Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rope Necklace and Sherbet Necklace- Final Necklace a Day Post

I can't believe it's the last day of February. While I may not have a perfect attendance record, I'm glad I challenged myself to make jewelry every day and, for the most part, list it on Etsy and blog each piece's story for you. Here are two last necklaces. And your last day for 20% my Etsy shop with the special code FEBRUARY.

[Rope and Pearl Necklace]

The first was inspired by a post on I Spy DIY about rope necklaces. I've been playing around with ideas for quite some time and a trip to the fabric store this morning to buy elbow patches ended with this amazing blue rope. I used the inspiration from I Spy DIY but added my own glam spin. Blue rope and a vintage pearl necklace combine for this abstract statement piece.

[Sherbet Necklace]

The second necklace has been in my head for days, just waiting for more beading wire and. I knew I had to get it done as part of this challenge! I thought it would be a snap to pull together, but ended up going through several iterations. This necklace took almost three hours to make! I've lost the light to take nice pictures of these in action, but I hope this snapshots will suffice for now.

During a Necklace A Day I made one piece of jewelry each day. See all the daily necklaces here. I was joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who was crafting and blogging as well.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cozy Necklace- February Challenge Day 28

[Cozy Necklace in Gray]
It's almost the end of February! Shortest month but it was jam packed of exciting adventures. I'm feeling much more like a Bay Area resident- I was even called for jury duty! Don't forget that there are just two more days for the 20% discount during the February Challenge. It ends tomorrow at midnight! Check out my shop for all the new goodies made this month. 

Today's necklace is a repurposed tshirt cut into strips that wrap around themselves. This necklace is highly dynamic and as it's worn, the strips curl together more tightly. I added a fun vintage brooch for a bit of shine. I have made other necklaces in this style and they always are eye catching. You'll get tons of compliments whether this is layered over a party dress or just paired with jeans and (another) tshirt.

A Necklace A Day will continue all of February. See all the daily necklaces here. I'm joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who will be crafting and blogging as well.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

tumblights 2/26

I admit it. I haven't been that inspired by the internet lately. That changed this week. I absolutely love everything I tumbled this week. Here are some top picks.

 Emergent Behavior: An explosive photo series from Thomas Jackson via The Fox is Black 

Unimpressed By Impressionism: Anthony Lister’s New Work via The Fox is Black

Amsterdam Designer Robert Van Embricq Creates a Table as Functional as it is Sculptural via Inhabitat 

 Still Co’s Gorgeous Sling Chairs Are Made With Repurposed Hand-Dyed Persian Rugs via Inhabitat

Enjoy these? Find more daily at And even more stunning images on my pintrest.  

new jewelry: february challenge

I've been great at keeping up MAKING new jewelry every day with my February Challenge. As you can see, posting it each day has been harder. It's almost 1am, and I'm excited to share my newest pieces. They'll be up on Etsy soon, but leave a message if you must have an item you see here. Otherwise, keep posted on my Etsy for new pieces. And all February Challenge pieces are 20% off with the coupon code "FEBRUARY."

See, I have been busy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

RUE party at GAP

[So cute.]
 Last night RUE hosted a party with GAP to celebrate their collaboration and I must say it was a smashing success. I got to witness the backstage action as it all came together but really, the wonderful women at RUE and the amazing talent they brought in for the night deserve all the credit. I can't wait to see the Smilebooth photos but here a few shoots I took before hitting the dance floor.

[Adorable details were everywhere!]

[And could these ladies be any cuter?]

[Could they? No. They could not be.]

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

learning sf- the styley

Before moving to the Bay Area, I read up on great local blogs and tweeters. One that I started following early on was Kate Seward, aka The Styley. It took a few emails back and forth to meet up but once we finally got together at Momi’s Toby’s Revolution Cafe, I was so glad we had. Momi Toby’s was a darling cash-only coffee shop/bistro where I could easily spend hours working with a cappuccino or chatting with friends with a glass of wine. Even more fun was Kate who was such a blast to chat with that I frequently forgot to take notes. Luckily, plenty of our conversation was recorded. 

If after reading this, you can't wait to see more of Kate's work, you are in luck. Kate has two shows opening this week! #iSnapSF is a one-night show on Thursday night (tomorrow!) at the Haus of Hipstamatic and One or Two Things I Know About Her opens Saturday with a party and runs through April 7. 

How did The Styley get started?
When I started the blog I had no idea what it was going to be--I certainly had no idea it would become a street style blog. In fact, I started it because I was thinking about moving back to the East Coast. A girl I used to tutor wanted to meet for help writing a letter to a trend forecasting company in New York. I thought, I was in academia, I'm a writer--I could do trend forecasting. I wrote my own letter and managed to get the head of the company to do an informational interview with me. I said, "So, how do you get into trend forecasting?" "She said: The first option is to intern for $7/hr. The second is to start a really successful blog." So I started a blog.  

[The Styley]

Why the iphone?
One of the first cool street style photos I took was with my iPhone. I was on Fillmore Street, and it was what I had. I thought it might be cool to do a street style blog with just iPhone photos, but my younger brother said no, absolutely not. So for the next few months I focused on my SLR, which I bought a few years ago and then didn't use. Then, this past fall, my tutoring business got really busy and I didn't have much time to go out and shoot. The iPhone was easy, and it was always there. Now I figure that if anyone is going to hire me as a photographer, they're going to hire me for my eye, and I can worry about the mechanics then.

[The Styley]

It’s gutsy to go up to people and ask to take a picture. Have you gotten more used to it?
It's actually not that hard to do. Most people that I want to photograph have put some time and effort into what they're wearing, so they're usually flattered. Occasionally people look at me like I'm crazy, or ignore me. A lot of the time I just don't ask--I love candid streetstyle. There's a bit of a high that comes from it, because you just don't know whether or not you're going to get caught. I'm always running across the street or ahead of someone so that I can take their picture, or trying to look casual standing on a street corner waiting for someone to walk into my frame. 

[The Styley]

You currently are working also as a tutor and (non-blog) writer. Are you hoping to become a full time blogger or do you like the balancing act?
I want to do something that combines my two favorite things, writing and photography. In my fantasy life, I would working for Vanity Fair--or some similar magazine--and doing portraits, taking the pictures and writing the text. And getting paid a lot of money, of course.
This might sound weird, but I wouldn't say that I'm obsessed with fashion that way that personal style bloggers seem to be.

I don’t necessarily need to go to the shows. I want to be on the street outside the show photographing the people going in, or at the after party taking pictures and talking to people so I can capture who they really are. Doing portraiture. I'd love to photograph designers and interview them about their process, their philosophy, their aesthetic. I'm interested in people, their stories, and how the way they dress is part of who they are and how they see the world. And okay, I lied. It would be awesome to go to the shows.

[The Styley]

 I first started following you on twitter, then your blog. What I loved, and was so unique, was the text you paired with each photo. When I found out that you are an academic coach, it just made sense to me, because of your writing, which is really just a few words with the photo.
Thank you! I think I hit on something with that combination of photo and text. I really like Duane Michals. A lot of his work has a textual element--he writes by hand underneath the images. If there is an app that lets you write directly on an iPhone photo so that it looks like your handwriting, I want it. That's another reason I like shooting with the iPhone--being able to get the text directly on the images. Maybe there's a way to do it in Lightroom (I don't have Photoshop), but I haven't figured out what it is yet.

I've been writing since I was 8. I started taking pictures at the end of high school and all throughout college, although I didn't have a "real" camera--my first was a Pentax K-1000 that a bunch of my friends bought me for my 21st birthday--until my senior year of college. When I graduated I felt like I had to decide between photography and writing, and I chose writing because I had done it for longer. I focused on writing for years, and then when I started the blog, the photo stuff came back. I remembered, "Oh, yeah, I love this." And once I hit on that writing/photo combination I really felt like I was onto something. That's when I really got into Instagram.

Being a street style blogger is definitely different from being a personal style blogger, at least in terms of how to get into the industry. In some ways, it seems like it might be easier to be a personal style blogger, because there's a more obvious connection to brands.

[The Styley]

Very true. And also there is less connection with a street style blogger, since you are actually behind the camera. Readers don’t see you and learn as much about you.
Actually, I hate having my picture taken. I never, ever, like how I look. And in terms of writing about myself, I've been reluctant to reveal a lot, but I'm thinking about opening up a bit more. I'm not sure what's appropriate, and how much readers care. But I guess that is part of the trick, seeming to be personal without reavealing tons of stuff that is personal. And yet you have to be yourself, right? I guess it's all about finding balance, like everything else in life.

[The Styley]

Describe your perfect SF day:
First of all, it would be sunny and 65 degrees, not too cold, but just breezy enough to wear a T-shirt with a sweater. Then I would go to Blue Fog Market and get a Blue Bottle coffee and take my dog on a walk to Crissy Field. Then I would meet up with a friend and go to brunch at one of three places: Rose's Cafe in Cow Hollow, Dottie’s in the Tenderloin, or Just For You in the Dogpatch. I would spend the afternoon walking around the Mission taking pictures. Then I would go out to dinner--it would have to be with friends who have cars and who drive because I don't have a license--at the Buckeye Roadhouse in Marin. I would eat steak and order all the desserts on the menu. Eating, walking, photographing, hanging out with people I love--that would be my perfect day.

Do you have other favorite places for taking photographs?
I suspect that Hayes Valley is good but I haven't spent much time there. A month or so ago I had brunch at Just for You in the Dogpatch and got a few good shots. Japantown can be interesting. Downtown too, but less than you'd think. I feel like I spend a lot of time in the same places, and I need to broaden my horizons. I would like to go out to Berkeley, to Oakland. I feel like there might be interesting things going on there.

So no, I don’t have favorites. I’ve had a lot of luck in the Mission. There is always someone to photograph there, but, I hate to say it, I feel like there is also a lot of similarity. I love photographing when there is something happening, like Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, because all kinds of people turn out. I also think it might be a good idea to try some areas that you don't necessarily think of when you think about style, like lower Fillmore or the Bayview.

[Despite hating being photographed, Kate let me take a few pictures of her. She really is The Styley!] 
What places would you recommend to someone visiting or just relocating to the Bay Area?
I would definitely take them to SFMOMA. It's a great museum--totally manageable. I would take them to Bi-Rite for ice cream. I would take them the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building, the one that’s totally touristy and still really fun. I would take them on a walk to Crissy Field and on the Alcatraz tour, which is awesome. I would take them to Dolores Park and around the Mission. I would take them to Hayes Valley for shopping. I would take them to Jeremy's in SoMA (Ed's note: or Berkeley!) Oh, and if the Alonzo King LINES Ballet was having its season, I would take them to one of their performances because Alonzo King is unbelievable.

Thanks so much, Kate! Go check out her shows and follow her adventures around SF at The Styley. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

tumblights 2/19

Partner-in-Crime is off hiking this weekend, while I'm working away. I admit, camping in 40-something temperatures is not really something I'm interested in anyway. Instead, bundle up inside and keep yourself warm with these tumblights.  

Learn more about your art with QR codes via| Design Milk

Green Divider by Louise Hederström via MocoLoco

To be a Virginian… state shaped mirrors via Design*Sponge

Superheroes Inspired By ‘Cubism’ via

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Loop Necklace- February Challenge Day 18

[Loop Necklace]

It happened. I ran out of 'tigertail,' the wire I use to string necklaces. Eeeek! I walked over to my local bead shop but they are out so I'll have to be creative for a few days until I can get some new wire. Today's necklace used quite a bit of it.

One side is yellow and teal African trade beads. The other side has some amazing chunky glass beads in brown, light blue, navy blue and yellow, then four strands of light blue seed beads. I love the looped effect and definitely want to play with similar styles in the future.

A Necklace A Day will continue all of February. See all the daily necklaces here. I'm joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who will be crafting and blogging as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sailor Necklace- February Challenge Day 16

[Sailor Necklace]
Preppy with a modern twist, this Sailor Necklace is strung on blue baker's twine. Pink and blue beads made of recycled glass in Africa mix with brass cubes. The bright colors and nautical theme make me want to head out on the Bay on a sailboat. It's a bit chilly for that right now but put this necklace on and you'll be all set for summer.

A Necklace A Day will continue all of February. See all the daily necklaces here. I'm joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who will be crafting and blogging as well.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Golden Geode Necklace- February Challenge Day 15

[Golden Geode Necklace]

This collection of purple pearls and beads have sat in a plastic bag together in my jewelry "to do" box without quite coming together perfectly. Today, they finally did. A few extra additions of the gold pearls really put it over the top. Plus we all know I love a gold chain.

Today is halfway through the Necklace a Day Challenge, and while it has been a challenge, I'm loving really digging into my work and finding something new each day. Thanks for all your support and kind words!

A Necklace A Day will continue all of February. See all the daily necklaces here. I'm joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who will be crafting and blogging as well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

[Eero Saarinen's Love List to his wife in 1954]

Originally found on List of Note.

Be Mine Necklace- Day 14 Necklace

[Be Mine Necklace]

 I thought I was going to do something pink or red and a little saccharine for Valentine's Day but I ended up playing around with a piece of repurposed black leather and created this instead. I'm not wearing it because I'm sporting a red cardigan my great grandmother made. (Or may have paid someone to make and then claimed she had made it. There is not of that going on here.) Still, this is one heart necklace you can give your sweetie to wear year round.

The details: black leather that I used my exacto skills to carve a heart out in the lower right corner on a strand of neon green vintage lucite beads from Japan.

A Necklace A Day will continue all of February. See all the daily necklaces here. I'm joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who will be crafting and blogging as well.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Three times the necklaces- February Challenge

[Cora Necklace]

I may be late, but these three necklaces seriously have everthing I love working with to create jewelry- tons of beading and bling, vintage pieces, mixing textures and textiles, and even simplicity. Yes, simplicity. Check out that last necklace!

First up is a six string necklace with vintage pearls, blue seed beads and translucent purple glass tube beads with a sparkly vintage brooch on one side. It's statement-y, but actually not too big of a piece. I decided to name it after my grandmother. I think she would have liked the colors.

[Fringe Necklace]
 Next up is a STATEMENT piece. Full stop. Two layers of trim are sewn to a gold tone chain with the trim going all the way around to the sides of your neck. Layer with a simple dress and you'll be stunning. I first made one of these to wear to my brother's rehearsal dinner and everyone thought the necklace was attached to the dress. I made some matching earrings for this necklace, but those are mine all mine. The necklace is, as all February Challenge pieces are, up for grabs on Etsy. 

[Repurposed Monet Necklace]
Lastly, simple. I was playing with layers of this chain and decided the unusual shape should continue to be the main attraction. Three layers, simple vintage chain necklace. I even left on the original tag from the maker- Monet.

A Necklace A Day will continue all of February. See all the daily necklaces here. I'm joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who will be crafting and blogging as well.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Necklaces 8 & 9- February Challenge

[Apple Necklace]
 You don't have to be a teacher to want this apple necklace. Vintage lucite in green and blue and two strands of awesome flat gold chain hold this vintage apple charm with a jade colored natural stone "leaf" dangling. The lucite I found at my favorite Bay Area bead store recently and is originally from Japan.

[Calcite Necklace]

Close friends will recognize this necklace as a riff on one I wear frequently myself but these calcite stones are too amazing not to share. I wirewrapped the stone to attach it to an amazing gold toned rope necklace. I love the hazy pink color of the stone and how it vaguely resembles weaponry while remaining feminine.

Necklace Ten coming soon!

A Necklace A Day will continue all of February. See all the daily necklaces here. I'm joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who will be crafting and blogging as well.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

photobooth sf

Have you noticed my new Facebook/ Twitter/ all over the Internets photo? I had it taken at Photobooth SF, an amazing photography studio and event space that specialized in analog photography. Polaroids, Dianas, Lomos, even tintype. Not only can you have your portrait taken there, they sell refurbished Polaroids so you can snap your own retro art.

You can schedule your own shoot, or attend the Pre-Valentine's Party tomorrow that benefits Creative Arts Charter School. You can even get a tintype with your sweetie for a special price. If you are in the Bay Area, you need to check this space out. And if you aren't local, the images on the website are incredible on their own.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Serenity Necklace- February Challenge Day 7

[Serenity Necklace]

For those of you who like your jewelry to be a bit calmer, today's necklace is the Serenity Necklace. It's classic percent jewelry- a mix of vintage beads, chains and natural stones- but in a very simple piece that you wear daily.

The chain is the same used in the Cascading Necklace, but the best part of this necklace is the  beautiful vintage beads hung off center. With light blue, purple and magenta, they add interest in the otherwise organic feeling necklace.

The lighting has been poor and Partner-in-Crime hasn't been home to help me take pictures of my necklaces being worn, so apologizes about the low quality of this pictures. The colors on the top image are true to life.

A Necklace A Day will continue all of February. See all the daily necklaces here. I'm joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who will be crafting and blogging as well.

weekend review: marin adventures

[Check out those ripples in the distance- that's ocean waves!]

It's been a while since I posted a weekend review, but I figured if I was late on my necklace challenge, I should share why.  This series of images is a little of the "this is my perfect life" variety but I have to say, anytime I have a rare weekend off and get out of the city, it does feel like a perfect life. Just for the day. Images after the jump.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Necklaces Five and Six- February Challenge Days 5 & 6

[Glass and Pearl Necklace] 

Okay, a necklace a day gets even tougher when it overlaps with my first weekend off in a month. Instead of making a necklace yesterday, Partner-in-Crime and I lunched at Thai Temple, ran errands for the house, took Gracieface to the dog park, and even went to a potluck in the city. Since I didn't get it posted yesterday, today is a two-fer.

Day Five's Necklace is a multistrand necklace with two strands of pearls in cream and gray, gold chain and green recycled glass made in Africa. It hangs from a cream ribbon and is adjustable to whatever length you'd like to wear it.

[Sydney Necklace]

Necklace Six is the Sydney Necklace, named after my friend Sydney who gave me the amazing necklace that is the base of this piece. I wrapped it with orange, lime green and blue embroidery floss down one side and continued the blue onto the charm. A shorter piece, this necklace sits on your collarbone.

A Necklace A Day will continue all of February. See all the daily necklaces here. I'm joined in this challenge by a fellow East Bay Arts Collective member, Gwen of Gwen Harlow Design who will be crafting and blogging as well. If you'd like to join the challenge, email me at kat.mceachern (at) gmail dot com.