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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

January Sales – Ethical Style

Online shopping, January

Written by Jennifer McNulty

Monday 5th January

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An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, ed salve Durrr at The End

Think 80s influenced punk-grunge from this girl trio with smatterings of riot and New York No-Wave. The girlgroup brought kicking and screaming into 2009 with some short film strings to their bow too.

Derek Meins, My Tiger My Timing, The ABC Club, The Molotovs, Old Blue Last, London

Calling himself a ‘famous poet’, Derek Meins’ headline slot should consist of humorous fun songs. Support comes in super-zeitgeist form from My Tiger My Timing with their African indie pop.

Derek Meins, My Tiger My Timing, The ABC Club, The Molotovs, Old Blue Last, London

Calling himself a ‘famous poet’, Derek Meins’ headline slot should consist of humorous fun songs. Support comes in super-zeitgeist form from My Tiger My Timing with their African indie pop.

Tuesday 6th January

Paul Hawkins and Thee Awkward Silences, The Windmill, London

With a name like that surely taking some cues from Billy Childish with their slightly bonkers indie-pop. Definitely worth checking out as they are featured in the current issue of Amelia’s Magazine and on the Last FM compilation. You saw them here first.

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The Broken Family Band, The Luminaire, London

Sorta indie, sorta country, sorta rock from this clever-Trevor Cambridge band who should provide a wittily intelligent, well worn set at this Track and Field ‘Winter Sprinter’.

Wednesday 7th January

Darren Hayman, The Wave Pictures, The Luminaire, London

Another outing for the Track and Field folks who present former Hefner member Darren Hayman performing his off-kilter whisky and heartache numbers with anti-folk support.

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Vile Imbeciles, Windmill, London

With a frontman fresh from Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, you can be sure that these boys, who set themselves in dark opposition to most modern music, will provide some excellently scary psych-horror.

Thursday 8th January

Hatcham Social, Kasms, Borderline, London

Angular Records favourites with a definite 80s indie sound and no small debt to The Smiths although they are certainly no retro rip-off merchants. More 80s influence from Kasms although in a more goth-pop vein.

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Friday 9th January

Tonight Twee as Fuck hosts an altogether shouty and girlie affair with the launch of the new Shrag album at the Buffalo Bar on Upper Street. Support comes from The Duloks and Betty & The Werewolves and Patrick and Roxanne from Sexy Kids will join us on the decks.

Saturday 10th January

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Lee Scratch Perry holds status as one of the most enduring and original reggae producers of all time. He will be performing at the Jazz Cafe tonight, featuring tracks from his new album, “The Mighty Upsetter” and timeless classics to pull at our nostalgia strings. The Reggae Roast Team will be running things after the live show, providing 4-hours of sound system vibes from EXEL & MOODIE featuring live vocals from RAMON JUDAH & ISHU with horns from TROMOBONE JEROME.

Sunday 11th January

Ukulele Sunday at The Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Road, SE14

One of 2008′s most popular Christmas present apparently. This teeny-weeny instrument will certainly cure anyone of Sunday-night-itas. Led by the Brockley Ukulele Group a chirpy and unpretentious evening.

After the Christmas season of gluttony and excess spending, information pills let’s turn our thoughts to the more planet and pocket friendly method of making our own accessories – Blue Peter style. With just a little thought and time you can be wearing the most unique pieces that will only cost you the price of glue and a chain perhaps, and who knows, you might discover you have a talent for this sort of thing and create another career avenue for yourself…

US native – but now based in Brussels – Nancy Minsky shows us how to do it. She has rounded up all the old plastic bottles and containers in her house and created her ‘sunburst charm’. Follow her easy instructions and you too can be the proud owner of one!

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Nancy explains, “ To make my DIY Sunburst charm, the plastic ovals are slipped onto a karabiner to form a contemporary sunburst of colour and shape, creating visual delight and practical use out of what would be put into the recycle bin. I dazzled on New Year’s Eve wearing it hung on a lush lavender satin ribbon but it can also be clipped on a snap bolt and hung as a charm.” (pictured above)

Making Time: Around 15 mins.

Materials:

• Scissors?
• Hole punch
• Assortment of emptied different coloured plastic containers – I used orange, turquoise, white and transparent yogurt, water and kitchen soap containers.
• Blue 2 – 2 ½ inches (5-6.5 cm) karabiner?
• Ribbon or chain

How to Make it:?

1. Using sharp scissors, cut oval shapes out of your plastic containers, ranging in length from about 2 inches to 3 inches (5-7.5 cm)
2. Punch a hole at one end of each oval shape
3. Slip the ovals, in an assorted range of colours and shapes, on the karabiner until it’s full and plump.
4. Attach a ribbon, a snap bolt or a chain through your karabiner and wear as a necklace or hang as a charm.

Et voila, you have your very own sunburst charm!

Nancy’s not alone in her recycling of seemingly useless or done with things into pretty jewellery, Jane Eldershaw is a self proclaimed junk jeweller and uses everything from pencils to clothes pegs to make eye-catching necklaces.

There are lots of sites out there dedicated to this craft, we’ve had a look through and are bringing you the best, weirdest and most wonderful – so you too can be inspired – and see that you can use literally anything to make your own fabulous pieces! Here’s our pick:

Dee and Ricky make brooches and belt buckles from…. Lego! – brilliant. (below left)

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These creative kids had (seemingly) thousands of old typewriter keys lying around and thought they would brighten up our outfits by making retro-esque pieces. I really want a letter necklace.(above right)

Now this one borders on creepy but it’s inventive none the less – take your old Barbie dolls of your youth, cut them into pieces and you have, erm, interesting trinkets – earrings made of Barbie’s ears anyone?

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We told you you could use anything – Caroline Bäckman has made edible jewellery – no, not those sweetie bracelets and necklaces of your youth (although they are brilliant) she has taken it a whole step further, creativity beating practicality hands down in this instance. (pictured below, shrimp necklace on the left, parma ham and haricots on the right.)

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So now there really is no excuse, look at everything just lying around your house in a new way – as a potential accessory! – and let the new year and new crafty you begin!
So if you’ve decided you’re not a dab hand with the glue and scissors, generic and are not up to the task of making your own jewellery, side effects then embrace the great January tradition of going to the sales! They are especially good this year due to the financial climate, here but rather than heading to the high street, here’s a round up of the best ethically sound but still fabulous bargains out there:

The ethicalsuperstore.com is brilliant as it has gadgets, gizmos and everything in between, you can pick up discounted Katharine Hamnett and People Tree (they have good little bargains on their own site too) pieces and even do your weekly food shop here. It truly does encompass all your ethical needs and has an amazing up to 60% off sale on at the moment.

Oxfam has gone way up in the world since it’s days of merely being a charity shop, it now sells its own brand label, where you can pick your size and everything. It has many 50% off bargains in its sale.

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Fashion-conscience.com is a brilliant site that houses some of the most contemporary ethically conscious designers around at the moment including Ciel, Noir and Beyond Skin – it even has a section dedicated to the current trends, showing you that you can be on the fashion forefront and environmentally savvy.

In a similar vein, Devidoll also has some really nice clothing, even though there’s an up to 60% off sale, it’s still pricey but if you want to invest in some staple, key yet eco-friendly pieces for your wardrobe, this is the place to go.

Adili.com has a range of prices and styles, my favourite being this (pictured below) Bora Aksu blouse, which is a truly classic investment piece and now half price – bargainous!

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And if you’re still tempted by those non-ethical labels in the sales – ease your conscience by at least checking if the store of your choice operates an ethical trading policy by asking these ten questions, as suggested by the ethical pests.

Happy shopping!

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