Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Leather Story

This picture is slightly blurry, but it's of my favorite bag. It's deerskin and painted by yours truly, and there are no machine stitches holding it together. Only deerskin lacing and knots do that. I added an antler button on the shoulder strap, enabling it to become a waist pouch in a flash. I like to wear this at the county fair. It frees up my hands, takes weight off my shoulder, and shows off my work! You just can't beat that!

The next two leather shields I picked up at a dollar store. The leather was blank and cried for an image, so I painted my own interpretations of Kokopelli on them. They and a handful of dream catchers grace to walls of our hallway.

Luckily, there's been a long stretch between birthdays, Halloween is tomorrow and the decorations are done. Now, it's time to figure out what to do for my Mother's birthday. This is always a very tough nut to crack. I like to make it a personal gift- not like Christmas where almost anything goes. So, this year I decided to try something different. I'd make her a card. How hard could it be?
Thinking fast, I picked some recycled paper from a sketch book I had in my 'go' bag. This is a beautiful, almost paper bag-ish color, mixed with delicate fibers throughout. It would lend itself well to the delicate lettering I wanted to use. I have about 700 fonts at hand, but I knew just the right one, and it didn't have to be enlarged. We're cookin'.
I won't bore you with details, but the card came out fairly well. At least I think so. I used only metallics on the design and lettering, which complimented the paper nicely. Here's the card:
The design is mine. Lettering, not.
 Now for the gift.
Mom reads alot. I do, too. So does my sister and my husband. Books are either at my house or hers. We're constantly juggling them back and forth. Our favorite authors write 'The People of' series. Superb reading. The next book-switch is coming up soon, and that thought led me to an old leather coat I recycle by making small pouches, earrings, whatever is needed at the time. That leather circled back to the book, and a leather bookmark would be the gift. I know she needs one. And I've made them before.
I started off with this piece:
This is a trial run. To see what I could do.
Pardon me, but I used someone else's art as a guide for this bookmark. There was no way to draw and transfer it to the leather, so it was freehand all the way. The progression of pictures show it's evolution.

This was all play while my mind was bouncing around ideas for Mom's bookmark. Her design just popped out of my hand to the brush, from the brush to the leather. I looked up and saw this out my studio window-

As is the first one, this bookmark is freehand. Nothing fancy or ornate. A bookmark serves a purpose and needs to be durable. What better than leather? And why not make it nice to look at?
Here's the progression of pictures to show it's creation:

Stopping here, I wanted to come up with something different, so I started trimming the leather. Rectangular is fine. It's predictable. My scissors seemed to naturally glide around the flowers and leaves. The bottom became the bottom of a leaf. A little more...
Gold metallic did the trick, and it was the same color I used on the card. Bingo! Out in the mail it will go to reach her on time. Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you.

Meanwhile, it's still snowing! Somehow, Halloween decorations and snow just don't mix!


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