Monthly Archives: March 2012

In Awe of Restructuring

Maybe it’s because I’m not gifted in this way, but I am in total awe of others that have the vision and the talent to take recycled clothing and turn it into something completely different!

Like Stuff shopper, Megan Clark, from Sigourney.

I was in my office working away yesterday when I overheard Megan explaining to her young son what she was doing,

“I’m buying clothes that I can make into something else.”

“oh” he quietly responds.

But my ears perk up and I think … ‘I gotta meet this girl!’

Now, it’s always awkward approaching a complete stranger as you try to explain that you weren’t really eavesdropping, but you couldn’t help overhearing her comment.  Megan was very kind and when I asked if she would be willing to send me some pictures of her creations, she said “What about these?”

No way! Legwarmers made out of a sweatshirt!!!!  BRILLIANT Megan!!!


Absolutely brilliant!  I. Love. Them!

When I asked if I could take her picture, she kindly obliged and mentioned that the sweater she was wearing (and so stylishly belted, I might add) was once a men’s sweater that she restructured to have pockets and a trendy flair.

love. the. whole. darn. thing! (isn’t she adorable?)

Thank you, Megan!

For sharing your talents (and for not thinking I’m some creepy basement lady listening in on mother /son conversations).

I look forward to featuring more of Megan and her restructured fashions here on Stuff Happens.


Happy Weekend

* sigh *

Do you have fireflies where you live?

We are showered with them during the Iowa summers.

It’s quite the vision.

This photo reminded me of my backyard in the summertime and with the spring weather as it is, I feel it’s not so far in the distance.

What are your plans for the unseasonably warm weekend?

We hope it’s something that makes you smile!


{ p/c via persuede }

Obsessed With Doilies

WHAT the?

When do you ever hear “obsessed” and “doilies” in the same sentence?

I know!  Right?!

But check out these ways others have recycled doilies:

{ above / below }

( unconventional but gorgeous, i think )

below  I’ve shared this one before, but it’s too awesome not share twice }

{ stunning!  above / below  someone’s dedicated doily pins }

Are you feeling the obsession yet?

Ok … maybe not obsession, but how about inspiration?

Doilies NEVER looked so good!

And we can help you get your doily on at all of our Stuff Etc locations!

We get them often and they turn over quickly so check back regularly.

{ p.s.  I’d LOVE to see your recycled doily creations }

Vote for Stuff Etc

The KCRG/Hoopla A-List Contest starts on Monday, March 19th!

THANK YOU corridor residents for making us #1 in 2011!

Please click here to vote for us this year!

(and you can vote as often as you’d like  …  hint hint)

It’s Not Easy Being Green

}  GREEN!  {

My all-time favorite color (never been another …  ever).

It’s the color of my eyes. The primary color palette of my closet. Cornfields in July.  My favorite gem. Grass. Trees.

I could gush for hours about the emerald color.

And since this Saturday is St. Patty’s Day, what better time to celebrate GREEN?

How do you intend to celebrate?

Here at Stuff Etc, we are celebrating this holiday by offering ALL full-priced GREEN CLOTHING (any shade) 15% off, all locations.

Hope you all have SAFE and HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

The Ultimate Accessory

Is it safe to say that a designer handbag is a woman’s ultimate accessory?

I wouldn’t.  But my sister would … FOR! SURE!

One time I went to remove her handbag from a chair so that I might actually sit down … in a chair …  that I thought she was “saving” for me.  WRONG!

It was a chair that was being saved for her purse. And I quickly got a lesson in all the “bad mojo” that can occur from sitting a handbag such as hers on the floor.  Who knew?

Apparently a whole lot of other women know, because every where you look – on the street, magazines, online,  etc – there is always attention being given to “the bag”.  I have actually witnessed women stopping other women just to compliment a handbag and ask to touch it.  Who are these women?

They are our consignors.  AND our shoppers!

Check out these designer beauties that you can find RIGHT NOW in our stores:

{ at Coralville }

(cream– Fossil $59.99; tan – Coach $69.99; red– Gianni Bini $59.99)

{ at Davenport }

(red– David Pilner $39.99; gold – Coach, in silent auction, bids start at $75)

(both – Coach – in silent auction, bids start at $90 (silver-NEW) & $75 (blue)

{ at Iowa City }

(Stuart Weitzman, $65)

{ at Cedar Rapids }

{ at Waterloo }

(  spring floral , AMI , $16.99 )

And there is WAY more where those came from!

Baby sister … I’m thinking of you when I see that Betsey Johnson bag!

{ sshhh … don’t tell, but  I’m secretly crushing on that red Pilner … who knew?! }

Click here to find our five Stuff Etc locations!

Happy Weekend

I am overwhelmed with excitement that this weekend is Daylight Savings Time!

” spring ahead “

Every time I hear “spring ahead” in reference to daylight savings time, it’s like I’m driving along a long and dreary road and suddenly there’s a gigantic, happy road sign alerting me that Spring is just ahead … and this makes me smile.

I. Love. Spring.

Everything starts to turn green and the earth is renewed once again.

Flowers.  Fresh smell of dirt being plowed.   Rain showers.

Warm sunshine.  More daylight at the end of the day.

Did I say how excited I am?

Are you ready?

Check out the next 7 day forecast here in Iowa:

AAAHHHHHhhhh…  I can feel it already!

Hope you all have a Happy Weekend …

and don’t forget…

spring ahead!

Books Books and More Books


Ok Kindle lovers … don’t you miss the sound of the pages turning? the smell of the ink on paper? all the physical properties of loving a book?

I love my Kindle.  But I miss my books.

Stuff Etc makes it super easy to get all your soon-to-be favorite titles with very little investment.  All Stuff Etc locations carry THOUSANDS, literally thousands of books.

New bestsellers, biographies, coffee table books, children’s books, travel, religion, baby names, self help, journals, romance, mystery, sci-fi, young adult ..

the list goes on and on and on … you get the picture?

For the hardcover you’d get at the local B&N for $25, you can get at Stuff for $5.

And with spring around the corner, it’s the perfect time to find some awesome reads for the beach, or under a tree, or near your favorite open window with a warm breeze blowing through … sounds heavenly doesn’t it?

I’m preparing to do something like this …

 Happy reading!

Think Dots

Polka dots that is!

If you know me at all, I love love LOVE anything with polka dots!

And red shoes.

I have 14 pairs of red shoes (one of which has white polka dots)!


I’m not sure what it is about the dots that make me so giddy.

Maybe it’s their obnoxious reminder of my youth …

maybe they scream “this girl is FUN!” …

I don’t know … but I love em!  And I’ve been seeing them every where!

Like these on Honey Kennedy



And like these in our own stores …


I encourage you to get your fun on and go grab something with dots …

I think you’ll be surprised by the boost they put in your step!

Help us Give Back: March

“It’s easier to build STRONG CHILDREN then to repair broken adults.”    ~ Frederick Douglass

This month, Stuff Etc is working to help build strong children.  Please help us!

There are umbrellas hanging at the registers of all of our locations ready to collect your loose bills and change.  The first weekend of the month, THIS WEEKEND to be exact, we are offering a 20% discount on all full-priced purchases when you make a $1 donation.

It’s a win/win!

Our Iowa City, Coralville & Cedar Rapids locations are supporting:


{courtesy of The Daily Iowan, Jan 2011} Iowa City native Angie Jordan created Children of Promise — a mentor program for kids who have a parent on parole, on probation, or in prison — in 2008, when she was only 22. She had a dream of having an effect on kids who may not have many positive role models.

While studying anthropology and psychology at the University of Iowa, she said, she had many experiences in social work that gave her a passion for kids with difficult family lives.

 This led to her interest in helping children who grow up with parents in the corrections system, who are more likely to have problems with the law themselves. Children who have a parent in prison are five times more likely to be incarcerated than their peers, according to Women’s Prison & Home Association Inc.

All young people have the potential to succeed in life and contribute to society, but many do not get the support they need to thrive. Nearly half of the U.S. population of youth between 10 and 18 years of age live in situations that put them at risk of not living up to their potential. Without intervention by caring adults, they must navigate complex life situations and challenges on their own, leaving them vulnerable to poor decisions that can undermine their futures.

We at Children of Promise believe that we can help kids and youth by increasing the protective factors they have in their lives. By providing youth with caring adults to build relationships with, exposing them to positive community activities, and educating them about healthy life decisions, we believe that we can help to reduce the impact of negative factors like family history of incarceration, single parent homes, and various forms of transition.

“What’s cool about mentoring is you get to create a relationship based on reciprocity,” Jordan said. “So whatever you put into it, the kid just gives back. I’ve learned so much where sometimes I feel like I’m the protégé.”  The program currently has 35 matches, but it needs more mentors for unmatched children (there are hundreds of at-risk kids in Linn, Johnson and Jones counties needing matches).

Click here to get more involved with Children of Promise. 

 Our Davenport & Waterloo locations are supporting:

JR ACHIEVEMENT OF EASTERN IOWA (Waterloo)                                & JR ACHIEVEMENT OF THE HEARTLAND (Davenport)

{courtesy of the Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, May 2011} Teanna Steward nervously smiled as Junior Achievement of the Heartland honored her as its one millionth student served this school year.

Teanna, a seventh grader at Rock Island’s Edison Junior High, said Junior Achievement has given her a different
perspective on life and better prepared her for the road ahead.

Junior Achievement of the Heartland has been serving the Quad-Cities and surrounding communities since 1956. It covers 24 counties in eastern Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin, impacting more than 56,000 K-12 grade students this school year.

Nationally, it’s the 19th largest area in number of students served and fifth largest in market penetration.

Bobbie Grace, Teanna’s mother, said Junior Achievement helped her daughter mature and become more responsible. “It truly had a (positive) effect on her,” Ms. Grace said. “It has shown her what responsibility is about, money, and understanding finances. It really gave her a positive attitude and helped
her in the classroom with her grades. Because of Junior Achievement, Teanna “loves to mentor and help other children and is respectful of adults,” Ms. Grace said.

Kristen Holmberg, Teanna’s seventh-grade consumer economics teacher, says “Everyone needs to learn how to balance money. Students have learned parents have bills to pay, and they learn that when mom says not on this payday, they know why.”

Click here to get more involved with Jr Achievement of Eastern Iowa 

Click here to get more involved with Jr Achievement of the Heartland