DIY · Jewelry · Style

DIY Leather Earrings

DIY Leather Earrings ::

I’m on a leather kick these days. I keep thinking of projects I want to make out of recycled leather. Which is good, because one of my recent ongoing projects started out like this:


A free leather couch that comes with a really long, crazy story. I want to tell you all about it, but I’m going to wait until the BIG project I’m planning is finished. I’m just not sure when that’s going to be because I keep hitting snags. But it’s coming. I promise.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about some other things I’d like to do with recycled leather, and earrings was high up there.

I’ve seen leather earrings online for years now, but I never thought about making them myself. Then my friend, Christy, made a pair, and I loved them. And I remembered some leather I thrifted years ago for just this kind of thing. (I was on a leather kick then, too, when I made this clutch from a thrifted leather jacket. I still use that clutch all the time, and it’s one of my most visited projects here on the blog.)

I bought this coat, thinking it might make another great clutch, but as is the story of my life, I never got around to it because other projects and ideas got in the way.

DIY Leather Earrings ::

But, when you want to make a pair of earrings YESTERDAY ALREADY, the coat hanging in your closet seems perfect. I chopped off a sleeve and got to work.

DIY Leather Earrings ::

I was going to free-hand an almond shape, but then I spied a wire hoop I made when practicing for these earrings, so I traced it onto cardstock and cut it out.

DIY Leather Earrings ::

I used a Sharpie on the back of the leather to trace around the cardstock.

DIY Leather Earrings ::

I cut them out with a regular pair of scissors, then I used an awl to poke a hole at the tops for the ear wire. I made my own ear hooks out of gold filled wire and added them on.

DIY Leather Earrings ::

The whole process took less than 5 minutes, so I decided to make some more!


The back of the red leather has a dark orange tint, so I made a pair of those.


They look great with the new Mets hat I just bought for Little League games.


Then I tried a cut-out pair.

DIY Leather Earrings ::

I really like how these turned out!

DIY Leather Earrings ::

Now, I’ve been trying to clean that “free” tan couch for over a week. (Husband says, based on the amount of labor we’ve put into it, it can no longer be called “free”.)

As of Monday afternoon, I had a tiny piece of the tan leather that’s perfectly usable, so I made a pair of earrings out of that, too.

DIY Leather Earrings ::

These might be my favorites. But the orange ones are a very close second.

If the BIG leather project doesn’t end up working out, I’m going to have A LOT of leather to work with, so, friends and relatives, you might be getting a pair of these for birthdays and Christmases for years to come. Hope you like tan!


etsy shop · Jewelry · Style

Caftans + Bold Earrings

It was a cloudy, rainy weekend here in Northern California. I am NOT complaining – we NEED rain, I LOVE rain, I look forward to dark, gray days to light candles and dig out blankets and feel cozy and wintery. Plus, it’s been pretty cold, so it FEELS like winter, finally.


I’m also starting to think a little bit about spring. The Boy started baseball last week, and The Girl is running barefoot everywhere as if it already were sunny and warm. We’re starting to sign up for summer camps. The REALLY warm weather will be here before we know it. I think it’s the perfect time to consider….

…a caftan!



This is the first one I found YEARS ago. I didn’t even know what it was (a robe? a nightgown? something from another country?) But the embroidery was so lovely – I’m a sucker for good needlework – that I had to have it.

Turns out, they are perfect for warmer weather because the long, loose fabric billows away from the body and keeps you cool.

(For a brief history of the caftan, check out this article.)



I fell for this one because of its cross-stitch design, a skill I used to be pretty good at back in elementary school. The gradient of color played out in tiny stitched X’s is just so great.




This one’s perfect for spring – bright coral with white embroidery.



This one is my favorite – a soft chambray with thick white cotton embroidery thread. I think this is the one I’m going to keep. The rest will be going in my Etsy shop this week. (And I’m always on the lookout for more, so I’ll add more as I find them.)


And aren’t they fun with big, bold earrings?


I’ve been playing around with a couple of different earring designs lately – a 3-tier drop and a big almond shape. Both designs feature upcycled vintage beads I’ve found at antique shops and thrift stores. Because most of the beads are vintage acrylic, they are fairly lightweight and easy to wear.



You can check out these and more earring designs over in my Etsy shop. (Click on photos above for more details.)

So, would you wear a caftan? If I invited you to Caftan Party? (It’s a thing – see here and here.)


five things · joy · quotes

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday! Happy March!

February was fun here on the blog. I posted more consistently, and I love that. Blogging here is a combination of some of my favorite things – doing projects, writing, pretending I’m a graphic designer, editing photos, and playing with words. It just makes me happy.

One night last week, at 8:15, Husband said, “I’m going to bed to read. Are you going to blog?” I said, “Well, I have vintage outfit photos I wanted to post…Do you think it’s silly?” And he said, “Do you enjoy it? Does it make you happy?” Yes. “Then you should do it. It’s not silly if it brings you joy.” Truth.

Then this week happened. I can’t even tell you what exactly happened, but things got CRAZY! Choir, karate, dance, homework, baseball, baseball, baseball, baseball (that’s one for each practice and one for the scorekeeper training I attended). We are so fortunate that one of BB’s buddies is on the team, so we’ve been carpooling, and it’s been a HUGE help, but WOW. Spring is crazy.

Husband and I have been making time after the kids are in bed to sit and chat, no screens or phones, just to catch up (and compare schedules, too). We remembered how crazy last spring was, so we started thinking about what we could cut since we’ve added so much new. The next morning, we talked to BB about putting some activities on hold for now and picking them back up during the summer. He is totally on board – for him, baseball is what he loves.

It’s a good lesson for me, too: how¬†freeing and clarifying it feels to choose only the things that you really love for a season. I wonder how different I would feel if I did this in more areas of my life – to pick a particular hobby or a particular goal and not try to do everything all the time. But I also realize that I can’t do this with all aspects of life because things I don’t love – like laundry and getting the oil changed and cleaning out my inbox – would never happen, and having no clean clothes and a car that doesn’t run and missing deadlines would feel like the opposite of joy.

But for right now, I’m choosing what I love – writing down my thoughts and sharing things that have sparked joy in my life – with you.

Here are some things on my mind this week:

1. Art Projects. I volunteered to coordinate the Art Auction project for BB’s class. I went down the rabbit hole of “art auction projects” – and I found some pretty cool things that I want to make – just for me! Here are some kid-friendly projects that are inspiring me to get out my paints and brushes and scissors and paper (click on the photos to see the tutorials):

bottle cap art

Apparently this piece is made with plastic bottle caps!! (I can’t find the original post – just a chain of Pinterest images. If I find it, I’ll link it here.)


I explored this artist’s website – she has some great tutorials to inspire you to get painting.


I like the idea of making a paper quilt.


I love this Matisse-inspired one – it would be fun to make for BG’s room.

(And I STILL haven’t done the big abstract I want in my living room that I talked about here. I think it would be a great family project to work on. Maybe after baseball is over….)


2. Keeping a Diary/Journaling/Processing through Writing. Ever since the new year, I’ve been trying to keep track of my days in my journal. I like having the everyday little pieces recorded to look back on and see what we did, how far we’ve come. I came across this article by Austin Kleon (who I got to meet a few summers ago when my mom and I went to a lecture and book signing). A lot of good ideas here. I also just started a journaling class at my church that I’m really enjoying, too. I’m excited by the idea of journaling as a spiritual practice because I process a lot through writing. I’ve always loved that Joan Didion quote: “I don’t know what I think until I write it down.”

3. This sewing video. Some of us – especially Husband and The Girl – are obsessed with Tasty videos. The two of them pile up in one chair and scroll through them daily. And they’ve found some pretty good recipes. But this is more my thing. Show me simple tricks – and hand-stitching! – and I’ll watch for hours.

When I walk, I have an empty, happy brain, and I see things. Maira Kalman

4. This quote. Found here.

5. True Facts. We may be very late to the party, but Husband and I stayed up late watching these, and we were dying. So so funny. (Not suitable for kids – but here are the kid-friendly versions that started us down this trail.)

What are you up to this weekend? The next two weekends are CAH-RA-ZEE! I can’t even figure out how we’re going to do it all. But in the midst of the crazy, I’m hoping (and I hope for you) to¬†enjoy a long walk, time to reflect, time to create, and time to laugh. Thanks for reading!