It’s taken me this week to get re-organized after the inspiring, creative, Makerie retreat last week. I am just so thankful that I was invited to teach & was included in the round-up of the most talented & wonderful teachers. I feel like I spent most of the weekend with a smile on my face & laughing out loud. On the last evening there was a book making party where we could compile our own book that was put together in a very speedy 2 day class, “Crafting Content” with Janine Vangool of Uppercase Magazine. What a special souvenir to go home with.
The class I taught, “Modern Leather Accessories” was so much fun & the students caught on to the techniques immediately & went on their way to create lots of very fun wearable art & summer jewelry. Everyone got to learn the basics of leather work & then was able to apply their own special touches to make the pieces uniquely theirs.
The nights were always a great chance to catch up with others over a delicious dinner in the newly renovated Chautaugua Dining Hall. Saturday night the whole place was decorated with beautiful paper flower centerpieces & bright washi tape all around. The sponser of the evening was Creativebug, a very cool craft video website from Sanfrancisco, who were in town filming pieces from the Makerie weekend.
To be surrounded by the beauty of the mountains & the creative energy of all that attended surely made it a most successful weekend. Great job to Ali Dejohn & Emily Clark who pulled the whole thing off without a hitch & make it look so effortless. That in itself is a true talent. Below is a recap of the teachers & classes that were offered. All the photos were taken from the Makerie Book. Who could ask for anything more?
Happy Spring! Please come join Ali’s Summer Makerie series for your own magical day!
Well, it was a great 10 days with launching the store, learning how to pack & ship & becoming very good friend with my local post office. The part of the whole process I liked the most was getting to meet either through emails, or in person, the lovely ladies that were my customers. I love to be able to put a face to a name & personally pass off their bag. They were truly the kindest women & so full of positive energy. I also had some really nice email bantering that always put a happy spin on the day. The whole experience was so positive that I’m busy at work again getting ready to open another shop in mid April- A more exact date to be posted in the next few weeks! This time around it won’t be a “pop-up” shop, just a shop.
I thought I’d share one of the more simple bags that was available & I do have a couple left as I thought for something like this, one of a kind won’t fly. This is a great basic clutch that would fit into any lifestyle & has just the right amount of organization on the inside so you don’t loose your pieces at the bottom of a bag. I added a small embroidery to the front flap which gives it the handmade touch along with a contrast hand stitched tack at the opening. The leather is just the best thick veg tan quality that is firm yet soft. It is the perfect weight & quality for so many projects!
I look forward to creating more with this beautiful leather.
A big thank you again for all the support & encouragement I was given the last month and a half as I was in the process of trying to figure out how to actually put together a store. I have so much more to learn but it should be a ton easier the second time around.
I got out my blue dyes & started staining natural veg leather. The next step was to start playing with the color & see what pattern could be made without it looking too sloppy. I went for dots. I love the outcome & the unevenness of the dye. I also like the splatter effect. These 2 small purses was all I did with this technique- I’m ready to play some more!
Although it’s basically the middle of winter, I seem to have gotten spring fever. It could be due to the amazingly warm, un-winter-like weather we’ve been having here in Boulder. I can’t seem to get enough of the natural & white combination on the leather which feels like a warm vacation all wrapped up in a bag. A simple stripe can make quite an impact! I generally like to keep my bags fairly simple but I can never resist that small pop of color whether it’s in a small embroidery, paint or appliqué . The overall effect is screaming summer! That’s what I’m thinking about as I look outside right now & the flurries are falling to the ground…. winter is back.
I found these amazing Italian military sacks in Texas last October. They were very dirty but had the most amazing character & stenciling on each one. I only found 3 & ended up keeping one for myself because I thought, “this is one of the coolest fabrics I’m bound to ever find.” The bottoms were pretty wrecked so I took the seams apart & patched on leather bottoms with additional pockets. The old worn in belts were perfect to keep the flaps down & the shoulder straps were well worn horse bridles. This combination was just perfect together & gave it a very vintage feel. They definitely appear to be from the WWII era & if I’m extra lucky, maybe I’ll trip over more someday.
I’ve been playing with different proportions & construction & this is one of the models that popped up. I like how the handle fits through the top hole & how the flap is a natural edge shaped by the leather hide. This is my new favorite leather & I’ve got a bunch of it so will be trying out all sorts of models. I’ve also been playing with “self” handles so the whole bag has the same color & texture. It looks very grown up to me like it should be out on the way to an important meeting.
Well, I’m also assuming it is waterproof since this bag is made out of a recycled fireman’s protective lining. The rubbery exterior almost looks like a great broken in leather. It was lined in a homespun black & white plaid fabric which popped when you opened it. This size is just big enough for toting around a 13″ laptop. The straps are horse bridles & the big loud cross on the front is suede. This just happened to be the first bag that happily walked out the door at the Holiday market- Enjoy Kate!
I am head over heels in love with these old vintage boy scout back packs. I found one locally then went on line to hunt down some more. They are a labor of love. They spend a day soaking in oxiclean, then I have to cut off all the dry rot leather straps that have turned into a jelly consistency. They get washed, dried & then the fun reconstruction part starts. I add leather to flaps that would otherwise have gaping holes. I find alternative buckle solutions, add bright cording & sometimes new pack straps. I try to use all the original hardware so the bag stays authentic. I’ve also started adding shoulder straps so that it can be used 2 ways. I have found packs from the 1940′s & 50′s. You can tell by the rivets that are used. They are of a very vintage variety that we just don’t use anymore. If the pack has a leather patch on the back it is definitely from this time period as the later ones have a heavy plastic name patch. The more I learn, the more I love.
(*I call this one “The Reluctant Boy Scout” as the boy that had it colored in the logo)
This clutch is made from one of my new favorite veg tan leathers. It’s thick but spongy & soft. By adding this vintage buckle with just the right patina it seemed to finish the bag off nicely. What I like best about these fold over clutches is that there is a zipper closure for safe keeping & also the leather buckle can just be popped off by a button, no need to unfasten it.
These were so much fun to make with some left over bridle pieces that were too short for straps or bracelets. Each one is worn in & has a great patina. There are also some other types of leathers used if it was a really cool little piece. I made about 20 unique fobs & came home with about 3. I think I’ll be making some more….