VIP Interview: Heather O’Cain (BluKat Design)

I have recently interviewed a fabulous jewelry artisian. Heather O’Cain, owner of BluKat Design, is all about upcycling and vintage couture! BluKat Design offers functional, wearable art that is great for a night out on the town or a quick coffee run!

I love to pair my vintage coral owl necklace with a variety of outfits, and it was recently featured in my blog “Sweater Happy DIY”!

Heather is quite the artsian when it comes to creating jewelry that catches a fashionista’s eye…because all fashionistas are attracted to sparkly, vintage things!

Without further ado, I present to all of my fabulous readers the exclusive VIP Interview with Heather O’Cain of BluKat Design!:)

These handmade hairsticks from BluKat Design work great to give a messy updo a classy cute look!
  • Tell us a little something about yourself.

I have been making jewelry for over thirty years, and I am a professional designer of award-winning, high end, modern gold and platinum jewelry in Seattle, Washington for over twenty-seven years. For years, I have hand carved wax models for rings, and now I am designing with a computer CAD/CAM program. I have studied jewelry design under the Master of found object art jewelry, Ron Ho. I have also received awards for my art jewelry including an award from the Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts Exhibition. For fun, I like to make jewelry by upcycling vintage parts or found objects and selling them in my Etsy shop!

I just LOVE this purple and red statement necklace!
  • How would you describe your style?

My style is kind of fun eclectic, but a colorful mix of vintage and modern.

I would pair these adorable button earrings with a color block tank and a pair of cute khaki shorts!
  • What is your favorite music genre and why?

My music tastes are very eclectic also, from Led Zepplin to Imelda May to Latin and Jazz.

These fun, upcycled earrings from BluKat Design would perfectly complement any fashionista’s wardrobe!
  • What or who inspired you to start making jewelry?

I started making jewelry in high school, for some reason it was easier to express my creativity with jewelry; painting was still scary to me!

“Must Have” for any vintage lover!
  • What are some of your favorite hobbies?

My hobbies include hiking, mushrooming and foraging, painting and crafts.

I adore these beautiful earrings handmade by Heather O’Cain!
  • What is the most popular thing you make?

My hair sticks are quite popular, but there is more interest in my bobby pin jewelry.

  • Why did you decide to name your store BluKat Design?

My shop is named BluKat Design after my Russian Blue cat, Tuffy.

Doesn’t Heather have fantastic style and gorgeous wearable art! I just cannot say enough good things about BluKat Design….I am going to need a bigger jewelry box…haha:)

Heather is a fellow blogger, and we bloggers love other bloggers! So be sure to check out her blog: http://blukatkraft.blogspot.com

Would you like to own one of BluKat Designs fabulous art pieces? Check out her Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BluKatDesign

You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter!

Facebook: http://facebook.com/blukatdesign

Twitter: @BluKatDesign

Don’t forget to like the VIP on facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram:)

Facebook: http://facebook.com/VintageInspiredPassionista

Twitter: @Abbysauce_

Instagram: @VintagePassionista

I have very special news to share with all of you! My first newspaper article will be printed and published online this upcoming week in The Real Story of Columbus, Mississippi! (realstorypublishing.com/category/columbusms/) I feel so blessed to have this opportunity at sixteen! God is amazing and dreams do come true:)

Join me next time for a the Trussville Antiques and Interiors reopening! Interviews with vendors and the owner plus fantastic pictures of all the amazing things Trussville Antiques and Interiors has to offer! You will NOT want to miss it:)

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

 

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VIP Accessories Challenge: Deep South Pout

Fashionistas and gentlemen….may I have your attention please….I present to you the fashionably spectacular Deep South Pout Accessories Challenge!

If you are just now joining me….an accessories challenge is where I take outfits and show three different looks by just changing a few accessories!

In this challenge, I have taken two dresses from Deep South Pout and have given them three different looks by swapping accessories!

Dress: Deep South Pout
Belt: Anthropologie
Shoes: BCBG
Dress: Deep South Pout
Belt: Black belt (Wal-Mart)
Shoes: Black shoes (Kenzie Girl)
Photo taken at Oby’s Restaurant in Starkville, Mississippi

VIP Tip:

  • It is ALWAYS good to have a pair of classic black shoes and accessories on hand…ready for any occassion! I love strappy black heels…and pearls…
Dress: Deep South Pout
Belt: Deep South Pout
Shoes: Material Girl by Madonna
Hat: Blu Gertrude (Blu Gertrude accessories can be purchased at Deep South Pout Stores located in Starkville and Columbus, Mississippi.)
Dress: Deep South Pout
Belt: (Leopard belt) Target
Shoes: BCBG

VIP Tip:

  • Animal prints make a nice neutral to pair with other prints or patterns! Every fashionista needs a little animal print to spice up her wardrobe!
Dress: Deep South Pout
Belt: Anthropologie (same belt worn with blue owl print dress above)
Shoes: BCBG (same shoes worn with blue owl print dress above)
Dress: Deep South Pout
Belt: JCrew
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Oh, my gracious…accessories are so important! With just a change of shoes and belts, you can easily give your outfits different looks…classy, dressy, fancy schmancy, you name it!

Join me next time for another VIP adventure!

The VIP has finally created a Facebook page to make it easier for my fans to stay updated on what I am doing! On the facebook page, there will be exclusive pictures and sneak peeks that you won’t be able to find on www.vintageinspiredpassionista.com .

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VintageInspiredPassionista

Twitter: @Abbysauce_

Instagram: @VintagePassionista

Email: VintagePassionista@gmail.com

Here are just a few more photographs from the Deep South Pout Accessories Challenge photoshoot!

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

(All the above photos were taken in Starkville, Mississippi and Mississippi State University’s Chapel of Memories. I had a great time traveling around Starkville for this photoshoot! After the photoshoot, I enjoyed a delicious baked potato at Sweet Pepper’s Deli…you guys know how I just love baked potatoes…)

 

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V.I.P. Interview: Rachel Leathers

I am proud to present my interview with the amazing Rachel Leathers! Why is she so amazing, you ask? Well, Rachel creates beautiful handmade jewelry with which even celebs have begun to fall in love! Rachel is an impressive artist with a true passion for making wearable pieces of art.

Oscar's Gypsy Heart- succor creek jasper heart gemstone earrings as gifted at the 2012 Academy Awards (Rachel Leathers, Hearts of Stone Jewelry)
  • Share with us a brief bio about yourself.

I have been in the costume industry for 22 years, mainly as a seamstress. I’ve dabbled with costume design, but I didn’t like it and it didn’t like me! I’ve been a wardrobe supervisor, costume shop worker-bee, and the manager of a vintage costume house where I fined tuned my restoration skills on vintage garments. (Real vintage; garments as old as 150 years old, up to the 1960’s.) I’ve altered and created garments, props and everything in-between for theatre, film, TV, ice shows and parades.

Oscar's Copper Dreams- poppy jasper and sodalite hearts as gifted at the 2012 Academy Awards.
  • What made you want to create jewelry?

 I’ve always dabbled with other handcrafts my whole life, and attempting jewelry was something new to try. I began self-teaching myself over 9 years ago, and since I absolutely adore anything gemstone, I chose gemstone beads to play with. I began with several shapes, but the hearts became my favorite and visually more appealing, so I stuck with those. It was just another hobby at the time!

Oscar Celebrates Chinese New Year- silver leaf jasper and obsidian heart gemstone tassel chandelier earrings.
  • What are some of your favorite hobbies?

When I was a kid, I loved doing needlework, tried and failed at crochet, did some sewing and embroidering. These days, since I’ve made my living sewing, I hardly ever sew for myself anymore. I do enjoy it, but I’m not necessarily missing it either, right now. Since I turned my attention full-time to the jewelry, my past-times these days are more about spending quality time with my honey. He works SO much, and is so dedicated to his own business, that our time is precious and very limited. Not to say he’s my hobby! But, being a one-woman operation, the only free-time I have, I spend with him!

Oscar Loves Boho Chic- golden agate heart chandelier gemstone earrings with sodalite chips gifted at the Academy Awards 2012.
  • Who inspires you?

George, my honey is my biggest inspiration and supporter. He has always had an entrepreneurial spirit unequaled by anyone else I’ve ever known or met.  When I couldn’t find work in my field (which has been almost impossible thanks to the economy of late) I really wanted to try the jewelry again. He said, do it! That was November 2009, and I haven’t stopped yet. This has been the most creatively satisfying thing I’ve ever done! I’m loving it!

Bohemian Love- African Opal heart gemstone necklace with jasper, black agate and copper
  •  How would you describe your own style?

I’ve had the hardest time trying to pinpoint my style. I don’t really know what to call it! Other than contemporary, sometimes boho chic, sometimes Asian, modern? minimalist? I can’t pin it down to one. Every design seems to fall into its own category. Other than being handmade by me and made with gemstones, I can’t find a descriptor!

Green Goddess- African Opal heart gemstone with apatite
  • What type of metals and rocks/minerals do you use when making your jewelry?

 I use gemstones, natural stones, metal beads, crystals and czech glass, and keep the metal findings simple; brass, copper, silver and gold plate. I don’t use precious metals. I’ve been critisized for that before, but it doesn’t bother me. When I started, I couldn’t afford the precious metals, so I found a way to work around them. I’ve never regretted that, and still don’t find a need to specialize in precious metals. In my work, the stones do all the talking!

The Lucky Buddha- Black coral fossil heart gemstone necklace and earrings set with black Buddhas and blackstone
  •  What is your best selling item?

By the numbers of how many I’ve sold, I’d have to say earrings.

February's heart- Amethyst heart gemstone earrings
  •  Do you listen to music while you work, if so what genre or what artist(s)?

I listen to music and also the TV when working. I’ve been a jazz lover since I was 17, so that’s my staple. Favorites would range from Horace Silver to Art Blakey to George Shearing to Ella Fitzgerald and on and on!

Sweet-n-Simple 103- Fluorine heart gemstone earrings
  • What special events have you made jewelry for?

The most significant special events I’ve become involved in happened after I joined The Artisan Group, and I have gifted celebs and others at the Golden Globes last month, and will again at the Academy Awards the end of this month! I am beyond estatic to be able to do this, and am having a blast participating. We also gift charity auctions, a few of which I’ve been a part of, and really enjoy that as well.

Picture This- Picture jasper heart gemstone necklace set with bronzite and leopardskin jasper
  • What made you name your business “Hearts of Stone”?

When I first started to actually sell the jewelry I made to friends and co-workers, I didn’t have a name. That’s when I started liking the heart shaped stones the best, and stopped using other shapes. It just seemed a natural fit, using hearts made of stone, hey! I’ve got hearts of stone! It was very tongue in cheek to me, which is me in spades, so it stuck. It cracks me up to see people’s faces at shows when they figure it out; it is so literal, yet such a pun!

Miss Kitty- leopardskin jasper heart gemstone earrings.

Rachel Leathers also mentioned to me me during the interview, “I was once on a reality TV show as a seamstress; the one sewing job I wanted extended and never was! Shucks…”

Vanilla Cream- rutilated quartz heart and crazy lace agate gemstone earrings

I told you guys the interview with THE Rachel Leathers was going to spectacular! It was such a joy to get to know her better! I wish I could own everything that she has in her Etsy shop!

Tune in next time for a helpful DIY on converting a jean jacket into a spring staple item!

Want to own some of Rachel Leathers magnificent pieces of jewelry? Check out her Etsy shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/HrtsofStone?page=5 

Other links that you might find interesting…

The Artisan Group- http://theartisangroup.org/

You must follow Rachel on facebook to find out which actress is the new owner of one of her jewelry sets…that’s all I am going to tell you…the rest you will have to find out for yourself!- http://www.facebook.com/#!/HrtsofStone

Check out another blog in which Rachel Leathers was featured… http://sanikicreations.blogspot.com/2012/02/meet-rachel-leathers-of-hearts-of-stone.html 

I encourage you to follow me on twitter @Abbysauce_ and Instagram @vintagepassionista to keep up with my fashion tips, things that inspire me, and my randomness!

Thanks&Hugs

Abby Hathorn

 

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