Announcing Earth Tones in the Storque!

Etsy's blog the Storque just premiered a new featured column: Earth Tones. It's focused on being eco-conscious.

Trashion and EcoEtsy teams collaborated on a series of Earth Day celebration articles. The first one Why We're Green coordinated by EcoKate is up already for your reading enjoyment!

Trashion team members highlighted in this article include Kae1Crafts and rikrak. Both life long upcyclers.

It's a wonderful read and a great start to a very special feature!

Trashion Team Spotlight - Interview with sHandke!

Shop name: sHandke ART

Shop address:

In a nutshell: sHandke [aka Shawna L Handke]… artist, illustrator, entrepreneur

Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in a small town in Kansas; it’s called Beloit. (Have you ever heard of it? I doubted you had!) Currently, I reside in a one-bedroom apartment in Brighton, MA where I also create all of my artwork. I create art part-time and am employed full-time by Artfact, which helps me pay the bills and provides me with insurance. I have always enjoyed creating art of all sorts, and I attempted to recycle materials while I attended college, but the professors didn’t seem to like the concept very much. Well, maybe they didn’t think it would maintain an archival quality. I have always been inspired by people’s idiosyncrasies, and every moment I get to document aspects of others’ lives, I take snapshots or sketch in one of my many sketchbooks. Overall, my artwork is an immediate reflection of my life and my interpretation of others’ lives.

Trashion materials:
scrap paper, discarded magazines and catalogues, odd pieces of
wood, random bits of canvas, credit card offers, brown bags, etc.

I transform them into:
paintings, drawings, bookmarks, cards, ornaments, coasters, and so many more items. I began a series or drawings over a year ago, which I dedicated to this concept of reusing wasted materials. This series is entitled scribbles—sketches. I began gathering others’ scribbles and turning them into original drawings.

How do you do it?
Using recycled materials to create archival quality art requires a lot of intense labor and precious time. It becomes a process. Sometimes I’ll be driving through a neighborhood and notice that someone has discarded a stack of wood, so I turn my hazards on and pull over to gather their wasted resources. Other times, I collect all sorts of material from friends. Then, I am sure to prepare the materials so it becomes a proper canvas. I really want the artwork to maintain its integrity for a long period of time, so I must ensure that it has proper quality.

What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion? I first began creating artwork by re-using the resources I had because I was a poor college student. Now, I recycle as often as possible, so I can do my part to preserve the environment. (I’m not saying that I’ve completely emerged from the poverty level.) Now, I just choose to spend more time creating quality work on recycled materials rather than wasting any valuable new resources. And the reason I first decided to get involved with ‘trashion’ was because many of the people, places, and things that inspire me to create are fashion related. Sometimes, you may notice a theme of fashion in my drawings; other times, you may see anti-fashion. Plus, it’s always a lot of fun to be involved in a community!

Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept? No. I don’t really recall the ‘first thing’ I made using the trashion concept. I think most things I have created have always involved some sort of reuse, especially when it comes to fashion and art. I do recall watching my dad work for hours upon hours, assembling various engines with parts that other people were discarding. And my parents would always come home from the dump with some oddity, which someone else considered to be garbage. There was always an opportunity to make some good use out of the ‘old.’ I suppose you could say that the concept to reuse was instilled in my values as a child.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon? Currently, I am working on creating LARGE scribbles—sketches. I think most of them will be 24 inches on one side or larger. I’m using 80 lb 100% recycled paper and am trying to maintain the ‘trashion’ concept by having other people scribble on these excessively large sheets of paper prior to the beginning of my creation. I’m also creating more hand-cut, handfolded envelopes from old catalogues and magazines. For these, I try to use only high quality paper, though.

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion? If we all found a purpose for something old, there would be much less waste in this world. We could all potentially have a much healthier, cleaner, and simple life. Therefore, you should support the trashion concept and some of the amazing artists involved in this community.

More you'd like to share:
I’ve been creating a new website where I will host an online portfolio. When you have a minute, check it out. It’s a work in progress.

Thank you for sharing your art with us sHandke! The new website looks great!


Trashion Team Spotlight Interview- Lost and Found Objects2!

Shop name: LostAndFoundObjects2


In a nutshell:
Assemblage Jewelry, Collage and Sculpture (Lil’ monsters and figurative sculpture)

Tell us a bit about yourself :

I work at a neighborhood creativity center called Patchwork Central in Evansville, IN. I work with kids and adults making art and teaching life skills. The website is at if you are interested in knowing more. I have been working there for nearly 15 years and 10% of my profits from my etsy shop goes to free kid's arts programs there. I have an MFA in Fibers and I work with a women's craft cooperative in Honduras making paper and jewelry. I have 2 dogs Gracey and Mercy.

In Lost & Found Objects 2 - I enjoy combining discarded bits from daily life and creating new, funky, sometimes funny assemblages. I get a charge out of using things overlooked and under appreciated by others. I have been working with recycled materials for over 20 years, at first because I had no money and then later (even though i still have no money) because that is all that interests me. I think it is an extra challenge; working with what is available and I congratulate myself on finding uses for things normally thrown away.

Trashion materials:

I get really excited about finding a resource that is abundant! and figuring out a good way to reuse it. I have been collecting bits of this and that, old junk drawer kind of stuff, broken things, shiny things, stuff I find on the street while walking. There is nothing like the patina of a partially rusted, partially shiny smashed bottle cap or piece of metal - run over by cars with the pavement texture ground into it. Yeah!! <:0) The metal from soda pop cans are my current passion. All my items are well washed and sealed if need be:) I have been collecting costume jewelry, pieces of things, vintage fabrics and lately knitted scarves and sweaters - lots of stuff with which to keep my hands busy.

I transform them into:

Assemblage jewelry, handmade paper collages, figurative sculpture and I also sew lil’ monsters from found stuff and make collage from my own handmade paper and found objects. More items can also be seen on my flickr site -

How do you do it?
I am a bit compulsive about always having something to keep my hands busy. So I carry projects with me to meetings, conferences, trainings and church. I work will I visit, watch old movies and spend time with my family.

What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion?

I work with art in a neighborhood based creativity center called Patchwork Central in my inner city neighborhood in Evansville, IN. I am always intrigued by the stuff I see as I walk in the neighborhood, usually through alleys - as I love the mix of junk, gardens unfinished backside of houses. I always find something when I am walking, usually it is perspective art materials but sometimes, like last week - I found a 10 dollar bill! I get to work on recycled projects with the kids in the neighborhood all the time. Not only does it fit in with our limited budget, but it teaches us to look at things creatively, finding new uses and it teaches stewardship of resources.

What are some of the first things you made using the trashion concept?

I have been making jewelry from found objects and beads for over 20 years. I was a paper maker in grad school and worked in a laundry mat to have access to the dryer lint. When I was a little girl I remember trying to make a round rug from tall weeds I found growing near the alley behind my house. It wasn’t very successful, but I wanted it to be like the rag rugs my great grandmother had made from old clothes. I come from a generation of quilters on all sides of my family. Making do was not just what they did - it was part of the challenge.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?

I am currently creating jewelry from soda pop cans. That is fun. I can’t walk past a can in the street without taking it home, washing it out and cutting up the metal.

I have also been working on a series of recycled jewelry from bicycle parts. The rubber inner tubes, plastic reflectors and silver cutlery have been my inspiration. These neck pieces are for an upcoming show at Artifacts Gallery in Indianapolis, IN called 'Reclaim Reuse Reimagine'. The show opens May 9th so I am working hard to finish these new pieces.

In the 2D arena, I am planning to create a series of a dozen large 2’ x 3’ handmade paper/mixed media images communicating the idea of place and landscape, based upon friendships with individuals in my inner city kids' arts programs and a group of women who I work with in a paper making/craft cooperative in Honduras.

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion?

Why wouldn’t we want to have wonderful, high quality and highly imaginative stuff created from things that would have added to the landfill. It’s about stewardship. Its about creativity.

More you'd like to share:

I am sure I have said too much already : ), but I love etsy and the opportunities it affords to people who are striving to live more creative lives!

Thank you for sharing the inspirations behind your great work, Jane!