Archive of ‘unquiet things’ category

Erdem Resort 2019

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Most Resort collections are a milquetoast pastel snoozefest, but I am currently quite keen on the evocative romance of Erdem’s flowy fabric and dark, dreamy watercolor florals. And look at all of those dear, sweet ribbons and wreaths and ruffs and fluffs and gloves! Very high tea in a haunted English garden with your dangerously eccentric auntie, and I am here for it.

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Beautiful Objects Imbued With Profound Meaning: Under The Pyramids Interview & Giveaway

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Life is so funny sometimes! How one connection sparks the next, how distant souls find one another, how reading a stranger’s words, late one lonely winter’s night, can lead you to peeking into the life of a brand new stranger–a life of haunting elegance and filled with beautiful objects and exquisite creations–and, as it happens, a stranger who is a genuinely beautiful human, and who, over the years, becomes a very dear friend.

That is how I came to know Mathyld.

In her Parisian atelier, Mathyld handcrafts potent jewels and portable magicks as Under The Pyramids, inspired by nature, magick, lost civilisations and times immemorial. Working with sustainable, locally recycled silver, each and every creation is entirely handmade, every step of the way – sawn, soldered, hammered, stamped, oxidised, polished, etc. Each jewel is thus slightly different than the next, making them all individual and unique vessels to imbue with your own, personal magic and intimate enchantments.

We have kept in touch these many years, checking in with each new project, always curious as to what the other was up to, and eternally full of support and love for one another. Mathyld is a gem and a treasure, and I am so happy to know her. And I’m especially thrilled that she has agreed to do an interview for Unquiet Things, so that you can get to know her, as well!

I do hope you enjoy reading more about this wonderful creator and her extraordinary creations, and what’s more, she has generously agreed to a giveaway, as well! Please leave a comment on this post to be entered for a chance to win an Algiz Amulet, conjured by Mathyld herself, just for you! A winner will be chosen for this runic symbol of protection, one week from today, on Friday June 22nd.

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GIVEAWAY! Algiz Runic Amulet (chain 42cm / 16,5 inches) – recycled sterling silver.  Algiz is a powerful rune, symbol of protection.

Unquiet Things: You call your works “portable magicks”– I love the idea of  enchantments and charms that travel with you! Can you tell me more about this concept and how it ties in with your own practice and guides your artistry?

Mathyld: If you were to open my bag, you would find many gems and crystals, neatly tucked into little pouches, as well as other tiny items I consider like talismans – a sterling pendulum, a vial of water I collected in a cave, a black miniature Swiss Army knife my brother gifted me when we were teenagers, as well as a rose-wood knife Thomas Cowgill / King Dude offered me. I instantly feel better knowing that they are with me. I have always been like that.

I gather energy from within the things I can see and feel. The seasons, the elements, the cycle of the Moon… All of these things have a huge impact on our lives and I try my best (not to influence them) but to respect them as I know that they are the forces that feed me.

The sort of Magick that we practice – I do magick with my husband – is very simple. We mostly do protection magick, using candles, resin incenses, gems and organic herbs.

So, when I started crafting jewels, it was necessary for me that they had, not only a visual elegance, but to also infuse them with a meaning and properties.

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I’d love to hear about your most recent collections – the runic amulets and, separately, the handfasting cords? Are new collections inspired a by personal need for such things, or external influences/customer requests?

Some pieces were indeed inspired by bespoke jewels I have crafted. But they were never completely new pieces, rather evolutions. For example, I used to craft any Rune from the Elder Futhark alphabet and Medieval Runes of Healing and Magick. One day, someone asked for a Bind-Rune (a symbol constituted of the association of two or more Runes). I then considered adding this option to my collection.

That being said, in the vast majority, my creations do come from a personal need. Everything started with the urge to find Runic pieces that would be both elegant and discreet. I looked and couldn’t find any and so, decided to create my own. Many a time have I dreamt to visit Scandinavia and wander among the stones, discovering the petroglyphs. I was first fascinated by the runes, then came the symbols and this is how my Petrolgyph collection was born! After daydreaming about these little ships, suns, elks… I decided to bring them « to life » and within a week-end, they were born!

The handfasting cords were also the consequence of a personal need. For our handfasting ceremony in the woods, Jef and I originally planned to use a handspun yarn to which the spinner was going to incorporate some elements we sent them. These consisted of chosen gems and antique-looking charms I crafted and stamped with our favourite runes. However, said embellished yarn got lost in the Post…

At that time, far away from everything and everyone, I had an Epiphany and remembered a gorgeous yarn that my friend Drucilla spun for me many years ago. Off-white with some delicate splashes of very light celadon blue (“Something olde, something new, something borrowed and something blue”) … It just made sense! The night prior to the wedding, we embellished it with our gems and charms. We couldn’t have dreamt of a better cord!

I contacted Drucilla a few months later with this idea in mind. I wanted to offer this option to others. Handfasting echoes with nature, yet beautiful handcrafted cords made of natural materials are so hard to come by!

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Photo by Helena Aguilar Mayans

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Photo by Ellen Rogers

You have worked with some extraordinary creators over the years -photographer Ellen Rogers, and musician King Dude, for example. What was that like? How do these collaborations come about?

I am utterly lucky! (Maybe it’s all this Portable Magick I always carry).

I met Ellen through my best friend, Diane Schuh (an astounding artist herself) and was thrilled that it led to an opportunity for us all to collaborate together.

For King Dude, I once woke up in the middle of the night to find out that Thomas (KD) ordered a Nauthiz Vördr necklace from me. I was ecstatic as I had been following his work for years. When we met, he told me that the necklace already was one of his most precious possessions. I will always treasure that memory. I then asked him if he would be interested into a little collaboration and was blessed by his acceptance.

Finally, new pieces, coming soon, will be inspired by one of my favourite bands.

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Photo by Ampelopsis Photography

What’s your studio like? Do you prefer to create in a private quiet, or do you need some sort of stimuli (conversation, music, maybe a movie playing in the background?)

My bench is antique, made of dark, solid wood. I ​bought it second-hand from a jeweller who was retiring and I renovated it myself. The smell of turpentine oil and wax was intoxicating. My favourite hammer is also made of beautiful wood and belonged to my late father. I have that profound need to surround myself with beautiful, meaningful objects. The scent of resin incense or essential oils often fills the air and candles can be found burning from time to time. My studio is no different than any other room in the flat in the way that dried bouquets are scattered everywhere.

Concerning the soundscape, I definitely couldn’t create in a private quiet. However, it is difficult for me to focus on precision or dangerous tasks – like drilling, soldering, stamping… – while listening to something. I have a very intense reception to music, so most music I like tends to drive me a tad too over excited and sadly, if I try to follow a podcast my mind instantly wanders. So that leaves me with series or films that I have already seen and love. Strangely enough, series seems to work ideally. I usually don’t mind missing details because, if I truly enjoy them, I know that I will watch them again with my husband!

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Photo by Helena Aguila Mayans

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Photo by Helena Aguila Mayans

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Photo by Helena Aguila Mayans

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Photo by Aryhadne

You note that your adornments are inspired by “nature, magick, lost civilisations and times immemorial. mist and forests, ruins and megaliths”. I’d love to hear some more about these passions! Can you give us specific examples to give us a feel for these soul-stirring inspirations? Art, literature, film, places local to where you live?

Reading about folklores and legends is one of my fondest thrills. Ancient civilisations – Native American, Egyptian, Pre-Colombian, Norse, etc – fascinate me and in particular the similarities between symbols found across different cultures. I recently got the chance to re-visit my mother’s breath-taking homeland, the Eastern Townships (Québec, Canada) and New-England. I felt an instant, deep connection. New pieces will be inspired by the history of these lands. I strangely get the same feeling of connection when I visit the UK, especially the Lake District, where the nature is tremendously beautiful. Old English lore is also truly fascinating. Ellen Rogers recently introduced me to a text that already inspired a new piece.

I also tend to get very emotional in museums, whenever I come across a piece that really touches me – usually XIXth century art, Pre-Raphaelite and suitors, Arts & Crafts movement – I start shedding tears. Art has that powerful effect on me.

Film-wise, one of my heroes is Guy Maddin, especially his work in the 90s, very early 2000s. I have admired his work since I saw Careful back in 1996.​ His style, inspired by German Expressionism, his painting over the negatives technique, his surreal yet elegant decors made of paper mache… Everything in his work was responding to questions I never realised I was asking myself.

That said, I also love to travel and discover areas that are closer to me, museums, house museums, caves, ruins, old Castles, churches, parks, etc. Coming from Paris there are indeed many fascinating places to visit. But I try to favour the less known, quieter places.
I recently took my husband to the French Kings & Queens’ Necropolis, in the Basilica of Saint-Denis. The crypt there is painfully eerie. I love house museums, too. There is that little house and garden museum, not far from where I come from that I absolutely adore. XIXth century entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre lived there. All his life he studied nature, collecting insects, shells, plants, minerals… His house is filled with his collections, notebooks and sketches. A personal Natural History Museum nested inside a tiny Provençal house, complete with a quiet, sheltered garden. A true gem!

Not far from my husband’s hometown is a breath-taking cave. One walks through many different caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites of all kinds and even an atoll… One of the most otherworldly experiences I’ve ever encountered.

Brittany is another area that never fails to mesmerise me; the megaliths are glorious, the ocean moody and the nature so very lush…

I am unsure how all of this translates into my work, but some details are rather evident: ​the importance to create everything from scratch, ​symbols from ancient ​civilisations, natural history & antiques collections ​(vials Talismans ​filled with gems and elements found in nature) etc.

I am unsure how all of this translates into my work, but some details are rather evident: ​the importance to create everything from scratch, ​symbols from ancient ​civilisations, natural history & antiques collections ​(vials Talismans ​filled with gems and elements found in nature) etc.

Find Under The Pyramids: shop // instagram // facebook // tumblr

More Cringes And Complaints

“What fresh fuckery is this?” by Félix Armand Heullant

I try to hold kindness and compassion in my heart for people and their foibles and foolishness, but you know, sometimes it’s all too much and I have to make a complaint. To whom? I don’t know. I guess it’s sort of an “open letter to the universe” type of thing. I used vent these snarks on Facebook, but I think more people read my facebook posts than my actual blog here and I have to keep up appearances that I’m, you know…a nice person. Which means that I must keep myself in check on the old book of face, and instead, funnel my grievances and gripes over here. I guess it has become a bit of a secret spot for such things. Let’s keep it between us, eh?

Ok, so two things currently driving me nuts…

I am the first person to say, “OH I HATE DRAMA,” but you’d best believe that, when there’s some internet drama going on, especially in the outer rings of my social circles, I am all over that spectacle. My gripe has to do with people who can’t express their drama eloquently, articulately, and with proper punctuation. Your run on sentences take me, as a reader trying to suss out the complexities of narrative and timelines, right out of your epic breakup saga with the person you only met a week ago! I’m over here trying to pay thoughtful attention to your crazed rants and your breathtaking public meltdown, but your tenuous grasp on how written language works is a very real hurdle. Now, I am not trying to be a grammar dictator; I mean, a few missing commas isn’t the end of the world or anything–especially in the heat of the moment when you’re pounding out your desperate diatribe about how everyone’s out to get you, or whatever–but you know you can go back and edit that shit, right? Your Facebook posts are editable, people. YES. They totally are. Don’t leave your misspelled ravings on your facebook wall to haunt me, in perpetuity, as people continue to comment on your mess (probably with unsolicited advice or to call you hateful names) and I continue to receive notifications about it.

Thing number two. The buyers on all these “sell your old stuff” sites like depop or poshmark or tradesy or eBay. They are really kind of awful, and that’s why I no longer sell on these sites. I just can’t deal with their nonsense. They’re either asking you to knock down the price on your $300 piece of jewelry, to like, $7, and I mean…that’s pretty nervy, you know? I would be too embarrassed to even think of asking something like that, but these folks are shameless. And if they’re not trying to get you to sell them something for pennies, they are asking you to hold an item, because maybe they don’t get paid until next week and they don’t want someone to snap it up from underneath them in the meantime. So, you take the listing down, you reach out to the person a week later to get them to pay…and they ignore you repeatedly, and you realize this jerk just wasted your time and potentially cost you some money. And because the community in which you sell the certain items that you have to sell is pretty small, sellers talk amongst themselves, you find out that it’s always the same scammy, scummy people who are trying to talk you down in price or get you to hold items for them and then disappear, or who come back later and say they can’t afford it because grandma died or whatever and it’s like goddamn, how many grandmas you got there? Because your story is starting to sound very familiar (and boring– get a new story, FFS.)
So, no more depop, etc., for me. Thanks a lot, cheapskates and ghosters!

Want some more complaints? I can help with that.
Previously: A List of Reasons For Which I Have Unfollowed People On Facebook 

Ex Libris Group Show At Recspec Gallery

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Tenebrous Kate, Judith 1933

I know I am a little late to the party on this one (how did I not know about this?) but Austin folks, you are in for a treat! Our friends at Recspec Gallery have curated a group show featuring new interpretations of the long-standing tradition of the bookplate. EX LIBRIS is a collection highlighting the work of 22 artists, and will be on display through June 9th, 2018.

Annie Alonzi, Read Books, Get High

Annie Alonzi, Read Books, Get High

Kimberly Kwan, Texas Wildflowers

Kimberly Kwan, Texas Wildflowers

Abi Daniel, Pythonissam

Abi Daniel, Pythonissam

Sleep No More For Anxious People And A Visit To The Met

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At Haute Macabre this week I share my recent, thrilling NYC adventures, featuring a feverish witches’ orgy and that time I tried to buy a Versace exhibit.

Or, more to the point and as promised in the title of this post, I share my thoughts on a trip to Sleep No More and how to navigate this experience as an anxious person, and I also use it as an excuse to share a slew of photos from my visit to The Met’s Heavenly Bodies installation.

Haute Haunts: 24 Hours In NYC

The Secret Garden

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I found a lovely violet-hued gin this afternoon and would love to make something nice with it, but I’m rather a dud of a mixologist. I’m tempted to concoct a potion with elderflower liqueur and crême de violette and lavender bitters just so I can call it “The Secret Garden”, but something tells me that I am trying to mix in too many things and the end result might not be  verypleasant. Any ideas for me?

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Not todayI had to change the date in the title of this post three times because I honestly could not remember the date, or when I was, or, quite frankly, even where I am.

I has been a strange few months, full of extremes, and I feel like I am just now having the opportunity to take a deep breath (but hopefully not the sort you take before you plunge back into the fray, because I am tuckered out!)

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In April, our merry band of weirdos met up for our yearly adventure, and this time the destination was Seattle! (See previously: Portland & Austin). Seattle is the home of one of my very favorite people, and I had actually planned this trip around the fact that they were getting married this spring. What an honor to have been there for their joyous occasion! And to have met their adorable mother, reunited with old friends, and have had my photo taken the bride and a life-size cardboard Nick Cave! Weddings freak me out, but this one was pretty low-key, had beautiful cakes, and a great soundtrack.  (It also introduced me to my new best friend, Spanx shapewear, about which I wax poetic over here.)

Scared TO Death

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One of the highlights of this trip was definitely The Scared To Death exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture, spanning more than a century of cinema and featuring more than 50 props and costumes from film and television. I didn’t even know this treasure was a thing that existed, let alone present in a city I was traveling to, when I was traveling there–what a treat!

Aside from that, we took in the city, visited a thousand breweries, played countless games of Splendor (my favorite board game right now because it involves baubles!) ate at least five bowls of ramen a piece, got some new jewelry for both my face and my fingers, saw some art, devoured some donuts, spent some quality time with this beloved, beautiful face, and had a pretty fantastic time.

Longwood Gardens NYC

I barely had time to catch my breath before I was again flying away from home, but this time it was to see my BGF, who relocated to the Northeast late last year. (The photo from the top of this post was taken on my first morning there, while we relaxed on her gorgeous balcony with super boozy coffees.) I know we were both desperately looking forward to this visit, and I had a such an incredible time with her, both in catching up on our lives and spending my birthday weekend with my one and only Best Good Friend. We ate delicious cheeses, watched Teen Witch (I had never seen it! It’s pretty bad!) drank a great deal of Japanese whiskey, watched lots of Drag Race, and toured gorgeous gardens with fountains that looked like imaginary views from rich people’s windows in the 1950s, blossoms that look like truly outrageous, villainous rock stars, and romantical towers with dumb people in front of them, ruining my photo.

Whilst visiting, we also embarked on a side quest to NYC where mysterious adventures were had and beautiful artifacts were admired, and I will be writing more about that in a travel diary over at Haute Macabre, in the very near future! Oh, and most importantly, before leaving, I was introduced to what is quite possibly the worlds most delicious snack.

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And so, that just about catches us up to present day. Present day being two days after we finally closed the sale on my late grandparents’ home.  We’ve spent the last year and a half trying to close out their estate, and with the selling of the home, we’ve crossed a major item off the list; I feel like we are finally getting somewhere, and maybe there is a light at the end of this long, tedious, depressing tunnel. So on one hand I am feeling fairly celebratory! On the other, though…

My grandparents lived in this house since 1985; they had it built for them to move down from Ohio and live out their twilight years in. They were the only people to ever live in this home, and my family enjoyed (well, mostly enjoyed) thirty or more Thanksgivings at their table. My sisters and I sought refuge there when life with our mother became too volatile; I hauled my laundry over there every Sunday afternoon when I was in my mid-twenties and still living in a small apartment with no washer or dryer. Whatever the reason we were in their home, my grandparents were happy to see us. It was our home, too. And on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 2:30 PM it became someone else’s. If they are even half as safe and happy there as my sisters and I were, then these new owners will have spent their money well.
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Some other things I’m into lately…

Some highly recommended reading: The Hunger by Alma Katsu, a thrillingly creepy reimagining of the Donner Party’s history and characters, and Experimental Film, by Gemma Files a strange and excellent story, a sort of pseudo documentary, rich in history and myth and weird technical details, about a mystery many decades old and how it begins to seep into the life of the woman obsessed with it.

Recommended viewing: The Terror (so good!) and Tokyo Vampire Hotel (so ridiculous!)

And that’s it for now! Until next month (or three months from now, whatever.)

DyeForYarn Interview And Giveaway!

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Do you like yarn? And weirdness? Those are two of my favorite things! And when I found them  marvelously combined in the gorgeous offerings from DyeForYarn a few years back, I knew I’d lost both my heart and my wallet to these wondrously strange crafters and creators.

With names ranging from the elegant and melancholic (“Rain In A Graveyard“, “Nocturnal Maelstrom“) to the silly (“St. Patrick’s day parade gone awry“) to the absurdly heartbreaking (“Giant clam closing forever“) and the frankly kind of gross (“Cat’s hairball problem“)–you’re almost tempted to spend all your time obsessing over these skeins’ enchanting backstories before you even look at the yarns, themselves! But–you should definitely look at these yarns. Stare long and hard into their subtle shifts and vibrant shades and luminous hues and become totally mesmerized by the outrageous array of options before you!

I’ve long wondered about the humans responsible for creating these silky, squishy, works of art, and was thrilled when, Nicole and Cordula of DyeForYarn agreed to do an interview with Unquiet Things and answer all of my nosy questions! Read further to learn more about the women behind the yarn, and leave a comment for a change to win “Gloomy View”, a gradient set of silk/cashmere lace yarn. ( I chose “Gloomy View” for you guys because I thought it would be appropriate! Right? I know I’m right. More details at the bottom of this post.)

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In your former lives you were scientists for biology and molecular medicine at University Erlangen-Nuremberg. Obviously there must be a bit of science with regard to your current work and creating the colors for your yarns, right? (I only vaguely know how science works, haha). But seriously, I’d love to know how your former work in the lab might translate to your current yarn and craft-centric process and practices?

Yes, you’re right. We do benefit from the experience we gathered in different labs. For once we’ve been trained how to organize and optimize workflows. And we’re also trained to work very structured with having everything at hand when we need it. When we try new things like new yarn qualities, dyeing techniques or colors we usually create an experimental series to see how it might work best. Maybe our biggest advantage coming from a lab background, though, was the natural ease in handling chemicals safely. Of course that’s nothing you can’t learn during the process of hand dyeing itself, but it came in handy in the beginning and is still very useful.

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Sloth in procrastinator’s paradise

THE BIG QUESTION I have been dying to ask for years is how do you come up with these wonderfully strange and unusual names for your yarns? They reference the esoteric and arcane, and the sublimely absurd…and it leads me to believe that between you, you must have incredibly fascinating and diverse interests when it comes to things like art, literature, cinema, music. Can you speak to that?

Basically we’re classic nerds. We love science, comics (in form of Animes), Fantasy and Science fiction literature and movies. We love music, although not the same genres. Nicole for example adores Amanda Fucking Palmer, Cordula loves Muse. These sources as well as our scientific past and the nature around us are a huge well of inspiration. The specific kind of names we use for our yarns originated in the “Dead parrot sketch” by Monty Python. In the sketch John Cleese tries to convince the pet shop owner, that the parrot he just bought
is dead (and was so when he bought it). He uses several synonyms for being dead which is hilarious. I (Nicole) am a HUGE fan of the troupe and thought that particular sketch very fitting for our natural black humor and our brand name DyeForYarn. So we decided to use these synonyms for yarn names: Ex-parrot, Raven being no more, Sloth in procrastinator’s paradise or Violet coming to dust. This led to names like Rotten chestnut cream macaron, Reaper’s kiss or Bat in a dark mood etc.

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Ex-Parrot (sold out)

In that vein, one of my favorite colorways that you create is Very dead Norwegian Blue Parrot! Are there any colorways that seem to be clear customer favorites?

Ha, that’s actually the exact same parrot John Cleese bought in said sketch 😀
Very popular are saturated reds (one of our specialties), deep teals, greens and blues. But also our neutrals (we call them non-colors) and pastels as well as our almost-black shades are very sought-after. What we find very interesting is that over the years one can actually see some preferences between different countries. Germans like very bold, intense colors, Japanese very light pastels, for example.

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Fallen Dark Soul

And what are your favorites?

Cordula: Nocturnal maelstrom (intense dark teal), Fallen Dark Soul (deep dark red), Last Dance (almost black reddish purple)

Nicole: Dead Marshes (muted green-blue), Kingfisher pushing up the daisies (muted teal), Withering Lupin (muted gray-purple) and Rose which must not be named (muted purplish rose)

Tweety's Revenge

Tweety’s Revenge

Do you see any trends in terms of colors that people are interested in? What’s popular now?

We sometimes can make out a correlation between current “in”-colors and what sells well, but
because our customers are from all over the world it’s not a very clear correlation. Currently we sell different shades of turquoise and deep blue plus more yellow than usual.

I have seen people who are not knitters (or crocheters) fall in love with your gorgeous yarns. Do you have any alternative craft ideas, incorporating your yarns, for people who do not wield the needles or hooks?

Definitely weaving! Both of us have an Ashford rigid heddle loom, which is very easy to handle and doesn’t take much space (you can hang it on the wall when not needed, even with the warp attached). The only drawback is that it doesn’t fit in a hand bag like a knitting or crocheting project would. We mostly use our Tussah silk lace and fingering, Merino/Silk fingering and Silk/Cashmere lace for our weaving projects, all suitable for warp and weft.
Nicole just finished several weaving projects with our Silk/Cashmere gradient sets. Her ravelry name is Kalessin, in case you need some weaving inspiration ;D

Is there anything else that you would like people to know about your yarns, or your process, or DyeForYarn/DyeForWool?

It’s important for us that our customers know that, even though knitters/crocheters all over the
world are familiar with our brand, it’s still just the two of us, Cordula and Nicole, who dye all the yarns you see in our two Etsy shops. Two days a week our lovely helper Silvia supports us with skeining and winding the hanks, hand-tagging them etc. and our husbands support us with their particular expertises as well. But basically nothing has changed much since we founded DyeForYarn back in 2011. Doing what you love and are passionate about is the best job you can have and we feel very blessed to be able to do that. DyeForYarn has made our lives so much richer and fuller and we hope to get that feeling transferred into our colors.
And you have no idea, what a great and crazy feeling it is to know, that there are actual, real human beings on all (habitable) continents who create wonderful things with the yarns we dyed.

Thanks for your time, Nicole and Cordula, and for putting your exquisite creations out into the world!

Find DyeForYarn: website // etsy // facebook // instagram // twitter

Gloomy View giveaway!

Gloomy View giveaway!

Info from DyeForYarn: “Gloomy View” is a gradient set of silk/cashmere lace yarn. You get a total of 5 Silk/Cashmere Lace skeins (50g each), one of each color, as pictured. All skeins together add up to a total of 1670 yds (1525m), enough for practically any large shawl (or two regular sized shawls, for that matter). Together they give a very muted and dark gradient from bluish green over blue and purple to cacao brown, each color itself being solid to slightly semi solid.

shoplook.io : A Polyvore Alternative?

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Ok, I don’t want to get too excited just yet, but I may have found a polyvore replacement*. Here’s a test ensemble!

(*Oh–you didn’t know polyvore was gone? Read this first…)

I’m testing out shoplook.io. I signed up for it a few weeks ago, but I guess I was too heavy-hearted to give it much of a chance. On a whim, I logged in this evening to poke around a bit, and here’s my verdict thus far: it’s not perfect, and it’s not got all the functionality that polyvore had, but…it’s a start?

They do have the option to add your own images, which is good, because I almost never want to use the clothing and brands that are readily available on these sites. Does that make me a snob? Maybe? I just happen to like the offerings from lots of indie designers and artisans and I like to support their efforts and creations whenever possible. Also, the ambiguity of adding “an image” means that it can be things other than straight up fashion–like, perfume for example. Or maybe a photo or some art? I haven’t tried that yet, so I will have to get back to you. I often feature art in these sets I put together, so that’s kind of important. The downside is that since you are just adding your own images, it doesn’t create a link back to the item, for shopping purposes (like polyvore’s “clipper” function did). This could be something they are working on, though, as it looks like they are acknowledging there’s a lot of polyvore folks who are looking for a new home, and I think they want to accommodate that.

Some other things of note: the cropping function is not perfect. It doesn’t white out backgrounds like polyvore used to do (when the backgrounds were greyish or mostly white), and for some reason, it doesn’t want to save every single image that you are using. Still. It’s a start! ALSO, something else they have done is given use the option to upload that polyvore content download zip file that we all asked for into your account at shoplook. You can see all of my former polyvore sets here, from my profile page, of you click the “polyvore” link.

If you’ve got any questions I will try to answer them, but this is only the first set I’ve made, and I am still feeling my way around. And if you are already using it, please tell me what you think of the platform! Also, if you’re over there already, let me know! I don’t know how to add friends yet (or even if you can?) but I will see what I can see…

Included in the above ensemble: dress by Chloe, unders by Lonely Lingerie, sunnies by Valley Eye Wear, boots from Fluevog, bag from Zana Bayne, ritual strand from bloodmilk, rings by Arcana Obscura and Black Dust, makeup from Rituel de Fille and fragrance from Diptyque

 

Pet Peeves

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Watercolor Picard by Olga Shvartsur

Peeves, I have them. Here’s a biggie. Sometimes I post on social media asking for recommendations from my friends and acquaintances. I like to know about things that have worked well for other people. Things that you have enjoyed. Things that made life better, easier, sweeter. Recipes. Skincare. Murder shows. Poetry. Cast iron skillets. Whatever!

But here’s the thing: I’m asking *you* about *your* experience with the thing, and whether or not you would suggest that thing for me. I definitely trust my like-minded souls and kindred spirits more than, say, yelp or tripadvisor or makeupalley! So please know that by the time I have asked for suggestions from my friends and followers on facebook or twitter, for example, I will have undoubtedly already scoured review blogs and youtube videos and what have you, ahead of time. I’ve done some research–in many cases quite a bit of research– so I have a good idea of the various things that people might recommend to me… but then when I ask my inner circles and trusted advisors, I get to see who among my friends mentions what (and since we sort of already know each other for the most part, I already have an idea if we are of similar mindsets) or how many people mention a certain thing…and can you see where I am going with this? Asking people whom you know and vice versa, for their real-life, actual experience with a thing, yields infinitely more helpful results than just consulting random articles or review sites on the internet, written by faceless people whom I do not know.

BUT you know what just kills me? When people on my facebook or twitter or whatever respond to my request for suggestions/recommendations/advice with “…if you google it, you’ll find…” or “…have you tried doing some research on the internet?”

Goddammit. That makes me feel angry. You just wasted both your time and mine and you totally missed the point.

BONUS material! You didn’t ask, but I have some random recommendations for you. One: miso paste stirred into mashed potatoes is delicious. Two: Requiem on netflix was a creepy, mostly entertaining show. And three: are you peeking in daily at The Spoodoir? Because Maika always has fantastically fun stuff to share.

Have you any random recommendations for me?

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