A few weeks ago I received an email from Kim Franklin of Trashy Crafter.
She asked if I would be willing to take a CLOSE look at one of her recycled book bracelets and post a review on my blog. In return, I would receive one of her bracelet sets for free AND she would be willing to give a set of earrings away to one lucky reader! In addition, she would provide me with a coupon code to receive 15% off anything in her Etsy shop for the entire week my post was running! I was definitely intrigued!
One look at her Etsy shop and I knew this was something I wanted to do!
I replied to Kim's email and here we are today!
I am so excited to show you what I received in the mail...and even better...Friday is my birthday, but I get to give YOU a present!
But before I reveal my 'trashy treasure,' I want you to first take a look at how Kim got started with turning books into jewelry!
Head to her website:
and you will find...
as well as photos of her home and personal quotes about crafting!
I learned a lot from her site, but I wanted to know more, so I emailed her a few questions to get to know the 'crafter behind the trash!'
1. How did you find my blog?
I found it from a fellow teachers blog, don't remember which one, but they had you as a recommended teacher blogger to check out :)
2. How did you get started? How did you learn to make the beads? What was the first book you used?
I have been a crafter since childhood, but it was my 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Brynat that taught me how to roll the paper beads. I believe the first book I ever used was "Make Way For Ducklings" Back in 3rd grade when I first learned how to make it we used National Geographic Magazine Pages and Newspaper.
3. Where do you find your books? Do you prefer 'older' books with thinner paper or 'newer' books with more 'photo-like' paper?
I get books from all over the place, some teachers send me their damaged books in the mail, some times I find them outside of libraries in boxes, sometimes I find them at local thrift stores, and when I get custom order requests I buy used copies from Amazon.
Thats a great question! It has a complex answer surprisingly. Some books are too old and if they start to crack and crumble we cant use them because of that, but if it is an old book that is not yet doing that and has pages that are not too thick we can use them to roll. And actually some of the newer books we can't use, sometimes the books have pages that are too thick and too glossy and are so heavy it's a struggle to get them to hold. So yeah there is a real science to it, Mom and I have gotten pretty good and making quick judgments when we first see each book haha!
4. How long does it take to make a bracelet/necklace/earrings?
Oh my goodness... it really goes back to the last question, it depends on the paper type. There is also a lot going into the entire piece, we spend hours hunting for damaged and use books either locally at thrift stores or online, then it takes a long time to find the broken necklace beads for the spaces, that take a lot of time at the local swap meet. Rolling the beads can take anywhere from 1-3 minutes a piece from measuring to cutting to rolling and then coating. It's a process of love, that's for sure!
5. Can you get the beads wet?
The beads can handle a little water here and there when washing hands if a few drops get on it no problem, but they are made from paper and should be treated with love, if you are just mindful of water situations, they will last a lifetime!
6. Do you make 'child size' bracelets?
I have had many custom orders for child sized bracelets, I used to make and sell lots of them at the local craft shows, but if just gets so complicated since the children are all difference sizes and they grow so fast, so I now only do custom orders of them, but kids do love to wear them!
7. Do you take custom orders? Does the customer provide the book? How long does a custom order take? If someone wants to place a custom order how do they go about doing that?
I love doing custom orders, there is so much meaning behind them, that It takes the gift to a whole other level. For custom orders some folks have the book or map they want me to use, while others don't if you don't we simply order a used copy on Amazon.com. Once the book arrives in the mail it can take from 1-2 weeks to finish the order, it depends how many custom orders we have at the time, sometimes we get really swapped with them, mostly at mothers day and Christmas time. If you would like to know more about a possible custom order, jut shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get back to you with details.
8. Would you ever consider doing a lanyard- like for teacher ID?
Funny you ask that. We have been getting a lot of requests to make lanyards for not only teachers, but also for corporate works that have to wear badges as well... it is in the works and we have a lot of stuff that will be coming soon, within the next month so it's here for the holiday season :) we are really excited about it!
9. What types of items do you have in your store- which are most popular?
We have recycled book bead earrings, 2 or 3 piece bracelet sets and necklaces. The bracelets are always the most popular, we have gotten lots of requests to design more bracelet styles and are working on that as well, the fun part is our style and design is always growing thanks to our wonderful fans, we love hearing what books we should start featuring and the styles and colors people like best, it's always changing which is really fun for us!
10. Any info about yourself you want to share? Have you always been 'crafty'? Is this your sole 'job' or a 'hobby?'
I have always been crafty, my Grandma was a crafter and I started helping her sell at shows when I was a child even! I am very close to her and she is the one that taught me much of what I know. I have a day job, but Trashy Crafter is my passion, my dream is to turn this into a full time business, but at the moment I have a very large student loan debt I need to pay off and that is my goal I need to have be successful before I can go full time with my crafts. My passion is creating memories for people, it puts such a huge smile on my face knowing I can provide even a little bit of joy to folks in their everyday life :)
So now that you know more about her 'craft' travel with me to the excitement I felt when I received my package last week!
It was a regular day- the mail came and as usual it was filled with junk (and a credit card bill!!) but there was something else peeking out...and although it said 'trash' I knew it was my new treasure...
I wasted no time and began ripping it open...
and what to my wondering eyes did appear....
But the CUTEST wrapped package I had ever seen!
How genius! And old map as wrapping! She really does take this 'reusing' to great levels!
So I carefully untied the ribbon...
and peeked inside....
It is my beautiful bracelet!!!
I love how it tells me exactly what book it was made from too!
So now that I have them in hand, it is time to try them on!
They are elastic band so no matter what size your hand they stretch to fit and then 'bounce' right back one they are on your wrist. Look how awesome they look!
So I ran to my closet to compare the colors to those I have in my summer wardrobe! Look how many things they match!
And I also held them against my scarves that I wear in winter!
I had my son try them on (Shhh..don't tell my hubby!) so that I could show you how they fit a child's hand. Kim said she does make them custom for children too! AND we even found ALMOST the same book in our own collection that the beads were made from.
So how did Kim know which set to mail me?
Well she let me shop her Etsy shop...
It was a hard decision! But I wanted to go with a bracelet that defined me...a Mommy and a teacher! So when I saw she had one made from this book:
I knew that was the one!
She had others made from Dr. Seuss books too! It was a hard decision! And I see she has even added new ones made from Little Red Riding Hood! So...if you see one you like don't 'sit and wait' because they are all original and once someone selects it, it is gone!
She gives you great preview pictures of the items you select:
both up close, from a distance and 'modeled' for you!
And if you want to try making your own beads, be sure to check out her video tutorial:
And if you are looking for some fun children's paper bead craft ideas, this link will take you to what I found via a Pinterest search!
And now for your gift!
This entire week, use the code tc2014 to receive 15% off your order!
You can also enter this rafflecopter to win a set of earrings for free!
Here is the 'nitty gritty':
The rafflecopter ends at 11:59pm EST on 8/15/14 and the winner will be notified via email. The winner will have 5 days from the date of the email to respond with his/her contact information and choice of earrings or an alternate winner will be chosen.
I am so excited to give away a gift on my birthday!
Please be sure to check out Trashy Crafter for holiday and teacher gifts too!
I am excited about the upcoming lanyards- I know they will be a great conversation piece to house my teacher ID!
Best of luck with the giveaway!
Until next post,