Tag Archive: upcycled


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FROM THE BRIDGE TO THE BEACH

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.

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JUST A LAID BACK BEACH TOWN

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.

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BOHO ECO CHIC

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.

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WORKING OUT THE DETAILS

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…

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INDONESIAN RECYCLED GLASS BEADS

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!

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AFRICAN RECYCLED GLASS BEADS

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!

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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.

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Ingrid shopping for some unique burlap throw pillows.

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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!
~Erin

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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!

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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:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/63150750/red-and-white-broken-china-and-sterling?ref=usr_faveitems

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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:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/104012502/cherry-blossom-reclaimed-wood-hanging?ref=usr_faveitems

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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:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/112195946/pink-breast-cancer-awareness-newsprint?ref=usr_faveitems

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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:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/118723969/define-flame-fire-starters-pinecone-red?ref=usr_faveitems

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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:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119571452/playa-rosada-blush-pink-heart-recycledq

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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:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/91051605/love-wood-coasters-from-tree-slices?ref=usr_faveitems

Thanks for supporting your local crafters!

Shanti,
Erin

grassroots holiday bazaar

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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:

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

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

http://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelrybyJaime

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

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

http://www.etsy.com/shop/DuTillandDaughters

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

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

http://www.etsy.com/shop/PinkMilkshakeKiss

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!)

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

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

http://www.etsy.com/shop/RoofTopCreations

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.

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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!

Shanti,
Erin

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