I’m loving this reuse of old bottles for a couple of reasons.
1. It looks so fun when you get to break them!
2. The light the lamps cast is gorgeous.
3. Did I mention it looks like a whole lot of fun?Glassphemy via Gizmodo via Core77]
Shopping blog featuring products made by people not factories.
I’m so excited to introduce the latest Try Handmade columnist: Liz Grotyohann.
Please welcome her to Try Handmade, and let her know what concerns you have about leading a greener life. Are there issues you hope she addresses? Speak up in the comments.[hLiz]
We’ve all heard how bad plastic bags are for the environment. As many as 500 billion to one trillion bags are used worldwide each year. Some cities have outlawed them. Many people have switched to carrying their own bags to the store—an easy way to do something good for the environment. Every major chain now has stands of “eco-friendly” totes available—cheap!—so that you can do your part.
But, while carrying your own bag is definitely better than using new plastic, those bags at the store aren’t as “eco-friendly” as they claim to be. Many of those bags are made from virgin materials. Studies have been done that say that those reusable bags need to be used 100-300 times before they make up for the impact of their own production. So, why carry a bag emblazoned with a store logo—do you really want to advertise for them?—when you can buy a responsibly-produced, stylish, low-impact handmade bag from an independent artist? There are so many options out there made from organic cotton, sustainable fibers like bamboo or hemp, or vintage or recycled fabric.
And remember the plastic bags that you use at the store aren’t just the ones at the checkout counter. There are more and more options available now for lightweight, durable handmade bags to carry your produce and dry bulk goods.
Kootsac offers inexpensive, lightweight produce bags in a number of sizes and fun colors. Little Green Pea has cotton bulk food bags, and adorable reusable sandwich bags. And wonderthunder sells these adorable screenprinted vegetable bags that are so much more fun (and green!) than plastic.
Jewelry artist Dawn Benedetto calls her colorful line of jewelry her “fun and clever alter ego.” The petal ring, the signature Poppi product, is made from glass and sterling silver, and is literally a burst of color that refuses to be ignored. Poppi rings are sure to turn any wallflower into the belle of the ball.
In addition to the explosive petal rings, Dawn uses the same technique to create bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Whether you choose the rounded, “roe” beads or the sharper, “flake” beads that make the petal rings, your Poppi jewelry is definitely going to pop.
Dawn began her life as a jewelry artist at the tender age of fourteen. Although she ironically does not wear much jewelry, it has been the focal point of her creative endeavors. Her portfolio that got her into college was mostly jewelry. Even though she also studied ceramics, sculpture, crafts, art history, and a host of other topics that intrigued her, most of her time in school was spent on jewelry. Her first job out of school was teaching other people how to make jewelry…you might say she’s an expert!
Although the brightly colored glass rings are now her most popular items, Dawn still works with her first love, silver and gold metal work. She began her career as a metalsmith, and still creates one-of-a-kind rings in gold and silver, as well as teaches metalworking classes.
The splashy and colorful Poppi line was born in 2000, when Dawn came up with the design for the petal ring, which instantly became a hit. Customers love them not only because of the enticing color and eye-catching design, but also because they miraculously fit pretty much anybody.
The Poppi line has since expanded to include vintage lucite jewelry, which is just as colorful and fun as the original petal rings, but with a slightly more retro feel to them. These are perfect for collectors, since production on this type of lucite was halted in the 1980s.
Dawn has been making jewelry for most of her life, and she still loves every bit of the process. From the design stage down to each minute phase of production, she’s unable to choose a favorite part, because she loves all of it!
Although her business has expanded to the point of needing several staff members to help with production and business management, you can still find Dawn in her studio making pretty things nearly every day.
Visit Dawn in her Torpedo Factory studio to see her at work, or find her jewelry in a number of local and national retail locations. Her colorful glass and lucite work is also available online at www.poppishop.com.
I know it’s still January, but have you put any thought into the Valentines your child will be exchanging at school this year? While it’s fun to get all glittery and gooey, it’s not technically necessary to get your hands dirty anymore. You can go the VIP route and order up some of these super cool valentines, from Peas and Thank Yous customized for your child, in time for Valentines day. Just be sure to get your order in soon!
I like that there are both boy and girl versions of these Rocker/Princess Ticket style valentines and that the design is so funky and fresh. It’s easy to go kitsch with Valentines and these are a graphic and surprising twist (but still sweet!).
Check out all the awesome paper goodness in Peas and Thank You’s Etsy Shop.
I’ve never been one to do the tourist thing. As much as I love to travel, to get out, to meet new people, to try new foods; I much prefer to do all of the above as if I were a local. I find it even more difficult to swallow when the tourist thing surrounds an activity so warmly familiar it seems routine. My children on the other hand find joyous fun in even the simplest Saturday afternoon outings. It’s with that in mind that I found myself this past Saturday frequenting an overly-crowded and even more overly-priced — albeit local — orchard and cider mill. And yes, I did have fun.