Monday, June 29, 2009

A Sign of Summer.

Just off the back deck of my shop in the waters of Currituck Sound there is an Osprey nest. We await the return of these beautiful birds every spring. Nightly a crowd gathers to take in the sunset and to view the nesting birds. The babies are finally visible and a thoughtful customer e-mailed me photos taken this past weekend. Mama and Papa Osprey often guard the nest from a nearby tree. They are quite spectacular to watch.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Great American Bake Sale.... helping to end childhood hunger.

You can help too. How to Eat a Cupcake is a participant in The Great American Bake Sale. Just click here for their link to donate or if you would like to host your own bake sale click here. Funds you raise from your local bake sale support food programs in your community. 100% off the funds raised help feed kids.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

This is why I'm not a food blogger

I love cupcakes, they’re little tasty treats. Fun to make and fun to eat. It was with great enthusiasm that I baked the Neapolitan Cupcake's I found on “How to Eat a Cupcake”. I was unable to find the dark chocolate cocoa the recipe called for so I improvised with standard baking cocoa. Even with the cocoa switch the cupcakes were truly delicious despite their plunky appearance. The same held true of the icing, amazing flavor. Apparently in my haste I under whipped the egg whites and my frosting was more like soft strawberry ice cream. Equally as delicious but incapable of dressing a cupcake. My "much older" brother once proposed that I'm channeling Martha Stewart, HA! He would eat his words if he saw these cupcakes. No doubt Martha's cupscakes would be perfection. To the contrary only a true visionary would dare serve a cup cake with a side of "icing dip". Here we have two photo's, one of my cupcakes with icing on the side and the other of what I aspired to create. Hard to tell them apart, don’t you think?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why Dirt?

After a near sell out last Friday, Dirt Candles are back in store. I literally had 2 candles left on the shelves. They were in such demand this week I had a waiting list of customers and phone calls to make. Fed Ex delivered early this morning and by noon I had a line at the counter. I'm carrying two new scents; Best Friends and An Apple A Day. The candles are still on sale 20% off, in store and on the web site.

Here's a little ditty straight from Dirt:

Dirt is where nature begins and ends. Dirt Candles are formulated from beginning to end with natural things. Starting with GMO-free soy wax made with organic soy cultivated in the USA, along with essential oils, botanical ingredients, and all natural cotton wicks. Recycled packaging is used with soy inks and labels made from corn. Dirt invites you to take a look around, smell and open your world up to the possibilities of dirt.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Urban Farming.... seeds of change

Our friendly neighborhood cynic only yesterday told me one person can not make a difference. Although I begged to differ, I failed to change his mind. Once many years ago my father in-law called me an idealist and told me never to change, I haven't. I believe in one there are many. This morning I caught a story on GMA that embraces this point of view. They were discussing Urban Farming projects and how they have put down roots in major cities all across the US. Their purpose is simple; to end hunger in our generation. They are providing nutrition and education to children that might otherwise call a bottle of pop and a bag of chips dinner.

Their mission statement:
Urban Farming intends to eradicate hunger while increasing diversity, motivating youth and seniors and optimizing the production of unused land for good and alternative energy.

I’d like to shake the hand of whomever came up with the idea of the Edible Green Wall, pure genius. It’s an innovative wall panel system used to grow fresh produce. Perfect for inner cities where real estate is a rare commodity. Click here for a few photos of Edible Green Wall Projects.

If you shop online at Amazon, Ebay, iTunes and dozens of other stores donate a percent of your purchase to Urban Farming. Just click on the Urban Farming Button to the left to learn more.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Architectural Salvage... Another way to Recycle

Today’s stream of consciousness (or unconsciousness)….

I was mopping my wood floor and reading the label on the cleaner bottle. Turns out the cleaner kills 99.9% of bacteria and I briefly wondered about the .01% of bacteria that it doesn’t kill. From there, I began thinking about how I’m trying to live a cleaner/greener life, and so on. While mopping the floor, suddenly I realized how awesome it is, the floor I mean. Yes, I have an awesome floor.

The story of our floor comes in 2 parts. The first part began with the original construction of our house 22 years ago when a local contractor built it as his main residence. From the windows and trim, to the salvaged front door with original hardware, it was clear he knew what he was doing. Even with all this finely wrought detail, it was the flooring that sold me on the home. It's made of reclaimed wood originating from an old North Carolina train station. The tiny flaws in each plank have character and I find myself awed by the history they’ve seen. After 10 years, the next owner put an addition on the house. A sizable mother-in -law suite was built, which we have claimed as our master bedroom. In keeping with the style of reclaimed wood, they were able to snag original wood flooring from an iconic Chicago landmark; the Montgomery Ward Building. Did I mention I have awesome floors?

The next time your in the market for new a tree, re-use, re-claim, re-cycle. There are a plethora of resources available for reclaimed wood. Here are a few to get you started: Heritage Restorations, Mountain Lumber, Clark's.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gleeful Vacationers Abound!

I'm watching the line of cars coming off of the bridge from the mainland, all adorned with cartop carriers, bicycles and water sport paraphenalia. Happy vacationers are welcomed on our beaches as it is our season to shine. Looking at the caravan of travelers I feel compelled to remind everyone that no matter where you vacation or visit, remember... someone else calls it home...

Thursday, June 18, 2009


A humanitarian company providing sustainable employment to the proud Zulu of Africa.

As told by the founders… “Over the years we have worked to uplift the Zulu and provide them with a better quality of life. We have seen them through sickness and personal trauma and tragedy-through fires that ravaged their shacks and took all of their possessions. We have personally provided shelter and clothing for them even when it meant going without. This project is totally supported by the sales of our beautiful products as profits are put back into the company to sustain jobs and create new ones. No outside, private or government funding has been or is being used on this project. Our mission has been to build proper housing and a clinic for the Zulu.”

I am proud to be a distributor of BUGZ Workshop.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For the Bird with Discriminating Taste.

Flying south? Tired of nesting in chimneys, branches or my front door wreath (seriously). Here's a new re-tweet for you and your nestlings!

Another unique Bird Barn from Barnstorm, new in the shop just this morning. Constructed from reclaimed barnwood and easy to clean, just open that welcoming front door and your done. Available in store at TGS or just one phone call (or e-mail) away.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vintage Rubber

English Retreads version of the messenger bag is made from 100% reclaimed inner tubes. I stumbled upon these this's such a cleaver use of recycled material I had to share immediately

Creator Heather English came up with the idea while floating down stream in an inner tube. A vegetarian she was thinking about wanting a new handbag, durable but not from leather. From this her company English Retreads was born. Heather gets her inner tubes from a truck stop in Boulder near her home. Each has more than 60,000 miles on it before they're re-created. Apparently she has been making these bags since 2001, am I the last to know about this?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Behold the Paper Straw.

This past weekend my husband's family visited from "The Homeland" (New Jersey). While we enjoyed good company and good conversation we were left with the conundrum “how do we entertain everyone”. On Saturday we ventured out to see the Kite Festival on Jockey’s Ridge. Our fun was short lived as the heat and impending dehydration led us from the giant dune and into Sam and Omie’s. Sam and Omie’s is a favorite eatery among locals, it’s been here on the Outer Banks since 1937. It’s good eats, clean and simple. Our server gave me another reason to sing their praise when she handed me a paper straw with my cold soda. Yes, the paper straw is back! Knowing there is one less piece of plastic sitting in the landfill was enough to brighten up an overheated afternoon. So Alas… my icy drink was served with a side of hope for the eco-friendly.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eye Catching Bifocal SunReaders

OTB Bifocal SunReaders…have you tried them yet? The days of sitting at the beach with my sunglasses layered over my reading glasses are long gone. For me they have many uses... I wear them while I drive to help me identify cell phone callers. I also find myself keeping them on for quick runs into the grocery store or Wally World. I can read labels without fumbling through my bag for glasses. All of OTB Bifocals have 100% UVBA protection. They come in a variety of styles for men and woman. An adorable carrying case is included. These are in store at The Green Shutter . I'll ship them anywhere, just shoot me an e-mail or give me a call!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Time to get Naked...

Now that I have your attention....take a look at the Naked Sponge from TWIST. What did you think I was talking about?
Another earth loving product from TWIST. The Naked Sponge contains no dyes and is 100% cellulose. It does not contain the chemicals or colorings you find in those bright yellow sponges we see at the grocery store. You can check the Green Standards of this sponge here. TWIST products are available at William-Sonoma, Whole Foods or right here in the Village of Duck at Tommy's market.

Monday, June 8, 2009




Sunday, June 7, 2009

Re-cycling some DIRT

I'm smitten with scented candles and I am forever on a quest to find the perfect one. Not only for myself but for my shop as well. Not too strong, long lasting, and eco-friendly. My search ended when my husband suggested Dirt Candles. I can only guess it was self preservation that caused him to research soy candles on the web. Probably tired of coming home every day to some new and sometimes unusual scent. I had tested a bounty of samples and while some were pleasant others truly assaulted our senses.

Why Dirt? For starters I think they're amazing and I'm in good company. Hollywood agrees, DIRT candles were given as swag at the 2007 Academy Awards and Golden Globes. They have been featured in Home Decor, People, US and Style Magazines, just to name a few.

The soft, subtle aroma doesn't overwhelm. I sampled about a dozen scents and I found them all enjoyable. My favorite is Old Faithful.
I'm a sucker for a good vanilla candle. It has notes of Madagascar Vanilla, Tahitian Vanilla, Mexican Vanilla and herbs. Another favorite (probably because I live at the beach) is Beach Bum with Olfactory notes of seawater, kelp, fresh rain and white sand. Yep, its says fresh rain. I don't know how but its in there. No matter what scent you choose, you won't be disappointed.

These candles are eco-friendly from wick to box. Everything is bio-degradable. The box tells us that they burn for 60 hours, I can tell you they burn longer. The price is affordable, unlike other soy candles you won't have to break the bank to buy one. Just when I thought they couldn't get any better; a portion of the proceeds go to charities like Make a Wish Foundation, The American Cancer Society and Big Brothers and Sisters. If you love candles as much as I do you won't be dissappointed with DIRT!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A vote for the underdog is a vote for me!

We have a blog nod from SocialLuxe Lounge. TGS has a nomination for the Swiffer Clean Blog award. Someone please tell my husband my years of conscientious cleanliness (and 27 yrs of his suffering) have been acknowledged and distinguished by a fancy green blog button. The prize; recognition from my peers. Click here, go to Swiffer Clean Blogs and cast your vote for The Green Shutter.... you're the best, really!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Enchanted Mermaids from Natalie Silitch

I stumbled upon these fanciful ornaments in a glitzy little gift shop in Key West last fall. When I spied these little ladies sitting on a shelf I swear they were calling my name and I had to bring one home. Both owning small retail businesses with similar styles, the shop owner and I had much in common so a friendly conversation ensued. I was disappointed she was unable to share information on the artist. When I returned home I turned my tiny little frown upside down with a simple internet search (I love google). As it turns out the artist, Natalie Silitch stems from Annapolis, Maryland. A self-taught artist, she has been creating her whimsical fabric ornaments for years. Natalie is a delight to speak with and it is a pleasure to peddle her wares. Her playful mermaids have found a new home in my Coastal Carolina shop.