Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Handmade Gifts Are Keeping Me "SEW" Busy!

I love making handmade gifts for my grandchildren...but when you have six of them -- YES, SIX! -- It's hard to keep up! And I haven't even started on Christmas! These gifts were for my newborn grandson and my two November birthday girls...

A Snoopy Quilt for Caedyn

A Bunny for Morgyn!

And an Upcycled Denim Purse for Jordyn!

And here's the backside...Literally! Haha!

The purse was a pair of little girl's overalls and the suspenders worked perfectly for the strap, which is adjustable. I filled it with little girl goodies and added one of my purse charms "to boot"-
Gosh, I'm feeling punny tonight, must be a little punch drunk...not much sleep last night!
Well, hopefully I can get to work on some products for my shop soon. Oh, I forgot! Here's one more project I finished, a stocking order for a friend. I love gifting these to my grandchildren and now I'm getting requests from everyone else for them!

The nose and hat were only added to the photo, to disguise the little one! Lol!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jump On the Upcycling Bandwagon

Upcycling is on a roll, and it's picking up speed with the momentum of Etsy teams and sellers whose focus and mission is to create green products. Communities like Etsypreneur also bring together like-minded individuals who can share their passion for all things eco-chic in groups like Greenpreneurs, Dream Designers of Embellished Treasures and Upcyclers. But truly the primary driving force behind the movement would have to be the economy, since one of the rewards of upcycling is the savings.

Taking something that was either destined for the trash or no longer of use in its original form and turning it into something of higher value or use is the definition of upcycle. A relatively new term, [spellcheck still thinks it's a misspelled word] it still returns less than a million results for a cumulative search of its various forms, including -ing and -ed. But the byproducts are increasing exponentially as the trend catches on. Particularly in the artisan industry where imaginative expression is the seed of creativity. Some of these ideas are ingenious and inspirational!

One team of eco-minded Etsy sellers, Eco Etsy, has a member whose blog features tutorials on upcycling a variety of products from everyday sources found in most homes. ecokaren has recycled t-shirts into memory quilts, turned old jars into soap dispensers and made garment bags from old fitted sheets. She is the go-to gal for DIY's! And she's getting savvy with it, producing video tutorials now too.

ecokaren's tutorial for upcycled journals

I belong to the group I mentioned earlier, Upcyclers, and recently we started a forum asking, "What to do with wine corks?". There were several ideas, including coasters, frames, bulletin boards, bases for clay or embellished wine stoppers. One very intriguing one was a chess board! But the most surprising one was jewelry, unique and one of a kind creations made of recycled cork!

Dawn calls her shop 'Wine Cork Jewelry & More' and her designs are organic, well balanced and colorful. A versatile addition to your wardrobe, they are elegant yet simple and would pair well with jeans or a lovely floral frock. She might be from the North, but she has infused a tropical flair that reminds me of the islands.
She also creates wine glass charms that would make the perfect hostess gift for the holidays or an addition to your own party.

Upcyclers often think big! Furniture is one of the largest things filling our landfills and when an outdated or worn piece of "junk" looks hopeless to some,
Lauran from ChromaDecor says, "I'll take it!". Her pieces are also full of vibrant color and imagination. She sees beyond the peeling paint or wear and envisions a "brand new" functional and beautiful addition to a home's decor. A new shop on Etsy, her inventory is low because she has already sold items in the very month she opened! Congrats to her, and it just goes to show the demand for these types of products.


Etsy and other indie artist marketplaces like Artfire are the perfect venues for these kind of handcrafted items, for they truly reflect the personality and ability of those who create them, elevating them to not only functional, but a work of art. You can enter upcycled as a search on Etsy and find over 88,000 items to browse! Artfire has over 15,000. Plenty to choose from, and surely something for everyone.

Since you are here, you must be interested in Upcycled products so here's a chance to win some! Check out Team Eco Etsy's Green Holiday Giveaway: You Wear Them Well! And thank you ecokaren for sharing the news about the giveaway with us...

Good Luck, everyone!

Other Upcycled Treasures to Love:
Fabric Flower by Stagnant Gypsy

Handmade Hedgehog Plush by 5orangepotatoes

Necklace-Marjorie by 3ddoodles on Artfire

Vintage Floral Dangle Earrings by BreatheCouture 

Vintage Clipon and Fabric Swatch Hair Barette by beadsbuttonsandbows

Have an upcycled listing in your shop or a favorite? 
Post it in the comment field below!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We're Throwing Out the Frozen Dinners and Buying Aprons...

Necessity is the mother of invention, and our mothers were the greatest inventors of all time! They knew how to cook on a dime, and darn good, too! So with the economy crashing in on us and pushing us back to our roots: Homespun, homecooked and homemade is no longer considered what poor people do. It's eco-chic, trendy, and green.

So why a new apron? Because they are practical...a great invention, and thanks to the creative genius of some savvy sellers on Etsy, an absolute must-have fashion accessory!

Colorful, comical, classy or upcycled, vintage, retro; there are countless styles to choose from on Etsy. Just type in a search for handmade and aprons, and you'll get over 26,000 results! And another 4500+ for vintage aprons...So I'm very pleased for one of the members of our Etsy team: Florida Etsy Street Team that Pamwares is celebrating 400 sales- Her aprons really stand out in the crowd!

To celebrate she is offering a giveaway on her blog: Pamwares, where you'll find a link to her Etsy shop. So after you submit a comment entry for her funky Weird Scenes with Ikea Fabric Apron, you can run along to her shop and see all the other stylish choices she has. Great gift ideas for the holidays, or just pick a few favorites for yourself, since you'll have a hard time choosing just one!

More from Pamwares:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweater Weather -- Never Better Vintage

A chill in the air means pulling out the sweaters: soft, woolly, fuzzy, chunky, angora, cashmere, chenille; wraps, shrugs, cardigans, pullovers, turtlenecks. I love them all, the feeling of a cozy cocoon of warmth, way better than a blanket and, heaven forbid, a Snuggie! My favorite of all are vintage, embellished with adorable rhinestone or pearl buttons, embroidered or detailed, an aged softness you can't replicate without time. The styles and colors are endless, and thanks to the 'reloved' movement, you can find zillions at the click of a button. Of course, I still love to hunt on foot for these priceless treasures in my little local shops...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wearing What Grandma Wore...

I can still smell the freshness of Ivory soap and Jean Nate when I'd 
kiss my grandma's cheek...And her dresses- neat and pretty with all
the crispness of cotton floral prints. I'll never forget the first time she
wore a pair of pants, it was startling and for a long while did not seem
quite right. 
Today, my fascination for all things vintage runs as deep as my love for those childhood days and the comfort of my grandparents' home. 
And oh, what I would give for a rummage through my grandma's closet.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm Sew Pretty! on Etsy

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