Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Wendy Guide to All Things Cool on ArtFire! #1

Hanging out at ArtFire is so neato! It's the bazaar, the souk, and the agora all rolled up into one compelling melange! It can be heady, so I thought I'd help you out regularly with a bit of a guide. It's no trouble! Please visit the folks that I highlight and maybe comment. They might return the favour!

Since it's Spring and Earth Day and all that, I've been looking hard at all the crap around here...uhm...I meant potential 'craft' stuff around here, : }, and wondering if there was anything to be made out of it! You know, something that looked really cool and also helped the environment! This first guide takes a look at some crafty folk who think the same way. I call them....ta ta ta da..... the ArtFire Artists Who Upcycle!

Upcycling, a phrase coined by Cradle to Cradle authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart in 2002, goes beyond merely reusing or recycling. With upcycling comes the discovery that you are in the fairy tale realm of the frog prince…the land where nothing is what it seems to be and love always saves the day! By taking something that is disposable or unwanted and transforming it into something beautiful, something useful, something wanted again, the world and the artist are enriched.

Wanting to uncover who upcycles on Artfire, I did the smart thing. I typed ‘upcycling’ into the Artfire search engine. 2365 results later and perhaps a second or two, I was convinced that ‘upcycling’ thrives on Artfire! Have a look!

Clementine’s Closet
Self-proclaimed, Tennessee based, Fashion Re-designer, Meghan Henley,or "Clem" of Artfire’s "Clementine's Closet" takes ‘somewhat disturbing fashion disasters and creates elegant, ECO FRIENDLY, designs’. In the Inspiration/Story Behind This Design section, Meghan has a unique approach to upcycling. “I do work with my customer's clothes that would normally be thrown out or given to charity. You would send them to me, I redesign them and you have the option of buying them back for less than I would sell them for. I will donate 20% to the charity of your choice whether you buy them back or I sell them to someone else. Just think, you are doing good for mankind, staying green, and getting "re-designed custom clothing".

Jumping Dog
I love JessSprke’s old school paper beads….fashion magazines upcycled into gorgeous jewelry making bits! Possibly THE original upcycled craft material? Still beautiful and earth friendly! And colour categorized! Perfect! Find more at Jessica Mattingly's Unique Expressions.

Creations by Ingrid-eco art wear
Ingrid creates unique and functional items from recycled material, such as vintage ties, aluminum cans, suit coats, pop can tabs and everything else apparently! Her VHS Tape i-pod tote is crazy incredible!

Funky Recycling

Las Vegas, Nevada is the home of this upcycling artisan, who’s line of Funky Junq is inspired! Who knew that soda cans could look so luxe!? Check out the super shiny and colourful creations! Very retro kitsch with a heaping helping of Andy Warhol!

Artwork by KD

I really, really dig this stuff! Irristible colours combined with funky shapes and something salvaged at the heart of it all! Like other upcyclers, KD takes great pride in creating original art using recycled materials. Her goals? “To provide you with a wonderful handmade product, give the best customer service and at the same time cut down on waste”. Her water bottle bracelet rocks! And it goes with everything!!!

Mojo has it going on with her shiny, shiny upcycled juice container totes! I've seen people do double takes around similar items! They really do express the spirit of environmental friendliness lol! And the colours! Juicy! Have a look at the ramen noodle totes as well. I could have had a full set of lugguge if I had known how to make these in university! sigh

Who doesn't love a rose scented plarn tote bag? Plarn is so nifty because it is yarn made out of, usually, plastic bags! What a great way to reuse them! And it's fun to say 'plarn'. Sun Creations is a fellow Ontario, Canadian and seems to "make everything under the sun", including hand crocheted items like slippers, totebags, knitted dishcloths, dog sweaters, scarves and hand beaded jewellery.
And finally, a sweet treat to finish off our visit to these ArtFire Upcycling artisans, the fantastic mini pudding box notebook, created by
Not only is it cute and practical, it's also fat and sugar free! You'll find a little bit of everything here such as cards, scarves, dish cloths, jewelry, journals, magnets and more.

Hope you enjoyed the first Wendy Guide to All Things Cool on ArtFire! Wasn't that fun?
That's a question people! Please feed me back here or on Twitter!


  1. Found your blog via Twitter. Yes, your first WGATCAF was lots of fun! Thanks!

  2. Wendy, this is an incredible, fantastic and super-bellissimo post!
    You make my day a wonderful start!

  3. You work is beautiful. Glad to have you as part of the Artfire community.

    Customer Relations

  4. Wow,you combined mentions of Bill McDonough & jewelry making into one post. Two of my most favorite things! Thanks for a good read, Wendy!

    (@Rings_Things on Twitter)

  5. Thanks for the great props everyone! Its nice to know I'm not just talking to myself! (Wait, who said that?). I find that blogging gets better with repeated encouragement!



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