Friday, 30 June 2017

My Embroidered Black Leather studded Jacket & Paverpol

You know I was working on my old leather jacket last week, sewing appliqué bits onto the leather, which took AGES!!! and bloody hurt my fingers, but it was well worth the effort...
The studs finally came and I got to work with my hole puncher and power screwdriver, putting about 250 studs in, which also took ages. I also decided to lengthen the jacket and actually used some old bits of leather I had left over from a pair of lace up black thigh high boots I had as a 16 year old. Can you believe it! 30 years old bits of leather!! I'm such a hoarder! Who keeps this crap? But, I thought it would come in handy one day...didn't realise I'd have to wait 30 years!

Anyway, I'm super pleased with the result and the fit is perfect!

Last weekend I went on a course to learn how to sculpt with fabric using something called Paverpol.
We started by making a base from wire and tinfoil attached to an angel wing base.
All the ladies made very different shapes, some very curvy, others bowed and some, like mine with their arms flung out. As much different personality as the creators them selves...

But they were all lovely in their own ways. It was so nice to see these women enjoying themselves making things. I know how absorbing and calming it is to make stuff. I do it all the time and it is part of my job, but it was so wonderful to feel the energy of the group, totally focused and relaxed together.
This Paverpol stuff was incredibly easy to work with and the end result is surprisingly hard, light and durable. Definitely a great product to experiment with..

We used different fabrics, with different textures, but all stretchy, dipped in black Paverpol. The excess glue was smoothed out of the fabric to leave it drenched but not dripping then it was arranged around the frame. Once it had dried to the touch, which is surprisingly fast, we applied metallic gold paint to bring up the details.

I've had 2 big creative projects recently, plus this Paverpol thingy and feel like I have cleaned out all my ideas for now. I feel unburdened and light. Empty in a really nice way... I look forward to doing nothing creative at all for the next little while! Now I feel like talking....

Friday, 23 June 2017

Gucci, Embroidery & Roses on Black Leather

There has been a combination that I have loved for as long as I can remember (not that that is saying much these days ! ;-) It is traditional eastern European style flowers and embroidery on a black background. It was a big inspiration for me a couple of years ago when I started to design the 'Make Peace not war Collection'

It is also something that has inspired me on my next creative project. Unusually this is something just for me, nothing to do with work, just a personal project.

Last year I saw this jacket  by Gucci and I thought, mmmmm me wanty. But me cannot havey because it costs silly money...

Still, it didn't leave my mind because it featured several of my favourite and embroidery on black, leather bikers jackets and studs... all together, all at once, in the same place! too fabulous.

I decided I wanted to do something like this but make it more me, and more affordable of course. I looked forever for the perfect plain black leather jacket that I could augment but I never found anything that was 100% right so I ended up using an old cropped leather jacket from my ancient past.

I found a really lovely embroidered mesh top from Zara for next to nothing, so I've cut out all the bits of embroidery and have started sewing them onto the jacket.

Once, I've sewn on all the bits of appliqué I'm going to add a bit of leather to make it longer then start putting the studs on, which is going to be epic! There are about 200 of them to screw in. I'll show you pictures as I go on with it. If you love embroidery and fabulous bohemian clothes then you must check out my Pinterest Board of My Favourite Clothes

Today is Midsommar here in Sweden and a very important day for celebrating it is! Many strawberries will be consumed, there may be silly dancing around pagan looking May poles, but whatever way you are celebrating today, have wonderful day and I hope you have good weather!

Friday, 16 June 2017

AirBnB... Are you Late to the Party?

I'm going away to Ibiza in a few weeks, for a photoshoot, and I was looking into hotels...all either fully booked or stupidly expensive and then I thought 'Air BnB!' Well it might have been my mate that suggested it... I'm still bit new to Air BnB. Only used 1 once before and it is not what I first think of when I need to sort out accommodations. But my mate Janice is next to a professional traveller and Air BnB is her bitch so she sussed out a fantastic place for us to stay in Ibiza. I mean could choose this...

or for half the price you can have this all to yourselves...

I mean seriously! What would you choose?
Not convinced yet? ok you can have this outside your room...

or this...

And it costs half the price, comes with excellent local knowledge and a helpful host... Well you can see which I chose and that is where we will be going in a couple of weeks. Can't wait!

Yesterday I booked another Air BnB for the family, a long weekend in a cottage with a big pool, just a few hours drive away. I just thought it would be fun for the girls to have their own pool for a bit and none of us like becoming an ingredient in the human soup that is our local public pool but the girls really need to practice and have fun in the water. So, this might be more expensive than a family of 4 getting tickets to the local pool but it will be soooo much nicer and worth every kronor (penny ;-)

Friday, 9 June 2017

When is it ok to say 'That's a Mans job'?

Ok, before you get all heated under your hood, let me just put it out there that I'm a committed Feminist. I know that women deserve equal pay, equal rights and opportunities and that we are still viewed as commodities. That we are patronised, exploited and generally have a more challenging time moving ahead in business and balancing the job of baring the next generation. But when is it ok to say 'I'm not doing that. Thats a mans job!'?

Recently I found myself in a bit of a difficult situation... My street is very community minded and we gather twice a year to beautify, tidy and maintain our lovely neighbourhood. I was given the job of helping a big strapping dad lay the speed bumps down on the road. These are super heavy and it is hard dirty work. I didn't really want to do it but I'm no idle princess so I just got on with it. I'm sure I was close to busting some important inner body part when a lovely old fella said ' You shouldn't be doing that! Thats a mans job!' He rushed off and found another strapping young fella to assist the first one. I'd nearly finished and my nose was a bit out of joint. I felt very conflicted, I was pissed off that they thought I couldn't handle it but I sort of couldn't. Ok, the fact is I could handle it but those big chaps can handle that kind of thing much better. You don't even want to know about the state of my nails!

But it got me thinking... what's the feminists line on 'Mens jobs'??? I notice that it was an older man that suggested It was 'Mans Work'...and I know that kind of thinking is often part of that generation. I mean my mum has definite opinions on what is women or mens work... Cleaning, tidying, ironing is basically women work. Plumbing, electrical stuff, car maintenance and heavy lifting all mans department. When it comes to strength related stuff, I can see what might be a mans job, but electrical stuff and certain car related things...hmmm... It all just panders to the view that women are weak and don't like to get dirty. Do men especially like to get dirty? Or do they just do it because it's expected?

I'm not looking for answers, every situation and person is different and that's the key really. But imagine a society of free individuals not held back by weird stereotypes and pre conceptions.... I think we are still pretty far away from that but it definitely gets better with every generation...

I love watching Super Girl with my kids. She is such a great role model and I love that my kids are growing up with female super heroes that are not sidekicks, not overtly sexual, just strong and powerful. I'm so looking forward to go see the new Wonder Woman movie! There was nothing like that when I was growing up. Back then, Wonder Woman was still a mans idea of a powerful woman but this time around...? I think she's gonna kick some ass!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Networking, Social Media, Ex Pats & Scared Hearts

When I was younger, you know, before the internet happened, I just had friends. We hung out, did stuff, it was all good. Now we have networks. We have compartmentalised groups of friends which we socialise with for specific reasons. Almost all of my human IRL interactions happen in neatly organised networks... I've got my bookclub, my Women's Entrepreneurs Network, I've got my Ex Pats in Sweden network. It is all very neat and tidy. ...
I'm not a robot though, I do have a few friends who I eat cake with, maybe look at art and have non specific chats with... it all works anyway...

One of the networks I belong to is  MamaMötet run by UK blogger in Stockholm Littlebearabroad which is a parents in Stockholm guide to whats on, where to eat, where to shop etc.... All the essential stuff you need to know, but don't know how to find, if you move to Stockholm and don't speak the language. MamaMötet is an evening mixer with informative talks and all very friendly and chilled. I love hearing English spoken by the natives, makes me feel all warm and nice inside.

Another network I belong to is the Scandisysters Collective. We are a bunch of business women who have set up a monthly blogging competition and this month I'm the host! Yep, Van Asch is taking the reins this month, so lets see what these clever bloggers can do with my cushions! I'll be blogging about that  more, later in the month, closer to when the winner gets announced at the end of June.

Now for something completely different... If you have been following my creative journey making a winged heart, my next step was painting the wings gold. I did this with gold metallic acrylic paint and a square ended brush. I didn't use much paint and put it on in very light strokes...

This weekend I'm starting on the heart...
I'm very inspired by the religious sacred hearts from Mexico and tattoo are some of my faves ...
                         This one is from Catbox Art Studio and they do loads of cool day of the dead stuff.

                      Just love this! Would make an excellent tattoo

And this super pretty beaded one is lovely, by artist Laurie Mika

If you want to see more of these lovely things then check out my Hearts Board on Pinterest