Friday, October 14, 2016

Leatha Notebook, Midori Style

Have I mentioned my addiction to notebooks and lists? I will find any excuse to get more notebooks, so that I may fill them with lists. Today I wrote "Blog" on a post-it note so that when I'm done posting here I can scratch it off. It's a sickness.

So during my leather journey, I have been guided by the lovely and talented Ian Atkinson from Leodis Leather. His videos are great. And he has one called:

I ordered the pattern off his Etsy shop, purchased a flat sheet of veg tanned leather from Michael's, and yes, decided this was a GREAT EXCUSE to order Moleskine notebooks off Amazon. Hooray!!

I stamped and tooled it up, dyed it, then used his pattern to place the holes and rivets and elastics, and here it was on Monday when it was done, with the elastic closure pulled across:

Let's talk about the dye. I used Fiebings Saddle Tan, which seemed way darker than I had expected. Also it's blotchy because I did not apply the dye evenly and should have probably gone over with another coat to even it up. I was disappointed with myself. That was Monday...

BUUUUUUT, check it out today, four days later:

The dye has lightened up to the EXACT color I was expecting, AND the splotches evened out. It's better than I could have hoped. Way to go, Fiebings!! I WILL NEVER DOUBT YOU AGAIN.

Here's the interior:

The elastic loops through the rivets on the spine to hold the two notebooks inside, which is really tricky and I had to watch Ian's video while I did it. But it works great.

You can see in the above pic that I added holes to the back cover for my skinny Cross pen that I have had for ages and have no idea from whence it came. Ian had suggested adding a pen holder, and I skipped that part. But after one day of using this thing with no pen holder I became homicidal, so I punched the holes as soon as I got home.

Ian also suggested adding bookmarks, which I did by tying some leather cord in the top hole:

I love this notebook holder, and I plan to make lots more of them. So many N.U.T.S.A.C. Agents to outfit....

And in Drunken Basket Weaving news: A couple weeks ago I grabbed one of my leather remnants, jammed holes in it with an awl, and used it as a basket base:

That finished edge is APPALLING. Pretty sure I have Bulleit Rye to blame for that. BUT I CAN'T STAY MAD AT YOU BULLEIT.

That's all for now! [scratches out "Blog"] Aaahhhh.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Vegetarian's Got A Brand New Bag

Last time I mentioned I bought scrap bags of leather from Hobby Lobby & Michael's, and that I was using them to make a bag. Here's the previous photo:

It's finished! And I've actually taken it out on a few journeys and it hasn't fallen apart or anything! Here it is:

I added a pocket to the inside flap:

and a pocket on the inside back:

To the left of that pocket you can sort of see the loop I installed to clip my keys to, genius, and to the right you can see one of the two pen holders I added, also genius. Not genius: Punching a hole in the wrong side of the middle of the pocket so that I had to stick a rivet in there to cover the hole.

I stuck rivets on what I considered to be stress points, and also where the handle met the bag:

And I used my husband's old belt to make the strap adjustable:

[It's pretty much impossible for him to throw anything into the charity pile. "Yeah no, I might need that..."]

And when I say adjustable, I mean ADJUSTABLE. Look at all those holes! I want my T-Rex arms to be able to access this bag no matter what coat I am wearing.

And then I slapped on some tooling. I stuck my practice scrap on the front under the flap, with the magnetic snap closure underneath it. You can see in the very first photo how it was still skin colored, and when it stuck out under the flap it looked like a fupa. So I dyed it black. Here it is right-side up so as to best admire my fine technique:

It's got everything! Rattlesnake, veiner, cammo, stars, beveler, basket weave, swivel knife, three kinds of lettering!!

I wanted more tooling for the outside flap, but I had a hard time choosing what I wanted. So I just went with an initial, and then crammed every stamp I could fit in around it, finally dying it black and gluing/hammering/sewing it on:

That's right. I got a barbed wire stamp. How dope is that.

Y'all, this was a ton of work. And I'm fairly proud of it. I mean, obviously I'm shit at tooling, but it's enormously satisfying anyway. Plus I finally have a bag that fits my short, square, stubby-armed body perfectly. It's a miracle!! AND, ALSO, because I'm left-handed, shit is always on the WRONG SIDE, like buckles and clips, and I'M TIRED OF LIVING IN YOUR BACKWARDS WORLD!! HAHHHAAA, SCREW YOU, I WIN!! HOORAY ME!!!

Oh yeah, I took a shot with a ruler, so you can get a rough gauge of the size of my square torso:

I love it.

ZOMG, I ordered a side of leather from the Tandy Outlet. Here's how big a side is. Brace yourself:

Sorry if that's disorienting, I was half on the couch trying to fit the whole thing in my camera. The chair and the bar stools should give you an idea. O_O It's big. So much potential...