Cara Carmina

Norma Andreu; Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When it comes to truly unique one-of-a-kind goods, Cara Carmina’s got it covered. The creative and quirky artist behind the Cara Carmina collection, Norma Andreu is the epitome of why I love the handmade-with-love movement. Sure, you can get quirky cards and home goods at big-box retailers, but Norma is the reason not to.

Cara Carmina is all about spreading the love and showing gratitude in truly unique ways. When I attended the latest One-of-a-Kind Show in Toronto, I was clearly just one person in a hoard of thousands. Yet when I stopped by Cara Carmina’s little booth and started rifling through kitty cards, Norma popped up from behind the display and thanked me for my smiles. How crazy cool and adorable is that? To have someone actually thank you for being happy by looking at their labours of love is something I’ve never experienced before. Just as memorable as her bubbly personality, though, are Norma’s works.

I’m absolutely in love with her paper cut diorama cards featuring cats with fish-filled thought bubbles and illustrated kitty postcards. but this is just a small fraction of the world that is Cara Carmina. In her Etsy store, Norma also offers Frida Kahlo-inspired dolls, printed clothing, illustrations, collages, pillows, calendars, prints, and wall decals.

Here I’ve included just a small sampling of it all; head on over to Norma’s Etsy shop to see all of Cara Carmina’s offerings and learn more about Norma—and be sure to spread some Et Cetera love while you’re there!

Purchasing information: Check out Cara Carmina’s Etsy shop or visit www.caracarmina.com.

5 Jewellery Designers to Watch

Confession: I am addicted to jewellery. I’m always finding new designers to gawk over, perhaps sometimes to the detriment of my bank account. Regardless, here are five of my current obsessions that are worth every penny…

Foe and Dear // Katherine Huie; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Choupette kitten ring by Foe and Dear; image copyright Erin Torrance

Currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Foe and Dear is modern simplicity and delicate style. The collection uses both unique and expected materials and elements, offering rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. This choupette kitten ring was spotted by my friend when we were browsing Scout in Toronto, and I absolutely adore it.

See more Foe and Dear on Etsy or at www.foeanddear.com.

White Feather Designs // Breanne Morrow; Meaford, Ontario, Canada

"Diamond" studs by White Feather Designs; image copyright Erin Torrance Stacking rings by White Feather Design; image copyright Erin Torrance

These rings and studs are just a little tiny taste-tester—the rest of White Feather Designs is immensely geometric 3D designs that are seriously hip as heck. These basic rings are perfect for stacking or midis. I love the playful twist on the brass diamond studs. Keep tuned for more on this designer shortly.

See more White Feather Designs on Etsy (clearance sale currently on some geometric pieces!) or at www.wfdjewellery.com.

Nylon Sky // London, England, United Kingdom

Necklace by Nylon Sky; image copyright Erin Torrance

Another shop obsessed with geometric elements, Nylon Sky’s graphic style may seem bold (and in this case, the colours are a little less than neutral), but these natural wood, brass, and Perspex pieces are incredibly easy to pair with nearly any outfit. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this little gem (purchased for me by my bestie practically since birth from White Elephant in Hamilton) is my newest #ootd staple.

Shop Nylon Sky on Etsy or at www.nylon-sky.com.

Dconcstruct

Cement studs by Dconstruct; image copyright Erin Torrance

I’d had my eye on the cement studs by Dconstruct since last year’s One-of-a-Kind-Show in Toronto, but just managed to pick some up this year. I love the more industrial yet organic look of Dconstruct’s cement designs. Dconstruct also offers pieces created using eco-friendly material like recycled resin and such other organic elements as banana fibre. Finally, Dconstruct sources their organics and textiles from developing artisan communities to support local economics and help fight poverty.

Find Dconstruct’s other designs at www.dconstruct.ca.

Compliment // Sacramento, California, United States

Turquoise earrings by Compliment; image copyright Erin Torrance

The designs and ideas that go into making Compliment the feel-good collection that it is may be simple, but they’re powerful. Each offering from Compliment comes (quite fittingly) with a hand-stamped compliment. Compliment sets aside a portion of every sale for the Compliment Scholarship Program. Compliment offers earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, and candles, along with custom orders. Order something for your self and have a compliment included that reminds you of why you should be proud to be you.

Shop Compliment at www.shopcompliment.com.