A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Muppets: Bringing the World Together, One Etsy Shop at a Time

"...I take my lead from this immortal style icon--'I find that it is vital to have at least one handbag for each of the ten types of social occasion: Very Formal, Not So Formal, Just a Teensy Bit Formal, Informal But Not That Informal, Every Day, Every Other Day, Day Travel, Night Travel, Theatre and Fling.'"
-Miss Piggy

I recently came across the quote above in an Etsy seller's profile while reviewing her shop on LinkReferral. I immediately wrote my review and told the seller I loved her--she quoted MISS PIGGY (the diva's diva and my junior high style guru--God, why was junior high so hard?), AND she lives in Ireland, so she was double-ultra cool. And thus our little intercontinental friendship was born! Everybody, meet my new friend Rena Roohipour, of Lilycobweb at Etsy! I asked Rena to tell you a little about herself, and share some of her work:

Rena: I design and make crocheted and beaded wearable items and jewelry. I live in South Down, Northern Ireland in a very scenic area. I love music, art and craft. Crochet is something I have studied and developed since I was a child. I love its endless flexibility and sculptural qualities. I'm influenced by Nature and by Romanticism, with an occasional dash of Gothic glamour and a hint of Celtic twilight! I focus on that link between eye and heart and hope that this feeling is reflected in what I make. I love to make beautiful and functional pouches and purses as well as bead and wire jewellery. I occasionally make freeform crochet wallhangings which also incorporate beads and wire. What interests me about crochet is its ability to diffuse light, and still create a strong structure. It's fascinating, and for me, it's like drawing and painting with yarn.

I’m fairly new to selling online, but not new at all to crafts and crochet. I first learned to crochet at the age of eight or nine. I was taught by a neighbour of ours who did beautiful Irish crochet, and I used to marvel at her skill and patience. I gave up handcrafts and anything artistic for a long time. Then, when my eldest daughter went to study music in Boston four years ago, I went to visit her there. On a walk down Newbury Street, I visited the Boston Society for Arts and Crafts Shop. They had a jewellery exhibition there. That was the first place I saw bead and wire crochet jewellery! I couldn’t believe you could crochet wire! I’ve since gone back to yarn and thread, but I still use beads and wire a lot to make my creations. I don’t exclude any material, and I experiment a lot! Crocheting leather is my latest favourite thing!

Creating in the medium of crochet is very satisfying for me. Crochet always amazed me with its possibilities. It’s very sculptural and I love that. In a strange way, it links me to my childhood and my home.

At the moment, I’m obsessed with leaves and flowers and ways to crochet them. I want to do a series of leaf pendants connected with Celtic tree lore. I like to feel a link to nature, and I think that finds its way into my work.

This is one of my personal favorites currently in Rena's shop:

She's called it Pralines and Cream, and it's a "wristlet"--a nifty, whimsical, uber-feminine little purse you can attach to your wrist:

"For someone forever misplacing a purse, this is the perfect solution. Or if you're out 'socialising' (what purse? I had a purse?) this is what will save your dignity!

"A bag you can carry while holding a glass, a plate or loads and loads of shopping bags while answering your cellphone! A godsend!

"The crocheted handbag is designed to hold your keys, phone, money and lots more in a very secure and convenient way. The wristlet features three tiny magnetic clasps that are so easy to open and close on your wrist. Cream, mocha, walnut and caramel all blend deliciously with a cream cotton thread to make a great crocheted fabric. Vintage dark-brown leather buttons make the closure on the pouch and adorn the wristlet. Dark brown leather thonging forms a crocheted border. Very soft to the touch, yet so strong and functional. Perfect for summer evening outings. It has a lovely handsewn faux-suede camel lining."

These are some of my favorites from her sold items gallery:

I especially love her "Orange Lily" wristlet:

These wristlets are just the thing for me--I have left countless personal items in various establishments throughout northwestern Montana. My favorite black "Anna Karenina" faux fur hat, my bank card, my entire wallet, sweaters, coats, sunglasses, doggie bags (the kind with dinner leftovers, not dog poop), etc. Looking forward to seeing more of Rena's creations, and chatting on Facebook! Check her out!


  1. keirt!! thanks for sharing:!! very good choice!! all her etsy is so romantic!! don't you think?? it smell the old Paris.. i love!!! thanks!!

  2. what beautiful creations! i too love to crochet; i just wish i had more time for all my crafty loves.

  3. Thank you so much, Keirsten!! You are a star:)

  4. i love that quote! i've never heard it before. i was expecting it to be from marilyn monroe or someone like that. i should have know it was miss p...

  5. This makes me wish I had paid attention when my Grandma tried to teach me to knit!!! SO cute and original.

  6. Those wristlets are amazing. Can see them on the red carpet soon!