Favorite Friday: Sisters United

I know Favorite Fridays are almost always about an Etsy shop, but I’m taking a little detour this time. I want to share with you a company called Sisters United, which is helping women in Uganda get their lives back and earn a living after the civil war. This might sound familiar if you’re a regular watcher of The Colbert Report (Sister Rosemary was on the show a while back).

They mostly specialize in making handbags from pop tabs using colorful thread. They are really beautiful, but they were a little outside of my budget, so I ordered their “Embracing Africa” bracelet in turquoise.

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According to their website, “Sisters United provides the materials so that these young women can make pop tab handbags, and a means to market their merchandise and earn a hand up, not a hand out.” I’ve obviously been on the “buy handmade” bandwagon for a while now, but what better reason to buy handmade than to help empower these women?

If you’re looking for a unique handbag or bracelet, make sure you check out Sisters United!

New in the Shop: Cute Little Spools

I have a couple new items to share with you today, and they are completely opposite in style. The first item (or really, items) I think would make a great gift for someone who likes to sew. I recently got some little wooden spools and thought they would be really cute for jewelry. I wound some yarn onto three spools and added some antiqued brass chain to make a bracelet. I made them in two different color schemes, so you get to choose which one you want! Click the link below the picture to see the listing on Etsy.

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Wood Spool Bracelet

The next item has a boho/rustic vibe. I really like the look of layered necklaces, so I made this double-strand necklace to get that look. I wrapped a mahogany obsidian point and chrysocolla nugget in copper wire and hung them each horizontally on their own antiqued copper chains, the chrysocolla one shorter than the obsidian one.

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Mahogany Obsidian and Chrysocolla Double Necklace

Keep an eye out for more spools and maybe even some sea glass next week!

Tall Ship Windy

Our other adventure that we went on during our vacation was a sail on the Tall Ship Windy. Penny is really into pirates right now, so we chose to go on the “Pirates of the Inland Seas” sail. There was a “pirate” who told us stories of piracy on the Great Lakes, and they even fired their cannon a couple of times! I think Penny was feeling a little seasick, and she told me before we left that she was worried about the boat sinking (I assured her it wouldn’t), so she didn’t enjoy the experience as much as we hoped. But it was a very pleasant day with a nice breeze and great views of the city. And it was cool to see Navy Pier, which we hadn’t been to yet since we moved here.

Here are a few pics of our sailing adventure:

Do you have any exciting vacation plans? Where are you going/where did you go?

South Haven, Michigan

I’m back from vacation! It was nice to take a break and spend quality time with my family, but I’m happy to get back into a normal routine. One of the things we did was spend a couple of days in South Haven, Michigan. I’d heard from a few people around here that it was a pretty cool town with a nice beach, and since we’ve been missing the beach, we decided to check it out!

I’m still getting used to the fact that we are so close to other states. It was only about a 2 1/2 hour drive from where we live, and we drove through the top part of Indiana to get there. Two states in as many hours! It took six hours to drive to Disneyland last year, and we never even left California! And I can finally say that I’ve seen my husband’s home state, even though he’s from southern Indiana. This opens up a lot of options for road trips!

Since it was too early to check into the hotel, we immediately went to the beach. It was a really nice beach with lots of sand, a playground, a concession stand, and a pier with a cute little red lighthouse at the end of it. It was definitely a different experience than going to the beach in California; no big waves, and I really missed that salty-sea-air smell. But we had a nice afternoon of sand castle building, strolling, and I read a book while Penny and my husband went to get a hot dog.

After the beach, we checked into the hotel, and the first thing Penny wanted to do was go swimming in the indoor pool. I think she was more excited about that than the beach! She still needs water wings to help her along, but we were really proud of her for picking up right where she left off last year. She was hardly afraid of the water at all (something we dealt with last year), and she could doggie-paddle the entire length of the pool!

The downtown area of South Haven is really nice with lots of shops and restaurants, so we went to a little Italian restaurant for dinner, and then spent the next day browsing all the shops. After lunch at a cute coffee house, we drove home.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another adventure from our vacation/staycation!

Some New Sale Items

Just a quick post to let you know I’ve reduced the prices on a few of my items. Get them before they’re gone forever! Here’s what’s been marked down:

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Pink and White Vintage Enameled Key Necklace

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Caged Green Sea Glass Earrings

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Vintage Silvertone Necklace with Beads

One other note: I’ll be on vacation next week, so I won’t be posting till the week after. The shop will remain open, though (it’s more of a staycation). I’ll have lots of photos to share when I get back!

New in the Shop: Pretty Color Combinations

I finally had to buckle down and order some more jewelry wire yesterday because I’ve been having so much fun wire wrapping these stones! Here are two new items I made this week:

Have you even heard of mahogany obsidian? I’ve heard of just obsidian, that really shiny black stone, but I didn’t know it came in any other color until I was browsing a fellow Etsian’s shop and saw these pretty mahogany obsidian points. They are (obviously) a pretty mahogany brown with speckles of black thrown in. I wrapped this one in yellow brass wire and strung it on a long-ish antiqued brass chain. You can click the link below the photo to see the listing on Etsy.

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Wire Wrapped Mahogany Obsidian Point

Remember two weeks ago when I said I’d have some turquoise items? Well, it turns out that it’s really chrysocolla, which looks a lot like turquoise, but it’s a lot softer, which is frustrating when you are wire wrapping and you snap off a chunk and ruin your whole project. But it’s still really pretty. I paired a small piece of chrysocolla with a piece of very pale purple fluorite and wrapped them with silver plated wire. I think these colors look so nice together.

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Wire Wrapped Chrysocolla and Purple Fluorite Necklace

I think I will have to play around with some more color combinations!

Mini Milk Jug Organizers

Now that I have an entire room devoted to crafting, instead of just a little section of the living room, I’ve slowly been adding more and more things to organize the multitude of supplies I have. I’m hoping to finish a few more things before I do a final reveal (check out my previous craft table post here), but for now, I wanted to share these adorable little milk jugs I got from Pick Your Plum to hold my pens and things!

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I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me to have a place for my writing utensils, but when I saw these mini milk jugs, I knew they would make perfect pencil holders, and fit right in my vintage-rustic-crafty chic craft room!

I added some washi tape to give them a little color, and because washi tape is great for making labels.

I decided to use one for my scissors and knife.

Here’s an action shot. How awesome is that vintage fan? They were going to throw it away at my husband’s office back in California!

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I can’t wait to show you the rest of my craft room!