Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Origami Jewelry...bit of a backlog!

Earring preview

I'm a little behind on photographing new stuff, but here's a preview of what's to come. The triple loops are a new design. The pink chain is a charm bracelet, not unlike the one that you can win by entering the Modish & Cosa Verde Earth Day giveaway.

Have a happy Earth Day!
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Incoming: recycled bangle bracelets!

Recycled bangle stacks!

These aren't quite ready yet, they need a few more coats of varnish before I can sell them. I really, really like how they're coming out! I bought a lot of vintage plastic bangles from etsy, sanded them, and wrapped them with thin strips of paper. The map one is England, and the other four came from Newtype, a Japanese magazine. The recycled bonus there is that my friend had already crafted with them, so I'm the second person to make something out of them. These will be just spines when they hit the recycling bin!
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

om nom spinach pie!

Or, spinach torta, whatever. Either way, it's delicious. Thaw and squeeze 1 package of frozen chopped spinach. Combine with 1 cup Ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmigiana cheese, 1 egg yolk, and a little powdered garlic, salt, and pepper. Fill an unbaked pie crust with spinach mixture, use another pie crust to make a lattice / bunny design, and brush with the egg white. Pop the whole thing in the oven at 400 degrees for ~45 minutes, and voila! Delicious family tradition. This will be my breakfast for the rest of the week. Oh yes, yes it shall.
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Happy Easter!

How cute is the squirrel vase? I bought it on etsy from Pretty Random Objects. I'm spending today decorating, unpacking, and cooking! I hope everyone enjoys their day.
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sneak Peek! New upcycled items!

This cheerful cloud was made from the lid of a take-out container! #6 plastics behave exactly like commercial shrinky-dinks. The blue catseye beads are from a necklace I no longer wear, and the umbrella charm is vintage brass. He's so cheerful, raining over England. This guy is getting a backing that will allow him to be worn as a pin or pendant.

How is upcycling different from recycling?
Easy! Recycling means you're remaking an item into a similar item. I.e.- recycled newspaper becomes a different type of paper. Some properties change, but you end up with a product of similar value. Upcycling can radically change the purpose of an item, and increases its value. In this case a useless piece of plastic that many communities do not accept for recycling (#6) went from being a takeout lid to a piece of jewelry.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Environment & Crafts, crafting green, upcycling, etc.

April is a mixed month for me as an environmentalist. Earth Day drums up a lot of good press, and with it comes recycled products, art ideas, etc. While these are all great I hope the momentum will carry it further than one month and help people realize there are lots of ways to be more friendly to the environment year-round. All month long I'll be focusing on recycled and green crafting methods and products. Please let me know if you have any questions about my art or experiences that you would like me to share!

I'll start with a "do want"- Recycled Cotton Yarn!

Wow, just wow. I am so impressed with Lion Brand right now. When thinking of Lion yarns my mind immediately goes to acrylics, or scratchy wools like Fisherman's, but it seems like they're keeping up with the times with more earth-friendly products.

Not only have they been making Organic cotton for a while, but I recently found out about Recycled Cotton! From their site:

"Made from cotton fabric pieces that would otherwise be discarded when fabric is cut to produce tee-shirts, our Recycled Cotton yarn reduces waste and conserves resources. These clippings are sorted by color, minimizing the amount of dyeing needed for the final yarn. The sorted cotton fiber is then blended with acrylic for enhanced performance."

It comes in with an impressive recycled content of 72%. I'm really liking the Seagrass colorway, and hope that my local craft stores are carrying this! Organic is fantastic, but I really like that this product takes fiber that is a byproduct and makes it into something new. Don't get me wrong, I love the Blue Sky Alpaca organic cotton I bought from Purl last year, but at $10+ a skein it's really only for special projects. In the past few years organic yarns have made their way into the big crafting stores, it will be great to see this trend expand and continue!
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