One of my favourite pastimes in summer is jewellery making. I get lots of books out of the library to teach myself new techniques and of course for inspiration. I always look for unusual beads, colour combinations that I haven’t tried before and interesting finishing techniques.
In this necklace I used recycled bottle glass beads from Ghana, they are semi-translucent and really beautiful. The bell in the middle is made from recycled brass. I joined the necklace to a leather cord, this way I can wear it at different lengths and of course I like the look of it.
These knotted strap sandals I made for my teenage daughter. Every time I make her a pair of sandals she gets out fabric scraps and cardboard and builds her own sandals that she wears proudly around the house.
It’s so fascinating to see how our making stuff inspires children to do so too and one day without ever having been taught formally they are able to just create whatever it was that they watched us doing. I’ve observed this many times.
If you’ve followed me for some time, you probably know by now that I like finding ways to use up my leather scraps. Here I made leather cube earrings out of very thick leather (4-5mm) which I use for midsoles when making sandals/shoes.
They look suprisingly lovely considering what they are made off. I made various shapes like rectangles, triangles, squares and painted them in bright coulours. They are my new favourite earrings.
I’ve wanted to try weaving with leather strips for some time and finally decided to make my son’s new sandals this way. Most of the leather for the sandal tops is from my leather scrap box, so I used up some oddly shaped pieces that I couldn’t make anything with anymore.
I love the look of leather and fabric together, this is the first time that I’ve made something combining these two materials. As I’ve wanted to make a rucksack for ages it was a good opportunity to try it out.
Winter is nearly over (happiness) and I’ve started to make new clothes for my children. For spring clothes I usually make something from knit jerseys, often taking old dresses apart to make new t-shirts or mixing up new and older fabrics.
This dress I made for my teenage daughter from organic cotton jersey.
The dress is a little challenging to make because of the 3 panels front and back, you have to attach them to the right places but other than that it comes together easily. I really like its shape and swing.
I can’t wait to get out of socks and boots and into sandals! Here I made tooled one-strap sandals for my children’s grandmother who lives on the other side of the world in Chile, they are in the middle of summer now…
Tooling leather straps is one way of adding sparkle to your leather projects. It’s taken me so long to find out about all the different ways to decorate leather that I thought I document whatever new I learn with each project I undertake.
Here is one way to tool leather to get the look you see on the sandals above.
This wool coat I made for my six-year-old son, he loves fun and colourful clothes. Green is his favourite colour and if I always listened to him everything he wears would be green jumpers, trousers, socks, shoes, you get the picture….
I used a fabric called boiled wool, it’s 100% wool and available in many colours. The lining is of the same fabric, but a different colour, so it’s really cosy and warm.
Boiled wool is a woven fabric that has been felted and thickened, it’s warm, durable, windproof and water-resistant, which makes it a great fabric for winter kids clothes.
I cut the appliqué from handmade wool felt, it’s much thicker than the usual felt you can buy and a beautiful quality. The owl and fox I hand stitched onto the fabric. For the drawings inside the figures, I used chain stitch.
I’m always looking for unusual ways to decorate leather. This leather wrap bracelet I decorated by cutting into the leather resulting in an interesting texture. I will definitely experiment more with this technique.