“the favorite pearl necklace of all time”

My dear friend Andrea wanted to do a guest post so… here she is:

I am so obsessed with Ayla’s pearls. My luscious lariat necklace strung with turquoise and coral has acted like a magnet in my wardrobe, attracting all of these complimentary colours to it: now I have skirts and blouses in pale blues, ivories, and ruby  tones, colours I never used to consider. now everything I have goes beautifully with my long lariat, and inevitably, no matter how much I spiffed myself up that day, it’s the pearls that get the compliments. Not that I mind: I own these and yet I still feel acquisitive about them… I have literally spent months without taking them off, then I’ll have a little ‘pearls fast’ for a few weeks until I just have to put them back on… they have a heft, a music, a sensibility and a grace that is so very much Ayla’s (the maker, and my dear friend) and yet.. over the years…that aesthetic is one I have grown to adore. Please, if you are fingering these pearls and wondering if you should…. you MUST. xoxox Andrea

 

Little Eco Fashion Shoppers

One of the things I love about what I do is dressing up my customers, being able to see my work embodied and come alive. Every Saturday from April to October, I sell my work at the Salt Spring Saturday Market.

Some of the sweetest moments I have selling my work are when the kids arrive at my booth and find something they love.

Like this little man who loved the vest from the moment his folks put in on him. It had to be a garment with pockets, and the first vest I offered had only one pocket which was terribly confusing for the other little hand wanting one too!  Once he got the 2 pocketed vest on, he would not take his hands out of his pockets and would not take this Recycled Cashmere vest woff. And, oh my gosh, his tiny converse and pink polo and tiny jeans – so handsome!

This little beauty was travelling from Holland – I couldn’t speak Dutch and she couldn’t speak English so she just smiled when we got it right with the universal spontaneous language of pleasure and happiness.  Off went another Birdie in Cowgirl Boots into the world!

Sometimes at the market we vendors trade with one another – it is a great perk for anyone who makes things by hand for a living. The treasures, handmade quality, and for the unusual unique designs – it is fun fun fun! So here is one of my friend Julie MacKinnon‘s (of whom I was raving about in my last post) daughters sporting part of late season trade. Gorgeous!

And sometimes I am lucky enough to spot one of my pieces in the fray of market goers walking by – or in this case carried by.

These gals had so many cuffs to choose from and loved trying each pair on for size.  Too sweet!  After a time and they settled on their favourite.

xo

Treasures of Grandmother: Her gift of Reusing, Yoga & a Natural Life

My maternal Grandmother Jeanne Leblanc was a wonderfully unusual combination of tradition and way ahead of her time. She was by birth and origin a French Canadian Catholic woman who was very devoted to her faith until the day she died. In the 1960, when Swami Vishnu Devananda came to Montreal….

Reconstructed Superhero for Halloween

Guess who my daughter is going to be for Halloween?

Amazing what you can accomplish with scraps of felt from your daughters fabric basket, the wool sleeve of a white sweater and a red and blue shift from the thrift store for $1!

Diana…or you got it – Wonder Woman.  Stand back Linda Carter – it may not be the gravity defying eagle bustier but it sure does make an (almost) 8 year old very happy.

Happy Halloween, lovely pumpkins.

xo

Ayla

 

Aimee Mullins on the Opportunity of Adversity

This woman makes me cry and laugh and remember this essential thought and way of navigating life:  to regard Adversity as Opportunity.

If you haven’t heard of Aimee (I have a blouse in the Eco.Couture Collection named after her Aimee Blouse made from Recycled Silk) watch this video to be introduced to her beauty, profound intelligence, and tremendous inner power.  She is an inspiration.

She is an amputee who has set world records for track and field, she was the youngest person to be admitted to top level security working as an Intelligence Analyst (@17 yrs) for the Department of Defence, she made her runway debut for  Alexander McQueen in 1999, and in 2011 she is named the Global Brand Ambassador to L’Oreal Paris to name just a few of the milestones in this woman’s CV.

Check out these images of her – breathtakingly beautiful and strong and powerful.

 

Her final words in this Ted Talk, this poem by Hafiz in the 14th century, an invitation to adversity….

“Come dance with me”.

And if you want more check this out too: Aimee and her 12 pairs of Legs…

xo

A

 

Hold Your Ground Eco Kids Collection photographed by Michelle Loewen

Michelle Loewen is a photographer in Victoria and this gal can shoot beautiful pictures! My girlfriend Kristen Bond, a fabulous Fibre Fashionista who makes silk sing, (and made my most favoured and treasured scarf ever) introduced me to Michelle and I am so grateful for the connection.

Kristen’s niece, Michelle’s daughter, my youngest daughter Uma and some of Michelle’s friends with younger children, volunteered to model for the Eco Kids Collection on a cold day by the beach a month ago and here is a taste of the wonderful results.

Michelle has allowed the Eco Kids Collection to shine through her photographs. It is a gift to have these little labours of love and fibre embodied and captured with preciousness and quality they deserve.

Enough said – see for yourself….

The Reconstructed Cashmere baby jumpers have been really popular even through the summer here (what summer?) and they look so cosy and soft when touched and worn.

Uma, youngest daughter didn’t want to be part of the last photo session we did and was disappointed finding herself in few of the pictures.  This time she got right in there and we have some beautiful pictures for the Eco Kids Collection but for our family too.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE CHILDREN WHO MODELLED & TO THE FAMILIES WHO KINDLY BROUGHT THEM (AND HELPED WITH THE DRESSING AND PROVIDED GREAT ACCESSORIES!) – THEY LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL AND ADDED THEIR OWN CHARM AND CHARACTER TO THE SHOOT.

IT COULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT YOU.

THANK YOU.

xo

Ayla