Accessorize Like a Green Egyptian

It’s no longer a hazy shade of winter for most of us. When spring rears her beautiful head, I get the urge to clean and shop. Shedding the long sleeves reminds me that I have wrists, and should put something pretty on them too.

Luckily, some clever crafters on Etsy are using widely discarded materials to make unique bangles!…

Garbage of Eden meets the challenge of turning plastic bags into something truly stunning. By tightly twisting and wrapping them around a base, colors are emphasized, and branding diminishes. Also, be sure to check out the brilliant chokers in this shop made out of bags from loafs of bread.

Courtney Watson twists old telephone wire into bracelets and earrings. I happen to own several of her pieces, and can vouch that they are “adurable”. That’s my new word for cute stuff that takes a beating. As a barista, I’m periodically elbow deep in a sink full of coffee mugs. It’s nice not having to worry about removing my jewelry.

Upcycled bling is perfect for both manic Mondays and I-don’t-have-to-run days.
I suspect Susanna Hoffs would concur.

Written by Autumn Wiggins

This 2008 interview pretty much sums it up:

1. How would you describe yourself?
An oddly situated performer of thought experiments

2. Do you have any anecdotes about your work (how you got started, frustrating moments, or funny stories)?
At this year's Maker Faire in San Mateo, I gave a presentation on how the trend of green crafting can ultimately address the problem of consumption and waste. Dale Dougherty,the publisher of Make and Craft, later had a gift delivered to me, a staple bound book of poetry: Music Like Dirt by Frank Bidart. This is the last thing one would expect to take home from an event so focused on renegade technology. To my surprise, it was an existential reflection on the human need to make things that I now find myself going back to whenever I need some inspiration to look beyond the materials and processes of crafting.

3. What kinds of things do you do for fun?
In my spare time I enjoy amateur astronomy, outdoor adventures, collecting domain names, and hanging out at coffee shops.

4. What interesting projects are you working on right now?
I'm working to organize community involvement in upcycling, and have a few top-secret website projects up my sleeves!

5. Where do you live? Kids, pets, spouse, occupation?
O'Fallon, IL, a suburb (and I mean a totally typical suburb) of St. Louis, MO. Rather than moving to the more culture friendly urban environment, I am staying put and annoying the heck out of Wal-Mart by throwing a massive indie craft show(Strange Folk) in their backyard. I have a husband, Doug, and two sons: a 7 year old mad scientist named Jack, and 6 year old Max, who we think is an aspiring tattoo artist since he's so fond of drawing all over himself with markers. To pay the bills, I do freelance writing, mural painting, and website design, sell my handmade crafts, teach art classes for kids, and work part -time at a local coffee shop.

6. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently?
The concept known as "Cradle-to-Cradle" is a blueprint for sustainability that states everything we manufacture should be either biodegrable, infinitely recyclable, or intended to be upcycled. This is the basis for many of my ideas of how the crafting community can be more widely involved in solving the environmental crisis.

7. What is your favorite food/color/tool?
granola/green/sewing machine!


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