This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Nancy of
Anyone's Guess from Forest Park, IL.
Who is Anyone's Guess?
I upcycle a variety of materials into creatively designed,
fun to wear jewelry.
What’s the first thing you remember making?
When I was in grade school, I made some stuffed animals for my
brother and myself from printed fabric patterns that I cut out,
sewed, and stuffed with old nylon stockings. That was also my first
use of recycled/upcycled material. I still have the stuffed horse I made.
Why work with recycled materials?
I inherited the recycling gene from my parents, who grew up during the Depression and taught me the value of thrift and re-use. As an adult, I became concerned about being a good steward of the earth’s resources. I also love the surprise of the unexpected- wearing trash. This is why I like using things that are still recognizable as trash, even though they have been transformed. It's a metaphor for life and reflects my belief - and my own experience - that God can transform
even our worst experiences.
Where do you work?
I work in a spare bedroom - a.k.a. 'the junk room' - for more reasons than one! I am always accumulating more "raw material," and have a hard time keeping up with organizing and storing everything.
How do you get from A to Z?
I start with something discarded and begin playing around. My workspace is usually pretty messy, so I'll see something lying out in the open and get an idea about how to use it, or what things might work together. Just sifting through things generates more ideas.
What are your favorite tools?
My chain nose pliers. I have them in my hands at one time or
another every time I work.
What music do you listen to while you’re working?
I prefer quiet; background music distracts me.
What are the best things you’ve purchased on etsy
and where did you find them?
"Trashion" bookmarker from naturemadescents
recycled record earrings from misscourageous
a bottle cap horse from embarkingdog (my favorite)
and my newest purchase, a recycled T-shirt scarf from ragsbysockmonkey
Read any good books lately?
Son of Hamas by Mosab Yousef; The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin;
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon; The Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis
Been to any great exhibits?
I enjoyed touring the American Precision Museum in Vermont
this summer. It's full of interesting early machine tools.
Who inspires you?
My grandmother. She had elocution lessons as a young girl and gave a recital. She talked about the fuss people made over her after her recital, but she never let it change her. At the age of 92 she performed a poem from memory that she had done over 70 years earlier. I hope I have that kind of energy and recall at 92!
What do you do for fun?
Read, sing with our church praise team, and of course, make jewelry!
Besides Etsy, where can we find you work?
I recently starting posting photos on Flickr, and I do a Christmas
show locally at Pleasant Home (house museum) in Oak Park, IL.
How do you promote your work?
Some of my pull tab earrings appeared in the August 2010 issue of
Greencraft Magazine. I also get some business from wearing my
work. I've found being part of the Etsy Trashion team a big help;
participating in our combined Earth Day sale helped me reach new
customers, and I'm currently participating in the Trashion team
promo. I'm also considering expanding my use of social media.
Have any words of wisdom?
Do what you love, do it wholeheartedly, and don't quit.
What’s in your future?
I'll continue to use a variety of upcycled materials in my work,
always looking for innovative ways to transform my trash into
someone else's treasure.