Tag Archives: recycling

Jewelry all over the place

I finally got around to using some of the new materials I’ve been buying the past few weeks. And not only that, but also some recycled material as well. It’s hard finding the time and energy for stuff like that right now, but I managed to squeeze in 4 bracelets in 2 days. It’s not a record, but it’s better than nothing at all. What made me kick my own bum and get something done might have been the fact that I sold some jewelry recently, and my stash is shrinking, which is a bad thing, considering that I want to open an Etsy shop.

12-07-06

A while ago, I got a custom order from a friend who wanted a bracelet to represent every person that meant something special to her, and she gave me instructions on what she had in mind, to which I commented on what was possible for me to do and what not, until we came to an agreement. I began right away, but got slow really fast, as my energy faded into nothingness. Yet, I still managed to get all of them done, and even came up with a good idea for the one that was meant to represent myself. They were shipped as soon as possible, and she got them after only 3 days.

12-07-05

At the same time I did the bracelets, another friend wanted a bottle charm I had posted on Instagram, and asked me to put it on Etsy for her once my shop would open. As I wasn’t sure when I’d get to open, as I’m really busy trying to find a new home, getting a dog, and overall just being alive, I uploaded it especially for her. I was afraid of the shipping part though, as the bottle was made of glass, so I made sure to buy a tiny box to put it in, while shipping it in a normal small sized box stuffed with newspaper. It arrived few days later in perfect condition. She was so happy with it, that she’s getting a custom order ready for me, for another necklace.

12-07-03

12-07-04

Yesterday, our old family counselor stopped by, not only to bring a birthday present my son forgot at her place last week, but also to buy some of my bracelets. It felt rather awkward opening my box of self-made jewelry for her to look through them, but as it wasn’t the first time she was looking, she already knew what she was going for. She grabbed the acrylic rose bead bracelet, and the green faceted glass bead bracelet, as she thought those would suit her best. She’s a sucker for roses! Watching her trying to close the macramé closure by herself for the first time was rather fun, but she quickly got the hang of it, and went out the door with the green one already on her wrist.

12-07-01

12-07-02

During the weekend, I found a nice golden necklace in a second hand shop, and pulled it apart and cleaned it when getting home. The parts were screaming at me to create something with them, so that’s just what I did. I had some old black waxed cord lying around, which I used to create 2 half recycled bracelets, using a piece of chain and a ring from the necklace. Today, I grabbed my newly bought waxed cord in flashy colors, and made some summer bracelets with some of the materials I bought over the past few weeks. I need to get used to working with that kind of cord, but I really like the results.

While sending my boy off to scout camp, I met one of my old friends who thought I should make earrings, as she’s really into self-made earrings, and believed it to be a good addition to my hobby, when already making bracelets and necklaces. I must admit, I never really gave earrings a thought, as I don’t have any holes in my ears myself, but I looked into the idea, and I rather like it. As it requires almost the same materials as I already have, I’ll be sure to at least try it out. But no rings… I’ll never do rings, as they differ too much in sizes for each person, and I’m just not into the trouble of creating such things!

Hope I’ll get more done soon, and that my Etsy shop will be filled with colorful pieces 🙂

Upcycling, Recycling, Downcycling – What is the difference?

In this day and age, where we are pretty darn good at using and throwing away, it gets more and more important to recycle. Luckily, it’s a very popular thing to do, and when more people start doing it, it helps the environment. On top of that, it’s cheaper to buy a used chair from someone who doesn’t need it anymore, than it is to get one at the store, who is only interested in making a good profit off of you. When you buy second hand, you can often get things that are not even available at stores anymore, and might even have a history to go with them.

I absolutely love visiting second hand stores and flea markets, and it also makes me happy, when a used item of mine can be reused by someone else. Some of the jewelry I make is partly recycled, as I buy old jewelry second hand, to use most of the parts in new creations. This results in unique and fun ideas, and jewelry not everyone owns.

It’s not always that easy to define what reusing is though, and today I’ll try to explain the three different methods of doing so.

Let’s start with that we all know most about, shall we? Recycling!

It basically means to reuse something that was already used, whether it is by you or someone else. If you go to a flea market and by a table, you are recycling it, as you are going to use that table after someone else already did. The item doesn’t even matter, as it doesn’t have to be something big or expensive. It’s also recycling, if you split something into its original pieces, and reuse some of those parts to create something new. This is very popular, as it’s not only limited to creative uses, but it’s also a good way to get spare parts for a greater whole. Like a used seat for a car, or an almost new tire for your bicycle, that someone didn’t need anymore. Recycling is good for the environment and your wallet, as you reuse a product or material, instead of just trashing it.

Now let’s have a look at something else, that is sometimes mistaken for recycling; Upcycling!

The word actually speaks for itself. If you upcycle something, it’s usually a material used for something it wasn’t produced for. Let’s say you got that recycled tire for your bicycle, and you use it until it has too many holes to patch up. Now, you can either trash it, or upcycle it, as it’s useless to recycle. Upcycling it would mean, to create something entirely new with it, like a handbag (handbags made of old tires are insanely popular), although it wasn’t initially meant to be used as a material for that product. Did you know that making a hat using newspaper is also upcycling? Chances are, you’ve already upcycled something, but didn’t even know it. Just as recycling, upcycling is very good for the environment, as you create something new, instead of trashing what you can reuse.

On to the last, and probably least popular method; Downcycling!

As you might have already guessed just by reading the word itself, this is not a good thing to do. Downcycling means, that you have some perfectly new and fine material, and create something with it, that wasn’t necessary, or is of less value than the original material. I’m sure you know of the method to create your own paper, don’t you? Tiny pieces of paper mixed with water, and then dried up to create a new sheet of paper. That’s a nice thing to do, if the paper you used was recycled, but using five sheets of brand new paper, to create one sheet of paper with less value, is exactly what downcycling is. Spending perfect material, to create new material of less worth is hurting the environment, so don’t do it, if you would like to stay on good terms with the bear outside your window.

That should clear up the differences between the three methods, and hopefully it helped you understand them better. Recycling is always a fun and good thing to do, but let’s do it the right way, and don’t waste materials on something that is not worth it. Got useless scraps left from your projects? Make sure you throw them into the proper recycle bin, as that is also a way of helping nature, and letting the industry reuse their own material, like refill bottles and recycled paper.

Are you recycling? What experiences do you have with it? Share your thoughts on this matter, and help motivate and inspire other people to do something good for our world 🙂

Pulling apart, cleaning and re-using

The past few weeks, I’ve been buying a lot of jewelry materials on sale, which of course is fine. I save money, and get new pieces to play with, thus having the opportunity to create new jewelry. After receiving one of two packages I was waiting for yesterday though, I started thinking about my goals with this hobby, and it actually made me kind of sad. Originally, I wanted to recycle old jewelry, and only buy new materials when needed. I’ve gotten off my path, and although I will of course keep buying new beads and stuff, I also want to go back to my original idea!

So I grabbed my boxes containing old jewelry I’ve been buying in second hand shops and at flea markets, and started pulling them apart, trying to get a good idea of what I actually had to work with. It took me 3 hours to pull an old necklace apart, and clean every piece afterwards. But it was worth it! My fingers and arms hurt from pulling and cleaning, but the beads and metal pieces look almost like new, and I can use many of them in new projects.

Today, my other package came, which was mainly waxed cord in various colors, which I need anyway, no matter whether I buy new beads or not. But after being happy about my new stuff, I went back to my boxes of old bling. A lot of chains were repaired today, more pieces pulled apart, and of course everything has been cleaned. I also cleaned out some old and broken stuff, which I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to use. Cleaning up feels so good, and now I know exactly what I have lying around, and everything is sparkling and ready to use.

To be honest, I think my laziness was the main factor for getting off my path. It’s so easy to walk into a second hand shop, look at their old jewelry, and decide what can be used. But coming home, all tired from the day, not having the energy to pull apart and clean what has been bought, lead me to just put it in a box, and partly forget about it. It’s a pity though, as many of the pieces are prettier than what can be bought new, after spending some time repairing and cleaning them.

Back to the idea of recycling though. My main reason to do it is not because parts are cheaper to buy, as the time I spend disassembling, repairing and cleaning them kind of outweighs it. No, I simply want what nobody else can get, and thus create unique jewelry. That old necklace I pulled apart yesterday can’t be bought in the store anymore, and therefore the pieces are rare and exclusive. Everyone can go to the nearest hobby store and buy new materials, resulting in many people creating jewelry that looks similar. It’s true, just try looking around Etsy. Where is the fun in that?

I want to leave a fingerprint on my work though, something that shows the buyer, that this piece is unique, and that I put my heart into creating it. I spend a lot of time in second hand shops and on flea markets looking for the perfect pieces, as well as pulling apart, repairing and cleaning them. That’s what I like doing, and that’s what I want a potential customer to see in my work.

Recycling is also very good for the environment, but that’s something I’d like to write about next week, so keep an eye out for my next post, which will be about upcycling, recycling and downcycling in general 🙂