Daddy’s Pencil Case

My dad asked me to make him a leather case to hold a carpenter’s pencil and a six inch scale that he could clip onto his belt when out in his workshop. Then, he’d always have a pencil and scale handy and not have to worry about either falling out of his shirt pocket.

It’s not perfect… hand stitched by a half blind woman, not exactly square, but he’s happy with it and that’s all that matters. He’ll be 84 years old on October 23rd.

I snapped photos along the way. The leather used was 3 layers of veg-tanned cowhide, with a belt clip sandwiched between two layers cut from a leftover Tandy checkbook cover kit. The pocket is also veg-tanned tooling leather, but softer and lighter weight, maybe only 3 oz, don’t remember as it’s been awhile since I’ve done any leatherwork.

Yeah, just rooted through my leather box and used what was on hand.

Dying was an afterthought, so I took a paint brush with liquid dye down inside after he changed his mind from natural to brown. I didn’t have anything to finish it with so I just rubbed it down with leather conditioner and popped it into the mail.

This little project was good for me as it broke my mask making obsession. Half the country thinks it’s a hoax that will magically vanish on election day anyways. They say I’m scared, call me a sheep… I don’t care. Some wouldn’t shake their shoes out for scorpions or socially distance from a rattlesnake (little lessons learned in west Texas) so I don’t expect them to understand the difference between scared and just being aware.

Take care of you and yours… thanks for reading!

Black Lace & Promises

Salmon Pink, Black, Gray, Red, Royal Blue… additional colors available soon

Per special request: solid colors, lace, something to wear when dressed in your Sunday best. Additional colors already cut in my “sew next” bin are Turquoise Blue, Winter White, and Autumn Orange (just orange… reminds me of pumpkins). The adjustable ear loops can be removed if you prefer straps. Black satin ribbon? Maybe clip on a single crystal earring off to one side for a little sparkle. Of course, if you are handy with a needle, you could adorn yours with glossy little seed beads.

The lace is a bit fragile so gently wash by hand and be careful with the iron. I used a dry iron with heat set on polyester for pressing while sewing. Only two were sewn of some colors, four of some others, and the lady who asked has first choice.

As for promises…. awe, that’s to myself. I need to make art again so when I finish sewing up everything in the “sew next” bin, I’ll be done with masks for awhile. COVID just spun everything around. I had 3 pieces in a show this year without the paintings even leaving the house. They did an excellent online presentation. It’s just not the same as viewing the actual art in person. Only one of mine was accepted by the juror, but all three entries were posted on their website as they had a separate virtual gallery for the rejected pieces. That was cool. I don’t feel so bad about being rejected after seeing fabulous pieces by other artists that were also rejected. It was also easy to see that the juror’s selections had more to do with how the various pieces interact and come together as one cohesive show than one person’s opinion of your art.

So, which piece was selected? Isolation.

Thanks for reading!

Homemade Threaders

Little homemade tools for threading ear loops through mask casings. I had made one before and didn’t realize how handy it was until I lost it, so I made a couple more.

All it is is about a foot of wire folded in half and twisted, but it makes me smile so I decided to share. Quite literally, as I shall be mailing one off to my sister.

I used a fairly stiff nickel silver wire leftover from my jewelry making days, but you could use brass or copper, doesn’t really matter. I’m not sure what the gauge was as it wasn’t labeled, thinking maybe 18 as it feels a little thicker than a 20 ga. A softer wire might be easier to bend as I had to use pliers to squish the top loop narrow enough to slide through my casings and, of course, wire tends to gets harder and stiffer as you work it so my twists are not perfectly uniform. I’m not making them to sell so I didn’t bother to de-burr the ends before curling them in.

Another thing that tickles me was discovering an alternative use. My hands are old, got some arthritis going on, so tying overhand knots wasn’t always easy. Now I can just wrap the ear loop cords around a finger, slide the tool in, wiggle the loop over the ends and pull them through. Photos might help explain.

I have another handmade tool to help poke those cord ends through pony beads, but it’s a just a rather large old-fashioned tapestry needle held upside down in a pin vise.

Yeah… welcome to old age, where innovation is needed to continue doing the things you want to do. Thanks for reading!

NOTE: if you are here looking for masks, what I have sewn and photographed is on the “mask4sale” page. Prices are not carved in stone so talk to me if you want more than one or if our mutual friend is delivering.