Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Surf Tumbled Jewels

Nature is the best recycler. Nothing is wasted and there's always a creature waiting to take advantage of some other creature's trash.

She sometimes even takes our trash and makes something sea glass. Broken shards of glass that would otherwise cut into soft feet are tumbled smooth by the sandy sea water and relentless pounding of the waves....

eats this for breakfast...

...and spits out this!

It also does wonders for hard calloused feet...but I digress.

As a an eco-friendly jewelry material sea glass is exceptional! Various sizes, colors and a unique frosted luminous appearance unlike anything else. For those who have access to a beach it's a free source of great materials!
If you don't there are lots of places to purchase some sea glass like Etsy's

Located on North East Coast Of England

They sell a variety of drilled or whole sea glass as well as sea pottery and driftwood perfect for jewelry making!


They also sell a selection of handmade jewelry that show the amazing results you can get using sea glass
Here are some of my favorites!

Cluster Charm Pendant


Pendant with fancy wire work

Here are some more jewelry I found made from genuine sea glass:

Caged sea glass earrings

Gorgeous sea glass pendant

Sea glass sanded into faceted beads! Crumpetcake

Apple green sea glass with copper

Amazing copper wire work ring

And here's a ring I made from sea glass and vintage filigree components:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Opulent Oddities - Mnemonic Collage

Making environmentally sound choices involves looking at materials in a different way and this is especially true with jewelry. My job here is to show you how the effort to use recycled and vintage can have amazing results:

Using vintage materials goes beyond just re-using old findings - at Opulent Oddities the pieces incorporate all kinds of found objects:

 an antique drawer pull with a lovely deep patina

an antique shoe buckle and chandelier crystals

antique lace

 a vintage number tag

The artist was kind enough to share some of her thought!:

Why have you chosen to work only with vintage antiques materials? Because they are amazing! Nothing is like the quality that was made 100 or even 50 years ago. And I love that even if you have the same product from the same manufacturer, the way it was cared for and the way it had aged makes it so very different, and that gives it its own story, its own history. That's what really inspires me.

What is your favorite piece and why? Boy, its hard to pick! Some pieces I love because they represent a creative challenge for me. Some I love because they show a hidden side of my self, a part of my story, one I could never tell, but I can with my pieces. But my favorite is one that reminds me of my Momma:

My Momma is my biggest fan and support. She has inspired me with her creativity throughout my life and she has helped me through some of the most difficult things I've had to go through. Basically, she f--king rocks.

Is being eco-friendly part of your business or creative process? Of course! You can't deny that using old pieces that are already in existence does not help that environment by slowing the creation of new pieces. Of course, I do have to use new clasps, chains on occasion and findings, but I try to keep as much vintage in the mix as possible. I also recycle boxes, zip-locks, etc to cut down on packaging. I also don't do click and ship and use boat loads of paper/ink when I ship, I write out my addresses and go to the local post office. I know it doesn't seem like much, but I run this shop as well as a destash shop that does pretty well, so every little bit counts!

What are some particular achievements (business or artistic) that you are especially proud of? Well, I've sold to a few celebrities (saying who is rude, in my opinion, and breaks the trust of the customer), been in a publication or two, and am in boutiques around the world. What makes me happiest though, is when another artist is inspired by my work, and that happens pretty frequently. I like to make pretty things, of course, but to make inspirational things, that's an accomplishment, to me.

What I love about her pieces is that each is one-of-a-kind and the natural signs of age gone by remain. Every object has a past. It's fun to think of where they've been and who those people were that used them.Wearing one of those pieces you can continue the journey and be part of an unfolding story.

My favorite piece in her store:

Memory Garden Necklace

Being a science geek this necklace immediately made me think of another talented assemblage artist from the animal kingdom:                                                

xenophora species
Apparently I'm not the only one to think so, check out the Xenophora page of the Zymoglyphic Museum!
Imagine what this creature would do if let loose in a church Bazaar :)

If you're looking for some treasure to start your own stories Opulent Oddities also sells vintage and antique supplies in her other store Decadence and Decay

I love this organic antique brooch she calls "alien spermatozoa" !

Need more?
Here are other ways to get to know her:



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Creative Mixx Blog

If you want another chance to win some of my jewelry check out The Creative Mixx indie fashion blog!

There's some info about me and what I do and I'm giving away a beautiful silver feather pendant made from a converted clip-on earring on a vintage silver chain.

want it?
see The Creative Mixx for details :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

December 1st Giveaway - Eco-friendly Earrings!

To promote using eco-friendly alternatives to using new real coral for jewelry I'm giving away these genuine vintage coral earrings december 1st!

Amazing deep salmon colored Italian coral beads from an old discarded necklace...The color is a beautiful deep salmon which look stunning with a tiny pale blue pearl.
The small linked dark brass chain lengths add a touch of industrial / steam punk goodness!

2 inches in length from the ear wires.
The chain and elegant ear wires are new oxidized brass made in the USA.

To be eligible all you have to do is follow my blog!

Eco-friendly business card holders

So now that you have your eco-friendly business cards, let's talk eco-friendly card holders!

Business card holders are a great way to show your attention to detail and creativity to customers.  They're a fun way to add an unusual or whimsical element to your product presentation.
But mostly it's a fun treasure hunt!

Found from the vintage category on :

Simple but sweet springy card holder from yellowdogvintage

Small milk glass hand from deelightfulthings

Super cute mini ceramic log planter from SweetLoveVintage perfect for a woodland theme!

Small ring dish from daisytoad

Wire animal card holder from PeachyChicBoutique

A hilarious hippo from Songbird Industries !


Vintage doll house miniature bench from the 1970's from vintagous

I love these new card holders made from recycled/upcycled materials! :

Upcycled barn wood card holder from ParadiseHill Designs

Silly but oh so awesome! Made from a recycled fork by c2design
Recycled vinyl record from Retired Records

Gorgeous recycled wine bottle card holder from Streeterville Glass

And many many more!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eco-friendly Business Cards

There are lots of little things to think of when you start selling jewelry. It can be overwhelming and the costs add up when you already put so much time and effort on your precious creations.
Business cards, packaging, gift boxes, displays, etc. It gets crazy really quick especially if you want to start selling at craft shows. Being eco-friendly might be the furthest thing from your mind as you scramble to get everything you need.
Thankfully eco-friendly can be easy and actually cheaper than buying everything new!
You see 'thrifty' is my middle name. I hate HATE having to spend money on stuff that I know will end up being thrown away anyway!! Thus you can be sure that, through my thriftiness (and laziness), only the cheapest, coolest and most eco-friendly techniques have survived.

Today I'll show you how to make cool business cards using upcycled paper~

1- Get a custom stamp with your shop info. Make sure that your stamp will be business card sized although you can play around with that to make your own unique design. They are not expensive and you will only have to buy it once! Etsy has many sellers that are willing to work with you to get exactly what you want!

2- Get some paper!
You can find good quality recycled card stock at the art store but you can also make some really awesome cards using vintage book illustrations! The best I think are ones from old children's books. I buy the sad broken ones in the bargain bin  so the kiddies get the pretty ones - they're also dirt cheap! The paper must be matte because your ink will not adhere to glossy ones - this is great since older books don't have glossy pages. The other thing to remember is that your text needs to stand out so the illustrations have to be bright without too much black. Luckily children's books are usually pretty cheery:)

Another option is to use thin cardboard like that used for cereal boxes. The inside is uniform and matte to stamp on and the outside of your card will show your favorite breakfast cereal:)

Info on the front

Breakfast on the back!

I also regularly find paper supplies at second-hand stores like Value Village. People often get rid of school or office supplies and a lot of it hasn't even been used. I  recently found a plethora of file folders someone no longer needed in a veritable rainbow of colors. The paper has a nice thickness and is matte enough for ink.

3- Making clean cuts
I don't use any special equipment to make clean cuts - I just use a good metal ruler and a sharp exacto knife.
You can also find templates at the craft store that allow you to trace perfect rectangles every time although I just use an actual business card to trace the right dimensions. You could also look around the house for an object that is the right size and sturdy enough to use as a template.

plastic templates!

My favorite touch is the corner punch. It makes the corners look clean and pretty even if my angles aren't perfect! You can get them at an arts and craft store in the scrapbooking department.
You can get ones that just make a rounded corner or fancy ones with designs, multiple holes and even embossing. Just be sure the size is appropriate for your card and you don't end up cutting out some of your info.

Plain corner paper punch

Super deluxe Fiskar 3 in 1 corner punch!

You could also opt for a tiny punch out inside the card. There are oodles shapes out there that can be chosen according to your store theme or name.

 small detailed leaf punch

The best thing about upcycling paper is that every card will be unique and they are cheap enough to make that you can send them out with every order with a thank you written on the back!
Happy crafting!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Giveaway winner!

Congratulations amber! you won my first giveaway!

I feel like I'm on The Price is Right:  "amber you've won this.......

(Opens the curtains)

....brand-new (vintage) Necklace!

Stay tuned for my next giveaway December 1st

Thanks y'all for following my blog! I've got lots of articles planned about more great stuff you can find when buying GREEN!