Friday, April 22, 2011

The Art of ReUse Contest Sponsored by Etsy and Green is Universal

 WoW, have the last two weeks been a wild ride!  Two Fridays ago, I opened up my Etsy email, and saw this:   Last Chance to Enter the Art of ReUSE Contest    Calling all upcycling DIYers!  Green is Universal and Etsy want to see your creative ReUSE project.   Get the details and submit your project here for your chance to win.  Last day to enter is Friday, April 8.  

I thought why not take a chance?  I have been selling my Tab Top bracelets for a couple of years now, and at my last show, a customer asked if I would make one into a dog collar. I said "Of course"!

This lead me to make one for my medium size Pit Bull Mix, Cali, and to give the design a run for the money.

I used snap rings from Tractor Supply,
and just clipped Cali's ID through the tab tops.
 This was the only collar I had made at this point - so I took some pictures - and submitted my entry.  I had to list and describe the materials, tell how it was made, and then talk about the finished product.
I didn't have a whole lot of time because I was supposed to meet my daughter Virginia, at school - we we going to hear Mary Badham speak.  She is the actress who played Scout - in To Kill a Mockingbird.   I managed to squeeze in submitting my Up cycled Feed Sack Totes as well but was informed, a bit later, that I was only allowed to enter one item per day.  I chose to drop the tote, and keep the Tab Top Pet Collars.  
We had a talk to go to that night, and then off to see Philadelphia University the next day, and then York, Pa to move a truck and trailer load of furniture.  It was CrAzy!

So on the 10th, I thought to promote the contest on Facebook.  I may have even tweeted it at some point.   On Thursday I was having Virginia help me design some business cards on the computer (to take to a show that coming Sunday in DC) - and I stopped to check my email.  

Go figure - I was told that my Tab Top Pet Collars were one of the products that were getting some buzz.  I was asked if it was possible to send a collar to NYC.   I said 'You bet'! Friday morning there was a FedEx label in my email - and I had 2 collars ready - one small size for a cat or small dog, and one larger, for a bigger dog.

Off to Rockefeller Center, NYC

I took some pictures before I sent them off - and thought - I better get these listed in my Etsy shop!  I was up a little later than usual that night - but I was good with that :)   I had re-engineered the design somewhat - and am pleased with the more durable results that you see here. 

On Saturday the 16th, Jessie Katz put together a treasury on Etsy titled The Art of ReUse giving a nod to the TOP TEN - and I was in the TOP TEN.  I was stunned!
Needless to say I was on a high all week long.  The products were to be received in NYC on Monday April 18th.  Of course the email said that breaking news would take precedence over our items being featured - but if they were to be shown - it would be during the 4th hour of the TODAY SHOW with Hoda Kotb and Kathy Lee Gifford. 

I called my Mom Ginny, my daughter Virginia, my husband Bob, and a friend Patty -  and told them to watch.  At the top of the hour - I looked at the desk where Hoda and KLG were sitting - and there THEY were!!!  MY Tab Top Pet Collars.  I was SO excited!  

There was all kinds of stuff they were talking about to start - and the banner at the bottom of the screen covered the top of the desk, and my collars (!)  But eventually they got to the Esty (sic) (Hoda) Etsy/Green is Universal contest.  First they talked about the jump rope made from dried up magic markers, then on to my Tab Top Pet Collars.  Of course I took pictures of the TV - with Hoda and KLG holding them - trading them back and forth - and Kathi Lee said they were cute!         

OK - so this is only Tuesday...but I am definitely floating on air.  How awesome :)

Somehow I made it to today - I watched the TODAY SHOW at 10:00 every morning.  
On Wednesday they showed the Firefighter Coat Turned Messenger Bag by Evon Cassier, and the sweater skirt by Brightly Colored Twirly Skirt of Upcycled Sweaters by Kelleyanne Wank  

On Thursday they showed the Flying Alumifish by John D. Richards Cast Iron Claw Foot Bathtub Couch by Jill Morrison,, and Weego the Scarecrow by Leslie Wilton,

They didn't mention Re-Zip It! Zipper Brooch by Heather Sennabaum, or Gift Card Earrings by Jessie Katz or 20 Minute Dog Sweater by Jennifer Kerr.

So that was it, Friday was here - and I was ready.  I spent the morning photographing and naming all of the colors of ribbon for my Tab Top Pet Collars.  Getting collars ready for A show next weekend in Purcellville - Paint the Town Green - as well as for a shop in  Purcellville - Everyday Elegance.

10 o'clock was fast approaching - and then I got THE email, at 9:36 a.m.:  "Although you were chosen from among hundreds of other participants as one of our ten finalists, the judges have not selected your project as one of the final three winning entries. We thank you for your participation, hard work and commitment to ReUse". 

OH WELL!  I was still a winner!

I had the greatest ride for two weeks of my life - MY design/product was on National television - if only for a minute - and the judges Andy Cohen, Angela Matusik, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee, Lauren Bush, Martha Stewart and Tori Spelling all may have hands on my project.
And the most important part - people obviously saw merit in something that I created!

Thanks to Etsy/Green is Universal, the Today Show, AND everyone who supported me on facebook, twitter, Etsy, and in my local community.  

It was a great adventure!



Lotta Dahl said...

The zippers and the earrings were mentioned on Monday, I'm the only finalist that they didn't even mention once. LOL

Lotta Dahl said...

Also, the judges weren't give the actual items that were sent in. They had photos and links. I was assured that this was never the plan when I emailed the coordinator about how it would have given those of you with tv show friendly products and extreme and unfair advantage over those who didn't get notified before the finalists were even chosen to send in samples.

Unknown said...

Congrats to all of us! And BTW - the earrings and the zipper brooches were shown on Monday.
Be sure to check out a non Etsy finalist - me - twirly skirt at

And thanks for the plug in your blog!

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