Each season, I seem to be inspired by something new. When making accessories for the Den & Delve Shop, my usual choices of vintage fabrics revolve around rustic neutral tones, and of course – denim. While these remain a constant canvas (literally) for my work, other influences sneak their way in via color combinations, subtle details or even the lining fabric in the pouches.
This summer, I’ve been inspired by the great outdoors – more specifically, nostalgic camp and scouting references. Let’s get one confession on the table though… I actually never went to camp as a kid. I know, I know – I probably missed out on an experience and memory of a lifetime. But truth be told, I was pretty self-sufficient (and probably much happier) keeping myself active & creative over summer vacation comfortably at home. However, my family did take our annual trip to northern Wisconsin each summer. We’d load up the station wagon early one morning (I’d carve out a nook in the back amongst the luggage) and hit the road to Eagle River, Wisconsin. Several hours later (which felt like eternity), we would arrive for a week of swimming, hiking, horseback riding and fishing (ok, I mean watching my brothers go fishing). Second confession: I probably liked exploring the northern towns and gift shops just as much, if not more. The neighboring towns of Minocqua and Lake Tomahawk expressed their American Indian roots through artisan & tourist shops, were I was definitely prone to begging for beaded moccasins and a variety of novelty Indian trinkets. I’m sure things there have changed, and authentic or not, I’ll happily hold on to the original memories and impressions I collected over the years.
As for the Boy Scouts, you guessed it – I wasn’t one of those either. But my older brothers were, and I vividly remember their uniforms and the annual handmade little wooden race car competition (If my memory serves me well, I’m pretty sure theirs was blue with silver stripes). Meg, my childhood best friend (and still is today!) was in the Girl Scouts and spent her time perfecting arts & crafts, collecting badges and selling cookies. Today, her young daughters have taken on the tradition and I call in my cookie order every year… I mean, come on – who can resist?
We all have our own memories and experiences of summers, camps and clubs. And while they may differ, the essence of nostalgia remains the same. To make the Camp & Scout accessories collection, I’ve drawn on timeless materials as a foundation: vintage tent fabric, duffel bags and canvas are repurposed for pouches, reused vintage leathers (from old jackets) reference your favorite worn & weathered hiking boots, and authentic patches from the 60’s & 70’s have been collected for embellishment. I’ve even put my arts & crafts skills to test creating a few special details here and there. I hope these accessories connect with you as well, and can bring a memory or two to life.
All accessories in the Camp & Scout Collection are handmade, one of a kind, and made with vintage materials. This is a special, one time only collection launching in the Den & Delve online shop on Saturday, August 1.
Check out my full Camp & Scout inspiration board over on Pinterest.
Inspire me! Share your favorite childhood camp or scout memories in the comments below…