Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Voice Heard Round The World: GIVE-AWAY WINNER !

I wanted to thank everyone who stopped by and entered my give-away to win a pair of my recycled circuit board earrings made with recycled photographic film used in the actual DESIGN of a circuit board!
These earrings have a retail value of $22 and they can be found in my Etsy shop www.debbyaremdesigns.etsy.com

► Random.org was used to pick the winner from 18 entries and the winner was entry #8 which belongs to AIK ! I will be emailing you to arrange to ship the earrings and thanks so much for participating! If I don't hear back from you within a couple of days, I will pick another winner. ◀

True Random Number Generator Min:1 Max:18 Result: 8

Interestingly, many people were stumped by my question about what was the 'bumpy silver ring' on the face of the clock that you first see when my video starts.

One person - Cynthia Richardson ( hofkan ) got it correct - it's a ball bearing chase from a bicycle which came from a bicycle shop in Carborro, N.C.- actually a very cool shop where you can go in and MAKE your own bicycle from repurposed parts!

Here's a link to their shop www.recyclery.org
The ReCYCLEry was started by a small group of community-minded cyclists in the summer of 2000. The original idea was to collect and repair old bikes to give away to children, teaching the children bicycle maintenance as well as self-confidence, responsibility and a sense of community. This concept quickly spread to adults as well, and developed the ReCYCLEry into a cornerstone of the local community.

A very cool concept and right up our alley of recycling something that might otherwise end up in a landfill!

Please remember to keep it green everyone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Voice Heard Round The World Inspires a Give-Away!

Imagine my delight when I was recently contacted by a photojournalist from Voice of America who had learned of our 20 year DIY business of recycling vintage circuit boards into new and useful products!
This business card holder is an example of an item made with recycled circuit boards and sold in our Etsy shop www.DebbyAremDesigns.etsy.com

Voice of America (VOA) is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. It provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on the Internet outside of the U.S. and in 44 different languages, reaching an estimated global audience of 123 million people! It's mission is "to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas."

This clock is an example of an item sold in our Etsy shop and made with a recycled circuit board
www.DebbyAremDesigns.etsy.com shop
June Soh, a Washington, D.C. based photojournalist for Voice of America , had actually first read about Three Ring Circuits
( also known as Debby Arem Designs ) in a local magazine - we were featured in the March/April issue of Montgomery Magazine in honor of upcoming Earth Day !

Never underestimate the power of networking !

You can click on the link below to read the article in the magazine.
June asked if she could interview us for a story about our business - a story that quite literally would go 'round the world. I really am in awe of what June does - she was here interviewing and filming us for literally 7 hours - she filled a number of tapes on her camcorder- and then had to compress those 7 hours into a couple of minutes to be aired online ! WOW !

I can certainly see why June won a Bronze Medal at the 2011 New York Festivals World's Best Television & Films Award. This is one of the most respected competitions in the world, with entries from more than 35 countries and
she won this prestigious award for her 2010 TV feature on Wayne Henderson, one of the finest acoustic guitar makers in the United States.

Below is the final result of our feature on Voice of America "Maryland Couple Makes Beautiful Objects From Recycled Circuit Board" which just went live last evening!

◉ The concept of "Round the World" inspired me to host a GIVE-AWAY featuring a 'round' item from my www.DebbyAremDesigns.etsy.com shop ! ◉

Deadline to enter is a nice 'round' number - April 10th,2011.
The winner will be chosen by www.random.org and will win the following item:
A pair of earrings ( value $22.00 ) made with vintage round black lucite wire wrapped beads that have a very 'techy' or 'steampunk' look to them and are from the 1960's,vintage German round black glass spacer beads and the actual photographic film used in the design and creation of a PCB (printed circuit board ) ! They will arrive in a little box made with recycled brown paper all ready for gift giving or to keep for yourself ! Film pattern may vary slightly from photo as each pair is made to order.

You can have up to a potential 10 nice round entries!
Please leave a separate comment for each one and please don't forget to include an e-mail address so I can notify you if you win. I will be carefully keeping track and numbering each comment and using random.org to choose the winner. You have 2 days to claim your prize after I have emailed you before I select another winner.

1. Watch the video about our business, entitled "Maryland Couple Makes Beautiful Objects From Recycled Circuit Board" on Voice of America and identify the ROUND "bumpy" silver colored ring that is the outer edge of the face and below the eyes on this clock ( below ) that you first see when the video begins !

If you guess the name of this recycled piece of metal correctly ( answer will be given when winner is announced ) you will earn 1 Entry ❤
2. Follow my blog and leave a comment (if you are already a follower post a comment stating that you are already a follower)❤ 1 Entry
3. Visit each of my 3 Etsy shops and tell me what your favorite ROUND item is in that shop!
❤ ❤ ❤ 3 Entries
4. Mention my giveaway on your blog and send me a link. ❤ 1 Entry
5. Tweet about the giveaway and comment here with link to your tweet ❤ 1 Entry
6. If you're a member of TeamEcoEtsy, EtsyVintageTeam, or EtsyForAnimals Team ( I belong to all ) ,leave a comment stating which team(s)you belong to: 1 Entry per team for a maximum of ❤ ❤ ❤ 3 Entries

►The winner will be announced here on April 10th and chosen by www.random.org◀

Good luck everyone and don't forget to recycle whenever possible !

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Been A Long Time In Many Respects But Well Worth It !

It was 1992... twenty years ago ...that Joel and I first began to salvage old circuit boards that would have otherwise been destroyed. Our friends thought we were crazy but we had an idea - what if we could create new products from these circuit boards ?!? As an artist, I was absolutely enthralled with the amazing circuitry patterns and as one who could engineer just about anything, Joel was intrigued by the challenge of creating new products!


The term 'geekery' didn't even exist back then nor did the term "Being Green" but we were pretty sure we were on to something. In fact, there wasn't even the Internet!

Three Ring Circuits was created based on the idea of recycling unwanted PCBs and we've never looked back. In fact, our line has grown to not only include jewelry but also green office products and home decor.

Our bookmarks, which are actually made out paper-thin, but very strong and flexible sheets of fiberglass-epoxy , are probably our best seller. PCBs are made up of many of these innerlayers stacked one upon another.


It seemed fitting that as we celebrated our 20th year of "repurposing" circuit boards ( another term which didn't exist in 1992!), that I have a new website designed for me to usher in the next decade! But how would I accomplish this?

I'd already made two stabs at having a website custom created for my two distinct lines : Recycled Circuit Board Products sold in my http://DebbyAremDesigns.etsy.com shop and Vintage Beaded Jewelry sold in my http://ForeverInStyle.etsy.com shop )


Both times I was left disappointed and both times I was out quite a few dollars.
This time I needed to get it right.
And by now I knew what I needed - something I didn't have the foggiest idea about when my first website was created probably eight years ago.

And so I began my search on Etsy to find a web designer. I soon found out that there are probably hundreds of web designers on Etsy. No, actually thousands!
So how was I to find the right one ? Well after spending many many hours looking at many many Etsy shops - and after reading many many feedbacks left by many many previous clients, the stars aligned , and "Eureka Eureka" ( as one of my other Etsy shops is named ) I found THE most amazing web designer - Simone!! who can be reached at her email address studio@simonerussell.com

Not only is Simone a web designer but she is also an artist in her own right. The combination couldn't be more perfect for me. And I soon found out that she 'got' me. I had a million questions to ask before investing any more money in a website and she patiently answered each and every one. And she patiently explained what she could do for me. Simone lives in Australia - I live in Maryland. Simone is 16 hours ahead of me I soon found out yet it was never a problem.

If anyone who is reading this is looking for the most talented web designer out there, with a knack to intuitively know what to create for you, you MUST check out her Etsy shop http://www.parisflowerchild.com

I almost wish I had another online project that needed to be created because I'm going to miss our daily exchange of emails while she created EXACTLY what I envisioned!

Please stop by my brand new website that Simone created http://debbyarem.com to see an example of her work, and please ask her for other examples which is what 'sold me' on Simone in the first place.

I consider Simone my friend now - a friend who is 16 hours ahead of me and who uses terms I'd never heard of before meeting her such as " a full stop ".

I'm sure Simone will be happy to tell you what that means!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Remote Place We Visited - Peshawar, Pakistan 1981

The past few weeks I've been thinking so much about the recent news - the big news about Osama bin laden. And I've been thinking how back in 1981, one of our first and most exotic buying trips was to Pakistan! We landed in Karachi to begin our travels and eventually ended up in the remote ' village ' of Peshawar where we stayed at the Khyber Intercontinental hotel. Of course Joel HAD to take a picture of me next to the door man! In Pakistan ( at least 30 years ago ) the men all dyed their beards red with henna!
Karachi even back in 1981 was much more modernized than Peshawar with cars and paved streets. And the women walked around without their faces totally covered as you can see in this photo.
It still though certainly wasn't what we were used to here in the U.S. -
A camel pulling a cart!
Never in our wildest dreams did we think when we had this rare opportunity to visit this almost ' frontier ' village ( on the Khyber Pass ) in 1981, that it would make the news 30 years later as being the out of the way location where a "senior al Qaeda commander" was captured by Pakistani security officials! Terrorism wasn't even on the radar back then.
Muddy Peshawar Street 1981
The capture of Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub, a Yemeni citizen was instrumental in finally tracking down al Qaeda leader Osama bin laden.
It was reported that almost a year ago, Pakistanis working for the Central Intelligence Agency drove up behind a white Suzuki navigating the bustling streets near Peshawar, Pakistan, and wrote down the car’s license plate.
The man in the car was bin Laden’s most trusted courier, and over the next month CIA operatives tracked him throughout central Pakistan. Ultimately, he led them to a sprawling compound at the end of a long dirt road and surrounded by a tall security fence where they found Osama bin laden.
When watching the news, I couldn't help but be struck by how much has changed over the past 30 years - not just how it's no longer safe to travel there, but how Peshawar is no longer a ' village ' but a bustling ' city '!
When we were there on a buying trip, most of the people we encountered in Peshawar traveled by an oxen driven cart - certainly not a car!
Or a horse drawn cart
Peshawar was probably the most exotic place that Joel and I traveled to and where I acquired a number of fabulous beads that I sell in both my Etsy vintage supply shop http://EuekaEureka.etsy.com and my http://ForeverInStyle.etsy.com shop as finished jewelry.
Here is an example of a pair of ornate brass beaded earrings made with beads purchased during that incredible trip.
And these earrings which are currently for sale in http://ForeverInStyle.etsy.com
I mention in my listings that the place that I found these beads was in a little ' hole in the wall' shop. I actually found a picture of me ( with my 1980's hair style ) with the shop owner! The shop owner is holding an ornate copper and brass vase that I lugged home on the plane.
Peshawar as I said earlier was quite primitive back in 1981. We took some of the best pictures we've ever taken on that trip. This photo has always been one of my favorites where this gentleman was sitting on the dirt road cooking a meal for himself in a large brass pot. ( And yes I managed to lug one of those home as well! )
The shops were open to the street and what always struck me was the contrast of the bright colors of the items for sale and the drab browns and grays of the dirt road and garments that the men wore. You rarely saw women in Peshawar and if you did, they were of course completely covered in black with only their eyes peeking out.
Westerners ( and especially women) were rarely seen in Peshawar. I've always loved this picture that Joel took of this group of children. Joel had left me with our driver while he went to meet with a gem dealer. ( Women weren't allowed under any circumstance in such a setting.)
As I stood on the street, I felt like I was in "The Wizard of Oz" when all the munchkins came out! These children didn't quite know what to make of me as you can see!
One of the places we also visited was an emerald mine in the village of Swat - in Northern Pakistan in the foothills of the Himalayas.
I was told that I was the first woman ever allowed to go there!
Here's a picture of me looking rather cold! Not much to look at but we had to document the fact that I was actually there!
And lastly, what would a trip to Pakistan be without a picture of a 'snake charmer'!
Hope you enjoyed our exotic travelogue!
Debby and Joel

Monday, April 18, 2011

Team ECO ETSY Has Joined Forces With SPRINT's New Green ID Pack on Android !

Since 1992, Joel and I have been involved in recycling circuit boards and turning them into useful and decorative products. We like to joke that we were ' green' before it was really a movement!
Over the years, our original line which was known as Three Ring Circuits, expanded from just jewelry when we first started
to green office products, home accessories and home decor.
Back in 1992, we had a lot of friends scratching their heads at our passion to create something new out of others' trash and most importantly, to save circuit boards from ending up in landfills. Many many people didn't quite get what the fuss was all about.
But a number of years later I discovered ETSY - and more specifically Team ECO ETSY - an incredible bunch of individuals equally passionate about recycling and living green. Our shop, http://DebbyAremDesigns.Etsy.com is a member of this awesome group of like minded individuals who make it our mission to help change this world to become a cleaner and safer place for future generations.

Well it seems that not only do WE think what we stand for is important, but it turns out so does SPRINT -one of the highest ranked green telecom companies! They recently announced that they have now linked their site to select Android devices for easy green handmade shopping experience for their customers, right at their finger tips.
Sprint announced its newest ID Pack called, Green ID Pack that “automatically loads apps, widgets and shortcuts tailor-made for users who want to live a more environmentally sustainable life and help others to do the same.”

There are four screens to Green ID Pack: Green Now, Live Green, Green Shop and Take Action. This awesome feature is available for owners of the LG Optimus S™, Sanyo Zio™, Samsung Transform™, Samsung Epic™ 4G* and Samsung Galaxy Tab™ on their devices with one simple click.

Sprint’s newest environmentally preferred phone, the Samsung Replenish™, also will offer the Green ID pack when it becomes available May 8th, 2011

What's SO incredible is that the “Green Shop” screen will feature Team Eco Etsy’s logo (it’s the little blue birdie) that will directly take the users to its website

From the website, they can click the category tabs on the left, which will bring them to members’ items on Etsy! Our team shares the screen with some prominent companies like eBay Green, Green Deals.org, Seasonal Harvest, and Light Bulb Finder.

Joel and I never thought when we first hatched the idea of saving circuit boards from landfills and repurposing them into new products, that we would one day be a part of an online shopping Team ( ECO ETSY ) that would be noticed by a big corporation like Sprint!
One of our best sellers - bookmarks from the inner layers of a circuit board!
After running around for years trying to educate people about the importance of recycling, it was a breath of fresh air for us to discover Team Eco Etsy and now its a full blown GUST of fresh air, to be associated with SPRINT - one of the greenest telecom companies that ranked at No. 6 as America’s Greenest Companies by Newsweek in 2010!
Sprint was also ranked highest among the wireless carrier industry on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s “Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index” and received the “Sustainability Leadership Award” at the 2010 International Electronics Recycling Conference and Expo for its leadership among wireless carriers in the recycling of mobile handsets.

We're just beaming at SPRINT's announcement and the significance of this for Team ECO ETSY and we wanted to share it with all our readers!

Debby and Joel

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

READERS' CHOICE AWARD Favorite Artisan: Geek Craft !

Thank you SO much to all my friends, followers and customers who nominated me in the Geek Craft category and who voted for me for Favorite Handmade Artisan: Geek Craft 2011. I'm so honored to be the recipient this year and wanted to share the great news with everyone!
Debby Arem Designs WINS ABOUT.COM'S 2011 READERS' CHOICE AWARD FOR Favorite Handmade Artisan: Geek Craft!
NEW YORK, March 15, 2011 - About.com today announced that Debby Arem Designs has been selected as the About.com 2011 Readers' Choice Award for Favorite Handmade Artisan: Geek Craft ! Now in its fourth year, the About.com Readers' Choice Awards honor the best products, features and services across more than a dozen categories, ranging from technology to hobbies to parenting and more, as selected by its readers.
Bookmarks- One of our most popular products
"This year's Readers' Choice Awards program had a record number of nominations submitted across more than a dozen categories and featured hundreds of finalists," said Margot Weiss, managing editor, About.com. We are thankful to all our readers for their participation and congratulate Debby Arem Designs on their success."

The About Group is part of The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading media company with 2010 revenues of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers and more than 50 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment

To view the About.com award and all award winners, please visit http://awards.about.com and thank you again everyone!

Monday, March 7, 2011

AQUAMARINE - March's Birthstone

Ancient Romans believed that the aquamarine was sacred to Neptune, the god of the sea. Called "the sailor's gem" and the "stone of courage," ancient Mediterranean sailors, fishermen, and sea travelers considered aquamarine to be a particularly lucky talisman when on the water. Aquamarine amulets were believed to be especially powerful if the stone had an engraving of the moody Poseidon (Neptune to the Romans), god of the sea.
Aquamarine was also believed to improve intellect and impart courage!
Aquamarine crystals can be tiny or immense; very large beryls are generally not transparent, but gem quality aquamarine crystals weighing more than 30 kilograms have been found. Perhaps the most famous and beautiful Aquamarine crystal ever found was the "Marta Rocha", named after Miss Brazil of that time ( 1954)
The crystal, found in 1954 or 1955 on a farm near Teofilo Otoni, Brazil weighed 74.50 pounds. This specimen was to gain fame among gem merchants as setting the top standard of color in Aquamarine.
A number of superb gems were cut from this crystal, which was more than 50% top gem material, and the uncut remainder is in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Our supply shop of vintage beads and faceted gemstones also offers fine cut aquamarine gemstones: Here is just one example of a faceted stone for sale in our Eureka Eureka vintage bead supply shop: http://www.etsy.com/listing/66840870/vintage-aquamarine-faceted-loose
Aquamarine is the blue or blue-green variety of the mineral beryl. Fine blue gems up to more than 100 carats are available these days in the global marketplace!
Here is a picture of a 66 carat faceted aquamarine!
Beryl is the chief ore of the element beryllium and is mined in large quantities throughout the world. The ore material is opaque, but transparent beryl is also widespread and is cut into faceted gemstones. Like tourmaline, pure beryl (called goshenite) is colorless, but chemical impurities in the growth environment impart a huge variety of hues, producing what are called "color varieties". Beryl crystals can be enormous, some of them weighing several tons, but these behemoths are not transparent enough to be cut into gemstones.
Chromium and vanadium impurities in beryl produce a dark green variety called emerald.
Emerald crystals
Manganese yields peach or pink beryl, called morganite, and also an extremely rare red variety called bixbite.
Iron can produce yellow, or "golden" beryl, which can vary from pale yellow to very dark orange.
It's certainly not a stretch to see why blue or the blue- green variety of beryl called aquamarine was named after the color of sea water. Greenish-blue material can be heated with a process that eliminates the yellow component, leaving a pure blue color. A century ago the blue-green hue was preferred, but today's market seems to favor blue.

I belong to a number of teams on Etsy
One of my fellow EtsyCrest Team members has an Etsy shop http://Studio722.etsy.com where she currently has a couple of pieces of her beautiful handmade aquamarine jewelry for sale.
Lori's jewelry shop is actually known for its use of "softer" colors in blues, greens, purples, pinks and of course aqua.
Here is a lovely example of her work in sterling silver and featuring aquamarines:
Please stop by and check out Lori's shop if you have a few moments!

Another of the Etsy teams I belong to is Etsy for Animals and a team member, Kelly, has an awesome etsy shop http://happyshackdesigns.etsy.com
Kelly has also designed a stunning pair of earrings where she incorporates aquamarines with Colorado topaz, aqua and crystal Swarovski crystals.
Here's a direct link to these charming earrings and please stop by and check out Kelly's shop when you have a moment as well!

Or if you had your mind set on an aquamarine hand crafted ring - another Etsy for Animals team member, Nita, has this lovely little ring for sale in her shop
Please stop by her shop and check it out - here's a direct link to this item:

Finally, in case anyone is curious where aquamarine is found - it's mined in Brazil, Nigeria, Russia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and even in the USA such as North Carolina, Colorado, and California!