Monday, March 30, 2009

Zoe Cotlenko's Zipper Jewelry

Hey everyone! I just got back from an 11 day family vacation in Paris and London, so that's why you haven't heard from me in a while. But, the good thing is, I will have a couple fun things to post here from my trip.

Today I want to share a fun souvenir I purchased in one of the stores underneath the Louvre. It is a cool little bracelet made out of zippers, which was packaged in a charming little drawstring pouch:

I tried to find a website for the designer, Zoe Cotlenka, however most of the links I find take me to a site that asks for a password to enter. If anyone out there has a link to her direct site, pleas share! I did find this site though which sells more of her work. There are some more very cool pieces made out of zippers, both strung like mine and encased in resin. Check 'em out! I don't know that they are made from recycled zippers, but this is something that could be fun to make out of zippers from old clothing, purses, etc!

Friday, March 6, 2009

New Special Edition Jewelry Supports Cancer Research & Charities

If you are currently a subscriber of the Junk Mail Gems e-newsletter then you've already heard about the latest new products. But, I thought I'd post about them today for everyone else! I now have some new special edition jewelry on for the story behind these special beads!

In the summer of 2008 my dad was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. After many tough rounds of chemo, we are happy to announce he is in remission! So what does this have to do with junk mail? Read on!

As you know, I make hand rolled beads, pendants, and magnets out of my recycled security envelopes. I get tons and tons of blue and black patterns in my junk mail, but rarely receive red. I’ve told my family who like to collect envelopes from their mail for me that I have more than enough blue and black, but if they ever come across red, I’ll take ‘em!

Since my Dad’s cancer journey began, naturally my parents have been flooded with mail from their medical insurance company...all arriving in red-patterned security envelopes. I did not want to just mix these in with my regular selection, since I consider these red envelopes to be special. Besides being a rare occurrence in my own mail, they are a reminder of how much my dad and mom have been through this past year. So, what to do? The answer came to me almost instantly!

I have decided to create some new red beads and necklaces, and to donate a portion of the proceeds from these items to two very important charities.

If you know someone who’s gone through hard medical times, you may have heard of They provide free web space for people going through life threatening illnesses, enabling them to post journal entries & photos, and receive messages from family and friends in their online “guest book.” My dad’s CaringBridge site has been a great support, not only for family and friends to keep up on his progress, but for all of his loved ones to channel their support through their loving guest book messages. For this reason, $5.00 of every red paper bead necklace purchase will be donated to CaringBridge.

For every red envelope glass pendant necklace sold, Junk Mail Gems will donate $5.00 to the important work of The American Cancer Society.

Thank you for helping support not only the environment and small business-owning Mommies, but also these very worthwhile causes!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Urban Alchemy: Tranforming Recycled Materials into Custom Couture!

Wow, it's been way too long since I've posted! My design business has been pretty busy this past month with several projects that have taken up most of my time, not to mention a sick child, and the fact that I've been frantically trying to brush up on my French in time for our upcoming trip to Paris! Anyway, enough of my excuses...let's get to the good stuff!!

I'd like to introduce you all to a friend who, like myself, has recently left her gig at the same corporate office I was at to enter "momtrepreneurialhood!"

Alicia is her name and Urban Alchemy is her new game...check out her site full of really cool and original fashions, hand crafted from recycled and other natural material, right here in sunny Minnesota! Download her catalogue here, where you can literally build your own piece and have it hand made by Alicia, incorporating your own recycled materials if you choose. What better way to give your old, worn, favorite t-shirts a hot, new second life?!

It may have taken an appendectomy to finally convince her to follow her true passion, but nonetheless, she has bravely made the leap and I wish her great success! Check out more of her great work on her website here, or you can visit her new shop on Etsy, here!

Okay, better get back to rolling my security envelope beads while my little sidekick is still napping...I'm working on some new colors! Watch out blue and and green are comin' to town! Stay tuned for updates on the new beads and jewelry coming soon!
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