Since this book is all about putting the Green back into your life and your wallet, I'm all about reusing, recycling, and reducing whenever I can. I invite you to start trawling thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets for bits of old fabric, cushions, pillowcases, tablecloths, moth-eaten cashmere sweaters, and anything else that catches your eye. Keep a look out for pretty prints and interestingly textured fabrics. One visit to my local thrift store had my trunk loaded with a bounty of wonderful base materials for me to transform into purses, aprons, dog beds, and even lingerie, and the whole lot only cost me fifteen bucks.
You don't need to be able to sew for most of the projects, however, a few Rudimentary basic sewing skills will come in handy. If you're a complete novice and if you know anyone who can show you a few basic stitches (perhaps a teacher at your child's school, a grandparent, aunt, or neighbor), tell them you'll trade a jar of homemade jelly for a quickie lesson. What few sewing skills I have, I learned from my mother, which was like the blind-leading-the blind. But sewing is actually much easier than you think. I've put together all of the projects in this book in a matter of minutes, not hours. I'm impatient and impulsive. Once I have a vision of what I want to make--a sassy summer skirt, for example--I haven't got the patience or skill to mess around with patterns and specialized stitches. What I'm trying to say is that if I can do it -- so can you!
If you are up to a little investment, I cannot recommend a sewing machine more highly. If you are new to sewing, make sure it's simple so you don't set yourself up to fail. Perhaps someone has one that they'll lend you for a while. If not, I highly recommend the Brother CS6000i machine. It's simple enough for a regular girl like me, and yet has enough fancy stitches and attachments to satisfy an accomplished seamstress. You can whip it out of the box and start making the projects in this book right away. It might even wet your appetite to move onto more elaborate designs. Project Runway, here I come! The good news is that a machine like this costs less than a couple pairs of designer jeans. I'm short, so every pair of pants I buy has to be hemmed. Even if I only ever use it for hemming, the machine will have paid for itself in less than two years.
You will also need basic sewing supplies like needles, thread, scissors, etc. Things you probably have on hand anyway.
You will need supplies for making your beauty products, and I provide all the resources so that you can easily order them. Keep in mind that ordering online is actually more eco-friendly than running around to dozens of health and craft stores. Better still to share an order/shipment with a friend.
Most of the other projects in this book, food recipes aside, will require that you reuse or recycle things you already have. A huge part of living a Gorgeous life is to get rid of the clutter and put it to good use, so start looking around you to see what you should keep, rather than throw away -- you never know when it might come in handy.