La Vie Bohème

We  saw Mockingjay Part 1 last Sunday and on our way home, I finally got up close the display window of Rustan’s Makati.

Christmas 2014 display window of Rustan's Makati

Christmas 2014 display window of Rustan’s Makati

They undoubtedly have the best windows and they periodically change them after a couple of months. However, they always reserve the best decoration for December. This year, it looked like an enchanted winter forest that is very Tim Walker (a.k.a. Mr. Fairy Tale Fantasy) meets Narnia. Of course, Tim Walker is well-known for photographing very whimsical spreads and campaigns. However, what I do not like about these was the fact that you can no longer see the clothes. The branches by the glass were too busy or had they reduced the sides for about a foot each, it would have been much better. I still get envious of all the Ayala Avenue people because they have better Christmas decorations, compared to the bleak and sparsely decorated area of McKinley Hill. Do they know it’s Christmas? LOL Yes, I’m really claiming the Holiday Season this year, and I’m as giddy as my niece Brianna seeing glittering decors and blinking Christmas lights.

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I can taste the leather

Yes, that is a “White Chicks” reference. After the fiasco from the store I visited yesterday, I finally got around dropping by the other leather supplies shop I have been keeping tab for a long time. I had a doctor’s appointment again and after it was confirmed that I still have a mild dextroscoliosis, I walked all the way to the store. I thought that I was already ready to work from scratch.

Yesterday, I had a little saddle stitch practice with a thrifted leather belt, and I eventually got the technique. Although I’ve read Al Stohlman’s instructions several times, I still accidentally pierce my thread while pulling the second needle. It usually happens when I haven’t waxed the thread enough, or I was just not paying close attention to how I pull the first thread. By-the-book instruction mentions I should redo the stitch when it happens, but being the stubborn person that I was, I just cut the fiber and I end up with jagged thread on some parts. Here is how it looked from the pre-pierced belt:

Saddle stitch practice on a leather belt

Saddle stitch practice on a leather belt

The back of the belt. It does not look that bad, non?

The back of the belt. It does not look that bad, non?

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Ready to learn saddle stitch

Marikina Clock Tower

Marikina Clock Tower

Not so long ago, I wrote about a project I wanted to embark upon. But who am I kidding? It happened more than two years ago as I even wrote about it after I finished with my comprehensive examinations. I worked from home today because I had a follow-up medical check-up with my doctor in Marikina. I thought that I might as well drop by the leather supplies stores again since I was already in the area.

(Sorry for the bad quality photos, as I have mistakenly left my digital camera in the apartment. I had also forgotten my HMO card and it was almost a disaster. Good thing I have my account number listed on my phone.)

Giant shoe automobile, shoe car Marikina City

That’s one big patent footwear — a shoe automobile!

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The bamboo and the milliner

I haven’t been looking at bags for quite some… time inside thrift stores . As a result, I was so delighted to see these two unexpected items. It was an unplanned trip because I was already on my way to Makati from Marikina. But as I was already in Cubao, I might as well drop by one store just because I had to.

First, it was this vintage Gucci leather case with bamboo zipper pulls and gold hardware. The poor thing was just sitting on the eye-level shelf of a five layer rack for pouches and clutches, but I immediately recognized the zipper pulls even from afar. It baffles me how anyone would miss or ignore such iconic bamboo accents. Judging by how it originally looked, the leather body had already seen better days and had a lot of superficial stains. Those were perceivably enough deterrent to prevent anyone from picking it up. However, I knew right away that the leather used was one of those hardy Gucci leathers. A slight pressure from my thumb had removed a little smudge at the surface, and it was not something my trusted pair of leather cleaner and conditioner could not handle. Here’s a look at what it had looked before I restored it:

Before restoration of the vintage Gucci bamboo cosmetic leather bag

Before restoration of the vintage Gucci with bamboo zipper pulls

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