Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Space of My Own



After seven years working in the basement, on the kitchen table, and anywhere else in the house that was unclaimed, I’m finally getting a studio!! It isn’t move-in ready, but I’ll get it all spruced up and ready to move into by spring, I hope.  Yes, it’s far away, but there is a light.  Hopefully a lot of it, with windows and skylights, and ventilation.  Better than my basement hovel.

Until then, I will draw pictures like the ones above (from Brendan’s Leather Book – which is FABULOUS if you can find it) of my own workshop.  Complete with log stools, and beadboard walls.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

There is hope

So yesterday after being told that I couldn't make a shoe in vegetable tanned leather I decided I would find a way.

Then today I find, in the studio, a pair of continuous wrap sandals.  I asked the instructor what they were made out of.

"Veg tan"

Huh.  Couldn't you have just said that yesterday???

Then someone in class showed me abk shoes, based in NYC.  She is obsessed with the shoes, which are very simple, tooling hide shoes that aren't dyed on the inside.

Interesting, I think.  I could do that.  But with flowers.  And lace cut-outs.  The world is too beautiful to fill with brown shoes.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Think Shoes

I'm at Shoe School this week. 

9.5 hour days, away from my daughter and husband.  I'm spending the time after she sleeps looking for Vegetable Tanned leather shoes. I've been told that I can't make Vegetable Tanned Leather shoes.  

At first this was depressing.

It is morphing into inspiring/motivating, as I remember that I've never been one to do what people said I should do, and to stop when they said that I could not.  Telling me I can't have something is always a fabulous way of making sure that I will obsess over it.

I will make some fabulous shoes out of vegetable tanned leather.



The photo above are Think! shoes, and I find them pretty inspiring.  The Aida shoes remind me of shoes Gretel would wear when she grows up.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Festive Leather



Eventually I’ll make myself a leather house, one piece at a time.

Here’s my first Christmas stocking – it will be available on the website soon – and I have ideas for many more.  It is the least hairy leather stocking you will find.  And it’s big, and fabulous, just waiting to be filled with goodies.

But for my Jewish friends and fam – any ideas for leather Judaica?  I’m stumped.  I don’t think a leather menorah is a very good idea…




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lucky Me

Someone told me recently that my work reminded her of Lucky Brand (which was her “favorite”).  Here’s a side-by-side so you can judge for yourself.


Lucky’s Perforated Cutout Belt and my Alabama Lace Belt


Lucky’s Suzani Floral Embroidered Belt and my Belle Belt


Lucky’s Sunset Convertible Tote and my Duomo Tote

One thing you can’t see from the pictures is the quality of leather and of course the goodness of handmade!  Full grain tooling leather is the strongest leather available since it is minimally processed in comparison to the “garment” leathers.  A full grain bag will last you a lifetime (literally – those 60s and 70s bags that you see kicking around are full grain leather – that was 40-50 years ago that they were made!).

Happy shopping,


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A new collaboration


I was contacted by Elizabeth From Counting Sheep Studio to do a leather bag strap for a knit bag. Not something I had done before, but she asked so nicely that I couldn’t say no!

I love how it came out, and she does too.  I’m still waiting on final photos of the bag, but here are the preview photos of the strap.  It is in my Plume pattern and available for purchase from my website, if you would like to knit a bag of your own!  Elizabeth will be making a knitting pattern for the bag itself, and I will post a link to that as soon as it is up.

IMG_9639 (1500x1000)

IMG_9641 (1500x1000)

IMG_9635 (1500x1000)

Happy crafting,


Monday, September 12, 2011

It’s not leather…

But then, we all need a break sometimes.  And we all know I love poppies – I’d love nothing more than to have my high 80-degree weekend back, and be laying in the sun with a field of them. Was sad when I woke up this morning to realize that it was Monday, and my husband had to go to work.  My solace is beautiful things and a fabulous little girl to keep me company. And the Johnny Cash station on Pandora.

Found this today in LD Photography’s Artfire shop.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

$500 Giveaway!

When I started thinking about actually blogging – like, committing to posting at least once a week – and what I would blog about, there were two things that came to mind.  The first, of course, is leather.  After seven years of working with leather day and night, I think I know a thing or two about it. But the other thing I know a lot about is helping people find their personal style.  One of the core elements of my work has been creating custom pieces for people who can’t find exactly what they’re looking for on the shelves. 

As I approach listing my 200th pattern on the Moxie and Oliver Website, I’d really like to celebrate.  And I can’t think of a better way than a giveaway, and adding yet another delicious pattern.  So here is the deal – if you help me create the next pattern, you could win $500 in Moxie and Oliver merchandise of your choice.  Get a purse, get a wallet, get a portfolio, whatever you want.  It’s all yours, in the pattern you help create.

So how do you enter?  Well, it is easy!  Give some thought to the question posed below, and then email your answer to caitlin[at]moxieandoliver[dot]com with the subject “New Pattern Entry”.  Then make sure to subscribe to the blog, follow M&O on twitter, and like M&O on Facebook.  After all the entries are in, I will post the descriptions for voting.  The top ten ideas will be sketched and posted on the blog and to facebook for a final round of voting.  The muse of the winning pattern will receive $500 in credit to to spend on whatever he or she likes – including custom pieces!

So here is the question:

If your personality were a Moxie and Oliver pattern, what would it look like?  Be as specific and descriptive as possible, including colors, animals, symbolic elements, etc.

II would answer it myself, but I think that part of the reason I have nearly 200 patterns is that I have been trying to answer this for myself for years through exploration…

Sweet dreams,


(nitty gritty – all entries must be received by September 30, 2011.  Voting will take place October 2nd through 15th, and the winning entrant will be notified by October 18th, 2011 – with plenty of time for holiday shopping! All pattern ideas submitted for this contest will become the property of Moxie and Oliver.  By entering the contest you agree to relinquish all rights and reservations to the pattern submission and any drawings or items that are produced as a result of your pattern submission.)