Friday, 24 March 2017

Envelope me

I've been enjoying creating these lovely little envelope clutches and now have three more in my store. Each one is made from a vintage Japanese obi fabric and comes in vibrant colours mixed with metallic gold for a shot of bling. You can find them in my store here.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Feeling fruity

We're feeling a bit fruity here at Cheeky Leopard with the addition of this fab little pineapple print. It's so bright and summery and the perfect fabric for making fun items for my store. So far I've added a cosmetic bag, glasses case and a fab tote bag, perfect for a shopping trip or a day at the beach. Bring on the sun!

You can find all these cuties in my shop here.

Monday, 20 March 2017

David Hockney

Happy Monday! I hope a good weekend was had by all. My weekend was great, starting on Friday with a cultural trip to the David Hockney exhibition, something that I've been meaning to get to since it opened at the beginning of February. It's on at Tate Britain in London and shows quite a cross section of his abilities. The exhibition spans almost 60 years of Hockney's art ranging from his classic early paintings to the iconic swimming pool paintings and beyond. I was struck by the variety of styles and media he has used over the years.

One of my favourites is 'A Bigger Splash' (above), painted in an abstract style and in simplified forms. It captures the heat of the day and makes you want to jump into the cool turquoise water.

I also loved the paintings he created of this beautiful blue veranda, on his return to Hollywood in 2013 after living in Yorkshire for seven years. You can almost feel his relief to be back to the sun and heat of LA in his use of colour. This is shown in the same room as a series of pencil drawings he did of a Yorkshire country road and is quite a contrast in colour and feel!

One room of the exhibition was dedicated to double portraits, many of whom were close friends and acquaintances of Hockney. They are immense pieces, almost life-size, and very engaging. Hockney was interested in capturing the intimate and often complex relationships between his subjects.

Hockney experimented with photography but instead of using one shot to convey his image, he started using a series of photos to create a montage, which gave him multiple viewpoints of one scene. My favourite was this one above, a landscape which shows a barren road in America.

When Hockney returned to Yorkshire in 2006, he started painting views of the local landscape, often using a series of canvases to create one picture (above).

One of the final rooms had a wonderful display called the Four Seasons which showed slow-moving film footage of the same path in Yorkshire during different times of year. It really was mesmerising and not something that can sadly be summed up here. Go and see it for yourself, it's well worth it!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Cute as a button

I've been busy over the last few months, creating a new product for my store and here's the finished result - cute little button brooches! Each one is covered in a pretty vintage kimono fabric, using complimentary colours. I love this summery mint green, coral and red colour palette, which comes from a pretty child's kimono that I have in my collection.

Each set contains three buttons and the backing is made from felt that has been hand sewn onto the button in a complimentary colour to the front fabric. I have then hand sewn on a brooch pin.

I'm selling these buttons in packs of three which means they can be placed together on the lapel of a jacket or used to decorate a bag or scarf. I will be adding more buttons to my store soon!

You can find these little cuties in my store here.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Fabric Friday

This Friday I'd like to mention a pretty Japanese cotton that I've had in my collection for a while. I love its vibrant purple colour and the pretty blossom design that reminds me of spring. This fabric has  recently been used for a custom order I had through my shop. A lovely customer from Derbyshire liked my fabric cuff bracelets but needed one that was a bit wider. She gave me the dimensions she required and the type of colours that she liked and I decided to go with the combination below.

The blossom fabric has touches of pink, yellow and turquoise and I chose a lovely turquoise blue cotton to use for the back of the cuff. I like to match the backing colour to an accent colour from the main design.

This cuff is thicker in width than the other cuffs I have made, and I really like it! I'm planning to make more in this width over the next few weeks.

 The cuff is held closed with a button and elastic loop closure. I covered the button with vintage kimono fabric in a matching red and green leaf combo.

You can find more cuff bracelets in my store here.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Green with envy

I just had to mention these fabulous Manolo Blahnik shoes on my blog. I saw them last week in Liberty and I'm still lusting after them. Each one is made from a stunning satin fabric in vibrant shades of yellow and green and is embellished with a diamante buckle. The green version would make the perfect accompaniment to a Cheeky Leopard envelope clutch!

Team it with an embroidered silk bomber jacket and jeans and you're good to go!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Green goddesses

Check out these green goddesses that have recently been added to my store. Each one is an envelope clutch bag made from a selection of vintage Japanese obi fabrics from my collection. The obi is the 'belt' that goes around the kimono and they are often thick and heavily woven. These ones use a combination of greens, along with a good dose of metallic gold to give it some bling.

This gorgeous envelope clutch is made from two Japanese obi fabrics. The main body of the bag is a vibrant green satin, and the flap is made from a green and gold Japanese design. The lining is a turquoise blue cotton and the bag is held closed with a silver metallic snap.

This clutch bag is made from a decorative vintage obi fabric on one side and a vibrant green satin fabric on the other side. I gave it a bright yellow lining for a shot of colour.

The bag is held closed with a vintage button and elastic loop closure and then folded in half.

Unfold the bag and it also doubles up as an iPad case!

These bags use the same fabrics as the large clutch bags in my store. They are the smaller, cheaper option but have no less of a dramatic effect and are the perfect accompaniment to a night out.
You can find them in my store here.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Fabric Friday

Last Friday I mentioned a selection of kimono fabrics from my stash that I wanted to make up into scarves. I'm now proud to say that I have added two new scarves to my store and I'm really pleased with them! Both scarves are double sided and use vintage kimono fabrics, pieced together in a variety of complimentary fabrics to create interest and colour.

The first scarf uses a stunning slate blue and beige floral design on one side and on the other side I've used a pretty grey blossom design. Both pieces have been matched with a pretty peach and grey decorative kimono fabric and pieced together.

The scarf can then be used to drape around the neck, or as an evening wrap.

The second scarf uses the same slate grey and beige floral design as the first one, but I've pieced it together with a lovely black and white stylised chrysanthemum design.

The other side uses a beautifully vibrant purple and grey floral which I've pieced together with a stylised purple and white floral design.

This scarf looks stunning draped around the neck. You could choose to show either the slate blue side, or the purple side, or have a combination of both, as seen in the picture below.

You can find both these scarves in my store here.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Cute couple

Check out this cute couple! They're pretty stunning aren't they? The combo consists of a large clutch bag and a small clutch bag, both made from stunning vintage Japanese fabrics that I bought in Tokyo last year. They've just been added to my store and you can find them both here.

The small clutch bag is made from a gorgeous red and cream vintage floral Japanese kimono fabric.

I decided to give it nice turquoise blue lining for a flash of colour.

The large clutch bag is made from a vintage obi fabric in vibrant shades of green, orange and lilac with a lot of metallic gold thrown in.

This clutch has a bright red cotton lining. Wow!

If you're looking for something a bit more casual and roomier, it also has a matching tote bag, made from the same stunning obi fabric.

 The sturdy red canvas straps and red cotton lining add a nice flash of colour.

You can find all these items in my store here.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Happy Monday

Happy Monday to all! I finally feel like spring might be on its way! The sun is shining and the crocuses are starting to come out. I had a fun-filled weekend, starting on Friday with a trip to the new Design Museum on Kensington High Street. Every Friday I try to do something cultural and as I was going to visit a dear friend in Kensington, I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

As a museum devoted to contemporary design, from architecture and fashion to graphics and product design, it needed to be something spectacular. From the outside I wasn't massively impressed, but walk into the atrium and it's quite a transformation! The interior is clad in oak panels that give it a warm, inviting feeling and there are steps and walkways that lead to the museums facilities.

Look up, and you see the most stunning part of the museum, the roof. The Commonwealth Institute, which was situated on the land before, was a listed building and this meant that the roof had to be kept. As you look up, it really is a stunning sight, mixed with the oak cladding of the new walls.

The steps that lead up to the first floor are also made into informal seating where you can sit and enjoy the space.

At the top you can view the excellent permanent collection, a feast of design achievements over the decades. This wall of items is what you first see of the exhibition. It shows a selection of design icons over the past decades. The permanent collection is so stuffed with information that it was too much to take in in one go. I will need to go back and see more!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Fabric Friday

Fabric Friday is a great excuse to sort through my fabric collection and to remind myself of what I have. For a while now, I've been meaning to find some fabrics to use as scarf designs. The kimono fabrics are lovely and soft and floaty and lend themselves perfectly to pretty decorative scarves. This morning I've been sorting through my extensive kimono collection to see if there is anything suitable. I like the idea of combining several kimono fabrics within one scarf, so have been looking for the right combinations of colour and design.

There are so many beautiful fabrics to use, I don't know where to start! Below is a very small selection of what I have.

Pinks and reds make for a pretty colour palette. The kimono fabric above left is a child's kimono and uses a fabulously bright colour combination.

I also like the more subtle colours of navy blue and cream. The soft blue bushclover design above is often used on Japanese kimonos.

Purple is such a stunning colour and looks great against many skin tones. These two kimono fabrics are quite different in design, but the colour pulls them together.

Japanese design also includes fabulous geometric prints. I love the dramatic design of the black and white geo above, and think it will work really well with the black and red ikat design.

The fabulous floral kimono above has also been used to make a clutch bag in the past. I love the stylised drama of the flower and am thinking of combining it with a  purple ikat fabric.

The red and white blossom works well with the soft pink maple leaf design - two traditional Japanese design motifs.

I am hoping to have some scarves made up and listed on my store in the near future and I'll mention them on my blog once they are done.

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