Archive for the ‘Recycled’ Category

Charmed Bracelets And Necklaces For Mother’s Day

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

When I was (much) younger and asked my Mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day, she always replied “a hug and nice children”. Easy to give and I was happy to do so, but of course she deserved more than that. Even at a young age, I realized that being a Mom is not an easy job, and I was always looking for something special that would surprise and delight her. Sadly, my Mom is not with us anymore, but I still send her a (mental) hug on Mother’s Day.

For those who are lucky enough to still have their Mothers around, here are some recent finds that I think any Mom would love to receive:

Art-Charms

Who doesn’t love kids’ drawings and paintings? They are so creative and honest. I have one on the fridge that my best friend’s daughter did of me and my dog 4 years ago and it still makes me smile every time I see it. Cleveland-based company Art-Charms, founded by goldsmith Chad Verhoff, make adorable charms, pendants and cuff links from your child’s drawings (using only recycled precious metals). They come in circle, oval, heart or square shapes with the drawing engraved into the charm. I love the idea, and the final results really do look like the original drawing.

Photos: Art-Charms

Cut-out Art Charms

Swedish-born goldsmith Mia van Beek started her company Formia Design in Stockholm in 2001, but fate and love brought her to the US, and since 2004, she operates her business out of Virginia. Mia also creates jewelry from children’s’ art, but with a different look. Her charms, earrings, brooches, pendants, bookmarks and key chains come in gold and silver, and instead of being engraved into the pieces, they are cut out of the metal. The idea for the art jewelry came to her when she was trying to think of a personalized gift for her 3-year old daughter’s pre-school teacher. Her daughter drew a scribble, called it earrings, and that’s exactly what Mia turned her daughter’s drawing into.

Photos: Formia Design

Charmed Necklaces

Zoe, founder and owner of Three Sisters Jewelry Design, used to be an attorney, but a series of life-changing events made her change course. She opened a photography studio in one of my favorite places on earth – Solana Beach, CA – and also started taking metal smith classes. Eventually, Three Sisters Jewelry (named after her three daughters) was born, and today, she creates a large variety of hand-stamped silver and gold charm bracelets and necklaces. My sister-in-law has a charm necklace from Three Sisters, the “gigi’s jewelry box”, which has a locket with the silhouette of her daughter and two hand-stamped charms with initials. It is absolutely adorable, and my niece loves opening the locket to look at her own profile.

Photos: Three Sisters Jewelry Design

Recycled Charms

Retired TV and movie costumer Suz of Polkadot Magpie turns metal scraps from her custom knife maker husband’s workshop into these adorable personalized hand stamped charms and pendants. They come in several different shapes: hearts, cats, stars, birds, bunnies, etc. The bunny charms have a very special story: Suz worked on the set of Crash with the late Dennis Hopper (whom she called “The Bunny”) and when he told her that his illness had taken a turn for the worse, she created these charms to help raise funds for ACS (and still donates the profits from the bunny charms to them).

Photos: Polkadot Magpie

Fingerprint Charms

Therese and Sandra, the two artists (and Moms) behind London-based company Joulberry create these darling silver fingerprint charms and pendants. When you place an order, you first receive a print kit so that you can take an impression. The charm is then created from the print, and can also be engraved on the front and/or back with your child’s name, birth date, or any other message you would like.

Photos: Joulberry

Also check out the baby teeth charms on the Unusual Charm Bracelet Charms post, and don’t miss my post about Men Gifts for Father’s Day

How To Make Paper Beads

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

It’s really kind of crazy how many catalogs we get in the mail, especially this time of year. I like leafing through many of them, but pretty and inspirational as they are, I don’t really need 30 Pottery Barn or Sundance catalogs in one year.

Every time I put a pile of them in the recycling, I used to think to myself: there must be something I could do with these instead of just throwing them out. And there is! There are tons of paper crafts and DIY projects you can use them for, and one of my favorites is making paper beads. (more…)

Costume Jewelry Made From Recycled Materials

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Costume jewelry can be so many things; expensive designer as well as very affordable “no-name” pieces. Most often when we hear the term “costume jewelry”, we think of classic designer pieces from the 1920s to 1970s – Chanel, Miriam Haskell, Trifari, etc.

But it can also be new pieces – Merriam Webster defines costume jewellery as “jewelry designed for wear with current fashions and usually made of inexpensive materials“. And what could be more inexpensive than recycled items?

We are all trying to be good about recycling, re-using and upcycling these days, and some designers have taken this to new levels. All this creativity so inspiring! You’ll see that pretty much anything can be turned into wearable art, and once you’re done reading this article, take a look around your house – you will probably find plenty of potential jewelry supplies that you may not have noticed before.

I’m straying a bit here – these are not all charms or charm bracelets, but I just could not resist sharing them. Here are some of my favorite recent discoveries:

Postage
Chicago artist Betsy Treacy creates necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets from colorful vintage postage stamps from all over the world. Each piece is handmade and unique; no two are identical, and they make for great conversation pieces and gifts (how about a pendant made from a Norwegian stamp for your friend from Oslo?)

Photos: Betsy Treacy/Foxglove Accessories

Spoons
The husband and wife artist team behind The Cottage Path Boutique make beautiful bracelets from old silverplate spoons. The spoons are cut and shaped into two halves, and then connected with chain and rings. Some have charms, some don’t. They also make gorgeous pendants, earrings and key rings – all from old spoons.

Photos: The Cottage Path Boutique

Typewriter Keys
Michigan-based Joy of Joy’s Jewels turns old typewriter keys (as well as old cash register and pay phone keys) into bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, watch bands and cufflinks. Sometimes the bracelets spell out something, sometimes not. My favorites are (of course) the bracelets with one single key charm – so cute!

Photos: Joy’s Jewels

Coins
Coins have been used as charms for quite a long time. In the 1800s they were often used as romantic gifts or souvenirs and were known as “love tokens”. People would sand one side down and then carve a name or a message into it. Artisan Jessie Driscoll is taking this old tradition to new fabulous heights. Using vintage US coins, she sands one side, create designs by hammering and forging, and shapes the coin into a dome. Some are used “as is”, and on the altered pieces, you will see the original coin on the back. She creates charm bracelets (both loaded and with just one charm), bracelets without charms, necklaces, earrings, pendants, and key rings. I think they’re beautiful, and I’m not alone – her jewelry has been picked up by celebrities like Fergie, Liz Phair, Donna Karan and Avril Lavigne.

Photos: Jessie Driscoll

Plastic Bottles
These stunning pieces by award-winning Turkish architect Gülnur Özdaglar are made from recycled PET bottles. Gülnur started making jewelry (and home decor items) from PET bottles in 2008, and her aim was to create beautiful objects from discarded products, thereby encouraging others to do the same. If I could create things like these from my old bottles, I’d be thrilled!

Photos: Gülnur Özdaglar