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Jewelry Goes Green?

Unless you are living under a rock, you will notice that "going green" is the trendy thing to do and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle are the buzzwords heard daily and even hourly on occassions.Jewelry is no exception. Jewelery artists are finding all kinds of neat ways to reuse and recycle normal everyday items into fun, funky, and one of a kind art jewelry. Do a search on http://www.etsy.com/ for "jewelry and recycled" and up pops over 13,000 listings!We've all heard the term recycle, but how many have heard of upcycle? Not me! I just learned this term a few days ago.Wikipedia defines upcycling as a component of sustainability in which the use of waste materials to provide new products. It is generally a reinvestment in the environment. This process allows for the reduction of waste and use of virgin materials.In other words, rather than the complicated, expensive, messy affair of processing waste into something else, the waste product is used in its original form. In jewelry, the waste product may be gears from an old wristwatch, a Scrabble tile, short stubby pencils with chew marks, or old Barbie doll heads.Susan Lenart Kazmer is one of my favorite jewelry artists employing"trash" and turning it into her gorgeous talisman series pieces. Go spend some time on her site. It inspires me to save all kinds of things that normally would go straight to the dump!In my own attempt at "upcycling", I've been making a few lampwork beads on antique keys. I would love to be able to say I came up with the idea on my own, but somebody else deserves the credit for thinking of it first. I just don't know who.To prep for the bead, the keys are dipped in bead release. Once dry, it is put directly into the flame where I make the bead on the key. Because the key was dipped in bead release, I am able to "release" the bead from the key, clean the release off the key, and the bead is free to slide and turn and be played with by the wearer. I like to leave the patina of old age on the key and just polish it with a little wax.Honestly the keys are beautiful enough to wear on their own, but having that colorful glass bead just add that extra little something. AND I get to use the word upcycling when referring to them. If only I was always that hip about everything....The next blog will cover another hot trend in artisan created jewelry fashion. Stay tuned...

Just Give Campaign

Hi everyone! We just got home from a 6 day trip to Florida. I wouldn't normally choose Florida as a first choice summer destination. However, we have family down there and a couple of my husband's aunts organized a lovely anniversary party for his grandparents. I adore his family (no I'm not saying that because they might be reading...it really is true!) and we had such a nice visit with everyone.Unfortunately we took the crappy camera with us because it's lightweight. What a mistake! This is the only picture that turned out from the anniversary party. It's a self portrait of DH and me. He gets a kick out of doing self portraits...even if there is somebody sitting right there asking "Do you want me to take the picture?" I am wearing a necklace I created using my lampwork beads.You can see a picture of this exact necklace on my website gallery: http://www.glassaddictions.com/gallery.php the top row, left and right photos ( I seem to have no control over where the photos in the gallery end up on the page-a VERY frustrating thing!)We stayed in a condo close to the family for a couple days, then we headed to Orlando for a few days.In Orlando, we got a condo in the Disney Resort called Saratoga Springs. It was very nice. We like to have a kitchen so that we eat healthier and spend less money doing it. Hot dogs, burgers and pizza get really old after a day or two. Not to mention, it costs us about $40 per meal to eat that junk. We spent about $80 on groceries and laundry detergent for 3 days and carried water with us to the park. The only food purchases made at the park was ice cream. After all, you have to get ice cream if you are at an amusment park...right?So we went to Disney Hollywood Studios the first full day (formerly MGM Studios). Things started out OK. Here is everyone smiling (well, almost everyone...) right after we entered the park:

Here is an example of the looks we were getting soon after though:

DD whined and complained most of the day and didn't want to ride anything. Everything was too scary. DS wanted to ride Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster all day long. However, his parents (me) wanted to see more of the park AND he had to listen to his little sister carry on about how scary everything was.

Soooooo...instead of doing Magic Kingdom on day 2 like originally planned, we slept in and went to Typhoon Lagoon. It was fun for a water park (not my favorite thing to do). But again, DD was too scared to go on the slides. The wave in the wave pool was HUGE! It was fun except that the concrete was sharp and we all got scraped up from the strength of the waves pushing us against the concrete. The lazy river was more DD's speed and we spent lots of time there. My favorite part was the mini donuts we got on the way out. They were fresh, warm, and had just sugar sprinkled on them. YUM!!!!

So, now that we are back, it's time for me to announce the Just Give Campaign I am participating in with the LEST Etsy Team. For the entire month of August your purchase of specially marked items from my shop or any other participating LEST team member shops will go towards the charity of choice of that team member.

My chosen charity is Community Harvest: http://www.communityharvest.org/ Their mission is to provide free and immediate food assistance to those in northeast Indiana. During the month of August, 100% of the purchase price of specially marked items will be donated to Community Harvest. Shop HERE

In addition to getting artisan crafted beads and jewelry, and helping feed the hungry, every customer that purchases an item marked for the Just Give Promotion will be entered in a drawing for a free bead of my choice. I will hold the drawing on September 1st or 2nd (the 1st is Labor Day and I might be busy that day) and announce the winner of the free bead as well as how much was raised for Community Harvest and the hungry here in northeast Indiana.

Check back often for updates to the Promotional items. I will be adding more beads to the campaign on a daily basis. To see additional "Just Give" LEST team member participants, go to http://www.lestbeads.com/ and click on the August Just Give tab.

Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to the right of this blog because I will be having a special "invitation only" sale early fall. It is a double opt in mailing list so you will have to confirm by email that you want to be on the list.

Have a great weekend!

Do you Dare read today's blog????

I am feeling rather chatty tonight and have lots of stuff to show and tell. So, you might want to grab a quick potty break before continuing. The good news...there's lots of pictures. The bad news...there are no bead pictures.My friend Lisa Atchison (the one hiding in the back row behind Jim) of Touch of Glass Designs emailed this class photo from the Jim Smircich lampworking class hosted by ISLAGA the weekend of June 28-29. I am on the left in the yellow. I absolutely adore my ISLAGA peeps!

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