Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Say hi to dbDesigns! August 31, 2009

Submitted by Marjorie Cunningham, owner of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry and manager of the Reclaimed to Fame Market at 1000 Markets.

One of our newest merchants in the Reclaimed to Fame Market is dbDesigns of Fleming Island, Florida. Danielle Blumenberg creates beautiful jewelry from antique flatware and coins. She is very aware of her environmental footprint and does much in her work to reuse and repurpose. She also does a lot for charity. Here’s her story! “Hi! I’m Danielle Blumenberg, owner and designer of db Designs in sunny Fleming Island, Florida. I am a military wife (for 20 years), who has had the privilege to live all over the world. The great part has been getting to experience the cultures of different places every 2 to 3 years; the not-so-great part was never being able to have a career of my own… Until recently 🙂 “I started my jewelry design business a little over 5 years ago, and my how it has changed! What began as just a little bit of beading quickly grew into wirework, and then metal-smithing. For the most part, I am self taught (and consider myself very much a novice) with tons still to learn! I have been able to take some great workshops with incredibly talented artisans, but not nearly as many as I need or want! “Much of what inspires me and fires my imagination is trying to use old

commonplace items in new ways. I love working with many mediums, but mostly metal. Specifically, “upcycling” or “repurposing” antique and vintage solid silver flatware and coins into unique wearable art! As I anneal, saw, forge and bend the vintage components into fabulous pieces of jewelry, I wonder about the possible history of the components. For example, while I was working on the WWII era Mercury dime necklace, I couldn’t help but muse about whether any of the coins were in the pocket of an American G.I. as he defended our country.

“I have an environmentally friendly, but VERY messy, studio in my home, and recycle and reuse everything I can. I use natural chemicals, such as eggs for patina, and citric pickle, to try to reduce my environmental footprint. I also make every effort to purchase from fair trade vendors, as opposed to free trade vendors for my findings and beads. When founding db Designs, I wanted to strongly support the community and those who strive to make a difference. In an effort to do that, I contribute merchandise and a portion of all sale proceeds to a variety of charities. As db Designs continues to grow, so will my efforts to make a difference. To date, db Designs has donated over $8,000!!! For a list of some of the charities that have benefited, you can contact me via email at Danielle@designedbydanielle.com or visit http://www.designedbydanielle.com/aboutus.html.”

Check out dbDesigns here at 1000 Markets at http://www.1000markets.com/users/dbdesigns.

 

Loran Scrugs – Recycled art toys & whistles July 27, 2009

Submitted by Marjorie Cunningham, owner of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry and manager of the Reclaimed to Fame Market on 1000 Markets.

Meet Loran Scruggs who designs marvelous fun art toys and whistles from tin cans, bottle caps and found objects!  Loran is one of the newest merchants in the Reclaimed to Fame Market.  Her shop can be found at http://www.1000markets.com/users/loranscruggs.

Loran has been making things since her earliest memory of making a dragonfly out of smartie (candy) wrappers.  And to this day she is still using food packaging in her art.  She makes whimsical toys, art and whistles from colorful tin cans, bottle caps and found objects.  She enjoys how time stops when she is in the ‘flow’ of creation.  She says “I’m interested in joy.  Color is joyous for me so I use painted tin cans for their color and glint.  A lot of my work reference childhood and play, for myself play is a time of being in the moment, no past or future worries, a time of joy.  I hope that my work puts an amused smile on peoples faces, for when we smile we are in the moment, engaged, attentive and happy.”

 

Bags Plus More: Made With Simplicity July 15, 2009

Submitted by Marjorie Cunningham, owner of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry and manager of the Reclaimed to Fame Market.

Catherine Kaczanowski is the owner of Bags Plus More and is a member of the Reclaimed to Fame Market.  She designs fabulous tote bags, shoulder bags and plastic bag holders from recycled materials.

“My sewing bags, etc. all started a few years ago when my nephew’s school was having a fund raising bazaar. My sister-in-law (nephew’s mother) is an interior decorator and asked if I could sew up some items to sell. Well, the totes, etc. began! The bazaar was a success! This was two years ago. The school no longer has the bazaar, but I have continued sewing and selling at craft shows when I can and online. I also make donations to our local Physically Challenged Developmental Site, Cancer Centers and Nursing Homes.

“I use upcycled interior decorating fabric samples from my sister-in-law’s business. Instead of throwing these items to landfills, I reuse them to make useful handmade items. All items are double stitched with a zigzag finish. I keep it simple, durable, washable, and useful!”