Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Arts and Crafts

I was working a whole bunch of style inspirations today and it started with...

......this cool plastic hair bow made by Kayla Gibbens that I found at Jackpot Vintage.  I'm linking up with The Style Crone's hat attack with this, even though it's not a hat, but it is on my head. 

Kayla works at City Lights Bookshop, so I tracked her down to find out what her anime/computer game-inspired hair accessories are made from.   It reminded me of Lego, but they are made of Perler beads, which is something that Crafty People (you know who you are) know about, but not folks like me, for whom DIY always results in WTF??   I have nothing but intense admiration for all of you who are able to turn a swatch of fabric and some thread into a stylish dress, a ball of yarn into a warm sweater, and bits of plastic into a super cool hair accessory.   

flapper, steampunk, burlesque, anime, and librarian all rolled into one

Dress, cardigan and boots - retail
vintage slip with lace ruffle - thrifted
striped leggings  - Carousel Ink
collar necklace - Black Cat jewellery
hair bow -  Kayla Gibbens

I'm wearing another sample of someone's creativity - Autumn, Celena and Martin of Carousel Ink on Etsy make screen-printed leggings, skirts, and t-shirts printed with fun and fabulous designs inspired by Burlesque, Steampunk, Carnivals, mermaids, etc.   You've seen the Pippi Longstocking ones I purchased last year on this post, and these Burlesque Garter-print ones are my latest faves.  They are extremely comfortable, soft cotton and lycra blend, and at $35, very reasonably priced.  They run small, and I had to order a size large, primarily for the length.

We are surrounded by mass-produced cheap stuff, and during the holiday season, it often seems easier to just grab the thing that's right in front of you rather than put extra time and effort into finding unique, handmade gifts at local craft fairs or on websites like Etsy.  But trust me, it's worth it.  The world is drowning in plastic, made-in-China crap and it's important to support your local artists and crafters out there who use their time and talent to create hand-made, eco-friendly, one of a kind items. 


  1. I agree with your description, flapper, steampunk...all in one. Total = love! Your hat is my kind of hat. I'm trying and trying and trying to find new hats and feel drowned. Maybe I need to follow your lead and look for something more along these lines. Too bad you can't hoist yer skirts all day to show off those incredible leggings.

  2. Ha, yes your "all rolled into one" list is brilliant! I also love how the last photo reveals your fistfuls of rings, and I share your admiration of skilled wearable-maker folk. These days my favourite things to give people are amazing thrummed mittens by a local knitter, eggs from my hens, and applesauce I made myself. :)

  3. Yes yes yes! I couldn't agree more, Shelley, both with your description of your look (love the multiple inspirations!) and your plea for a thoughtful approach to shopping. I am doing just that, as far as humanly possible, for my gift buying this Christmas.
    I adore those leggings and your collar necklace, and I think we call the beads your hair bow is made from Hama beads in the UK, the kids have some. There's an idea.... xxxx

  4. I hear you! Thankfully I only have a handful of people to buy for and they'll all be getting something vintage (other than my Dad who doesn't even know what month it is!)
    Love those leggings and the hair thingy is out of this world! xxx

  5. Ah Perler beads--actually they are a kids craft--you put the beads on the little plastic nubby plate and then use your iron to fuse them!!

    This gives me an idea......

    You look awesome as always!!

  6. If it's on your head, it's a hat.

    Love the outfit.

  7. Ah, yes, I thought Lego initially! It's pretty fabularse, that bow. In fact, I love these outfit! It IS a splendid mesh of several styles, and i all your own! I'm really into the necklace and tights, especially! XXX

  8. I bought the Pippi leggings when you posted them last year. Now I'm about to buy these. You should get a cut of their profits.

  9. Shelley, I LOVE your choice of headwear. The adornment of the head has no bounds, which you display in your post. It fits perfectly with the pieces that you have chosen to create this eclectic ensemble. The leggings are fab!

  10. I TOTALLY agree with your sentiment about conscious shopping. Those leggings are great, and compliment everything you're wearing. I love it. XXOO

  11. Yup, I echo your thoughts, Shelley. I just wrote about a market I went to where everything was cheaply-produced goods. I buy from Etsy and Ebay a lot when I can't find what I want in the thrift or consignment shop here ... even though doing so may create a bit of a carbon footprint in my case as most of the stuff I buy comes from Canada and the U.S.

    I love your outfit; I saw the flapper influence right away. How I miss all the Toronto indie boutiques and markets where you can buy handmade fashiony goods. This was my beat when I was a journo, and now you are my major source of info on that scene - thank you! And YES - when I do get back to Canada we are booking a major thrift shop together!

  12. I adore your new bow and have seen these before I akin them to melted beads. I agree with you so much about seeking out the unique and supporting small businesses. I love these leggings and will check out her shop for sure, the cotton is a must in the winter the poly blends just don't keep you warm enough. We even had the same tree? I'm sure you and I could be fast and serious buddies!

  13. Hi there,
    I looked for you specifically on Hat Attack and was not disappointed! Your personality shines through every thread/bead/word. I laughed out loud. Thanks!

  14. Ohhh, love the bow! I saw a girl with a cartoon type bag yesterday on her blog - would go perfect with this hair accessory. I have to order large tights too for the length, there is nothing more frustrating when they are not long enough and sag at the crotch, ha!

    Corinne x

  15. Aren't you adorable! unique ensemble, totally you at your very best!
    I know that Etsy shop Carousel Ink- It's in my favorites -
    You are right about encouraging local talents and Etsy artisans
    So much crap around -

    What are you doing for X-Mas



  16. wouu, those are pretty steampunk leggings, so delightfully striped and cute, and you look gorgeous wearing them with your usual sassiness!!, love your booties and love your hairpiece!

  17. I remember my oldest daughter crafting with those beads, but she never made anything actually wearable...lol. I love this outfit, the intricate collar, the lace loaded hem, and the super sassy leggings!

  18. Agree with you completely, supporting the crafters of the world is the way. We have done shows here in the us of 25 years and have seen so much.....so many changes. This is a wonderful and delightful outfit! The tights are so fun and provide a fun surprise. I enjoy the contrast here, the bow to the necklace and sweater to the lace.
    Although my look is more mainstream, my life isn't. I've dressed many ways for different parts of my life. I love your mixing of art and fashion with personal vision.

    blue hue wonderland

  19. Really cool outfit! Love the tights and that bow!!