Wednesday, April 27, 2011

As Promised: Gypsy #3!

XL Leather Festival Bag with Vintage Doily & Antique Key

Spring is here; it's outdoor festival time!  When you're out shopping or roaming the city and you start hearing music on the street,  you'll be glad you can dance hands-free with a messenger bag like this one.  As promised, I just wanted to show you the 3rd bag in the Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves collection at Urban Heirlooms.

This time I went with an extra-large version, with a wider strap for balance and an amazing giant vintage doily with a "pineapple" crochet pattern. 

In other news, things are shaping up mighty nicely for my Hoboken, NJ show this Sunday! I'm up to my ankles in leather scraps, the dining room table is buried in leather goods, and my studio is an unspeakable mess.  I guess I've been productive after all! ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Inspiration From Artists: My Favorite Etsy Purchases

I've bought lots of little gifts for myself from shops on Etsy--I have 19 pages of purchases to prove it!
from gift tags

to goat milk soap...
from tiny vintage teapots...

to Triple Threat Brownies...

from Spanish coins

to stoneware mugs

The variety is endless!  But of all my purchases, the ones I've found most valuable to me these days are two delightful works of inspiration that I house in my studio:

"Bloom" Primitive angel doll by Mystele of Little Glimpses Studio
This absolute angel arrived with her flocked velvety wings and a grungy eyelet lace dress, holding a button with a directive for this conflicted artist who could not decide where she should be geographically.

"Bloom Where You're Planted."

Recently I gave her something else to hold in her hands, a beautiful watercolor ACEO by Zainab Hussaen.

"Who Cares What They Think."
I've been stealing little glimpses of that ACEO a lot lately as I work feverishly to make as much product for my upcoming shows as I can manage.  It's so quick and to the point! Don't you just love it?  I hope you find some inspiration for yourself for the coming week.  In the meantime, Happy Easter! ;)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves: How Cher Inspired a Fun New Handbag Collection

When I was a young girl in the 70s and my siblings and I stayed up to watch the Sonny & Cher show, my favorite performance was when Cher appeared onstage on a prancing horse.  Dressed completely in white, she wore this amazing stylized Native American costume with her super-long hair and feathery eyelashes and sang "Half Breed".   While it's true that the lyrics were controversial, to my young ears it was just a catchy tune with rich imagery that was hard to forget.

Another powerful song was her performance of Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves,  reminiscent of dirt road travel, bonfires, stolen kisses and dancing under a million stars.  This new collection of festival bags I've been working on for Urban Heirlooms is a kind of tribute, inspired by a song my young ears probably had no business hearing at the time! 

This distinctly bohemian collection features raw-edged leather and vintage crochet lace...a little dainty, a little "dirty"...

Half Moon

Rustic hardware:  authentic antique brass keys and antique brass studs, plus chunky antique brass chain link for an element of surprise!

I hope I can squeeze in a photo of a third bag before my show.  After years of hoarding vintage textiles, I'm just excited that I finally committed this idea to leather and lace. Happiness!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dogs in Kilts? Not on This Train!

Kiss Me...I'm Scottish!
This is the dog that got booted out of the train station for not being in a pet carrier.  Even a fluffy white pup in a handmade kilt could not soften the hearts of the gritty New Jersey Police officers!  Too bad we missed the parade of Westies in the New York City Tartan Day Parade on Saturday, but after venting over hot coffees and fresh bagels, we licked our wounds and took our parade to the dog park. 

Sizing up the competition...
Picking up chicks...don't let the kilt fool you--he's all boy!
Checking out the art installation...

Winning friends and influencing people!

For the record, this is how he rolled last year.  These awesome pipers were kind enough to pose with our pup for a picture.  Don't they look like they belong together?

Hopefully next year we won't miss the big parade, and maybe we'll show up with an Urban Heirlooms pet carrier?  Until then, we'll do our butt sniffing at the dog park, thank you very much!   It turned out to be a great day after all.  ;-)
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