Sunday, December 11, 2011

December Craft Day and Holiday Fun!

So - Today was another awesome craft day! Today's projects for me was wrapping up the idea I had with Kasha of creating some Leather ornaments.

Here is the initial cut out

And today, with color and finish!

I really enjoyed this project and posted it up to Etsy :) Maybe I will get a few actual sales. And if not, I will have a few beautiful new ornaments for my collection! These are a fairly simple design, cut out my base pattern, tool the letters that we need and then (let dry) and color as wanted.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November Craft Day

Sorry dears for taking so long to work on the next project. I am still waiting on new leather projects since I am almost out of leather - so instead I did a few simple projects from stuff mom had stashed in her downstairs office. This is also part of my answer to the "Oh-GOD I FORGOT About the Craft Chain" that I had earlier this week. :)

Let's start with the books. Four white square books filled with graph paper - cute little cut out in the center front and two easily removable pages that said where they came from.

This summer I ended up with some amazing pictures of Kasha as a fairy at our local Renaissance Festival - so I took some of the tissue paper I had around the house and cut out different sizes, shapes and colors of leaf which would match the forest in the picture (I hope).

Kasha and I decoupaged them in several layers across the books covers and left the hole in the center open to put in the picture of her to send this book to one of her Aunty's. Hopefully the book comes in handy and the picture makes her smile (we'll have to see) We are waiting to insert the picture, but the book is done!

Took the same idea of "Forest" and added some red, orange and almost purple leaves to make one for another friend who loves leaves and added a beautiful copper leaf that I found on the ground a while ago and tossed in my jewelry box. I am looking at adding pretty clasps to the books but here is my Autumn Leaf book.

Mom also had the fabric and instructions for a pretty little fleece tie blanket (tiny little lap blanket size) which I put together and cut out and tied together. It was stupid easy but pretty and hopefully will make a good Solstice Present for someone else who is awesome...I in fact have a brilliant person in mind thinking of it now :)

Didn't take pictures of books 3 and 4 because I am not done yet...I just don't know what colors or Idea's to do and feel like the leaf thing is done. What do I do next? Any suggestions for a book with a hole in it to make it something useful and fun? They have graph paper which I have always loved! I am tempted to make one or both all jeweled and give it to a niece for Solstice....Any other suggestions?

Thursday, October 27, 2011


It's been a bit longer than I anticipated. Life has been very crazy in a lot of complicated ways - But! I have picked the next project. A good friend asked me to design her a sword/knife Frog for steampunk/pirate/ren fair events. My goal is to have it finished by Monday to give it to her as a Halloween present :) We'll see how I do.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Life Happens

Things have been remarkably busy with end of fair, Ray's birthday and wrapping up almost all of my projects. I promise I won't leave things hanging too long - but don't think there will be any updates for at least another week or two.

Thanks for hanging in there - and not hating me for taking so long to post!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Other Projects Happening

This has been a really great summer for me for commissions already. I did Bracers for Randy and Becky and will be doing a waist cinch for Becky to match her bracers. I did Vin's Should Pauldron's. And, I did several projects for Lance.

Lance first wanted horns for his fair hat. And I don't mean the cute little pan horns you buy at fair, oh no. He wanted Buffalo horns! I started off with the simple horn, dremmelled holes in the sides and Hot glued leather to the edge for protecting the hat and to keep the horn from shredding. After that it was as simple as setting up the Tie on and handing it back. I still want to do a little work on the hat attachment, it looks weird to me.

After his horns were done we moved on to his bracers. Simple Paw-print in red and black with borders in black and chicago screws for accent points that way he can replace them with spikes if he ever feels the urge. To finish up a red and black belt that matches the bracers with a simple fair style wrap.

Doesn't he look good?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Moving on

Fair has finally started, which means that Ray is wearing all the pretty pretty things I have made him. Check it out! Isn't it awesome. He is wearing the archery bracers (which I won't make again, WAY too much work), Red and Black asymmetrical Shoulder Pauldrons (Articulated - which means having the ability to move joints - armor for the shoulders), and Red and Black Greaves (Articulated Shin Armor). Isn't it pretty?

Of course Ray's looking good has two of our good friends asking for their own set of Armor like his but different :) I named the price and already have my first check for armor (which I do a little happy dance for). So, from my Red and Black boyo, I have moved on to a Black and White (_EVIL_ EVIL_ White!) matching full shoulder pauldron set!

Being done with the Satan-bracers, and with Becky's pretty blue and black, and having no other paid projects I got right to work. Seriously, Cut the leather Monday after getting the design e-mailed to me on Monday morning. Tooled it all Tuesday. Let it Dry for a few days. Got off work early Friday and spent the entire afternoon dying the leather and setting the majority of the Articulation. We have it set to free-floating (Using a leather strap to keep it attached rather than attached each section to each other at the points) for all but the bottom two lames (Sections of leather). Didn't have his jerkin (also called a doublet, surcoat, or leather pretty thing) so set all but the top points and brought my tools with me to Fair to finish with him there to confirm sizes and locations.

I will say - I am Awesome! And I am betting there will be another contract or two in the next few weeks :)

Check out the pretty!

Now I just wonder if he will want matching bracers or greaves :)

It was a really fun project and a great test-run to see how I can do without direct measurements for the majority of it. I really love to challenge myself with a new project. I just hope that the boyo loves it as much as my boyo loves his. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Busy Busy Girl

So, I last left off with the seemingly never ending pile of *GAH!* known as Randy's cursed bracers. Let's review where we left off. At our last end the 7 or 8 hours of tooling and dye work had been ruining by a tipped over bottle of dye leaving me in near-tears with the thought I would be re-doing both bracers. Thank the heavens, it was only one! With the end in sight i took up the task on Friday to finish the darn things and be back to sanity (as much as ever) but the heavens were not in alignment - seriously his Bracers are CURSED I TELL YOU!

Back to the adventure, almost done with the newly cut, tooled and almost fully dyed bracer when I (Gracefully as ever) knock over the OPEN bottle of brown dye all over the table, narrowly missing the bracer. I was so frustrated I actually went outside to be alone so I didn't scream, shout, or throw a fit. GAH!!!! It was...not fun. Seriously not fun.

But, ater my little outside-time fit I headed back in, finished both bracers, and handed them off to my dearest BIL with the instructions to keep them FAR FAR _FAR_ away from me.

But they did turn out quite pretty :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just Might Cry Still

So, last week was ridiculously over-productive, but I still didn't get everything done. Walin's bracers are complete, other than needing to decide if they need grommeting. Becky's Bracers are just waiting for dye and finish. And Randy's... Well Randy's are the reason I am thinking about crying.

You see, most of the things I have done are intrinsically simple designs. Things that are beautifully simple, but simple. Randy's design is complex, intertwining, and to be a honest, a pain in the wrist! But beautiful. Seriously, they are going to be freaking amazing. Except - well. After what was probably six hours of tooling and another hour of basic dye work I left the bracers on the table to dry while I went to work. The plan was to finish them when I got home.

Then I came home to dye knocked over on them and leaking all over (this is me crying - right here) See? :( I guess our dog jumped up on the table trying to get to something else and Ray didn't notice the dye got knocked over. The dog is lucky to be alive. Very VERY _VERY_ lucky.

Now, back to the beginning to cut and to re-tool. Both of them since there is a splash on the other that I don't think I can hide.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Working My Rear End Off

So, it has been a CRAZY week. Minus last night's migraine interruption I have been working every night this week.

Here is the list
1)Walin's Bracers are dyed, need the final silver touch up and to get the sheen coat.
2)Becky's Bracers are cut, tooled, beveled, and just need dye and final sheen coat
3)Randy's Bracers are both cut, one is tooled (And seriously, why did I design something that is KILLING my poor innocent hands and wrists and eyes from strain?), the other will get tooled tonight - though it means I will ignore my lovely guest after dinner, and I will bevel the first one - possibly both.
4)Liz's Wrist guard is designed, marked and just needs me to get a fresh exacto blade to be fully used, then she and I need to talk color and do the dye and sheen.
5)Gary's Baldric simply needs the lower sword-frog set in place and given the correct leather sheen.
6)Ray's greaves are tooled, just need to punch a middle hole and do the strapping
7)We need to adjust Ray's armor to remove the free-floating articulation in the lowermost joins so that it fits better on him as he moves.

In other words. I am awesome. Everyone loves me. And D.A.M.N. Adore me... :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Tonight was a great night for the crafty side! I ran by the leather store to pick up a new green hide since I didn't have enough for the project I was working on and ended up with a lovely deep green deer hide. Created the "child" design set, cut, grommetted, and then added embellishments! The stretch of the deerskin ended up being more of a challenge than I expected, but I think it will grow with her and I am really pleased and I am just hoping the set works out for the kiddo :)

After breaking myself on that one - I went and helped Ray by braiding 2 separate 2 ft long metal wire braids. One in copper and one in Copper, Silver, and Gold. I managed to give myself blisters on my fingers from all of it tonight.

But...Really pleased :)

Tomorrow - Garden Update! And Pictures!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Getting things done - Strangely enough

So, after my last rant about how I haven't been getting anything done I went out and got productive. I finished the tooling, dying, grommet's, and finishing on Shanti's Wild Rose/Thistle Bracers - I did the tooled, bevelling, and am ready to dye Walin's Panther Bracers as soon as he and I have a chat about colors. Finished putting together the greaves for Ray, just need to go buy straps to attach them. Sadly, my computer doesn't take thumbdrives so I don't have any pics to share with you all. Love you anyways and will try to get some more up soon.

Had an awesome time last night with Becky, Randy and Lance setting up a bunch of projects they would like me to do for them. I think one of my goals today will be to actually get all of their required measurements and get the art/sketches done. I need to check size and do a true job on the knotwork (which means that the over-under's will all go correctly, with no fudging it).

One of the neat things I am looking at how to figure out how to do is place copper wire within the tooling. I am not sure yet how to make it stay :( So, I will be poking around online and possibly fooling around with some of the wire today to see how I can make it stay within the tooling lines without having to run it through the back (inside) of the piece which I think would irritate skin.

Other than that I still haven't made any sales on Etsy (which makes me sad) but it means I need to get more stuff up or change my prices. I have already changed them a few times, but am nervous about letting them get any lower. Meh. Hopefully Ray and I will be able to work on some knives this weekend and get them up there and ready to go! Wish us luck :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Putting Things Off

I think everyone does it sometimes, well, I know that everyone that I know does - but lately I have been having a hard time starting the next project. I have Ray's Greaves set for Red Dye, not that I have done it yet; I have Walin's Bracers cut and the design on trace-paper ready to be tooled; and I have the deep and quite sincere need to get Ray's black fair shirt made.

Yet, I am not working on any of it as much as I should be. For whatever reason I am just kind of letting it all sit. Sit Sit Sit Sit Sit :( Which is not so awesome.

So yeah, anyone have a suggestion for how to break out of the _not_ getting things done and go back to my super-productive side?

Monday, May 2, 2011

More Armor for the Beloved

So, now that we have completed the Should Pauldrons we are moving on to Greaves (Shin Armor). Almost an identical leather cut to the Should pieces, but will require a more serious type of strap.

Last week I tooled all 8 lames into the same roughly 1-inch that the others were and tonight I dyed the outer edges black. Tomorrow I hope to go play at a park, which I will follow by doing the interior red.

I have pictures to share, but can't get them up tonight, so I will post a pic heavy one tomorrow!

YAY Blog! There will also be supply updates and garden updates (Which will consist of railing against the CO weather Gods and their hatred of growing things - Stupid snow!)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Let's Start With...

Grovelling! Which is what you do when you say you are going to post regularly, and get off to a great start and then get all busy for two weeks.

But! I have updates today.

This is the tooled, undyed, bracer for Shanti. It is the exact same "rose/Thistle" that was on the sides of her waist cinch. The color is also done, but those pics haven't been taken yet and I still need to grommet it today or tomorrow (we'll see if I have the energy on either).

I don't know if you can see but I beveled the edges in hopes of making it a little more comfortable for wear. I am also going to try this with the next waist cinch I design. As soon as I get my arse in gear I plan on hauling tushy on Walin's bracer set so I can work on Ray's leather backback (I still need to find a pattern) and then I need to create Gary's Sword Baldric once I think up a good design for him.

Then it's on to creating things with the intention to sell them. I have a small pile of car parts that may or may not have gears to take apart and look for gears because I have a nice mechanic :) So - any suggestions for additional projects, or commissions *hinthint* :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Even I Make Mistakes - Part 2

So, as we explored yesterday, I do, occasionally make mistakes. But one of my true virtues is that I am pretty much always willing to admit to an oops and try to fix it.

Last year, I took my first commission :) The awesome Lady-Boe wanted a compass rose waist cinch - Very yay and many pictures were available here as it was one of the first projects I posted about. Turned out freaking LOVELY in my humble opinion :)

Now for the fail-part. It wasn't sized right. Because Boe is based not-here I did all the sizing based on what was sent, which means I ended up too small, and it rubs in painful places :( Major fail for me.

But - Finally having time and leather again, I am going to get together with Boe and Fix it! I am really excited to see what I can do to remedy the issues AND I love the idea of her being able to comfortably wear it :) So...I will let you know how things are going as we get it and get the details of changes I will be working on

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Try, Try, Try Again

I am, perhaps, a little bit obsessive. And Neurotic. And occasionally, just a teeny tiny bit of a perfectionist. My evil voice in my head came out this weekend.

I made a list of possible projects on Friday night. If I don't keep having things to do, I will end up going back to watching movies, and I would prefer to craft :) This list is fairly extensive, and some of the projects require things I do not currently own and may not be able to afford for some while.

Now, as a side-note, Ray and I have decided that we make enough things and enjoy making things enough that we should open an Etsy Shop to sell some of the incidental things that are neat, but not what we wanted/intended/will use - Plus, like everyone we could use some extra money for crafting supplies. So, part of my list is projects intended for said shop :) Already finished adjusting one thing to work for sale on Etsy as Pirate/Steampunk knife & sheath set and will be posting up the Tree-of-life Waist Cinch as well.

Back to Topic - After making the list Ray and I went over it and decided that this weekend, I should finish designing and making Shanti and Walin's bracer's that I have been wanting to do. This is a for-me craft and a tiny way to show some of my beloved ones how I feel about them (in general - that would be love them beyond words).

I had gotten Walin's approval for the panther design for his, but hadn't laid it out on the bracers so when I had it soaked and ready to tool, I decided to wing it. This was a bad idea - the point where I would later pinpoint it all went wrong. I knew in my head that I wanted to do Walin's bracers with the panther near the bottom, on top of a celtic knotwork of green below a moon cycle. If it were smaller, or the panther were more delicate it might look chick-ish, but with Walin I really think he can pull it off. But...Since I was winging it (stupid-head me) I just looked and guessed and put it near the top. *sigh*

I tooled both bracers and looked at them with my mental image in my head screaming fire alarms of NO NO BAD WRONG and finally after all the tooling was complete suddenly realized, this wouldn't work with anything I was picturing. So, I wandered off during the girls craft day on Sunday with my sketchbook and drew what I was thinking. After asking Walin to ignore what he knew I had already done, what he thought about the new design.

Of course, well, it's awesome - and .... Well, redo time! So, I will be re-cutting the leather, retooling, and then dying new bracers. The tooled panther I simply mirrored another panther on on Monday and dyed black and silver, I think it will end up on Etsy as well by default. I do hope I can manage to learn from this lesson.

But here is the Mirror-tooled Panther in black with silver panther's. There will be silver grommets and then I will reshape and get some better pictures for sale. I just wish I didn't feel quite so stupid.

Fail me

Monday, April 18, 2011

Garden Update

The pea's had gotten to a point where they _had_ to get outside, so this weekend we went and got the wood and built box #1 - for Pea's Corn and zuchinni at the moment.

Shanti and I built the box while the boys watched (and laughed) - Carpentry is definitely not my strong suit.

Once we built the box I simply set it in the predetermined area and filled it with all the dirt we had bought. It was expensive :(

After dirt we added the trellis for the peas and got everything out there with some water.

Things are still alive today so I think I can claim success!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Up and Coming

Well - I've made it through a week of regular posts! Whew! YAY me! Now, onto my serious questions.
1- Does the format of "whatever I am working on at the moment" work?
2- Does it make sense that I am posting whatever progress has been achieved, or would it be better if I simply waited until each project was complete and posted the entirety at once?
3- Should I focus on only one type of project (Ie leather, vs. garden, vs. blades)
4- Do you want me to write about anything?

My goal is to put up something every single work-day - even if it has to be something littler than I would prefer. I also will be doing some whole project recaps; showing it from beginning to end and talking about things I learned in the process. I would love to know what people are thinking of this little ranting-service of mine; and if they have anything they'd like to see (Like a disctionary of terms) :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All together Now: ARMOR!

Tonight we pull it all together. We haven't created his Ren Fair harness yet, but the biker jacket is all set up.

What do you think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tool chest - The amazing and wonderful

For Christmas/my Birthday the amazing and wonderful Shanti-Wife and HIL (Husband-in-law), Walin got me this amazing tool chest. If you don't know me well, you might not know that I adore boxes, of all types, but especially ones that lock or are puzzles in any way. I also adore practical gifts. I truly believe that every time I use it I am thanking the gift-giver. Plus I love having useful things. Pretty trinkets that sit on shelves go high on my list of crap-to-toss during my annual purges.

You may also not know that I have a ton of different crafts I do (haphazardly, but still do), including but not limited to; Calligraphy, Illumination, Leather Tooling, Leather painting, Book making, Photography, costume design, Costume creation (poorly executed normally - but I am working on it), Leather armor, weapon sheaths, and that's all that comes to mind right now. This of course doesn't include jewelry making, needle point, embroidery, or any of the sewing crafts that I do (poorly).

With such a long list it can be hell to keep everything in a location I can remember, and access, and not make GIANT messes every time I need to use something. Let me explain how awesome this chest is.

First off, because it has the top shelf that I don't need to close I can leave taller items like the leather dye that should never be stored on it's side upright and clearly visible when I need them. It has room for all my calligraphy inks - which probably means I need more ink, but still, that is awesome! I have a drawer filled with calligraphy nibs and another filled with the pens and art supplies for a true calligraphy work. I have another drawer filled with leather-working tools, another with larger tools and designs that are rolled up - I really need to label them with tape so I know what each design is.

Can you imagine how happy this makes me? It is beautiful and wonderful and amazing - and makes it easier for me to craft things. I like crafting. It makes me happy, deep inside and this makes it better for me. You gotta love it :)

Pauldron Update

Ok - We left off with the lames cut, floating articulation holed and set but with plain leather. If you know Ray, that won't cut it - so, part three was taking everything back apart and beginning the tooling. He wants the armor to be two-color, red with a thick black edge.

If you like your hands, don't tool armor grade leather. Really. It's a BAD idea. But it turns out so pretty I can't stop yet.

Here is the basic tooling (And wow did it eat my hands. I seriously need to find a better way to hold utensils than I do)

We did all the tooling Saturday, let it dry Sunday and on Monday when I got home I did the borders black. I know I could have done the red interior as well, but since I have lots of work this week, I wanted hands that were skin colored for Tuesday and more work would not have given me that.

Neat note that I discovered on Monday night is that washing dry hands with Dawn dish soap actually removed most of the black dye that had gotten on my hands. That doesn't sound all that impressive until you understand that Gojo won't even get the stuff off. I was (and am) thrilled with this new trick. Of course I still had one fingertip that is black, but it was my right pointer finger, the one that gets the most dye and the soonest so it soaks in more. Sigh.

Here is Monday's labor - black edging and attempting to shape the right-side lower lames into a better approximation of correct.

One of the issues we are having is we used scrap leather here for this piece. Which is awesome, I like using as much as possible and not throwing things away. Which also sucks because each piece is from a different hide, so they take dye differently, they tool differently, they warp differently. It's hard enough working out new idea's - but doing them with materials that are a challenge in themselves is hard. But still fun.

Tuesday night I did tooling the main right shoulder with Ray's traditional wolf and finishing the black edge dye on the other pieces. Then I will complete the edge dye on Thursday and Ray and I will finish plotting the harness and will do the red dye on Friday after I get paid and buy a new color. He is hoping to have it done enough to wear when we are up in Denver this weekend - I wonder if he's planning on wearing it to the club :) Gotta love the boyo :)

Here is tonight's work with the red

More updates to come :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011


We are also planning on doing box gardens over this summer - which I am really excited about. We are hoping to grow Peas, Corn, Zuchinni, Carrots, Spinach or Lettuce, I'd like to get Strawberries and watermelon or cantelope or (dream of dreams) Raspberries. I am not sure what all we will end up growing - but I have started my seedlings inside with Corn, Peas, Zuchinni, Flowers, and a row of Oregano (cause I need more) and a little starter of Cilantro.

Once we build the outer boxes I will post more from that day.

This is how the plants looked on April 9, 2011

Since then one of the zuchinni has popped up and I am sure another will tonight or tomorrow. I also called a garden store to get info on getting Strawberries :) on Friday I am intending to buy the wood and soil for the boxes and it is looking like I will also be getting some strawberry roots :) possible some starters too :) I am _so_ excited!!!

~Ill related note; the tool box post and an armor update should be this week too!

Armor for the Beloved

Ray asked me to help him create shoulder Pauldrons that we can attached with snaps to his biker jacket or to a harness to wear at the Ren Fair. We made a draft one, to size the lames and then decided to drastically change the design by moving from corner articulation to floating articulation. We have them cut, attached the articulation, removed the articulation and did basic tooling and will be dying and determining the upper shoulder design on the big piece.

Here are the current photo's.

This is the floating articulation

This is Ray and Kasha both working on it with me

There have been a few errors already - I punched holes as if we were doing the other articulation and so Ray and I are thinking about adding spikes over the holes :) Cause that would look neat.

Been Too Long

So, it's been too long since I really posted regularly and I am hoping to fix that.

I finally finished Finger's Kidney belt - SO here it is.

I don't know if you can see in the photo's but there are two different styles of skull and crossed bones on each side.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Here is the tree cinch I made :) Now I just need to find it a home. Ladies...or, well...anyone....Who wears a 34/36 inch brassiere and likes tree's?

:) Love you all!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sunday Game = New Waist Cinch?

We were gaming happily Sunday evening when I starting getting itchy fingers and pulled out my sketchbook and colored pencils and designed a new Waist Cinch. I have no clue who this one is for, or what size it will end up being on a person - But I have already cut and tooled the leather :)

Now my back, hands, and eyes hurt from all today's tooling and I wish I had put it off a few more days. But - I think I needed to make it.

It is a tree (almost tree of life style) but not knotworked. I will post pics of the concept art and the un-dyed tooling once I get them all scanned and uploaded and such. I am trying to decide where to go from here with the coloring...background and such are still in the air.

At least I am back to crafting?

PS - Remind me to rant about the incredible tool-box/chest I got for my birthday. It's awesome and I should share

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

End Result Photos

So, I realized that I haven't posted any of the pictures of what the end projects looked like. Here is a pic of Shanti and I wearing my first two waist cinches (mine is blue with a silver fox and hers is black with a pheonix and roses)

Craft - Chain

So, I signed up to do a craft chain in 2011. I have 5 folks that I must hand make something for and get to them in 2011. They are (in no order) Sandra, Aunt Patty, Sylph, Laura, and I just have to come up with 5 projects that each would like.

My current plan to raid thier facebook pages and see what I can see. Favorite patterns, colors, or things that I think of while looking at it. If that doesn't inspire me, I will do something with names. I like names :D

At the same time, I am really excited to see what I will get from the people whose lists I got on! This should be funfun!