Last Minute Christmas Gift

This year I was just too busy to make any thing for Christmas gifts. I had so many other things on my plate I decided to forego making any leather craft gifts. That was the plan anyway…

My son took an order for a hand tooled wallet for a coworker. He called and asked me to pick him up a kit from the hobby store, which I couldn’t do: they were out of stock. So, he asks if I can make him a kit from scratch, which I could, and agreed to do. Then a few hours later he calls and says he has to work a double shift and needs the wallet by 6:30 tomorrow morning; can I make the whole thing? I agreed even though I probably shouldn’t have; the design was to include a figure carving of a deer head, which I’d never done before (any animal figure carvings for that matter) and really don’t have the “right” tools to do it. A few hours later and I ended up with a pretty decent project. And having learned a few things to boot!

The entire “kit” was hand cut and after carving and finishing it was hand sewn and laced. I used Tandy Leather products for most of the finish along with a few other items to get this nice rustic look. SuperSheen was my resist, EcoFlo briar brown highlight was next, followed by two spray coats of Krylon clear acrylic satin. I then used my secret weapon: Kiwi shoe polish in brown. This takes the edge off the excessive (in my opinion) shine and warms it very naturally, along with giving a bit more highlight.

I know the deer isn’t perfect but not bad for a first try. And one that was not planned for or had the correct tools to do.

The interior came out nicely I think. I sewed the top edge instead of lacing it as I usually do. This greatly reduced the bulk and make it much sleeker. I painted the top edge with my own recipe of edge dressing: one part acrylic paint (black here) mix with one part SuperSheen.

The lace is goatskin. I like its strength and performance. And I think it’s a great value for my money. It’s a combination of single (on the thinner edge) and double loop lacing. I also found a new-to-me way of ending my lacing. And I’m extremely happy with the new way and how it looks. It’s detailed in one of the teaching manuals I got from TLF, though I can’t recall the title at the moment.

So, he’s happy, I learned a thing or two and I got forced into relaxing for a few hours at my favorite hobby. Oh, and someone is getting a nice hand crafted wallet for Christmas. I guess this one is a win-win-win.

Merry Christmas!




The “Madison” Rose

This rose is a Peter Main design. I got the pattern from my guild’s library: the IILG. I carved it and then colored it using water color crayons, by dipping a shader brush into water, rubbing the brush on the crayon and then painting onto the leather. I then went back and did a little shading and blending. This is a technique I learned from another guild member. After the coloring was done I finished it with a couple of coats of Kiwi neutral shoe polish.

The rose is a birthday gift for a little girl we goto church with; her name is Madison, thus the rose’s name. Her favorite color is purple; that’s why I chose the purple background, which is craft foam sheets to raise the leather carving a bit for more depth.