hours a day, he stopped because it conflicted with his associates sleeping schedule (what? not everyone only sleeps 2 hours each night?!) He once said this sleeping habit would help the U.S win WW2....

After a stint with alcoholism and subsequently suicidal attempts, he got his act together and found a home in the Greenwich Village. He got a job at a cafe renovating the interior in exchange for meals and later held night lectures where he displayed models of his Geodesic Dome.
Now, lets keep in mind this is around the 1930's and this guy is experimenting and building inexpensive housing and transportation- he was probably the only person on the planet who cared about our depleting resources at this time. Trust me, I took a poll and he really was the only one. He was an environmental activist and knew that societies would soon have to rely on renewable resources, coining the phrase "Do more with less."

"I live on Earth at present, and I don't know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of the universe" - Fuller

Fuller is mostly remembered for his geodesic domes, which can also be seen at military radar stations and civic buildings. He found that the use of tetrahedrons and octahedron's make structures lighter and stronger.

The Montreal Biosphère by Buckminster Fuller, 1967

3 wheeled Dymaxion Care

Above is his Dymaxion house. This house would arrive on-site as a kit and was suitable for any site and environment (or so he thought...). Fullers houses were never built and lived in, only prototypes exist of his actual intentions.

Fast forward to my last birthday (I'm pretty sure that was intentional) Treehugger.com posted an article about the firm Foster + Partners, who loved Fuller just as much and went on to rebuild his Dymaxion Car.
TreeHugger just released the Best of Green 2011, which can be viewed here,...Shout out to UnHappy Hipsters for being so awesomely sarcastic.

Before I leave you, if you are free Tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 20th) and in the Minneapolis area, GreenPrint is hosting an event from Noon-5 at the Como Conservatory; admission is $20-$25.


Now quick, find your nearest United States National Park and get in FOR FREE! Except if your in Minnesota, because its snowing this week (bitter party of 1?). If your not inclined for an outdoor adventure today, many stores are having promotions/freebies this week in recognition of Earth week. For example Target is giving free reusable bags to customers today, and Home Depot is handing out free water-saving faucet aerators- 200 per store. I hope to have my tree-trunk-project done by Earth day to share with you.

If you would like to help out or enjoy a nice family event, and happen to be in the metro area, here are some Earth Day activities you can partake in!

Friday at the Red Stag Supper Club in NE Minneapolis. This is in the first LEED Certified restaurant in Minneapolis and was designed by former professors of mine from Studio 2030, which was opened on Earth day. All proceeds from Breakfast (8am and noon) will be donated to the Land Stewardship Project

Friday, Como Zoo is having a 'Party for the Planet' event all weekend during normal operating hours. The event is free but they accept donations. The theme is "Cats and Kilowatts" sponsored by Xcel.

Saturday April 23rd is Earth Day at Harriet Alexander Nature Center in Roseville. This event will have family games, crafts and environmental exhibits as well as the 'annual tree planting ceremony'. This event is from 10am - 2:30 pm and is Free

Saturday April 23rd Valley Creek Church is having a helicopter do an Easter Egg Drop (how cool is this!!) at the Oak Land school in Elmo Park. The helicopter will drop thousands of treat filled eggs into a field. It opens at 10, the drop will be around 11:15

What will you be doing this week to help the environment?

Snowed In...

Dear Minnesota, Its April. You should be rainy and wet not windy and SNOWING. Days like these remind me why I love to travel so much. I love having Minnesota as my home to come to, but I looooooove traveling and taking photos. I was fortunate enough this year to drain my bank account and take some trips. I've been working on uploading these pictures to my Flickr, apparently I hit my limit for this month... so in the mean time i'll share some snow-day-photo-editing I've done.
Kaua'i Hawaii  2010
Kaua'i Hawaii  2010
New York 2010
Burano Island, Italy 2011
Riomaggiore, Italy 2011
Hydra, Greece 2009
San Diego, California 2010
I am currently taking donations to assist in my future travel plans! Gracias, Ciao!

De-tangled Art

I, like many girls, always have the issue of tangled jewelry. As i'm rushing out the door for work I almost always neglect my collection of necklaces and earrings due to an entangled mess. Here is how my bathroom was this morning to give you a little picture:
Too many various bags full of a random collection of jewelry and hair products. So mission of the day was to make a jewelry stand. I decided not to go with a closed container as 1) I will probably continue my jewelry tossing habits and 2) Jewelry is art, so why not show it off! Stopped at Goodwill the other day and picked up these gems to help in my project:
I took out the creepy picture and attached some pegboard to the back of it- note to self: have dad teach you how to use the nail gun!
I went for a white on white color so it wasn't too distracting from the colors in the jewelry.
Scavenged up some white pant from my parents basement, I think I used ceiling paint, but it worked nice since it was a thicker paint.
Looks much better don't you think! Might have something to do with cleaning the bathroom :)
I strung some leftover ribbon I had through the pegs to hang my earrings. For my necklaces I hung 4 S hooks in the pegs. 
Happy Friday Everyone!