Thing 11: Sio Ceramics

pair of earrings and box

As already stated in posts this year- I love ceramics and I love jewelry. Today, we combine them! In February, I went to the Art Rave market at Dupont Underground. In terms of alternative arts venues, this one is particularly funky. Opened in 1949 as a trolley station, all of the platforms and tunnels were closed off in 1962 when the city’s streetcar system shut down. It was a designated fallout shelter in the 60s, and other than a short run as a food court, was mostly abandoned until 2016 when Dupont Underground opened. 

I’ve enjoyed concerts, interactive installations, formal art shows, and more in the past few years. It’s a fun space with a unique feel, but remains without some basic utilities, including bathrooms and heat. So, I went through the early February art market at a very brisk clip. Soon, I spotted a table of ceramic jewelry that very much interested me, but several people were already browsing and there was no room to look. So I did what I recommend you all do: took a pic and followed the artist on Instagram as a reminder to check back later. If you see art you like, follow the artist! It’s much easier than keeping track of a business card. 

By happenstance just three weeks later, I was looking at her work in person at the opening reception of Duality by Hen House (a show like so, so many others whose full potential was squandered by the coronavirus pandemic). Waiting to purchase a piece by Aphra Adkins, I was browsing the selection of earrings from Sio Ceramics, when Makeda Siobahn, the artist and owner, came over and said “I think you should buy those.” And reader, I did. And really haven’t stopped! I have two pairs of earrings and a necklace for myself, and I’ve gifted two pairs of earrings. Now Julie in Cleveland will have a pair too. Following Makeda made me appreciate her work and process even more. As I talked about with Meg, there is something magical about purchasing jewelry made by a person and not a machine. 

@sioceramics

🎁 Tiny creative business 

✔️ DC Based 

🖤 Black owned 

🚺 Woman owned 

Thing 4: Meg by Hand

jewelry

I really, really love jewelry. A closet full of gold and diamonds may appeal to some because it is a status symbol with monetary value, but my desire is for wearable art. Meg by Hand delivers just that. As taken from her website:

Meg makes jewelry to be worn and enjoyed. Her process-driven exploration leads her to create artful jewelry often emulating fine detail in nature. Her signature technique involves making hundreds of tiny pieces to arrange in delicate compositions. The resulting jewelry feels like clusters of seeds, leaves and grasses. 

When you buy Meg’s jewelry (or other professional art/fine craft items), you’re not just getting a necklace or a pair of earrings; you’re purchasing a one-of-a-kind, quality piece of art. It’s almost magical knowing every tiny element was made by one person—from inspiration to design to creation. And the story doesn’t begin with your piece; one person spent years (often their entire professional life!) building the skills required to make it. I truly connect better to jewelry made by a person rather than a machine. Additionally, buying from artists puts more money into local communities, and is almost always better for the planet. 

Meg is switching things up in her business, so now is the time to check out what she has in stock! A pair of her soft shape silver studs arrived at Lauren’s house in Maryland today. 

@megbyhand

🎁 Tiny creative business 

🚺 Woman owned  

Five things I never fly any sort of distance without

Never is a pretty bold statement, and obviously this depends on the length of flight, but here goes:

1) Kiehls In-Flight Refreshing Facial Mist

Cabin humidity isn’t just for your insides. Though this product has been relabeled as Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist, I have been assured it is the same stuff. I spray this stuff liberally on my face and neck, and honestly anywhere else. It smells great and a bottle lasts forever. Make sure you buy the 2.5 oz size because this is a carry-on essential. Who checks bags anyway? Things are better if you’re on a 787, but I still bring it.

2) A large, thin scarf.

Blanket, headwrap, skirt, privacy shield…what you can do with a scarf is endless. I recommend something at least 6 ft long and 3 ft wide. Linen is great, cotton blends are great, silk is ok. Fold it up, wear it on, whatever. If you’re in economy, make yourself a little privacy sleeping hood. Anything that makes you feel a little less like you’re mere inches away from the face of a stranger.

3) Water Sac

Sure- most planes will give you free water. But it is never enough. Seriously you need to drink more water on planes. One liter for every four hours of flight, even more if, like me, you love to drink the free booze. I do this even when I am in premium cabins, as it is personally more annoying to continually ask for water or deal with trying to hoard mini bottles at your seat than to just bring some of your own. Water sacs are nice because they flatten and are reusable, but if push comes to shove, buy a liter at the airport. If I am going to a destination where the tap water is not drinkable, I will bring one with an attachable purifier.

4) Thick socks or slippers.

My shoes are coming off but I am not going to walk around the cabin in my regular socks. Slippers are ideal- better protection from the floor, but socks are easier to pack. If I am in business or flying economy on airlines like Qatar or Korean, this will be provided. Always be prepared though.

5) Noise cancelling headphones

I like these, which are small and I can crumple up and abuse. I can’t sleep with giant domes on my ears. I also love that you don’t have to charge them. Remembering to charge your electronic devices before leaving is obnoxious. Between computers and cameras and phones and battery packs, the last thing I want to worry about it my headphones.

Disposable face wipes, toothbrush/paste, eye cream, and a non-aerosol dry shampoo are my runners up.

No, I don’t receive compensation for this but I am totally open to product bribes.

The Final 2018 Holiday Thing: 34

So, it is Christmas and I am about to get all sentimental. My final favorite thing is all of you. I truly would be lost without my friends. It is so important to acknowledge, value, and appreciate the family you choose. As a raging extrovert, I need to process almost everything that happens to me with multiple people. Thank you to the friends who listen, gossip, advise, love, challenge, embrace, and push me to be better.

Almost every year, one of my goals is to put more work into my friendships. I look forward to doing so again in 2019.

You are all the best.

Love,
Abbey (& Bei Bei)

the big three-oh

Get thee an enormous, modal scarf. Make sure there aren’t any serious danglies or tassles. And use it for everything (you hear that Tiffany in Washington?!) Need to lay on the beach? The scarf’s got you. Need a fashion accessory that doubles as a blanket for travel? Scarf. Need to hide? scaaaaaaaaarf. Wear it as a dress when you’re doing laundry. Use it as a head covering when you need privacy or modesty, use it as a cover-up on the beach. It folds into almost nothing, it’s comfy, it’s lovely, and it can transform any boring outfit into something spectacular as a fashionable cape. GET THEE A SCARF. Bigger the better, as long as it’s thin.

TIP: Rewatch Frasier. It’s so worth your time.