Tag Archives: fashion

blaugust #15: gimme that old time sparkle.

I spent a lot of time today cleaning up my work trays and putting supplies back where they belong. In the process, I found part of a necklace I’d started making a while back, inspired by something Lady Mary wore on Downton Abbey. The piece had never been finished – probably because I’d just lost track of it in the shuffle. So I played around with it a bit, and the result is a new necklace with a distinctly 20’s flavor.

Lady Mary necklace, due to appear at Leaves of Glass next week.

Lady Mary necklace, due to appear at Leaves of Glass next week.

That got me thinking about jewelry and costumes in several different period dramas that I like. This necklace has flapper elements, but it’s nowhere near long enough to really deserve that name. My favorite antique necklaces are the insanely long and heavy cut glass flapper necklaces from the Art Deco period, often worn tied in a loose knot, or with a beaded tassel at the end. You can feel the weight of them when you look at them, and they’re just sooooooooo glittery. I’ve always intended to recreate one someday, but so far I have yet to have enough of one bead to do it. Most of my materials come in limited, small batches.

Thinking about this, I kind of fell down a rabbit hole googling screenshots of Miss Fisher, Lady Mary and Ariadne Oliver from the Poirot series. Initially, I was looking for the Downtown Abbey necklace that inspired me (no hope of finding that, really, and I didn’t). Before long, though, I got seduced by one costume shot after another. I mean, come on. I want to wear every single one of these outfits. If I can’t do that, I want to make things inspired by them.

Downton Abbey images copyright Carnival Film/Masterpiece; Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery images copyright Every Cloud Productions; images of Ariadne Oliver in Poirot copyright itv.

I have no point here, other than I’ve had a nice day appreciating the artistry of old things and trying to build on it with new things. See you tomorrow, I’m gonna go make more stuff.

(This is my fifteenth daily post for Blaugust.)

Smiling in the stacks.

It all started last winter when my friend Bettie Newell and I had a conversation over cocktails about small business and marketing. Bettie is a wonderful photographer, and she had an idea about doing a photoshoot with my urban legend jewelry line. Let’s get some cute girls and some vintage dresses together with your necklaces and take pictures! Well, yes, please, I would love that. A few weeks after that conversation, I posted a photograph on Instagram using a vintage dictionary as a background for a necklace. Bettie texted me immediately and said she thought the library would be perfect for a photoshoot. We set about getting permission and rounding up several of our lovely friends to be models.

And so it happened that about a month ago, I packed up a collection of urban legend jewelry and headed to Central Library in downtown Portland to meet some beautiful ladies. Central Library is an exceptionally beautiful building: spacious and light and elegant. We had a gorgeous sunny spring morning, and the light was beautiful. The group of us spent a fun few hours in the stacks, trying to keep our laughter hushed as we effected wardrobe changes, browsed through books, and scouted out good spots to gather. We managed to be unobtrusive for most of the time, but we gathered a small audience while we were posing on the central staircase. What can I say, we looked adorable.

These pictures are a small sample of the beautiful work that Bettie did. I love her eye for color and faces, and I’m so happy with the way this project came together! It’s been so much fun adding a few of these at a time to my shop listings. Keep your eyes open for more! And please visit Bettie’s website to see more of her beautiful photographs, or to book a photo session.

I’m hunting candy in the wild.

photo (18)

Last week I received a lovely selfie from a customer, wearing her recent urban legend necklace purchase. It’s so fun for me to see people wearing the jewelry I make, but because I sell most of my jewelry online, I seldom get the chance. Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of something I made in the wild, as it were, and it’s a thrill that never fades. I want more of this, I’ve decided. How to get it?

BUT WAIT. The internet lets you see pictures! What if I ask you for these pictures, and provide you with a nice incentive to send them to me? Good? Good.

For the rest of January, I’ll be running a giveaway on Instagram for a $50 gift certificate to urban legend. The winner will be chosen at random on February 1 from all the entries. From now until midnight PST on January 31, you can enter as many times as you like. The rules are simple:

1. Post a picture of yourself on Instagram wearing an urban legend necklace (or bracelet or earrings, if they’re your favorite!), and tag me (@katerimorton). For each unique entry, I’ll enter your name for one chance at a random drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to urban legend. If you have one urban legend necklace, and you post one picture, you’ll be entered once. If you have one urban legend necklace but you like to mix it up with different outfits and you post five different pictures, you’ll be entered five times. If you have five necklaces, and you post a different one for each necklace, you’ll be entered five times. At the end of the month, I’ll use a randomizer to select a winner, and will contact the winner by commenting on their post.

That’s it. Just the one rule. I’m hoping I’ll discover a lot of new Instagram accounts to follow, and get to know some of my customers better, but following me isn’t a criteria for entering the giveaway. I’d rather you follow me because you want to. (Spoiler: I post plenty of pictures of beads and jewelry and things I’m making, but I also post a lot of pictures of Portland street art, my niece and nephew, and Murder She Wrote bingo cards. Mine is a strange, full life.)

I’ll see you in pictures! Please don’t eat the jewelry.

Love, Kateri

crush month: day 10

There are many things I enjoy about Glee, and many things I really hate about Glee, but Emma Pillsbury never has a bad moment. She’s loony, and her doe eyes are almost too enormous, but in a show loaded with bad behavior, she’s often the only adult in the room. She pronounces the word “gosh” with an extra little twinge of “r” in the middle, and manages to make that sound charming. She sterilizes everything she touches and cringes away from ugliness, while still handing out sound advice for balanced, healthy living to everyone else. More than anything else, though, she’s a seriously snappy dresser. There are whole blogs devoted to Emma Pillsbury’s wardrobe and how to get it. One of her more wondrous necklaces inspired something special I made for Shana a couple of months ago, and may lead to more new designs for me this winter. While I personally can’t rock any of her sweater-clipped, giant-ribboned, rosette-laden looks, I wouldn’t miss obsessing over them for anything.

blog post: in which i resolve to be worthy.


I found this lovely piece of handmade vintage on the front page of Etsy, and I had to have it. I know there’s a recession; I’m just doing my part for the economy. Anyway, that’s my story. The fabulous AquaVelvet gave me a stunning compliment and told me I knew how to rock the vintage. I fear it’s not really true. Amongst my inner circle, I’m well known as something of a frumpy dresser. I favor jeans, boots and long sweaters, and usually resemble a sort of perky longshoreman in disproportionately fancy earrings. When this package arrived, however, I realized I was going to have to step up my game. It’s time to start really rocking the vintage. I’ll do my best, AquaV, thanks! Check out AquaVelvet‘s Etsy shop for more exceptional vintage items, and you can rock too. (She also makes gorgeous jewelry, available at http://morphologie.us/).