July 29, 2012

Sustainable Sundays: new shops

Happy Sunday! I have searched our team's discussion board, Etsy treasuries, and our social networks, to bring you some amazing upcycled items to start the week.

July has been a great month.  Our shops are busy, the discussion board was hopping, and we've had more new shops join the team.

This week's Sustainable Sundays picks are for the July new Upcyclers members that have joined and introduced themselves on our threads.

With a growing team membership of over 2,200 upcycled Etsy shops, we are a great source for eco-friendly, handmade shopping. Use the red & white SHOP Now feature on our front page, or just search the tag teamupcyclers on Etsy!

Have a great Sunday and be sure to make it a sustainable one!

Thanks, Bee

July 28, 2012

Love 2 DIY on the Weekend~ More Summer Projects!

We're in the middle of Summer and it's a hot one~ Make the best of it with some fun projects you can make over the weekend!

Hanging Herb Garden

Fish Lights made from Bottles

Nautical Upcycling

Upcycle Your Summer Seashells

Fabulously Funky Footwear!

More Upcycled Bottles

Upcycled Art for Your Walls from Apartment Therapy

So there you go~ a handful of projects you can do this weekend!

;) Cat

July 23, 2012

'Upcycling' Water?

This might sound like a ludicrous notion, but in reality all water is 'upcycled' or recycled. It all goes back to the three part system I learned in grade school. Water is always in one part of the water cycle or the other, it is either part of a body of water on the ground, evaporating/ed and floating above our heads as clouds, or falling to the ground as a type as precipitation.

This is not quite as complicated. Here I am speaking only about reusing rainwater on a small scale. Rainwater can be collected and redistributed to your garden very simply. Instead of letting rainwater run from the gutters into the street and into the city storm water system, it can be gathered in rain barrels and used when most needed. 

Here are some places for learning about how to make your own rain barrels:

As you can see from the plans a spout is attached to the base to attach a hose and make watering easy.

Another fun water use for the garden:

A bird bath!

Happy Gardening!


July 22, 2012

Sustainable Sundays: Back to School

Happy Sunday! I have searched our team's discussion boards, shops, and social networks! Here is this week's Sustainable Sundays picks!

You send your child to the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys who educate him.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Within the month students will be heading back to school. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about back to school items. There is still time to take advantage of worry free shipping and summer sales. 

Check out these upcycled back to school items:

made from reclaimed bike tubes and vinyl

made from vintage bed linens

made from vintage fabric, a vintage tie and a vintage button

and you can get in good with the new teacher by giving her these...

made from upcycled bottle caps

Enjoy your Sunday and be sure to make it a sustainable one!

Thanks, Bee
The Wooden Bee

July 20, 2012

Christmas in July: Etsy Sale

The annual Christmas in July event has been underway all month. This is a great time for shoppers to get a jump start on their holiday gift list and SAVE! 

The official Etsy sale dates are July 12th - July 22nd.  Soooo, that means this is your last weekend to save on beautiful handmade items!!!  Each shop has set its own dates though, and many are having sales until the end of the month.

Snooping around our Team Upcyclers Threads, I found an array of discounts and promotions going on this month! :)

Here's a handful of stocking stuffer ideas from Upcyclers shops having great sales this week:

from Katiedid - Upcyled gifts for foodies and kitchenistas
Enter coupon code: SILLYSUMMERSALE at the check out for 25% off your entire purchase! Hurry sale ends Saturday July 21st!!!

Stocking Stuffer: Grow Necklace
from Madame Mummy's Attic - Steampunk, Industrial, Vintage, Punk & More
Enter coupon code: 7XMAS2012 for 10% off your order!

Stocking Stuffer: Mod Flowers Upcycled Earrings
from Design Renathe Schneider - resign jewelry
Entire shop has been discounted for this sale!
July 12th - July 22nd only.

Stocking Stuffer: "Tie One On Drink or Beer Holder
from Our Children's Earth - handmade treasures that are recycled, up-cycled, reused, and repurposed.
Enter coupon code at checkout:
CHRISTMASINJULY for 10% off your entire order!

Stocking Stuffer: Wine Cork Magnets 
WIN these corks from The Wooden Bee - ecofriendly home decor and DIY crafts 
Along with offering a coupon, you can win over $150 in handmade giveaways.
Enter coupon code at checkout:
DaytonaEtsy10 for 10% off your entire order! Offer ends July 22nd.

Stocking Stuffer: Scrabble Tile Earrings
from k5art - upcycled creations
Entire shop has been reduced by 20% July 11th - July 22nd only.
Plus, every order placed during the sale will receive a FREE GIFT!

Stocking Stuffer: Recycled Paper Christmas Card
from Elodie's Shop - handmade paper greeting cards 
LARGE Discounted Christmas in July section of shop!

Stocking Stuffer: Peace Ornament
from Sweet Someday - repurposed treasures
25% off everything in their CIJ shop section!
No coupon needed. Offer ends July 31st.

And now you need an upcycled stocking for those stuffers right?!
from GroovyGarbage - cool recycled goods
Discounts in the Christmas in July section of their shop until July 23rd.

You can also search Etsy with the words: teamupcyclers Christmas in July or CIJ, and CIJ Sale for more savings!!!

Avoid the rush and start the eco-friendly holiday shopping today!

Thanks, Bee
The Wooden Bee

July 19, 2012

Team Upcyclers: How to Use our Team

Hello Upcyclers! I thought I would write a series of posts on how to utilize the benefits of being on Team Upcyclers. Our Etsy team is an easy going group of shops that love to upcycle.  With a fast growing team of over 2,100 shops I thought a series detailing how to use the team for networking, creating, and promoting would be helpful to our new members and a great reminder for our seasoned members as well.

So let’s get started this week with…

Team Tags, Team Treasuries, and Team Threads

The Team Tag: teamupcyclers

Etsy allows you 13 tags on your listings. If you decide to make one of your tags “teamupcyclers” your listing will be promoted in the following ways:

  • listings will show up in the Shop Now! section of our blog
  • listings show up in searches on Etsy when making team treasuries
  • listings show up in searches on Etsy when our blog writers are writing articles and looking to feature listings. 
It also gives your listings the opportunity to be found with other team opportunities, like team leaders searching for team challenge entries, and by fellow shops wanting to shop their own team.

Some Etsy shops use a team's logo for a visual team tag. Brizel Supplies uses the team logo in one of our her five listing photos. Not only does it show she's part of our upcycled team, but it furthers the message the her buttons are vintage and her shop is eco-friendly.

The Team Treasury Tag: teamupcyclers

Etsy allows you 18 tags when you create a treasury. It is important to use all of your tags in a treasury, just like a listing.  Tags are ways people will search and find your treasuries.  Team leaders use treasury tag searches to feature team treasuries on our facebook and twitter accounts. Treasuries are also used to pin your creations to Pinterest. All of which will be discussed in the next post on team social networking.  The important thing is if you’re going to take the time to create a team treasury, please include the tag: teamupcyclers  

Team Treasuries are a great way to get to know the people you work with on Etsy. They are also a great way to promote your own shop by promoting others, and a great way for the team to share upcycling!

Tips for Making Team Treasuries:

  • Not all team shops use their precious listing tags for a team tags, so be sure to check and use our member directory and our New Member Introductions thread to curate fresh team collections.
  • Shops don't have to share their team memberships on their Etsy profile either, so that's another reason to visit the member directory. We are a larger Etsy team, so our directory has over 2100+ shops that can be viewed alphbetically or by last updated. Therefore it is much easier for our shops to show their team membership on their profiles.  (I would love for Etsy to create an easier way to sort our members list).
  • Create themed collections but don't get carried away. For example, you could curate a treasury by color, season, or occasion, but don't create a collection with all the same type of item. Etsy picks a treasury to be featured every hour on it's front page. They usually don't pick a treasury with 16 dresses, but they will pick be a wedding themed collection with a dress or two in it.
  • Check trending Etsy treasury tags and include some of them in your treasury.
  • Select clear photos with similar background colors.
  • Convo the 16 shops that you featured in your team treasury.  Etsy's activity feed will let shops know when items are featured, if they are online. A quick copy and pasted email to all featured parties will help ensure your treasury is seen and promoted!

Here's a recent Team Upcyclers treasury, found by searching our team tag: teamupcyclers!

'Summer Squeeze' by artagain

Get your summer on, with TeamUpcyclers

Upcycled Recycled /...
Summer Squeeze Sket...
Funky upcycled butt...
Eco Chic Duo Mandal...
Half Dozen Cedar wo...
License Plate Star ...
Recycled T Shirt Ta...
Set of 4 wine bottl...
Little Dear - Upcyc...
Recycled Metal Barb...
Beer Bottle Earring...
Magnet Wood Set of ...
Woman on Beach Vint...
recycled jewelry - ...
Recycled / Upcycled...
Hippie Bracelets, H...

There are many resources online for help with treasuries, including our tool box. And of course a great place to get advice is our Team Discussion Threads.

Team Discussion Threads

What is a thread? A message posted to a webpage where other team members can read it. You can select whether your message is public or private before you hit submit.  Private means only Team Upcyclers shops can view your message, public means Etsy and the entire online community can view it. Here's a simple article on creating a thread on any Etsy forum. Upcyclers Discussion Board,  Upcyclers Discussion Threads, Team Upcyclers Forum, all mean the same thing. They are just a place for us to communicate.

How does our forum benefit your shop? Our Disucssion threads are a place to share, promote, and ask questions. We try to inspire creativity, encourage shops, and discuss Etsy's marketplace on our forum.

With an active team sometimes the discussion board can look a little overwhelming. Just take a deep breath and look at it for a minute.  Our active threads are listed by month to help keep things concise and to the point.
New Listings
Blog Posts
Sales & Giveaways
Creativity Challenge
Team Treasuries
are all threads that can be found label with the current month in their title.

The Creativity Challenge is a fun monthly challenge to inspire upcycled creativity. One Upcyclers shop picks an upcycled medium, and then shops have the opportunity to submit upcycled creations using each months medium. We also like to have fun with thread games like our ABC game thread and your favorite item from shop above thread.

Other Important Threads to Look for:
New Member Introductions
Main Thread Chat
Just ReListed
and an array of other threads, from current happenings like the Christmas in July sale thread, to the popular Supplies for Upcycling thread.

Feel free to start your own thread, but it's best to check the forum for your topic first. There is a search box right above the first thread, and maybe your topic is already there.

 Friendly Faces on our Team Upcyclers Threads

On any day of the week you can always find the following Upcyclers shops on our discussion threads:

  • M. Basile from Rinnovato is always greeting new members and chatting on many of our discussion threads!
  • Luci from Idle Hands Yarn Supply is a great thread resource. She's always responding to questions, sharing her experiences, and greeting others.
  • Mandy from Auburn Artisan is always welcoming new members and getting to know members on the chat thread.
  • Sarah from Sweet Someday, Sue from Stitchuation, and Ann from Instinctively Indie are some more active friendly faces on our team threads!
Then there is... Mike's T Shirt Yarn, This 'n That Creations, Our Childrens EarthIts Your Country, Brizel Supplies, Super Sock, artagain, and K5art. Of course, our captain Cat and myself are always around the threads.

Join in the discussion, tag your listings and share your team treasuries! Together we can learn, share, and promote a large community of UPCYCLING.  Look for the next post in the series to discuss our social networks and their reach, and how you can use them. Until then, keep upcycling!

Thanks, Bee
The Wooden Bee

July 16, 2012

Demystifying T Shirt Yarn Series: What the Heck do People Make with T Shirt Yarn?

Last month we discussed what t shirt yarn is, how to properly use it, and what to look for in quality.  So what do people make from it?  Well, this month let's look at some of the team Upcyclers shops and see what they are doing with it.

Rose from Sew Ecological likes to knit with it.  Rose also makes many things from upcycled sweaters, as well as working with handspun yarn.  I really enjoyed browsing her shop and admiring her work.  She has a cowl up in her shop that is a wonderful example of how you can knit and crochet with t shirt yarn to create one of a kind items.

This pretty cowl is available for purchase here.

Mike from Mike's T Shirt Yarn has many lovely items made from t shirt yarn in his shop.  Of course, Mike also makes fabulous t shirt yarn so he has a wonderful inventory to work with.  You can find knotted bracelets and some fun crochet pieces in his shop, as well as t shirt yarn.  I personally know that Mike has a strong commitment to eco friendly products and supplies and am grateful for the support and encouragement he has always given me.  I would recommend his shop to anyone.  Here are just a few examples from his shop.  

This stylish and earthy bracelet is available for purchase here.

This bright and cheerful pencil (or crochet hook) holder is available for purchase here.

Katie Jo from Pink Poppy Seed has a variety of jewelry made from t shirt yarn.  Stylish necklaces and fun bracelets abound in her shop, as well as crocheted fingerless gloves and a wonderful selection of scarves for all seasons.  You won't be disappointed in a visit to this shop.  Here are just a few of her jewelry pieces:

This soft statement necklace is available for purchase here.

This beautifully braided necklace is available for purchase here.

This fashionable bracelet is available for purchase here.

Kristy from Scratch Made has a delightful shop full of bright and pretty jewelry made from t shirt yarn. She displays a variety of styles and colors that are sure to please the eye.  She only submitted one listing to me so that is all I will use, but you won't be disappointed by visiting her shop.  Personally, I think this bracelet is all you will need to want to see what else her shop has to offer.

This fabulous bracelet is available for purchase here.

Susana From Recosas tells us on her shop greeting that "'Recosas" are things which have been given a second chance".  Beautiful, isn't it?  She also told us that the spanish word for t shirt yarn is trapiño and it is used to make a kind of carpet called jarapa.  I really must learn to speak spanish because it uses the most lovely words.  Susana makes a lovely array of upcycled items and I encourage you to browse her shop.  What you see below is just a sample of what Susana has to offer.

This lovely necklace is available for purchase here.

This stunning necklace is available for purchase here.

These pretty hairpins are available for purchase here.

Last, but certainly not least, is Rain from Remaine Wicked.  Rain has a large selection of items for children and some adult items, like fabric cuff bracelets, cell phone cases, and beautiful bags.  There are also many soft baby blocks, upcycled clothes, and educational quiet/busy books.  I would encourage anyone to look through her shop, especially if you have small children.  She uses t shirt yarn in her quiet books for the braiding and God's Eye pages.  Below are a couple of examples of her quiet books.

You can see the t shirt yarn on the braiding on this book, which is available for purchase here.

You can see the t shirt yarn in the God's Eye in this book, which is available for purchase here.

As you can see, there are many uses for t shirt yarn.  Other popular uses are pot holders, rugs, coasters, and trivets.  I also know of people who use it in their gardens to tie plants.  Weaving with it is also popular.  I have seen many people use it in making baskets with great success.  The possibilites only end with your imagination.  What would you do with a ball of t shirt yarn?  Where would your imagination carry you?  I hope you will get a ball and find out because next month I will give you some tutorials on things to make with t shirt yarn.  I'll have some knitting and crochet projects, as well as braiding and weaving.  There will be something for everyone, from beginners to more advanced projects.  The perfect way to end the series.  So be sure to catch the next and last article in this series on August 20.

Love and Peace,