Thursday, February 22, 2018

Cool bracelet for feminine dress, Repurposing and Lessons in balance with Etem Dede.

Cool bracelet for feminine dress

2 weeks ago my daughter and I went shopping; we mostly window shopped and on our way back to the car we passed a window displaying wine and 2 flowered dresses. We could see racks of clothes further back in the store. Inside we saw the same dress on racks in different places and in different colors. While my daughter tried out the different colors, I went searching and supplied her  with more choices; when she gave up, I found a dress with the flowers on a black background and that was a hit. She emailed me her outfit a couple days ago; the contrast of her feminine dress and a  black leather biker jacket urged me to design a matching bracelet. And I came up with this bracelet:

LoveLea's cool custom made bracelet in black leather
LoveLea's cool custom made bracelet in black leather

It is a simple yet stark design, totally right for the outfit:

My daughters new outfit; courtesy of Lis Ozonder.


I love to repurpose; my mother in law had 2 shawls, one in grey-blue the other in a mud brown. Obviously she loved the grey-blue one the better because the middle was really really worn down.  I haven't been sewing in a long time and I felt the time right to do something with the good parts that were left. And these good parts had fringes!!! Since the materiel was wool and  fragile and soft, I decided to line it with a contrasting cotton flowery fabric. The handles are made out of leather kept in place with rivets! The leather gives the bag instantly a boost and you don't have to cut out long strips of fabric, sew them and turn them inside out and it is a lot more sturdy.  Until now, I haven't found a purpose for the bag, it decorates a chair but you could keep your needlework, embroidery or a crochet project in it, any small project. I might put it up for sale.

Lovelea's repurposed shawl bag.
LoveLea's repurposed shawl bag!

My savior in times of trouble.

Do you remember my new years resolution was to bring balance in my life and that my first lesson was to get rid of my beloved furniture? My sister Mieke reading about my misfortunes and disappointments, phoned me to ask how I was cooping, isn't she a doll!

Recently I had a lot of occasions to bring my life back in balance. In the last 2 weeks, I lost my keys at least 4 times! My head is so full of stuff I have to do, things to remember that I am living on automatic pilot and when my keys are not in my coat pocket or on the door, I have a black hole and can't remember what I did with them. Even when I find them, I can't remember how my keys ended up in that place!! I just feel terrible, want to puke, crawl in bed and stay there for days! I really have to slow down and get things out of my head and BE IN THE PRESENT.

Do you know Etem Dede? It is a Turkish "being" that helps you find your lost object and he/she/it really helps: you say: Etem Dede (2x) gömlegin ketenden Dede, bu ...... bulayim, sana 10 göbek atam Dede. Which means: Etem grandpa (2x) with your flaxen shirt, if I find my (your lost object, f.i keys), I will shake my belly 10 (or more) times. If you're in a hurry and say that you need it immediately, you'll find it in minutes! Of course I then promise to dance 20 times instead of 10. Asking for help makes me double aware that I have to do something to get my life on track and keep my head clear and functional.

How about you? Do you like to repurpose something? What kind of things do you repurpose? How about mislaying your keys? What do you do so they don't get lost anymore? You can leave your message ; just click on "Post a comment".

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Muhammara and designing for musicians. Talking to Victoria

Designing for musicians.

After days and days of bad weather, we had 2 sunny days in a row. I feel like summer is coming and, since I haven't designed for a week,  I started with a very simple choker and bracelets but in a stunning fluo color. Definitely, wearing this bracelet or choker on a rainy day will cheer you up!

LoveLea's fluo choker and bracelets.
LoveLea's fluo choker and bracelets.

Isn't this a vibrant, shiny and saturated color? The wide bracelet has some imperfections but makes it cooler.

A while ago, I asked my husband and my son if they would were my creations when performing, since both are musicians. They both said they didn't wear bracelets. I asked if some of the other musicians would wear them and they answered that wearing a bracelet isn't handy, even annoying and they are right. I studied the violin  a couple of years and I remembered that I didn't want anything around my wrist when playing. Then it occurred to me I should design a bracelet for musicians! The main problem with a bracelet when playing is that it moves around your wrist. I designed a bracelet that looks like a regular bracelet but has a "hidden" elastic. Luckily my husband accepted to pose with the bracelet on the condition that I didn't show his face.

LoveLea's musician bracelet.
LoveLea's musician bracelet.

Underneath the paler brown leather, you can see the black elastic, but it is invisible when wearing.

LoveLea's musician bracelet.
LoveLea's musician bracelet.

Muhammara is the new humus!

 I read this a while ago and that in NYC it is all about muhammara.

LoveLea's muhammara
Lovelea's muhammara.

Almost every culture in the Near East and Middle East claims muhammara to be part of their culture; truth is that in this area of the world different cultures, different religion have lived hundreds of years side by side, have intermingled, have cross married, have exchanged food and recipes and it is difficult to say what recipe belongs to what people or culture.

 As a former restaurant owner I know what I'm talking about. We served muhammara as an appetizer and everybody who eats spicy, liked it, wanted it, craved it. One customers eyes just lighted up when ordering muhammara. And we did eat the food we prepared in our restaurant and always used good ingredients, good quality. Muhammara is made of healthy ingredients like tomato paste, walnuts, garlic, etc. and you consume it as a meze, a dip or a snack; make it as hot as you like. Delicious! If you're interested in getting the recipe, click here. I won't claim that our recipe is thé recipe, the only and only recipe, but it is a honest recipe with healthy ingredients and should taste much much better than a store-bought version.

Victoria and me.

Last weekend, my son and daughter with partners and children came to our house to celebrate the New Year and the birthday of my husband. It feels so good to be united, to be a family and as a mother to have them around me and to be able to care for them. Two of the 3 grand children stayed for 2 nights. I had a nice chat with my 8 year old granddaughter Vicky: just the 2 of us were at the breakfast table and we were looking outside at the clouds and then with a small voice she confided that she liked to look at the clouds to discover animals in them and she pointed to the sky and said: look, there is a kitten lying on her back with her paws in the air. She went on: wouldn't it be nice to SIT on a cloud? I always want to touch a cloud!  Mostly she is quiet and seems to observe, but now I know she has a rich imagination and that a lot of things are happening inside that little head of hers. She is so fragile, your instinctive protection feelings are always at the surface.

Did you click to get you muhammara recipe? easy to make and no extraordinary ingredients, no electrical appliances needed.

See you next week!

Friday, February 9, 2018

About making masks and Carnaval memories.

The conception of a leather mask.

Next Tuesday, the 13th it is carnival, not that I am a party nose but I made, noblesse oblige, a leather mask! For week and weeks, a silver colored paper mask was laying around, telling me: make  a leather copy of me, but I didn't get it; last week I really saw the mask, copied it to black leather, cut it out and then I was stuck: how to attach the elastic in an elegant way? you can't use a leather mask with ends of elastic visible, sticking out of the front!

I thought about a button and went to the store and there I saw buttons with 1 big hole on the back: perfect! I got 2 black buttons and some tubular elastic. I went home, laced the elastic through the hole I made in the mask,  from the back to the front, through the buttonhole and then back to the back of the mask where I made a knot to keep the elastic in place; the same thing on the other side. I tried it on, thinking this will be neat but my lashes kept touching the leather and it was impossible to wear it! I examined the paper mask, thought about the mask I had seen in the store and then it dawned: the materiel should be rigid, stiff. I cut out a second one from leather a bit more stiff, undid the buttons from the first mask, tied them to the stiffer one and it's o.k.!!! I can go ahead and make some more, maybe in different colors if I have the right leather. It is almost cat eyed!

LoveLea's Carnival mask
LoveLea's Carnival mask.

Carnival memories.

When I was a child, I shared a room with my sister Lieve. Our room was on the street side. When it was Mardi Gras, lots of people went out dressed up, wearing a mask, shaking a rattle. They changed their voices when talking to the girls so that nobody could recognize them. This was THE EVENING when people could live their life to the full, almost everything was permitted. We lived on a main street and the rattles, the talking, the joking, the laughing made a lot of noise. We couldn't resist to open the window and showing as less as possible of ourselves, observe the partying people. Sometimes we were seen and became the object of their jokes, gags and nonsense, the whole street looked at us and that was the end of the fun for us. We longed to be part of the fun and at the same time were scared to be there.


Two days before we left the summerhouse, we picked all the lemons that grow this year. We used to have 2 lemon trees, but 4 or 5 years ago, winter was very harsh, it went below zero and one tree didn't survive. The other tree, which we had planted in a good protected spot was badly damaged but survived because we trimmed the tree from all its branches until only the main structure was left. We didn't get any fruit for 4 years  but 2017 gave us about 30 kilo's of lemon. One year we even had 150 kilo's!

green lemons
Still green lemons, will be used at the latest. 

When picked we sort them according to maturity, pack them one by one in tissue paper and store them in crates. We took 2 crates with us and use them in salads, soups, tea or çay, the zest in desserts. In the spring  I gather the flowers falling down and use them in cakes; I am not a good dessert cook and besides an occasional apple pie, I mostly bake a cake but you could use the flowers in plenty of other preparations. I store them in the deep freezer and they hold well.

This is a short post: I have been very busy, had unexpected visitors 2 times and feel like the flu is coming at me. I Hope to have a surprise for you all, either next week or the following week.

Do YOU have any carnival memories? Share them in the comments section, we would love to read them.

See you next week!

Friday, February 2, 2018

About men bracelets and serendipity.

Designing for men.

Designing girl's Valentine jewelry goes fluent, for men, it is different. You can't give your boyfriend or sweetheart a bracelet with red hearts, still  girls want to express their feelings, take initiative and give their friend a symbol of their love: I have to design a men friendly bracelet. Designing for men is difficult for me. I have some super nice bracelets in wrinkled leather but it is the leather that talks to me and says: use me for a man bracelet. Below is a picture one of this bracelets (more pictures here).

LoveLea's Men Bracelet in wrinkled leather.
LoveLea's Men Bracelet in wrinkled leather.

How to design a bracelet and link this to Valentine in a "manly" way? I asked my husband, but the only thing I got out of him was: I don't wear bracelets; same answer came from my son. My son in law loves braided leather, but that is a step to far, out of my line. I was on my own!

I went through my stash of leather and my eye fell on cowhide scraps I bought recently. All very odd forms with a couple of long strips. One of this strips had nice details like curls and different colors. Perfect for a men's bracelet! Now the link to Valentine: red was out of the question. I can see a biker with a cowhide bracelet but not with red accessories;  leaves me the heart shape: I cut out by hand 3 hearts in different sizes in black leather, laced them up to a string of black leather, punched 2 holes in the bracelet, laced both ends through the holes, pasted the ends to the back and voila:

LoveLea's Men Bracelet in cowhide and black heart
LoveLea's Men Bracelet in cowhide and black hearts.

No biker can refuse to wear this gift from his girl friend! Did you see the interesting curls on the left and the thwarted direction of the hair on the right? and the gradations in the color? Superb! And the black hearts are there, but very subtle. I'll make more of this style, (more pictures here).

This is also a bracelet for men, with a vintage evil eye bead, a "Love" plate, a coin and some tufts of silver fox fur. The leather is very nice: thin, flexible yet strong, just for an man's wrist. More pictures here.

LoveLea's Men Bracelet for Valentine.
LoveLea's Men Bracelet for Valentine.

Our first visitors!

last Sunday we had our first visitors. Remember the linen closet I couldn't get to the first floor because the stairs were to narrow? I took pictures of all the furniture that I couldn't place, emailed the pictures to my relatives and my niece Anna liked the linen closet. She is young, moved recently to a bigger house and has room for it. With her partner she came to get the closet and a small card table. I had invited them for tea of coffee afterwards. The living room was still a bit messy and their coming was a big incentive to get the house orderly. It took me about 2 hours to give everything a place, rather I should say to find a place for everything, but the house looked nice and cozy when they came. Even though it was very hard to let go of all my nice but big furniture, I have to admit that it is pleasant to live in a house that is not crowded or crammed.


I want to close this post with an event that gave me goosebumps! I sent my sister Katrien a New Year's greetings card and she emailed me the card was in her mailbox and that she was very happy with my card. I didn't sent her a standard New Years greetings card but a print with very subtle colored flowers and some more things. She recently lost her husband and I wanted to write something special and meaningful to her. I put the card aside and it took me a while to get ready to write to her. I had chosen that card mainly because of the muted yet lively colors. When I looked at the print to find inspiration, I was struck by the number of symbols that were in the picture  (floxgloves, a butterfly and a bird) and wrote something nice concerning this symbols.

In her email she said that she sees  butterflies (there were 2 of them) as "signs" from her husband and that her husband used to give her cards with hummingbirds on it! I honestly had no idea that a butterfly and a hummingbird had this  meaning to her! And all this because I liked the colors of the card! Just telling you about this gives me goosebumps again!

And I almost discarded those cards: they were in the mailbox and in the accompanying letter it said: if you like me, buy me. I hate this kind of command: I am in your mailbox, now you have to pay! I just glanced at them, liked the colors and decided not to throw them away. Good for me and for my sister.

Now it is your turn to tell me about your serendipity; maybe this is not really serendipity but I don't know the right word for this kind of occurrence; if you know, please leave a message in the box below.

See you next week!

The event of the year (in my town), Pro's of having a dog, How I excorcise inspiration; My revamped quote!

The event of the year Last Friday it was my daughter's birthday and it was the first day of Suikerrock, a 3 day rock festival in our...

The event of the year (in my town), Pro's of having a dog, How I excorcise inspiration; My revamped