Tailor this Jewelry to Your Personality (it’s local and super affordable!)


By Abby and Elle

One of the added benefits of going to the Cleveland International Film Festival is browsing the Tower City Art Festival, where local artisans feature their one-of-a-kind wares. This year, we found a new friend in Catherine Moore who owns Beachstone Jewelry. Her shop offers, among other things, pendant, bracelet and earring bases that can accommodate a variety of metal buttons that range from elegant and sophisticated to fun and funky.

Some buttons feature rhinestones; some are enameled; and others feature pictures of everything from hummingbirds and starfish to Hello Kitty and Betty Boop so you can personalize your piece of jewelry to your own taste. You can also find initials and a variety of seasonal images including Christmas trees and an American flag.

Many of the buttons cost just a couple of dollars, so you can easily afford to have several to choose from depending on your mood or outfit or the season.

We had so much fun digging through all the metal buttons (there was a lot of “Look at this one!” and “Did you see this one?” going on) and trying to pick out a few to buy. That effort, coupled with taking the photos for this blog post, caused us to nearly miss our dang film.

During the summer, visit the Beachstone Gift Shop in Geneva-on-the-Lake, or visit Beachstone online anytime.

Beachstone Buttons

Love this one in particular — looks so elegant.

Beachstone Buttons

The center button pops out so you can pop in another. The button on the far right is turned upside down so you can see how it works.

Beachstone Buttons

The bracelet bases come in a variety of styles.

Beachstone Buttons

Poppies — Elle’s favorite!

Beachstone Buttons

For all you crazy cat ladies out there. đŸ™‚

Beachstone Buttons

Perfect for topping off that vintage look.

Beachstone Buttons

Marilyn. Timeless.

Beachstone Buttons

Beachstone Buttons

Beachstone Buttons

 

Beachstone Buttons

Beachstone Buttons

Beachstone Buttons

Beachstone Buttons

Beachstone Buttons

New Twist on a Scarf and a Site Makeover


By Abby and Elle
We wrapped up this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival* by toasting to another marvelous season of films with a glass Styrofoam cup of champagne at the closing night party. And what a party it was! We slugged down two cups of champagne, jammed a few brownies into our pie holes and headed home. Woo hoo! (Hey, it was a work night.)

To complement the evening’s festive mood, Abby wrapped her MZ Beads scarf around the bun in her hair, and the look was spectacular! The fringe on the scarf cascades effortlessly, and we love how the fringe mingled with strands of Abby’s hair. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Speaking of pretty, since you’re reading this you’ve already noticed our site makeover. Every girl needs a makeover now and then, and websites are no different. Hope you like the new look!

Jill's Funky Do

*Vote for CIFF as the nation’s best film festival — as of this writing, we’re No. 1! You have until April 13 at noon to help CIFF clinch the No. 1 spot!

And the Wrist is History


By Elle

I can’t even imagine the history I carry with me when I wear this funky bracelet made from vintage trouser buttons. Each one is different, and I bet each one has a story.

Trouser button bracelet

Trouser button bracelet from Button Down Designs in Rocky River.

Trouser Button Bracelet

The bracelet is made by Emilie Collens Illson from Button Down Designs, whom I discovered at Tower City this year, during the Cleveland International Film Festival. She makes bracelets from all sorts of buttons, from bone and etched shell to Bakelite and porcelain.

While all her designs are phenomenal, I was particularly attracted to the trouser button bracelets for three reasons: they’re largely metal, each is unique and the buttons are from the late 1800s/early 1900s. Pretty cool! Most of the buttons boast the name of the clothier that fashioned the trousers.

The bracelet I finally settled on (I nearly missed my film trying to decide) includes buttons that read Boy Scouts of America, Fine Quality, W. Bawden N.Y., Big Yank, Depose Paris, A. Shuman Boston, Mode de Paris, and U.S.A. (from a U.S. airman’s uniform!), among others.

Trouser button bracelet

I love pairing the bracelet with clothing in metallic colors, like these plaid slacks from Talbots I found at a thrift store, beige cami, black cardigan and beige scarf that was a recent Goodwill find! And a glass of Pinot Grigio doesn’t hurt either — seems to go with all my outfits!

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Dang Lucky Indeed


By Elle

Dang Lucky

Dang Lucky and proud of it! And made in the USA, from Dang Chicks

Are you one of those people who say, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”? I hope not.  Because I’m a true believer that you are what you think you are. And when you project negative thoughts/vibes/attitudes into the universe, well, the universe responds appropriately. So why not project the good stuff?

Me, I always say that I’m dang lucky. The question isn’t so much why I say it but, rather, why not? I’d choose good luck over bad luck any day, the same way I choose happiness. And the universe responds.

Today I woke up to clear blue skies, and I was so excited I brought the children in the house over to the window to look. It wasn’t that blue skies are all that uncommon, but I wanted them to appreciate a beautiful day, delight in something positively ordinary.

So where’s the fashion hook? Imagine how delighted I was when I discovered Dang Chicks and their whole line of dang fun apparel, accessories, jewelry and more (made in the USA!), and this dang cute t-shirt (super soft and comfy) that I now own.

I don’t ordinarily wear messages on my clothing (though I do have a t-shirt from the Cleveland International Film Festival that declares that I like to sit in the dark with strangers), but this one was meant for me.

And wasn’t I lucky to find it?

Dressed


By Abby and Elle

Somehow we missed Dressed at the Cleveland International Film Festival in 2011, but we were lucky enough to catch it at the Cleveland Museum of Art last week as part of Fashion Week Cleveland.

From left: Sunny, David, Elle, Nary and Abby

From left: Sunny, David, Elle, Nary and Abby

Dressed is the name of a documentary, directed and produced by David Swajeski, about Nary Manivong, a young New York-based fashion designer originally from Columbus, Ohio. The twist to Nary’s story is that when he was 14, he and his twin brother and two younger siblings came home from school to find all their belongings on the lawn. Worse yet, their parents were gone. Nary and his siblings had been abandoned, left to live on the streets.

Despite the odds, Nary didn’t give up on his dream — inspired by a Vogue magazine he’d found — of working in New York as a fashion designer. While Dressed doesn’t give up all the details, the film does a fair job of chronicling Nary’s struggle from homelessness to a start in the fashion biz. We were struck by the roadblocks he had to overcome — one after another — that would have caused a lesser man to toss in the towel.

We met Nary and David in person at the Fashion Week Cleveland gala the following evening. We expected Nary to be stylishly dressed (he was), and contrary to most expectations, he was very friendly and humble.

White shirtdress from the NAHM spring collection

White shirtdress from the NAHM spring collection

Nary recently teamed with Ally Hilfiger, daughter of Tommy Hilfiger, to create NAHM, which translates into “water” in Laotian (Nary’s parents are from Laos). The name also comprises the designers’ initials.

You can read more about Nary in the New York Times 2010 piece “Designing Against the Odds.”

Much success and happiness to you, Nary.