Monday, December 29, 2008

How Cool are These?

Front of earring!

These are my newest listing of EcoLoops earrings. This pair is made from pages of a Nordstrom Catalog from this fall. I thought the watch faces were too cool to pass up so I turned them into earring disc/beads for this pair of EcoLoops earring. They are one of a kind and are available in my shop!

Back of earring!

Here's more about my EcoLoops Jewelry:

I have had a serious dilemma with the amount of junk mail that I have to recycle. I have signed up with Green Dimes to try to limit how much gets sent to me but I am still getting more than I like. What can I do with all the paper waste and junk mail I receive other than send it to recycling? I have wanted to create something with it for quite some time and have tried a few things and they just weren’t quite what I liked or wanted until now. I have started making jewelry and earring discs with this junk mail that has been piling up. I have used many things like cereal boxes, mail order catalogs, post cards and the top to the oatmeal canister to create these abstract designs on these jewelry discs. They are constructed with non-toxic adhesives and glazes and are all made out of recycled paper form my home. They are lightweight and have a beautiful finish. They are resistant to moisture but remember they are made from paper and therefore should not be washed or submerged in any liquid. You may clean them with a barely damp or dry cloth.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tutorial: Make Christmas Tree Ornaments From Recycled Starbucks Cup!

Well my sister and I started a tradition of making our own Christmas tree ornaments last year by hand painting salvaged wood. The theme last year was icons. This year we decided to change it up a bit so we chose to make a collection of wood ornaments out of recycling Christmas Starbucks cups and applying them to our salvaged wood blocks to create a theme with Reindeer from Santa's sleigh. Here is a tutorial on how we made our ornaments.

Supplies Needed:
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Sobo glue (optional as you can use Mod Podge as glue and glaze)
  • Paint brushes
  • Starbucks cups - we used our own cups to recycle them after they were used. Just bring them on home instead of throwing them away!
  • File
  • Exacto Knife or box cutter
  • Wood scrap blocks - different sizes and lengths are fun
  • Ribbon
  • embellishments like rhinestones, buttons (optional)

1. First you will need to prepare your Starbucks cup by rinsing/washing it out and drying the inside of the cup if it has been used. Then you want to do the following to the cup:

Unroll top edge of Starbucks cup.

Cut along cup side seam with box cutter or exact o knife.

Cut bottom of cup off with scissors.

2. Second you will need to decide the layout of where you want your designs from the cup to lay on your block of wood and glue the cup onto the wood as follows:

Layout your cup flat and pick what part of the cup you want to use for your picture.

Trim the cup down to a more manageable size but make sure it is still large enough to cover your block of wood.

Apply Sobo glue or Mod Podge to block of wood with a paint brush.

Hold desired part of cup up to the light with printed part facing away from you. this allows you to see the design through the cup from the backside.

Still holding it up to the light, place glued side of block against the back of the cup cutout exactly where you want it

Then gently lay it upside down on the work surface and press it down firmly.

flip it right side up and smooth out the front surface using a small tissue or cloth pressing the whole surface into the glue so there are no bubbles.
Allow this to dry 30 minutes before proceeding.

3. Thirdly you want to trim and finish your block of wood once the glue is dry following the steps below:

Place wood block face down on a cutting board or cutting mat and using an exacto knife or box cutters trim away the excess paper around the edges.

Then use a file at a 45 degree angle to the front of the block and file with downward strokes only. This will nicely bevel your edges and expose a nice white border to your desired picture. It also makes your edges of the picture blend flush with your block of wood giving it a nice finished edge.

I use the exacto knife at a a perpendicular angle just to scrape any glue residue along the edges of the block after the filing.

Mod Podge the front of the wood block over top of the Starbucks cup design as this seals and glazes the design. If you apply multiple layers of Mod Podge it makes it glossier!
Let layers of Mod Podge dry about 15 minutes each.

Then cut ribbons to use for hanging the ornaments. We cut nice angles at each end to make them fun.

Dab a dot of Sobo glue or of Mod Podge on the end of the ribbon .

Press it firmly to the side of the block and hold it in place for a minute or so to let it start to set. then lay it aside to dry for a t least 30 minutes before hanging.

With some blocks we Mod Podged flat backed rhinestones onto the designs to give them a little sparkle and we used a round punch to cut out just some snow flakes off the Starbucks cups to decoupage for the semblance of snow. We also decoupaged letters cut from newspaper to form names of the Reindeer (Vixen, Prancer, Rudolph Etc..).

So be creative and play with recycling items to decorate for your Holidays to come!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Beginner Bloggers: How to add a Twitter badge to your blog for FREE!

I have seen badges (buttons) on blogs that say "Follow Me on Twitter" and when you click on them you are linked to their twitter page. So I joined Twitter a little while ago and have been wanting to add a twitter badge to my blog but the dilemma is how to do it myself with minimal tech knowledge. So I searched Etsy and found a few badges but they were all for sale and I was wanting to do it myself for FREE.

Next On my quest I Google searched "twitter badges for your blog" and came up with several helpful tips and sources for free twitter badges.
I chose my free twitter badge from:
but some of my other favorite sources for cute twitter badges included:So the next step was how to use or set up the badge graphics so it would work on my blog.

Here is how I did it:

1. I chose my graphics badge here.

2. I right clicked on the graphic image that I chose and saved it to a file on my own computer.

3. Then I navigated to my Blog home page and clicked on "Customize" in the top right hand corner of the nav bar at the top of my blog.

4. Under "Layout" tab that opened up I clicked on "Add Gadget" for my right hand sidebar area.

5. Then I scrolled down until I found "Add Picture" and clicked on it.

6. This brought up the "Configure image" menu.

7. In another firefox window I went to twitter and clicked on "Profile" to bring up my personal twitter address and then I copied the address.

8. Back in the Configure image menu I titled the image "Follow me on Twitter", then I pasted the address I had copied from twitter into the box where it says "Link". Then I "Browsed" my computer for the saved image file I had chosen for my twitter badge (what I selected in step 2).

9. Here is what my "Configure image" window looked like when I was done.

10. All I did then was hit "SAVE" on the "Configure image" menu and voila I have my own functioning link to help others find me on twitter.

11. Last but not least I select "Save" on the "Layout" menu then select 'View Blog". The END!

*** This tutorial is for beginner bloggers with little tech knowledge like myself. I only hope this will save someone a little time and money. This tutorial is meant for Blogspot bloggers and I used Firefox as my web browser for the tutorial.


No words can describe the fun DeLuca had in the Snow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What Am I Doing Tonight?

My sister and I are making Christmas Tree ornaments from recycled weathered wood and Starbucks cups. We are going to try to do a how to tutorial for the blog if we can find the time in the next few days. They are really cute ornaments!

Etsy! Front Page screen shots on Flickr.

Don't worry if you don't get to see your Etsy front page moment. There is a Flickr group that posts screen shot of them for you. Check it out and enjoy your moment of Etsy Front Page glory a little longer if you want to. Here is my Front Page Moment that I missed today.

Etsy! Front Page.

I did not see it but but early this morning my Unfurl Earrings made the font page of Etsy. El from IndieSmiles informed me that I was on the front page and wrote about it here. Thanks El!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kathi Roussel Jewelry

I ran across an amazing jewelry artist on Etsy the other day. Her shop is Kathi Roussel. He photography shows off her jewelry in such a beautiful whimsical way! Below is a little paragraph about the artists work and her Etsy experience.

I am currently in love with making handcrafted jewelry, mostly in silver--often applying surface patinas and enamels to bring color and warmth to the metal. I feel as though I'm just beginning to find my voice in the medium. I studied painting & drawing initially-- years ago when I attended art school. Then some time after having my oldest two boys, I studied ceramics, and made/make sculpture and functional pottery. Working in metal has become a new passion, and influences from my past work/mediums are always surfacing. The sculptural possibilities working in this small format are quite challenging and exciting!

I'm thrilled to have found Etsy-- as it provides a wonderful arena for my own work & artists of all kinds. It is brimming with talented, creative & hard working souls! I have met so many kind, wonderful people already--- I'm looking forward to meeting many more!...and to making lots and lots of jewelry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree Earrings Update!

Wow... I listed my first pair of these "Oh Christmas Tree Earrings" and literally a few hours they were gone. I have another pair made and they are up for grabs. The first pair found their home in Pennsylvania! Where will the home of the second pair be?

Tea Time Favorite! Dec 15th Winner Is...

CutCopyCreate! She wins the first Tea Time Favorites contest with her Paris 8x8 Photographic Print. She hails from Glasgow, Scotland.

Here is a little about the her:

" I'm an art student who has over the years developed a real passion for Image making via Photography and illustration. Most of my photos are taken on walks with my camera around Glasgow, Scotland and I tend to like my images to have a real gritty Urban feel. Sometimes I have a play in photoshop with them and sometimes I don't - if I've captured something straight out of the lens then I'm happy."

Check out her other photo works browse her shop and she has a great blog to browse as well.

Conagrats to CutCopyCreate for winning my first ever Tea Time Favorite! If you want free exposure for your etsy shop just do the following:
  • check back latter this week for the next Tea Time Favorites announcement on my blog and in the Etsy forums.
  • Then submit your favorite Etsy shop item on both the blog post (in the comments section) and on the etsy forums thread (yes, post your shop favorite to both locations).
  • I will then pick my favorite item submited and feature the winner, their shop and blog (if they have one).
All that is left to do is enjoy the free exposure when you win!

Thanks to all of you who submitted your entries last week here.

Oh Christmas Tree!

Here is the final Christmas tree design. They are available in my store and ready to go to a special home for the holidays. Hmmmm where oh where will that home be?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nature vs. Organic?

Trying to decide between describing my jewelry as "organic inspired" or "inspired by nature" prompted me to do a Google Fight!

"Inspired by Nature" Wins!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tea Time Favorite!

I love to browse Etsy for favorites all the time. I sit with a cup of tea (from my favorite mug) mulling over what I can find next. I thought I would use my Tea Time to mull over your favorites and feature my picks of the week from your entries!

So if you would like to submit an item for my "Tea Time Favorite" leave a comment with a link to your item below and post it here as well. I will pick my "Favorite" over a nice cup of tea (usually English Breakfast or Darjeeling tea) this weekend and will post my favorite on this blog early next week. Please have all entries in by Saturday Dec 13.

Remember to post to the comments below and to the forums thread here to share your favorites there as well! Yes post to both places.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How cool are these?

I ran across this great idea for recycling egg cartons and making them into these Fairy Lights. There are "how to" instructions included in this article. I am going to have to try this out.


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