Mich is one of my favorite craft bloggers, period. For me, she really is the full package: her projects are mind-bogglingly innovative, she creates beautiful things for the joy of the process, and her blog manages to have creative integrity without taking herself too seriously. And, if that wasn’t enough, she is incredibly kind and generous. Just ask one of the many people who now own Mich. L. original jewelry after winning one of her Guess the Mystery Thing contests on her blog, Mich. L. in L.A.
Name: Michelle L.
Blog: Mich L. in L.A.
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Favorite source for cheap craft materials:
The obvious answer: thrift stores, dollar stores and hardware stores. I haunt all three places on a regular basis. But honestly, some of my best finds have been picked up off the street. I hate to admit it, but I peek into peoples' trash on garbage collection days. Once I found an entire brass and silver belly dancing costume! It had miles of delicate chain and approximately 1,400 stamped coins, dangles and charms. Moral of the story: have no shame. No shame whatsoever.
Why she makes cheap crafts:
I love the challenge of making something from (practically) nothing. It's far too easy to combine a $25.00 string of semiprecious beads, some Swarovski crystals and an expensive sterling silver clasp and come out with a luxurious necklace. But try making something gorgeous with some dusty rubber grapes and a piece of chain that used to hold a toilet tank flapper. No, really. I dare you. Hee hee.
Tips for cheap crafters:
Invest in a small stockpile of inexpensive base-metal findings - things like little links, charms, filigree flowers, and chandelier earring parts. Don't forget to include some cheap goldtone and silvertone beads. You can buy them in bulk (often, a bag of 20, 50 or 100 for a just a few dollars). They will add so much swank to the most ordinary materials! I once hung a dozen plastic Q-Tip stems on some beautiful ornate earring findings that cost about 12 cents each in bulk, and boy did it look ritzy! My favorite source online is Fire Mountain Beads, but there are zillions more places to buy them..
TERRIFIC TAKEAWAY: Take pride in having no shame. Some of the most successful cheap crafters live by the motto that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That doesn’t have to include dumpster diving (but it certainly doesn’t exclude it!), but don’t be fussy about where your supplies come from. Nobody cares about your craft supply’s pedigree, friends.
Thanks, Michelle, for all your fabulous advice!