Happy Friday readers - welcome to a new edition of Friday Friends. I hope your working week wasn't too hectic - it feels like it really was five working days jammed into three! Today it is my absolute pleasure to reintroduce to you all a Friday Friend, DUSTy Diva and Australian Maker - meet Ruby Tombstone!
Ruby Tombstone provides a fabulous array of handmade and genuine vintage goodies - let me share some with you now. I do adore this MAD Rabbit Necklace, Pastel Bunny HoopLa with Lavender Polka Dots, it really is One of a Kind!
I was also quite taken with the bright patterns of this SWIRL Bracelet in red and pink made from fabric and wood Mod Vintage Beads.
Dear readers, I now invite you to take some time out to read the story of Ruby Tombstone in "Every Piece Tells A Story." Have a wonderful long weekend - and remember it's ANZAC day today, Lest we forget. xo♥
"Every Piece Tells A Story"
"Ruby Tombstone is an ageing hipster living alone with her cat, Swanky, and wondering just what the hell she's doing in the tropics anyway..."
I have only just re-opened and re-vamped my Etsy shop after taking a 2-year break. Actually, I moved up here to Townsville from Canberra during that time, and two years later I'm still adapting to life in the tropics! This time around I have more time to spend working on the shop, so when I'm not being interrupted by things like goannas, cyclones or the cat starting a pop-up butterfly house in the kitchen, I'm actually getting a lot more craft done.
I think I have a knack for spotting interesting things and piecing them together in beautiful and unusual ways. I find inspiration in such diverse areas, including in all things vintage, and I really like the contrast between very different aesthetics. So I've been collecting materials and objects for many years, assuming that one day I'll find the right use for them. At least that's how I think of it. Others have pointed out that this looks a lot like an excuse for compulsive hoarding, but without the house full of cats.
Every hand-made piece in my store is a one-of-a-kind item - I don't mass-produce anything, and I don't bulk-buy huge amounts of cheap components. I use the materials that I've collected and treasured over the years - maybe buttons from my mother's button tin, vintage beads from a broken necklace, fabric from some vintage kitchen curtains or novelties from a circus that closed down in the 60s - and put them together when I find the right combination. I also experiment with different techniques using the materials at hand, hoping to find just the right effect. This means nobody else in the world will ever have the piece that you're wearing, and at the end of the day, it's a lovely one-of-a-kind treasure which has its own unique story.
I love jewellery and accessories that are changeable, that will adapt to fit my mood and my style each day. "HoopLa" necklaces are my own design, made from segments of ribbon slotted onto hinged coloured hoops. This makes each piece really versatile, allows for adjustable sizing, and even lets you mix and match the components. You can turn the necklace around for a round, square or pointed neckline, swap the position of the ribbon segments, add charms and pendants, join the hoops up with other ribbons or scarves, double up on the ribbon segments - the options are literally endless. So with one piece of jewellery, you're getting a lot of different looks!
I've recently started making magnetic cardigan clips, which are also really versatile. Made from wooden rectangles with swatches of beautiful fabrics and joined by a chain, they can fit together really well as one big geometric brooch, or be worn as cardigan clips on the necks of cardigans, on the collar of shirts, to fasten shawls, scarves or capes... anything!
Since the backs are magnetic, there's no way to damage your clothes with pin-holes, and you can place them anywhere for all sorts of different looks.
While I was making the cardigan clips, I experimented a lot with different sealants and adhesives, trying to get a more organic effect - as if the fabric was actually growing from the wood. I frayed the edges of the fabric, then layered up the sealants, sanding them back each time to try and get to this point. In the process, I came up with these earrings which have a much more faded-in look. A local cafe saw these and asked me to produce another batch for them to sell in their space, which I'm really excited about. I love doing custom requests, because it gives me a concrete challenge to work on.
Along with vintage jewellery components, I have been a keen collector of vintage clothing for many years. I tend to buy these pieces for myself, but alas - they can't all fit me. Those which don't will hopefully find a loving home through my shop. I think of my Etsy shop as a collection to be curated, so only my best vintage pieces are listed here. I do a lot of background research on each piece before I list it, not only so that I can authenticate it as genuine vintage, but so that I can tell the story behind it. I have a great expert on Australian vintage garments who I can email for help, and I look for background information on the labels, like any vintage advertising that's around for each brand, so that by the time I list a garment I have a story to share about it: the brand's history, trends at the time, the materials, how it would have been sold or worn. Again - you're wearing a garment which has a story to tell.
I love my horror movies, zombies in particular, so there will always be a place for the creepy, kooky and spooky in my store. My zombie memento mori pieces are so much fun for me to make, as I get to create a whole character and tell their story too. I give each character in the portrait a name, include a scrap from their dress, maybe some beads they were wearing, make the piece a little memento of their passing.
To celebrate my return to Etsy, I'm having a 20% OFF EVERYTHING sale. The Coupon Code is "NEWRUBY20", which will give you 20% off your total purchase excluding shipping. I'm still adding new pieces daily, so please keep checking back, or follow me for updates: