I had a bit of this rugged brown leather available when putting together the holiday line. I made 3 across the body styles & a couple of bucket bags. It turned out that this quality was very popular. I enforced the back with vintage belting & the straps were one of a kind old horse bridles. Because I used the natural edge for the front flap, each bag had a unique look. This season was the first time that I made a lot of across the body styles. I don’t know why it hadn’t occur to me earlier. Check out the writing on the old bridle- I love that part! (*the light colored spots on the photos are from the sun, not flaws in the leather)
I’m having fun putting together a new line of bracelets for the Firefly Holiday market. These are made from horse bridles & have been strung with brass beads & sparkly chrystals. A little bling with old leather is such a nice contrast. Each bracelet is a different combination of leather & beads so when they’re all together it’s hard to pick a favorite.
I really like the combination of these two fabrics. They really have such different textures but compliment each other so well. This was the start of the cross body bag which I have expanded on for the fall season. The waxed cotton part of the bag is actually 4 functional pockets. Two in the front & 2 in the back for extra storage.
This was the first time I took my linen bag silhouette & translated it into leather. This quality of leather was so thick but soft & spongy so had some nice form after being sewn without being too stiff. The strap & closures are recycled horse reins. I especially like how this one had a big knot at the end to keep it from slipping through the brass D-ring. Every bag needs a little bling of course so a key ring was added with some vintage fishing lures to the strap. I only made 2 of these in september & wish I had made a bunch more as the style was one of my favorites. Good thing I’m making a bunch more for fall!
The construction of a clutch isn’t very complicated (especially the way I make them). Simple shapes need fabulous small details to make them special. For this brown leather clutch, I added a leather horse bridle tab that is attached with an antique mother of pearl shirt stud. By adding 2 simple gold stripes down the center, the whole bag becomes a unique, one of a kind handbag.
This gray tote bag was made from vintage waxed camping tent. Instead of mixing the colors like I had in previous bags, I stuck to a single lovely gray color. By adding orange painted tips to the handles (which are a natural leather that will soften & darken with age) and a small white painted cross it transformed a sleepy fabric into something still subtle but with just enough zing. The leather cording can be ties casually for closing the top.
I found this very sturdy blue duffle bag & managed to make 3 unique , one-of-a-kind bags from it. Because of the limited amount of material & the placement of the stenciled letters, I thought 1 tote & 2 fold-over clutches were in order. Each bag has it’s own look, from the horse bridle handles to the leather bottoms. It’s finds like this that keep me digging!
Over the past year & a half I have been dabbling with bracelets. Sometimes it’s just for fun & at other times I feel like a bracelet factory. I tend toward using leather pieces that are floating around my office. I like the old, broken in straps with lots of character. I also like breaking in the leather myself though & so I can see the transformation happening on my wrist. My latest love is a 2″ wide natural leather braided cuff that started out a very light, light tan color & now, after 2 months of wear is a beautiful caramel color with a broken in sheen.
I recycle horse bridles, old belts & random vintage accessories. I paint, punch holes, embroider, sew & wrap. I like that it is a project I can typically finish in 1 sitting & can wear out in the evening. I like to take big pieces of thick natural leather & dye, cut, wash & oil them. You never get the same results twice. Each bracelet is unique with it’s own character. Occasionally, someone will say,”I want one just like the one you’re wearing.” I wish I could fulfill that wish but then I would have to take it off my wrist & give it to them (which I have done happily.)
Today I’ll spend my time playing with tools, leather & trinkets in hopes of creating a fabulous new bracelet.
I love my job…..
I found these beautiful suede pants in amazing condition & had them sitting in my office for a quite a while before I made them into anything. When I finally pulled them out, I paired them with a really great old & broken in bridle, lined the bag in linen & made it so it could be worn comfortably across the body. The final touch was a red & white vintage fishing lure dangling off the side. This bag found a very good home, very quickly at the weekend market.
I collect old books. Not special, limited edition types, just old books with good pictures & sayings. I recently pulled out an old atlas that I found at a goodwill & sewed the pages into little bracelet bags. The colors of the old prints are fantastic & I like that each bag was a different country or state. These types of books just pile up at used book stores & really have no where to go but the recycle bin. I like that they can have one more life before they are discarded.