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It's been awhile since I've done a jewellery post. Mostly because I hardly ever wear jewellery.

But I recently came across something that was too cute to pass up -- a brass acorn locket necklace, picked up from the Drake General Store on Queen St. W., in Toronto, for $18.

The woman working the counter told me that many of the necklaces on display were made by the store using found objects/pendants. So in other words, I got the impression that they "found" the pendant, and then put it on a chain. Fine with me!

The locket has a vintage vibe, so upon getting home, I started doing some research. It actually DOESN'T seem to be a vintage piece. The locket may well be merely a commonly manufactured and simple-to-purchase bead, but regardless, at $18, the piece feels like a steal.

Check out these other online options I found. Nearly identical.
Acorn necklace from Etsy store bellabeadstudio, priced at $62 USD.
Alternately, this piece by Christine Domanic is a more affordable $36.

I'm a little bummed that my necklace isn't true vintage. (The Drake General Store maybe even have more of 'em for sale. I'm not sure.) I hunger for one-of-a-kind, but in this case, I think I can handle being one of the many.

I'll wear it proudly. Not everyday, mind you.

Know why?

'Cause sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don't. ;)
 
 
So, people have been raving (and railing) about Pinterest for awhile now. I requested an invite to join many months ago, received one, and promptly forgot all about it. I had/have enough to do online without one more network, clogging up the works.

And then, in the last few weeks, I started to come across my OWN photos, on other people's sites and blogs, credited to "Pinterest" instead of to me.

And that annoyed me.

What I did next is pretty weird. I joined Pinterest (username: JenSelkPINS). Alas, Jen Selk was already taken.

I just wanted to see how it worked. I get the basic concept. Pinterest makes it easy to save and catalogue images. It's like a virtual inspiration board. And to that end, the network works very well indeed. It sort of helps us realize our personal styles and tastes.

As of today, I've created four "pin boards" and I've "pinned" 82 images. If you look at my boards, you can see themes emerge. The homes I love are eclectic, often colourful, busy, full of art and knick knacks. I've always known I'm a more-is-more person, but Pinterest really shows (in pictures) exactly what speaks to me.  Alternately, when considering a cottage look, I like lots of raw wood, white, stone and rustic accents. Who knew?
So yeah. I'm using the site. And I see what's appealing about it. But EVERY TIME I've pinned an image, I've included as much credit information as possible, including initial source, owner, photographer's name, etc.

And I'm writing today to tell you to do the same.

I am generally very easy going about my creative property. I'm often happy to let people share, reblog, and use my web writing and photographs within reason... as long as I'm given credit. Please... give me credit. It's the respectful thing to do.

Pinterest may be great. I can see plenty of other issues besides the one mentioned here arising in the future (if they haven't already), but at the same time, I get it. I'm not a huge convert, but I'm on board in theory. I just think we all need to use the service consciously, and do our part to make it as ethical as possible when it comes to sharing other people's property.

Okay. Done now.
 
 
I've been wanting to experiment with felting for a long time now, but I've hesitated because it seemed like... well, like a lot of work, frankly. All that poking and knotting. All the necessary felting accoutrement. But I was recently alerted to a potential felting shortcut and I just had to try it. Here's what you do:

  1. Get something made of wool (like an old hat).
  2. Wash the heck out of it in hot water and soap (in the washing machine).
  3. What comes out? Felt! Mold it to the shape you want and let dry.

Here, let me show you.

First, we have the initial object: a crochet woolen hat, which I got from Goodwill. I meant to wear it. It was lovely. Warm.

And itchy as all get out.
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So, I decided to say goodbye.
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Into the washing machine it went. Wash wash wash. Dry dry dry. I ran it through a good five times. (I didn't want to waste water or power by running washes exclusively for this project, so I waited until I had light loads of regular laundry to do. So the whole washing process ended up taking awhile. But obviously, if you were feeling impatient, you could speed things up a bit.)

The result? Felt!

I cut the rim/brim off with plain kitchen shears and voila - a bowl.
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Fabulous for fall, if you ask me (which you didn't, but let's pretend you did).
I'm pretty proud of this project. Easy and highly satisfying. Just my style. You like?
 
 
Man, I love Twitter. The Twitterverse turns me on to the greatest stuff.

One of the nicest and most stylish peeps I follow is Amy Beth Dragoo of ABCD Designs and the other day, she tweeted about this amazing ceramic artist:
Sophie Woodrow.
This lady makes some seriously cool ceramics.

What I love about them is their natural, vaguely creepy aesthetic. There's a cabinet of curiosities vibe at work here and I'm down with that, big time.

I feel like some terrible mainstream retailer is going to rip her off and start mass-producing pieces from her collection, which would/will be a shame, but in the meantime, you can always say you saw her here first.

Here are a few of the weird and wonderful pieces from her current collection:
Love it. Thanks Amy Beth. Thanks Sophie!
 
 
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Part 1: When I was a little girl, I had a lot of keepsakes. Little bits and bobs and things that I kept in an old wooden box under my bed.

The box was one of those 60s-era treasure-chest jewellery boxes. I got it at a yard sale. With my allowance.

Despite the fact that box mostly contained items I'd found on the street (feathers, pennies, broken bits of jewellery), I kept it secure with a discarded mini-padlock from one of my mother's suitcases. You know the kind. The ones you can easily open with a bobby pin, or break with your bare hands. I enjoyed wearing the key around my neck, hanging from an old piece of string.

I was such a little grub.

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Part 2: My parents sent me to Catholic elementary school, which was strange considering that my father, at least, is an atheist. 

Regardless, Catholicism - with the whole "drink my blood" thing, stigmata, angels and plenty of other supernatural excess - was a major part of my formative years.

And every year, the littlest kids at my school would gather in the gym for a showing of the animated "filmstrip" version of The Littlest Angel.

I don't remember much about the story except that it gave me anxiety. The little boy angel/hero left his treasure box behind when he died. They didn't let him take it with him to heaven! The box contained "earthly treasures" like butterfly wings and interesting pebbles. In other words... it's was just like mine. And that concerned me, because I didn't like the idea that I might have to go to heaven and leave my best stuff behind. (And worse, that even if a nice angel helped me get it back, I'd eventually have to give all my stuff away to the stupid Christ child! I didn't even KNOW the kid! Eesh.)

Elementary school was a very stressful time.


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Part 3: Even now  (into my 30s and for all intents and purposes a "grown woman") I find I have a special place in my heart from all my little treasures. Even the weird ones.

So, I frame them.

I started with a 25-year-old blue jay feather. Got a dollar store frame. Popped in a piece of white computer paper for a mat, and placed the feather in the centre. No glue, no nothing. Looks great. And it's up on the wall, so I get to see it every day.

That's really the point of this post: I get to see it every day. These are the sort of details that make a home happy.


Most recently, I framed a little silver pendant that I found on the street in 2008. It's something to do with me and Nathan. Kind of embarrassing to explain. I carried it around as a good luck charm (often putting it in my sock for safe keeping). I'm pretty sure this talisman made him fall in love with me... because yes, I'm that girl.

Anyway. It just gives me a good feeling. So...
It looks pretty cute, right? And it now hangs with the other oddities in a salon-style display (a new one, which I'll be posting about soon).

Do you like it, or am I a weirdo?
 
 
Yesterday, I went to Goodwill to buy books for our upcoming beach vacation and while I did find some good reads, I also found some great stuff for my kitchen that I absolutely. didn't. need.

And once I got it all home, I realized there was a bit of a theme at work. A French theme.

Tell me if I'm wrong. Here's what I bought:

1. A set of four Midwinter Stonehenge dishes, Spring pattern. (See potteryhistories.com for lots of background on this and other Stonehenge lines.)
Image from replacement.com. (I usually wouldn't filch pics, but my camera's on the fritz. Apologies!)

Sure, these dishes are English, but along with the other stuff I bought, they feel French. Maybe it's the blue and white thing. From the aforementioned "Pottery Histories" website: "[The] range had a glossy ‘oatmeal’ glaze where reactive particles added to the glaze cause an irregular speckling over the surface of the ware. The wares were finished with hand-applied iron oxide banding to the edges that contributed to the ‘studio pottery’ look..."

And it's that studio pottery look I love. So... success. Thanks Mr. Midwinter.

But onward.

Next, I bought a set of three shallow copper pans like this one:
Image from Ebay.
And if copper cookware isn't French, I dunno what is.

Finally, I nabbed two adorable little Herbs de Provence spice jars. Empty, but too cute to pass up. My spice jars are for pizza and poisson (fish).
Image from Emma's Eatery.
Am I wrong about this French thing? i feel like there's a trend here, but maybe I'm crazy. I watched Julie and Julia over the weekend. It's quite possible I'm crazy.
 
 
I'm having one of those days filled with wishing I was rich.

Usually, I'm okay with the status quo. I have what I need. I want for nothing.

But today, I'm feeling want. See, Dwell Studio (that's Dwell of the beautiful bedding, yo) launched a furniture collection online.
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And. I. Want. It. All.

Okay, maybe not all, but I literally JUST saw the site and I've already chosen some favourites. For example:
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Alas, I really doubt I'll ever have any of these items. For one thing, my place is fully furnished. For another, I just can't justify spending this kind of money on furniture. I'll have to see it as inspiration and leave it at that.

But still... love.