Moxie and Oliver: My work is an incorporation of traditional leather techniques, and some of my own modern twists. The leather that I use is a thick, tooling, leather. It is stiff on the first wear but softens up nicely. The thickness and strength of the leather means that, unlike most leather accessories, it will last a lifetime. My products are meant to be fashionable, but not “trendy”, so if you’re in the market to purchase a belt, wallet, purse, or another item that you would like to be able to use for the next ten to fifty years, you’ve come to the right place.
With the cold weather almost behind us, the spring trends are starting to emerge just in time for the warm weather. This season the nautical trend is back in full force featuring classic strips, preppy pants and boat shoes along with anchors, lobsters and any other sea animal that comes to mind. While most of us don’t have a boat upon which to enjoy the sunshine, you can still look the part in a few of these great handmade finds.
A great spin on the classic horizontal striped shirt, this navy blue and white top by tsifca features both vertical and horizontal strips for a preppy, yet modern look. Featuring a comfortable fit and wide elbow-length sleeves, this shirt is perfect for lounging, but could easily be dressed up for a night out. The light weight fabric will keep you cool during your time out at sea.
These forest green pleated summer shorts by Eleanor Rot are just perfect for enjoying some time out in the sun. The preppy pleats and cuffs fit perfectly with the nautical trend, but the unexpected color and large gold button keep them modern and a bit edgy. These shorts are the perfect compliment to a striped shirt, but be sure to tuck it in order to create a clear waist line.
This blue, red and gold-toned anchor necklace by Debbiecarroll Designs is the perfect way to add a little bit of nautical into your everyday wardrobe. The gold-toned anchor features a touch of red and is nicely complimented by bright red lucite beads, Swarovski crystals and other gold-toned vintage components. This necklace is a great way to add a bit of vintage glam to your striped shirt or dress up an otherwise plain outfit.
The digital sailboat print featured at the top of this post was created by JC Arts.
Booger and Tash is the sweet as sugar brainchild of a mother of three who learned to sew on her Nanny’s old 1960’s Singer when she was ten. Vickie, the shop owner, has filled her shop with super cute stuff for moms, infants and children, including several items that I was pleasantly surprised to come across, like her collection of wonderfully vintage-looking Little Man Neckties. And, my personal favorite: the I Made You a Mix Tape burp cloth.
Grandma will kiss his little cheeks clean off when she sees him in one of these.
You know what? It doesn’t matter what medium we’re using to record music, a mix tape will always be a mix tape. It’s up to us to pass this knowledge on to the next generation, so why not use burp cloths? Start early I say.
Vickie also makes an adorable collection of hair accessories as well, sized teensy, which I can appreciate. I’ve got two young girls, and when they were in the baby and toddler stage, it was difficult at times to find really cute, modern hair clips that didn’t cost a fortune. These are hip and stylish, cute and girly, and totally affordable. So, stock up.
I love that the ribbon and fabrics she uses are so bright and modern and yet somehow look a little retro. One of my other favs from the shop are her Pacifier Clips. No giant plastic dump trucks or Dora the Explorer heads dangling from baby’s hem. Just a simple cloth tape with wonderful vintage style. And bonus, these can also be used a toy leash on a stroller or carseat.
Be sure to check out her burp cloths, and bibs (the Bandana Bibs are especially cute) as well as her luscious Minky Blankets. I especially enjoy this Orange Bumblebee pattern.
Look at the beautiful work I discovered in the Gallery!
Claudia Manokian: i am a textile designer and a felt maker\ artist, known for my modern approach to the medium of felt making by handcraft.
in 1993 while in England, i first met the old and rich textile art called felting, many things attracted me to the art of felting, the fascinating ancient history going back to 2300BC, the wonderful uncomplicated process of the work itself (wool, water, soap and a shaking motion)and the possibility to apply this art to the modern aesthetic approach of our days.
i adopted the texnique called NUNO-FELT, by manipulating a minimal amount of wool fibers through a basis of fine woven cloth, i create felted cloth with very different qualities to the more known tradisional felt.
A recent tweet on Urbanite Jewelry‘s Twitter feed reads: “Time to catch up on tour de tea…I’m behind like a mo fo! Life is crazy busy right now!” For Krista Leben, jewelry designer/event organizer/business owner/world traveler, “crazy busy” is an understatement. In the time that I have known Krista, she has never had just one thing on the go, and yet always seems to find the time to get everything done with style and grace. Keeping up with so many projects and still managing to make time for herself must be no easy feat, so you know that if anything gets added to Krista’s already-packed schedule, it must be very important.
Lovely repurposed vintage teacup bracelets by Stay Gold Mary Rose.
That is exactly the case with Krista’s “Tour de Tea”. A passionate foodie, Krista is on a personal quest to sample the 70 varieties and flavours of tea in her collection. To that end, she is drinking one per day and blogging about it. As she can’t share the taste experience with us, she provides dreamy Polaroid-style photos of each tea with a brief description of each. It’s almost as good as being there to taste for ourselves.
As I write this, Krista has sampled and logged 58 teas from her collection. Her favourites so far have been a stand-out Swedish tea called Soderblanding (a complex blend of black tea with floral, citrus and vanilla notes), which Krista picked up on a trip to Stockholm, and the Raspberry Ginger Zinger green tea from Edmonton’s Steeps. They haven’t all been winners, though; an intriguing blend from My Tea Mix turned out to be better in theory than in practice. With ingredients like Chinese Wolfberry, ginsing blossoms and rock sugar, it turned out to be more of a treat for the eyes than the tastebuds.
Upcycled vintage teacup pendant light by Mostaza Seed. Such a bright idea!
I asked Krista about her preferred method for brewing tea and she was gracious enough to share these tips with us:
Don’t Use Boiling Water: While this seems totally counter-intuitive, it’s actually bad to steep your tea in boiling water because it can burn the tea. Boil your water, then take it off the stove (or out of the microwave) and let it sit for a minute or two. Then add the tea to it after it’s cooled. You’ll have sweeter, more flavorful tea that’s less likely to get bitter.
Don’t Over-Steep Your Tea: Most tea only needs a few minutes to steep in water. If you’re brewing your tea more than 5 minutes, you’re likely to end up with bitter tea. Different types of tea need less steeping, too. In general, white tea needs the least amount of time to steep, with green tea needing a bit more and black tea needing the most. But even black tea doesn’t typically need more than 5 minutes, so don’t leave your tea in the water too long!
Do Use Loose Leaf!: While the quality of bagged tea has improved greatly in the past couple of years, the flavor and complexity of loose leaf tea can’t be beat. Loose leaf tea is more expensive than tea bags, but is still super affordable and is easy to prepare. Just buy yourself a tea ball or spoon from a kitchen store, put about a teaspoon per cup (250 ml/8 oz) in the ball/spoon and brew just like you would a tea bag!
Keep your tea hot to the bottom of the pot with this modern wool felt tea cozy by Argyle Street.
Krista also mentioned that it’s important to be aware of the shelf-life of your tea. Just like herbs, it’s best to buy your teas in smaller quantities, store them in airtight containers and, for maximum flavour, use them as soon as possible. While drinking “expired” tea won’t be harmful to you, it will taste stale and lack some of its original flavour profile, as Krista found out with some of the older teas in her stash.
One-of-a-kind vintage teacup ring holder by W.Ho Made It.
You can keep up with Krista’s “Tour de Tea” on her blog and via her Twitter feed. To see her stunning line of handmade jewelry online, visit the Urbanite shop. I am personally looking forward to the day when I can venture out to Ottawa to meet my dear friend in the flesh. Over a pot of tea, of course.
“York, England” earrings by Urbanite Jewelry.