Elevate Difference

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head Earrings / Lady Robot Red Pocket Mirror

I used to be a fussy gal when it came to keeping up appearances. I obsessively straightened my hair, checked my makeup many times a day, and had a sizable collection of collared shirts. Along the way—between the radicalizing of my politics, inheriting much of my grandmother's wardrobe, and deciding that what I call ugly chic best represents my humble upbringings and current socioeconomic situation—I put my flat iron in storage, threw out all of my makeup (save for a mascara wand for special occasions), and gave away all my collared shirts that required starch. I'm still able to fix myself up quite nicely, but the pretense is gone. I'm much more comfortable with a foundation-free face and fun jewelry to dress up my somewhat drab but functional clothing.

LaNinja, a friendly designer named Miia based in Stockholm, Sweden, makes accessories that speak to my minimalist, kitschy ways. All of her sterling silver jewelry is handmade in her studio, and her glass jewelry is hand-fired in her kiln. My silver Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head Earrings—a set comprised of one raindrop and one cloud—are perhaps some of the most sturdy yet dainty accessories I have owned. Both shapes were handcut, soldered, and oxidized with the oxidation lightly brushed for texture. I recently purchased new wellies to keep my feet dry during rainshowers, and I do tend to live in a dreary climate, so the more wet weather accessories—whether functional or just for show—are quite appropriate. I also enjoy songs about bad weather because I'm a bit of a curmudgeon by nature. These include titles like "Only Happy When It Rains" and my earrings' namesake. (I prefer the Burt Bacharach version.)

At 3.5 inches in diameter and adorned with a LaNinja original design, my Lady Robot Red Pocket Mirror puts to shame the dollar store mirror used by my co-worker to obsessively check her makeup and hair. She probably thinks I'm an unkempt mess, but I'd rather opt for more sleep and less primp time. I can use my mirror on the train to work if I really need a touch-up.

As office politics stress have brought on a strange bought of facial skin irritation of late, a mirror in my bag serves me well. I'm frequently red and bumpy without a full blown outbreak. My acupuncturist says I have stagnant qi. Thus, I enjoy the contrast of my red mirror, which is a more extreme color than I am. Why must robots always be portrayed as male? My female robot design is an appropriate nod to my past as a pseudo-techie and the recovery I have since thankfully made. Much to Donna Haraway's chagrin, I do not consider myself a cyborg feminist.

While LaNinja maintains an impressive Etsy shop, a larger selection of her designs and wares can be found on her own website. You don't have to be a granny clothes grouch like me to enjoy her goodies. In fact, if you like cheerful greens and blues, water themes, and gorgeous handmade silver designs, you'll probably adore Miia's work.

Written by: Brittany Shoot, November 14th 2009