Life's a pretty precious...

Life's a pretty precious...

Saturday, 5 August 2017


Leather is one of our earliest and most useful discoveries. Wild animals were hunted for food then clothing, footwear and shelters were made from the hides. Nothing has changed since those early times - hides today are a by-product. Animals are raised for meat, dairy and wool industries, not for their hides. Approximately half of all leather produced today is used to make shoes and about 25% for clothing. Upholstery demands only around 15% of the total product. 



I've only ever known this bag as "The Pony Express" because it resembled the early mail bags.
It was my mother's and is now 70 plus 
years old. The metal clasp has been 
replaced, the bag restitched in places. 
It's one of my favourite bags which I have had since I was about 14.

Wall paintings and artifacts in Egyptian tombs dating back to 5000 B.C. indicate that leather was used for sandals, clothes, gloves, buckets, bottles, shrouds for burying the dead and for military equipment. The ancient Greeks are credited with developing tanning formulas using certain tree barks and leaves soaked in water to preserve the leather. This was the first record of vegetable tanned leather, which became a well-established trade in Greece around 500 B.C. Vegetable tanned leathers are still produced today and remain an active ingredient in modern tanneries. The Romans made extensive use of leather for footwear, clothes, and military equipment including shields, saddles and harnesses.

I bought this bag for my first overseas trip in 1974. I could lock it and keep my passport and traveller's cheques secure! I remember having to locate a little key and unlock the bag for security checks so that I could go into Buckingham Palace to sign the visitors' book. (I have no idea where the key was safely stored!) I still love this bag - and have no idea where the key is at all now!


In North America, the indigenous people made Tepees out of leather and leather clothing was decorated with beads, bones, porcupine quills, and feathers. Through their exceptional tanning skills, they were able to produce white leather, a particularly difficult colour to achieve. Fringes on garments served as a type of gutter that repelled rainwater from the wearer. The indigenous people introduced early European settlers to the technique of oil tanning.

Luxury is defined as " a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense."

I bought this piece of wearable art in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1986.
Brand name, NORMA, Canada.  I followed my mother's advice to the letter on this one about buying new clothes - "buy quality that you will love for a long time" - it was expensive quality and I have loved it for over 30 years.

“Leather as a material, right down to its texture and smell, will always have the potential to evoke a feeling of excitement.”

Fleet Ilya


Motor bikes and

My leather motor bike jacket was bought in J.B.'s Harley Davidson days 20 years ago.  Still as new, it's very warm, perfect for dressing up to go out at night in winter... My headband was a gift my Dad brought back from the States a long time ago. Turquoise earrings a gift from J.B. about ten years ago. Jeans from a local Op Shop for $3. And my trusty black leather boots which never age...

 ...however, the bends and climbs 
of  backroads and mountains on the Beemer require different  apparel...
even the pillion passenger has to look the part!


During WWI, German fighter pilots were the first to sport the bomber silhouette as a protective outerwear layer of their military uniform.
Function met fashion in 1928 when Manhattan raincoat maker Irving Schott designed the first motorcycle jacket for Harley Davidson. The jacket was dubbed the "Perfecto," named after a cigar and sold for $5.50.
From World War 2 military garb to the 1950s Hollywood tough-guy jacket to the 1960s when The Beatles wore leather to the 1970s and 80s when women began to wear leather jackets on a widespread scale to the 1990s casual-chic fashion to the present where the leather jacket can pass in any situation, casual or formal.  


I inherited The Blue from my beloved Auntie Lillian. She bought it 
in the 80s,  when peace, love and rock and roll transitioned to shoulder pads
and woman power.

My headband was a gift from one of my brothers after a trip
to South Africa - beautifully beaded (actually for hanging glasses around my neck but I've never had a pair of glasses which fitted the tiny plastic ends - and I much prefer wearing it around my head!)
I'm wearing my recently purchased white top over my twenty plus year old "Sark skirt"  named after Sark whose writings helped me through a very difficult period a long time ago. The beret...I was still a teenager when I acquired it.



Link to my Instagram

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  1. I do love aged leather, both your bags are lovely and the stories behind them make them all the more special. You look fantastic, Elizabeth and you are definitely the most beautiful biker chick I've ever seen.
    My Grandma gave me almost the same advice. No cheap compromises, the best we can afford. xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix, and I certainly FEEL pretty darn good on the back on the bike, I go into a meditation after about the first hour of stuff going round and round in my head - and then, bliss! Great therapy. Shame I can't wear such a headband instead of a helmet but I do value my head! xx

  2. I adore leather, and these are some great pieces! That red jacket is amazingly funky and arty - gimme, gimme! I have lots of leather in my closet and I love it for how it feels so personal to the wearer.

    You look gorgeous in every picture, Elizabeth, and I'll totally join your gang!

    1. Thank you, Sheila, and I'll join yours as well! You have some very nice leather in your wardrobe too :) xx

  3. I'm darn impressed that you ride a motorcycle. I used to ride motocross. It's so badass!

    You look amazing, bold and adventurous. A bit like a super hero who are also often clad in leather.


    1. Thanks for your compliments, Suzanne but I don't RIDE a motorbike as in at the front, in control, no I ride pillion with J.B. at the controls!! (I think I'd better clear that one up in the post :) !! I DO ride La Vie (my bicycle) up front! I am certainly bold and adventurous though! Thanks so much for dropping by my blog. Have a fabulous day. xx

    2. Oops, pressed 'publish' too soon! I'm in awe of you riding motocross!!!! THAT is very impressive! I'll stick to hooning around town on La Vie!! xx

  4. Nothing beats leather for style and longevity. I always enjoy wearing leather and have several pieces way older than my grown sons.Your red jacket is a stunner , so good on you. I loved the story behind those wonderful bags. Enjoy your rides on the bike as we head toward Spring.

    1. Thank you Jill. Yes, you also wear leather - that gorgeous little black jacket you wore on your post recently is one fabulous example. Thanks for enjoying the bag stories. Clothes and accessories are so much more fun and valuable when they have stories, I think. Although our weather at the moment is about 10 degrees warmer during the day than yours, I still drew the line at a bike ride with J.B. up onto the tablelands - until September. Stay snug and warm. xx

  5. You have an amazing unique sense of style! I love it! I started a new link up for grandmothers on my blog today! I would love to have you join!

    1. Hi Amy, Thanks for your lovely compliments. And congratulations on reaching grandmother status. Isn't it amazing!! I have four wonderful grandchildren, two in Sydney, two in Brisbane, and both families 5 to 6 plus hours drive away so when we see them it's like a full on carnival! I love the idea of your link, thank you for the invitation. Enjoy your new role in life, look forward to keeping in touch. Elizabeth.

  6. Both headbands and your beret are wonderful pieces that show joy when worn by you. I love the time-honored traditions of vintage pieces and how function has turned into fashion throughout the ages. Thank you for sharing with Hat Attack!