I am in love.
I get an extra little thrill when I find a beautiful, handcrafted item that I have absolutely no idea how to make myself. Some things I can imagine the process, or have even tried myself over the years, but watchmaking is not one of them. The watch above, created by Wilk Watchworks, is so pretty – and handmade by Scott Wilk in Ontario.
Trained in Metalsmithing and Gemmology, Scott brings his talents together in making the lovely cases and dials for his watches. The resin enamel patterns on the dials add some flair and colour to the otherwise understated cases.
And, oh oh oh! Look at this one! These are certainly unique pieces to save up for, but well worth it for the pride of ownership, I’d say.
Ah, feathers. I picked up some lovely little purple feather earrings recently, and I’ve been seeing feathers everywhere ever since.
Tianna Grey of Vancouver’s Tetrik has been making pretty accessories, many of them featuring feathers for years (and actually began crafting in high school making purses and other accessories for family and friends). After taking a little break, Tianna came back to Tetrik in 2008 and has been incorporating feathers and vintage bits and bobs ever since.
The parrot earrings above, and the fab colour of the peacock feather earrings below are calling my name…
… and this ostrich feather hair comb is so stunning!
I can’t help it, I’m kind of wrapped up in Valentine’s Day fever this year… and it doesn’t help that I’m finding so many fantastic handmade hearts from shops that we already know and love!
Our friends at Cloud + Lolly (featured here), have the cutest little “Key to my Heart” brooch, available in their Cargoh shop.
Little Lion Studio (featured here) has created this lovely little print, made from thousands of variously sized circles… and personalized, if you’d like!
Billy Would’s jewellery is incredible (featured here), and these earrings are a bold but lightweight addition to your Valentine’s Day dinner outfit.
X O X O
I’ve been seeing Cloud+Lolly at Edmonton area craft events for a while now, and I always stop to check out their colourful jewellery. Cloud + Lolly is the sister team (I know! We keep finding sister teams! I love it!) of Cheryl and Laurie, and their jewellery is simple, colourful and just really lovely! They describe themselves on their website as:
Once upon a time, there were two very different sisters;
one with her head in the clouds; the other with her feet planted
firmly on the ground. From this diverse pairing, Cloud+Lolly was born.
Together, we create inspired and innovative handmade accessories.
A few of my favourites, currently available in their shop at www.cloudandlolly.com:
Cloud + Lolly also sells really adorable little scrabble tile pendants, with great patterned papers on the opposite side, but they’re only available if you have the good fortune to see Cheryl and Laurie at a show. They’ll be at Make It! Edmonton this coming weekend (enter to win tickets here!), so if you’re in Alberta’s Capital Region, this would be a great chance to drop in and say hi. Tell them C+H sent you :)
We wanted to learn a little more about Cloud + Lolly, so we asked them of they would agree to subject themselves to our little interview ;) Laurie is a very busy mom of 3, with all of her “spare” time taken up prepping for their upcoming shows, but Cheryl was gracious enough to answer our questions. Here’s a little taste of Cloud + Lolly… thanks for playing along with us, Cheryl!
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What started the creative fire burning for you? Do you remember a particular moment, a favourite childhood activity, something you saw and wanted to recreate or improve upon?
Cheryl: I’ve been drawing and crafting in general for as long as I can remember. My mom insisted I keep a ‘memory box’ and I’ve filled it over the years with all sorts of things. I was looking in it the other day, and found art projects & drawings from when I was 3 & 4 years old. It was in my blood, definitely!
What is the best (and worst, if you’d like to share!) part about working with your sister?
Cheryl: The best part is getting to see her often (as well as my niece & nephews) we went our separate ways in our teens & twenties. I lived overseas & moved around lots.
It’s definitely been a bonding experience. The worst part is we don’t always see eye-to-eye. We try to make the most of it, and make it work to our advantage.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Cheryl: I look at design websites, books & blogs (from interior design, architecture, fashion, print design, crafty etc.) basically anything new, ground-breaking or that has the wow-factor.
What part of creating your pieces gives you the most joy and satisfaction?
Cheryl: I’d have to say the finished product. For all of our designs, they start out as a sketch on paper. They evolve over the months, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see the finished piece after a very windy road getting there.
What is it about your creations that sets you apart?
Cheryl: I think presentation and the spin we put on simple ideas make our designs unique. I’m always trying different things and thinking outside the box.
Why do you choose to work in this medium or format?
Cheryl: I’d been crafting & selling my goodies on Etsy since 2005, and the stuff I’ve made is always evolving. I’m happy doing jewellery because we always aim to make something that’s not super mainstream. I’m all about making stuff that’s visually pleasing. So be it housewares, textile design or handbags, that definitely could be in our future!
How long does it take to create one of your pieces?
Cheryl: If we factor in the time it takes to source images (patterns, paper etc.) arranging them in Photoshop or Illustrator, printing them, cutting the shapes out, glueing, drying time, resin pouring, more drying time, packaging & all that…I’d say a total of 15-20 minutes or so.
Do you feel that living in Canada has influenced your work?
Cheryl: Not so much Canada, but growing up on a farm definitely has. Being surrounded by nature, we pull everyday items into many of our pieces. Trees, flowers, leaves, different seasons, woodland animals etc.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting out? Who has provided you with inspiration or mentorship on your journey?
Cheryl: It’s been said before, and I’ll say it too: Do what you love, and never give up. Also, don’t be afraid of change. I’ve found many mentors along the way; family, friends, bloggers.
are always willing to help or give feedback.
Do you listen to music or have another way of getting “in the zone” when you create?
Cheryl: Definitely. During the height of the day is usually house music and downtempo in the evenings.
Do you have a favourite author or book?
Cheryl: My favourite author has always been Stephen King. I feel his imagination out does mine sometimes and it’s intriguing to read any new books by him, one can be so different from the other.
When you’re not creating, what is your favourite way to spend your time?
Cheryl: I love hanging out with my niece & nephews and getting into childish ways (building train tracks or racing cars) but really, I’m creating all the time. I’m a freelance graphic designer as well, so when I’m not making C+L stuff, I’m on the computer designing SOMETHING. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Where can we find you online, just in case we missed you somewhere? (webpage, Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, Cargoh, Artfire, DaWanda etc)
Cheryl: We’re focusing our energy on our own website and have moved away from EtsyCorp. www.cloudandlolly.com and we’re trying out Cargoh too.
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Sometimes, you find beauty when you least expect it. Looking for inspiration, I did a quick search tonight for something blue on cargoh.com… and look what I found!
This gorgeous mosaic ring is made of blue stained glass, and is just one of the many colourful pieces in Aimee Mitchell’s shop.
I also really love the Creamsicle ring, where she used recycled glass placed vertically in the ring base – the texture and colour is fantastic!
Aimee lives in Vancouver with her husband and her little Jack Russell (who’s name is Mini – love it!). She has a couple of shops online featuring her jewellery and accessories, but she also has stained glass art pieces that are really gorgeous. I’m a sucker for funky accessories that add a bit of interest to a boring “jeans and t-shirt” day running around with the kids… which is why I think my favourite piece of hers is this stunning belt buckle:
Okay, folks. Here’s where I let the secret out of the bag and let you all know that I am not cool. At least, not cool enough to know what “steampunk” was until I Googled it just now after finding this ring from Alberta’s A Second Time that was described as a “steampunk ring”. I’ve been seeing steampunk all over lately, so it was time to investigate.
Wikipedia tells me that steampunk is:
a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them; in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne or real technologies like the computer but developed earlier in an alternate history.
Once I was up to speed – thanks for indulging me if you already knew all that! – the rest of A Second Time’s shop intrigued me, too. The creator (who chooses to remain mysteriously cloaked on their Etsy profile page!) uses non-functional vintage watch parts for their pieces, and they all have that wonderful Victorian-era look but with an updated twist. I especially love the pendants, like this one below: