I’ve shared our story a couple of times but I don’t mind repeating it, because we worked so hard for the outcome and we’re both rather proud of ourselves.
Short form: we went back to school with a toddler and no money, soon had another kid and he joined the military both for the experience and also because healthcare. We both worked part-time while going to school and eventually homeschooled those kids and then (dramatic music) …. the funding ran out. So I went after a promotion at work and stopped taking classes: I was about seven classes short of my degree at that point. But he finished his degree and landed a job that would eventually lead to another job that would enable me to also finish. Another kid joined us, we had some financial pile-ups, and this year is really the first year that it was practical for me to contemplate finishing. So I applied to ASU.
My kids also informed me that this year they wanted to be homeschooled and gave me a good rational for doing so. I want them to practice self-determination so the paperwork has been submitted and curriculum ordered. We’ve also scheduled our lives on google calendar and pretty much every hour is accounted for, because after a series of health issues us older ones are committed to taking better care of ourselves and we’re working out at our local YMCA several days a week.
I’m also keeping Wordsremember going, because that is my outlet and also I was really looking forward to seeing how I did this Christmas, given that last Christmas surprised me (in a good way: I had my biggest month to date). But … I’ll be transitioning to only ready-to-ship items and taking the “customize” option off, because I doubt my ability to run a business, homeschool the kids, keep up with homework, and work out regularly. Not to mention keeping the house somewhat clean and eating things other than sandwiches.
So that is where I’m at this Friday. I’m redoing our schedules and lists and reinforcing the sanctity of “studio time” because it will be limited in the months to come. I’ve also been a busy bee and I’ve made several new products that I think will be smash hits:
All travel-themed, all passport-ready;) You can find these at wordsremember.etsy.com
I made a tool belt. And modeled it. Myself. Fortunately I have a SIL who told me how to go about modeling (although any mistakes are my own, her photos are fabulous). The entire time my eldest was snapping photos I was thinking “LOOK AT MAH BUTT!!!!!!” because I was turning slightly sideways. Because I remember that being a thing one does when taking selfies.
It’s got like seven pockets and is 24″ long. I had some trouble with the belt (first I underestimated the length, then it was too long) but I’m happy with how it turned out. And right now it’s holding all my most-used leatherworking tools which means I can actually find them;)
This isn’t listed in the shop, but if I get murmurs of interest it might be something I add. I’ll be wearing it at my craft shows so we’ll see how that goes.
And now I’m slowly working on stocking up for those shows and adding things like banners/new logo/new business cards/new products entirely. Should be fun!!!
In the continuing saga of me teaching myself leatherworking I have discovered an important thing. A thing that was mentioned but not emphasized. Or maybe I wasn’t paying attention (that is a distinct possibility).
When embossing (and I’m referencing cold stamping, not hot), douse the leather you want to imprint. And then douse the underside (I don’t know if this is strictly necessary, but I do it and my results have been fantastic). Wait until most of the water has been absorbed, dip your stamp into the water (seriously, I notice a difference when I do this), and then pound away (I can’t decide if my sentence is naughty … I’m leaving it;)
Before taking the time to soak my leather my results were sporadic at best, “now I need to throw away this leather” at worst.
And now they’re consistent. We can quibble over my letter placement (it was TOTALLY DELIBERATE, by which I mean it didn’t occur to me that the “d” wouldn’t fit in with the other letters but now we’re saying it was on purpose for artistic effect. Affect? Bah) but the embossing itself looks wonderful.
So Art On, my friends. There is always something new to learn.
Definition of deckle edge: the irregular, untrimmed edge of handmade paper, often used for ornamental effect in fine books and stationery
This was one of those projects I put off for far too long. I love deckle edge paper, I want to use it for everything …. and it’s so simple to make!
Paper (any kind, I’m using 70lb drawing paper … not handmade as per the definition, but oh well)
Straight Edge (I’m using my t-ruler)
Cutting Board (totally optional)
Cut your paper, adding an extra 1/2″ to account for the ripping and tearing you’ll do later. For a sheet that measures 7×10″ (for use in my 5×7″ journals) I’ll cut 10.5×7.5″.
Gather your cutting board (optional) and straight edge (really not optional). I find that hanging the paper over the edge of the cutting board makes the tearing easier: I’m not having to pry the edge of the paper off of my surface.
Tear! I eyeball it: leave 1/4″ to tear, more or less.
Work your way around the edges.
Admire the pretty paper you just made!
Some guides I read (because I believe in google) wet the edges … I did not notice enough of a difference to employ that step, but it’s worth a try to see what you think.
And if you want to use deckle edged paper but don’t want to make it yourself, I sell it;)
Art On, my friends: there are so many beautiful things to make!
Today I started taking myself seriously as a leatherworker.
By take myself seriously, I mean I could see getting a business loan and really going for it, not just the cautious slow crawl I’ve been doing. I’m not going to do that, I think my organic shuffling is better for me (because I’m learning more this way) … but eeeeeek … I love what I do and I have THOUGHTS about how to keep improving.
And that’s what I’ve been up to:) You can find all of these in the shop.