I used to keep these two beautiful little paintings as part of my display at Ethical Clothing in Petaluma. People kept asking to purchase them and I finally took them down because I was afraid someone was going to pinch them. I love their sweetness and authenticity. And they just plain make me happy. Which is why, I suppose, everyone is drawn to them. I asked the artist if she wouldn't be kind enough to paint some more that I could put in my little shop - and she did! Her name is Phoebe Brookes. I think she is an amazing artist. And I am biased, because she is also my beautiful sister. Here is a sample of what is available here.
Another batch of clutches for Urban Air Market - September 16th!
This one is sitting out in the sun to get a nice patina, and also to mold the bottom out a little so you can fit more goodies inside. The leather is from Hermann Oaks Leather in St. Louis - which I am completely happy with because, as you know, over here at Pennyroyal we are all about American manufacturing! Oh yeah!! All the little strings still need to be hand sewn in, but I think ,all in all, it is a good looking and functional clutch. Nice and sturdy, too. Because you would not want your pretty little night-time goodies to go flying out all over the side walk!
A friend asked me today if I had thought about dying the leather with tarragon or alkanet, which is funny, because I was just wondering earlier in the day if it would be possible to use my favorite dye combination - logwood + iron - to get the leather a nice grey color. I am going to test it out next week. See what kind of mess I can make. Hopefully a beautiful one!
And...I am on Twitter now. PennyroyalCA. I am still trying to work out the language - and what the heck I am suppose to tweet about! But people said I should do it, so what the heck. There I am.
Ta ta for now. Enjoy the weekend. Love your friends. Kiss your family.
Here are some quick peeks of new bags that will be available at Urban Air Market on September 16th. The top one is made from beautiful Horween leather which is made in Chicago. It is a nice big bucket tote with an inside pocket out of woollen plaid. The leather is butter soft, but nice and thick. The second is a Pennyroyal standard carryall with a sturdy leather bottom made from leather from Hermann Oak tannery in St Lois. It is vegetable tanned and will patina with sun exposure and with use. The bottom picture is another fringe-close carryall made from a new super small batch of woollen plaid from Cotswald Woollen Mill. I put a little leather pocket on the front - I was thinking lipstick, but you can say Chapstick if you are a guy. I only have 3 of these.
And sticking with the Pennyroyal spirit of contributing to and assisting in the rebirth of American Manufacturing, a great poster put out by a fantastic company - Made Movement. Check them out here. In their words..."Made is a marketing agency dedicated to supporting a resurgence in American manufacturing." Sweet, right!!! And while you are there, check out their shop - Made Collection. All sorts of cool things to peruse.
Last but not least - the shop is allllllllmmmmmmoooooooooossssssssst ready. Really. Swear.
That is it for now - back to the industrial machine! Vroom vroom. xoxo
Pennyroyal's latest bag. This one is made from naturally hand dyed hemp summercloth and embellished with lots of hand stitching. It has the multi-strap handles and a little vintage skeleton key closure. It was super fun to make - much for free-form than my others. Still super sturdy to carry all your goods. Lined with ticking.
I hope to make some more of these for the upcoming Urban Air Market in San Francisco on September 16. Check out their site - you can get a sneak peek of all the designers that will be there - and then come on by and say hello!! Hope to see you all there! xoxox
A new clutch. Made with organic wool that has been naturally hand dyed by me. The wool is from Woolgatherer Carding Mill. You can read about what they do here. Lined with hemp summercloth. Little leather straps to tie it up. Big brass zipper. Approximately 14" wide and 10" high. You will be able to purchase one in the new shop next week.
A LITTLE STORY. A TAD TOO LONG-WINDED. BUT I COULDN'T LEAVE ANY OF IT OUT.
I was/am ramping up to get my F/W 12 line ready for the Urban Air Market in September. I began looking for fabrics and wool for some great new bags, pillows and other accoutrements. I started out at my local fabric store. And this is where it begins. The questions that led to the quest. The quest that led to the commitment. The commitment that has me completely fired up and inspired.
Why is everything made overseas? Do we not grow cotton here? Do we no longer have cotton mills? Do we no longer have woollen mills? And if we do, where are they?
I began to hunt for fabrics made from cotton grown, spun and woven right here at home. And I began the hunt for wool grown, scrubbed and milled right here - at home. Not as easy as it might seem.
I am happy to report, mission accomplished. Yes indeed. I found fabric from organic cotton - grown, spun and milled here in the U.S. And I found wool milled in Norther California from sheep living on organic farms in Oregon and California. More local than even I dared to dream.
THE COMMITMENT AND THE VALUE BEHIND IT
And so the commitment has been made. To source as much raw materials as possible from mills and farms right here. In America. Where we live. Where people are trying desperately to find work. Where families are hungry and poor because we have decided, in our infinite wisdom, that profit is king. And we have chased that ideal for so long that those mills and farms that used to supply us with beautiful cotton fabrics and beautiful woollen weaves, and those mills that used to employ entire towns, are gone. Is the profit worth it? I don't think so. I - in the immortal words of my Mum - am done!
From now on when you purchase a Pennyroyal product you will see exactly where every piece of your purchase came from. Everything will be clearly labeled. Down to the very last brass screw in post. Which, apparently, we do not make in America anymore.
And so I begin another phase of Pennyroyal. A deepening of my craft. A narrowing of my focus. I will pay more for fabric milled in America. I will pay more for our own organic cotton. I will pay more for leather lovingly oil tanned here at home. And I will pay quite a bit more for the gorgeous organic wool that will be arriving on my door any day now. Ready for me to dye in some of the lovely plant, mineral - and now insect! - dyes in my workshop. Funny how things start like that. It all started with the label on a bolt of fabric.
One of two chairs I recently finished here at Pennyroyal Design. I think it turned out rather well. The next project involves a beautiful teak mid-century modern couch. I will be hand dying and stitching the fabric for all 6 cushions. Slightly more ambitious, I would say.
On a different note...one of the things we strive for here at Pennyroyal is to have our raw products be as natural as possible with the smallest carbon footprint possible. That being said, it has been extremely difficult to find fabrics made here in the US. The majority of it coming from China. After much hunting and some dismay over the loss not only our farms but our mills, I finally found a source not only for US grown, spun and milled organic cotton but also organic wool Melton! Yeah! I have some on order already and am really excited to begin working with it!
hemp cotton blend infinity scarf naturally hand dyed with indigo and held together with a little leather tie - here.
and another one - here.
another large tote bag in a dark woolen plaid. This one has a really beautiful fringe. Here.
and my favorite fabric in a very sweet tote. Here.
Some more goods in the gallery. Now...if I could just find an easy way to get the shop up and running!!! To say that the process is frustrating would be putting it mildly. However, as of tomorrow you will be able to find my goods at an actual brick and mortar store in Noe Valley, San Francisco. Details...tomorrow.
Be well. xoxo
It has been very, very busy around here, therefore, no blogging. Getting ready for the UniqueSF show was a lot-lot-lot of work. But, I did it. And I had a great time. It was, I would have to say, a success. One of my bags was even featured in the Unique ad they ran in the SF Weekly. So that felt pretty good. I have enjoyed a couple weeks off with the wee ones playing in the beautiful California sun shine and now...back to work. Starting on the 20th of this month you will be able to find my bags and some home furnishings at Loft1513 in Noe Valley, San Francisco. And the new site with online shop will be up and running in a couple of weeks. The online shop will be filled with lots of new designs and some brand new products which I am very happy with. But, today, I am going to share some snap shots from around our home. Enjoy the sunshine, wherever you are.
A new chair I have been working on for a while and a large stack of beautiful, over-sized floor pillows with leather handles - one of the new items that will be available in the shop.
another market bag - this one with a large leather fold over fringe to keep your goodies safe
and some big, free-form floor pillows made with naturally hand dyed fabric and kapok stuffing
For the past couple weeks I have been keeping busy out in the garden - which is looking especially pretty this year, I must say. But now it is time to come in and start sewing again. I have some new materials to play with - virgin wool for stuffing, lots of different hemp fabrics and even some raw linen - as in, not even washed linen. Hours of fun! I have a whole list of goodies I will be offering towards the end of June including lots of naturally hand dyed linen napkins, linen floor pillows, linen and woolen bags, tea towels and some other surprises. I am also opening a new on-line shop, so keep your eyes open for that. But for now, back outside because it is so very beautiful today. Be well. xoxo
I made this bag today out of the natural linen I had on hand. It is a bit smaller than the others but with all the same details - ticking lining, big double pocket and key holder. And, of course, the same leather fringe which I am absolutely in love with. I am going to keep this one as a tester. It may need to be wider. We shall see. I like everything I make to be really functional and strong, because even though things should look good, they really should be incredibly well made and stand up to use. Otherwise...what's the point? Next, I am onto lots of linen napkins and tea towels - who couldn't use more of those - and some naturally dyed produce bags in lovely indigo shades. I use them all the time for the market, but also for lunches and just general carryalls. They are sturdy and super cute!
So, now that I am done with my sewing for the day, I am out to plant bush and fava beans, winter and summer squash, onions and strawberries. My little one will be planting his yearly watermelon. Hopefully with more luck than we had last year when the field rats and gophers ate them. Bad, bad field rats. Bad, bad gophers. I hope you are all enjoying your day - wherever you are - as much as I am enjoying mine. xoxo
tie it closed to keep your goodies safe and sound
two nice big inside pockets with pen holder and a leather key ring on the side - to keep you organized...and sane
I love these leather strap details
lovely plates by Just Pottery. you can find them here.
A sneak peak of new bags that will be available soon here. They will be available in beautiful natural linens and naturally hand dyed hemp canvas and hemp summer cloth. I am having a lot of fun making them - which is probably why I love them so much. Be well. xoxo
A sneak peek at the new line of market bags. I am calling this line "English Hunt." (More on that to be revealed later. Trust me, it will make sense.) The outside is a lovely wool tartan from Cotswold Woolen Weavers - hand carried from jolly old England. The inside is naturally hand dyed hemp canvas with two generous linen pockets. Straps are oil rubbed leather from our own Maverick Leather here in Penngrove. The closure is held with a vintage cadet button - not sure what I will do when I finally run out of these handy buttons. The lovely Simone - owner of the ever so fabulous Zenbelly Catering - tested the prototype for me. I figured she was the perfect person to test a market tote since she is a regular at the local farmer's markets. And the result is...a glowing two thumbs up review!! "...it's perfect for the market, and also as a city bag/big purse- If I were running errands on foot, I would totally use it to throw my purchases in." Which means, not only is it good-looking, it is - more importantly - well made and functional. So, you can carry it out with you to town and throw in all the goodies you find - go ahead, load it up! - and comfortably carry it home. She tested the longer strap version which will be available. Some versions will also now have an outside pocket for your keys and wallet - Simone's suggestion. And a good one at that. Back to Zenbelly for a minute, if you haven't checked out her blog, you absolutely should. Don't wait. Do it now. It is filled with the most delicious recipes. As in, "the best chicken ever" type of recipes. And they are easy to follow. Which, as we all know, is very much appreciated. Thanks, Simone, for testing my market bag, and thanks for more than a couple excellent family meals! Your the tops!