Rain Lily

Salt Pond on Cape Cod

Took a quick trip to Cape Cod over the weekend to visit family who live there year-round!  Lucky people!  Love the Cape during all seasons, and September is a lovely time to be there.  The visit was so restorative -- it is quiet and peaceful and just beautiful.  And we went swimming, in the ocean on Saturday!  Totally wonderful and refreshing.  Here's a photo of the salt pond/marsh across the street from their house: 

Masai Pet Collars!

We are excited about these new pet collars from Kenya!  They're made by the Masai people, a semi-nomadic group of people inhabiting southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.  Their beading, in the form of beaded jewelry, leather belts, collars and other items, is astoundingly beautiful and known the world over.  Our pet collars are handmade and fair trade, made from leather and beading.  We have several sizes and colors.

We'll have these at the upcoming Brooklyn Animal Rescue's "Badass Fall Festival," which benefits this wonderful rescue and pet adoption agency.  Hope you can come out to Gowanus Slope in Brooklyn that day.  Should be lots of fun, and bring your pooches and kitties!

Sunday, September 14th, from 11am-5pm, BADASS Fall Festival, benefiting Brooklyn Animal Rescue!  President Street at 3rd Avenue, Gowanus, Brooklyn.  www.badassbrooklynanimalrescue.com

Handmade Jewelry from Northern Thailand

Newest jewelry coming to Rain Lily!  Some sourced from our friend Renee at Waterlily in Portland, ME, and some designed by us.  Bracelets (and more) handmade by hill tribe people in Northern Thailand.  Stay tuned!

I Love ... Garlands!

I've always loved garlands of all kinds.  But especially handmade paper garlands, fashioned with butterflies, birds, and other whimsical shapes.  And my favorites are made from recycled book pages and other "found" materials.  Or tissue paper, or fabric scraps, or felt.  I love the paper creations of Mollie Greene, an artist in South Carolina who has an Etsy shop called "royalbuffet."  In addition to garlands, she makes mobiles and paper sculptures or ornaments.  Here are some of her "lovely things:"


                                 the "Butterfly Gladness Garland"

       the "Drole d'Oiseau Garland" (made from vintage French magazines)

Aren't they charming?  I have the Butterfly Gladness Garland in my home and it has made me happy for going on 4 years now.  Anyway, if you'd like to take a peek at Mollie's shop, here's the link: 


Sewing Dollar Bills in Front of H&M Store to Protest Garment Workers Treatment in Phnom Penh

 We came across this article on the site www.ecouterre.com.  A brilliant and powerful way to send a message to large clothing companies and to the rest of us!


The blog post from Ecouterre reads: 

"On a frigid January morning, Khmer-American artist Kat Eng sat in the shadow of H&M's 42,000-square-foot flagship at 4 Times Square, where she toiled over a hand-operated sewing machine as commuters and tourists passed her by. For eight hours, Eng ran green and black thread over two and two-thirds dollar bills, affixed with an H&M clothing tag, in an act of solidarity with the500,000 Cambodian garment workers who are calling for a living wage. At least four people were killed and 20 others injured in the capital of Phnom Pen earlier this month after police fired on striking workers who demanded a doubling of the $80 minimum wage. Local human-rights groupLICADHO described the affair as "the worst state violence against civilians to hit Cambodia in 15 years."

Mother's Day and World Fair Trade Day

Both Mother's Day and World Fair Trade Day are this weekend!  Here's a lovely photo of a mother in Hyderabad, India with her baby:


Photo: SOSchildrensvillages.org.uk

It's also a good time to reflect on where all of the STUFF that we buy, comes from.  That's where the concept of fair trade comes in.  Are the things we buy made under conditions that cause another human being somewhere in the world to suffer?  If so, it doesn't have to be that way.  I hope that some day there won't be any such thing as "fair trade" because all trade will be fair!

The theme of this year's World Fair Trade Day is "Fair Trade People."  The following are excerpts from the World Fair Trade Organization's 2014 Press Release.  http://www.wfto.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2031&Itemid=417

The People behind the Product
Fair Trade is a transparent trading system that supports economically marginalised people, fair prices, good working conditions, and long-term partnership through trade. Behind every Fair Trade product on the market there are real people. We tell their story through the WFTO Product Label, which was launched last year when the WFTO Membership approved the new WFTO Guarantee System.  
The People promoting Fair Trade 
Consumers and Fair Trade promoters are central to building the Fair Trade movement. By buying Fair Trade products, consumers have helped strengthen Fair Trade groups and supply chains, built a network of over 1,000 Fair Trade towns, cities and universities globally; and put pressure on governments and big businesses to improve their business practices.
Supporting the change
Fair Trade has produced change, and we will continue to do so. Fair Trade has improved the lives of several million small producers worldwide and their communities. 

Jamdani Weaver in Shantipur, West Bengal

We are totally in love with and fascinated by the intricate, labor intensive and gorgeous weaving technique known as jamdani.  Below are photos from a village in Shantipur, a city and a municipality in Nadia district in the Indian state of West Bengal, where most of the jamdani weaving takes place.  The photos are from artisansoffashion.tumblr.com.


Block Printing

Love love love the block printed scarves at Block Shop (www.blockshoptextiles.com).  Designed by two sisters and made by a cooperative of master printers in Bagru, India, their designs are wonderful (see below for a scarf being printed).  Now compare these to mass-produced, machine printed polyester scarves... 

Happy New Year Dear Friends!

Just now getting to say Happy New Year -- and it is February 16th!  We've been snowed under here on the East Coast.  It is getting tiresome, but on the other hand, I love the idea that Mother Nature is still in charge.  Thinking about lovely things that we'll have for you soon -- things made by the hands of wonderful artisans and artists here in the U.S. and around the world -- that keeps me going.  Stay tuned for lovely images...


Happy that warm weather, trips to the beach, hiking through green forests, and dining al fresco are upon us.

We're always looking for new offerings - handmade textiles, accessories and home goods to add graceful, free-spirited style to your life.

Our goods are all ethically made by human hands from near and far, using beautiful artistic design and materials.

Order online or check our Sales and Events page and come see us in person!

Questions? Call us at 917-309-0840. We'd love to hear from you!


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