Featured Etsy Recycle Artist: Pine Blossoms

Wow! These are recycled!?!

That was my first thought. My second was that I had to show them off. She also makes beautiful handbags.


I asked her a few questions:
My name is Jennifer Guthrie. I live in the mountains of Northern California with my husband and 2 big old children... (they really do grow up fast!) I have always been creative... and used to sew a new garment when I had nothing exciting to wear to school the next day. I used to sew dolls and bears, for gifts, and because I wanted them... and knew I could do it better myself.

How did you get started making your upcycled wallets and bags?
I started selling on etsy after much urging by my sister... who sells as Petals.etsy.com. I love the idea of making something new out of something old. Living in the mountains too, helped steer me to Upcycling. No fabric stores for 100 miles, can force one to think outside of the box. I love the body and feel of wools. I love how you can full, felt it, and dye it and make it into something completely different from what you started with.

My favorite thing now is to make a "pretty" bag out of a "manly" suitcoat. I love pretty things, but don't consider myself super "girly" so this mix suits me well.

What inspires you?
The 30s and stories of the Great Depression and the ingenuity of women in rural areas making do, or doing without inspire me. Living here in the mountains, things like tall trees, and funny blue jays scaring off squirrels to win a meal, inspire me. I now find myself seeing something beautiful and asking myself "How can I capture that in wool?" I have a horse, whose grace & beauty inspires me and I relished the challenge of making a bag with a horse on it... without it being too horsey. I live in a mixed forest with oaks and pines, birds, wildflowers... you will see hints of these themes in my bags. I think too, that the cold winters, and the high cost of heating fuel may have helped me to appreciate another of the wonders of wool!

Recycling tips?
Look at everything as a raw material. Think of how it can be used in another way. Garments made of fine material, such as wool, linen, and wonderful cottons deserve to be used up and worn out. It is fun to see how much "new" you can avoid buying. For example, I use a lot of piping in my bags and wallets. 10 yards costs about $3.99 at the big city fabric store. I found a bunch of macrame twine at the thrift store. I think it started out as about 200 yards of nylon fiber twine and it makes a perfect piping filler. It cost $2 and went to fund a hospital. The $4.99 at the fabric store didn't do much for the folks in China who made it, and plenty for the chain owners.

Visit her store and buy from this wonderful recycle artist, Jennifer
She can also be found at: Flickr

Finally, a journal!

I had to do a lot of looking but I found it, the perfect journal!
It's from this awesome etsy seller that recycles old, unloved books and things into new journals to love. Those of you that know me, know this one was custom made for me long before I found it :-) It was even called a "Skinny Grande".

After moving (under protest) to suburbia and the land of 4x4's and extended cab trucks, I began my caffeine withdrawls. As close as you can get to real espresso is Starbucks. So, I live there. I know where every one is in a 15 mile radius. Let me tell you, seriously, there are less than half in that radius than there is in 15 square blocks downtown.
Now I have a place to write down all those ideas, sketches, tips, phone numbers, event dates, websites to check out... you get the idea.
You MUST run to look at this awesome etsy shop:
This seller, Cindy, is one of the sweetest, most gracious sellers I've had the pleasure to work with on etsy. She packaged my journal so wonderfully and sent it out so quickly. It was a much higher quality than I could have ever imagined and I love it. Thank you Cindy!

Featured Etsy Seller - dahlila

Check out this awesome recycle Artist,

I asked a few questions,
My name is Dahlila (but if you've read my blog, you know my secret. shh! don't tell.)

How did you get started making these awesome recycled button bracelets?
A lot of my work comes from an initial need for a gift. I like to create while thinking about the friend it's for. In this case it was a birthday for a friend who loves jewelry and bright colors. After that, buttons began materializing! People gave me their grandmother's attic stash. What a gift.

What inspires you?
Wow. An odd juxtaposition of nature and junk--however, not together. I like nature pristine and peaceful. But I also love discarded piles, thrift stores, junk yards, scrap piles. I'm a dumpster diver at heart. It's all about the curiosity. It runs in my family. We are a thrifty and creative people, if I do say so.

Recycling tips? Keep your eyes open. I find crazy stuff on the street just being out in the world. I'm a natural crow. If it shimmers or shines, I have to see what it is. As for my own stuff? Give it away, sell it, dismantle it, recycle it, compost it, refurbish it. Check out www.freecycle.com. It's a great trade source.

Do you Blog? http://snowflowerstreet.wordpress.com/. I've got another shop opening soon as well: dahlilafound.etsy.com. for scavenged objects, buttons, paper and supplies. It's good to spread it around.

Anything else? Experiment. Try new things. Recycle yourself. I don't think it matters so much what you make or do as long as it wakes up your heart.

I know you HAVE to own one of these but you'll have to hurry,
they're one of a kind! Stop by, grab one fast and

it's coming, it's coming

This event is my favorite!
Quarterly the Low Income Housing Institute in Seattle's Belltown area throws a big Market/Party type event. Lots of artisans, crafters, vintage sellers, etc. You can have your bike repaired, hair cut, get a massage and acupuncture, have tailoring done, get a tattoo, have your face painted, and more. After 6pm, it's music, food and booze. How could you possibly beat this combo???
If you're anywhere near the Seattle area, this is a Must-Do!

...about to explode!

Do you ever feel like you have so many ideas for new projects that you just can't stand it? So many projects, too little time? One of my biggest problems is that I'm buried in supplies. Sure, it's pretty well organized, especially since the move, but are there too many options?

When we changed rooms I was forced to go through everything as I moved it. There is some really interesting stuff in there. Every time I start a project and begin to get things out for it I find something incredibly cool for another project.

I feel like the poster child for ADD.

I keep telling myself I need to buy a journal for writing down my ideas with a quick sketch. I start looking at them, on Etsy of course, and think "I have everything to make that. I've always wanted to try it out. Maybe I should make a few of them". Guess what happens then? No journal gets purchased, and off I go on a hunt for the exact supplies. I then find that I'm missing 1 (crucial, of course) thing to complete it and set it aside so I remember to buy the missing item. Nothing gets made, noting gets purchased, no journal.
My goal before the weekend? BUY A JOURNAL, and make one later.

Featured Etsy Seller: Ivy Lane Designs

This weeks recycle Artist, Merrill
of IvyLaneDesigns

I stumbled across these awesome notebooks and notepads and knew I had to share. I asked Merrill a few questions:

How did you get started making your notebooks?
I made a notebook from a tampon box several years ago in order to cheer up a friend whose toddler had broken his femur. She loved it and the rest, as they say, is history.

What inspires you to create?
Trash inspires me. I see other uses for almost everything. I am developing new products at this very moment that breathe new life into plastics. These will surely rock your socks, so be sure to check my Etsy site regularly.

Your shop features repurposed items. Do you have any good recycling tips?
My biggest tip is to please think before you buy - whether it is groceries or a car. My husband and I drive hybrids and buy everything we possibly can in cardboard rather than plastic. We continue to teach our children by example that we should cherish and protect our environment.

Do stop by, see her great items and RECYCLE, REUSE and REDISCOVER!

as Merrill says, Helping the environment, one recycled notebook at a time.

Gettin' Busy

I'm off work today but boy, do I have a lot of work to do.

The founder of Etsy was on The Martha Stewart Show yesterday afternoon. See the video here. I'm guessing that means we will be having a lot of new traffic over this next week.

My poor stores have suffered since the holidays. I was so crazy-busy, both on the website and at work, that I've done very little to help myself.

Today is all about pictures, packaging and listing. Go Etsy!