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Indie Designer Interview: Steampunk by Maja

 

 

I had the pleasure of meeting my namesake several years ago and I will always remember seeing her jewelry for the first time! It literally cast a spell on me! So, I invited her over for a small chit-chat.  I hope you enjoy it too!

1. Welcome Maja! Please tell my readers more about yourself.

My name is Maja Tasic and I come from Pancevo (Serbia). I had studied and qualified for a dental technologist - a profession I chose under the influence of my parents, although I have always desired to study applied art, because I have always been drawn to drawing and painting. Aside from these two, my hobbies also included writing poems and making jewelry. I stuck to the latter.

I am married to Goran and we have two boys, ages 7 and 8 and I am also a stepmom to two beautiful grown up girls. We are one big, happy family!

 

 

2. How did the brand Steampunk by Maja get to see the day?

Steampunk by Maja was born out of the desire to create unique jewelry solely for myself. But then family and relatives got acquainted with it and the first orders started to arrive, replaced by handmade bazaars and online sales. The idea for this kind of jewelry first sparked when my husband poured the first pieces that got me hooked and I wanted to make them myself. That was back in 2012.

3. What were the first pieces of jewelry that you made?

It was a medallion flower, a medallion mirror and some square slabs...

4. Where did you first exhibit your jewelry? Do you remember?

Yes. It was at the mall called “Ušće” in Belgrade in 2012. I had a fantastic show and sold lots of my jewelry. But the thing that was more important and meaningful than the sales was the appraisal and compliments I received on my work. It gave me a sensational rise in self-confidence and a beautiful feeling of value and satisfaction that urged me to keep doing what I dream about.

5. What kind of jewelry are the buyers most interested in? Buyers are most interested in necklaces for themselves as well as for gifts, because necklaces are wearable in almost all occasions. Necklaces are closely followed by earrings and rings.

 

 

 

 

6.Do you have any favourite techniques?

I love working with epoxy resin because of the effect the designs have. I also love combining materials from my profession such as metals and acrylates that one would not usually find in jewelry supplies shops. Using those makes my jewelry even more distinctive and unique making it stand out from other jewelry made with similar techniques. I love modeling my own pendants and have my husband pour them in silver which is a rather demanding, more difficult and costly technique, but the final result is wondrous!

7. Where do you source your materials?

I buy them from specialized shops that sell raw materials in Belgrade and Novi Sad, some gift shops while I buy the small watches off my friends.

8. What is the most precious piece of jewelry to you as a designer?

Oh. It is difficult to select out any as favourite - I find everything I've made dear to my heart. I've poured my heart, my undivided attention and love into every single piece I have ever made.

 

 

 

9. What are you currently working on?

Right now I am working on some new pieces and collaborate with designers from Split (Croatia). I am expanding the  market :)

10. Future plans?

I plan to expand sales outside of Serbia and finally open my brick and mortar jewelry shop in Belgrade.

Thank you Maja! It was lovely having you over!

Maja's online shop.

 

 

Silvia Tcherassi: Effortless Elegance

 

 

Silvia Tcherassi started her artistic career as an interior designer and transitioned to fashion design. Today she is one of the most celebrated Latin American designers. Based in Miami, her family-run label sources only the finest Italian materials to create beautiful Colombian-inspired collections.

 

Playing with extremes Silvia manages to give architecturally constructed voluminous pieces an air of fragility and soft feminine flair which is her major signature characteristic. In her work she matches tulle, sequins, embellished fabrics and embroidered laces with geometric details and architectonic ruffles to create unique garments with a vintage feel for contemporary women.

"Rabenda" - Jewelry That Gives Life to Stories

 

 

 

1. Who is the girl behind Rabenda?

A dreamer. An aspiring architect. A creative person :)

My name is Ana Stanoevska and I am a happy artist from the planet Earth. A lover of beer and comic books.

 

2. Why did you choose the name Rabenda? What’s its significance? 

 ラベンダー色 ; Rabenda; lavender – probably the only thing that influences me positively as the making of jewelry does.

 

3.What is the story that Rabenda tells?

It is a story called Keep the child in yourself! And read the Little Prince every now and then and enjoy the everyday things!


4. How did the idea of making jewelry become tangible and what was the first thing you made and showed to the public?  

Following the stories told by Eva Thissen’s creations and later watching my VIKI work, I got inspired and somehow I always believed I could do that. The Faculty, the “not having time” and similar excuses hindered me for ages, until I stopped and asked myself: “OK, are you happy now?”

I’d love to thank my family for the support and for always encouraging me with my crazy ideas :)

 

 

 

5. What motifs appear the most in your jewelry and where do you seek inspiration from?  
I’d say vintage motiffs, probably because I find myself in some old-fashion waters :)

 

6. What materials and techniques you use the most in your work?

I work with polymer clay and sometimes I combine screen printing with acrylic colors. 

 

 

7. What are the most wanted / the most sold pieces?  
All of my pieces are unique and one of a kind :)

But if we count in the messages I receive on jewelry, it turns out that this set above was the most wanted. I received many messages from buyers asking for the same. 

 

 


8. What kind of jewelry is the one that you make with immense pleasure?

To be honest, there are times when after making a piece I become doubtful saying to myself: “Is this for me or is it for sale?”      :)

Mostly I let go of them! I adore all of my book markers.

 And my absolute favourite is this one.

 

 

9. Your idols?

Oh, there are too many….Mainly Еva Thissen, Eddie Vedder and Sou Fujimoto!

 

10. What are your plans for Rabenda in the future?

I’d say “Times are hard for dreamers” but I’ll do my best to treasure the dream!  

Dream on girl!

 

Find Rabenda on social media:

Shop

Facebook

Instagram

Summer 2018 Fashion Trends

Via Harper's Bazaar

Reading the fashion trend reports made my heart leap out of joy when I found out they contained two magical words that made a whirlpool of happiness: vintage and pastels!

The trends suggest various styles, colors and patterns but the constant thread that binds them all is the nostalgic penchant for vintage styles paired with pastel colors. Here we are talking the pretty '50s style dresses. 

by Silvia Tcherassi

 

Dresses' styles range from oversized and lightweight to shirtdresses and short baby dolls. Patterns vary from the much beloved polka dots to check and plaids with a sprinkle of florals.

I would say quite an eclectic offer and something for everyone.

 

Enjoy the selection!

 

Silvia Tcherassi

Wiggy Kit

 

Nasty Girl

 

 

DIY City Trinket Dish

 

When it comes to styles of home and furniture, I  am a huge fan of Anthropologie. Their offer resonates deeply with my bohemian spirit and I am a frequent visitor who invariably drools over their fantastic stuff, and seeks inspiration when the days are dragging and inspiration is scarce. Which leads me to their trinket dish.

The minute I saw it I wanted to make one for ourselves. Now, I might have as well order it, for such a piece is worth having - they collaborate with some  fantastic indie designers - but the drive to make something myself usually prevails, and I was determined to give this a try.

Now, bear in mind that I am not a professional sculptor, clay master or porcelain guru. Just a plain person who enjoys playing with clay. I don't have many required tools, but I have a desire to create as big as a house, so I took out my polymer clay, doodled city images, applied varnish, glued it and voila!

My trinket, or jewelry dish is done!

 

 

I drew and painted the houses on both sides and the dishes look quite adorable.

Working on the oval plate I thought that it might be interesting to make something whimsical for the center or the side of it, and use the plate to serve cheese, tomatoes and olives in it. Would be a phenomenal conversation starter, don't you think?

 

 

 

 

Romantic Crepe Easter Eggs DIY

 

 

 

 

Every year I like to change my tablescape for Easter and aside for the permanent decorations in the shape of bunnies, chicks and other Easter related stuff I try to freshen it up so this year was no exception.

 

What follows is a super messy activity which turns beautifully in the end, so if you are not afraid of a little mess, come join the ride.

 

To make the romantic pleated / folded crepe eggs you need:

 

* crepe paper in desired colors

* Styrofoam eggs (as many as you like)

* lace, tulle, ribbons, crochet flowers, catchy fabric, trinkets you have lying around....

* white paper glue (decoupage glue)

 

 

Cut a rectangle piece of paper (to fit your egg) and pleat it (fold it).Insert egg in the middle (spread the pleats there), close the ends to see if the size is right. My paper was a bit longer than necessary. Cut the excess. Unfold it again with the egg in the center.

 

 

Add glue on the egg and glue the sides first; next lift the sides again and glue them over the egg (upwards). Sprinkle it with cuteness. For this one I glued a dotted silk fabric and a tiny sateen flower.

 

To make the romantic crumpled crepe eggs:  

 

 

Cut a piece of crepe and crumple it. Add glue on the egg and glue the paper. It cannot be easier. Decorate it your way. Make many that will bring joy and cheer!

 

 

 

We are ready for Easter!

 

Ethical Label: Zazi Vintage

 

 

Zazi Vintage is a luxurious fashion label that embraces and promotes traditional ethnic craftsmanship - a collaboration project including artisans from all over the word, where the emphasis is placed on sustainability and women's economic and social independence.

 

 

Jeanne ZIZI Margot de Kroon, the founder of  Zazi Vintage, having worked for a big and unethical retail company,  decides to completely quit the modeling industry and focus studies and worldwide women empowerment projects because as she says:

"Fashion for me means story telling and the stories of the clothes I wear have to resonate to my beliefs. Because of this, I now no longer shop in chain stores, big companies or online. From countries like Guatemala to India, Lithuania to Ethiopia, I have gathered my wardrobe and found the most intriguing and inspiring pieces that all carry a unique story and connect me to another time, place and or person. 

I want people to know exactly where their clothes are coming from, by who they are being found by and exactly who they are supporting with their purchases. Portraying both these sides, I believe I can create a bridge, passing over what I have learned and continue to learn but also receiving lessons from the women of all corners of this wonderfully weird and beautiful planet earth that we are apart of".

The label works with artisans in Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, India and Afghanistan. Current collections are produced with small families and women-empowering NGOs, such as the Institute for Philanthropy and Humanitarian Development in India. 

Their vintage story is divided into 5 chapters: 

The Kuchi Dress

When a woman of the Afghanistan's Kuchi tribe got married, she wore one of these dresses combined with a Chador (head scarf) and tun ban (pants). Just one of these dresses takes about 4 to 6 months of handwork. The dense embroidery of the dresses arranging from heavy woven beadwork to special stitched coins that they found on their journey to the border of Pakistan combined with the rich materials of Silk, velvet and lighter woven work, make the dress a very special one.

The Baluchi Dress

Baluch women put on loose dresses and pants with sophisticated and colourful needlework, including a large pocket at the front of the dress to hold their accessories. The upper part of the dress and sleeves are also decorated with needlework, a form of artistry that is specific to the clothing of the Baloch women. Often the dress also contains round or square pieces of glass to further enhance the presentation. 

 

The Suzani Coats

The collection is comprised of the most detailed handmade Suzani embroidery from Tajikistan, matched up with vintage Mongolian sleep rugs that were inspired by the Afghan Coats. 

 

 

Zazi & Saheli 

The collaboration of Zazi with their NGO partner  in Bhikamkor

 

 

Ikat

All of Zazi's  Ikat woven dresses are handmade and are one of a kind. For this collection they worked with vintage IKAT from the border of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

Fashion Trend: Structural Biomimicry Knitwear

 

 

When it comes to knitwear, the fashion world has set the trend which was readily accepted by the knit and crochet community.

Structural biomimicry knitting and crochet. 

Garments made using different fibers to create intricate structures and textures inspired by natural forms. 

Nature has always provided inspiration for pattern and form in design and biomimicry  is on the rise. 

The original patterns of the flora are transferred into textiles using a mix of yarn, stitches and patterns.

 Source: Pinterest

 

The symmetry of fine creases found in feather structures inspire new cable placements.

 

Source: Spinexplore.com

 

 

 

Source: Spinexplore.com

Lichen and moss open wide doors to the emergence of  tapestry resembling knitwear, followed closely by the endless offerings of the reefs -  algae and corals thus widening and bringing more excitement to the knitwear designing trends. 

 

 

Source: Spinexplore.com

 

 

                                          Source: Pinterest                                                       Anniken Allis' shawl Eliza

 

 

Zaneta Gelevska - Artist

 

 

Zani is a compatriot of mine who stole my heart with her deeply touching paintings showing her unique perception of human feelings, emotions and relationships portrayed with an explosion of colors that grab the beholder and leave a powerful imprint on him. Her paintings tell incredible stories we can all relate to effortlessly.

 

 

 Love
 
 Love
 

Zani graduated from the Faculty of Fine Art Skopje, Macedonia in 1989. She participated in numerous exhibitions in her native Macedonia, involving herself in various art related projects. Her work has reached over 15 countries worldwide and is in many private and public collections. In 1999 Zani was invited to exhibit at the prestigious Blains Fine Art Gallery in Mayfair, London and soon after that she relocated to England, where she is now operating as a full time freelance artist.

 
Zani is always experimenting and her paintings are a unique blend achieved by combining acrylic and mixed media and a range of unusual materials. These materials have become a distinguishing feature of Zani's work and in many cases the materials dictate the form, as well as give the paintings their distinctive quality. Zani's paintings have a powerful strength and refreshing spontaneity with rich variations of colour and tone. Most of her inspiration is drawn from ordinary people and everyday experiences and events.
 
The work is often based on the relationship between public and private space, memories of the past and visions of the future. Zani is fast becoming a sought after talent in the world of contemporary art and exhibits her work during the year in a number of galleries in London and throughout the UK. However, a permanent exhibition of her work is on display, and can be viewed, in the Macedonian Embassy in London.
 
 
Reunion
 
 
Hug
 
 
You and Me
 
 
Happy Family
 
 
 Collage of Zani's latest work
 
 
Zani's studio
 
Truly amazing, isn't it? If you were hooked on these, you can find more stunning paintings on her website and you can also follow her on instagram
Capsule Wardrobe - Downsizing the Wardrobe or Building One's Style

 

Style Me Pretty

My Scandinavian home

 

Maybe you've just heard about it or maybe you have already transformed your wardrobe.

What has not lost its momentum after a couple of years in the trend is the capsule wardrobe. What does capsule wardrobe mean? It means carefully curated and cultivated wardrobe where pieces work harmoniously with each other so you no longer need to fall into a consumeristic fit and buy the next random piece of clothing.

To me it sounds more of building one's own style. 

The concept of the capsule wardrobe focuses on selecting a certain number of pieces (the number 37 seems to be popular with capsule wardrobe enthusiasts) that are in your preferred style, colors, prints and textures, accompanied with the right accessories and shoes.

The formula goes like this:

 

 

Choose the basics in the colors that you love wearing and that would fit greatly with the other items you select.

To add interest you need items that would be textured or printed and pair perfectly with the chosen basics.

Lastly, choose the footwear and accessories that match your capsule wardrobe.

Below are a couple of color palettes and boards showing mixed & matched items to give you a spark of the idea how to capsule your wardrobe.

 

 

 

 

 

Anzelika's Art

 

 

In the art world, Anzelika Koleva is known for her unconventional way of creating art - by spreading colors, finger painting and using spatulas to shape images.

 

She has replaced brushes with her fingertips and uses them solely to mix colors. The finger painting technique and painting by letting colors spread is not easy as one can imagine, but she has mastered them both thus making her art immediately recognizable.

 

The woman, being the everlasting inspiration is the main motif in her paintings. She uses the image of the woman as a drive fueled by the stories and emotions shared by her friends, sisters and mothers which she captures and translates into her paintings.

 

 

 

What she is also recognized by is her vinyl art. She uses old, damaged vinyl records to revive and beautify them and create one of a kind stories. Read about her amazing vinyl collection here and buy her art here.

 

Last Minute Bohemian Gift Wrapping DIY Ideas

 

It's Christmas Eve and you are late on your gift wrapping and lack ideas? Do not fret because we've got a lovely round of bohemian DIY wrapping ideas that will certainly bring lots of joy and pleasure to the eyes!

Amazing Alisa Burke has plenty of DIY tutorials offering a bohemian haven:

 

 Finger Painter Paper

 

 

Mixed Media Paper Ties and Bows

 

Gift Tags

 

Watercolor Gift Tags

 

Pom Poms & Tassels

 

Boho Chic Wrapping

 

>Silk Flowers Wraps

Floral Wrapping

 

Happy Holidays!

Create a Scandinavian Christmas

Via Pinterest

We continue our Christmas decorating series with the inevitable, eye-catching Scandinavian Christmas that has risen in popularity in the last years.

It has many common traits with the traditional and rustic decorating mainly due to Scandinavians preserving ages long traditions where the emphasis is on the homemade. A Scandinavian Christmas if filled with color, mainly red and white with traditional patterns.

 

Via Target

 

 

Adding natural elements brings a special warmth and charm - here the emphasis is on the wooden and straw decorations or other décor. Some of the most popular decorations of course are the Dala horse and the Yule goat along with Tomte - their counterpart of Santa.

 

 Via Bauhaus

Light wood combined with different textured and patterned fabric, a generous  amount of felt and a dash of jute and gingham ribbon is all you need to make some adorable decorations. Hope these images will boil  up your creative juices!

 

 

Via Home Design Ideas

 

Via Loves to Know

 

Via We Heart It

Via Pinterest

Homemade Christmas Treats

 

I am resharing two amazing, palate tickling recipes for homemade Christmas treats. If you were wondering what treats to make to surprise your friends and family for Christmas, think no longer for Boyana's has just offered a fantastic solution.

Hot Chocolate on a stick

  for 10 chocolate cubes

  • 200 g chocolate (i use dark, but also milk chocolate can be used)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 5 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 10 ice-cream or lollipop sticks

 

Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat, add the cocoa and sugar and stir until everything is equally incorporated. If it’s too thick, put the saucepan back over the hot water and continue stirring. Be careful not to let any water come in the chocolate, because it will seize-up.

When everything is mixed well you’ll have a thick, but still pourable mixture. Pour it in the ice cube tray, put a stick in the middle of every cube and leave at room temperature to harden. When the cubes are completely cooled and hardened, remove them from the ice cube tray and keep at room temperature in a air-tight container.

When you want a cup of hot chocolate, just dip the cube in a cup of hot milk and stir until it is dissolved.

You can add spices like cinnamon or cloves to the mixture or even a pinch of hot paprika for a Mexican hot chocolate.

 

 

 

QUINCE IN SYRUP

for a 400 ml jar:

  • 1 large quince
  • 300 ml water
  • 125 g brown sugar
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • a few strips of lemon zest
  • 4 – 5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 tea bags black tea (I used earl grey)

Peel and core the quince and cut it into thin slices. Put it in a pot with everything else, except the tea bags and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a bare simmer. Add the tea bags and and let steep for 5 minutes, then remove them.

Cook the quince on low for 20 minutes, covered and then 10 more minutes uncovered, or until the slices are tender but don’t fall apart and the syrup has thickened a little. Remove the lemon zest and ginger slices.

Pour the quince slices and the syrup into a clean jar, close the lid, gently tap on the counter to release air bubbles and leave to cool to room temperature. Store in the fridge for a few weeks.

 

 

Recipes and images courtesy of Sitno Seckano.

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