Don’t just dab the leather, douse. Douse it hard.

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;)

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Before taking the time to soak my leather my results were sporadic at best, “now I need to throw away this leather” at worst.

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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.

 

DIY: Deckled Edge Paper

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!

Items Needed:

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)

Paper Trimmer

Cutting Board (totally optional)

Step 1:

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″.

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Step 2:

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.

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Step 3:

Tear! I eyeball it: leave 1/4″ to tear, more or less.

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Work your way around the edges.

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Step 4:

Admire the pretty paper you just made!

Final Thoughts:

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!

Practice, practice, and practice some more … a leatherworker I shall be.

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.

Art On, my friends, and tomorrow is Friday!

I made something for me. Because I’m a momma and it’s almost Mother’s Day.

In a funky twist, I will not be home for Mother’s Day. I’m off to what is currently my family’s hometown (they’ve all said they’re not staying … but they haven’t moved yet;) to celebrate a baby and do Mother’s Day with my own mother. I’m rather looking forward to this … I’ll get to have a peaceful and quiet Mother’s Day luncheon and then return that evening to my wild and loud children.

To facilitate my travels I made myself a sketchbook holder:

I rarely make things for myself so I figured it was time. I did take listing photos and will put the option up in the shop once I get back (I am on VACAY). I also made a few other drool-worthy travel journals (and my first-ever passport holder!):

These will all be available in the shop once I’m back and recovered from having fun. Sign up for my newsletter-with holidays and fairs coming up I’ll be motivating myself to send out a few with unique coupon codes (I’m dreaming of the day when my youngest is in school and I’m not desperately trying to get everything done around the edges of life).

So have fun, my friends!!! And remember: Art On. I’ll be drawing and relaxing, hopefully:)

Just Be.

I’m tired. More than normal, even. I think it’s a combination of our rather busy schedule (my kids decided THEY SIMPLY MUST PLAY BASEBALL/SOFTBALL and they have several games/practices each week) and my trying to spiffy up my gift/Christmas sections, because I had no time last fall and was completely unprepared for the season (I sold completely out of journals). I’ve got plans, they’re gonna be wonderful, and …. blah.

So Mr. Wordsremember told me I should just get some coffee, cuddle on the couch, and watch our Winter Wonderland (that’s killing my pretty flowers … such is life). I snapped this picture to show my brothers (they live in humid Houston) and I thought “I need to write about this” because I’m not the only creative who sometimes stays too long in overdrive.

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And it’s so easy to do, isn’t it … we have such lovely ideas and the power to bring them to fruition so we say “just one more …. ” and then neglect to recharge the batteries. So today, after fulfilling orders, I’m going to do my best to recharge. Relax. And Just Be.

TGIF, and Art On … just make sure to relax every once in awhile;)