how to : leather cord roll

i’ve been so inspired by the cordito cord roll from this is ground & thought it could be something that i could easily diy to fit my own needs! i added a (removable!) zippered pouch to the bottom for smaller items that would slip away (stylus, memory card, backup charger, etc.) & used a hook that could be hung up while traveling. i had a few leather scraps in my stash but faux leather would work just as well — even just a thick fabric with interfacing would be nice !

keep reading if you’re interested in making this yourself! i’m no expert seamstress but i find that unfinished leather with a little messy stitching can be really beautiful.

what you need :
– 1/2 yard leather or 1/4 in two different colors
– 1 yard fold over colored elastic, 5/8″
“fashion buckle” (or you could use snaps or buttons if you’re not interested in hanging yours)
– 2 buttons
– zipper (can start at any size but needs to be trimmed to 8″)
– scissors, sewing machine, pencil, cutting mat, the basics !

(note : you could easily do this by hand if you omitted the zipper !)

step 1 |
cut out . . .
  an 8×15″ piece for the roll
  two 8×5.5″ pieces for the zip pouch
 & two 3×1.5″ pieces for the zipper finish

step 2 |

take the zipper finish pieces and fold them over the zipper as shown

step 3 |

stitch down using a small straight stitch, making sure to leave the zipper out. it helps to use a leather needle to do this but i didn’t have a problem

step 4 |

place the zipper piece under a pouch piece & stitch together

step 5 |

do the same on the other side & you should have something like this ! (don’t take notice of my pulled out mistake stitches!)

step 6 |

fold pouch pieces right side together & stitch up the sides & bottom, trim the excess, unzip the zipper to pull pouch right side out

step 7 |

a leather pouch that would be adorable on its own !

step 8 |

cut out :
 2 pieces of 2″ long elastic
 2 pieces of 10″ long elastic

step 9 |

fold one piece of the shorter elastic, sandwich one of the “fashion buckles” inside, & sew down in the center using a tight zig zag stitch

step 10 |

roll up the main piece in thirds & make a mark directly underneath the top hook

step 11 |

sandwich & sew down in the same manner

step 12 |

next, sew down the long elastic 1.5″ from the side of the roll using a tight zig zag stitch. repeat on the other side. then tack down every 1.5 or so inches until you reach the end. I varied my “pockets” from 1-2″ to fit different types of cords.

step 13 |

decide where you want to place the zip pouch & make a pencil mark where the elastic overlaps — this will be where you sew the buttons !

step 14 |

cut two slits in the back of the pouch to allow for the buttons to be pushed through.
(you could also just stitch the bag to the roll if you’re not fussy about it being removable)

& that’s it! organize your cords !

roll it up & fasten the hooks & you’re ready to travel !!

painting a week

a friend & i started a “painting a week” challenge — we pick a word each week & use whatever medium we like to portray it & post the result on sundays !
if you’re following my instagram, this will be old news but here are the past few weeks work:

“citrus” — grapefruit in ink & watercolors

“flight” — gold tipped wings in pen

“wave” in watercolors

“break” — daybreak in oils on canvas

“starlight” — snowy mountains in watercolors

“sleep” — coffee & reading in bed

if you’re interested in the other half of the challenge, check out claireisaherman on instagram !

lace overlay hat & freelancing

i’m starting a new design . . . a lace overlay hat. i’m really excited about how its turning out so far. i used really soft chunky wool for the base of the hat & the lace is a super-fine (& also soft) alpaca.

i’ve also polished up my blog design! i made this new header & this wip video. i started with a bunch of watercolor circles & then added the text & knit stitch border in illustrator. adding in these social media buttons that i made from gold foil photos really seemed to tie it together

along the same lines, i did some exciting work freelancing recently. i created this logo for She Enlightened, a new feminist-spiritual site with meditations, affirmations, and a mission of gender equality. we worked together to create this logo, a combination of a lotus flower (a classic feminine symbol) with the “aries” symbol (often connected with the womb & feminism). i’m really proud of how it came out, especially when i see these sketches from where we started out !

(if you’re interested in hearing more about she enlightened you can check out their twitter as well !)

how to : ink & watercolor illustration

a simple tutorial on how i make my illustrations !

i use watercolor paper, micron pens (waterproof is important), a mechanical pencil, and an eraser.
you can start with a reference picture & make a sketch from it or just a concept. i decided to go with bunny love in honor of valentines. i use a mechanical pencil for the beginning sketch for light & erasable lines.

after you have the sketch down, use the smallest pen possible (my smallest is the .01) to retrace your sketch.

erase the pencil marks . . .

& use larger pens to vary line thickness. a nice way to do this is to keep the outside edges darker & thicker while letting the details remain light.

next up, color ! i use this watercolor palette. starting from the shadows and blending out to leave the highlights the color of the paper. there are many tutorials online for learning how to shade but you can also rely on your reference photo or keep the colors flat.

add your final details (i.e. hearts, eyelashes, blades of grass !) & if you feel so inclined, use a white pen to highlight & really make the drawing pop !

if drawing & painting isn’t really your thing but you’d like to give someone some bunny love too, feel free to print & gift this one :

wip : thrummed mittens, giants, & vectors

in the midst of this very cold winter i’ve cast on a pair of thrummed mittens! i’ve never worked with thrums before but i really love how fluffy & warm they’re turning out. i’m more or less using this pattern from the yarn harlot

. . . also on the needles, a soon-to-be cowl — ultra warm. i’m using size 50 (US) needles & raw, unspun roving. this is so quick to knit & the fabric it produces is amazing.

& something a little different. . . a mock travel poster that i created in illustrator for class. always on the lookout for city lights !!

grand scale sea painting & gift knits

I’ve been working on & off on this three panel (6 foot wide!) seascape in oils. It’s slow going with the drying time but I’ve been enjoying it. It’s really different from the watercolors I’m used to working with.
 . . . wip video. If you’re interested in more posts like these you should follow my instagram account, @ekatearcher.
. . on the needles I have already casted off this red basketweave hat & have been working on this pink beanie (christmas knitting season !). I tried out the tubular cast on & absolutely love the finished edge it gives !

wip : rooftop sweater & sketches

I’m still working on this knit-in-pieces, light blue, silk & angora cardigan. I spent a large majority of this summer knitting it on nyc rooftops, hence the name.
above : bryant park movie festival . . catching the last few bits of summer in a little pencil exercise
& preparing for a (very very big) project in oils !!