Two Eleven Year Olds chose fabric, measured their phones, cut, pinned and then sewed velcro-closing cases that match.

girls phone case phone casesAnother sewing workshop completed. xxoo Yabette


Swankety Updates: Trunk Sale wrap-up and new merchandise by Yabette, gibbous, and Rykovich.

As usual, it was an exciting week at The House of Swankety Swank.  A warm, mostly sunny afternoon brought lots of shoppers and artists to Saturday’s Trunk sale.    Old favorites and new guest artists provided a variety of unique, handmade products for our customers.   If you missed July’s trunk sale, fear not!   Just stop by Swankety Swank  Tuesday through Sunday to shop these artists and many more!  While you’re here, check out some beautiful new pieces from Yabette, Rykovich, and gibbous.   We’d love to see you, so come on by.

Trunk show street view with Kim of Krafty Kitten

Trunk Sale wrap-up

One of our longest working artists, Amy Barrios of ICJ designs, with us from the first year in our old shop on McAllister Street,  brought out some of her beautiful, classic jewelry.  Amy is a self-taught artist and former English teacher!  In fact, the name of her line is a play on words related to her past profession.  “ICJ’s name (Independent Claws Jewelry) is an allusion to grammar because the strands are just like independent clauses – they work independently or with dependent clauses (the pendants and clasps.) The hooks on the ends of each strand are called lobster claws; hence the name.”  Using  high-quality materials and stones, Amy’s necklaces can also be worn as bracelets or seamlessly combined with other strands to create your own unique, beautiful combinations.   If you didn’t get a chance to see Amy’s work at the Trunk Sale, please stop by and check out her jewelry at Swankety Swank.

Amy Barrios of ICJ designs
Table detail Amy Barrios of ICJ designs

We also  had several talented guest artists participate. Katya Khan of  Urbanomad with twine jewelry and other accessories, and Tiana Saul of Sayuri Designs (below with feather hair clips) both brought more unique and beautiful accessories to Swankety Swank’s customers.

Trunk sale guest artist Katya Khan of Urbanomad
Pretty display by trunk show guest artist Tiana Saul of Sayuri Designs

Adrian of Salvaged and Stitched brought these super cute salvaged pillows in whimsical designs.   Salvaged and Stiched is a local family-run business.  His pillows “are made with upholstery remnants, and have either upholstery or apparel fabric  appliques. Vintage buttons are used for eyes, leather or suede for beaks and thick wool or mohair yarn for delightful long slender legs.”  You can now find his work everyday at Swankety Swank.

Adrian of Salvaged and Stitched now found in Swankety Swank.

Kim of Krafty Kitten, makes the cutest, sassiest,  bones and flowers hair accessories.  A recent graduate of Art Institute of CA-San Francisco, Kim has been making work as Krafty Kitten since 2007.  She calls her grandparents her inspiration since they fostered her passion and skill from a young age.   Her grandfather passed on sewing skills he learned as a young man in Mexico, so her work continues a line of family tradition.  Some other inspirations are rockabilly, cholabilly, psychobilly, pin up, punk and mexican culture.   You can find more of Kim’s Krafty Kitten work at Swankety Swank.

Kim of Krafty Kitten helps a customer
Krafty Kitten table

New furniture by Yabette, clothing and accessories from gibbous and Rykovich

Yabette recently finished a lovely new table.   Turquoise blue with a hand-painted, green leaf adorns the top.  This piece, like all Yabette’s work, is a well-built piece of furniture that was in need of some TLC and refurbishment to bring it back to life and ensure it’s use long into the future.

Yabette Blue table with hand-painted green leaf, $250
Yabette Blue table with hand-painted green leaf, $250

Artist Kurtis Rykovich’s pop-surrealist style fits perfectly at Swankety Swank.  Kurtis has participated as both fine artist and a designer, and now he has some beautiful one of a kind, hand painted summer blouses and t-shirts, each with a custom, removal broach.   His hand-painted t-shirts come in sizes from Small to 3X.

Rykovich embellished blue blouse, $98
Rykovich embellished blue blouse, detail removable pin, $98
Rykovich sandy giraffe tee, $75
Rykovich sandy giraffe tee, removable pin detail, $75
Rykovich orange silk blouse, $80

We had heard that the designers at gibbous were passing a summer cold between them, so we were extra surprised when they re-stocked the store with quite a few newly created pieces.  When design calls, nothing can keep the designers at gibbous from answering!  We hope y’all at gibbous will be getting back to %100 soon.

gibbous calls themselves “a miniature fashion house of hearts and hands” that collects cast-offs of the past to create your re-newed, favorite, how-did-I -live-without-this fashion pieces.  I should warn you; much like a tatoo, once you get your first gibbous piece, you’ll want more and more.  The collective of 4 designers re-uses a variety of materials, victorian clothes, stained silk slips, buttons, coins, keys, to re-fashion material menageries, sans patterns, into unique items you’ll never find in any department store.  like all of our designers, gibbous creates pieces you can wear with pride.  they strive to undermine disposable fashions manufactured in far-off sweat shops one stitch at a time.

gibbous hat, detail 1, $60
gibbous hat, detail 2, $60
gibbous Hannah Patch Skirt $180
gibbous white blouse with pink details, $60

And a final reminder, stop by to see the Team Valor show, curated by STORM, before it closes.  This is your opportunity to see some original artwork by some of the Bay Area’s best comic book artists.

Team Valor show opening

Photographs and writing by Aurelie Sandrine

Beads of Beauty, sustainable art of the Huichol tribe

What do the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and Swankety Swank have in common?  Supporting cultural sustainability. I recently came across an article about the annual Santa Fe International Folk Art Market in Sante Fe, New Mexico.   In its seventh year, the Folk Art Market features arts and crafts from around the world.  Artists are selected for the mastery of their craft, and 90% of profits from the sale of their work goes directly to the artist and their community. A member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the 501c3 organization  “provides a venue for master traditional artists to display, demonstrate, and sell their work.  By providing opportunities for folk artists to succeed in the global marketplace, the Market creates economic empowerment and helps improve the quality of life in the artists’ communities.”    Inspired and refreshed by the stories of the Folk Art Market, I was reminded of Beads of Beauty, Swankety Swank’s only non-local artists.

Beads of Beauty is the output of The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival, founded by Anthropologist Susana Eger Valadez.   The Huichol “or Wixáritari are an indigenous ethnic group of western central Mexico, living in the Sierra Madre Occidental range in the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Durango.”  The Huichol have spent many years fighting to maintain their language and way of life.    The artwork of this now endangered shamanic culture is a reflection of their native spirituality, which dates back to Aztec times.  While Swankety Swank supports local artists, we also have alot of love for the rest of the world’s artists and offer our solidarity and support in empowering them to survive in the modern world on their own terms.

Not only does their work support a good cause, it’s also incredibly beautiful, and a perfect way to summerize any ensemble.  One of the outstanding features of the Huichol’s art is the fine detail of their work.   Every flower in this multi-color lariat is masterfully executed, creating a chain of tiny, glistening blooms.

Beaded Flower Lariat, $224

According to their website, “Beads of Beauty jewelry is hand-woven with size 15/0 Japanese and Czech glass seed beads (the smallest glass beads made in the world), using two needles and durable Nymo nylon beading thread. Each piece takes anywhere from a half day to an entire week to create. The tiny beads and the fact that they are not made on a loom create a lightness, smoothness and suppleness not found in other beadwork.”

Detail of Beaded Flower Lariat, $224

You can see more beautiful detail in this beaded flower bracelet.   Flowers play a part in all Huichol rituals.

Beautiful White and Green beaded flower bracelet, $98

For something more simple, but equally as beautiful, we have this turquoise crystal bracelet.

Turquoise Crystal Bracelet, $84

These Dusty Rose Tassel earring are exquisite.

Dusty Rose Tassel Earrings, $50

We have  many more beautiful jewelry pieces in the store.   Proceeds from the sales “funds the operational support of the project. These jobs benefit many families, who are able to make a living with their traditional art forms while at the same time bringing the beauty of Huichol symbolism and spirituality to the world.”  Equally as nice is the feeling of wearing something so beautiful, that empowers artists and their families to maintain their freedom and culture.

Photographs and writing by Aurelie Sandrine

Sidewalk Sale This Saturday!!

Saturday MAY 15, 2010 11AM TO 4PM

Join us as we changed the date for this to Saturday rather than Sunday this weekend.

As part of the city wide Support Small Business Week. We’ll have Rio DJing all afternoon as we showcase local artist work at accessible prices on our sunny sidewalks.

If you are an artist who wants to participate, contact us for info: