Archive for the ‘eclectic’ Category

Some days I avoid the news like the plague, especially lately. It’s profoundly distressing to read about all the horrific things going on in the world and feel like there’s nothing you can do about most of it, other than write a letter to some politician, and we’ve seen how effective that can be (not!).

The best antidote, for me anyway, is to make something. It’s probably a control thing, I admit it. But it’s nice to feel like you’re doing something to make the world a little better, a little more beautiful. That’s especially true when using something that would otherwise be trashed.

And that’s one of the great things about the people who sell on etsy — the amazing wealth of talent and creativity devoted to reuse and repurposing. Which brings us to my latest find — JustineJustine.

When a store describes itself as “handmade colorful jewelry and upcycled bottle caps,” how can you not check it out? Here are a few of Justine’s wonderful creations:

Bottle cap earrings! They’re so cleverly designed, it takes a while to figure out exactly what they are. And here’s another pair, also from recycled material:

Broken mirror bits and wire — brilliant! Not just because she’s reusing material that would end up in a landfill, but also because they’re so stunning.

Last, but not least, here’s a sample of one of her many items made from acai berries:

Gorgeous! And this is just a little taste of Justine’s work. Where does she get her ideas? I asked her that recently, and here’s her reply:

My travels! before I settled down in Mexico I traveled a lot … I saw so many beautiful colors and different materials in each country! I wanted to capture that colorful exotic vibe and I think both bottlecaps and açai do that pretty well.

Very cool little bracelet created by designer Tara St. James. You can make your own with nothing more than a broken zipper (who doesn’t have one or two of those around?) and a needle and thread. The complete tutorial is at Ecouterre, a fabulous online resource for anyone interested in sustainable fashion design. Enjoy!

This is a little ring I made using a piece of felted cashmere and an orphan vintage earring. The “petals” of the flower are hinged in the center, so they’re moveable. The ring is soft, stretchy and weirdly cute, so of course I love it.  But I’m wondering … a cashmere ring, is that crazy, cool or none of the above?

I love love LOVE this pale green denim jacket. The cut, the fabric, the seam detailing — they’re all just perfect. But as nice as it was, it was still plain — and truthfully, around here plain doesn’t stand a chance.

So … meet the new, improved version, with appliqued embroidered silk panels in front and back, plus a detachable silk “flower.” The final element, which involves the addition of a beautiful cotton yarn outlining the seams on the right front, isn’t in place yet. Hopefully, I won’t screw it up and it’ll be done soon.

What’s in a name? Plenty, I think. Example: as soon as I saw the shop name “Miss Ruby Sue” I just knew the store would be filled with things that were fun and different and creative. Wow, I couldn’t have been more wrong!!

Because the offerings at Miss Ruby Sue are actually way, WAY beyond fun, different and creative. They are firmly entrenched in the “dazzling, knockout, holy cow I’ve never seen that before” category. In fact, MRS pretty much owns the entire category! Just check out Exhibits A, B and C, below:

From adorable tote bag to trendy, bib-style necklace to dazzling headpiece, it’s clear that Miss Ruby Sue is all about being unique. Store founder, Lori Ward, describes her distinctive style this way:

“…a one of a kind Fashion Label with romantic vintage curiosities. Often using upcycled clothing, thrifted trinkets and extinct vintage cuts in an artful blend of melodious chic and neovictorian deconstructed elements. You may even see a little punk fun come thru as well.”

Okay, no argument here. Miss Ruby Sue’s colorfully eclectic collection of bags, accessories and body art is hard to describe. But that’s exactly what clients love about Lori’s work. Even though she’s fairly new to etsy, the shop’s had plenty of sales. And Lori gets extra credit for cultivating her over-the-top style from a conservative small town where out of the ordinary is not exactly celebrated. As she explains at her blog:

“That has been a challenge for me- that’s why I’m so in love with the internet- I can reach a worldwide audience and not just locals. My work is a little eccentric for my town, but I have found people who do like that sort of look and will find me. I had a friend tell me ‘you’ll never sell that here- it’s too expensive and eccentric.’ I just smiled because I know women want to feel and look beautiful no matter what the economy is like.”

Exactly! It’s nice to know that even though the world seems to be going to heck in a hand basket, there’s a place where none of that matters. In fact, I have a feeling that just slipping into a delectable little item like “Scary Mary – funky punky princess wears hairpiece in pink and black set on headband or clip” is the perfect antidote to so many of the “woe is me” moments that come along. And for that, I just have to say “Thank you, Miss Ruby Sue!”