Category Archives: Accessorizing

New Year, New Endeavor

I hope you all had a Happy Holiday and rang in the New Year safe & sound! As we begin a brand new year, I thought it seemed fitting for me to share with all of you, the new business endeavor I’ve recently begun :)

And so, it is with my great pleasure, to introduce to you…………………………………………drum roll please…………………………………………….

underground + BOUND Handmade Bohemian Jewelry on Etsy

underground + BOUND is an eclectic collection of hand-made jewelry inspired by Mother Earth and the unique rock formations created naturally at her core. Bound together by leather, stones & bones, minerals & metals, feathers & found objects are cleverly combined to create this artsy assortment of accessories that is mystical, meaningful, & undoubtedly unmistakable!

handmade bohemian jewelry

Each piece in this diverse collection of one-of-a-kind designs is a unique representation of the earth, its abundant offerings, and the creatures that inhabit it. Minerals & crystals magically created when all of the necessary conditions combine in a particular way, at a particular time. Rocks that make-up Earth’s crust; those that comprise our mountain ranges & canyons, that were once liquid molten lava that have cooled & compressed over millions of years. Fossils & bones from plant particles & animal life; the trace evidence preserving the remains of what once roamed & flourished from the land, long before our time.

Just as no two stones are the same, each design is distinctive in its very own way. Completely hand-crafted; hand-cut premium hides are tied together to secure stones & bones; while metals & other off-beat materials add an eclectic touch to these traditionally boho-inspired baubles.

Paying homage to Mother Earth, native cultures, and the unconventional ethos of nomadic lifestyle; underground + BOUND boasts earth elements, unlikely pairings, tribal adornments, folkloric patterns, & intricate designs. u + B accessories are meant to emulate the natural beauty & great spirits of the materials they are made of and accentuate the beauty & spirit of those who wear them. They are meant to be adorned, admired & appreciated.

underground + BOUND embodies the bohemian fundamentals of fashion; encouraging the importance of individuality – inspiring one to embrace their own personality and express it through the unique way they dress. Whether you prefer the bold necklaces made of bone or the more subtle studded pieces, the not-so-average knotted necklaces or the styles made with stones, u + B offers something for every brazen bohemian, prairie princess, free-spirited fashionista, hippy-at-heart, & gypsy soul.

Highlighting the exquisiteness of Earth’s bounty and the spirit of the beings that dwell upon her, underground + BOUND is a manifestation of the precision, perfection, and creative beauty that’s been around since the very beginning of time.

handmade bohemian jewelry

I sort of started underground + BOUND on a whim. Contagiously creative & rather crafty, I began making a couple pieces of jewelry for my personal collection after I couldn’t seem to find exactly what I was looking for in any retail stores. I never originally intended for it to be more than just a pleasurable pastime, but after countless compliments I received while wearing my creations & requests from friends, family & complete strangers for items of their own, I decided to turn the leisure activity I loved into a legitimate business.

Thus, underground + BOUND was born – my artistic imagination coming to life.

Similar to watching a circus act, creating my collection has been both terrifying & exciting at the same time. The balancing act of building a new business while juggling my normal day-to-day responsibilities has been challenging at times; but seeing it all come together and introducing my work for the first time has been met with equal feelings of relief & exhilaration!

Always curious, passionate & in-motion, not a minute goes by that I’m not brainstorming something for the business. From conception to distribution, I relish in the entire creative process that goes into making each & every piece in my collection. From initiating a design in my mind to picking out the perfect materials to make it, the many hours spent cutting leather, manipulating metals, intricately knotting, stitching stones & bones – seeing my pieces evolve from what was once just a drawing on paper to a product ready for someone to purchase is such a satisfying feeling. I pride myself in offering unique designs made of quality materials & strive to create authentic connections with my customers. Whether it’s creating compelling marketing materials or collaborating with customers on custom pieces, shipping merchandise or sharing inspirational photos on social media, I truly enjoy being a one-woman operation.

Click on the photos below to see these item, and others, listed on Etsy!

handmade black fringe brass studded bull boho necklaceAntique Brass Studded Bull Skull Black Genuine Deerskin Leather Fringe Statement Necklace

clear quartz crystal black leather open collar necklaceClear Quartz Crystal Genuine Deerskin Black Leather Wrapped Open Collar Necklace

Black Deerskin Leather Studded Fringe NecklaceBlack Genuine Deerskin Leather Hand-Cut Fringe Antique Brass Studded Statement Necklace

Black Leather Macrame & Deer Antler Fringe NecklaceGenuine Deer Antler Black Leather Diamond Macramé Statement Fringe Necklace/Wall Hanging

Agate Stone & Cognac Leather Braided Tassel NecklaceGenuine Buckskin & Saddle Brown Deerskin Leather Natural Banded Agate Stone Braided Lariat Tassel Necklace

If you like what you see, be sure to stay connected with my brand new brand via the social media links below…
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Underground-Bound/1454969688115232
Instagram: undergroundandbound
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/undrgroundbound/

And as always, I love feedback, so leave a comment & let me know what you think of my designs!

New Year Quote

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

I know I cannot wait to see what this New Year brings for me & my new business. May your coming year be filled with health, happiness, magic & lots of new dreams!!!

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Bundling Up in my Big Beige Scarf to Brave the Cold

I hope you managed to warm yesterday wherever you are!!! The Midwest has turned into a frozen tundra & it is not pleasant! The city of Chicago pretty much shut down yesterday with the record-setting temperatures falling down to -16°…with wind chills in the -50’s. The bone-chilling sub-zero temps made venturing outside extremely dangerous; so as advised, I worked from home yesterday…along with many others, I’m sure! I must say – it was rather convenient taking my conference call while cozied up under blankets on my couch, with the heat cranked up & a cup of hot cocoa in my hand!

I started to get a little antcy by mid-afternoon, so I decided to see for myself just how cold it was outside. I made it as far as the corner store & thought “forget this!” Even with my Sorel’s, stallion sweater, quilted coat, big beige scarf, knit hat & mis-matched mitts I didn’t make it more than a block! (I have a tendency to loose gloves leaving me with a bunch of onesies. But when it’s this cold, who cares if you coordinate…I just went with the warmest ones!)

 Bundled Up

The newest addition in my cold-weather collection that’s keeping me warm this winter is my big beige scarf I got from Santa…

 IMG_3496

Actually, I sent this Pinterest picture & some measurements to my mom a couple months ago to see if she could crochet a clone of it.

Pinspiration - Beige Scarf

She passed the project along; and with 5 skeins of yarn, 1 talented grandma made me this stunning 8 ft x 1½ ft scarf…it only took her 12 hours! The neutral color, gigantic size, fringe trim, even down to the cable-detailing down the center pockets, she did a phenomenal job duplicating this design! Don’t you think?!

 Bundle Up to Brave the Cold

Here I am all bundled up before I went out – I look just like the lady in the photo… + a few more layers!! I’m obsessed with my new scarf – its almost like I leave the house with an afghan wrapped around me :) It also kept me warm while I was working outside on New Year’s Eve.  Not exactly how I expected to spend my night (would’ve went with snow pants instead of a dress had I known)…but at least I was in good company.

 NYE Pic

With today’s temp only climbing up to a high of 5° today the outlook is still a bit bleak. I think I’ll hibernate at home again – I’d rather come down with a case of cabin fever then run the risk of getting frostbite. :)

Have a good day everyone…& stay warm out there!

Modern Vintage Changed my Mind about Michael

I’ve been searching for a nice gold watch for a while now, but have yet to come across one I like. Well, I shouldn’t say that – this Burberry one caught my eye…but I don’t have $695 to drop on a watch right now.

 Burberry Rosegold Watch

So, for the past few years I’ve been sporting this silver Timex timepiece. My grandfather has the same style in brushed gold that I always admired, so I went out and bought one for myself. I like the simplicity of the style, the stretchy wristband (except when my arm hair gets stuck in it), and purposely bought the men’s version because of its oversized, easy-to-read faceplate.

 Silver Timex

With the convenience of purchasing it at Target for the affordable price of only $34.99, it’s a no-brainer buy! Of course, I have had to pick up a couple replacements over the years because I’ve either shattered the front glass or somehow gotten water trapped in the inside; but at that reasonable price, I don’t really mind.

I did however want another one, a nicer one, in a different finish so I could have a second option. Some people will only wear a silver watch with their silver jewelry, while others go for the gold. I tend to mix my metals so it doesn’t really matter for me…but it’s always nice to switch it up a bit.

Out of all the timepieces I’ve looked at over the course of time, the brand I’ve come across the most has been Michael Kors. I’ve never really been a big fan of any of the styles stemming from the Kors collection – it’s either I try them on and they’re so heavy it feels like one of my arms is longer than the other or it has so much bling imbedded into it it’s blinding. See what I mean?!…

 Michael Kors Watches

I’m not trying to be mean to Michael! I’m just not big on sparkly things and for something I wear every day, I can’t have it weighing me down (I’m already crooked the way it is :).

But, I gotta hand it to the guy, he’s obviously doing something right – after all, he does dress the arms of millions of men & women. It’s hard to deny that he dominates the market when it comes to mainstream watchmakers!

Michael Kors (KORS) reported a net income of $145.8 million, for its second quarter. A 31% sales growth in North America was driven by watches, footwear and other accessories; accumulating a total revenue of $618.3 million in the U.S. and Canada. (forbes.com)

Perhaps I was a bit harsh on Mr. Kor’s & his design team to start; for my trip to the Modern Vintage Chicago market last month changed my mind (a little) and now has me eating (some) of my words. While perusing through Plumber’s Hall during the special edition of Randolph Street Market focusing strictly on clothing, accessories & jewelry; I came across this little jem!

 My Michael Kors Watch

It’s a close comparison to the original watch I wanted…and was 1/6th the price! I looked it over to make sure it was in good condition; all the parts are still ticking & tocking, the closure securely fastens, and it has a brand new battery – seemed like a deal to me! I like the basic gold band, sleek black dial, and it’s not too heavy to disrupt my movements. After doing a little research, I came to the conclusion this style was originally produced back in 2010. A little more modern than vintage – either way, a great find at my favorite market!

I haven’t changed my mind about Michael entirely…but one way or another, he managed to make his way into my jewelry box. Way to go guy!

Do you don a watch from the Michael Kors collection? Or would someone have to twist your arm to get you to wear one?

September’s Randolph Street Market Recap

I took a quick trip to California last weekend to work a styling job, but still managed to make it back in time for my monthly trip to the Randolph Street Market.

Last Sunday’s trip to the vintage market was bittersweet because September is the last month the market is both indoors & outdoors. It’s the last month they offer the free trolley to & from. It’s the last month of live music. It’s the last time shoppers have access to the abundance of oddities offered outdoors. And it’s the last time I get to see some of my favorite vendors until next summer :(

I don’t want to say that I was a bit disappointed in this month’s market (because let’s be honest…I could never really be disappointed in the market!), but I was a bit bummed because it felt like there weren’t as many merchants there as usually. After talking to one of my favorites, I found out there were some other events going on around the area, which some of the Randolph regulars attended instead. Regardless, I saw some stuff I hadn’t seen before…and still came home with a couple new things :) Check it out…

There was a definite Halloween/harvest theme throughout the market this month. Merchants sold home décor such as scull & scary cat lanterns and polished glaze pumpkins to shoppers so they could get in the spirit.

Pumpkin Decor (1)

Scary Cats & Skull Lanterns

Yard Ornaments

Fall flowers, Indian corn, and pumpkins were also for sale for people to take home and replace bouquets of summer perennials no longer in bloom.

Fall Flowers (1)

IMAG9364

Pumpkins

This gives new meaning to ‘stuffing the turkey’ on Thanksgiving…

Stuffed Turkey

…or ‘carving’ it. :)

Carved Wood Turkey

A couple other peculiar pieces I found while I was perusing…

This is a pair of oversized facet-stone clip-on earrings. How is something this big supposed to stay on your ear? I put them next to a quarter so you could get an idea of how huge they are.

IMAG9383

A bullet belt…with a peace sign buckle? A contradictory clothing accessory if I must say so myself.

Bullet Belt

What could someone possibly own that they would need a wrench this big to fix? Whatever it is…they’ve clearly got an even bigger problem on their hands.

Giant Wrench

So what did I walk away with this month? Oh, you know…just 2 more rings :)

IMAG9527-1

Rings

…because I don’t have enough already :/

IMAG9541-1

Something I didn’t have to purchase – pumpkins, because every fall my mom mails me a package full of pumpkins & gourds she grows in her own garden!

IMAG9465-1

Even though the market is only inside next month, organizers made up for it by offering two shopping events in the month of October. A special Modern Vintage clothing & accessories event in two weeks, then the regular Randolph Market the weekend after!

Modern Vintage Chicago

Summer Heat Wave Makes for a Really Hot Randolph Street Market!

I had to meet with a client last Saturday morning to do a color consultation which brought me to the West Loop bright & early. I typically only venture over to that part of town when the vintage market is going on, and conveniently, it was last weekend! So after my analysis I walked a couple blocks and spent the rest of my morning rummaging at Randolph Street Market.

Randolph St Market (1)

Unlike last month’s unseasonably cold temperature which had me wearing a sweater in July, this end-of-summer heat wave that we’re having made for a hot & humid day. The extreme heat definitely made an impact on my shopping experience this month! Some vendors put up awnings to provide shade for shoppers; but with not even a slight breeze, it was still sweltering. Everything under the sun – the people, the pavement, and the products was hot – too hot to even touch! Who wants to buy something after it burns you?

Regardless, here are some pics from my trip to Randolph Street Market this month…

Sooo much sterling & tons of turquoise!

Sterling Silver & Turq (1)

Sterling Silver & Turq (5)

Sterling Silver & Turq (2)

Sterling Silver & Turq (6)

Sterling Silver & Turq (3)

Pretend were in Pleasantville and time warp back to the 50’s with these retro kitchen sets…

Retro Kitchen Sets (1)

Retro Kitchen Sets (3)

Retro Kitchen Sets (2)

Retro Kitchen Sets (4)

Retro Kitchen Sets (5)

Retro Kitchen Sets (6)

Retro Kitchen Sets (7)

Want to be a little more subtle with your vintage accents? Pick from these reclaimed door knobs, metal furnishings, stained glass and ceramic tiles taken from torn down homes, schools, and buildings from long ago.

Vintage Door Knobs (2)

Vintage Door Knobs (1)

Stained Glass Windows

Old Ceramic Tiles (2)

Old Ceramic Tiles (1)

Going global…

Globes (2)

Globes (1)

Two weeks til the next full moon jam! I should’ve picked up on of these so I can join the drum circle.

Drums

These life-size figurines would make good friends…

Carved Wood Native American Figures (3)

Carved Wood Native American Figures (2)

Carved Wood Native American Figures (1)

Wizard

Even this guy – he’s so excited…he just can’t hide it!

Skeleton (1)

So what did I walk away with this month?

This ring…

IMAG8905-1

and this ring…

IMAG8892-1

From a distance it looks like etched metal, but if you look close, it recites the Lord’s Prayer.

Lord's Prayer Ring

Would you subject yourself to these types of shopping conditions?