Papaver Vert: Patty Benson started Papaver Vert in 2007 making her small apartment shared with her husband, into a small creative studio in Northern California. Based on form, function and bold color, Patty’s work utilizes the time consuming technique of crocheting and wet felting wool to create tactile pieces with a contemporary twist.
Learning how to crochet a few years ago, she immediately found a medium that combined her love of wool with her love of home decor. Feeling that home accessories shouldn’t just be limited to ceramic or glass, and that felted wool doesn’t have to mean something old-school, she loves the idea of taking the ancient technique of felting to design something entirely new.
Patty loves that wool is a renewable resource and she stands behind a non-mass produced sensibility. Each piece is lovingly handmade in her studio and she figures the more attention put into the craft, the better the quality, the longer it will last and the less need to buy more, more, more.
Soy has long been labeled a healthy and sustainable crop, with dozens of uses in the culinary world, but have you seen how many other uses artists and designers have found for soy in the worlds of fashion, beauty and housewares?
Shown above: soy, acrylic and wool scarf from Fluur; soy milk beauty bar from soapsrus; solid perfume (soy-based) from sweetanthem.
Soy is considered a sustainable, or renewable, crop because it is fast-growing and quickly replenished. Like most legumes, soy also helps fix nitrogen in the soil, enriching the land for use in raising other crops. The fibers left over after soybeans have been processed to make oil, soy milk or tofu can be recycled into a silky fiber used in clothes and accessories. Soy silk, as it’s called, is often blended with cotton or other fibers to create a range of fabrics and yarns.
Shown above: letterpress print printed with soy-based ink from hijirik; soy/bamboo fingerless gloves from reasdesigns; hemp, organic cotton and soy top from conscious clothing.
Soy is also used to take the place of petroleum-based substances, like oil-based inks in printed artwork, or paraffin wax in candles. Soy ink is becoming more and more popular on presses. Soy candles burn cleaner and are better for your health than traditional candles. And soy products are used as a base for many natural beauty products like soaps and perfumes.
Mollymoodesign: I have a passion for vintage fabrics, buttons and lace and enjoy upcycling vintage pieces to make beautiful gifts for today. I make much of the felt used in my designs myself, using merino wool tops and needle felting tools.
A variety of handcrafted goods are available to enjoy around the house. Soaps and soft furnishings are only the beginning. Knitted goods and polymer clay can add to the uniqueness of your surroundings.
Brenda, at knittedfrenzy, offers shawls, coffee cozies, and cowls, in a variety of yarns in her Etsy shop. I was pleased to find a shawl made of soft acrylic yarn. Most of the shawls that I see are made of wool, which is fantastic if you can wear wool. But I cannot. So finding something warm, and not itchy is always a nice surprise for me.
Bunnies, bunnies, bunnies! I can tell that we are getting close to Easter by the sudden explosion of the stuffed bunny population. It would seem, ahem, that they are multiplying like rabbits.
This week, I have assembled a herd (yes, a herd) of rabbits for your Easter cuddling pleasure. Some are cute, some are quirky, but all are quite clever and very eco-friendly. Enjoy!
Known for their prolific breeding and their propensity for giving birth to large (and in some cases multiple) litters in the spring, it’s no wonder that rabbits are symbols of fertility and of the season itself.
As far as its symbolic tie-in with Easter goes, mentions of the Easter Bunny begin to appear in publications from the 1600s; although it is safe to assume that the origins date back further than that – most likely to pre-Christian Pagans.
Legend has it that the Saxon goddess Oestra (from whom Easter is named) had a sacred rabbit companion and an association with another symbol of fertility, eggs. Considering that, it makes perfect sense that bunnies and eggs are so closely linked with each other at this time of year. (And now you know what to tell your children why bunnies bring Easter eggs, and not chickens. Or, perhaps it’s only my son who is bothered by this.)
Finally, if you will allow me to step up on my “Going Green” soapbox for just a moment, I do need to draw attention to the practice of giving live rabbits for Easter. Just like a dog or a cat, a rabbit is a house pet that requires plenty of care and attention over its 10+ life-span. Every year, once the post-Easter reality sets in, countless unwanted rabbits are set free or dropped at animal shelters. Unless you have given it very careful thought and are willing to make the commitment, I would strongly discourage giving a live bunny as an Easter gift. Instead, why not make someone’s day with a stuffed long-eared, puffy tailed friend from one of our featured sellers? Go on…hop to it!
Top photo: Beeper Bebe – recycled wool suiting & yarn
1. Beeper Bebe – recycled wool suiting & yarn
2. Blue Moon Rose – recycled cashmere & vintage dress
3. Buttercupbloom – cotton, velveteen & upcycled lambswool
4. Chunky Chooky – upcycled denim & batik
5. Second Seed in Stitches – upcycled sweaters & fabric
6. Freedom Rainbow – recycled merino wool
7. LuvKt – deconstructed/reconstructed merino sweater
8. Pouch – repurposed vintage fabric & chemical-free lavender
9. Sleepy King – recycled fabric
10. Woolcrazy – recycled angora wool
11. Protean’s Coffee Shop – felt & fleece
12. Sighfoo – recycled wool & bamboo fibre
Bottom photo: Canoo – recycled angora wool/cashmere
For more information on rabbits as house pets, visit The House Rabbit Society.