Recycled Silver Jewelry at Gorgeous and Green

At the Gorgeous and Green Boutique we are offering some recycled silver jewelry from Licky Drake.  Her pieces are vintage and rustic, and of course eco-friendly.  She uses 100% recycled fine silver for her pieces including her winged heart necklace and winged heart ring and vintage monograms.   All three are featured at the boutique currently. I asked Licky to share a few thoughts with us so we could better understand her art and decision to make jewelry out of recycled materials: 1. What is your artistic background and specialty? For as long as I can remember I’ve been making things. I have had a myriad of artistic interests- ceramics, painting, mixed media sculpture, photography, but I chose surface design as my major in college. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I switched gears and became fixated on jewelry. 2. Why do you offer jewelry made from recycled materials? It is very rewarding to know that no new silver is mined to make my jewelry. Because my silver is reclaimed it is so neat to think my finished pieces had a previous life. For instance, my Gathered Wings ring www.etsy.com/listing/56846368/gathered-wings-custom-size-ring-in, it was like the design was already embedded in the silver and just needed me to form it. Sometimes I believe I’m not an artist at all, merely a catalyst. 3. In what other way are you ecologically minded? I use hand made soap & shampoo bars without chemicals and I try to buy upcycled items like my tote bag made from an old coffee bean burlap sack that I take to the store so I can avoid using plastic bags. I feel the most important way I can contribute is supporting local farmers so I buy vegetables, fruits, honey, fish, bread, and freshly cut flowers from the farmer’s market on Saturdays. And I’m lucky to live where you can still get organic blackstrap molasses! 4. Out of everything you make, what item is your favorite? My favorite piece would be my Serenity Ring www.etsy.com/listing/61134840/serenity-ring-in-eco-friendly-reclaimed because it reminds me of the sea, with waves tattooed on the band and edges curved to mimic the ever-changing surface of the water. Each is made by hand so every one resonates its own charm. I lived in the Bahamas right on the crystal blue ocean for 8 years and this ring makes me feel a little closer to it. Do come by Gorgeous and Green if you like Licky's jewelry and ethic. In Green and Health, G&G

bouquets on bikes

I love that so many of my local customers ride to the Gorgeous and Green boutique on their bikes.  I take special care in wrapping their bouquets in recycled kraft paper (never plastic) so they can make the ride home.   Today I made such a large and branchy bouquet for one customer that we decided to rig it on to his back with twine.  Kind of looked like peacock feathers. He also mentioned that he thought I was the best florist in Berkeley, which I have to say was a nice complement. Thanks Keith! In Green and Health, G&G

Simply City Hall

Weddings come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes the most simple can be the most beautiful (and the most green and eco-friendly).  I find nothing more romantic than a simple City Hall wedding.  Especially in a big city like New York or San Francisco.  But even the smallest small town could be an ideal location. Getting married at City Hall means less money spent on location and probably your dress, and in turn you're going to leave a smaller carbon and trash footprint.  But it doesn't mean you have to give up on looking cute and carrying a cute bouquet. Just last week Gorgeous and Green did the flowers for a couple who got married at City Hall and their small but major event turned out adorable.  Take a look at some pics and a video their photographers, Reuben Rodgriguez and Vanae Tran provided : The bouquet, boutonniere and hair piece were all made from locally grown yellow button mums and I used locally grown, non-sprayed white dahlias for the bouquet.  I don't ever use floral foam and try to use biodegradable ribbons or ribbons made from recycled plastic. Check out this awesome video of the wedding events:

Thanks Mily and Peter for sharing! In Green and Health, G&G

Gorgeous and Green Deliveries!

I have been doing a lot of gorgeous deliveries for Gorgeous and Green, my new sustainable floral boutique in Berkeley, CA.  It's been hard to remember to take pics, but on occasion I do, and so I have some pics to show you here from past deliveries. Most of my delivery clients are word of mouth, as of now I don't have an online shopping platform, but I hope to get something set up soon. Here is a pic of an arrangement I did for a local Oakland customer: And here's one I did for a Mother's Day arrangement.  The customer wanted as many organic flowers as possible so I included some organic snapdragons, greens and roses I grew!  It was also peony season (a short lived 4 weeks somewhere between April and May) so we had some lovely local bubblegum peonies too.  It was all packaged in a recycled glass vase I carry here in the store. Another arrangement, but this one is actually a living terrarium made with succulents.   I made it by request for a mom who wanted to give something living to her daughter on her birthday.  I love the way the gnarled wood looks in the glass. As always, trying to stay gorgeous and green with reused materials, biodegradable materials and local and organic flowers and plants.  This cylinder was actually left reused from a past event and the wrapping I used was recycled paper and cotton ribbon.  You gotta love biodegradable ribbon!  That plastic/polyester stuff is  bad news. In Green and Health, G&G

Lovely Local Flowers Delivered...

I recently delivered a beautiful and cheerful bouquet for an out of town customer , and sent her a phone pic of the bouquet, and she loved it so much she put the pic on her blog...  So, I'm reposting it here.   All local, fair trade/organic flowers in a recycled glass vase with biodegradable ribbon and card holder (a G&G signature)!  If you're in the neigborhood, check out our flower and gift shop: ggboutique.com Cathrynsworld.com In Green and Health, G&G

Avoid Oil

OK, so the oil spill is huge.  I think about it daily and it's upsetting that more people aren't outraged.  We need to start doing something besides complain.  If you can, stop driving your car, stop buying plastic, ask for paper containers, take your reusable containers to get take out, grow your own food, buy local, walk, etc. I just blogged about switching to natural and non-toxic candles, and avoiding paraffin candles (toxic and petroleum based) at The Knot's Green.weddings.com website.  Check it out.  In case you didn't know, paraffin wax (which is found in many things besides just candles) is not only linked to that oil spill in the gulf and elsewhere, but is also toxic. Take a look at these disturbing pics if you need more reason to take action! Between the thick oil on the beaches, water and marshes to the dead and dying animals covered in oil, any human with a heart would see that we all need to take action.  It's our fault after all.  Only we are the ones on this planet so hungry for the nasty stuff and so unwilling to make a switch to more healthy and sustainable options.  It's rotting out our soul and soon our earth. G&G

Opening a sustainable retail shop

Hi all, I've been busy.  I haven't been posting regularly because I've been working on opening up a retail shop in Berkeley!  I plan to keep you updated on the process and what opening a sustainable and eco-friendly retail shop entails.  So far, I have the location.  Now it's time for all the paint, furniture, fixtures, stock, etc. As if I'm not crazy enough, we're going to do it in two weeks.  I plan to have the shop open the first week of February.  I'll be selling local and organic flowers and plants, handmade recycled and sustainable gifts and eco-friendly cards. Our Grand Opening Party is February 4th from 6-9pm, come on down if you're in the bay area and check it out! In Green and Health, G&G

Organic or All Natural Beauty Products

It all soaks in...

A year or two ago I came across Skin Deep, a cosmetic database that lists hundreds of different beauty and body products and how potentially harmful they are.  Of course most of us know that there are a lot of nasty chemicals in hairspray, nail polish, sunscreen and even lipstick.  But taking a look at this database will make you realize that just about everything we put on our bodies is potentially harmful. [caption id="attachment_660" align="aligncenter" width="258" caption="Simply Organic Hairspray "][/caption]

I also learned that about 60% of what you put on your skin soaks in to your blood and gets metabolized by your liver.  Some washes away and some just hangs out in your skin.  That's kind of scary.  I definitely watch what I eat, but now I'm doing more to watch what I spray/brush/lather onto my body. [caption id="attachment_662" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Organic Essence Cream"][/caption] You can also view a short blog post I did on The Knot's Green Wedding website, where I highlighted some products I found that are certified USDA organic. There's also more info on the Organic Consumer's Association about the relevance of certified organic and the potential misleading that may go on regarding the use of "natural" and "organic" when it comes to body products. In Green and Health, G&G

Green Wedding Registry from The Knot's Green website

A Re-Share of Some Green Registry Tips

I posted a blog on The Knot's green wedding website a few weeks ago about greening your wedding registry.  I think that it's a great way to spread the message of a green couple and help folks change their spending habits. Take a look: The handmade ceramics above are from www.dodgestationpottery.com. It's not only made by a person's hands, but it is also art. The website offers a wedding registry that allows you to choose the pieces you want so that your guests can order them for you. They have dinnerware(photo at top) as well as kitchen items like these cute ramekins just above.

Look at this spacious fair trade hammock made of reclaimed cotton by a family owned workshop in El Salvador. The workers are paid above standard wages and receive benefits. Available onwww.globalexchangestore.org

This registry allows couples to register for charities, so guests can donate using their credit card or write a check to your favorite cause in place of a tangible gift. From The Global Fund for Women to Amazon Watch, they probably have a charity you support on their list.

www.idofoundation.org

To view the whole blog post go to The Knot's green wedding website where I am guest blogging: green.weddings.com

In Green and Health,

G&G

A Bay Area Certified Green Business

Gorgeous and Green Events is a certified green business!

It took a few months, well quite a few, mostly because I've been so busy.  But we're certified.  I hope to get the seal up on the blog and website soon. For information about Bay Area Green Certification go here: http://www.greenbiz.ca.gov/ Gorgeous and Green was already fulfilling most of the requirements and usually going beyond them,  but there were still some things I worked on.  One thing I do now is keep a tally of waste.  I think it's really key to see how much waste, even biodegradable or recyclable materials, we are responsible for on a daily basis.  Overall, I think it was a good step in the process of being green.  I plan to continue to find new ways to act as a sustainable business and offer sustainable product. I've been sick this week, so I apologize for the short blog. In Green and Health, G&G