Just like the “Island of Misfit Toys” in the classic Rudolph TV show, Seattle artist Krissy Maier can turn a mismatched earring, a broken necklace or unwearable jewelry into fantastic, everyday pieces.

Maier began making jewelry in high school, when, as she says, “You don’t have any money, and if you don’t make it yourself, you go without.” The Seattle artist began in earnest in 2006, and by 2007 her vintage-made-modern business, Orange Box Jewelry was born.  It’s a magical merge of reuse and recycle.

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How does she get her vintage pieces? “It’s a constant treasure hunt,” laughs Maier. “I now have a group of older ladies who hunt for things. And each piece comes with a story. A woman will tell me ‘I lost one of these earrings on a trip to San Francisco in the ’60s….’ Later, she’ll want to see what I’ve made out of her earring.” Maier says the women seem overjoyed at what she’s made of their old, unwearable jewelry, and they’re happy the new pieces will live on and make someone else happy.

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Maier creates necklaces, earrings, hair pieces and rings. Most recently, she met a woman who had collected a handful of older, clearly outdated 3/4 inch computer chips. “They looked like little mosaics on their own,” says Maier. She has fashioned them into rings and hair clips, a perfect gift for the computer programmer or graphic artist in your life.

On Saturday, December 17, you can meet Krissy Maier and look at her designs at Sky Nursery (8528 Aurora Avenue North; Shoreline, WA 98133) from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Head to the nursery’s greenhouse, where you can purchase a piece of Orange Box Jewelry for someone on your Holiday list, or just for yourself.

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Check out Orange Box Jewelry at http://www.orangeboxjewelry.com. Online shopping is available, and a list of local retailers who carry Orange Box Jewelry is listed HERE.