Black Spruce Hound

A Wisconsin Girl in the Woods, Knitting, Crafting, and Cooking. Also: Ugly Dresses.

July 28, 2014

An Anniversary and a Necklace

Last Sunday was our wedding anniversary. I'm 8 days late sharing this news, because how else do I run this thing except backwards, but this time I have a good reason! A few days prior to our anniversary I was contacted by UncommonGoods. They very generously offered to send me an item to review from their personalized or anniversary gift sections. It was kismet, I tell you.
 
I accepted the offer, not just because mama didn't raise no dummy, but because UncommonGoods is a pretty awesome company. Allow me to explain - UncommonGoods is a B Corporation, meaning they meet high standards on a whole bunch of issues, including wage levels and environmental impact. With every purchase made, they donate $1 to a non-profit organization through their Better to Give program. And (my favorite bits) they operate out of the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn, New York, and half of everything they sell is made by hand. 

I mean seriously. That's pretty major stuff. Of course I jumped at the chance to review an item. The personalized gift section is huge and has more adorable things than you can shake a stick at, you can see it here. The anniversary section gave me a severe case of indecision, you can see what I mean here
 
I seriously considered the make-your-own-gin kit. Because of reasons. But I eventually settled on this, the Links of Love necklace. 


The packaging was adorable. I'm a sucker for good packaging.


Love at first sight. Big, licky love. Which was surprising as I usually favor big chunky necklaces, but this one is just too gorgeous. 


Included in the package (and detailed on the web site) is the information about the person who makes this necklace. A Nashville-based artist named Beth Lawrence made this beautiful piece, and got the inspiration for it when she was pregnant with her first child. (Together on 3.....awwwwww!)


It ended up being the perfect way to remember our anniversary. My husband particularly likes it because it reminds him of the necklace Emma Swan wears on the show 'Once Upon a Time'. Not that we're nerds or anything.



I've been wearing it every day since it arrived. It's such a simple design that it goes with pretty much everything in my wardrobe.

 

If you are looking for an anniversary gift or something personalized (or for any other occasion, really) then I would highly recommend checking out UncommonGoods. I'll be shopping there in the future. (That gin kit isn't going to buy itself.)

See you later!

Disclosure: I received this product for free to review on this blog, but all opinions expressed are my own. 

July 25, 2014

Photo Friday: Robins and Mock Oranges

A few days ago I cleaned up the SD card for my camera. Holy crap. There were 5 month old pictures on there, and tons of pictures that were meant to go on the blog but never seemed to fit into a post. I picked out a few random pictures for today's Photo Friday.

This robin likes to hang on a limb that sticks out of our firewood pile. 


The mock orange in the backyard was finished blooming weeks ago, but here are a few more pictures of it anyway.  Preeetty.



The SD card is clean and most (ahem) of my pictures are now in order, so next week's Photo Friday should be more....normal. 

Have a good weekend!


July 21, 2014

DIY Leather Clutch

I'd been on the lookout for a clutch, preferably leather, for over a year. It was the usual problem-  too cheap (says the girl who picked up the pennies in the gas station parking lot yesterday because it feels wrong not to) to pay what a lot of retailers want for one, and I didn't want vinyl. It took an embarrassingly long time for me to think, hey dummy, make one yourself. 


For this project I bought:
- One 9 inch brass zipper (brass so it would stand out and look extra gangsta)
- A 12x24 inch piece of upholstery leather. I bought the leather from here on Amazon
- The fabric, interfacing, and thread were already stashed away in my sewing supplies. 

I am not so good with explaining sewing things and the putting the words into sentences thing, so here's the basic premise of this clutch - have you ever made a pillowcase? Or any type of case/pouch/bag where it's just a long piece of fabric folded in half with the sides sewn up? That's what this is. Make a lining for the leather, sew up the long sides, and turn it inside out to make a pouch. Attach a zipper, and that's that. 

For the most part I followed this tutorial from Say Yes. My biggest modification was that my leather was already in one long piece and I didn't want to cut it into two pieces just to have to sew it back together.


First I trimmed the leather to make sure all the sides were even. Then I ironed the fabric and cut it to the same size as the leather. Next, I attached some fusible interfacing to the fabric. That step was optional, but the interfacing helps stiffen the fabric up a bit and in turn stiffens the leather too, giving the clutch a bit more structure.  

I (very carefully as to not pierce the leather) pinned the fabric to the leather, wrong sides together.


Next, I put a heavy-duty needle on my sewing machine. Then, I folded the piece of leather in half and sewed up the two longer sides from the bottom to about 2-3 inches from the top, leaving the top open so I would have more room to work on the zipper.

(This is the portion of the program when you should ignore everything I say and follow a different tutorial. I should have put the zipper in first, then sewed the sides. It made things a smidge more difficult, but it's still doable.)


Once the sides were sewn up, it was easier to see what the final product would look like - turn that baby inside out and you've got a nice leather bag. 

The final step was to sew the zipper into the top. Which, again, I probably should have done first, but alas. It still worked out pretty well. I don't have any pictures of this, but it's fairly self-explanatory - you stick the zipper on and sew it in place. The zipper I had was shorter than the opening of the purse (the zipper was 9 inches, the top of the bag was nearly 11) so I just centered it and then sewed the gaps on both sides closed.




Aaaaand I love it. Holy moly. It's perfect for when I hit up thrift or antique stores - my everyday purse is gigantic and causes sore shoulders after about 20 minutes. With this, I can throw in a few essentials, tuck it under my arm, and out the door I go.


Obviously this could be made using any material if you have objections to leather. You could use vinyl or cotton or whatever else floats your boat. Just make sure to use a badass-colored zipper. 

See you later!


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