Sunday, 26 January 2014

Tote bag inspiration - DIY

I love tote bags. They are so simple but, I think, always stylish. Tote bags are a great DIY as well because they are easy to make, they never fail you, you can use them yourself, give them to your friends (if you have tote-loving friends as well) or sell them if you have your own (Etsy) shop. Having studied English literature, I try to incorporate my favourite books in my totes (which is more of a resolution, I wish I had finished dozens of Book Totes, in reality I have made two). I have made a Mrs. Dalloway Book Tote:

and a Sherlock Holmes Book Tote:

I would love to make more totes and there are lots of inspiring examples of tote bags on the internet, home made and factory made. This post will be a tote bag inspiration post for me and for all the other tote bag makers. May you draw inspiration from these examples.

Music Totes

The Smiths

Kate Bush

Stencilled totes

You can make your own stamps (using foam or using potatoes) and make a stencilled tote: 

Statement totes

My lovely best friend gives me books for my birthday, my favourite is 'The hundred-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared' by Jonas Jonasson.

Illustrated totes

Easy totes made from beautiful fabrics

Constellation Totes

An uncommon but pretty category.

I really like the 'Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place', I am going to copy this shamelessly and make a 'Heaven must be a Nijmegen kind of place' tote bag.

Music tote contemplation:

- 'I've got life, and I'm gonna keep it' - Nina Simone
- 'Peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing' - Led Zeppelin
- 'Will the wind ever remember, the names it has blown in the past. And with his crutch, its old age, and it's wisdom. It whispers no, this will be the last.' - Jimi Hendrix
- 'Bet there's hundreds of blokes that have wept cause you've stolen their thunder' - Arctic Monkeys

If you have any tote bag ideas or beautiful lyrics that would shine on a tote, I would love to hear them.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Vintage finds - brooches

I love brooches, they offer such an easy way to spruce things up. I wish shops would sell more brooches, because most shops rarely do. Thrift shops however, oftentimes are small treasuries when it comes to vintage brooches. This is probably due to the fact that brooches (in the Netherlands at least) are oftentimes worn by the elderly and relatives probably do not want to keep this part of their inheritance (I'm sorry for putting this so bluntly). Luckily, the brooches are appreciated by the people who discover them amongst the clutter and get a new life on the jumpers of their new owners.

This is my first and favourite brooch. My grandmother gave it to me because I collected frogs when I was little (I know, 1 why frogs and 2 this is not a frog). This is not the only turtle she gave me for my frog collection:

 She was the best grandmother and it was so kind of her to buy frogs for my collection, so I never said anything about this whole frog/ turtle mix-up. And I love my turtle brooch, so everything turned out fine (not sure if I had worn a frog brooch).

 I once saw someone wear a dinosaur brooch and thought it was lovely. Dinosaurs are a great subject for brooches. Alexa Chung aptly put it in writing:

“I like dinosaurs like a nine year old boy likes dinosaurs. I’m not quite sure why but I just love them.”

Alexa Chung, 'It'

Sadly, dinosaur brooches are scarce. However, I saw this brooch on Marktplaats (a kind of Dutch ebay) and became the happy new owner. It is now on part-time duty, sharing its job with the frogturtle.

This golden M is an heirloom. My aunts decided, after my grandmother (not the lovely co-collector of frogs, but my other grandmother) passed away, that I could have the brooch she always wore because I would wear it as well. This was such a lovely gesture and I really treasure my M, but I am so scared of losing it that I only wear it on very special occasions (preferably occasions for which I do not have to leave the house).

This lovely J.W. Anderson pineapple brooch is on my wish list (and it will probably forever remain there). Alexa Chung is in lucky possession of the pineapple, which is cause for jealousy, but which is also fair because I already have the dinosaur.

Thank you for reading this brooch post!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

DIY Ipad sleeve

On the second day of my Ipad ownership, I sat in the garden decorating my Smurf village, when something dropped on my back (I would like to say it was an insect or something else that justified my reaction, but I found a bobby pin in my chair later that afternoon), I was startled and send my Ipad flying towards the garden tiles. You can probably imagine what happened. Now, €100 poorer and a sense of fear of damaging my Ipad again richer, I have decided to make my own Ipad sleeve (I suspected it would be easy as beans, which it is!) as additional protection, beside the hard case.

I have used Ikea origami fabric and fake fur fabric (for protection). The bottom part is the back of the fake fur, which looks a bit messy, but I like it. You can use any kind of fabric you like, as long as you also use a sturdy fabric for protection. When using fake fur, remember that the fur takes up quite some space as well, so make your sleeve a bit bigger when using fake fur.

This tartan sleeve is made from an old scarf and a scrap of leftover fabric (lined with the fake fur again). 

Hopefully, the lovely J.W. Anderson for Topshop hard case/ DIY sleeve combination will keep the Ipad safe.

Thanks a bunch for having a look!