Friday, July 29, 2011

Improving your Attitude

"When you are pessimistic, your body behaves in an unnatural way. It is up to us whether we look at the good or the bad. When you are nice to others, they are nice to you. When you give, you receive." - Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest survivor of the Holocaust.

I come from a family of worriers. And my own anxieties burble out of me like water from a faucet, although I've discovered how to channel them into making chainmaille. But it seems like the key to living a healthy, long life is not letting things touch you. This interview with Alice Herz-Sommer shows what an optimistic attitude can do to get you through even the greatest horrors. She's a true artist--she sees beauty everywhere.

Vanessa Walilko
Aluminum chain mail jewelry
Handmade chainmail jewelry

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Using fabric scraps to save the earth?

If you sew, chances are you have a ton of fabric scraps lying around. You don't want to throw them away, but you can't figure out a use for them. Guess what? A freezer runs more efficiently when it's full. Why not fill it with fabric scraps? This and other tips for how to keep your fabric out of a landfill can be found here: Top 5 Ways Your Fabric Stash Can Save the Earth.

How, if only I could find a way to make use of my scrap aluminum...

Vanessa Walilko
Chain Mail Jewelry
Handcrafted aluminum chainmail jewelry

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Whenever things don't work out, I take it as a sign that something needs fixing. I've recently dealt with some personal and business-related problems so when the air conditioner at my place went out, I took it as a sign. For the past week, I've been treating my apartment as my own personal sweat lodge. I mean, if people PAY to go to places and sweat themselves silly, I can use the situation as a time for personal reflection.

After organizing everything within my possession (and currently in the process of scrubbing down every surface, I've decided to focus my attention on building my business and challenging myself creatively. I'm back to using my supplies to make beautiful things (the photo is a ring I made yesterday), as well as designing new pieces for shows and to list on Etsy and Sense of Fashion.

Also, when the going gets tough, the tough work on a chainmaille kimono. My goal is to finish it by the end of the summer.

I think that's all for now. If you haven't signed up for my newsletter, now is the time. I'll be sending out the latest issue by the end of the week.

Vanessa Walilko
Chain Mail Jewelry
Aluminum chainmail jewelry

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Clearing out the Clutter

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted. Let's see, in the past two months I won first place in the Wirework category of the Bead Dreams competition, taught at the Bead&Button show, and survived the first two art fairs of the season. It was a pretty good June, I must say.

Of course, as I build my business, I'm trying to settle into a regular production schedule so I'm not furiously making jewelry in the hours before a show. I'm also just trying to be more organized in general. I'm meticulous with chainmaille, fairly messy with everything else. However, Lifehacker recently published an article on how to "de-crapify" your home, and it seems like now is as good of a time as ever to de-clutter.

Of course, supplies are what's taking up the most space, so be sure to check out my supply shop on Etsy in the coming weeks as I list all of the things that I know I simply won't be using. All my other clutter will be going to the Junior League of Evanston, partly because it's a great organization, partly because it's so easy to get to.

One last note: I'll be participating in Art at the Shops in Yorktown Center on July 16-17. Make sure to stop by, I'll have lots of new jewelry to show off.


Aluminum chain mail jewelry
Handmade chainmaille jewelry