Thursday, 29 January 2015

Five independent jewellery picks

Naturally with all the excitement of my big announcement, I've had jewellery on the brain. Here are my favourite pieces from five fab independent jewellery designers. From top left:

  1. Pegasus Locket Necklace, from BonbiForest. This Pegasus locket is made from an original illustration by the shop owner. I think the gold is so striking on the black, and the illustration is just too sweet. This shop has loads more lovely lockets like this, as well as printed scarves and another apparel. It's based in the UK, too! I don't know if I would necessarily wear this one but how pretty would it be in a little bedside table display?
  2. Laurel Wreath necklace- Brass, from AlmanacForJune. I'm absolutely obsessed with this shop's mythology/astronomy inspired jewellery, but if I was pressed I'd have to go with the wreath necklace as my favourite. I love the textured look of the leaves; you can tell by the detail that this was cast from a hand-carved original. Gorgeous.
  3. Hart & Hunt Necklace, from Datter Industries. This striking necklace is perhaps a bit morbid, but it's so unique and interesting that I'd wear it in a heartbeat. (Hmm.) This shop makes really interesting, unique and well-made pieces, and I highly recommend you browse their other products. They even have their own laurel-inspired design!
  4. Rose quartz bracelet, from TinyMountainsDesigns. This shop is the first time I've ever seen a bracelet quite like this. I love the naturalistic look you get with the raw quartz, and the idea to secure those little hills (tiny mountains?) onto flat bezel bases like that is fantastic.
  5. Tiny bee necklace, from bellehibou. This image doesn't do the scale of this tiny necklace justice. So little! I think jewellery like this is so delicate and feminine, and can be worn as an everyday piece. The hexagonal charm is a clever addition to the classic bee necklace. 
What do you think of my choices? Do you have any favourite independent jewellery makers? I have so many more, I'll have to do a part two!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A very exciting announcement!

After months of thinking about it, gathering the right supplies, making things, etc... I can finally 'announce' that I've started selling jewellery!

I'm starting out with just one piece (dipping my toes in, as it were), this rhinestone pendant I'm calling The Sun. It's about one inch in diameter, and comes on either a short velvet choker-length ribbon, or a long gold-plated chain. I honestly think it's a lovely design and I'm so happy with how they came out! I hope they sell, so I have an excuse to have more fun with jewellery :)

They're for sale here on my Etsy.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Only Skin

The first 'real' embroidery I ever did was just the words 'only skin', a reference to the Joanna Newsom song of the same title. So it's appropriate that I return to the song every few years as my technique improves. Or...I just think about that song a lot. I find it very inspiring; like most Joanna Newsom songs the lyrics are incredibly poetic and they lend themselves to artistic interpretation. The lyric in particular I was thinking of when I made this was 'scrape your knee, it is only skin', and I represented the skinned knees with tiny pearl beads. I think I really like bead embroidery; I find it relaxing. I need to find more projects to use beads in!

If you've never heard the song, grab a cup of tea and settle in for a listen. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

My Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes. The pared-down ideal everyone's been talking about for the last few years, so few of whom are able to actually reach those lofty heights of actually liking all of your clothes. I am definitely one of those people who looks in my closet, clothes rack visibly dipping down in the middle from the weight, and say 'I don't have anything to wear!' This is a lie of course. I have plenty of things to wear. The problem is I either don't like it, or it doesn't fit well, or it's uncomfortable, or it's not my style at all but I'm very sentimental about it, or I like it but it isn't flattering, etc, etc. So for 2015 I'm finally dealing with it. I'm going to stop buying cheap trendy clothes I don't need, and I'm building a capsule wardrobe.

For those who are unaware, a capsule wardrobe is (taken from here):
  1. a collection of clothes and accessories that includes only items considered essential
  2. a person’s basic collection of coordinating clothes that can be used to form the basis of outfits for all occasions
  3. a set of clothing, normally around 24 items, which can be mixed and matched to create a wide variety of outfits.
Get it? No futzing around deciding what to wear in the morning, and always looking stylish? I'm into it! Now this collection I've made isn't 24 items - it's 30, including some things that I already own. Some people use 33 as a guideline, and change their wardrobe season to season. Living in Scotland, I don't think I'll be doing that - the only difference between Winter, Fall, and Spring is how many laters of outerwear I wear, and for the few days in summer it's warm enough my jean shorts will do fine. I'm not a 'summer dresser' anyway. I also haven't included coats (already own all I'll need) or occasion dresses (very rarely relevant). So now that that's all out of the way, a list of my capsule wardrobe picks:

1. Checked shirt
2. White shirt
3. Striped breton top ✓
4. Black tee ✓
5. Grey turtleneck
6. Black camisole
7. Black bodysuit (for layering under jeans and trousers)

1. Black shorts ✓
2. Camel skirt (had one, loved it, gained too much weight, no longer fit :( )
3. Short black skirt ✓
4. Black midi skirt ✓
5. Blue high-waisted jeans ✓ (sans ripped knees, which wasn't on Polyvore)
6. Black high-waisted jeans 
7. Trousers with a pattern

1. Striped tunic ✓
2. Chambray shirt dress 
3. Cream sweater dress

1. Tartan/red gilet
2. Black blazer ✓

1. Black heels ✓
2. Black chelsea boots ✓
3. Black flats ✓ (although they're fairly worn out)
4. Red loafers
5. Brown ankle boots

1. Black scarf
2. Tartan scarf
3. Daniel Wellington watch
4. Pearl necklace
5. Pearl earrings
6. Any crystal statement necklace ✓

Am I immediately going to go out and buy everything I don't have? No. Am I going to throw away everything that isn't on this list? Of course not. I will never give up my massive scarf+gloves+hats collection. Never! What I will be doing though is slowly paring down my wardrobe, donating things I don't wear -- and hopefully this list will make it easier for me to do that. I'll also not be buying any clothing or accessories that don't fall under this list, to stop myself from making impulse purchases I can't afford.

What do you think about my list? Am I missing anything glaringly obvious? Do you subscribe to the capsule wardrobe concept? Let me know!