Sophie Kingo Blogs

Insight into Sophie Kingo's African-Scandinavian inspired clothing and accessories


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2010 – the year of craft

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking of what I’ve made in the past year. No wonder I at times thought I was developing RSI in my right hand. I was knitting like crazy. Here’s what I’ve knitted/crocheted/sewn/beaded between December 2009 and January 2011 (a total of 13 months), complete with links to the relevant posts:

And, that’s about as much as I can recall right now. But I think that may do for 13 months of knitting, sewing, crocheting and beading – at the very least 100 individual items. If I remember anything else, or if you think I’ve missed something off, let me know. But I’m rather proud of that!

Here are a few pictures:

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Ghanaian Chic

Projectbrownman has been an avid follower of The Sartorialist for some time now and can often be found swooning over some of the outfits featured. In more recent months PBM stumbled upon Street Etiquette, my favourite of the two.

The owners of Street Etiquette “provide the vision [of menswear] from an urban perspective and look to connect with individuals worldwide.” The guys, Joshua and Travis, are apparently influenced by a variety of boundaries and eras. So it’s probably inevitable that PBM should enjoy poring over what the (rather handsome) boys of Street Etiquette offer us on the style front. As, to me, a similar style is evident in PBM’s wardrobe. He is a recently self-confessed slight dandy.  He has always enjoyed a good hat or two and has in the past year added a variety of silk handkerchiefs to his wardrobe which consists of beauties such as Uniqlo moleskin skinny trousers, TM Lewin skinny shirts, a plethora of ties from the heady heights of Tom Ford and Kenzo down to Pierre Cardin, second-hand Greenwich Market waistcoats, Topman tweed jackets, Zara blazers, Muji trench coats, Sophie Kingo scarves and Fred Perry shoes. In the summer PBM had also commented that he needed more accessories and elements of his background in his wardrobe and asked me to make a bracelet from him from leather thong and wooden beads. I did.

In November PBM started reminding me how much he’d like a quilted jacket. No wonder. He’d seen the boys of Street Etiquette looking fly in Ralph Lauren. So I made it my mission to buy him a quilted jacket for Christmas. But Barbour just couldn’t deliver, and my budget wouldn’t stretch to £400 for RL Polo. However, on the same blog post I came across a wicked idea for one of PBM’s Christmas presents, which also happened to fit with his desire to have more accessories and links to his Ghanaian heritage. And this is the photo that spurred it:

The present idea – watch with a Ghanaian cloth strap and beads. Not fallen leaves.

For the bracelets I already had the wooden beads from my jewellery making stash, and just had to order some elastic. However, for the watch I had absolutely zilch of what was required. This required some thought. eBay was the most obvious choice for a watch face as I couldn’t be doing with a December trip down Portobello Road. Buying a watch off eBay wasn’t too easy – many of the watches were either seriously nice and pricey vintage watches, brand new H Samuel types, or metal bracelet watches. I came across a few suitable specimens but kept either missing the boat or being massively outbid. Nice looking gold plated watches which wouldn’t break the bank were apparently not so easy to come by. I had managed to beg some proper woven kente cloth for the strap from Ma Mary, PBM’s Mum, but was massively failing on the watch face front. Eventually, a week or so before Christmas I got lucky and won a gold USSR Sekonda from an eBay seller in Hessle, East Yorkshire. I received just in time to cut off the new black leather strap and replace with the kente strip. And here’s the outcome, below. PBM likes it.


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Sophie Kingo on Etsy – well and truly stocked

Some time ago I set up my Etsy shop (Sophie Kingo – Handmade gifts and jewellery) in an attempt to try and sell some of the jewellery and oyster card holders I have been making. I listed a few items back in July and have finally, this week, got around to listing more items. In fact, everything which I have to sell at the moment is now listed.

My items seems to have emerged into two themes, Africa/Tribal and Water. Here’s a taster of what you can find there:

Africa

This collection includes: the lovely Safari Cluster necklace, which incorporates an upcycled elephant pendant from my awkward teenage years/1990s wardrobe;  Dying Embers earrings, made of  lovely glass, metal and plastic beads in rich ambers and browns; and the Oyster Card holder made from Ghanaian wax print purple and white cotton fabric bought from Obuasi Market in Ghana.

Water

This collection is primarily made from blue beads and includes: Love the Rain necklace, made using a selection of beautiful glass beads, foil glass beads and a glittery button (because everyone needs buttons in their lives); 3 Blue Lagoon bracelet, including this one (number 2) made from some really lovely glass lamp work beads; and Orbit earrings – wire wrapped purple acrylic pearls.

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New bracelets and earrings

After a successful couple of hours of making necklaces I decided to make some bracelets and earrings. I quite like the muted tones of the beiges and browns. They make me think of my trip to Ghana for some reason. But then so do the bright orange and yellows so I don’t know what I’m talking about.

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Jewellery making in return for Mexican food

My sister asked me to take all my beads and findings around to hers a couple of weeks ago and help her make birthday presents for two of her friends. She had bought some beads and she and Leo, her boyfriend, were going to feed us.

We had lots of fun with lots of lovely beads. I haven’t got any proper pictures of what I made yet, but here’s a taster: