Thursday, December 29, 2011

40% Off all Pillows & Bags

All pillows and Bags in my Etsy shop are marked down 40% Off to make room for new work- through January 15th.
Thanks Cleveland for buying handmade this Christmas season and helping make my Christmas a special one!
Peace to all in the New Year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Merry Christmas Season!

Just a quick post- I'm taking a little blogging break this month. Too much crafty mayhem happening and I'm trying to wean myself off my computer! I had a hugely successful show this weekend at TerraVista (YAY!!) and 2 more to go.
Soooo- I'm off to make more "stuff".
Merry Christmas friends!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Etsy Front Page!!!

Woo hoo!! Now let's hope I make a few sales!!
Click here to see the entire list, and here to see my pillow. I'm not sure how long I'm on the FP but they archive the lists. Thanks Etsy!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More Bags & Totes

It's that time of year again- holiday shopping will be upon us soon! Last night I went through my giant stashes of fabric in preparation for a month of sewing. Every year it amazes me how much fabric I accumulate.
Between summer flea markets and donations from friends, I have a nice variety of vintage and new- prints and wovens. So- production begins. I might not list much in my Etsy shop- it's a very time consuming process to photo, edit, etc. I will add a few things weekly though.
I'll post my holiday show schedule next post. Off to the studio!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wool Felted Balls

Are you getting tired of seeing wool felted balls with acorn caps? They pop up everywhere this time of year and so many people claim it's their copyright. I love them, but I never really thought they were an original design. I'm guilty of making acorn necklaces (see last pic) and I thought my different twist was the little glass ladybugs.
I made these little pin cushion rings a few years ago and they always sold very well. The key I think is adding a fun pin to each one, and of course a great photo. These are so easy to make. Simply glue the wool ball into a bezel- in this case the bezels were old watch maker's tins. Then attach them to inexpensive ring blanks.
Voila! The perfect little gift for any sewer in your life.
So if you're bored with these- try some pin cushion rings of your own.
My fun little crafting tip!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New work...

I realized it's been awhile since I blogged here- so I thought I'd share some newer work. In addition to my thicker leather wraps, I've been working with some softer leather. This is a great weight to stitch and embellish- so I started with these pieces...
Olive green leather with tiny turquoise beads and brass details....
FLY is one of my favorites. This one wraps twice around your wrist, and has a little brass bird charm....
My favorite color combo- teal and brown. Amazonite and stitched brown leather...
...and another version with carnelian. If you're local in the Cleveland area, you can find these at the Gestures in Rocky River, and at The Log Cabin Gallery in Peninsula.....
...or you can hop on over to my Etsy shop to see more. I have more to share this week. Starting in "production mode" for the upcoming holiday shows. Wasn't it just summer?

Thursday, September 22, 2011 progress...

I've been crazy busy the last 2 weeks- WAY too much on my plate- but fun busy! Here's a little snippet of one of my bracelets in progress. My new "convertible" series of bracelets/ necklaces are all one-of-a-kind (sorry you're only seeing the bracelet part)
Another section of leather is designed to hook onto the bracelet to make an asymmetrical necklace. I just delivered several of these to the the Log Cabin Gallery- which by the way is opening the Autumn Aglow show this weekend. These new convertible pieces will also be at Gestures in Rocky River. Chris- co-owner- was actually the one who suggested I turn these in to necklaces. Thanks Chris!

I also have a new wholesale account, and hopefully (fingers crossed) 2 other exciting new ventures. I should know about that next week. Sorry not much new is making it to my Etsy shop- I'm thankful things aren't around long enough to list in my shop.

I'm off- more this weekend.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"In Need of Inspiration" Challenge!

What's inspiring me recently are these gorgeous 100 year old hand embroidered Indian silk sari ribbons. These textiles are AMAZING!! My good friend Kim gave these to me as a thank you and I really want to do them justice.
My background is in textiles, (I worked in textile conservation at the Cleveland Museum of Art) so I have such an appreciation for the effort and talent that goes into these hand embroidered ribbons. My dilemma is- how do I incorporate these into my work and honor them at the same time?
Just look at the snowmen and reindeer on this one!! My first thought was to stitch these onto soft leather for cuff bracelets- maybe with some simple beaded detail. I've been researching textile jewelry lately and haven't really been inspired.
Does anyone out there have any ideas? Modern or historical? I would love to do a series of posts with all the ideas and images of my readers- so please email me yours.
This peacock silk is very tattered, but I can always back it on something to stabilize it. The last image is a cuff I made a few years ago with seed bead detail. It was the first time I ever did anything like that, but looking at it now I don't think the beadwork enhances the textile- rather it covers it up.
So please send your images (links in the comments) or email them directly.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beaded Leather Bracelets Part 1

Dipping into my stash of beads and trinkets was the ultimate inspiration for these new pieces. Each bracelet has 3 strands- leather cord, sterling chain, and linen cord. This first one features this great metal bead of unknown origin- it has a wonderful tribal feel. Mixed up with turquoise, carnelian, sterling beads, and yellow jade.
I think I'll make these all "convertible" pieces, and include a leather section to turn these into necklaces as well. (my friend Chris's idea!)
This piece features an antique mother-of-pearl buckle with cluster of stones- labradorite, moonstone, amethyst, and aventurine. The photo is a bit too dark, you don't really get the feel of the contrast between the amethyst and the green glass African trade beads.
...and even though I hate matchy-matchy, I just couldn't resist the earrings. The antique mother-of-pearl buckles mimic the detail on the bracelet- with 2 little clusters of stones hanging from the sterling wire.

I'll share more of these tomorrow!

Finally! Something new!

After weeks of stitching, working and reworking, I finally have a few new pieces to share. This is part of a small collection I'll be showing in 2 local galleries (more on that later).
Super soft olive green leather with stitched- on turquoise beads and brass details- these are designed to wrap 3 or 4 times around your wrist. The leather is much softer than my other bracelets- more like a textile and fun to stitch.
Little stitched leather earrings....
....and a simple little brown leather wrap. I still can't get away from this color combo- the brown and teal look- I think it's getting to be my signature. I have several different color combos on the work table with carnelian and garnet.
More tomorrow. I didn't want to share everything in one day or I wouldn't have anything to blog about the rest of the week!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What I've been working on....Log Cabin Gallery

Several months ago I got an unexpected phone call from a woman who saw the article in Midwest Living magazine- see previous post- featuring one of my pillows. Diane Seskes, owner of the Log Cabin Gallery in Peninsula asked if I would show my work in her cabin. Her gallery is literally an 1850's log cabin on her property that was dismantled, moved, and restored on her property, overlooking the Cuyahoga River. You can read all about it here.
The summer show was a success and I'm invited back to participate in the Autumn Aglow Exhibit. I'll be showing primarily my leather jewelry, with a few new Halloween inspired applique pillows. I hope all my local friends stop out- the show runs 6 weeks, Fri.- Sun.
More info here....and pictures of new work later this week. Stay tunes!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I don't usually post other people's images, but I have been drooling over these bags all morning! I found them at Totem- and I can't find much more info....
but I absolutely love the salvaged vibe- the mix of rustic textiles and feminine needlepoint. The leather and button details....
...still drooling.....these bags are so inspiring to me because I'm not a pattern maker- I just love vintage textiles...
That's all. I just wanted to share these wonderful images, and hope that something is inspiring you today!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Linen Leaves & Birds...

Just a quick post....this is the last of my vintage fabric leaf pillows. I love making these and they sell well, but it's time to move on. I have more leaf designs in the works- trees, mushrooms, woodland scenes...
I made my first petite bird pillow almost a year ago- I was using up little scraps of linen and made a teal one with a blue calico bird very last minute before a show. It was the first thing that sold- to a sweet woman who attends the show every year. She's very petite herself, and seems very shy- much like a bird. I always think of her when making these.
Maybe I'll share that with her this year. These last bird pillows now have a handful of organic lavender in the stuffing.

That's all for now. I put my sewing machine away for several weeks to concentrate on the new leather pieces. AND- I'm off to North Carolina!!!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Work in Progress.....

Here's what's on my work table this week....just playing around with leather. I started stitching and beading deerskin- it's so nice to work with. Unlike cowhide, it's soft and pliable like a textile.
...just a few stitches here and there, a few tiny stitched beads. I'm trying to focus on the leather as the main design element, rather than the stones. I love working on intricately detailed textiles, so I'm trying to get more of that aspect of my aesthetic in this new work. These are just the first pieces...
I'm taking baby steps, I know. The more intricate stitched leather bands aren't ready yet- still working out some kinks. I need to figure out how to layer the leather- leather glue? Is there such a thing? I also started tooling some retro tattoo images on wider bands. I really need to stay focused on these new leather pieces. So much fun!
Several different leather colors, mixing metals, etc..
Did I say I LOVE what I'm doing!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm back....

No better place to spend a heat wave than on Lake Chautauqua! My annual "cousin's week" at the lake- when all my sisters and their families spend the week at my parent's lake. We missed a few this year- new jobs and life stuff kept a few loved ones at home. They were truly missed, but I feel blessed to have spent the week with my family.
I'm feeling rested, a little sun burned, and a few pounds heavier from Dad's famous "Chautauqua Shore Breezes" (a perfect blend of rum, pineapple and cranberry!). My fingers are sore from working late at night- stitching leather and wire wrapping. Tomorrow I'll unpack and perhaps share a few images of new work. It's coming along!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

...just checking in....

I've been neglecting my blog for awhile- and won't be posting for several weeks. Summer, gardening, vacations, art shows, etc. have kept me away from my computer. As I scramble to get new work ready for shows & galleries, I'm also working on a new body of work.
I've been sketching all my new ideas- a little collection of new leather pieces, that combine my love for this color palette, birds, the sea, leather, and textiles. I'm anxious to share the few pieces I have done, but I really want to develop this new body of work as a "collection" before I show anything.
I don't usually work this way with my own work- then I realized this is what I'm trained to do. In my old career as a design director, I directed collections of work. It was organized & cohesive- something my work has been lacking. Rather than jumping from one idea to the next, I looked for a common thread- subject matter, style, etc. I wrote down those things I'm passionate about and started sketching. I'm excited again and feel recharged.
These 3 images are what's inspiring me today- always the element of nature. What is it about robin's eggs that I'm so drawn to? I love mixing textures and materials. Hopefully next post I'll be sharing more. That's all for now!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New in Leather Wrap Bracelets in shop.....

Just a quick shop update....I added few new leather wrap bracelets in my Etsy shop today. I didn't take the time to photograph all of them..... if you want a certain color/stone combo and don't see it email me. If I don't have it in stock I can make it for you!
Well- off to the beach. I hope you all enjoy your long weekend!

Not My Usual Vintage Vibe

I don't usually buy new fabric, but I wanted a variety of bags for upcoming shows and events. I adore these new prints. This first one is by a European designer- it's a home dec weight, and the color combo is awesome! The bright yellow interior is the perfect compliment for this messenger-style bag- new in my shop.
This giant bird print is a heavy upholstery weight fabric- this giant tote was designed to accommodate the scale of the print. I designed it with an adjustable strap to fit any figure. Quite possible the perfect tote! New in my shop- with 2 other colorways available in a few days.
I sold out of the other 2 colorways fast and had to re-order. This colorway goes perfect with jeans- cobalt and butter on a tan background.
Lastly, I couldn't resist this little print. I bought one of those sample packs at my local fabric shop- J Ellen's House of Fabric- and had to buy a yard of this coordinating fabric. I really like the contrast of the modern print with the vintage lace & linen- also new in my shop.
That's all for now. These bags are new in my Etsy shop if interested.

Friday, July 1, 2011

More pillows!

In my studio, I have a basket next to my work table where I collect all the fabric scraps too big to throw away. When that basket fills up, I have the urge to use them. I cut birds and leaves and other assorted things, and spend a week on pillows. Very therapeutic.
I have some new designs in the works, but these leaves and bird designs have been a staple in my Etsy shop this year. It's almost time to move on....
....but I just love making these! I think I'll start making the little bird pillows with a pocket for a tooth fairy pillow. People seem to buy them for baby's rooms, and what a fun keepsake to be able to use it for a few more years.
Maybe I should put a handful of lavender in these? Hmmm...