Saturday, June 20, 2009

Contest: WIN FREE Junk Mail Gems Magnets!

As promised, I am going to give you all a sneak peek at some of the many new products that I have in the works that I hope to soon add to my current recycled junk mail product line. But, what is even more exciting, is that YOU have a chance of winning a set of 10 colorful catalog magnets, OR a set of 10 security envelope magnets; your choice! I have 7 new product prototypes below (and probably 10 more in my head!), and need some help deciding which to start offering on my site first!

The Rules:
Here's how you can enter in two easy steps....

1) Help me decide which products to make available on my site first by leaving a comment on this post with your top 3 favorites in order of their favorite-ness! (#1 being most favorite, #2 being second favorite, etc)

2) Post a link to this contest on your own blog. If you do not have a blog, share it with your friends via email, Facebook, or wherever!

The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, July 3rd.

So, here is your sneak peek and the new product prototypes that you have to choose from to tell me your favorites!

The Prototypes:

1) Pencil Cup
This pencil cup is made entirely out of recycled junk mail catalog pages. The base is a sturdy piece of coiled paper and the sides have almost a leather like feel.

2) Coil Earrings

Created in reaction to some of my customers' requests at this year's Craftstravaganza, these coiled junk mail earrings are a perfect complement to my junk mail pendants and pins! They are coated in a high-gloss, clear resin.

3) Badge Holder
This stylin' badge holder is made out of the colorful recycled catalog beads that I also sell as necklaces, earrings, and separately as loose beads. But, now you can use them to display your badge at work in style!

4) Coil Bowl
This bowl is made entirely out of coiled junk mail, and covered in a clear, glossy finish. Certain to make a great conversation piece! Since these take a long time to make, they would likely be offered either as made-to-order, or I would display the current stock of actual bowls up for sale on my site.

5) Collage Bowl
This bowl has an underlying structure made of plaster, and is then covered with a collage of colorful junk mail catalog pages, and sealed with a clear, glossy finish.

6) Paper Weight
This awesome paper weight showcases a colorful catalog page behind a heavy crystal dome, magnifying the design while holding down your papers in style! The bottom is covered with a black velour pad. I would likely be displaying actual paperweights in stock on the site, so that you can snatch up the specific, one-of-a-kind pattern you like!

7) Keychain
These keychains are made with the same technique as my junk mail pendants and the coil earrings above, with a disc of coiled junk mail protected with a coating of high gloss, clear resin.

As you can see, I have my hands and head full of new ideas...please help me out and tell me what your favorites are! I'd love to know why as well, so feel free to elaborate! Thank you!! :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Possibilities for Recycled Chandeliers

After doing a little web surfing today on SuperUse and I've noticed just about anything can be turned into a cool chandelier. You may remember my recent post with a plastic trinket chandelier I saw on our trip to Paris. Well, if you liked that one, here are a few more cool ideas!

Check out this styrofoam chandelier:

Umbrella and LED chandelier:

Flashmob Chandelier:

Ballpoint pen chandelier:

Plastic debris "Tide Chandelier":

Banana box chandelier:

PET bottle "Cascade Chandelier:"

CD Jewel case chandelier:

Stainless steel sink drain filter chandelier:

Recycled glasses chandelier:

Craftzine has a couple cool recycled chandeliers here too.
Oh, and check out the neat party popper chandelier on Ecofriend, and this tail light chandelier at Apartment Therapy. It seems the chandelier possibilities are endless!

Friday, June 5, 2009

DIY Office Storage Solutions...Don't Waste your Money!

My postings have been a little sparse lately, due to the combination of a lot of freelance work right now, and a pretty major home remodel project we have going on. This remodeling, however, means that the Junk Mail Gems studio will soon be moving to the room next door, which means I will have more space. Wahoooo! It also means that this is a great opportunity for me to de-clutter and re-organize.

I have always been big on organization since I was little. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I go into a Container Store. However, rather than leaving their store with full shopping bags, these days I've been leaving the store with a lot more ideas to make things myself for a whole lot cheaper.

Take these storage canisters (above,left) for example. You can buy them for$3.99 to $6.99 a piece. OR, you can do what I have been doing in my office, and spray painting the lids of empty food jars with metallic paint, and getting the exact same look for pennies (above, right). Probably not even a penny...fractions of a penny. And I bet you can do it in less time than it takes you to go out and buy them. I don't understand why the same people who toss glass jars into the garbage or even recycle bin, would then turn around and pay for the exact same thing in a store!!

Here's another one. You can spend $8.00 on a piece of metal that you can stick magnets to:

Or, you can go to the hardware store, buy a piece of steel bar stock, and attach it to your wall yourself.

These wood veneer magnet boards are pretty cool looking. Bet you think you can't make this, eh? Think again!

Save the $25.00 and go get yourself a piece of steel from the hardware store, add some peel-n-stick woodgrain shelf liner in oak or pine, and you've got virtually the same thing. You can even try faux leather or granite! Looking for an even better deal that's even more green? Instead of buying a new sheet of steel from the hardware store, go to a local thrift store or yard sale and pick up a few cookie sheets! There's a great DIY cookie sheet message center project here. I've even seen rolls of left-over shelf liner at thrift stores and on Craigslist as well.

Don't forget to spruce up your magnet boards with some Junk Mail Gems recycled junk mail magnets, of course! Starting at just a buck a piece, you won't have to worry about emptying your wallet.

I am eager to get started on making my own personalized organization and storage solutions, once I am able to move into my new office. Once I do so, I'll be sure to post some instructions so you can try it too!
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What's going on in the world of Junk Mail Gems, along with other cool, hand-made "green" products, DIY projects, and more!