The Style

THE KITCHEN PROJECT

I woke up today with the feeling that fall had finally arrived. The cooler temps and grey sky somehow made me really happy (remind me I said that next June when I am complaining about it!) One of my favorite things about fall is nesting. I love getting my house ready for the cooler months when the sun goes down at 6 and I get to start cooking more hearty dishes. Since my husband and I love to cook and entertain…and we have a ton of friends who are amazing chefs, we decided to expand our kitchen…which means he is doing all the work and I’m the painter!

Having lived in this house for almost 6 years, I have painted and re-painted over and over. Paint is the least expensive way to make a massive difference to the look and feel of your space. There is only one problem with my panting, I am the worst ever! That said, I have been trying to slow down and repaint the kitchen cupboards so it doesn’t look like a 6-year-old took on the task. I love the look and feel of a farmhouse kitchen so that’s my goal. I can’t wait to mix the clean white walls with the dark cabinets and wooden accents to match my 1960’s vintage stove and all the amazing copper pots and pans I got from my aunt for our wedding.

Here is a little inspiration for me to finish painting this weekend!

141dc89262ffe1ca87c98b845bf1ac42After tearing out on large wall to double our counter space, my hubs built me a cutting board cupboard out of the wooden signs from our wedding. I love seeing our names built into our first big DIY house project!

68e3b4f857fa6c8df1d419ba6bf73060We opted for charcoal grey cabinets to match our grey counter tops…but most of our counters are covered in large cutting boards and chopping blocks for when we have our chef friends over for dinner or a bbq.Kitchen Island

FALL

Ok, I am the first to admit I am a sun worshiper. I love warm water, beach days, hot nights, and sunshine. I also happen to love the crisp days of fall when you can layer your favorite flannels, scarfs, and sweaters. As much as I am loving our Indian Summer here in sunny Santa Barbara (making bags on the beach isn’t too rough) I’m excited to layer up for fall and have some brisk days.

5b8b62bf92434b56dc2622c890fabd6aBig plaid, cozy sweater, leather pants…yes please!

d215f11c37eae64173877e68f0124ecaI am a little nuts about the truck, but I want this outfit for cool morning coffee runs or beach walks.

tweed-etoile-isabel-marant-jacketNaturally you need a show-stopper handbag! I’m loving how Alicia from Cheetah is the New Black is rocking her E.R. Leather Goods Springbok Clutch with a fab tweed jacket!

LIGHTEN THE LOCKS

This is the time of year I always want to chop off my hair. I have never really been one to style my hair, or for that matter do anything with it aside from a messy bun or a pony tail.

Having sported my long locks for the last decade and finally adding my bangs two years ago, it may be time for a change. To chop or not to chop…

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HAPPY 141 LEVI

Today Levi celebrates its 141st birthday. Made for cowboys, ranchers, and miners back in the late 1800’s, Levi has not only transformed American fashion, they changed the way the world sees denim. I can’t count the number of Levi’s I have worn over the years, but they are, and will continue to be, a constant staple in my closet. Talk about a true iconic American brand…cheers to another 141 years of amazing denim!Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

APRIL HEAT

It’s heating up and spring is in full swing…at least in Santa Barbara. While the rest of the country is slowly transitioning into warmer temps, the days of slip dresses, bikinis, BBQ’s, bonfires, and jean shorts have arrived!

This week I’ll be lightening up the closet. The warm weather clothes will make their way to the front, I’ll be putting my dark leather bags in the back to make room for the whiskey and natural beauties I’ll carry this summer, and it’s definatly time put away the down jackets and snow boots.

I am officially DONE with cold weather for the year. While we are guaranteed to have brisk days and ‘May Gray’ on the horizon, I’m relishing in the heat of this beautiful April.

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SPRING STUDIO PROJECT

Every season as soon as the clocks change, I’m ready to start a big house, garden, or studio project. I go into nesting mode for a good solid month or two.

This spring I have several projects in the queue, but the one I am most excited about right now is to move my studio out of my house and “fingers crossed” set up a proper showroom for E.R. Leather Goods!

I have always daydreamed of having my own showroom and small storefront, and after working from home for the past seven years, it’s time to have a little separation between work and play. Naturally Pinterest was my go-to for some good ideas, and now it’s time to get this party started! Stay tuned for the launch of my new studio showroom…

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SPRING WHITES

I’m breaking the rules of fashion and I’m busting out the white jeans today! After wearing so many dark colors in New York…and being covered in mud from last weeks rain storm, I’m craving some warm spring days.

Somehow, wearing white jeans puts me back to the bliss of hot temps, which will be a great since I’m head to the snowy mountains of Wyoming next week. How cute and easy are these looks?

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COMFORT STRIPES

I have a love affair with stripes. Aside from denim shirts and white blouses (ok, I have a TON of plaids too) stripes take a huge space in my closet. They are classic and a little preppy…plus, they never go out of style.

It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the moment when packing for NYC. Almost everything I brought was black or charcoal because it can seamlessly transition from day to night, and never looks dirty. I realized after about 5 days here, I’m sick of dressing in black and charcoal. I needed color, I needed a pattern, I needed something to make me feel more like me, and less like the me trying to fit into NYC. I love getting “dressed” but when it’s 15 degrees out, I just want to feel comfy.

During my morning Pinterest session I fell in love with this simple look below. After yoga and my coffee run, I took myself to 5th Ave. for a treat. Thanks to my new striped shirt (…and other goodies) I already feel more at home in the city!

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JACKET OBSESSED

I am admittedly jacket obsessed. I get it from my mom. It’s become a joke that all the dolls in my family have an extra jacket closet, or jacket room. Whenever I go anywhere remotely brisk, I immediately start shopping for a new coat. Growing up in the mountains, and wearing a coat everyday, was in line with any other basic wardrobe necessity like jeans, or sweaters. You get a little hooked!

Naturally, with my extended trip to NYC just days away, I am already trying to negotiate the space in my suitcase for at least three or four jackets. Not that I don’t want to sport my amazingly warm Patagonia parka the entire time, but I’d like to feel a bit more polished and pulled together during the rare occasion I’m actually in a city. I love the texture and look of these beauties; classic with a twist…my favorite style combo. Now I just need to decide which bag I’ll take.

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A WHITE BLOUSE

Aside from a denim shirt, I don’t think there is another article of clothing more sexy and understated in a woman’s closet than a white blouse.

A white blouse is effortlessly chic, classic, and feminine. You can wear it with almost anything in your wardrobe and always look flawless. I never travel without at least one white blouse…just in case!

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WINTER ESSENTIALS

It hardly feels like December in Santa Barbara. We are having the most amazing weather that heading to the snow this weekend seems a little…well, cold!

It’s safe to say, after 13 years in California, I have become a fair weather gal. Gearing up for the winter seems like a foreign concept to me, even though I love cozy sweaters and big jackets. While I love dashing off to the islands for some sun and fun, it’ll be nice to have a snow and ‘real’ winter in Wyoming…plus it’s great prep for my NYC trip in January!

Here are some of my cold weather must haves!

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My Fiona Parka from Patagonia.

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Nothing is worse than cold feet. I love my Joan of Arctic boots from Sorel.

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OK, I’M COLD

After being in the heat of the tropics for two weeks, I am officially cold now that I’m back on the mainland.

No, it’s not in the single digits in Santa Barbara, but there is still a shocking difference, and NO humidity. It’s officially time to bust out the winter gear as I prep for the holidays in Wyoming, where it actually is in the single digits and below. Yikes!

Here are some fun winter coats that I am lusting over. They are a bit more playful, and really cool.

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LAYERS

It’s cooling down…then heating up! With this amazing fall weather we are experiencing in Santa Barbara, layering cozy sweaters and scarves over tanks or tees is key.

I’ll be traveling to the some very cold places…home to Jackson for Christmas then off to NYC in January and February. I can’t wait to start shopping for cozy, and cool, winter sweaters and accessories…I’m going to need them.

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A HOT FALL LOOK

It has been such a treat to have a little weather this week. We even got rain! I have been in total nesting mode with my house (painting the inside and redecorating) that it was time to give my closet some much-needed love.

Naturally with the change of season I started moving all my clothes around, putting my sweaters and warmer wears up front…while making a nice little home in the back for my Summer dresses.

Last weekend I was SO excited to bust out my leather pants for the first time this year but was incredibly disappointed to find they just didn’t fit right, or look as good as I remembered. I suppose I have Fit Buddha to thank for that.

Now, I am on the hunt for a new pair of leather pants! How HOT is this Fall look? Bring on the suggestions!

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All she needs to finish the look is to have The Cheyenne on her shoulder!

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DENIM FLARE

It’s that time of year when I invest in a few key pieces for the fall season. This fall, my first investment is going to be in a pair or two of killer jeans…shocking I know!

As much as I love a good pair of skinnies, I am a flare leg girl! They look so hot with boots, heels, and make my legs look lean and long. Here are a few current obsessions…

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A CRISP BITE

I woke this morning to a little bite of Fall. It was the first time I felt I needed to throw on a jacket before dashing out the door at 6:30am. Although I am not at all ready for our amazingly warm weather to leave us, I am getting excited to bust out my cozy cool weather clothes I rarely get to wear.

Nothing screams Fall more than a great jacket…and of course a fabulous ERLG bag and new boots!

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BIRKS DONE RIGHT

I have always had my own style and look, as most of us girls do. There are fads and trends with every season. Some I dabble in and others I steer very clear of, especially with shoes!

Crocs for example are an absolute 100% NO in my book. Even if you are two years old, they are just not ok. However, one could argue the same about Birkenstocks. This is where I disagree.

Throughout high school and college I sported my Birks. Yes, I was a bit more of a hippy back in those days and I didn’t care. When worn the right way, Birkenstocks boast effortlessly cool style. Perhaps that is why the company has been in business over 40 years. I’ll admit it’s not a look for everyone, but neither are wedge sneakers!

Here is how Birkenstocks should be worn ladies! Classic and cool.

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WHAT TO WEAR

Living in such a casual town and traveling to equally casual destinations makes packing for Sin City pretty damn fun! I am not one for mini skirts and heels, but I am one for mini skirts and cowboy boots…especially since I still have a little Hawaiian glow!

It’s always a treat to pull out my flirty and sexy numbers that I wouldn’t consider wearing in Santa Barbara! Naturally, I tone them down with denim shirts, cowboy boots, and hats! Thankfully, this summer my closet is full of maxi dresses which will be super comfortable at the show, and effortless to style in the desert heat!

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IT’S SIZZLING, GRAB YOUR BIKINI

We just had our first heat wave of the summer! Being that I live in California, it’s no surprise that if the sun is out, my bikini is on…don’t worry, I have amazing sunscreen!

I’m so thankful I stocked up on my summer wardrobe essentials just before our heat wave, and my upcoming Hawaiian holiday. I just added 3 new So De Mel bikinis to my arsenal!

When it’s hot, there is no bikini more comfortable or sexy to thrown on than So De Mel. Let the summer sizzle on!

270477_10151204736284798_2005566138_nPhoto via So De Mel. Photographed by Navis Photography.

GOD BLESS COWGIRLS

I find inspiration everywhere! From the smallest photo to a stunning new hide; as soon as I get a bag idea in my head, I need to make it.  Right now I am in the midst of  reworking my entire line. With my trade show in Vegas this August, I am giving each of my collections a little facelift. First stop, the Cowgirl Collection.

How can I not get inspired by these hotties?

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GIRLS IN WHITE DRESSES

Is there anything better than a great white summer dress? I don’t think so. With a little glow of a golden tan, a girl can never go wrong with the classic and clean look of white!

As June gloom is starting to fade away into sun filled afternoons, it’s time to pull out my favorite summer dresses for evening BBQ’s, baby showers, polo matches, weekend wine tasting, or just to feel pretty!

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PATIO BLISS

For the past two weeks I have spent almost every minute I’m not making bags, painting and working on my house. Now that I finished the last coat of paint last night…and just need to touch up a few areas, I am ready to set up my patio for summer entertaining.

Since I spend most of my time outside, my patio set up is critical! Here are some of my all time favorite patios, which I would never leave if I had. I’ll post some pictures of mine once it’s finished.

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IT’S A SHOE THING

I woke up this morning dreaming about making shoes! Guess what that means? Yup, it’s time to start making sandals for summer.

I have my sketches drawn and my leather scraps set aside. Now I just need to get the finishing materials and I’m off. I can’t wait to see how they turn out, but in the mean time, here are a few sandal styles I wouldn’t mind adding to my summer shoe closet!

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BLACK DOORS

I am no stranger to home improvement projects. For the past week I have been staining my patio furniture, painting my house, and getting my garden ready for the season of outdoor entertaining.

Living on a ranch can make easily mold your house into the stereotypical “rustic” look. While I do love that look, I am tired of it. Now, I am mixing it with my contemporary flare. Yesterday I painted my front door red. While it looks cute, I decided this morning that I wanted it black! It’s an unexpected twist that I love.

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SPRING CLEANING AND BRIGHT POPS

In Santa Barbara we are hitting the season for May gray and June gloom. I must admit that after spending so much time in Hawaii, it’s a little…dare I say depressing…that the sun doesn’t come out now until 4pm.

That being said, I’ll take the opportunity to get the house and yard all prepped for Summer! The next couple weeks are going to be spent re-painting, re-staining, re-planting, and digging into some major spring cleaning.

While it may be gray and gloomy, I can’t wait to trade in my neutral colored navajo pillows and incorporate bright pops on the patio this summer.

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THE SHED

Every time my mom comes to visit, we jump right into a big house project. This trip, we decided it was time for me to move my studio out of my house…and what better solution than finding a killer garden shed.

Now that my wheels are turning, I’m really excited about the idea of having my own studio space. Yes, I have space now, but I almost always gravitate to my living room. It’s time to step it up and move my supplies out of the house!

Here are some amazing sheds that will tide me over until I make the move.

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I saw these killer sheds at Burford Garden Comapny when I was in England! I absolutely LOVE this store!

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This little beauty would be just fine too…

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LUCKY GIRL

I am lucky and spoiled girl, plain and simple. This year, my birthday celebrations have lasted all month, and it’s not quite over. My mom comes for a visit this weekend, then I am off to Hawaii, (my b-day present to myself.) Yes, March is a great month!

This week I received the most amazing gift… the Cowgirl Dreams Tassel Jacket from Spell Designs that I have been drooling over for 3 months. I about died and went to heaven when I saw what was in the package, especially since I was about to buy it for myself as a treat. Now that I am thinking about it, a second one wouldn’t be that bad…hmmm.  I’m going to feel smokin’ hot when I wear this beauty. Thank you, I LOVE it!!!

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SPRING BRIGHTS

With my Hawaiian holiday just 10 days away, I can’t help but begin packing in my mind. Every season I have a uniform consisting in great jeans, a couple fresh blouses, and of course a chambray shirt.

Since I am so tired of jeans…except my white jeans…I have decided to take a stab at long skirts, dresses, and flowy pants this spring. They are casual, feminine, easy to pack, and above all, comfortable. Hawaii is the perfect place to break in my new “look” and see if it’s something I’ll actually stick with. Here is my inspiration…now I’m off to the fabric store for patterns and new fabric!

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SPRING STRIPES

Along with denim, I happen to love stripes. If there is one pattern in my closet (aside from plaid) it is stripes. They are a little preppy, goes with (almost) anything, and again, timeless. With warmer temps on the horizon…and an upcoming trip to Hawaii, I couldn’t help falling in LOVE with this darling jumpsuit.

Seriously, how could this not make you happy? It may be time to head to the fabric store, I sense some spring wardrobe sewing coming soon…

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SIMPLY STYLISH

I have said it before and I’ll continue to say it; classic American style never goes away. I will admit it’s embarrassing how many denim and chambray shirts I have in my closet, but I know in 5-10 years I’ll still want to wear them, just like I did 5-10 years ago. Now, I need a new pair of Levi’s to add to my jean collection.

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OVERALLS

Lately I have had a mild fascination with overalls. I know, it’s weird. The idea of overalls seems so childlike, but there is something effortless and kind of sexy about throwing on overalls with a tiny tank and going about your day (while wearing a killer platform shoe of course!)

I may not be cool enough to pull this look off, but I think I’ll give it a shot!

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A MUST

As much as I long for the warm days of spring to arrive, I am still holding on (a little) to the brisk nights of winter. I think it’s because I really want this jacket!

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CHECK THE BUNS

I live in jeans! I clean out my closet about 4 times a year but I never get rid of my jeans. I have a ridiculous amount of denim and I don’t care. I have jeans for everything…a night out, mucking around on the weekend, my riding jeans, my everyday work jeans, my bell bottoms, my skinnies, my crop. Out of all the brands that hang in my closest, shockingly I don’t own Wranglers…and I think after seeing her butt, I need a pair!

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OUTDOOR SLUMBER

I love taking an afternoon nap outside. Given the amount of time I spend outdoors, this year I am going to make myself a proper outdoor bed.

I have had outdoor beds in the past, but they have ended up being glorified dog beds. This year I want to spruce it up a bit to make me feel like I’m on holiday…all the time!

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Nothing beats a great hammock.

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OH BROOKE

With our last little rain storm still looming, I was very concerned about my Spring/Summer photo shoot this weekend…at the beach! I got the good news this morning that the rain will part and make way for a perfect day to shoot.

I have been gathering my inspiration (which you have seen bits and pieces of) but now it’s time to put the plan into action. I came across this beautiful photo of the lovely Brooke Shields from her Blue Lagoon days, what a doll! I am so inspired I can’t wait for Sunday…we may just add a little more turquoise and perhaps a cowboy hat.

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PHOTO SHOOT MONDAY

Today is a photo shoot day, and we all know how much I LOVE photo shoot days. They are always creative, inspiring, stunningly beautiful, and I have the best team to work with which makes the work more like play.

Since I have had my head down making the bags for the past two months, I haven’t really thought about wardrobe. Sure, I have had some ideas in my head, but nothing concrete. So…I turned to my little friend Pinterest for some extra morning inspiration. We’ll see where today takes us. I know regardless of the clothes, the shoot will be fabulous!

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A LITTLE SUEDE

This morning I woke and decided I needed a white suede fringe jacket. I don’t see why I don’t deserve it, I have been working very hard! Here is the perfect one from Spell Designs…a company I am completely and utterly obsessed with! This beauty is number 1 on my birthday wish list…take note.

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THE BEACH

I have yet to do a photo shoot at the beach but I’m feeling very inspired to shoot there. With my Spring/Summer collection nearly finished, I can’t help but start brainstorming my photo shoot.

There is a romantic and sexy allure about the ocean. It offers a sense of freedom, a little danger, excitement, and peace. Here are a few of my photo shoot musings…we’ll see where this takes me.

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LET IT GROW

It’s been well over one year since I chopped off my extra long locks. I didn’t realize how much I missed my long hair until I was in Hawaii. No hair product even compares to a day swimming in the ocean, and it’s better if it’s long and wild.

While I loved sporting a shorter cut, I’m going to let it grow out for summer beach days…but I’m keeping the bangs!

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COLLECTION INSPIRATION

I know this sounds crazy, but I am already working on my Fall 2013 collection. I am thrilled to be participating in my first real trade show in February and I’m busily getting my collection together.

One of my favorite parts is styling and staging the photo shoot…no surprise there! I haven’t quite figured out the direction yet, but I am completely inspired by this photo. Now, we’ll see where it goes.
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RE-DESIGN DAY-DREAMS

I have said over and over that once my holidays trunk shows are finished, I was going to start working on my house. Well, the shows are over, but the house project may have to be put on the back burner for another few months while winter rain (and endless mud) ease up.

Since my time is limited with my busy schedule (and because once I start I won’t be able to stop until it’s finished) I’ll spend the next month surfing the web and obsessing over Pinterest until I make it to Home Depot for paint!

Now, I just need permission from my landlords to transform my cozy ranch house into a more contemporary hideaway! Here are some of my favorite ideas to dream about over the weekend.

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I am obsessed with dark navy…and I love the idea of painting the outside of the house dark, with light trim.

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Loving the wallpaper for the bathroom. It’s small enough so it won’t be too overwhelming.

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Mixing the textiles is lovely. I can’t do a headboard, but I my Moroccan rug looks pretty similar…I just need a few bright pops of color.

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A wall of horse shoes would be amazing!

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I love the idea of painting one wall a rich dark color, just to pop the couch. Now, I just need to put on my new white couch cover!

DUBARRY DREAMS

Living in Santa Barbara doesn’t offer up much weather. The past couple weeks of rain have been welcome, as were the brisk days we had the last week. Even though I will be in California for the holidays, I am programmed to think of a blanket of snow, a warm sweater, comfy boots to muck around in, and a glass of Albert’s booze filled eggnog in hand.

After 6 years, my Hunter boots have seen their last rainy season (and my Minnetonka’s can’t handle the snow.) I have decided that my next boot investment will be in a beautiful pair of Dubarry’s. I became a little obsessed with them in England, and decided that I need a pair. Honestly, what’s not to love!

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The Dubarry Equestrian Boot

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The Dubarry Country Boot.

FOR LOVE OF SO DE MEL

Living in Southern California, and traveling to a lot of beach destinations, means investing in the perfect bikini is critical. Enter So De Mel! Ever since I bought my first bikini from Sonia, the amazing Brazilian swimwear designer, I was hooked. I am now officially obsessed with the Kate Bikini which has become a weekend and suitcase staple.

I am so thrilled she will be participating in my Holiday Trunk Show tomorrow. Come check out her amazing swimwear and take a sneak peek at her 2013 collection! What goes better with a beautiful handbag more than a hot bikini? The answer…nothing! See you dolls tomorrow.

374830_10150477641594798_801327711_nPhoto via So De Mel

MY PERFECT BLACK FRIDAY

I am sure everyone has their vision of black friday, but I warn you, mine is a bit different. Enter my fashion fantasy black friday.

In the form of celebrating the holidays and chilly temps in style, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t absolutely LOVE to have these beauties in my closet…Perhaps it’s time to write my list for Santa. After all, I have been a very good girl this year.

A black hair on hide bag with fringe and studs from ERLG…Hot!

A beautiful black sweater and wardrobe staple.

100% fabulous!

A token black lace gown…for good measure of course.

PILLOW TALK…IT CONTINUES

I have a secret love affair with pillows, especially the ones I have made over the years. In addition to my love of pillows comes my love of textiles. I have collected blankets and fabrics from across the world which have seamlessly made their way into my decor.

In January, I am taking the plunge and I’m going to redesign my house. Unfortunately, some of the things that will be replaced are the throw pillows on my bed and couch. I already have a few tricks up my sleeve for the couches (leather of course,) but for the bed, I am mad for this beautiful Navajo bolster. Let the hunt begin!

SWEATER DAY

It FINALLY feels like fall! I’ll admit it was a bit shocking last night to see how dramatically the temperature changed from Monday – Friday, but I welcome it. If I owned this awesome Isabel Marant sweater, I would welcome the change of season even more…and I would put it on right now as I dash out the door to take Milo for a little stroll…It may go on my list for Santa! Happy Saturday.

OH CHAMBRAY

Is there anything better than a chambray shirt? I say no!

In my opinion, the classic chambray shirt symbolizes ease and comfort without losing its sexy attributes. I have a flare for tomboy style and often would wear my man’s white button ups over fitted jeans and great boots. Hot!

I have been on the hunt for a new chambray shirt for my upcoming trip to Hawaii and I think I have finally found it (but I’m not going to jinx myself incase the store is sold out.) It can be dressed up, worn it with shorts, thrown over my bikini, or even to bed. I can’t wait to get my hands on mine today!

WINTER WHITES

I have a mild obsession with white clothes. I know it sounds a bit strange, but I love the light, classic, and elegant look of white. I have never followed the “no white pants after Labor Day” rule, and I’ll certainly have no problem busting them out this month in  Hawaii, or for that matter, Thanksgiving dinner.

Living in Central California, our winters are short and pretty mild. I always try to pick a couple pieces each season that I can wear all year long, and right now I am coveting white and natural sweaters. In sticking to my love of soft neutrals, I’ll forge ahead into the brisk winter days feeling very fresh. Regardless of where I travel this year, you can never go wrong with a great white sweater!

Of course you need a Cheyenne Weekender to carry with you!

THE PERFECT CLOAK

I have died and gone to cloak heaven. I know we are supposed to be getting another heat wave, but at some point cooler temps weather will come knocking at our door. When that happens, I’ll be ready.

I am drooling, and mildly obsessed, with Lindsey Thornburg’s stunning wool cloak made from Pendleton’s Los Ojos blanket. Yes, that’s right, a Pendleton cloak. This stunner has just hit the top of my winter wish list.

A LITTLE BLACK OUTFIT

In Santa Barbara we don’t get much change in terms of weather. After a teaser of rain this week, it made me realize how much I’m missing the brisk temperatures of autumn.

To fill my void, I have turned to my favorite online friend…yes, Pinterest, to live vicariously through the beautiful ladies in wool pea coats, chunky sweaters, and black pants.

Here are some of my favorite little black outfits I would love to don for a weekend getaway. Follow my “The Look” board on Pinterest for more of my favorites.

Tight black pants and a relaxed tee…brilliant combo.It’s effortless. My faux leather pants from Zara should be arriving any day!

I’m not afraid to say I have a pair of  leg warmers, and I do happen love how this looks. Never would I dare wear it, but I love the way it looks here.

A Dazzle Clutch form ERLG.

BRIGHT POPS

If you look in my closet you will see denim…(an embarrassing amount) white shirts, plaid flannels, black and navy blouses, and a lot of brown. What can I say, I’m a safe dresser and stick to my classic basics to get me through the season.

That being said, two of my favorite colors are yellow and red. Though I rarely wear them, I love them. Earlier this summer I was lucky enough to snatch up some of the most beautiful cherry red and butter yellow leather. It’s some of the softest and most beautiful leather I have gotten my mitts on, and I am so excited to add some bright pops of color to my collection.

I am happy that I’m not the only one who will pop a bright accessory to shake things up. Stay tuned for the new bright bags…coming soon!

BLACK LEATHER

I’m not a rock and roller. I’m not edgy, and I’m not urban in any way. But that didn’t stop me from purchasing a new pair of Free People’s Rocker Vegan Leather Pants for fall! I am so excited to wear these sexy cropped zipper pants with oversized sweaters, denim shirts, or just a plain white v-neck tee…and heels of course.! Now, if it would just cool down, and I had some place to go… hmmm.

Here are a few of my favorite leather pant looks from my Pinterest board – The Look.

SOLE-FUL

I gave it another go…and made another pair of shoes. I must say, these turned out MUCH better than my first pair, but, this is still a practice in trial and error. If I stop practicing than I’ll never get any better, and I have a lot of dolls wanting some shoes.

These little puppies are going to the most soulful and cool 16-year-old girl I know. So, Miss Sophie, I hope they fit…(and don’t fall apart!)

HEAT WAVE

We are about to enter our first real “heat wave” of the summer. While I can’t complain about the hot temps, warm nights, and dry air, I feel like when the temps soar, I become a little uncomfortable in my clothes. All I want to strip down into my bikini, take refuge under my umbrella, read a good book, and drink iced tea (ok…I’m lying, I want to drink rose.)

As that all sounds good, I don’t get to do any of it until after 5pm! So, what to wear on these searing hot days? In keeping with my summer whites look that I love, I took to my Pinterest  boards for a little hot weather inspiration to get me going for the next 2 weeks.

VIVA LA FIESTA

Every August Santa Barbara turns into a “Fiesta” party to celebrate Old Spanish Days! Town is a buzz with people, confetti eggs, live music, dancing, drinking, and my personal favorite, the Fiesta Rodeo. Unfortunately I don’t get to dress to the nines and ride Paco in the parade this year (next year for sure) but I won’t miss out on the 5 day celebration.

After all, what’s August in Santa Barbara without finding confetti all over your house for the next month, or 2? Viva La!

SAFARI LOOKS

It’s no surprise my Fall 2012 collection is based on my recent trip to Africa. One of my all time favorite parts of each season is planning and styling my photo shoots. Of course I love making the bags, but there is something incredibly cool about seeing the collection as a whole, styled beautifully. I love the sense I have created a lifestyle which encompass the bags. The satisfaction of seeing my entire season transform from start to finish makes all the hard work so gratifying.

I have the bulk of my wardrobe picked out, the location set, and the scene in the works, but it’s always fun to get some extra inspiration. Here are some of my favorite safari looks from my “Safari Dreams” Pinterest board.

FEELING THE SOLE

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, “A cowgirl wakes up early in the morning, decides what she’s going to do, and does it!”

Well, yesterday I decided to make shoes. Why not add one more project to the pile?  They are in need of some fine tuning, but I gave it a go and am very excited to see them evolve. We’ll see what comes next but I have a few tricks up my sleeve, after all, a girl can never have too many pairs of shoes.

BANGS OR NO BANGS?

I have been a creature of habit my entire life. If I feel something looks good, I don’t change it (which is why I am always in flare leg jeans!) Nevertheless, I always like to mix up my look and do something fun each season.

Last September, I finally took the plunge and chopped 8″ off my long locks. After years of wearing my hair extremely long, I needed a change. The time has come once more, where I feel a change is necessity. Now the question is…bangs or no bangs? We’ll see what happens on Saturday!

VACATION LOOKS

Ok, I have been trying to keep my upcoming vacation under wraps, but I can’t hold the excitement in for a minute longer. This weekend I am headed on a 3 week journey to England, South Africa, and France. It will be an absolutely fantastic trip, but now I have to pack!

Here are some of my favorite looks that will inspire my travel packing…a little bit…there is just too many cute things to bring!

Perfect for wandering around Paris during the day. It will also look great with my cobalt blue clutch.

A great outfit for Africa. I’ll just need a sweater because it’s going to be a little chilly and my burnt red saddle bag I just made:)

I love the stripes. This look is so seamless, it can be worn anywhere.

A great white blouse and a faded pair of  jeans are beautiful anywhere!

RAINY DAYS DON’T GET ME DOWN

I can’t wait for a rainy day. I have zero guilt about a movie marathon and spending the full day making bags.  I finished 4 bags today in preparation for my photo shoot this weekend as I managed to check off some movies from my Netflix instant queue.

The bags are stacking up, the sun will be shinning, and the location is set, now  it’s time to hammer down the wardrobe! Who knows what I’ll end up with, but here is a look I love!

HOT PINK

If you ask my friends what my favorite color is, most would say yellow, turquoise, brown, and red. Nobody would say pink. I love feminine touches, but I have always left the color pink in the hands of my mom.

That being said, I am finding myself strangely drawn to this cheerful and bold color for my spring collection. I was just stalking my friend Beca’s Pinterest boards and her blog, Bougainvilla Dreams, and decided this blissful color needs to make a showing in my collection. Now….the fun begins!

YOUR BEST ACCESSORY

Sometimes all you have to do is put a smile on your face and add a basket to your bike. It’s that simple, really. But start with the smile, it can light up a room and be your most stylish accessories.

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CLOSET?

One of the (major) perks of managing a clothing store, is that you never have to worry about what you are going to wear…from you own closet. For 5 days a week, I have outfitted myself in clothes that don’t belong to me, and now, my closet is quite pathetic. Sure, I have pieces here and there that are redeemable, but for the most part, pathetic!

Next week I am stepping down from my management role and realized I have nothing to wear! I’ll still be working at the store as a visual merchandiser, but for the most part, I’ll be making bags and building my business. I’ll need key pieces that can withstand sitting on the floor, moving furniture around, getting dirty without having to be dry-cleaned, and most importantly, cute!

Here are a few ‘Looks I Love’ from my Pinterest board. I am not one who follows trends, but I know all of these outfits would look amazing with my Crowheart Saddle Bag with Fringe, or my Cowgirl Clutch! If anything, it’ll give me a little inspiration when I go shopping.

I love the chambray with the denim. I wouldn’t dare bare that much leg at the store, but I still love it!

Relaxed and easy! I would ditch the sunglasses.

I love flare jeans almost as much as I love stripes! Add the espadrilles and I’ll be ready to go. Very 70’s.

SO DE MEL…SO GOOD

Trying on bikinis in February is never fun. However, when my sweetheart and I decided to take a sunny desert holiday, I knew it was time to pick up a couple new bikinis from my friend Sonia, the creator of So De Mel.

Perhaps I am used to being in a bikini since I live by the beach, but So De Mel suits are the most comfortable, flattering, and sexy bikinis I have ever worn (and I have worn a LOT of bikinis). Sonia, a fabulous Brazilian, has mastered the design of beautiful swimwear. As my collection continues to grow, I urge all the beach babes out there to run, not walk, to pick up one of her bikinis!

BLUSH

I’m a creature of habit. Every time I style a shoot, I pull similar looks while keeping it clean and natural. Tonight I am pulling looks for my shoot and I’m determined to break outside my box whites and creams…or I”ll try. One color that goes extremely unnoticed is blush. I’ll admit, this shade doesn’t look good on everyone, but it’s feminine, natural, and beautiful against a rugged backdrop.

A FLORAL DRESS

Yesterday, I nailed down the location for my Spring photo shoot. Now that I have that covered, it’s time to pick wardrobe!

I recently found this photo on Pinterest, one of my new favorite sites. I love everything about this photo: the dress, the jewels, the unruly hair, and of course, the leather wrapped walking stick! I’d throw a Hair on Hide Cheyenne Weekender on her shoulder and she’d be ready for whichever adventure awaits her. I hope she is wearing a killer pair of boots.

UNTAMED HEART

I love making inspiration boards for my photo shoots each season. It’s always fun to get styling ideas that encourage me to think outside the box. Even if I can’t find her dress (or use the lion) this photo is beautiful and gets my motors running!  The only thing she is missing is a cross body messenger bag and a cowboy hat!

BEFORE AND AFTER – THE STUDIO PROJECT

I don’t procrastinate in the slightest bit. Sometimes I wish I did, but unfortunately, that is not how I’m programmed. Once I made the decision to create a practical studio office (that is actually functional) it was go time. I stripped my office to the bare minimum and didn’t stop until I was finished. 3 days, new furniture, tons of trash, and a couple massive blisters later, I’m ready to open my doors to anyone who wants to come up, peek at my inventory, and order some bags. Now you can actually see the leather selection I have.

Here are my before and after shots. I’m sure I’ll keep tweaking it, but it’s as good as it can be for right now! (Don’t judge the photography, it’s either really dark, or really bright in this room.)

BEFORE:

My hutch was full of leather. I couldn’t see any of it in the deep, dark abyss. There are no words for the baskets that are filled with fabric, bags that are started, and bags that are finished. I found so many missing bits and pieces once I rummaged through it all. All I can say is “LOW POINT!”

Mid move. It looked like a bomb had gone off! I literally thew everything, and I mean everything I had under my desk so I could break down my sewing table and move out the hutch. I don’t recommend doing this alone, it’s not easy.

I have mastered the art of building book cases. Next time, I’ll buy the drill before I start, rather than after. Thanks Dad!

AFTER:

Wow, I can actually see the beautiful leather and amazing fabric that I have!

Everything has a place, finally, with the exception of a few bags that need to be shipped out.

A proper desk that I can sit at to work. What a brilliant concept.

I am sure I’ll never actually make a bag in this beautiful room, but at least I know where everything is and I can see my materials. I am very inspired to get to work.

DAYDREAMING ON A FRIDAY MORNING

I woke this morning with the overwhelming urge to throw my bikini, a great book, and some sundresses into a bag and dash across the world.

This week has been so busy with company, reworking my studio, building furniture, making bags, and lets not forget my day job. I am desperate for some heat on my body, lots of guilt free lounging, and a little (or a lot of ) simplicity.

If I could go anywhere in the world today, I would have to choose this beautiful country house in Portugal. It seems so peaceful and quite…and beautifully styled. There is a 50-50 chance I wouldn’t leave. Who’s with me?

STUDIO MAKEOVER

There is only one word to describe my studio right now and that is, embarrassing! Ok, I may need to add unorganized, messy, wrecked, and lets not forget 100% unusable. There are two times a year where I slip into major nesting mode, now is certainly one of those times. I have deep urge to repaint my walls, buy all new furniture, and reorganize everything in my house.

Since I can’t do all of that this month, I will start with my studio. One of the difficulties of working from home is the ability to spread out, everywhere! I usually start in the living room, make my way outside to my patio, then head to my cutting table. At some point I end up in the grass to punch holes and stitch, then I make my way back inside to the living room. Never do I use my so-called studio because it’s unusable (and who would choose to be inside when you can be outside?)

This weekend, I am going to get myself organized…or at least start! I have a few ideas up my sleeve but I’ll save the before and after shots for when it actually happens. Until then, I am gathering inspiration and we’ll see where it takes me.

I wonder what it would be like to actually see all my leather?

I love how visible the supplies are. They are so nicely organized on perfect shelves! This table could be a cutting table, sewing table, or act as my desk. It’s perfect, and even has a nook for my sewing machine!

A BED IN A FIELD

The moment we arrived in Africa we were giddy, plain and simple. Upon arriving at our first lodge, we quickly settled ourselves into our room before retreating to the fire pit for a much-needed glass (ok bottle) of wine. While the giggles began the second we landed, nothing could have prepared us for what happened when we returned to our room.

The reason I went to Africa (as most of you know by now) was to clear my head after my wedding was called off. So, to my delight, when I opened the door to our room, I almost started crying from laughter at the sight of the most enormous display of tulle I have ever seen. I looked at Betsy and said, “How fitting, our room has become a giant veil!” That was it. Game over. We couldn’t contain ourselves, it was just too ironic. Lucky for us we got to relive that moment at each and every lodge we stayed in for the next 9 nights!

There was no doubt I had to incorporate Betsy’s beautiful bed into my shoot, and it was simply stunning…veil and all!

GO ON…TELL ME NO

It’s shouldn’t be news to anyone at this point that I like to think big. So, for my fall shoot, everyone thought I was nuts for wanting to build a safari tent. I had so many people telling me it couldn’t be done, that the materials wouldn’t hold the canvas, that I should rent a tent or find a location, and that it was such a big job and so much work for a 3 hour shoot.

Well my friends, the more you tell me I can’t do something, the harder I try to prove you wrong. Though I would have loved to make a 3 sided wall tent, we needed the light so I turned my tent into a beautiful canopy.

The shoot was a huge success. Now, everyone can stop telling me no! It just encourages me to prove you wrong (and I don’t need any more encouragement!)

The stakes are up!

The beams are secure!

The canvas is sewn.

The canopy is…sort of…up. Milo was very pleased to have the shade and I’m thankful it didn’t fall over. It’s not easy to hang that much fabric alone…on a ladder.

My lovely outdoor sitting room…which will stay up for a few days because it’s awesome! Betsy and I did have a couple of beers in the tent, enjoying it completely.

After the shoot…Mission accomplished. It was AMAZING and I can’t wait to share the collection with everyone.

Of course, none of it would have been possible without the help of a couple amazing people. You know who you are and I won’t embarrass you with a shout out…maybe in a future post.

SAFARI TENTS

The countdown has officially begun for my Fall 2012 photo shoot. I am beyond excited about this shoot for so many reasons, but my number one reason is that I am going to build a safari tent! Yup, that is actually going to happen and I can’t wait to sleep in it for a few nights before the shoot!

My make shift spread will certainly not look as awesome as these AMAZING tents, but there is nothing wrong with a little extra (ok a TON) of inspiration. Stay tuned to see how my tent unfolds, and hopefully stays up!

MONDAY MUSINGS

I woke up this morning to beautiful skies, birds chirping, and Milo curled up in a ball next to me. It was a lovely way to start my week. However, I couldn’t help but dream that I was somewhere balmy, tropical, sexy and very far away. Of course it would be wonderful to have a lovely and adoring man by my side…like I said, I couldn’t help but dream!

Yes, I would like to have my morning coffee here this morning!

And take my morning shower, or afternoon, or evening shower here!

 But I settled for a walk on the beach in to start off the day.

THE FARMHOUSE

I feel like I am living in Pinterest! Betsy and I just arrived in England and were met with a pleasant surprise…the Sun! I would like to think we brought it!

After an extremely entertaining flight from LAX – LHR, our dear friend Mike picked us up and we drove out to his family’s most beautiful farmhouse.  This is my first trip to England (crazy right?) and I feel right at home!

A view from the backyard.

The most fabulous Land Rover…ever!

The chicken coop!

Farmhouse Kitchen with handmade pottery by Mike’s talented wife Claire.

Love the fridge, love the stove!

_______________________________________

PATIO TIME: April 2012

It’s almost time to put all the patio furniture back out, spruce up the deck, tend to the garden, and enjoy the pleasures of outdoor life! I am so excited to start some new gardening projects and get my yard into tip top shape for the months ahead. I can just picture myself with a big (massive really) glass of vino after a long day. Yes, I see it coming.

OH LOVELY TEXTILES

I have a love affair with graphic textiles. My abode  has many varieties including a 2 bold chevron stripe rugs (one is hot pink),  zigzag Moroccan rugs, a few Navajo blankets draped here and there, and a healthy stack of stripe blankets.  I swear it’s not tacky and most of them are in neutral colors!

Over the years I have collected and received textiles from around the globe. My goal is to design a fabulous woven bag made from a worn out rug, unused trimmings, or, I’ll finally take the scissors to an old textile in my fabric bin.

Until then, I’ll drool over my vision board wishing for a bigger house (so I can get more rugs). Here are some of my favorite textiles for spring that get me excited about beach days, travel, and picnics.

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