You know as well as I do that there is nothing bigger these days than being green, recycling, upcycling, and generally just saving our ecological butts. But did you know you can still look totally rockin' while doing it? Join us as we chat with Courtney Chesley of Twisted Handmade and the St. Louis Craft Mafia, learn how her friendship bracelet obsession of the 80s turned into the cutest upcycled accessories of today, and enter to win some free twisted goodies!
After the jump, find out what surprising material these awesome accessories are made of!
OC Weekly: First things first - tell us about yourself, give us all the juicy details!
Courtney Chesley: By day, I am the office manager at Kyvon, a local hosting and business IT services provider. At home, I spend quality time with my husband and new giant puppy/pony, Molly, by chasing them through Tower Grove Park, watching classic movies, or going to hear some local rock n' roll. I can't cook, but I make a mean slice of buttered toast.
I also write about absolutely nothing at my blog and about St. Louis indie crafts for the St. Louis Craft Mafia and Girls Guide to the Galaxy where I am the Crafty Goodness Editor and Assistant Managing Editor.
OCW: What started Twisted Handmade?
CC: When my father was on strike with the telephone company (and I was in elementary school), he brought some phone wire home for me to make "friendship bracelets", since we could not afford the colorful thread the other girls were using during the strike. My mother had made them in the 70's and gave me a jump start. Ever since, I have been addicted to the colors hiding in phone/data cables!
OCW: Are all of your wires recycled, and where do you get them from?
CC: All of the wire I use is from inside many, many, many ethernet and telephone cables and cords. I work for a computer company and get cables from work when they are about to be thrown out. I also get lots-o-cable from the Upcycle Exchange at local shows.
OCW: What sorts of things have you made with wires since you've begun Twisted Handmade?
CC: Everything from bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces, watch bands, baskets, pins, brooches, and boxes.
OCW: Are there any other things you make, whether its for your Etsy shop or for yourself?
CC: I make a little bit of everything. Right now I am working on fabric-covered button earrings, mounted head magnets made with old toys, curtains, 2 end tables, and a new couch I am making with my father.
On the next page, we ask Courtney some twisted questions and give ya info on how to enter her giveaway!
OCW: Have you ever seen the movie Twister?
CC: But of course! I am terrified of tornadoes, so I almost peed my pants
halfway through the movie. Shh...don't tell anyone! (Note from Steph: Oh... Uh... this is awkward. Whoops.)
OCW: What are your thoughts on the classic song Twist and Shout?
CC: That song brings me back to working in the shop with my father. He is a fantastic dancer and loves woodworking. We would work on projects on Saturday afternoons and blast oldies from the 50's and 60's to sing to while we worked. Ahh, memories!
OCW: You recently joined the St. Louis Craft Mafia - tell us a little bit about your chapter!
CC: I joined the STL Craft Mafia last winter. This group of crafters and artisans in the Lou is a lotta bit crafty and a little bit rock 'n' roll. We work together to promote indie arts and crafts in St. Louis and have a great time sharing a beer and gabbin' it up in the process. Becoming a part of the team has been the (2nd) best thing I've done in the last year (other than getting married!).
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Have we gotten you drooling over upcycling yet? What if I told you we were having a giveaway for a free ten bracelet Twisted Handmade variety pack? It's true! Leave a comment on this blog post telling us what you think of Courtney's work or recycling for crafts in general and you'll be automatically entered to win!
Comment as much as you like, but one entry per person and if you've won in the past 30 days you'll be ineligible so others have a chance at awesomeness. Contest closes at midnight on Friday, August 21 so get crackin!
For more information on Twisted Handmade, visit the website or Etsy site. Already a fan? Tell Courtney so on the Twisted Handmade Facebook page! For more information on Courtney Chesley visit her website or Twitter.