recycled greetings

I saw this and wanted to share...
I know we're all really great at recycling,
but if you don't have the time or energy to recycle those holiday cards,
please send them to St. Jude's Ranch for Children.
Here's the post on Casa Sugar :

reserved for heyvicki


after holiday sales!!!

Here are a few Trashion sales to check out!

anyonesguess has bottle cap jewelry for 20% off!

SALE- Horse Lover Bottle Cap Earrings

ecokaren is having a clearance sale to make way for a new line in 2010!

Country Cottage Pillow Cover SALE

alexkeller and vintagebyalexkeller has sales in both shops!

SALE - royal chip - a necklace of recycled jewelry


Happy Holidays!

To those of you who are looking for that last bit to wrap with,
here is a great idea from Creature Comforts

Make merry everyone!


I'm dreaming of a green Christmas

Today's post was contributed by Emily of Candy Calamity.
please visit her here:

Part of my family’s holiday tradition is that at some point on Christmas morning, when we’re about halfway done opening presents, my dad will go get a big trash bag and we play a game trying to toss in all the torn up wrapping paper scraps strewn about. By the end of the day, between the paper, ribbon, bows, and all the packaging, it’s not uncommon to fill three big bags. The presents look lovely under the tree, but I have to wonder if it’s worth all the waste. This year, I’m making an effort to change things; I vow to avoid all commercial wrapping products.

One easy earth friendly wrapping method is to reuse bags and wrapping paper from gifts you have received previously, but assuming you didn’t plan ahead and start saving last year, or if all your friends and family are already in on the eco movement and didn’t use any here are some new ideas to try:

1. Brown paper packages
If it’s in The Sound of Music it must be true – brown paper packages tied up with string are a favorite of many people. In my example I used a paper shopping bag dragged out from the back of the closet and cut open, but any sturdy paper you can find will do.

A – The classic, if your good you don’t even need to use tape for this one (I needed a little)
B – Dress it up with a plastic bag pompom from this tutorial from Creature Comforts:
C – Attaching old fashion paper snowflakes can make your package look extra fancy.
D – Get out the paint/markers/crayons/anything and make your own wrapping paper. Try a simple repeating pattern, or make a holiday scene. Pro tip: decorate first and let everything dry before wrapping, otherwise you run the risk of your art bleeding through to the gift inside.

2. Make the wrapping part of the gift

E – The book lover in your life is not going to be fooled by the paperbacked shape lump under the tree anyway, might as well go on and use a nice ribbon bookmark to attach the tag
F – A small brooch or hair clip is a very useful substitution for a traditional bow.
G – A larger gift can be swaddled in a scarf. Here are some tips from someone whose example gift turned out much nicer than mine:

3. Running short on time?

A good last minute idea is to get a pretty reusable bag from a store the recipient shops at frequently, you know they’ll be able to put it to good use.

Thanks, Emily, for some great green gift wrapping ideas!
Visit Emily's sweet blog and her yummy shop

Little Yummies Magnet Set


TrashTalk vol.3

We're wrapping up the Trash Talk series for 2009 with an interview I did with Karen Lee of EcoKaren. She has a great shop which features eco-friendly gifts and accessories made from -you guessed it- recycled and repurposed materials!
Here's her take on the Trashion way of life...


sale! sale! sale!

The weekend after Thanksgiving is a big shopping weekend.
And a very big sale weekend!
Did you have a sale in your shop? How did it go?

small card stock tent style sales tags, 250 pieces, variety of tags, 1 inch x1 inch flat, sale, supplies, pos

Lots of team members had and are still having sales!
Support Trashion! Buy handmade!

10 Cards for 35 Bucks  Choose any 10 cards from my entire shop Birthday Xmas Anniversary Just Because


submitting your work

I received an email recently from a curated site with a request to submit my work.


I have tried submitting my work to a few sites in the past with some success.
Have you? How do you go about it?
I think it's similar to submitting your work to get coverage on a blog, don't you?
Some tips from design*sponge:
Find a blog that really fits you.


Briefly talk about yourself.

pull rank - a necklace of vintage and recycled jewelry

Make sure you have some really great photographs of your work.

Love Birds...a Brides Necklace

And some tips from Modish:
Approach the blogger casually, like you're meeting a new friend.

ROBOT Cowboys Handmade in Austin TEXAS from RECYCLED Bottlecaps

Address the blogger by name!

Say Something Book'marker

Make it easy for the blogger to write about you -
don't forget a link to your shop!

Set of Five Handmade Envelopes From Vintage Maps

If you haven't heard back, send a follow up. If you still don't hear back, move on.

Custom ring featuring spinning micro machine car with free international shipping

Where have you submitted your work?


TrashTalk vol.2

This month, TrashTalk catches up with recycled jewelry artist, Alex Keller. The pieces she creates are big on *bling* and long on *style*- Check out these recycled watchband bangles- BRILLIANT!

And read on for more about this gifted trashion artist...

How long have you been making trashion art and when and why did you start?
Officially, I started making trashion in the spring of '09, but I've always made things by recycling.

Did you grow up with a green family, or is recycling and reusing something you taught yourself to do?
My family was always green. I'm first generation Ukrainian, and both my parents are from Ukraine. They grew up with out much at all, so they were always very thrifty and creative. Mama made a lot of my clothes growing up, and I used the scraps to make clothes for my Barbie’s. Mama cooked and baked everything from scratch, we had a huge garden, she saved everything and reused anything that could be reused, from aluminum foil to zip close bags, to scraps of paper... she wouldn't even throw out slivers of soap.

Where do you find the materials that you plan on turning into trashion art?
Thrift stores, resale shops, vintage and antique shops, my dresser, my mom's dresser, garage sales, estate sales, and all donations are accepted :)

How did you or do you come up with your ideas?
I read a lot of fashion magazines, catalogs, and now I read a lot of blogs, look at on line shops, and get lost on Etsy. I think designers and artists are inspiring to one another. It pushes me to be more creative, but at the same time I try to stay with my aesthetic.

Why is it important for you to continue on this artistic path with trashion art?
I just don't think that by buying new beads and gemstones I'd be as inventive! Besides, there is SO much material to work with - I'm amazed at what I find.

How do you feel the community has taken to your art?
I have had great feedback from some of my customers, fashionistas, as well as some fellow Etsy artists.

What draws you to a particular found object?
I tend to go in cycles - first it was beads, then pearls, rhinestones, and chains. I collected a number of brooches, but I've been back to working more with chains and pearls.

Do you know right off how you will use your found materials, or does the inspiration come later?
Many times the inspiration comes later. Sometimes, I just get something because I like it. Trouble is, sometimes I keep it!

What new projects are you working on? Is there an idea you have that you'd like to share?
My latest project is an architectural series with vintage drawer pulls and chandelier crystals. I'm really loving it, and hope it goes well.
And I've also been meaning to put together a jewelry organizer with some spools I got from Miss Courageous. As soon as that's done, I'll post some pictures on Facebook!

Thanks Alex, it's been nice talkin' trash with you!


you are your own publicist

Let's face it. We don't have the big bucks to pay a publicist, so we are it.
According to Meg Mateo Ilasco, "You should spend at least a couple of hours each week working on your publicity outreach." Craft, Inc. Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business
The first step is to determine to whom do you reach?

Recycled road map pin - Istanbul was once Constantinople - Turkey

You could start locally with your local papers and magazines.
Pick those that speak to your target market.
Contact editors, send press kits ...

CLEARANCE Upcycled Paris Calendar Cards

But the easiest and best way to be your own publicist is to sell yourself.
Did you have lunch with a friend? Did you give him or her a business card?
Did you have a dentist appointment yesterday? Did you tell your hygienist about your work?
Did you chat with another mom or dad when picking up the kids at school?
Did you mention that you have your own business?
Did you go out to dinner last night? Were you pleasant with your server?

vintage Set of 4 coffee mugs 1960 - multicolored - Marketplace design Made in Japan

Do you wear your product? Use it publicly?

Pink Butterfly Mini Poppy Hair Pin

You have to remember that you live in a fishbowl:
everything you say and do wherever you are reflects on your business,
whether it is online in forums, on social sites, or blogs,
or whether it is your daily contact with people in your everyday life.

Dandee Clever Card- 30 Rock Tracy Jordan Quote-Buy 3 Get 1 Free

You never know ... your server's mom or dad could be the curator of a gallery.
Your child's friend's mom at the playground could be a magazine editor.
Your hygienist might be married to a radio personality.
Your friend might know someone who writes for the local paper.

Recycled Newspaper Bracelet

And one of my favorite quotes from Glengarry Glen Ross
"A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing."



pub·lic·i·ty : a : an act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically : information with news value issued as a means of gaining public attention or support b : the dissemination of information or promotional materials c : paid advertising d : public attention or acclaim

When I think of publicity, I think of FREE!
big news note card

"Publicity is different from advertising because it entails capturing the media's interest in your business. Very often the best way to accomplish this is by being aggressively bold." Martha Stewart, The Martha Rules
Say Something Book'marker

"Plan to use more public relations campaigns than advertising, since they have the advantage of giving your business credibility while being nearly free." Meg Mateo Ilasco, Craft Inc. Business Planner

Craft -- Collage pendant necklace -- Rabbit rescue donation

"Publicity is a good strategy when you're long on time and short one money." Meg Mateo Ilasco, Craft Inc. Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business

Frosted Cobalt Blue Vintage Bead Dangles

"Getting press mentions is ... about raising your company's profile and brand awareness. A press mention is essentially a stamp of approval from an esteemed source." Meg Mateo Ilasco, Craft Inc. Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business

Vintage Forget-Me-Not Card File

Next week, more on being your own publicist!



On my last post about advertising, Green Works mentioned branding.
brand·ing : the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand

"By creating an identity or image, you are communicating a message about your company; this is often called branding." Meg Mateo Ilasco, Craft Inc. Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business

Lillipops Designs

"Your brand is an idea." Are you carefree and fun?

Or are you more classic and traditional?

When you create your brand, you want it to represent you, your products and your shop.
Try to be consistent: your colors, your logo, your banner, your blog, your packaging, your business cards and stationary.

You want to establish an identity and make it easy for your customers to recognize you.
Lake Erie Beach Glass
Jodie of Lake Erie Beach Glass does this very well!
You can find her on various sites - Etsy, Art Fire, 1000 Markets, Ebay, MySpace, blogspot -
and she uses the same branding on every one of those sites!

What's your brand?
(click on the banners and avatars to go to each shop!)


TrashTalk vol.1

Starting off my TrashTalk series is an interview with perfumer and budding trashion artist Diana Rajchel of Magickal Realism.
Primarily a designer of perfumed potions, Diana is currently working to expand her line of 'trashion' offerings to include decoupaged bottles and diffusers, as well as one-of-a-kind gift/shipping boxes- all recycled and repurposed, of course!
Here's what I was curious about...

*Did you grow up with a green family, or is recycling and reusing something you taught yourself to do?
Not exactly. I grew up with a pseudo-green family. We would go spend time in nature, and my mother would repurpose some things out of frugality. We did grow our own food some years, and other years we didn't. Since there was no recycling and no mass transit where I grew up (Crown Point, Indiana) it was all a bit haphazard. We were certainly concerned about air pollution but we just had no options except to keep driving and keep polluting.
*Where do you find the materials that you plan on turning into trashion art?
Just from the things I bring in my home every day. Product boxes (like cereal, mac and cheese) get repurposed and reinforced for shipping. Bottles, like worcestershire or wine, get decoupaged. My flagship trashion is incense paper I make by converting my junk mail into something pretty-smelling. Even among my perfumery goods I'm trying to make it so every single bottle and box sees at least one reuse before it leaves my studio.
*How did you or do you come up with your ideas?
I think that's one of the  great unanswerable questions in the arts. My process is "hmm, I have this object. What can I do with it?" I let that cook for awhile. Sometimes I literally dream the solution.
*Why is it important for you to continue on this artistic path with trashion art?
The world's resources are drying up rather rapidly, and as a perfume designer I have to contend with extinction and related disasters on a daily basis, too. While papering boxes with old stuff won't solve the world's problems, it will slow them down, and trashion causes us to look at and rethink the everyday objects around us and gets us to pause, reconsider, and recreate instead of going out and just buying something brand new that puts further strain on the world.
*How do you feel the community has taken to your art?
When it comes to the trashion fragrances themselves, I think some people don't quite get them - a lot of "perfume snobs" are so conditioned to the scent and behavior of synthetics that they don't see that I'm not just doing all my perfumes up with the chemicals I use in trashion. I think the other things I create - the vials and bottles and especially the incense paper - are easier to understand because you can physically see what the objects used to be before they were repurposed.
*What draws you to a particular found object?
Its presence in my studio, mostly. How much space it takes up, whether it's washable, and in the case of bottles glass color can really catch my attention. I love blue and red glass.
*Do you know right off how you will use your found materials, or does the inspiration come later?
Sometimes I know right away. In the case of perfume vials, they can hold liquid. So that's all they're going to do before and after I work with them. In other cases, an object may sit for awhile while I puzzle at it - especially stacks of old magazines. I've started exploring shredding them and making paper, but the reward of that type of work is very small and frustrating so I may leave that to other dedicated paper makers.
*How long have you been making trashion art and when and why did you start?
I got started a few weeks after I joined Etsy. I was around when someone brought up starting a trashion team, and I was looking for new arts to explore to make my perfumery different from the others already dotting the landscape. It's become somewhat more of a passion for me since, as I've found new and creative ways to repurpose the items that pass through my hands. I've certainly started doing more with trashion in my home decor, hopefully I'll get a few things up to show on my own blog soon!
*What new projects are you working on? Is there an idea you have that you'd like to develop on in the future?
I am preparing a line of decoupaged diffusers using items that are from my daily flotsam (sewing notions, magazine pages, etc.) I'm also arranging for "trashion packs" that have a variety of samplers to go out. I may also soon have my answer to requests for scratch'n'sniff (I'm being mysterious on purpose) but it's a fairly time consuming project so that day is a ways off yet!

Thanks Diana, it's been nice talkin' trash with you!

To find out more about Diana and Magickal Realism visit:


trash talk

So who are those amazing trash-defying craftsters who make up the Etsy Trashion Team???
Find out right here! Starting next week, I'll be posting an interview with a different Trashion Team member each month. Get a glimpse into the trashion artists' world- their inspiration, insight and ingenuity- complete with photos!
WARNING: contents may be trashy :)



ad·ver·tis·ing: the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements

If you are on the Etsy Trashion Team, you know the rikrak studio and Kristal.
I placed my first ad on her blog. (she even designed it for me!)

Advertising is necessary for promoting your product.

The how and where are important to determine to get the most out of your ad.

Advertising should make you want to look, shop and buy!

How you determine where to advertise should be based on
your product, your message, your customer, and your budget.

Tweet Tweet Upcycled gift card bracelet

Where do you advertise?