Fascination Chainmail Earrings
Bright, shiny chainmaille earrings with a most definite 80s feel. Best worn with moussed hair and neon leggings. You’ll look so totally bodacious!
Brass and Sterling Silver Spinner Ring
This 13mm (1/2″) wide spinner ring is made from textured brass sheet with 2 patterned sterling silver rings spinning freely around the inner ring.
NY Black & White Snickerdoodle
Nurture, condition and brighten your skin with this decadent soap, infused with the aromatic notes of warm vanilla sugar, sweet butter and cinnamon. This soap is a unique and lovely combination of my two favorite cookies; the NY black and white and snickerdoodles! Just like the cookies, this soap… details »
Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about myself; just ask my fella. He knows firsthand that it’s one of my favourite topics of conversation. When it comes to this column, though, I prefer to shine the spotlight away from myself and towards the dozens and dozens of talented artisans and crafters that I come across on the web and in person. Save for the one upcycled pillow of my own that I managed to sneak into a piece, in the 11 months of writing my weekly “Going Green” articles I have pretty much resisted the urge to toot my own horn…until now. I have recently joined a local crafters cooperative and with the recent opening of our brick and mortar shop, I am absolutely bursting to tell you all about it.
Taking over a former art gallery space in Winnipeg’s funky South Osborne neighbourhood, the Mozy Rue ECO Collective opened its doors to the public on Tuesday, June 13th. The collective itself is made up of several members of Winnipeg’s art and craft community, who met through local craft shows and Etsy street-team events. The collection of handmade goods on the shelves will be constantly changing and evolving (much like the people who make them), which will give shoppers a completely new shopping experience with every visit. Organized into little “boutiques” within the bright, open space, customers can browse for everything from jewelry to furniture and, believe me, everything in between. The only commonality (besides their inherent coolness, of course) is that all items are handmade and “eco-friendly” in some way, either created from new, natural, sustainable materials, or upcycled/recycled/repurposed from discarded items. This is just a small sampling of the many members and consigners at the shop, but it should give you a taste of what we’re all about.
The shop takes its name from Jody, aka Mozy Rue, the visionary ECO-crafter who brought us all together and has been working tirelessly to make the shop a reality. In addition to being the driving force (and muscle) behind the venture, she is an talented artisan as well. Visitors to the Mozy Rue ECO Collective shop will be both surprised and impressed by Jody’s eclectic collection; her line of upcycled goods runs the gamut from boots made from men’s suits and repurposed leather (pictured above) to pendants cut from bottles, which are also available in Jody’s online shop.
Regular readers of this column will recognize EmmsgEMs from previous mentions, as well as a recent full-length interview . In that feature, I introduced Emily’s new line of eco-friendly jewelry, which makes use of natural and sustainable materials. When I found out that Emily had signed on as a member of the collective, I was thrilled…but a little worried. It’s definitely going to take a lot of willpower for me to work my shifts in the shop with lovely things like the ones in the EmmsgEMs display case tempting me. I know I will be unable to resist her recycled glass earrings, like the ones pictured above. Visit the EmmsgEMs shop to see what I mean…and, really, don’t even bother trying to “just browse”.
When you move into a house, you hope for good neighbours. Well, the same goes when you set-up shop in a new place. My own hopes for “good neighbours” at the ECO Collective store were more than exceeded when I saw the display right beside mine. It is a rare that I am speechless (again, just ask my fella), but that’s exactly what happened when I saw dconstruct’s beautiful (and beautifully presented) line. Working in feather-light concrete and 40% recycled resin, the award-winning team behind dconstruct create jewelry pieces that are simple, stunning and, well…simply stunning. I absolutely love the resin cuffs with embedded natural materials and concrete pieces, pictured above.
Needless to say, I am thrilled to be in such great company and part of what is promising to be a very exciting (ad)venture. As for my own little “shop-within-a-shop”, I have filled my space with all sorts of upcycled goodies, like my signature Domino Pins (below), collage mirrors and upcycled t-shirt pillows. I have already begun expanding my line, though, and I am sure that being surrounded by so many talented and like-minded women and men is going to be a fantastic inspiration for me. I can’t wait to see what the future holds…
The Mozy Rue ECO Collective is open for business at 531 Osborne Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba. If you can’t make it out to say “hi” in person, please visit our online shops, or visit our blog for more info.
Ok, I’ll admit it – I am a romantic. Not your stereotypical “roses and sonnets” romantic, but an optimistic, lover-of-love just the same. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting flowers as much as the next girl, but it tends to be the off-beat that makes my heart skip-a-beat. One of the most romantic gifts that I ever received wasn’t a piece of sparkly jewelry or a candlelit dinner in a fancy restaurant, but a group of googly-eyed rocks placed around my garden by a certain handsome fella. Given the fact that my idea of a romantic hero is less Romeo Montague and more Lloyd Dobbler, it should come as no surprise that he (and the rocks) won my heart. I suppose that little story serves to explain why I adore all of this week’s handmade finds so much.
“I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen” – Say Anything
Created without a pattern and made from a combination of upcycled and new materials, Love Bunny (above) from Design Lab 443, is quirky-cool (and adorably eco-friendly!) Tracy, a busy mom and talented graphic designer, creates fresh and original items like these out of a love for making “something out of nothing”. Be sure to check out her blog for a sneak-peek of what’s she’s currently working on, as well as a glimpse of all the things she holds dear.
“That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.” And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.” – The Princess Bride
At first glance, this pillow (above) reads “As you wish”, but anyone who is familiar with the timeless love story of Buttercup and Westley will know that what it really says is “I love you”. With a pocket in the back to hold a token of your affection or perhaps a love note, this upcycled heart has been lovingly fashioned from a wool suit coat and can even be scented with your choice of essential oil. Kendra of By Hand at Home can even create a custom heart for your sweetheart; just contact her through her shop for details.
“It doesn’t matter if the guy is perfect or the girl is perfect, as long as they are perfect for each other.”- Good Will Hunting
One thing that I love about handmade items is that no two are ever exactly alike. To me, the beauty lies in the differences that exist between one item to the next. These little works of art, like the one above, by Recycled Art Company embrace that concept to the fullest. Handmade with reclaimed wood and salvaged license plates, each one is perfectly, or rather, imperfectly unique. Not surprisingly, the story behind Recycled Art Company is a love story in itself. Working their way through grad school with two young children in tow, the creative “tree-huggers” behind the art are celebrating 12 years of marriage and partnership. The passion and enthusiasm that they share is truly evident in the fun, whimsical pieces that they create.
“Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.“ – Wizard of Oz
According to that logic, I suppose this pillow by Raging Wool is as practical as can be. Made from hundreds of strips of pure cashmere, recycled from thrifted sweaters and inserted by hand into a base of 100% wool (also upcycled), it is as soft and touchable as it is lovely to look at. The clever person responsible for the creation of this one-of-a-kind piece is Peg, a mother of three and self-described “fiber junkie”. A quick browse around her shop is all you need to see the care and patience that goes into each item. And, just like all of this week’s featured shops – you can feel the love. <3
There was a time in our no-so-distant past when a table wasn’t considered to be properly set unless it was first covered with a tablecloth. Nowadays, though, tablecloths are more likely to be seen at “good” restaurants or saved for special occasions at home. Speaking for myself, I can only think of a handful of occasions over the course of a year that one of my own tablecloths are called into service. It’s a shame, too, because I have quite a collection of hand-me-down and thrifted cloths relegated to a drawer in the pantry. I can’t bear to part with them, but they just don’t seem to fit into our busy, wipe-clean lifestyle.
According to the 1958 edition of Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, a Bride’s trousseau should include no fewer than six tablecloths, plus dozens of cloth napkins and “tray sets“. No wonder there are so many vintage linens to be found! Sally of Sally Rags has discovered a way to give new life to neglected linens like mine. [Be sure to also check out Leah’s interview with Sally Rags from a few months back.]
Although we are a full month away from the official first day of summer, this past weekend was, for most of us, the “real” start of the season. Up here in the middle of Canada, the Victoria Day long-weekend is when we start wearing white shoes, planting our gardens, and firing up our barbeques. Sure, you can try to do those things before “May Long”, but you run the risk of a major fashion faux-pas and frost damage to your tender seedlings. (There’s really no compelling reason to hold off grilling, but I think it’s more fun when the evenings are long and the spring veggies start to appear in the market.)
I can’t help you with the white shoes, but I can help get your garden off to a good start. These upcycled seedling jars (above) made by Morgann of Bragging Bags make cute, little vessels to hold and protect your seedlings until they’re ready to go into the ground. The chalkboard “labels” will identify the contents and wipe clean for a fresh start next year. (They’d also be fantastic on your desk to hold paperclips, pushpins, etc!)
Once you have started your planting, you’ll want to keep everything neat and organized with a few pretty garden markers. Jacquie flattens and stamps vintage, silver-plated spoons to create these elegant upcycled markers, pictured above, for her shop, J Lynn Creations. Sets are made to order, so yours will be just like your garden – one of a kind.
If you’re like me, when it comes to working in the garden, the gloves are off. After an afternoon of digging in the dirt, there’s nothing like a good scrub to get those hardworking hands clean and soft again. Abbey James makes her Gardener’s Soap (above) with a blend of pumice, clay and cornmeal to clean, and a combination of oils, butters and coconut milk to soften.
All of that planting is bound to work up an appetite; if the weather’s nice, you might as well stay outside and grill up something good for dinner. Whether you are in the mood for skewers of Jamaican Jerk Shrimp, Bollywood-inspired Tandoori Tofu, Adobo Chicken fajitas, or a classic Texas BBQ steak, this dry-rub collection (above) by Cook Outside the Box literally puts a world of flavours at your fingertips. The rubs are blended in small batches, packaged for freshness and perfect for gift giving.
I said earlier that I am a no-glove gardener; the opposite is true for cooking. After getting my fair-share of burns over the years, I have finally learned to reach for my mitts when the heat is on. These cool, upcycled grilling mitts, pictured above, by Undone Clothing are made from durable lead-shot bags and an insulating layer of batting. Generously sized for maximum protection, they’ll fit both the King and the Queen of the Grill.