Tag Archive: recycled



I am just wrapping up a crazy busy weekend that began with a very fun work event at Campbell’s Field where I watched the Camden Riversharks, a local minor leaguer baseball team. One of my favorite things about the ballpark is its stunning views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Philadelphia skyline. Very early the next morning, I had to head east about 60 miles for a beach craft show in my former hometown of Ventnor.



Ventnor is simply a laid back little town that lies between Atlantic City and Margate on Absecon Island. It has a boardwalk, which, unlike its northern neighbor, has no casinos or other businesses, making it ideal for walking, running, or cycling. All of the pizza places deliver right to the beach. And, unlike the resort towns of Ocean City and Wildwood, there are no weekly renters. Just the beach and the community…very quiet and so lovely! For close to eight years, I called Ventnor home, and I miss it quite terribly in the summertime. I was very pleased when the opportunity arose to participate as a vendor in the towns’s annual Ocean Breeze Arts and Craft Show.



This show was my second official craft show. (I participated in one last month that was a great learning experience, but rather slow with the foot traffic.) It was also the second opportunity I had to work with my friend, Alison, who owns Back Alley Chic, and creates amazing tote bags, aprons, and pillows from recycled coffee sacks. My rustic leather and recycled glass jewelry is a perfect complement to her earthy and eco friendly bags. While I am by no means an expert on craft shows, one piece of advice I feel confident in giving is to find a buddy and rent a double space like we did. We had a large area to create an inviting space where customers could feel comfortable browsing. By co-mingling our items, we also kept our displays very interesting.



For my displays, I chose natural wood finishes to complement, rather than complete with my jewelry. Since I use glass beads that have a matte seaglass quality, I was afraid stark black or white displays would not have as positive an effect as it does on more traditionally styled jewelry. I used my extensive seashell collection to accent the display. I also decided to display prints that tell the story of both types of recycled glass beads I use. I got many questions and comments on the recycled glass from Indonesia and Africa, enough that it was a definite selling point. Many customers also took photos of the prints or asked if I had copies for them so they could share the stories of the glass bracelets they purchased. Something to consider for the next show…



Recycled glass beads from Bali, Indonesia are made from molten fritters of colored glass, creating a soft beach glass effect. I source my beads from a small Indonesian-owned company that believes in sustaining green principles and supports the ecosystem by using discarded items such as bottles, jars, and windows as crude materials. Each bead is individually handmade using centuries old techniques passed down generation by generation. This crude process does not use chemicals —a green process of bead production. It also helps to keep the beaches of one of my favorite places in the world clean!



These amazing beads are made by the Krobo People of Ghana, Africa. They are made by pressing glass into a fine powder and heating it until the particles fuse together. The glass is then poured in clay molds and the stem of a cassava leaf is used to make the bead hole. The beads are then baked in an oven, causing the glass to melt together and the stem to burn. This technique has been used in Africa for centuries. These beads are also Fair Trade Certified. The end result is an amazing piece of eco-chic jewelry!


All in all the show was a successful outing. The day was perfect: not too hot with a glorious breeze coming off the ocean! The crowd was great, I far exceeded my sales expectations and I handed out many, many business cards. It is definitely a show I plan to line up for next summer. It also gave me a chance to meet up with two of my dearest friends, Sue and Ingrid, who were so gracious and modeled some of Alison’s amazing creations.


Ingrid shopping for some unique burlap throw pillows.


Sue modeling the adorable burlap bag she purchased for her daughter.

Please check out Alison’s Etsy shop for more of her fabulous one-of-kind items:

Back Alley Chic

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time…peace, love and flip flops!


african surf safari


I am so excited! I recently acquired some amazing African trade beads for some new spring designs. They are made by the Krobo People of Ghana, Africa, using a centuries old technique. The process begins by pressing glass into a fine powder and heating it until the particles fuse together. The glass is then poured in clay molds and the stem of a cassava leaf is used to make the bead hole. The beads are then baked in an oven, causing the glass to melt together and the stem to burn. The end result is a soft matte finish very similar to seaglass that just POPS in direct sunlight!


The colors are just incredible! I am very much in love with marbled effect on some of beads. I also love that these beads are not only crafted with recycled glass, but are also fair trade.


The beads I chose for this series of Betty Bracelets are larger than what I normally work with – a whopping 14mm! I decided to use thicker leather (1mm instead of .05mm) in a soft distressed shade of honey brown. I spaced the beads a little further apart using the above pattern, which is a variation on a basic square knot. The bracelets are then terminated with a bold button to complement the beads. Here is the roundup of the new collection:



Named after a very challenging surf break in Cape Town, South Africa, this Betty features stunning cobalt blue & seafoam green marbled beads with a white-washed copper dragonfly button. More details are available here:




Named after the capital city of Sierra Leone, an up and coming surf destination, this Betty features earthy brown and clear swirled glass beads with a white washed brass tribal sun button. The full listing can be viewed here:




Named for a popular surf beach on the southern coast of exotic Morocco, the Betty features delicate blush pink beads and a brass nautilus shell button with a verdigris green finish. Item details can be found here:




Named after another impressive surf break in Cape Town, South Africa, this Betty features cobalt and clear swirled beads (together they create the hue of a perfect summer sky!) and a pewter tribal artisan button. It is available here:




Named after an archipelago off the Atlantic Coast of Africa, this Betty features seafoam green beads and a fun daisy pewter button. The full listing can be viewed here:


Thanks for taking the time to view my new Betty Bracelet collection! Be sure to check often as I am adding more great new designs for spring!



Searching for unique Valentine’s Day gifts? Trying to go green? Want to shop locally in the South Jersey area? Here are some amazing hand-crafted finds for your sweetie!


This lovely pendant begins with a broken piece of vintage china, which is then shaped to fit an oval sterling silver bezel. A black satin cord completes the look. Very shabby chic! It was created by Kim for her Etsy shop, Kimagine and is available here:



This beautiful wall hanging began with reclaimed wood, and was hand-painted in a delicate cherry blossom pattern. It has also been treated so it can be hung indoors or out. It is just a perfect rustic accent! It was crafted by Monique for her Etsy shop, DuTill and Daughters and is available here:



Think pink with this whimsical recycled paper bead bracelet! The handmade beads began as a special edition pink newspaper to raise breast cancer awareness. It would make such a loving and thoughtful gift for any breast cancer survivor! It was created by the mom and daughter owned Etsy shop, rbcreation and is available here:



Want to heat things up for you and your sweetie? This incredibly unique red hot cinnamon scented fire starter is sure to get things started! It can also be used as yummy “potpourri.” It was created by Kim and Mark for their Etsy shop, three1seven and is available here:



My Playa Rosada Betty Bracelet also makes a wonderful Valentine’s gift! The soft blush pink hue of the recycled glass are accented by an artisan pewter heart button. Delicately bohemian! It is available from my Etsy shop, Serendipity Blu here:



Are you smitten? Perhaps love struck? These rustic wood coasters are a perfect gift! They are created from discarded tree branches by Lisa for her Etsy shop, Rooftop Creations. They are available here:


Thanks for supporting your local crafters!


snow betties


How do beach bums stay fashionable during the cold, blustery winter? I live in my Uggs and comfy sweaters, but I always feel the need to accessorize with some fun boho pieces. When I am wearing short sleeves, I like to layer 2-3 bracelets, but when I am wearing sweaters and thermals, I like to adorn my wrist with one bold piece. My Limited Winter Edition Betty Bracelets, with their cool colors and chunky beads fit the bill perfectly. The accent toggles are amazing artisan pewter pieces crafted in rustic Vermont. These Bettys are only available in limited quantities for a short time…


This frosty blue beauty is Sola Beach. The bracelet is named for a popular surf spot in Norway – just imagine riding the waves so close to the Arctic Circle! The recycled glass beads are a gorgeous rich shade of blue. They are woven into deep brown distressed leather and accented with a lovely snowflake toggle. Complete details are available here:



Ollie’s Point is a delightful bauble for chilly days! It is named after an epic surf break on beautiful and breathtaking Iceland. Wintry aqua blue (think glacier!) recycled glass beads and rich brown distressed leather combine with a whimsical snowman toggle. Check out the full listing here:



White Point, a major surfing beach in Nova Scotia, is the final bracelet in this Winter Wonderland collection! The recycled glass beads are an icy green – so pale they are seem like translucent icicles! They are surrounded by rich brown distressed leather and completed with a beautiful snowflake toggle. Hurry with this Betty – there is only 1 left! You can purchase it here:


Each of these polar beauties is hand crafted by me and retails for only $26! Shipping is also free for all U.S. and Canadian orders! Don’t wait on these perfect winter accents – they may be gone before you know it!

Thanks for stopping by!



Crunch time…only 9 shopping days left! Should I order online…only to have expensive expedited shipping charges eat away at my great sale prices? I think a better idea would be to shop locally. This post features some beautiful recycled items from my fellow South Jersey Etsians:


This amazing frame is made with recycled floorboards and chicken wire. Add some photos attached with vintage clothes pins for an extra special gift! It is available from three1seven at this listing:



These fantastic coasters are made from fallen tree limbs. They are sliced, decorated, and finished for a beautiful rustic finish. They make a wonderful holiday gift accompanied by a bottle of wine from a local vineyard. They are available from Roof Top Creations at this listing:



This gorgeous tote is made from a recycled coffee sack! It is completely lined inside with a fun chili pepper fabric. It makes a memorable gift when filled with handmade baked goods and, of course, some fair-trade coffee. It is available from Back Alley Chic at this listing:


I often give gift cards, which I like to accompany with a small handmade gift. A piece of jewelry crafted with with recycled components fits the bill perfectly!


These fabulous earrings are made with tagua nut beads and recycled sterling silver. Very fashionable and very green! They are available from Twice Creations at the following listing:



And, of course, I love to gift my own Betty Bracelets. Bonzai Pipeline, as with all of my Betty’s, is created with recycled glass beads and is available here:



When wrapping gifts, I often prefer bags to paper. I also look for bags that can be reused, like these great shopping totes from Whole Foods Market. They are small enough for most gifts and are only $.79!

Please remember, please support your local independent crafters when shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts!


time is running out…


Time is running out to purchase my Limited Edition Betty Bracelets! They make great holidays gifts for any beach bum on your shopping list. As with all of my Betty Bracelets, they are woven leather accented with recycled glass beads…very green! This collection is then completed with winter themed artisan pewter buttons made right in Vermont! A truly special handmade gift!

Each bracelet retails for $26.00. (Check out my Nerd Wallet Indie Coupon for a great deal! Click on the link in my sidebar.) That price includes packaging with a holiday themed box and first class mail with tracking. I also offer a priority mail upgrade, available on my website. All of the Limited Edition Betty Bracelets can be viewed here:


Thanks for stopping by!


grassroots holiday bazaar


I joined four of my fellow Etsians today for our home-grown craft show. We each set up a table of our wares, served some munchies & wine, and welcomed our guests for a relaxing afternoon of shopping & socializing.

Our hostess was Jaime, and she makes beautiful jewelry:


Jaime is very skilled in wire work. I just love her earring designs!


You can visit Jaime’s Etsy shop, Jewelry by Jaime at the following link:


Monique creates gorgeous home & garden accents. Her display featured beautiful wooden signs, stunning garden balls, and sweet holiday ornaments.


You can visit Monique’s Etsy shop, Du Till and Daughters at the following link:


Linda makes really fun resin jewelry. Her designs are vibrant & youthful!


You can visit Linda’s Etsy shop, Pink Milkshake Kiss at the following link:


Lisa loves to recycle & upcycle. Her display featured coasters made from both wood slices and ceramic tiles (which were emblazoned with images from old books!)


Lisa also makes clocks and bowls from old records. She only uses scratched vinyl that can no longer be played.


Lisa sells her wood coasters on her Etsy shop, Roof Top Creations. You can visit her here:


I had my display of Betty Bracelets and Seaglass Pendants. This was my very first craft show outing, and I appreciated the opportunity to work out any little snags. I will have to get some small spotlights (borrowed from Jaime for the day) to really make the colors of the glass pop. I also need to leave some Betty’s loose on the table so potential customers can easily try them on. I think I would like them to appear to be just strewn about with the loose seashells.


All in all, it was a great outing. We had a nice showing, we each made a few sales, and we had a lot of fun bartering at the end. I walked away with some amazing one-of-kind gifts (garden ball for my mom, crystal earrings for my sister, Bruce Springsteen clock for my boss) and a great experience!

Thanks to Jaime for opening up her home to all of us!


Betty is slang for a female surfer. The Betty Bracelets are my updated version of the great surfer-style bracelets I would adorn during my youth at the Jersey Shore. The design begins with super soft distressed leather woven in a classic macrame pattern. Recycled glass beads add a colorful yet rustic accent and a beach-inspired button anchors the design. These are fun, chunky bracelets and they are perfect for layering.

Each Betty Bracelet is named for a famous surfing spot. The hibiscus bracelet, Bonzai Pipeline, is the fabled break on Oahu’s North Shore. The mermaid bracelet, Cloudbreak, is a popular surf spot in Fiji:



Recycled glass beads from Indonesia are made from molten fritters of colored glass, creating a soft beach glass effect. I source my beads from a small Indonesian-owned company that believes in sustaining green principles and supports the ecosystem by using discarded items such as bottles, jars, and windows as crude materials. Each bead is individually handmade using centuries old techniques passed down generation by generation. The end result is an amazing piece of eco-chic jewelry!


REcologie, an amazing green boutique in Larchmont, NY, carries my Betty Bracelets and well as my Mermaid Tears Seaglass Pendants:


The entire Betty Bracelet Collection can be viewed (and purchased!) here:



%d bloggers like this: