Recycled by Hyena: My work is infused with my ethic and each of my creations is the result of passion and dedication. My clothes are made from scratch but not from new materials. They are made with fabric from clothes I purchased in Goodwill stores and non-profit thrift stores.
I “believe” in the craft revolution and I think it is our future. The handmade and eco-friendly life is the only alternative to the consumerism destroying our planet and the living beings surrounding us.
Niffer of 19 Moons spends her mornings eating eggs, potatoes and toast with (veggie) bacon or chocolate chip laced pumpkin pancakes. She says, ‘You see, I really like to mix it up- that way I get the most flavor per bite of life!’ Her first pet was a dog named Ulysses: a nice mutt often dubbed ‘Useless’, but currently she has a zillion wild critters to watch in her yard in Pittsburgh, where she moved a year ago, from San Francisco. She wanted to be with her boyfriend. Ah, sweet love. You can buy directly from her Etsy store or from many stores around the US and abroad.
How did you get interested in making jewelry?
I’ve always been crafty and making things since I could walk and talk. My first jewelry inspiration came in childhood from the Native American tribes of the Southwest. Feathers, bones and beads in brightly colored patterns! I began jewelry with beading and using recycled nuts and bolts, evolving to more styles and materials over time. After years of exploration, I’ve come full circle and lately am making some Indian inspired works.
Where do you find the supplies?
Anywhere and everywhere! All my designs incorporate vintage and recycled things which I re-purpose into jewelry. I find things at Fleas, Thrifting, Antiques, online etc. New items like gold and silver chain I buy at bead supply shops and online.
Where do you get your ideas?
From the ethers! Well actually just here on Earth- there is so much in the realms of nature and man to inspire. Largely it’s the materials themselves with all the history they bring to the table.
How long does it take to make a piece? Can you describe the process?
The time required varies widely depending on the piece. But really, sometimes I feel like they make themselves. It happens like magic- I put two or more totally different things together and if they click, it’s a marriage! Sometimes I let ideas sit for a while and come back to them, a sort of fermentation process. Assembly techniques vary- I do a little of everything.
Do you have another job or is this how you make your income?
No other job for me- making things is my living!
Where is your workroom? Can you describe it for me?
My studio is a dedicated workroom in my house just for jewelry and crafting. Nothing extraordinary about it- though I have some plans for a workbench and loft. The nicest thing is that the window faces our huge Spruce trees which are riddled with little inspiring animals.
What is the difference between your different lines: PLASTINIA, ARCADIA, X-MACHINA and DIONE?
The majority of work I do these days is in my X-Machina line, jewelry that incorporates outdated recycled technology (i.e. watch parts, payphone keys etc.) The aesthetic of this line runs from Industrial to Steampunk. There is some crossover with my other lines. Dione has a space-age theme with Art Nouveau influence (think F.W. Murnau’s Metropolis). Arcadia (Paradise) is nature Victorian style- birds, gardens and the like. Plastinia is my colorful retro 60’s-80’s line featuring recycled plastics from that era, like Lite-Brites and lucite buttons.
What does Steampunk mean?
Steampunk is a subculture that is quickly gaining steam in the fashion world. I believe it evolved as an offshoot from the Neo-Victorian movement with a more mechanical focus- sort of an older industrial version of Cyberpunk. Basically technology of the future through the lens of the 1800’s, as seen in the literature of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and others.
Do you sell your items in any stores or exclusively on Etsy?
I mainly sell on Etsy but I also do shows and stores. My work is carried in several stores around the country in CA, PA, AZ, WA states, plus two abroad in England and Australia. There’s more info on these and my upcoming shows at my other website, 19moons.com.
What does the future hold for you?
That I cannot say- as long as I am still growing and learning with the creative process then it should be bright!
My son remarked to me the other day that he felt that he had been born about 25 years too late, and should have grown up in the 80s. I laughed and told him that I thought the same thing about myself; I would’ve been right at home growing up in the mid-50s/early-60s. I have always been drawn to the architecture and design of the era and I can’t honestly remember a time that a good Formica counter top, a sunburst clock or an Eames chair didn’t make my heart beat a little faster. Eco-friendly tote, featuring an Eames chair silhouette (below), by Modist.
I don’t know if Atomic Age design ever really went away (not in my books, anyway), but it has really made quite a comeback over the past few years. I’m sure a big factor in that has been the popularity of the program Mad Men, but I like to think that it was just the world coming to its senses. After a couple of really questionable decades of design, we are once again appreciating the clean lines, bright colours and clever shapes of mid-century modernism.
Some creative craftspeople, like Mark and Jeff of Ypsilanti, MI are taking this appreciation one step further and incorporating the everyday items of this time into fresh, new objects of desire. Take this piece, for example – a simple container intended to store your leftovers has been taken off kitchen duty and transformed into an awesome table lamp (above). Check out the Boots n Gus shop for even more lamps in all sorts of shapes and sizes, like the pendant light at the top of this article; you’ll be seeing Tupperware in a whole new light!
Another ingenious example of retro kitchenware finding a home in the living room is this eggbeater clock, pictured above, by Kim aka The Sassy Crafter. Made from 12 recycled electric beaters (and a whole lotta cheek), these clocks are a brilliant reinterpretation of the classic mid-century sunburst design and can be purchased as-is from Kim’s shop, or custom ordered to match your decor.
When we’re talking about mid-century design, I can’t go without mentioning the advertising of the age. It was a time of rampant consumerism and the ads were a perfect reflection of that; shoppers scrambled to fill their homes with the optimistic, modern goods that would separate them from the stodgy belongings previous generations. To that end, ad agencies seized the opportunity and pushed the idea that new was best and the future was now, such as in this advertisement for Scripto Satellite pens, cleverly made into a durable coaster (below) by Jenn and Jenny of Robot Candy. Maybe it’s just me, but 50 years later it still makes me want to buy a pen (and a coaster, for that matter)!
Ironically, our nostalgia for this time has us channeling the Drapers and filling our homes with the relics of the atomic age. Even with the advances in science and technology since then, the many of the designs and fabrications still seem modern and relevant…perhaps the future is (still) now.
“Mad Men”-inspired print, above, by Yumalum.
Potentially shaping up as one for the record books — and not in a good way — the 2009 tomato season is upon us. Here, the season is just winding up, but already I’ve had my first few mouthfuls of flavor-packed, garden-fresh goodness.
Unfortunately, the first few mouthfuls may prove half the crop. While we’re not being hammered by the late blight that has been relentlessly claiming crops on the east coast, Mother Nature has not been our friend here either. The summer has been cool and in our region dry — even despite what seems like every third day rains.
I hope you’ll join me as I ponder some of my favorite things about summer! In no particular order: popsicles, hikes, beach time, ice cream cones, beautiful sunsets, bike riding, vitamin d (for some of us on the rainy west coast we find ourselves pretty much sun-drunk on a sunny day), and wait for it – patio time! While I could easily write a post about any of the wonderful things listed above I’ll save those for another time, and instead focus on patios and patio decoration.
I received an email from the lovely ladies at Gallant & Jones sharing their gorgeous deck chairs and I knew I had to post about them. From there, I thought we could look at patios more generally too!
I’ll confess I don’t have a patio. Well we do but it’s about 5 feet by 4 feet and rarely gets sun, so some of this post is just me daydreaming about the future. It’s fun to imagine just what our futures might look like, even as it relates to how we’ll decorate. The older I get the more I realize that what’s most important for me when it comes to decorating and entertaining.
First and foremost I want our future patio to be cozy, bright and inviting. So that means some deck chairs like the ones from Gallant and Jones, some candles like the ones above from Silk n Lights Designs to ward off bugs, and some cute cushions – I love these monogrammed ones from Tater Babies. If we truly want to get lux – it’d be nice to have some heat lamps, a sweet little table with seating for guests, and if we’re dreaming here – I’ll take a gazebo and a little man-made lake too.
I’d love to hear your dreams for your perfect patio – what you would include, and how you would accessorize?