Monday, January 31, 2011

Interview with Gloria of Lolailo

Lolailo is a shop who believes in the importance of reducing and reusing. Lolailo is based out of Fairfield, California and is owned and operated by my Etsy Recyclers Guild team member, Gloria.

Q. Tell me a little about yourself:

When I am not unemployed, I am a winemaker. I grew up in Spain. I live near the Napa Valley, I am married to a winemaker, and I must say we drink quite well at our house. In my newly found spare time I have reconnected with my crafts, which is something that had been falling by the wayside little by little. I also take classes at the community college by my house and practice kickboxing.

Q. When did you first start crafting?

My mom is a very creative person, and I’ve been crafting since I was able to hold a pair of scissors, pretty much.

Q. Please describe your work in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?

I primarily make bulletin/message boards using wine corks and old frames. My love for corks came through my job. I was fascinated by the typography and design that each producer used. I was dismayed at these very interesting and diverse corks ending up in the garbage after a tasting, so I started hoarding them. I investigated what to do with them, and of all the many crafts you can use corks for, the bulletin board was my favorite. I am a pragmatic person, so I like things that have a function. I go to thrift stores and garage sales and look for frames suited to become cork boards.

Q. How has your work evolved from your earlier work?

I have become more flexible, in that I can see more possibilities on frames that perhaps I would have dismissed earlier on. I decorate the frames, paint them, nail beer caps onto them... Anything to rescue unloved frames from the landfill.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration from the frames themselves. There is nothing standard about creating something out of a “found object”, so when I’m ready to tackle a new project, I just throw some corks into the frame and start playing with them, forming a design, changing it, and eventually I come up with a plan.

Q. Where are your products sold (online/stores)?

Online at Lolailo.

Q. What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?

I am trying to figure out so many things myself! I find Etsy to be full of very experienced and talented artisans, who tackle crafting as a business. I read the forums and the blogs as much as I can, and try to heed their advice.

Q. Describe yourself in three words:

Recently Etsy had a similar exercise, but we had six words! This exercise was based on Ernest Hemingway's claim that he could write a good story in six words.
I wrote:
“Spanish winemaker hates throwing corks away”

Q. Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us?

Treasuries are a wonderful way to connect with other Etsians, promote your items and develop an aesthetic eye. The fairest treasury team I know is the Pay It Forward Team. We follow the Golden Rule and try to be as helpful as possible. Please look us up! Everybody is welcome to join!

You can find Gloria online at the following places:

Lolailo on Etsy

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meet Retreauxgirl

Sharon- Repurposed Jade Moonstone Necklace $50
Retreauxgirl is owned an operated by my friend Leslie. Leslie and I have never met, but we are both from Texas. I live in Houston and she lives in Nederland.

Leslie makes really amazing jewelry pieces from vintage jewelry, old door hinges, keys and whatever else inspires her. She typically incorporates faux pearls, rhinestones and ribbons into many of her pieces.

Charmed I'm Sure Repurposed Charm Necklace with Pearl Strands $60

There's something so feminine about this piece. The multi-strand vintage faux pearls with charms. Who doesn't love charms? They're so special and beautiful in this piece!

Leslie and I have gotten to know each other pretty well over the past few months. She and I are team leaders for the Etsy Recyclers Guild team. The Recyclers Guild is a team consisting of vintage shops and shops that sell upcycled/recycled goods.

Big Bertha-Antique Hardware Statement Necklace $75

You can find Leslie online at the following places:

Etsy shop

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Newspaper Mannequin head & porcelain glove mold by Ira Mency

If you haven't heard of Ira Mency aka Retro Chalet, you're going to hear about her now.

She's an amazingly talented artist, blogger, writer and vintage dealer. She's also the team captain for the Etsy Recyclers Guild.

She makes these really cool mannequin styrofoam heads and repurposes them with newspaper. She then glazes the top of the newspaper. I have some of these styrofoam mannequin heads and hers looks much better than my plain white mannequin heads. The newspaper adds a little drama and makes them look pretty cool!

She also does the same thing with some porcelain glove molds that she has in her stock. She and I did a gift exchange at Christmas and she sent me one of these porcelain glove molds. They are actually really cool. I've never had one in my possession before. I do have to admit, I like the newspaper added to the glove mold. You can find out more information about glove molds here.

You can find Ira Mency by visiting the following links:

Retro Chalet on Etsy
Retro Chalet Studio on Etsy
Facebook and

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Buttery soft soft leather scraps = cuff bracelet heaven!

I went to an estate sale yesterday and the woman who used to live in this house was a major crafter. Her back room was full of fabric bolts, trims and scraps. I found this fairly large buttery soft leather scrap:

I pulled out my scissors last night and started cutting into the leather. I made one small cuff bracelet for myself. I also cut some other scraps that I was going to try and sew into rings. Here's the bracelet I made for myself:

I cut some slits in the leather to create separation:

I'm going to go back today and see if there are any other leather scraps.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Interview with Beads, Buttons and Bows


Small Aqua/Turquoise Colored Medicine Vial Flip Off Lid STud Earrings $6.99

Shop name: Beads, Buttons and Bows

Name: Melissa

Location: Roxboro, NC

Tell me a little about yourself:

By day I am a supervisor for the Vascular Surgery Dept at UNC Hospital. By night I am a crafty jewelry designer. I am the proud mom of 2 doggies (Daisy the Pug, and Roxie the mut) and 3 kitties (Saidie, Sophie, and Boots). I have a BA degree in Visual Communications. Crafty is my outlet - it keeps me sane!

When did you first start crafting?

I have been crafting all of my life. My mom was a very artsy person. She could draw anything you ever wanted. She would also let me create. I have always used repurposed material for my crafting. I started making jewelry and accessories when I was in 9th grade (1992). I started with old puzzle pieces.

Green and White Broken China and Emerald Necklace $24.99

Please describe your work in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?

My work in detail...I work with repurposed material, what some people may say is trash. I love to create earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and hair accessories. My favorite materials to use are paper, wire, plastic, glass, cardboard, and fabric. I also try to incorporate some type of natural stone or glass beads in my work also. I love to use turquoise.

How has your work evolved from your earlier work?

My earlier work was very tailored to what I like. I have had to learn that I need to create pieces of jewelry that is not just for me. Everyone has different tastes. I have had to learn to use colors that I may not like - orange & green, for example.

Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from today's trends. I look through magazines and watch today shows and see what people are wearing and I try to create jewelry that will go with the clothes.

I also get my inspiration from that special items that I might deconstruct. I might see a piece of fabric and think - what can I do with that.

Unique Broken China Pendant with a hand beaded turquoise necklace $24.99

Where are your products sold (online/stores)?

My items are sold through my Etsy store, Beads, Buttons and Bows.

What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?

Remember that you are not your buyer. You have to think about what others may like. Pictures are worth a thousand words. Don't over-price, and Don't under-price -- do your research.

Describe yourself in three words:
Crafty, organized and happy

Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us?
Remember to think outside of the box. Use unconventional materials. Think about what you could do with that old shampoo bottle or those old pair of jeans. What about that magazine? You do not have to spend a lot of money to make beautiful jewelry and hair accessories.

You can find Beads, Buttons and Bows online at the following places:

Etsy shop
Facebook and

This post was contributed by Heather of Texas Vintage Things.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm getting a new camera today! Yay!

I'm so excited. I'm getting a new camera today. I actually ordered it a few days ago from Dell online. My current camera is a crappy, GE12.2 MP point and shoot. I can never get the light settings right and I'm hoping I'll be able to take better pics with my new camera.

The camera I bought from Dell is a Fujifilm FinePix S1800 12.2 MP Digital Camera (Black):

I've been wanting to take some pics of some pieces I've made recently, but I've gotten to the point where I hate my current crappy camera and the quality of photo's it takes. My new camera should arrive today. Watch out, I may just become a crazed photography junky!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Great video on how to screenprint your own t-shirts

I found this video on YouTube. If you're into learning new things and want to learn how to screenprint your own T-shirts, I recommend this video!

I'm getting a new banner and avatar for my Esty shop! Yay!

When I first opened my Etsy shop, I purchased a banner package from a graphic artist on Etsy. I like the banner and avatar quite well. I think the artist did a great job, but I've had the same banner since 2007/2008. I'm finding that I'm bored with it and want a change. I mean, it is 2011 after all.

I received my weekly Etsy Success email yesterday and two of the articles really made me realize I needed to make a few changes to my Etsy shop. The article can be found here. One article talked about the importance of having a banner and avatar. Well, I have both and they're cute, but I need something new.

This morning I logged onto Etsy and searched out some new banner/avatar packages. There are many graphic artists on Etsy who bundle Etsy shop starter kits. I ended up purchasing two different kits from MiPrincess . She sells nothing but banner & avatar kits and her prices are super duper reasonable. Her work is cute, she is very accommodating with your font choices and she gets your purchase to you quickly upon your approval. I highly recommend her work! Here's my new banner!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Handmade accessories...Why be without them?

I think accessories can brighten up any outfit. Why be drab when you can be cute and sassy by adding handmade accessories to garments. Handmade items are unique and can make your dull, ordinary outfit spectacular!

The purpled up in plaid bloom pin by $18 by Sweet & Dirty’s Emporium
I love the combination of textures in this purpled pin as well as the top stitching and button details. It looks cute on a top and I also think it would be cute on a coat or tote bag.

Cream Infinity Scarf / Recycled T-Shirt $20 by Oh-Zie
This scarf is super cute and would dress up any t-shirt or sweater. It's made from an old t-shirt and has a cute brown flower detail to dress it up a bit. Great way to recycle an old item if I don't say so myself.

Vintage wool plaid button bobbies/hair pins $6 by Mattie Reid Chicago
These hair pins were actually made by me. I used to be a vintage button hoarder and started making things with them. I've made a lot of hair accessories with the buttons that had a matching mate. I think these buttons would look cute on anyone.

The Etsy Recyclers Guild Team has a lot of talented artists who make eco-friendly products. All products are recycled into something else, which is beneficial to everyone. Our team motto is basically, "We live green, we love to recycle, and that's what brought us together. Our team believes in Random Acts of Kindness, a movement to promote each other's shops and spread the word about living green." To shop handmade items on our team, you can click here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let me introduce you to Retreauxgirl on Etsy

I'm a member of a great Etsy team called the Etsy Recyclers Guild. You can find our team blog here. Leslie from Retreauxgirl is a really great girl who makes super cute, unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. All of her jewelry is made from vintage keys, door hinges and vintage jewelry, which I love! You can find her blog here.

The Rusty Royal- Repurposed Antique Brooch and Pearl Necklace $65
I like how Leslie incorporates a variety of vintage pieces in each jewelry piece:

Green with Envy Repurposed Necklace $50

Leslie is a very active member within the Etsy community as well as her own community. She's always showing her jewelry at various places around Beaumont, Texas.

To raise awareness about our team and team blog, we are having a contest on our team blog. Please click here for additional details.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Vintage chain link upcycled into a necklace & bracelet

Most of the items I upcycle are made from vintage jewelry pieces. Last night, I was talking to my sister, Courtney, on the phone. She lives in Illinois and we don't talk terribly often. When we do end up talking, our conversations end up lasting for about an hour.

As I was talking to Courtney last night, I started digging through my junk jewelry and started playing with some vintage chain links in the box. I ended up making a matching necklace and bracelet set:

Here's the necklace on my neck:

Here's the bracelet on my wrist:

I haven't listed these in my shop yet, but plan to do so later today. Mention this post and I'll send you a coupon code for 25% off anything in my shop.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Handmade goodness with art deco flair

I love, love vintage items and especially vintage items from the art deco era. I frequent estate sales and make a lot of my handcrafted items from broken pieces of vintage jewelry of leftover trims.

Art deco filigree leaf belt buckle cuff bracelet $45


Nature was a big part of art deco design and filigree was often used as a design element in art deco pieces.

Black Elastic Headband with Antique Vintage Brooch Pin $48

Many times, the pieces were just shiny, elaborate, decorative statement pieces.

Vintage art deco marcasite shoe clip cuff bracelet with velvet ribbon $65

Regardless of what the pieces were, they are still beautiful to this day. I just like to reform them into something new and different. You can take a closer look at the items above by clicking on each photo. You'll then be redirected to the actual item. For other upcycled/recycled vintage jewelry pieces, please visit Mattie Reid Chicago on Etsy or visit Mattie Reid Chicago online.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

$75 store credit for upcycled handmade items at Mattie Reid Chicago

I'm offering a $75 store credit for my Etsy shop when my Facebook page reaches 300 fans. My page is currently lingering at 98 fans. Please visit my Facebook page and become a fan today! Winner will be drawn randomly once our page reaches 300 fans! Spread the word!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One-of-a-kind hand embroidered baby infant onesies

A few months ago, my friend Tania had twin girls. I typically make and give onesies as shower gifts. I think they make nice gifts because they're completely one-of-a-kind. I do all the work by hand and they always turn out really cute! Here are the two onesies I made for Tania:

I can make anything I'm capable of drawing. I love special orders. Contact me for more info!

The blog is alive again!!!!

After years of neglect, I have decided to revive this blog and make it better than ever! Stay tuned for a fun-filled 2011!