Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday's Featured Fabricator - Always Greener!

Fourth in the series of Moo Crew featured artists, this week’s “Friday's Featured Fabricator” is Wendy of “Always Greener”. See her Etsy shop of very cool, clever and creative items at (Editorial comment…my personal favorites are her “Dictionary Sacrifice” items, especially the earrings. Wendy uses two words that go together, such as “pride and prejudice”, finds them in a dictionary, and uses the dictionary pages to make the earrings! Personally, I think this is one of the coolest ideas on all of Etsy!)

Wendy introduces herself as “mom to six, wife to one (we’re pretty traditional like that…) card-carrying Milwaukeean, Etsian, and maker of jewelry. And stuff.” Wendy can be found wire-wrangling at her dining room table whenever she gets the chance. “But I also make whatever bits and pieces I can tote along with me in doctor’s offices, while riding shotgun on roadtrips, and in the carpool line at my kids’ school.”

Regarding the name of her business, Wendy says, “I wanted a name that reflects my commitment to “being green” without locking me into a particular medium. (That ruled out “Wendy’s Upcycled Jewelry,” no matter how appealing an option that was.)”

Wendy began her artistic pursuits at an early age. "I've been artsing & craftsing since preschool, and selling my creations since the age of 10. (It all started with those ribbon barrettes...). She has run the arts program at a girls camp in the Poconos for the past six summers. “I started making jewelry my first summer there. I quickly became expert at simple beading, resin bottlecaps, and basic polymer clay techniques. The kids I work with are always clamoring to make earrings, so over the years I developed the rudimentary skills I use in my current ‘line of work’.”

When she moved to Milwaukee, a friend showed her some of the stunning wire jewelry she’d created in a class at Mount Mary College with Brenda Schweder. Wendy was hooked in a minute. She had to start selling her work to support her habit, a happy predicament to which many of we fellow Etsians can relate!

Always the kind of person who analyzes items to figure out how they are made, Wendy made a Bananagrams set after the first time she played it (“toatlly addictive!”) out of a yellow t-shirt, a black shoelace, and a bunch of Scrabble tiles she had been hoarding. "The Bananagrams set was only one in a looooong line of "I can make that myself" projects...just ask the (long-suffering) husband!"

I asked Wendy what one thing would she would like her customers to know about her and her creations. Wendy is extremely true to herself and her principles in the way she lives her every day life. “Everything I make is intensely meaningful to me, whether it’s the upcycled spoon pendant you buy for your matron of honor or the gift box I pack it in. I choose not to use mass-manufactured items in my work, so every jump-ring, clasp, or wire component has been made by me, for you, from scratch. I get a surprising amount of flak from folks more business-minded than myself who tell me I should order gift boxes, or mailing labels or the like to save time and effort, but that’s just not what I’m about. Often, it’s hard for me to sell a piece because I grow so attached to it in the process of creating it, and one of the kids has to sit me down at the computer and nudge me till it’s listed.”

When she isn’t creating, Wendy says, “I'm probably doing battle with the laundry. Or the dishes. Or, if I’m supremely lucky, reading something amazing, like 'The Time Traveler’s Wife'.”

Wendy jokes that the best part of being an artist in her opinion is, "without a doubt the incredible benefits package that comes with the job". I asked her to tell me one interesting thing about herself that is not related to her Etsy persona. “I wear a size thirteen shoe. Freaky, no?” It’s not surprising to me that she has big shoes to fill!

Thanks to Wendy at Always Greener! Be on the lookout for new items from this Etsian at

Have a wonderful, productive and creative Memorial Day weekend!


MANvsGEORGE said...

Great to meet you, Wendy. Your dictionary sacrifice line is so cool! :-)

Wendy said...

Thanks for putting this together, Kathy!

dimi said...

Great job Wendy!! I feel like an amateur when I see those awesome stuff of yours.. but oh, well - I just started! You're such an inspiration really!! Thanks for sharing! :)

saralup said...

vry cool, Miss Wendy! awsom job bringin it to us Kathy!

5 Letter Design said...

love your boxes!