You will remember this bag, the Sage Delta. It is over two years old and going strong. However, its owner, a veteran traveller. wanted more outside pockets to hold boarding pass and other necessities. She asked if I could modify the bag by adding a long pocket on each side. Luckily I had some leather left, so I said I’d give it a try. Remember this bag is fully lined with interior pockets as well as a front pocket–so a little tricky. I’ve been thinking about it for a bit too long, wondering how I would do it. Well, today I got down to it–and here it is. I think the addition works and may try it on the next bag…
I’ve always been charmed by the train station in Belleville with its jaunty roof and dormers and beautiful stone work. We lived in an 1850 stone house for many years just north of the city and I am still so attracted to stone buildings of that period. This one was built in 1856 for Grand Trunk Railway and it is made of Trenton limestone. Yesterday my train was 20 minutes late so I left the brand new and much less charming replacement station and did a 15 minute sketch of my old love — with only time for a couple of windows. The Montreal train came in as I was sketching so I included it. I finished the sketch up on the jerky journey with some paint added later. My trip to Toronto passes another original station in Cobourg but I’ve always thought that Belleville’s was the best design. I’ve been reading up on these stations today and learned that the Cobourg station along with others in Georgetwon and Napanee are “Type C” while Belleville’s is “Type B” meaning it is larger and has more curved arches. I’ve promised myself that I’ll go back and do a much fuller sketch of the Belleville station, and maybe Cobourg too. Belleville’s is empty now and I do worry about its future. We seem to knock down so many beauties and never learn from our mistakes.
I have talked before on the blog about my long-term love of Marimekko fabrics. (I have been buying and wearing Marimekko since the 60’s.) A couple of years ago the Textile Museum in Toronto had a great retrospective of Marimekko fabrics and clothing and I wrote about it here. There was a review in MacLeans at the time and if you scroll down you can see a video of many of the iconic fabric designs. Flash forward to 2015 and my trip to Boston in June when I was able to buy the two pieces of Marimekko coated cotton which you see below. We were leaving Boston when we spotted the store and my family waited patiently in the car parked in a loading zone while I ran in and purchased the fabric. There was a whole other floor of clothing and household items that I did not have a chance to see. I have plans to turn the yardage into bags with leather bottoms and straps. What a punch of colour and pattern!
This week, at the Belleville library, I bumped into another lover of Marimekko –well not exactly–I came upon her wonderful machine quilted piece of the very pattern which I bought in June. The quilter is Jane Cunningham and you can see her wall quilt at the bottom of this post.
I found a small remnant of the best red leather this week. It was just enough to make two new pouches, perfect for make-up, pencils are any other essentials you need to carry with you. This is really beautiful leather in a red lipstick colour lined with red and orange dotted batik. A treat for the hand and the eye. In the on-line store for you.
Today I took a trip to Westmount to one of my favourite art stores, Avenue des Arts. I treated myself to two new brushes, both Holbein. The one of the left is a scroggy and lots of fun for foliage. I tried it out immediately at a café patio just across the street. It had been raining in the morning but the sun came out full blast while I was doing this sketch. The sketch below that one was done while standing across the street, also Rue Victoria, from these quirky charming row house–five in all, I think. I did the ink on site and then finished the painting later. I love the Westmount area with its early 20th century homes with their distinctly quebecois architecture. And everything is so green this summer in central Canada–we are very lucky.
We are in Montreal for a few days. Our son is away cycling and he left us the keys to his apartment. It’s in a great neighbourhood and I hope to sketch some of it tomorrow. But on our first day we headed to the Old Port and I sat on my stool on Rue St. Paul and did a sketch facing each way. I finished the ink on site and then added the paint once I got back to the house. I’m still working on foliage and, of course, perspective. But here they are.
I made three colour therapy pouches today out of some of my favourite remnants. It is very enjoyable putting colours together and remembering where the leather came from. I save every last bit of my favourite pieces. The red is from a leather blazer that I bought in Florence. It is beautiful leather–and the turquoise is the very last piece left from some great bags I made a few years ago. These pouches are all lined in a bright batik and close with coloured zippers. They will be in the shop tomorrow.
Victoria Day in Canada is always a welcome holiday. Cottages are opened and gardens are planted. We have been home this weekend and so I was able to do a little sketching, a little cycling and some sewing on the kiwi leather. This is bag number two from the remnant piece I had. And this one, a satchel style, turned out particularly well. It has a large zippered exterior pocket and two inside, a leather phone slot and a birdbrain canvas slip. The zippers are high quality metal–I can’t see going to all the trouble of making a leather bag from scratch and then using plastic zippers. And the lining sings–turquoise and green polka dot cotton. It will make you smile each time you open the bag. This is a cross-body bag with an adjustable strap. All seams are double sewn and the leather is backed for strength. It is 10″ tall and 10″ wide and will be in the shop tomorrow.
Here is the first bag of 2015. It is a great everyday bag for work, travel and leisure and is part of a series of waxed canvas and leather that I have made over the last couple of years. These bags are durable and age beautifully. The waxed canvas is waterproof and wipes clean with a damp cloth. This one is 12.5″ wide, 14″ tall and 6″ deep with an adjustable leather strap and a wide leather base. It is lined in crisp blue and white striped denim. There is a large exterior pocket and inside zip and slip pockets as well as a leather phone pocket.
When I was in Nairobi in February I found some heavy duty waxed canvas and I am ready to start some new bags to see how they go.
It has been two weeks since I left Kenya and a week since I arrived back in Canada. It’s always an adjustment. I’ve been thinking about my time rug hooking with the Matangwe community women and do intend to do a final post. In the meantime, I’ve scanned some of my sketches. It was so hot while we were there that it was often hard to sketch outside. So some of these are done on site, a couple sketched on site but painted later but a few are done from my photos.