Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vinegar and Lemon Juice?

You may or may not know this, but 2009 is the year of green here at Elisa Shere Jewelry. I started hearing about other jewelrs using recycled metals, and finally have found a source. Even though it took a while to figure that part of it out, it really is the most important part since mining metals is devastating to the environment, and it's pretty easy to buy pre-recycled metals. The harder part is getting rid of some of the other nasty chemicals lurking about in my studio.

One of the things metalsmiths use when making their jewelry is a substance called "pickle". It's a yucky chemical that removes the dirt that collects on your metal after you've heated it. Some alternatives are citric acid and, as I found out today, vinegar and salt. I am currently using citric acid (which is really lemon) in my pickle pot and it works just fine. See, that wasn't so bad? And the earth is just a little bit happier!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Showers

Spring showers have begun here in Maryland. Yipee! It feels like forever since it's rained and although I don't miss the Pacific Northwest perpetual rain, I do enjoy the occasional rain shower. One of the reasons I love rain is so I can have an excuse to break out one of my fancy, girly umbrellas.

Imagine my joy when my monthly copy of Body + Soul Magazine arrived the other day and there was an entire feature on cute, Eco Umbrellas. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Look at this colorful and fun upcycled umbrella made from detergent containers and other packaging destined for the landfill. This site features lots of other upcycled goodies, not just umbrellas! By Monsoon Vermont.

This cute umbrella is made from recycled plastic bottles, as is the umbrella shown at the very top. Sophisticated and earth-frienldy! By Dayton from Radley out of the UK.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

I woke up to this lovely winter wonderland today! This picture shows my faithful companion, Louie, checking out the snow in front of the barn. This was taken just after I attempted to drive my husband to the metro, only to turn around after about a 1/2 mile of driving on treacherous roads. After we got back we were wondering what we were thinking? We've surrendered to the weather now and are all snuggled up in our cabin house.

This weekend was the ACC in Baltimore and I really enjoyed it. On Friday I volunteered at the Hello Craft booth. Hello Craft was interviewing folks that had purchased items and hearing their story about why handmade is important to them. The Hello Craft ladies, Kim, Kelly, and Sara are so smart and were a joy to talk to and spend time with.

Sunday I went back to the show and took it all in. There was so much to look at and so much talent, I am truly humbled. I even reconnected with my very first metalsmithing teacher and super talent, Amy Tavern. Other favorite artists include: Eric Silva, Arthur Hash, Rebound Designs and Pistol Stitched. It was great to see what all these amazing talents are doing. Overall, the ACC experience was fantastic.