On the GO!

It’s been a while since our last post. Sorry about that. We’re gonna keep it short and just give you a quick update on what we’ve been up to…

Since last I posted we went on a quick vacation to Sequoia National Park. We spent a few days in the great outdoors among some of the biggest trees. We took a stab at metallurgy (we could not melt this nickel):

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And, on our last day leaving we spotted this dude:

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So, since then we’ve pretty much been BUSY BUSY BUSY! We’ve gotten together with RaisCase and worked on straps for her new Fanny Packs – the Vida!

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They’re made with Pendleton patterns, solid brass hardware, and black leather straps.

We’re also in the works to get some plant container hanger straps done for
Concrete Geometric:

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Check them out!

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About Us!

On this post we’re going to deviate a bit from leather working and get into something a little bit more personal. One of the most frequently asked questions that I get is “So, how did you get started in this?”. My answer usually starts with a smile…

It’s been somewhat of a tradition for a few years now that we take at least one vacation to a National Park. Our first roadtrip to Montana was in 2009.  This trip brought us to Yellowstone and then up to Glacier. Back then we headed out in early October and most of the trails and roads were snowed in at the parks. This really prevented us from seeing some of the major attractions that the parks had to offer…
especially Glacier National Park.

When we got back after that first trip I started fiddling around with beginner kits and starting out on projects for family; mostly projects that I didn’t have to do too much cutting or too much stitching. But it wasn’t too long after that things would change.

We quickly realized that we had to get back to the beauty of Montana. In 2011 we planned our trip and this time went during the summer instead of fall. What a difference this was! We were able to explore so much more, see so much more and do so much more!

So when I smile and think about how I started out I think about ADVENTURE! I think about going out there. Seeing what there is to see. Finding what there is to find. Walking, exploring and having a blast! The Highline Trail in Glacier National Park is definitely a high point on this adventure.  It was there I conceived 2 of my first leather products that I still offer: the long key chain/key leash and the light weight card wallet. These are two essential items that I still take with me.

So, how did I start out doing this? Answer: Curiosity.

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Well, that’s it for now. Thanks again for stopping by and checking us out. If you’d like, please leave a comment or some suggestions.
Cheers!

You can also find us here:

Basic Leather Working Tools (Part 2)

punchtools

Hey there! Thanks for dropping by again. If this is your first time around, check out our previous post for Part 1. OK, let’s get at it!…

These are some of the basic tools that I use to create holes in leather.
Starting from left to right:

1. Awl – This is a double flat edge awl. I’ve used this for leather thicknesses varying anywhere from garment/upholstery leather to very heavy 8oz. tooling cowhide. Now, if you notice this one is a double flat edge. By this I mean that the handle is flat on 2 sides. This feature is great if you are frequently picking up and laying down this tool (which is what I do) and prevents it from rolling off of your work area. But, if you choose you don’t have to go with this one. Other awls will pretty much do the same trick.

2. Hand sewing punch – When I’ve got several holes marked and ready I pull out this tool. It’s got a rotating disc with a few different hole sizes you can choose from. I normally only use one size. I’ve indicated the size I use with a blue circle. Now, this tool does have a defect. After several uses the spring will eventually break. You can see this in the picture where I’ve indicated with a red circle.
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Unfortunately, I have not yet found a replacement part for this. I am currently in search of another alternative. I’ll keep you posted when/if I do. One other thing to note about this tool is that it’s reach from the edge of your leather will be limited. So, if you’re trying to make a hole that’s 3″ from the edge you might have to reach for your awl.

3. Rotary punch – This tool is extremely handy if you’re working with hardware such as snaps. It’s also got a few different sizes you can choose from. I work with small rivets and snaps and have a couple sizes that are exclusively used. I’ve been able to get this through something as thick as 8oz tooling cowhide. Notice also that the reach of this is limited. If you’re going for a hole that’s too far for the reach you’ll have to get a hole punch with the specific size that you need (I’ll get into this at a later post).

Well, that’s it for now. Thanks again for stopping by and checking us out. If you’d like, please leave a comment or some suggestions.
Cheers!

You can also find us here:

Basic Leather Working Tools (Part 1)

ImageHey there! First off, Thanks for stopping by to check out our blog!
Now, let’s get to it!… In the photo you’ll see my very basic must have essential tools. Nothing fancy about this whatsoever.

1. Straight edge metal ruler. Right now I’m using a 12″. But, once in a while I need to get to something a little bit longer. I have a 24″ T-square ruler I also have handy. I use them for making straight lines and measuring out where my stitching holes are going to be made.

2. Box cutter. I use this tool for just about all my cuts on the heavier leather. Like the veg tanned and chrome tanned cowhides (I’ll go over the difference of these two in a later post). I’ve used this since I’ve started out. It’s done me a lot of good. And, until I feel the need to change or upgrade she’ll be with me for awhile. You can get one of these at a hardware store. The yellow package on the far right are extra blades. I’ve already gone through quite a few. The blades get dull after about a couple days worth of work depending on how much work you’re doing. It’s a fairly inexpensive tool to have.

3. Pencil. This is actually the second pencil I’ve gone through. It’s great for making light marks on leather. Mostly marking where my stitching holes are going to be and where I’m going to be making my cut marks and lines.

4. OH YEAH! Cutting mat. That big green thing that all the other tools are laid on top of is ESSENTIAL for doing just about all of my work. It’s great for doing cuts. Get one with the
1″ square measuring marks. That really comes in handy. I also sometimes write notes on it with my pencil when I don’t feel like looking for paper. It’s also great to have if you’re doing stains or dyes so that you don’t get it on the table (which I’ve done both to when I first started out and didn’t use one of these. shhhhh… don’t tell anyone).

Well, that’s it for now. Thanks again for stopping by and checking us out. If you’d like, please leave a comment or some suggestions.
Cheers!

You can also find us here: