Saturday, September 25, 2010

Time flies.


Has it really been that long since I was HERE? I guess I must have been having, really, I've been working......and worrying, probably too much!

I'm not complaining about the work. The worry....that's another story. I am a worrier, I am my own worst critic, I do make mountains out of molehills, and yes, I do think everything is worse than it usually is. I do have to exert myself sometimes relentlessly to see the positives beyond the dark forests of doubts that seem to grow like crazy weeds in my brain.

Where is the drawn line between "not giving up" and "it's not meant to be"? How do I know when destiny has something else in mind, or the universe is just testing how much I really want something? I tend to personalize all events and occurrences, which can be a heavy load at times when they are not what I expected, anticipated or wanted.

Struggling as an independent designer and single Mom, I wonder if I will ever get to a place where I can say "I've made it". I keep hoping and I keep working. I'm not giving up.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today's PROMO SPECIALS at Mano Bello


I would love to see someone get to take advantage of this lovely pairing of bracelet cuff & necklace in chamois colored deerskin. These are both beautiful items and are marked down substantially for a promotional sale introduction to Mano Bello!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Flying out the door - Specials at Mano Bello

 Wide Leather Cuff - Mano Bello

I had no idea this would go over so well....struggling as an independent Fashion Designer and trying to support 2 lives with only that....can be a challenge. Bringing more people to my site any way I can is something I spend hours pondering.....
Yesterday's 1st time ever special offering flew out the door in the first hour!
So, as long as I can and need to, I will feature daily sale items.....come and get to know me!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First time being published.........

April 29, 2008


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Marilyn said...
absolutely the most divinely fabulous creations

Ring in the Flowers!

Fall Flowers keep blooming at Mano Bello......!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

News from Mano Bello: Responsible Fashion

News from Mano Bello: Responsible Fashion: "I am excited about joining a group where artists donate some of there sales to charity with the purpose of 'Artists changing the world'. I ..."

Responsible Fashion

I am excited about joining a group where artists donate some of there sales to charity with the purpose of "Artists changing the world".
I look forward to doing a part in this great idea!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coming up roses!

 New design
Sometimes while deep into the creative process of a certain line, the re making of various repeat items will sometimes evolve into a new idea, which becomes the next design.
Such happened here while carefully sculpting and stitching leather roses and flowers into various wrist cuffs, brooches and rings, it came to me that a few different cuts with my scissors could provide a whole different look to these blooms. Pleased with the results, a new line is born.

I love leather and I love flowers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

                                                   Shop for leather brooches & corsages

Using antique glass or rhinestone buttons, combined with leather that is hand sculpted to ruffle into "petals", these rose pins,cuffs and rings have become one of my best loved lines this fall. Seasonless for wear through Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer. Pin these brooches on your purse, scarf ,shawl, headband or blouse for an instant  finishing touch to whatever you're wearing. Available at .

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flowers are STILL BLOOMING at Mano Bello ! designs are sprouting up BLOOMS to take with you into Fall & Winter this year. Freshly picked leathers in neutral tones, shaped into beautiful brooches, wrist cuffs and even rings!  I just love this line. 

Each design is a unique piece, using antique buttons and recycled leathers. These make nice gifts for a friend or that special someone, or Mom!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cowl Scarves in Suede


I had great fun with these very soft and thin leathers lending perfect drape abilities to these fun tie on scarves.                            

Shop for Mano Bello scarves & cowls 
Sheepskin suede neck cowls or scarves 

It's always a great day when new designs rise out of scraps & pieces, or some textile just won't go ignored. So often, the ideas come from the fabric itself, as if it knows what it wants to be.........or 1 idea becomes another in the process. I love the fluidity of this place, where design meets creation....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A day in the life of a single Mom, Fashion Designer, Blogger, Homeschooler, DIY'er

I would love to write about how exciting and fulfilling my creative life I get to focus on fashion and my pleasure in designing & making beautiful clothing & accessories and the satisfaction that comes when a buyer loves my products and buys more.....
But......with a capital B.....
I am also a struggling single Mom, middle age adding to the feat. My significant partner walked out on me unannounced, with no warning, about 4 months ago. Leaving me with a 2-income set of mortgages & bills and now with only 1 income to survive on, my  future is anything but certain, to say the least, it will definitely be different from what is would have been.
So, now, what was serious pleasure and "take my time" endeavors in my creative studio, has had to become serious hard work, get out there and network, put up that website, produce product and SELL!  Every day.
Although I would have eventually gotten to the point of having a website and blogging and such, I am now limited with time and resources and facing many challenges.
I have secured my domain, and have made attempts at creating my website and have read about the ease and simplicities of the task and have been left feeling daunted and a bit stupid. I think I'm going to need some help.
I have started my Blog and been surprised at all of the "success" stories out there and what a wonderful opportunity it is to network, make friends, show your products, share common experiences and even find monetary gain. I had no idea.
I'm on my second full day of trying to interpret the website far, all I can do is link my website to my  web shop on etsy. Although I think etsy is a cool place to showcase my has limits and thousands of other artists trying to sell their wares as well.  It's easy to get lost in the crowds.

Our annual Home school evaluation is done each year with a certified teacher. We've seen her every year for several. We arrived at her door tonight to find no one home and waited around for awhile...she has 4 kids...she's probably running late. No, I got the wrong day & time.....of course. It's scheduled for tomorrow night, even though I read my calendar 3 times throughout the day. It didn't sink in until after we got home. We'll go again tomorrow night. That didn't help my feeling adequate much.

I received an email from a customer who made a purchase earlier in the week. She loves the purse, but, it's the wrong color...she's returning it. Not good for my ailing budget. Not good for my feeling adequate as sole support for my family.
Leather cuff with bows at
SO, if I can be interesting enough to eventually find some followers of my blog, maybe they will get to see the real life of a designer from the bottom to hopefully up! I'm not giving up.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Most popular purse is a clutch!

I designed this bag for myself. I am a long time "shoulder bag" wearer....the bigger, the better.

I wanted something smaller for those runs to the store, or for when I'm going to the barn for a ride on my horse and I don't need all of my tech-y stuff or all of my makeup, or that book to read while I wait for whatever......just something for my wallet, chapstick, keys, list and sunglasses for a trip out and back.

I can just grab this bag, tuck it under my arm, or hold it with 1 hand.....

These have been flying out of the shop to my delight & surprise. It seems I am spending all of my time right now trying to make more of these instead of working on more designs.
Being a creative being, the monotony of simulating the same thing over and over again can be just that....monotony. Pacing myself is something I need to conform to...allowing time for production AND for creating. After all, I am creating products so that I can sell them and support my family. forewarned.....if you would like to be on the list for one of these soft leather bags....there may be a slight wait of 1-2 weeks.

Leather "raw" clutch from Mano Bello