nature

more clutches

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.

xoxo

best new bags and the Made Movement!

   

 

 

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

happy

Our new pup, Shasta.

Snap shot of Sonoma Mountain from our front yard.

It is good for me to stop.  To take a breath.  Sit still.  To look around and appreciate where I am in my life.  And to be happy.

xoxo

new wool clutch

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.

made in the U.S.A.

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.

THE QUESTIONS

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?

THE QUEST

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.

THE RESULT

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.

first chair by Pennyroyal Design

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!

xoxox

Loft 1513, Noe Valley SF

You can - as of right now - find Pennyroyal Design bags and home accessories at Loft 1513 @ 3927 24th Street, San Francisco.
"High fashion indie design house and brick and mortar store LOFT 1513 dazzles in their new San Francisco location, bringing the best independent local designers right to city fashionistas.  A perfectly curated collection of one-of-a kind sustainable apparel and repurposed designs; LOFT 1513 is a favorite spot for that special something you can't find anywhere else." - IndieMade
Loft 1513 feels like a very well curated fashion gallery.  And, I have to say, I am feeling very happy right now.  I may even eat cake!

more goods, brick and mortar, & computer frustration

 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

new gallery up and running...

...and the new shop will be up very, very soon!  So here is a little sneak peak of what will be available.  You can see more here.

back in the land of the living

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.

unique sf

Pennyroyal Design will be here June 30 and July 1st.

great new photos...

...all thanks to my good friend Debbie.  xoxo

indigo

A lovely new batch of natural indigo-dyed fabrics drying in the sun.  Each fabric picks up the color a little differently.  Today I played with a medium weight linen, a hemp cotton blend and a pure hemp summercloth.  It would be a perfect day out there if my allergies weren't kicking my tushie!

new things

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

mine

mine

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

best one yet

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

3.31.12 fresh milk

Mmmmmmmm....fresh milk.  Wouldn't this be nice?

3.30.12 Objects of Use, Oxford

Objects of Use No. 6 Lincoln House Market Street Oxford OX1 3EQ United Kindgom

Telephone: ++44 (0)1865 241705

goat hair high duster, cobweb duster, and carpet beater

garden goods and brooms

lovely garden goods

Wandering around Oxford – some may call it lost, we like to call it exploring – we stumbled upon THE most amazing shop.  And I do not say that lightly.  Objects of Use is quite simply the loveliest shop I have ever stepped foot inside.  Filled with a vast array of usable items of the most exquisite workmanship and quality.  The time the proprietor must have spent in choosing each piece is impressive, to say the least.  What was most refreshing and touching, really, was the lack of slick brand goods.  This is not a design store.  Although it is, in my opinion, exquisitely designed.  It is a store filled with Objects for Use.  Simple in its function.  Stunning in its execution.  Again, the loveliest shop.  My heart leapt when I spotted a selection scissors lovingly hung from wooden pegs along the wall.  I may have to take a trip back for the little gold stork handled embroidery ones.  At only 15 pounds, I would be a fool to pass them up.

the lovely lady of the shop

the very gracious owner - a supremely brilliant human being who is - in his own words - 'against throwawayism'

cooking and kitchen

3.24.12 England

Strolling through the countryside near my Mum's house in the Cotswolds.

I love washing hanging on the line.  This was taken in a little town in Wales.  I think when I get home I will put up some washing lines in our field.  It would be a nice way to dry all the dyed fabric.

We play "would you rather" in the car which usually goes something like "would you rather eat rotten scallops or rotten clams?"  Every once in a while I try to get it on a more pleasant track - would you rather stroll through the English countryside or the California country side?  My husband says, "no question...California."  I say, "no question...English."  Hmmm...wonder where that will lead?

So...what have we been up to?  Mostly walking.  And going to really, really old pubs which you have to bend down to enter - because the doorways are so little.  Seeing the baby - which is the main reason we are here.  It is amazingly warm and sunny so we packed all wrong.  Rain coats and heavy sweaters.  But, as you can see from the photos, we don't really need any.  Next week we are going to Filkin's fabrics to look at remnants of some super beautiful woolen fabric.  I am hoping to purchase enough to make an entire line of pillow covers and hopefully some smaller patchwork throws.  At home, I have been busy making a stash of larger, plain pillows as an accompaniment to the modern rustic ones.  They look great together.  I felt the more detailed pieces needed to be balanced out.  Otherwise it feels too cramped and messy.  I will put some in the shop when I get home.

My daughter's busy work.  She has been keeping herself occupied by picking flowers from the neighbor's yards and then selling them back for 1P.  Budding young capitalist.

Off for another walk!  Enjoy your days.  xoxo

3.8.12 New goodies in Penngrove.

20"x26" shams.

A little collection of new goodies I have been working on.  I am especially fond of the shams.  Everything has lots of hand stitching on it and, as always, everything is naturally hand dyed.  I am trying to move away from the straight blue/gray...which I have been obsessed with but now am a little weary of.  I am not sure if I will put any of these in the shop, or just amass a large pile in the hopes that I will get into one of the craft shows I have applied to.  Gulp!  Juried.  Scary.

We are off to England in a couple of weeks to spend some time with the family.  My sister is having her first baby.  So I will get to spend three weeks holding my little niece or nephew.  Yeah!!  I can't wait!  I am giddy.  My daughter is excited about the plane flight - gack - and my son and husband are excited about the pubs and the food.  Mum lives in a tiny - and I mean tiny, tiny, tiny - town in Gloucestershire and my sis lives just outside Oxford in another tiny town called Woodstock.  Both come with their own older-than-anything-we-have-in-this-country houses and pubs.  My sister's home looks like it belongs in the Shire from The Hobbit.  Really.  I kid you not.  Complete with tiny front door that you would absolutely miss if you did not know it was there.  I am hoping to visit some fabric shops.  Mum brought over some gorgeous French linen last time she visited.  So hopefully I can sneak out of the house for a while and pick up some lovely fabrics to bring home.  So...that leaves me two weeks to bust out as much stuff as I can.

Until next time...be well.  Enjoy the sun if you have it.  Or the rain.  Or your warm home.  Or...  xoxo