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?