Making Crafty Magic

Tip of the Cap: The Nature Makers

I just wanted to share with you a few of the makers who have been absolutely blowing my mind lately (yup, my mind has been bottled, boggled and blown by them). These are the folks that can take something as simple as a stick and turn it into pure magic. I’m constantly astounded by their innate ability to artfully and respectfully incorporate natural objects and materials into their work. To me, they’re a cut above the rest. They inspire me to keep moving forward while at the same time intimidating the heck out of me with their talent. Darn them! I appreciatively and frustratingly shake my fist at their creative genius!

Roots and Feathers: What can I say about Laura that I haven’t said already–without sounding too much like a stalker? Probably not much. Here’s what I’ve had to say about her in the past:

I completely adore and idolize Laura. She’s just the whole package. Her site is a blend of bohemian fashion, jewelry design, astrology, nature appreciation, and soul-searching. She’s completely unafraid to reveal her most deepest truths and personal struggles. This honesty and fearlessness has garnered her legions of devoted, supportive fans, including myself. Plus, her and her hubby are so darn cute together! They warm my chilly little heart!

roots and feathersIf you like what you see, just know that Laura goes out and collects the feathers, branches and bones herself. These are truly made from start to finish by her sweet, creative little hands.

Sacra Luna: Okay, it’s hard for me to even fathom that 2013 marked Ana Marie’s first year as a jewelry designer. WTF?! Are you kidding me? She literally can’t keep anything listed in her Etsy shop for more than a few minutes. That’s of course because she’s freakin’ awesome at what she does. Here’s a great example of someone who is successfully using Instagram as their primary marketing vehicle. She takes the most haunting photos of her work, pairs them with beautiful statements about nature and the world around us, tells people when she’s putting her work in the Etsy shop and each piece is sold within minutes of posting! And she’s a sweetheart who puts up with me verbally drooling all over her Instagram posts. I can’t wait to see what 2014 and beyond brings for her!

sacra lunaHere are some of my personal faves:sacra lunaWild Ivy Creations: Okay, if you only do one thing today, make it hitting the “follow” button on Natasha’s Instagram account. Just the dog and cat photos alone will make your life worth living. Natasha seamlessly and uniquely blends natural elements with metalwork. She’s got a real gift for design and her shop offers a wide variety of items such as jewelry, note cards, ear cuffs, fans, wall art and everything inbetwixt. This is the first shop I would visit if I was unsure of what to get someone.

wild ivy creationsHere are some of my personal faves:

wild ivy creationsGipsy Dharma: Okay, I am not a leather girl but I’m totally cool if others embrace it (no judgements here). I do my best to avoid wearing it because I really don’t want to support the evil empire that is the factory farming industry. If I’m going to put some leather on my bod, it’s probably going to be from the thrift shop. With that being said, Gipsy Dharma gives me much, much, much, waaaay too much pause. Their boots are some of the most gloriously crafted things I’ve ever seen on this very planet. I’m drooling just thinking about slipping my feet into a supple pair and lacing them up. Ahhhh….

Gipsy_DharmaAnd to placate my leather issue, here’s what the FAQ section of their website states:

Do you make vegan boots? Where does your leather come from?

I’ve been trying for months now, however I’m still searching for the right materials to do the job, but I assure you that I’m trying really hard! Some materials just do not work with my designs and others that do work would more than double the cost of the boots. Also, I’ve had a few people write to me, expressing their surprise that I’ve still not been able to have vegan boots made. Well, the truth is that it is very difficult to find alternatives to leather, that do not produce very harmful chemicals as they are being made and do not pollute the environment for hundreds of years after they have been deposed of. So a lot of people who are eager to save the environment seem to be missing a point here, because non leather unfortunately does not necessarily mean good for the planet…

As for the second question, I make sure that all my leather comes from sustainable sources, i.e. no animal is ever killed for their hides.

So for now, it looks like leather may be harder to replace than one would think but I give Gipsy Dharma props for trying. No matter, I’ve found a solution to my inner conflict. I plan to win a pair. Yup, each week they give away a free (shipping included) pair of boots. Lady Luck, please, let’s finally make friends or call a truce because this girl needs a new pair of cruisers! And yes, they make super-fly dude boots too.

Making Crafty Magic

Themis and Thread

Friends and readers, I’m excited to introduce you to one of my nearest and dearest friends who just happens to be a mega-talented, environmentally-savvy, fashion rock star! Jesse and I go way back…

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The two of us cavorting in a New Orleans tattoo parlor many, many years ago.

to the days of hustlin’ wine in the Finger Lakes (which just so happens to be the wine and beer mecca of the east). Sure, we’ve shared some epic and awkward moments. For example, I accidentally went on her first date with Brett. It’s okay though because I ended up officiating their wedding ceremony.  She’s been a good friend to me and more than anything, she’s been a source of inspiration in my life.  That’s why I’m thrilled to share with you her most recent creative endeavor, Themis and Thread. Let me tell you, this gal knows all there is about fashion design and she has the degree, talent, and experience to prove it. More than that though, she’s offering us that rare opportunity to support an independent business owner who specializes in making customized, eco-friendly, American-made clothes.  If you knew all of the harmful chemicals and horrific overseas factory conditions that went into making textiles, you wouldn’t be shopping at stores that encourage you to buy cheaply made, expendable clothing (visit this page for just one of too many examples). I’m a firm believer in spending a little extra to invest in high-quality clothes that will last a long time instead of purchasing a lot of cheap, trendy junk.  Jesse’s making clothes with good karma and the styles won’t go out of fashion. These are staple wardrobe pieces here people! Plus, she makes clothes that are customized to fit your preferences and proportions–because bodies come in all shapes and sizes (which I don’t think most designers understand). So I encourage you to read her press release below, like Themis and Thread on Facebook, shop till you drop, and then shop some more on Etsy.

imageIntroducing A Fresh, Local, Organic Wardrobe to Match Your Diet!

HECTOR, August 2, 2013- Themis and Thread is a catalog/micro manufacturer start-up featuring a five piece clothing line, designed with the exclusive use of American-made components and 100% organic cotton. Business operations are conducted in the heart of The Finger Lakes, where fresh, local and organic standards are a generation sustaining lifestyle. Jesse Junko Beardslee’s Summer designs are fundamental staples, with a fresh, new twist – i.e. “Promenade Pants”, white pants- flared with a teal paisley side panel insert and a muted lime waistband as just one color option (Style Number 1768).

Delightfully reminiscent ordering options include a mail order catalog in circulation, complete with a mail-in order form, phone in ordering, and options for customization; Each piece is made to order and can be adjusted to fit any customers’ specifications. Themis and Thread’s debut line is available for purchase online at themisandthread.ecrater.com, the catalog is available for review at The StoneCat Cafe, Kirton’s Farm Market, Hector Wine Company, Rasta Ranch Vineyards and New Image Hair Network. The catalog is also available per request via e-mail (jessecreates@icloud.com), where you can request to join the paper-free e-mailing list as well.

The business was formed in May 2013, with the official launching of the catalog in July. Each piece from the collection is lovingly, hand-crafted on Seneca Lake, and everything is sourced from The United States of America, right down to the thread that holds the clothing together, the paper the catalog is printed on, and the safety pins that attach the content cards! Designer/Owner/Creator, Jesse Junko Beardslee’s commitment to America, the environment, and community transcends through her flagship collection, you can find the mission statement on the home page of Themis and Thread’s website themisandthread.ecrater.com.

Their fabrics are made from organic cotton, grown by American farmers in the South, woven into fabric and printed with non-toxic, sustainable methods on the East coast, stitched into clothing in The Finger Lakes, and distributed direct to consumer; Thus eliminating the typical shipping pattern of the fashion industry, where components and clothing bundles are shipped up to four times across the planet before showing up on sales racks in malls, with incredibly cheap price tags. The true cost of fast fashion (not unlike fast food), is often paid for by the environment.

Themis and Thread is dedicated to victimless fashion, a broadening concern among many casual shoppers and fashionistas alike, especially since the recent factory disaster in Bangladesh on April 24th. Unsafe working conditions and human rights violations are often hidden behind the glamorous facade of the fashion industry.  

Themis and Thread showcases a revival of righteous, domestic, skilled artisans, and also presents the handiwork of select artisans’ jewelry and accessories. The Summer collection features Natalie Martin, Erica Lynn Drake, and Round Rabbit’s (Nancy Schindler-Adams) art (also made in The Finger Lakes), and is available through the catalog and online at themisandthread.ecrater.com.

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I’m Back!

As of this Monday, I will be back in the Hudson Valley and ready to rock! That means my Etsy shop(s) will be reopening soon, I will be off hiatus with the HV Etsy Team, and I will be back at the Saugerties Farmers Market every Saturday starting August 10th. So mark your calendars because good times are afoot! In the meantime, enjoy these photos that the uber-talented Nancy from Draped in Jewelry took at our last event in Fishkill. Also, if you weren’t aware that I even left you for two months…well I did. Check out my other blog to see what I was up to.