27 September 2015

Sunday's Salutations: The Bohemain Blues Clutch

New to the line up of Leotie's Lovelies is a blue babe of the bohemian variety, aptly named the Bohemian Blues Clutch.

Both the interior and exterior fabric, upcycled from Goodwill, were hand dyed in San Antonio, Texas this spring. The fabric was then united forever this summer with a Organic YYK Zipper in London, England. And, at long last, the handcrafted tassel was created and dip dyed in Paris, France this fall.

The Bohemian Blues Clutch has a sister clutch in perfect pink called the Ramblin' Rose Clutch which will be introduced later this week. Both colourways are limited-edition, two-of-a-kind.

Should you like to adopt one of these fine ladies, one can find the whole fam-a-lam online for sixty of the HRM, The Queen's steller stirling pounds here.

9 September 2015

Soulful Stockist: Las Cruxes

After working up enough courage to ask curators I admire if they'd be interested in carrying my creations, I'm always grateful (and relieved) when they agree, finding myself filled with a surge of modest pride when I find my pieces amongst their shop's soulful selections.

One such curator is Veronica Ortuno, a musician, comme dj, comme soul sister, who shares her blessed aesthetic eye through her prolific project, Las Cruxes.

The shop lives amongst a collective of cleverness, inside a bookstore which smells of fresh ground (flat track) coffee and kindness, and where art of all sorts is expressed with the grace of inclusion.

You can find Las Cruxes and the rest of the sweet souls in Texas' capital at 913 E. Cesar Chavez Street or online, here: http://lascruxes.com/

13 July 2015

ROADTRIP DAY 4: Disney Deeds - Big Bend to Terlingua

We had managed to allude those around us and sleep through the night undetected by paying patrons who slumbered in the surrounding log cabins.

Having got where we were going we seemed slow to move from our spot, laying claim to it carefully to avoid interruption and ignoring the few scornful looks cast our way.

We sang, stretched and strummed with the serenity Snow White once held, though our exterior aesthetics told the story of the wicked witch.

Three young deer wandered up and munched on the grass near to our sprawling station. Though he beauty of the moment was tainted by the odd swiftly moving SUV, the simple coexistence between man and beast, in a respectful balance rare to this modern world, filled us with the warmth of peaceful bliss.

The hours that followed this frequency freely as we travelled up a new trail and on to a new town.

The road led us to a sand filled horse pen full of majestic but thin beasts. We stopped to chat to them, barricaded by a barbed wire fence. In our ignorance our luring allure lead the horses to danger, as they begged with pleading eyes for sustenance from the grass patches beyond their reach.

We fed them freely but with each bite their excitement heightened and they reached, stretching their necks like giant giraffes, towards greener pastures. When they could reach no more they began to push forward, snaring themselves in the fence. Our panic heightened in unison and I ran against the wind towards the nearest man made structure about a mile away. Half way there my partner hollered my name and I turned to see the white horse, formally caught, galloping free.

Our sights were set on a ghost town of Terlingua located in the depths of the desert, and though the name filled my childlike heart with fear, as we approached the slightly scary scene, cotton candy clouds rolled in to welcome us, mildly melting the unfounded emotions dancing inside of me.

The town, quite used to the wayward traveller, welcomed us with a wiry warmth, sharing its music, wisdom and tales openly. We slept in the parking lot of the Starlight theatre, formally open to the skies, where music has been shared since the tiny town was a mercury minefield. With the jubilant celebrations of the local lads and ladies surrounding us, we slept, interrupted be neither ghost nor ghoul.

2 July 2015


I forgot, in the excitement of going, to give out a glimpse at our labour of Love, Big Blue.

The story of her metamorphosis is a tale to tell. From spotting her on Blanco road to kitting her out in our backyard.

She was bought from a Peruvian family who carefully shared the beauty of their souls with us transforming the transaction from business to pleasure. Across the street from her former home was a doctor of sorts who shared his wisdom with Big Blue and us too in a way so loving we could have been kin.

By hand we deconstructed her, laying her bare, and spent a week searching and selecting the bones that would rebuild her.

A genius of a gentleman joined us for the final part of her recreation, using his powers and pouring his positive energy towards her, building, piece by piece, the structure that would sustain both her and us as we embarked on our grand adventure.

26 June 2015


[PART 1 HERE] Unsure whether we had done wrong with our overnight picnic spot stay, we turned ourselves into the park warden. He sighed with the patience most bearded old men hold, and spoke down to us like a teacher to his kindergarten aged students, telling us we had in fact been naughty and should be fined, but he wouldn’t punish our ignorance this time, so long as we promised not to do it again.

We agreed wholeheartedly with a belittled ‘yes sir’ and left with suitably mischievous smiles spreading across our faces, filling our water bottles as we made our way to our first mountain ascent. We had been warned of mountain lions and bears, which I had not expected this far south, and I rattled off what remained in my brain of my Canadian woods knowledge as we hiked up Emory Peak trail, suitably scaring my partner.

Though beautiful, the hike ended relatively anti-climactically, and we clambered down the mountain in fear of darkness at our top turtle speed. As we arrived in the parking lot a rainbow, which quickly morphed into a double rainbow, spread across the sky adding magic to the memory.

As night fell, revealing yet another stunning sunset, we embarked on a 45-minute journey to the park’s Hot Springs. As we drove, lightning again lit up the sky accompanied by a defining silence of a thunderless night. The entry road to the hot springs was primitive and as we crawled along the winding one lane road, the feeling one feels when watching a scary movie crept over me. This was the first of many horror film scenes we’d find ourselves in, West Texas is full of beautiful places which would light your soul by day and fill you with fear by night. It’s just how she be. But we pushed on despite our instinctual voices coaxing us to run.

The parking lot was all but empty apart from One. Single. Car. and old adobe buildings, likely belonging to the boarder control, stood above us in complete darkness. By the light of a trusty iphone and with the protection of a small Swiss army knife I’d tucked into my leggings, we made our way blindly towards the rushing river of the Rio Grande.

We tip toed through various creepy scenarios, our shoes sliding in the thick mud and our voices shaking with fear. My partner, who is by example much braver than me, took the lead as a shirtless man, lit by the waxing moon, emerged from the darkness. He thankfully turned out to (probably) not to be a serial killer and gave us directions to the hot springs we had been stumbling around not finding.

The hot springs, once found, were inviting and significantly less creepy than the scenes that had been set.  And as my fear stricken body relaxed into the warmth of its waters, a feeling of pure bliss took over. The skies were alight with thousands of stars and the moon, which had seemed to be been in full bloom the previous night had only begun to wane. The sound of the Rio Grande’s swift and surging waters soothed my soul serenely and I felt very grateful for the moment I was sharing.

24 June 2015


We awoke completely relaxed, a cool desert breeze passing through the van, the parking lot empty, the world silent, the sun shining.

The setting for a perfect day, some might say. Yet despite our best efforts, what followed this dreamy awakening was much less romantic than one might envision.

First, in some sort of subconscious fit for space, as we converted our home from night to day, we managed to spread our belongings across the parking lot as if it was our very own 1000-square-foot home, complete with kitchen, lounge, dining room, and office.

With our mansion set, we commenced our day, cooking up a storm on the Biolite stove we’d bought in effort to offset a pinch of the nasty gas Big Blue goes through (it uses gathered twigs for fuel instead of propane). Shane pulled out all the stops, considering what we had in the cooler, and we munched on a fine feast of greens, leaving the dishes for 'later, in true faux house fashion.

What followed was a first for me, and quite possibly, a first for mankind. It would seem the marketeers of home waxing kits overlooked the convenient inconvenience of ‘Extreme Home Waxing’ in their advertising efforts, but I, in all my Texas Tuxedo glory, had not.

I had dedicated a good 5 weeks into procuring the national park that had sprouted on my legs, and was firmly convinced at this point, that I was not ready to follow in the footsteps of hippies past in keeping the growth going. Shane quite keenly offered to help me take care of business, so we set ourselves up, and with the Biolite boiling and wax pot brewing, got to it.

This may all sound like brilliance in the making, but as we soon found out, it was not. The issues with waxing your legs in a public parking lot in the middle of the desert are plentiful, especially when your aesthetician is a bearded Texan with zero experience in the field.

To top it all off, people started arriving to the picnic area about half way into the wax, both of us half naked, dripping in sweat, covered in hot sticky wax and surround by our belongings, which were still spread across the parking lot like a pack of gypsies had risen from the sand to lay claim on the land. It must have been a sight to see.

Despite Shane’s best efforts, my legs ended up looking more like a half eaten hyena than a Giselle in full glide, but I suppose even that is an improvement. Looking back, the memory sits like one of those erratic dreams you can’t ever quite make sense of. Only the existence of these photos remain as indication of its validity.

23 June 2015

PORTFOLIO: Tintype Photography Of Giles Clement

I am currently writing for Shopikon, a website which celebrates all the best independent shops around the world. I also write for their blog which shares stories on inspiring designs, crafts, items and events.

This is a piece I wrote on gypsy tintype photographer, Giles Clements. The story was published on June 15, 2015 and can be found online HERE