This past weekend I volunteered for some fantastic programming done by the Knights of Veritas for Weed Warriors‘ Newcastle Earth Day event (I had no idea how relevant environmental conservation was to people during the middle ages!). It was such a wonderful day. Even the downpour wasn’t enough to dampen my spirits! I also had an opportunity to meet a fantastic artist about whom I can’t wait to tell you in a later blog post!
But, for today, I want to tell you about how Butterfly Sundries uses environmentally responsible practices!
I save (and recycle) scrap metal! While it’s easy to recycle scrap silver by sending it back to my metal distributor, I also make a point to save every single little bit of scrap of copper and brass. Even the tiniest piece can find new purpose in becoming a handmade jump ring, headpin or rivet. The pieces which have not yet found new purpose are also kept in reserve for Butterfly Sundries’ planned (eventual) expansion into casting!
For etched pieces, I use and reuse the acid for as long as possible and then dispose of the (toxic) acid responsibly! I don’t like for anything to go to waste and so I store and reuse my acid as long as possible (I used my recent batch for more than 2 years)! Rather than diluting and neutralizing it before dumping it down the sink, as do many hobbyists and artists, I use ethical (and legal) disposal practices– calling to my relevant local governmental agencies and following their procedures for packaging it and bringing it to them for proper disposal (even when it costs me money)! I also use safe jewelry cleaning and “antiquing” products on all my pieces from a trusted company!
Whenever possible, I try to ensure that Butterfly Sundries’ only purchases jewelry gift boxes made of recycled materials. Mailing boxes are also, as often as possible (Priority Mail Boxes are the exception), re-purposed boxes from my supply shipments or from a local business which gives me their old boxes. My box filler comes from my supply shipments, old newspapers and sometimes even filtered wood shavings from Bender’s Wood and Brass!
If environmental stewardship is an important cause to you and you want your jewelry purchases to support a nonprofit dedicated to environmental stewardship programs, shop now to support Weed Warriors (the current Featured Charity, they receive 10% of all sale profits through the end of May)! Also, check out Butterfly Sundries’ Beautiful World Collection on Etsy here! 10% of the sale profits on all those items will continue to support Weed Warriors’ programming through February 2015!
A few of Butterfly Sundries’ customers recently requested an expansion to my product offerings: larger hair clips. While they loved they ones they had already purchased, they were kind enough to let me know that their preference would be for larger options. As one patron put it, she wanted a barrette which would be big enough to hold her whole ponytail. Of course, with no standard sizing system for hair clips and hair thickness (it’s all perspective), I had to do some market research.
I feel so happy with the longer days returning! During the winter months, especially with a weak immune system and seasonal affective tendencies, I lean toward hibernation and self-isolation through mid-March. Now that the temperatures here are finally on a warming trend and the flowers are beginning to bud, I’m beginning to feel like I might return to the land of the living.
This past weekend marked the second time since winter that I’ve actually felt a personal motivation to go outside and work a little in the yard. Clearing away dead branches and leaves which had fallen since the last autumn day of yard work, trimming some of the plants which got out of control last year (Virginia Creeper was getting into lots of unapproved locations)… my partner and I even decided on the placement of our three flower pots (we’re still debating about what kind of flowers we’ll plant in them.
It seems like every time I look out my window or go to enjoy some fresh air in my yard I find new inspiration for Butterfly Sundries’ Beautiful World Collection. Budding flowers are so pretty! I can’t help but take out my sketchbook and use them as inspiration for etching designs. The challenge I have is not being able to identify the flowers!
These are the first flowers which have shown up in my yard this spring; they are my current inspiration for a new pendant design!
Recently, while on a day trip with my sweetheart, I found myself momentarily overcome with feelings of sadness, loss and longing. It had been a great day- but looking out the window I was surrounded by a dark, drizzly winter day. Fog and bare trees were all around me and I longed for the warmth and color of spring. As I looked at the trees, seeing their limbs reaching for the hiding sun, I began to think of their sleeping potential- waiting for the right time to blossom.
Our lives, I believe, mirror those of the natural world around us in many ways. We go through cycles of birth, growth, death and rebirth. And for those of us sensitive to the seasons, we feel the need to hoard, hibernate and await the appointed season to reemerge refreshed and rejuvenated- ready to blossom with our potential.
Nature is beautiful. The sleeping winter trees, which have withdrawn into themselves until the time is right to bud with their potential, are beautiful in their promise. They remind me that this season of dark cold shall pass. Spring will come again and the sleeping creatures shall awaken.
If you are in your dormant state this winter, get ready. There’s hope. There is light at the end of the darkness. And, it’s almost time for you to bloom.