Posts tagged leather
The Salomon Comet 3D Lady GTX are a lightweight hiking boot designed with stability and support in mind. With a high-cut profile around the ankle, a protective rubber toe cap and gore-tex layer for waterproofing, they protect you from the ground and the elements. They are tested by and for women – with a specific last, collar shape and sole hardness based on women’s input.
I have been sent a pair courtesy of Snow+Rock to try out, and I have really enjoyed stomping about in them over the last couple of months.
The first thing to say about these is that they were immediately comfortable. They felt light on my feet and the positioning of the laces meant I got an excellent fit without any difficulty. That “from the box” comfort is down to this boot being fairly soft in construction – a mostly fabric upper with nubuck leather overlays and a flexible sole so you can walk naturally from the first step. This may of course mean that they are not as robust or give less protection than some other similarly priced boots, but you always need to spend time breaking in an all-leather boot, and stiffer soles would mean you feel the ground under your feet a lot less, so I would much rather go for something like these Salomons.
The waterproofing comes from a Gore-tex layer. Some people find the GTX layer mean your feet can’t breathe as well, but I haven’t found that with these; I think it’s the breathable layered upper that means my feet are very comfortable even after wearing these for several hours at a time – although it’s always nice to remove your boots at the end of a long day on your feet. And thanks to the recent weather I can confirm that these are definitely waterproof…!
Underneath I appreciated the well designed lugs which gave excellent grip. The soft sole meant I did have to walk a bit carefully on rocky ground, but on the paths and meadow-type-terrain I generally walk these gave me a good stable stride and I was able to forget about what was on my feet and enjoy the walking and the views.
What these Salomons provide is a nice looking waterproof hiking boot that is comfortable straight from the box. For the kind of walking I enjoy – countryside trails, muddy paths, hills, and a bit of gravel and tarmac thrown in, 4-10 miles at a time, these are ideal. I would also be more than happy to rely on these for a peak or two (or three!).
Find them on the Snow+Rock website for £140.
I was recently invited to review my choice of case from Ideal Cases, an online company who specialise in customisable cases for your phones, tablets and other gadgets.
There are a wide range of cases to choose from on Ideal Case. Naturally I went for a case for my iPad 2, and I chose the leather/canvas folio style case which offers full protection front and back, a flip front and an integral stand.
There are so many options. To start with you simply choose whether to personalise or not. Naturally I wanted something bespoke; and when prompted I chose the freestyle design option, giving me the most freedom to create whatever I wanted.
I didn’t want a photograph, or clipart, or a drawing; I just wanted it bright green and to say “Splodz Blogz Life is all about the journey” just like the header for my blog. I started by choosing the background colour. I chose a nice and punchy green which would be bright and colourful against the black spine and back of the case (you can only customise the front). Then I used the text tool to add my chosen words, and took to deciding which font to use. I just couldn’t get that right. There are quite a number of fonts to choose from, but most are fancy – scripts, blocks, that sort of thing. In the “basic” category there are about ten to pick from, but none worked quite as I wanted. What I wanted, what I had envisaged, was Calibri, the font I used for my header image on here. So I changed tack and deleted the text layer from my case and instead uploaded an image. I uploaded a large 2000 pixel square image – I knew this should be plenty big enough for about half the height of the case. It was difficult to tell as you can’t zoom in on your design to check, and you don’t get a proof, so it was a bit of a risk.
Once I was happy with my very simple design I ordered it. The following morning I received an email from Ideal Case who informed me that there had been a problem with their system and my design had not saved properly – the thumbnail used in the checkout phase had but not the full design. They offered to create the design for me if I sent them over the image but I decided it was ok, it didn’t take me long and wouldn’t take me many minutes to re-do my design. Actually it gave me opportunity to rethink my design and tweak it slightly, I didn’t mind. I changed the background colour of both my case and my image so they matched, which I thought would work better. But I was worried that the colours wouldn’t match completely when they printed – having worked in print I understand that colours on screen and colours of different files can differ; and if they differed, even a little bit, the case would look odd and it would annoy me. So when I submitted my design I emailed Si at Ideal Cases (replied to his email about the original problem with my order) and asked him very nicely to check that the colours matched when it was produced.
What followed was a day of incredibly helpful emails getting the colour right and also helping to sharpen up the edges of my text (I think the design software on the Ideal Cases website must compress images massively when you upload them as I know my image was totally sharp and high resolution). Si was so helpful, I simply cannot fault the customer service – we discussed the colour, they tweaked it so it was exactly what I had in mind, adding some yellow to it as they understood how it would appear when printed onto canvas. They turned around my case so it went out that very evening and I received it the next morning.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the case was the colour. Absolutely perfect, exactly what I had imagined. The text in the corner was clear and just the right place. Brilliant. Do you like it? Not very fancy, I know, I could have been much more imaginative no doubt, but I like it. And I’ve been receiving some lovely comments from people who’ve seen it too.
The case itself completely surrounds the iPad. It is a book style case with a big flap that opens to reveal the screen, and also incorporates a three-angle stand (plus flat!) so you can use the iPad at the most comfortable angle. You can still get to all the buttons and connectors perfectly, including the camera. The front is a canvas, the spine is suede, and the back is faux leather – the stitching is neat and well done, and the materials appear good quality. I think the green I chose looks fabulous against the black of the rest of the case (thanks again Si), and the design works well.
The flap of the case does have a magnet in it to lock and unlock your screen as you close/open it, however this doesn’t always line up perfectly and so doesn’t always engage (I know this isn’t a problem solely with this case – LincsGeek finds this with his Targus case). It could probably also do with an elasticated strap or similar to keep the case closed, as it does have a tendency to open it if you’re not holding it right. Oh and the printing only goes to the edge of the canvas – this means there is a small white border around the outside of the case where the canvas wraps around – it would be nice if that wasn’t there, but it’s no big deal for me. Apart from those little niggles this is a really nicely made case that I’m very happy to use.
Of course with this new case I can’t use either my Smart Cover or my Golla slip case, both of which I love. I think it’s going to depend on what I’m doing and where I am going with my iPad as to which case I take with me. It’s nice to have the choice!
I would absolutely recommend Ideal Cases. The design process was very easy, the following customer service was faultless, and the product is good quality and looks great.
It’s nice to be able to offer you a discount on a product I really like. I’ve been given a 40% off voucher to share with you – put splodz40 in when purchasing from Ideal Cases and you’ll save a good sum on your chosen case. Let me know if you get one!
I am not very good at wearing nice pretty dainty bracelets. I like them very much for going out but for normal wear they just get in the way, tap constantly on the desk while I’m typing, get stuck on my clothing, you know the sort of thing. I much prefer fitted bangles or wristbands that are more “surfy” in style – they fit with me better anyway – because they sit nicely on my arm without making any noise.
Wayvebands are leather wristbands that are unique to you – you design them yourself from a range of colours, designs, fonts to make something totally bespoke. I was given the opportunity to design my own so I could tell you about them.
I knew exactly what I wanted; a green wristband with my tagline “life is all about the journey” on it. You can upload photos or use funky backgrounds, but I just wanted something pretty plain that would remind me of my mantra. Do you like it? Getting my design done was really quick and simple, the interface is a doddle to use and you get a picture of what your wristband will look like.
It fits just right. Well of course it does, you can adjust the stud to any of four points, and there are two larger holes to fit over the top. There is also a leather thong supplied if you’d rather fit it that way. Quality wise I’m impressed too. The leather a couple of millimetres thick and the stud fastening screws on so you know it’s secure. The packaging does say that you should expect the colours to fade over time, but with leather products you expect them to soften up, they don’t stay pristine and that is part of the charm.
If I had paid for mine it would have been £7.00 (this is the price for a “text Wayveband” – the different types vary in price). Delivery is £1.95 and mine arrived the next day (it was sent first class). For a personalised leather wristband I think this is good value for money – I can see me getting addicted to these (I am about to order another one… I think in orange!). They might work as invitations/tickets for a party or event, or to celebrate something with your friends. Or how about sticking your name and phone number on one for your kids when on days out just in case they get lost? The bespoke nature of these is what appeals to me though, they are a fantastic little idea and everyone should have their own!
If you would like to design your own Wayveband then you’re in luck – I have a discount code that is good for 20% off. Simply add SPLODZ20 at the checkout on the Wayveband website to apply the discount. The code is live now and doesn’t run out until 30th March 2013 so you’ve got time to design and order many!
I have the most fantastic pair of cowboy boots that I bought when I went to Florida a few years ago. I love them. Here…
(I really need to learn to get better photos of shoes on my feet.)
I also have another pair of cowboy-style boots. These are by Faith, and I won them in a Twitter competition run by Debenhams ages ago. I love them. Here…
I really like this western type boot. They appeal to my outdoors self as well as my sense of style (when I say “sense of style” I know I’m not stylish, but they are something I like and I think they suit me!). They go with jeans and dresses and well whatever else really. And with the sales on it would seem rude not to browse online for my next pair of shoes…
These blue leather boots by Jonak caught my attention. They have the traditional western cut but the blue is unusual and I really like it.
These Andorra boots by Pikolinos are lower and a more traditional colour. The little rounded studding detail looks great along the heel stitching, and the leather looks lovely and soft.
Finally I found these more traditional looking dark brown boots by Femme Plus. They have a chunky square heel and that “already worn” look.
Of the three I think it’s the middle pair, the Pikolinos ones, that make it onto my wish list.
It’s the season for blog competitions, and I can’t hide my love of shoooooooes so I had to do this one really.
This time it’s the lovely Kel Loves hosting a competition from Barratts. To enter I have to create an outfit post for a festive occasion including a pair of Barratts footwear. So naturally I had a browse of the Barratts website. Kel Loves specifically asked that the outfit one of a range of Christmassy situations: A walk in a winter wonderland, a Christmas party, a long shopping day, and a Christmas day outfit (for you, a child, or anyone else!).
It will come as no surprise to you that my outfit is for a walk in a winter wonderland – I love wandering around in the snow, even better if it is a snowy beach I’m walking along. I took these background photos on boxing day a couple of years ago when we walked along Skegness Beach – snow on sand is always a strange sight.
I started with the boots (naturally) – these Caterpillar boots look warm and rugged and like they’d last more than one or two walks along a snowy beach landscape. A friend of mine has a pair and loves them, which is a good recommendation. They are leather and have a furry trim, and will work well poking out from under jeans as well over leggings.
Here I’ve paired them with a pair of dark green skinny jeans from Dorothy Perkins. I really (yes, really) want a pair of green trousers and reckon these great value £25 jeans from DP will tuck into those boots perfectly. That brown duffel coat is by Merrell and it has been on my wish list since I first saw a photo a few weeks ago. I love the shape and colour, and know it would keep me toasty warm in winter. On my head I’d wear the uber cute Animal Collette Beanie.
So there you are… what do you think? Do I get any fashion points for my practical outfit?
If you are a blogger and fancy entering this competition head over to Kel Loves for the details. I’ll let you know if I win!
One thing I love about moving closer and closer towards winter is that I can wrap up warm in lots of cosy layers. That, of course, includes my head and my hands – I love cosy beanie hats and warm gloves.
I don’t have quite as many pairs of gloves as I have shoes (by a long way!), but I do think a lady needs a good choice of gloves. You need something for every eventuality – think smart, casual, skiing, running, different colours, different designs. The idea behind Zalando is to give us a nice selection to choose from…
Always wear a plain black winter coat? Most of us do. Then don’t wear black gloves! How about these lovely suede green ones by Pieces? Or maybe you prefer a dark coloured smart glove with some coloured accents? Then how about these leather Maya gloves with yellow and red colouring – they are better than just plain leather.
These are cute double layered gloves by Esprit – they come apart so you have a standard woollen pair of gloves and a fingerless pair which double up to keep your hands really toasty warm. Looking at them it appears that they are touch screen compatible too so you don’t have to take them off to use your iPhone or iPad, bonus.
The great thing about fingerless gloves is that you can wear them in the office and still type away successfully on the keyboard. I admit I wear a pair more often than not at this time of year, I hate having cold hands. I normally go for something like this…
…but I like the idea of these glove “tubes” by Cinque; they are more fashionable and will cover up my wrists and main part of my hand, leaving my fingers free. The yellow is lovely too, very autumnal.
For running and other sports then my glove of choice is still these eGloves that I received to review a over a year ago now. I really rate them with their thin comfortable material, metallic finger tips and grippy palms. They work as glove liners too for really cold days on the ski slopes.
But when the weather is really cold I reckon what we all need is mittens! I haven’t had a pair since I was a kid but I think I need to put that right this year. I bet these ones by UGG are so very warm and cosy, but I’ll probably end up going for something much more sensible (and cheaper!) but still excellent quality like these The North Face cable knit mittens. OR… I might have to knit my own like these featured on Style and then Some – yes?!