Often, when working on a design, I will be surprised mid-stream in the process, and will end up morphing it into something completely different and unplanned.
Unless I’m designing and creating something, I find no logic in the universe.
I own a Thoroughbred mare related to Secretariat.
My only son was "unschooled".
I can hear the waves from my vintage Florida home.
I have many relatives in Italy I hope to meet someday!
What got you started crafting?
Nothing I do comes from me....I am driven by an unseen, unidentifiable energy that places ideas in my head. I have been accompanying this force, gleefully, since I can ever remember. When I was a teenager, my parents bought an Inn in Kennebunk, ME. Underneath the 52 room span of 200 year old architecture was a huge basement, that became my Design Studio and workshop. I had a section for any craft imaginable, from sewing to refinishing furniture. I had an undeniable urge to make things more beautiful...or to create beautiful things.
Other than the few years of parochial school wearing uniforms, my wardrobes had always been designed & made by my mother and me....and intermixed with Church Bazaar finds. I remember knocking on all of the old lady's door's in my neighborhood and asking them for a search of their attics, for old clothes. I would find incredible old dresses with tatting and lace, velvet and beads. I would mix these with my leather pants, which I made, totally with hand stitching. I always had a special love of leather, making vests for my Father, handbags for the local boutiques, and pants for my friends. Browsing through Berman leather in Boston....a resource I miss!
Currently, my focus has turned to leather accessories. Two elements have nudged me there. One being the economy...it's costly to continually update your wardrobe, and accessories are a great way to expand what you already own, with different looks. You can transform your wardrobe with accessories, alone. Second...I am at an age where younger trends can be questionable for me...there are no Fashion Magazines devoted to women over 50. (Not that I am, but there are a lot of gals who are!). The advice is pretty standard....foundational pieces in neutral colors. Wool slacks, button down shirts, turtlenecks, twinsets and jackets. My accessories can make all of those elements rock! Wrap a couple of Leather Rose Ribbon belts around your neck as an adornment...creating a layered necklace look. Or wrap them around those button down classics like harness straps....and voila! Instant urban panache, yet still staying somewhat in the "safety zone"!
What is your source of inspiration?
My inspiration has always come in surprises...unexpected times and places. It could be a piece of Equestrian tack, a flower in my garden, a shell I find on the beach or a dream from the night before. I am usually taken by surprise with my ideas....as they seem to come from somewhere else. I could be looking at an old Architectural Digest, or going for a walk, or thinking about a mundane daily task, and be abruptly instilled with a picture of my next creation in my mind! I don't question it...I don't understand it....but, I love it.
What have you made recently?
I am working on a leather clutch right now.....It is cut out and planned, sitting on my huge antique work table, which is in the middle of my house. That way, my son and I are always able to interact.
I have a love of entirely handmade handbags....no machines, please. I had this piece of rich Mahogany colored buttery soft leather, which I've been hoarding for months....waiting for the inspiration, which I knew would eventually come. More often than not, a piece of leather will urge an inspiration...but, this one was special, and needed some time. The inspiration came from an antique wrought iron gate hinge, which will be recreated as a leather handle on the back of the purse.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
Currently, my leather accessories are available at my Etsy online shop.
A selective line of Leather Clutch Bags, Leather Cuffs and Leather Brooches have also been available at Evie Lou Boutique in Cleveland, Ohio. Fashion Editor, Kim Crow, just opened her shop there in October.
I also have a wholesale collection available through Etsy.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
Requires more thought, more care, more time and hand work makes an item more unique, more valuable and special. I cherish handmade items more. I want to provide that element to my customers, with my creations.
It is also kinder to the environment.
Orchid Island, FL USA