Last Saturday, March 10th, I paid visits to two of my top three picks of the weekend's Belfast Independent Retail Week festivities - Boutique Souk and Stray Jewellery. I started at Boutique Souk, the first actual shop from the waste warriors behind The Fashion Souk, which is tucked away in a faraway corner of Belfast's In Shops on Castle Street.
As well as the Souk's shop (complete with sewing cafe - although I never got a chance to fully explore how this will be operating) there were several stalls spread out in the empty units and space surrounding it.
After making three bewildered circuits of Belfast's famous indoor market/mall hybrid, I finally spotted the hive of activity taking place just beyond the sprawling cafe area.
Everything from second hand, vintage and upcycled clothing, to handmade jewellery and homewares were on sale, at pretty decent prices.
PLEASE forgive the blurry pictures - I had a splitting headache last Saturday and a camera I'm not used to... my excuses and I'm sticking to them! Click on the pics to see the full slideshow - a bit bigger and clearer.
Elephant Juice caught my eye almost immediately. Linzi Rooney makes this beautiful jewellery by hand from old silver cutlery. Decorative forks, spoons and cutlery handles are transformed into necklaces, cuffs and headpieces.
An absolutely wonderful way to upcycle and all at ridiculously reasonable prices, given the level of skill and that each piece truly is a one-off.
Elephant Juice tiaras
I also loved the handmade treasures on Roisin Robertson's little Beadylicious stand - so much, I bought one of her fabulous brooches. I really loved her button photo frames and Scrabble tile rings.
My Beadylicious brooch - how could I not buy it?!
I went out one of the back doors of the In Shops and rather fortuitously found myself on Church Lane - the home of My New Favourite Shop.
Stray Jewellery is simply too, too pretty for words, but I shall try. It rather accurately describes itself as Belfast's cutest little trinket shop.
Its two, whitewashed floors are dripping with goodies; from brilliantly original jewellery designs, to adorable, colourful little trinkets and Hello Kitty-type accessories and collectables.
The shop was having its Vintage Party to celebrate Belfast Independent Retail Week and as part of this, every one who came through the door wearing something vintage got a little present.
As I was wearing a (pretty class, if I say so myself) previously-loved leopard print blazer, I was one of the lucky ones :)
Look what I got! I'm obsessed by owls - in fact, I bought a gorgeous, chunky, owl cuff from Stray, but don't have the pic right now - check back over the next couple of days, it will go up here very soon!
Feast your eyes on the Stray Jewellery goodies and make yourself a promise to visit very soon!