What I’m Loving: IndependentReign — Market Tote

I popped over to Etsy to browse today and the first thing to pop out at me was this market tote bag from IndependentReign. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Made of jade colored linen, it’s the perfect summer color that can work equally well into late autumn, as well as early spring.

Jade Market Tote in Linen by Independent Reign

A casual linen tote bag in a beautiful, faded Jade color is sturdy enough for books and laptops, roomy enough for beach towels or a weekend trip and lightweight enough for every day use. This luxurious shade is muted enough to wear with almost anything, yet still adds a great shot of color to basic neutrals. Modern simplicity, classic styling and sturdy construction will keep you grabbing this versatile bag for just about everything!

Shop owner, Janine, got her start after leaving NYC to move to Hong Kong with her boyfriend. It was there she fell in love with the shops offering assorted sewing ephemera and taught herself to sew using online videos (and a wee bit of swearing). She’s back in NYC, now with her Yorkie and creates with passion, often spending hours in fabric shops looking for the perfect addition to her accessories line.

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Moore and Giles: Leather Bags and Accessories

Late last year, my husband and I were out for jaunt and spotted an Airstream in a shopping center. Airstreams aren’t uncommon, but when they’re parked in a high-end shopping center and there are leather goods everywhere, then it calls for further investigation. We discovered Moore & Giles and some of the finest natural leather goods we’d seen in quite some time.

Founded in 1933 in Lynchburg, Va., Moore and Giles is dedicated to designing and developing the most innovative and luxurious natural leathers for the high-end hospitality, aviation and residential interior design industries. In January 2007, they introduced a collection of leather bags and accessories as an additional avenue to showcase the inherent beauty and timeless appeal of natural leathers. 

My husband loves artisan goods as much as I do and fell in love with pretty much everything they had in the back of their custom Airstream trailer. He bought the Donald Dopp Kit in Tuscany Cognac — a must for the well-groomed traveler. The roomy compartment has a waterproof lining and two interior zipped pockets. It’s perfect for when he’s traveling for work, as well as weekend trips. It carries everything he needs, without him having to worry about what could wind up on his clothes.

When I take the bag and look at it really closely, you can see the quality not only in the leather and the way it was treated during the tanning process, but in the actual manufacturing of the product. The stitching is immaculate and you can’t tell where the leather ends and the lining begins as it is seamless.

Moore and Giles Donald Dopp Kit in Tuscany Cognac

The mission of Moore & Giles, Inc., is to be the leading designer and supplier of the world’s most unique and innovative leathers and accessories with a commitment to excellence in both quality and customer service, guided by the simple principles of honesty, fairness, integrity and common courtesy.

Moore & Giles Campaign Chair


I really want the Moore & Giles Campaign Chair for ball games, etc. Sadly, my husband isn’t convinced.
Moore and Giles Gail Portfolio

However, I might be able to convince him I need the Gail Portfolio. Wait. Leticia and I both might need the portfolio. Thank goodness it comes in different colors.

What are you looking for in quality leather? Does anything shared here tickle your fancy?

Charleston Coffee Exchange — Local Coffee in the Holy City

On a recent trip to Charleston, my first stop was the Charleston Coffee Exchange. For those that know me, this isn’t a surprise. Finding a local coffee shop is always the first thing on my to-do list when traveling. They are the heart and soul of the cities they are housed in. Coffee shops are where you find the local crowd congregating for a cup of coffee, worshiping over freshly brewed joe, while lustily inhaling the smells of freshly brewed beans as if it were their last.
Charleston Coffee Exchange
I was lucky enough to step into Charleston Coffee Exchange after three hours on the road and a cup that had been empty far too long. The silky, deep aroma of coffee beans was heavy in the air, and I knew I had found a place I could call my home away from home.  Sitting in the middle of the store, behind bushels of the most beautiful coffee beans I’d ever seen, was their roaster. It was a nondescript piece of equipment, but I knew it was there to make alchemy that is only described as heaven in a cup.

The owner of Charleston Coffee Exchange, Paul, is a master roaster and has been roasting coffee for over seven (7) years. He was hands on in his education, visiting the coffee plantation of Coasta Rica and learning everything about coffee from the ground up. He’s got amazing knowledge about the process of coffee and is always to share his love with you.
Charleston Coffee Exchange Beans
I brought home two bags of their freshly roasted French Roast. The obsidian color and flavors make my taste buds sing — especially if laced with a blast of icy cold cream. One bag was to go to Leticia, but I’ve not had the heart to tell her my husband opened it this past weekend and, before I knew it, had prepared two pots of coffee. This just means I get to go back to Charleston in the next few weeks for work. I could order it online, but half the fun is in the adventure!

My friend, Dee, was with me and she bought a bag of their Irish Cream flavored coffee. I’m not big on flavored coffee, but I tried hers and have to say it was easy on my palate and quite good. It didn’t leave an aftertaste that most flavored coffees leave.

Charleston Coffee Roasters is now on my list of must-visit locations every time I’m in the Charleston. Next time you’re down Charleston-way, stop in Charleston Coffee Exchange and tell them the Crafty Gals sent you!
Charleston Coffee Exchange Beans and Crank

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High Cotton — Made in the South

High Cotton is a family owned company out of Raleigh, NC. High Cotton started out offering washable, 100% Cotton Bow Ties and Cummerbunds Hand-Made in North Carolina. By supporting the revival of North Carolina’s textile history by choosing to hand-cut and hand-sew their products locally, they have found it resonates deeply with customers. What separates their company is the commitment to classic southern mainstays such as tattersails, ginghams, and madras plaids. High Cotton’s goal is to present a conscientious, practical alternative to customers who like the timeless element of a cotton bow tie and live its comfortable feel.

High Cotton Spring 2013 Bow Ties

They have expanded upon their original line with an addition of headbands for women and girls made in the same beautiful prints, a line of Bow Ties for boys and t-shirts for adults. Their newest addition is the Made in the South Polo. These polo shirts are 100% North Carolina cotton that is processed and sewn without leaving the state. Imagine a product that only travels 574 miles from raw cotton in the field to to the finished product, at a cost that is comparable to any large name brand you’d buy in a department store.


My husband wasn’t raised in the South and therefore, has just begun to appreciate the art of the Bow Tie. I’m pretty sure after perusing the wares at High Cotton he’s going to have quite a list. Personally, I’m crushing on the headbands and would love one in each fabric, but do believe a madras one is in my future, just in time for summer.


High Cotton will also help you create custom bow ties and cummerbunds to complement your bridesmaids’ dresses for your wedding. These bespoke keepsakes can be made with your own fabric or by sending them your wedding colors and they can make several selections for you to choose from. You can add monogramming to make your gift truly unique.

It is High Cotton’s hope they will be able to “extend itself to our customers as a helping hand to properly reflect their individuality, in good conscience and in good style. Knowing that all of our products represent the revival of a southern tradition, we are more than happy to welcome you as a part of our mission.”

Tesler + Mendelovitch — Wearable Wood

Tesler + Medelovitch is quite possibly the most eye catching textile design and development team I’ve seen in quite some time. T+M incubate and create totally original, never-before-seen materials, transforming them into high quality custom-made products for industry, art and fashion.

Wood as a textile

Wood Clutch by Tesler + Mendelovitch

Their recent work has resulted in the transformation of wood into a new textile. The texture, properties and appearance of our “wearable wood” series as a simultaneously delicate, flexible, durable material, we researched the potential of integrating these opposing elements to form new product identities.

T+M’s goal of creating original materials from “the ground up” demands an intensive incubation period of careful thought, experimentation, research, as well as tremendous effort to convert their vision into a unified aesthetic, technical and functional product.

Tesler Mendolovitch Creme Clutch

Featuring a magnetic clasp and a soft underbelly for a comfortable grip, all wood used in our designs is hand-selected, individually and meticulously crafted to a high quality standard.

This thought of wood as a textile is brilliant and the geometric angles creates an architectural looking “skin” for this clutch that provides flexibility. These clutches are constructed of 100% wood, 100% hide, making them delicate and wear resilient.  Tesler Mendelovitch Americano Wooden Clutch

Orli Tesler + Itamar Mendelovitch
We are a design couple and have been working together for 5 years. We met at school and founded a mutual friendship based on polarizing design philosophies. We design our middle ground and somehow it works!
Shop their products on Etsy:

Find them on Facebook:

And on Pinterest:



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Shops we love: Oakleaf and Acorn – Select Findings for Men

One of my favorites places to shop when I’m headed down 85 South in Georgia is Oakleaf & Acorn in Brasleton. Purveyor John Rich’s goal is to bring you the finest quality men’s goods. Products that are representative of a man at the point in his life where quality and craftsmanship are priority, sharing the value, enterprise and effort of a dedicated few.

What do I have for my children to remember me by?

That question is what led John to open Oakleaf and Acorn. His goal was to make sure that not only do we live life to fullest, but that the items we used to enhance our lives are ones that add to the richness of our experience and bring enjoyment to those around you.

Be it a shaving kit that follows you through your journeys, a scent that reminds you of a special person or place, the interesting objects that sit on your desk, or the bag that carries you through the day. Things and experiences your loved ones will remember.

I’ve selected three items to highlight from Oakleaf and Acorn to share the great pieces curated by John for his shop.

The jeans are produced by Stovall & Young. They are White Oak Cone raw 12 oz. selvage denim made of natural indigo and 100% cotton from Greensboro, NC. The denim has been Sanforized to reduce shrinkage. The leather trim is hand-crafted in Portland, OR. Belt loops are selvage and copper stitching with a chain stitched hem. Hand sewn with care in San Francisco.

These ties were made exclusivly for Oakleaf and Acorn by Sally Peek in Columbia, South Carolina. John choose “Civil War” fabrics for this limited edition of 18 ties made of 100% cotton with a skinny staight style. My husband owns one that have bull dogs on them and can wear from work to a night out with the boys.

Our final share is the Spice Tin candle from Himalayan Trading Post, produced in Decatur, Georgia. This replica of spice tins, used to store baking soda and spices, has an antiqued distressed finish and comes with hardwood wooden lids. They are filled with fragranced soy wax and burn for 50 hours.

Oak Leaf and Acorn -- Select Findings for Men

Have you checked out Oakleaf and Acorn? If so, tell them Straight Up Crafty sent you!

You can shop Oak Leaf and Acorn on their site: http://www.oakleafandacorn.com

Oakleaf and Acorn on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oakleaf-Acorn/

Contact John.