Art and Music Blog or Vlog 365

Day 77 of 365 Blog or Vlog

The leatherwork and wood burning is now organized.

Next the drawing, painting, beading, and sculpting supplies need to get organized.

After that, I need to dig out my fiber stash and get that organized.

Art and Music Blog or Vlog 365

Day 76 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Putting in some organization.

I’ve made several small orders for tools and supplies over the last couple weeks. Still waiting on one from Temu.

I wanted to try Temu and see if the complaints about it were warranted. Guess what? The complaints are valid. Not just the fact that it is supported by the communist Chinese Government, but the quality issues just aren’t compensated for by the low prices.

The shipping times are not predictable. When you are trying to set up production plans, this unpredictability can make for some serious issues.

Short version is that Temu is not something I’ll be trying again.

One of the things that did arrive is a holder for paint brushes. This will let me organize my leather tooling stamps, hole punches, rivet setters, awls, etc.

I picked up a set of desk organizers at Walmart. I’ll get my pattern print outs in the letter rack, and I’ll figure out how to use the small cup holders. I think the smallest cup will work for holding my wood burning tips.

Time to get back to the work desk!

Art and Music Blog or Vlog 365

Day 75 of 365 Blog or Vlog

I started this 365 Blog or Vlog series in January of 2022.


I need to do some serious catching up. The good news is that I have plenty of things to write about.

Projects include the leather working that have been the topic of a few posts. Wood burning, spinning, gardening, art, construction, music, off grid power and water are all coming up.

We need to finish the inside of my office, get ready for new chicks, build more rabbit housing, and dozens of other projects.

Back to the work table!



Art and Music Blog or Vlog 365 Fiber and Fabric

Day 74 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Progress in the Leather Workshop – Part 3

A good deal of progress was made today. The leather work desk was organized, I drew out two patterns and got one wallet back carved and tooled.

After letting it dry and taking another look, I realized that I’m not satisfied with the quality of the tooling. A large part of that is the long period of no practice. The smaller factor was the quality of the tools I had purchased. I found a better quality set at reasonable cost. It arrived, as well as some other tools and supplies.

I fell down the Pinterest rabbit hole.

Yes, I downloaded and printed off some patterns for the projects on my worktable. However that took far too long! I have fairly limited production time and frittering it away online is not the best use of such a limited resource.

I have leather tooling and wood burning projects on tap.

Several of them are inspired by Celtic and Viking designs.

Got some more progress.


Blog or Vlog 365 Fiber and Fabric

Day 73 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Progress in the Leather Workshop – Part 2

Yesterday I posted this image of my new leather work desk / station.

The plans for today got cancelled, so I will be addressing this disorganized mess, and starting production.

I moved a magnifying light from my computer desk to the leather desk, replacing the magnifying light with a floor lamp, and my small desk heater over to the leather desk.

My spinning wheel got moved so I can have access to some storage shelves and supplies got moved off the desk until needed. I may take my spinning wheel up to the living room until some of the planned work in my Homestead Office gets completed. (but that project requires it’s own series)

All the small tools and supplies are now organized. I have started tracing out the first pattern for one of the billfolds.

I will be using different patterns for each of the ten kits. I hope to get the tooling done on at least two of them today.

I better get at it!

Blog or Vlog 365 Fiber and Fabric

Day 72 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Progress in the Leather Workshop

We got a used drafting table as part of a trade. I have it set up in the Homestead Office for leather working. It’s been too cold in the office the last few days for my hands, but this week should be better. I need to do a good deal of organizing!

We have plans for most of the day Sunday, but Monday will be a good day to stay indoors.

First up is the ten billfold kits on the lower left, then a dozen travel journals from the leather at the top of the image. Then from the scraps of that leather will be as many bead and leather bracelets and cuffs as I have materials for.

There is quite the process to describe, list, package and ship items to Amazon Handmade for sale.

I’ll be taking and posting photos and videos as I go along.

Blog or Vlog 365 Homestead

Day 71 of 365 Blog or Vlog

“Challenging” Weather

Into the deep freeze we go!

We’ve had several below-freezing days already this month. We haven’t seen this image (this is from February 2021) but we’re not even done with January as yet.

The deep freeze from February 2021 taught us a few things. My post “Lessons from a Dangerous Situation – How Not to Die of Stupid” is a good one to re-visit.

We have done a few of the actions I mentioned in that post, though more needs to be done.

Health-wise; we both have been having some problems. We are trying to address this with vitamins, Rahn’s Health TreaT, less sugar, more sleep, and better eating.

On the better eating front, Rahn will be building a number of raised beds for the garden. We got a pair of 275 gallon IBC totes, so the lack of water that doomed my gardening efforts the last few years will be handled.

I have a good mix of seeds in my stash, and several seeds catalogs have arrived. I plan to inventory everything so I don’t double up, but will order what key varieties are missing.

A pressure canner was added to my resources last year, and we were able to get a used freezer. More jars do need to be purchased.

An order for more chicks has been made, and scheduled to arrive the second week of April.

A big part of the garden plans this year are including feed for birds and bunnies. Feed them well, the nutrition from them is improved.

The IBC totes and several 55 gallon drums will be our water storage for rain water collection. One of the IBC totes can be put on a trailer on in the back of the pickup truck to be filled at a neighbor’s house. The mobile IBC may not be needed once we get gutters the rest of the way around the house and the Homestead office shed. We will also be installing a multi-stage water filter setup.

We were able to obtain a tank-less water heater, and that will be getting installed when we remodel the master bathroom. The wood stove water heater options may still happen.

We dropped out going to the gym, though we will start back in the next week or two.

The wood stove is now working, and a fair amount of firewood is cut, stacked, and dry. Both our generators now work. We have gotten two 4 KW inverters, though we still need to get batteries. Plans also exist to get a small wood stove for the Homestead Office.

Freedom should imply that we take our self-responsibility seriously.

Blog or Vlog 365 Fiber and Fabric

Day 70 of 365 Blog or Vlog

What is PU Leather?

PU leather is a product made of thermoplastic polymer. It is sometimes advertised as “vegan leather”.

I recently ordered a bag kit made of it. While I would never offer the finished bag for sale on my page, I plan to use the pieces of the kit as a template so I can make bags out of real leather.

I wouldn’t say that it looks bad, just obviously fake. I was rather hoping that I could finish the kit for my own use.

The stitching holes are spaced roughly twice as far apart as they should be on leather. My suspicion is that is intentional as this fake leather is not nearly as wear-resistant as real leather. There is no way to finish and burnish the edges, and the straps are far too narrow to hold up.

I’ll be making these points in my review. I can still use the kit as a template – with major modifications.

Blog or Vlog 365 Fiber and Fabric

Day 69 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Nearly All of the New Leather Work Supplies Finally Arrived

I’m still waiting for the contact cement. That should get here before I’m ready to assemble anything. I could use some more colors of dyes and finishes.

Forty years ago, the accepted practice was to rubber glue the leather to some stiff poster board to keep the leather from stretching during tooling and dyeing. Now the procedure is to use packing tape on the back.

I find it somewhat amazing that I can have nearly everything I need in only four square feet of space. That’s not enough space for laying out the leather and cutting, but I can tool small projects.

We have a curious piece that Rahn collected some time back. It’s the lid to a baby grand piano. Rahn had the genius idea to mount it on sturdy hinges in my office so I can fold it down onto supports when needed as a work desk.

It’s going to have to wait until we can get some things out of my office and get the inside of the walls finished in that corner. I do have another work surface that I can use on a temporary basis.

Now to draw out some designs!

Blog or Vlog 365 Fiber and Fabric

Day 68 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Online Ordering and Anticipation

In getting my leather working tools and supplies ordered, there are a number of items coming from multiple sources. Some things have already arrived, a couple things are arriving today, and the biggest order coming from Tandy Leather hasn’t even shipped yet.

This is making me think about what are going to be my first projects. I had been thinking of diving in on the ten billfold kits from Tandy, but the delay in shipping is putting that on hold. The leather from European Leather is out for delivery, so I’ll be starting with some projects using it.

But what to do?

The leather from European Leather is fairly small – 4 to 6 square feet – so my options are going to be somewhat limited. It is also light weight. Probably too light to make a guitar strap for Rahn. I should be able to make his tooled cuffs, however.

The European Leather Works package arrived. My feelings are somewhat mixed. Other than an obviously permanent crease in the leather, it is a nice size.

I think that if I take advantage of the existing crease in the leather for folds, I can cut out projects fairly well.

It’s a little over six square feet. It is too light weight for a guitar strap, and I think I would need to line it for his cuffs. Excellent weight for billfolds, wrap wallets, ear bud cases, and tooled bracelets. Perhaps a notebook cover.

Now to draw out some patterns and decide on the tooling.