Monday, August 31, 2009

Eco DIY Project: Wine Cork Board

My brother-in-law's birthday was coming up, and we thought it would be fun to give him something unique, handmade, and full of love. Well since I haven't come up with my mancessories line yet, a gift from ecocessories was out! Instead, my fiance and I whipped together this neat Wine Cork Board. It was so much fun, and so simple, I though I'd share the directions with you!

Step 1: Share many bottles of wine with friends and build up a collection of wine corks. We used 30 wine corks, cut in half, in an 8X10 inch picture frame, salvaged from the thrift store and painted white.

Step 2: Cut your wine corks in half. Make sure to cut so the best sides of the cork are shown! We used a bench clamp and jewelry saw, but any sharp knife would do the job, providing you have a SAFE method of clamping the cork still while you saw (so no, your fingers won't do the trick!).

Step 3:
Glue your halved corks to the frame. I recommend using a glue gun and a white piece of cardboard with no glass in your frame. We glued our corks to the glass, and a few had fallen off the following morning due to the humidity in our place!

Step 4: Adorn your board with pushpins, notes and reminders! This artistic, functional, and eco-friendly wine cork board is sure to be a unique accent to your home, or a thoughtful handmade gift for your loved ones!

If you attempt this project - I'd love to know! Let me know how your wine cork board turns out by commenting below.

ecocessories to shop for recycled bead & sterling silver one-of-a-kind designs.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fall 2009 Launch At Portobello West

Over the past two weeks, I've been debuting my new Fall 2009 line on the website. If you haven't seen it, you must check out the online store - see the new collection here. However the real show is happening tomorrow - Sunday, August 30th. Portobello West is on you see and I'll be showcasing my new Fall 2009 eco jewelry designs - with pieces that you won't even find online!

My display is bigger and better than ever with some new vertical dimension thanks to some nifty collapsible crates. This Fall, the jewelry is better than ever too - with brand new vintage components, unique one-of-a-kind designs, and matching sets of sterling silver necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, you can choose the style and colour that best suits you.

I staged my improved display today to check out the new crates - notice anything missing? Of course - the jewelry! That's because you'll have to come to Portobello West to see the rest of the new Fall 2009 designs from ecocessories.

When? Sunday, August 30, 2009
Time? 12pm – 6pm
Where? Rocky Mountaineer Station, Vancouver, B.C.
Getting there? Free parking, or Free shuttle from the Main St. Skytrain.
Cost? $2 admission

First 150 people by the table get a 10% off coupon for my online store!

My shop is a great Canadian online destination for high quality, eco-friendly, one-of-a-kind jewelry designs. Free jewelry box and gift wrap with purchase, no hidden online costs, taxes included, and ground shipping is free!

See you at the market!

Visit ecocessories to shop for recycled bead & sterling silver one-of-a-kind designs.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Week 5: Rad Recyled Jewelry

Rad Recycled Jewelry is a Wednesday feature on the ecocessories blog where I'll share with you some recent jewelry that has been recycled through my jewelry recycling service. My most often asked question is - well what type of old jewelry do you want? My answer - anything. Anything! I get inspiration from the materials that come to me. The point is to recycle jewelry that is old, broken, or unwanted to you. Learn more here.

Do you recognize this recycled jewelry? If you see your recycled jewelry featured on my blog, comment on this post and I'll send you a free gift! It's my way of saying thank you for inspiring me.

I just about died when I saw the vintage pearl encrusted flowers, and the antique bezel set purple stones in this unique recycled necklace. With a matching pair of earrings, I can see why someone would find this design a bit outdated for their current taste. However, I'll be able to upcycle the components of this piece into a sterling silver and recycled bead work of art!

Pearls, pearls, pearls. This is one bead that I never get tired of seeing. Faux pearls are some of the most versatile beads to work with, and I have lots of them! This spiraling pearl necklace has treated me to a variety of sizes to work with.

I see a really unique artisan design coming out of the cream and gold horseshoe shaped pendant in the bottom right recycled necklace. Sometimes these interesting and seemingly gaudy components make for the best ecocessories designs.

My absolute favourite part of this bag of recycled jewelry is the sparking brooch. Measuring about 1.5 inches in diameter, I honestly think this is a timeless piece that could be worn no matter what the decade. However, recycled it was so I'm reinventing it into a truly spectacular piece. The brooch will sit high near the neck, like a choker, with sterling silver chain draping down.

I loved seeing the diamond embedding on the gold balls at the end of this recycled gold necklace. I recently sold a necklace with similar diamond encrusted beads, and I'm excited to see if the recipient would like a pair of earrings to match. I don't have an unlimited supply of beads due to the nature of my recycled materials, but it's neat when I find beads that match from two different recycled designs.

Do you have any old, broken, or unwanted jewelry cluttering your jewelry box? Recycle it with ecocessories and I'll offer you 15% off my new sterling silver designs, and possibly a free gift if your recycled jewelry is featured on my blog! You can bring me recycled jewelry at Portobello West this Sunday, August 30th, or read about other ways to recycled here. Thanks!

Visit ecocessories to shop for recycled bead & sterling silver one-of-a-kind designs.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vivid Colour Palettes for Fall 2009

When it comes to my clothing style, I find myself drawn to simple silhouettes, solid colours, and neutral shades. I'm a big fan of stylish clothing, but it often has more to do with a uniquely cut garment than it does the texture or pattern of the clothing itself.

This is because the real statement is made with my accessories, or ahem, ecocessories, that I choose to wear! The jewelry designs that are emerging in my line for Fall 2009 are bold colour palettes inspired by the more playful side of life.

{Grape Soda Collection, Fall 2009}

Most of my designs feature 1 or 2 colours tops, but within that colour many different shades. This means that purple necklace won't just go with one shade of purple top - it will go with all your purple tops. Or maybe you'll choose to coordinate it with a light cream sweater, or a grey tailored suit instead.

ecocessories jewelry designs are unique and flexible, allowing you to make a personal statement with your wardrobe, whether classic or elegant is the look you are going for. Before launching this business, I was a person who was just not certain about how to accessorize my outfits. What I've learned so far is that regardless of what you choose to clothe your body with, if you manage to add a unique accessory or two you will make a memorable statement.

{Rainforest Ribbon collection, Fall 2009}

If you treat yourself to one new thing this Fall 2009, make it a piece of jewelry from ecocessories. My one-of-a-kind designs feature timeless designs to accessorize your new fashions and reinvent the old!

SALE! Click here to shop sale items left over from the Summer 2009.
NEW DESIGNS! Click here to shop new designs being added daily to the online shop.

Let me know what you think of the new designs. Comment below!

Visit ecocessories to shop for recycled bead & sterling silver one-of-a-kind designs.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Recycled Jewelry, New York Style

Yesterday I did something very exciting - made an official editorial calender for the ecocessories blog! I plan to post on a schedule - inspiration on Monday to kick off the week, recycled jewelry and designs on Wednesday to keep it fresh, and Saturday fab eco-friendly features of fashion, green resources, and compelling eco websites for you to browse over a Saturday coffee.

You'll also notice a new Search This Blog bar to the right, a You Might Also Like feature at the end of each post, and Recent Comments featured in the right column too! I want to feel like a community with my blog readers and ecocessories supporters. Without further ado, here is this Saturday's round up:

1. Linhardt Design Studio

{linhardt design studio, New York City}

Everything about this space is clean, eco-friendly, warm and inviting all at the same time. Designer Lisa Linhardt's boutique is tucked away in New York's East Village and she carries her own, as well as national and international eco-friendly jewelry designs. Hmm, is there a future for ecocessories here?

This space inspires me because it is entirely what I would like to do with ecocessories in a few years - settle down somewhere with a gallery and retail showroom that hosts my silversmithing studio in the back. Lisa is also known for executing drop-in design orders for her custom silver rings in just an hour and a half - I'm impressed! This shop is a must-see when I do make it to the big city!

2. Green Wedding Shoes

{Green Wedding Shoes blog}

This is my new favourite blog because it was officially a year from yesterday - August 21st - that I am getting married! My fiance and I are planning an eco-friendly wedding so my heart did a little green leap when I came across the Green Wedding Shoes blog. Jen is a multi-talented woman who wants to inspire other brides planning a green wedding. She features real brides on her blog that is vivid with photography, rich with content, and filled with love. I'll definitely be sending her some photos of my recent engagement photo shoot with Allan!


{GOOP by Gwyneth Paltrow - nourish the inner aspect}

This incredible site is the brainchild of celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow who is also a strong supporter of the green movement. GOOP sorts its weekly newsletters into categories that include Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, See that are packed with all sorts of interesting eco tidbits, including Gwyneth's favourite recipes, recommended eco-fashion, and personally endorsed activities from around the globe. It's refreshing to see a celeb with as much depth and eco-conscientiousness as Gwyneth has.

What about you? Have you found inspiration somewhere unexpected this week? Comment below!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best of Portobello West

Interacting with other designers and hearing about their inspiration is something that I really love to do. It's so exciting to hear the background stories of the designers and to connect these stories with their finished work. That's why I jumped at the opportunity to guest author an article featuring 8 designers that will be exhibiting at the upcoming Portobello West on August 30th.

{Sassy Vintage, Elroy Apparel, Sticky Lemon, and Tsitah Threads}

"Driving Vancouver’s fashion scene these days is the European-inspired market called Portobello West, where on the last Sunday of each month you’ll find one-of-a-kind products, fashion-forward clothing designs, unique artwork and eco-friendly designs.

Celebrating its third anniversary on August 30, 2009, you won’t want to miss the sensory exploration of the market’s noteworthy vendors." Continue reading here.

Look forward to these unique vendors and many more with over 100 to browse! I've been working hard on new eco jewelry designs to debut at the market. This fall it's all about jewelry sets and statement necklaces. See you there!

Visit ecocessories to shop for recycled bead & sterling silver one-of-a-kind designs.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ecocentric - Canada's First Green Spotting Guide

Last week I started getting referrals from this intriguing website - I followed through and found a flattering article about my sterling silver & recycled bead jewelry designs. I was impressed, the author definitely nailed my mission to recycle jewelry right on the head:

"ecocessories is striving to bring the cradle-to-cradle model to the jewelry industry, not just by up and downcycling old jewelry, but by truly giving it new life - rebirthing one-of-a-kind ornaments, with love, from discarded baubles." Click here to keep reading.

We've been greenspotted at{accessories to sustain your style}

As I dug deeper I noticed how much the Ecocentric Guide is a must read for any Canadian with an interest in adding some green initiatives to pretty much any area of your life. That's a pretty broad statement! But this website covers it all, including fashion, home decor, dining, health, wellness, travel, kids and culture.

{inspiring design and living ideas for the eco-minded individual}

Get in touch with your eco-spirituality and take a workshop at The Living Centre, located on the rolling countryside between London and Toronto, Ontario.

Browse incredible artistic lighting installments by Propellor - a Vancouver based design studio that works with eco-sensitive materials only.

Plan an adult version
of your favourite treehouse with Toronto based Greenwood Studio who specialize in chic-sustainable wood projects.

Nourish your green side at!

Visit ecocessories to shop for recycled bead & sterling silver one-of-a-kind designs.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Friday Night Knitting Club

Last night was pretty quiet around my house. We were both present - in body that is - but my mind took a rain check for the evening. It was somewhere else. Somewhere filled with colourful skeins, soft angoras, laughter, tears, and female companionship. I think the first moment my fiance realized he better occupy himself elsewhere was when I literally could not put the book down to eat dinner - it was like it was glued to my hand! Fajita in one paw, addicting book in the other. He really did abandon the living room around 9pm though as my eyes raced through the final pages... and I promptly burst in tears. Yeah, I'm an emotional sap like that.

{moss cushion neck cowl, by ecocessories}

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs caught me off guard - probably because I identified so strongly with the main character, Georgia Walker. Georgia is a smart and savvy businesswoman with a yarn shop in New York City. After launching the Friday Night Knitting Club, strong bonds are formed between a handful of women who weren't looking for friendship - but found it anyway.

{new collection of neck cowls, by ecocessories}

As I devoured the story, I couldn't help reflecting on how appropriate this book is for right now. I strongly believe that there is a social movement happening today; there is a resurgence of traditional crafts and support for the handmade community. It started a few years ago, but has gained momentum with the poor economy. Second hand used to mean tacky - now vintage shoppers are called trendy. Handmade was often a secondary choice to new, store bought goods - now consumers realize high quality, ethical production, and outstanding service are being delivered by independent artists that are the lifeline of our local economies.

{new collection of summer scarves, by ecocessories}

Jewelry design is my first love - well not just jewelry design, but specifically silversmithing and working with recycled beads. But sometimes a girl needs a break, and knitting provides nourishment for my soul, which is why I've listed some of my recent knitwear for sale under my Originals line.

{chocolate mint summer scarf, by ecocessories}

I am now closing my Macbook for the day (OK let's get serious, a few hours) in favour of my torch, my pliers, silver wire and some creativity. If you're looking for a late summer read, pick up this book! Crafter or not, The Friday Night Knitting Club is for any woman looking to warm her heart.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Interview Inspiration: pen & design

Over the next while, I'm going to do a series of short interviews with some beautiful individuals who have been instrumental in my success with ecocessories. Read. Share. Enjoy.

It is often noted how people come into our lives for a reason, and back when the idea for ecocessories was simply dancing in my head I met Tara Tyreman, an artistic, motivated, and inspirational 'sister in spirit' to me. I believe the reason Tara came into my life was to let me know that it's okay to be an artist. This may seem silly to some, but to me it was something I never fully admitted of myself before that first visit to Tara's then home on Galiano Island.

Tara used to remind me back then that we were not normal 23 year olds, what with our entrepreneurial visions and shared penchant for a West Coast life. She developed the unique design for the ecocessories website, turning outside of the box thinking into an organized, thought provoking design. These days, Tara is a busy Vancouver Island business woman with her many creative pursuits. Currently Tara is building the Ted Harrision Foundation website, writing for Floating Gold Iceberg's fashion blog, organizing a Victoria fall craft fair, and making work for her first solo show on the island.

What do you do for a living?
I am a designer. An artist. A Gallery Assistant.

What is the best thing about it?
Every morning, I wake up, make tea, put on some music and do work that I am proud of. And absolutely everything I do stems from creativity.

{recent web design project for floating gold iceberg}

The worst?

What inspires you?
White walls. 1964-1974. Barbara Kruger. Rauschenberg. Whales. Children. Kaleidoscopes. My friends.

What is your art?
Right now it's about assemblage. Building narratives. Make believe.

{the realist}

How do you incorporate sustainability into your life?
I ride a bicycle and only buy what I can carry. I love Trades. I drink a lot of local beer. My Victoria is a village. We shop at the markets. We buy art. We support each others businesses. Our community is strong and everlasting.

Your business?
All of my clients are small businesses; designers who believe in the handmade. Literally every company I work with is contributing to our local economy. I could not have chosen a more sustainable, creative, inspiring place to base my business.

Your fashion?
I live for vintage. Consignment stores. Value Village afternoons.


Why does fashion matter to you?
Every day can be different and I love the history in my clothes. I live in the grey sweater my Nana knit for me.

What is your favourite quote?
We live in a world that we create for ourselves.

What wisdom would you like to pass on to others?
Find something you love and do it everyday. Use your imagination.

{indian give'r}

Thanks Tara! Visit pen & design for more of Tara's creativity.

Visit ecocessories to shop for recycled bead & sterling silver one-of-a-kind designs.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Lesson in Solitude

I'm often asked what inspires me when it comes to my designs. This is such a tough question to answer though because inspiration comes to me in so many ways - nature, food, colours, texture - just to name a few elements. Lately though I've been getting my inspiration from my family and friends, especially my mom who just spent an amazing 9 days in Vancouver with me. She just left this morning and it has been a reflective day - I've been working on updating a bit of the website, such as the about page, and just adapting to the sudden silence.

{both wearing ecocessories designs}

I read this passage and it seems fitting to share:

"It is a difficult lesson to learn today - to leave one's friends and family and deliberately practice the art of solitude for an hour or a day or a week. For me, the break is the most difficult. Parting is inevitably painful, even for a short time. It is like an amputation, I feel. A limb is being torn off, without which I shall be unable to function.

And yet, once it is done, I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before. It is as if in parting one did actually lose an arm. And then, like the starfish, one grows anew; one is whole again, complete and round - more whole, even than before, when the other people had pieces of one."

Exerpted from "Gift From The Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

{inspiration for recycled starfish necklace}

I'm still waiting to feel like the starfish, but I know it will come in time. I'm feeling a twinge of excitement already as I start to sketch out designs for a unique Fall line that I'll launch in time for August 30th's Portobello West. I'm also working on a few wholesale orders - if you would like to place one for your retail store, or would like to connect with me about it, please click here to email me.

Visit ecocessories to shop for recycled bead & sterling silver one-of-a-kind designs.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eco-Friendly Designers Shine at Portobello West

I've been so fortunate this summer to spend lots of time with my family and friends, and although I've been quiet online these days, it's OK because I'm paying homage to those who love and support me the most! But before playing tour guide to my mom, aunt & cousins this week I had the chance to meet some impressive eco-friendly Vancouver designers at Portobello West on Sunday, July 26th.

First I met Jenn of Revamped by Jenn, the designer of sinfully sweet brooches, textured clutches, and her fashion forward purses. The designs are all made using reclaimed fabrics and the creative eye of this unique Vancouver based artist. View her array of offerings at!

Stationary is something that we all have a need for, but we should be considerate of the environmental impact of these small gestures too. NOTE + EMOTE can help lessen your impact with their line of recycled Humble Birdie greeting cards, glueless notepads and stapleless notebooks. Updates are posted on their blog, and their line of greeting cards & stationary that care about the environment can be picked up again at Portobello West on August 30th.

Have you ever encountered unwanted body hair? I think I hear a resounding yes! Well to solve this sticky dilemma refer to the girls at Sticky Lemon who have created an all natural, easy to use, eco friendly hair removal system using an old family recipe. These lovely ladies are conscious of the fact that what goes on to our skin also goes into our bodies, so it's reassuring to know their products contain no preservatives, no additives, and no hard to pronounce chemicals!

Finally, I met Kim - a local designer oozing with creativity that has sourced vibrant reclaimed leather and fabric to make her funky clutches and hipster hats. Her line, dubbed kdon after her nickname, can be described as enchanting, progressive and innovative. Kim's working on a site to sell her wares online, but in the meantime check out her blog to keep track of this designer who's making a statement on the Vancouver fashion scene.

And of course for all your jewelry needs you can shop at ecocessories both in the online shop and again at Portobello West on Sunday, August 30th. Once I wind down from my hostess duties I will be posting some exciting new jewelry designs to the site mid-next week.

I look forward to bringing you into fall with eco-friendly statement necklaces and my one-of-a-kind designs!