Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bags Bags Bags

Allen went to Texas and I've been in the studio for 24 hours every day he was gone! Tired... and supremely satisfied. Such a lovely notion, being satisfied. There's a Sanskrit word of a similar meaning, "sattva." I have definitely not been in sattva, which also means balance and moderation. Ca va say the French. Now, about these bags. I finally finished the buckskin bag for my friend Cid. It was the first bag I attempted...many months ago...and have ripped out various parts of more times than I can say. My trip to visit the guys at Tandy solved the problem. Now I have to go back and buy more rivets! The other two bags are of hand painted gaffer tape! Allen's briefcase has a gorgeous brocade as a lining as well as a secure laptop pocket. He also wants a white board in it so I added velcro to the bottom and made a couple of vinyl pockets that have velcro too. All will stick to the bottom. The last bag is mine...not selling this one (sold 4 this weekend!). It's big enough to carry lots of stuff. And the gaffer is stamped with tjaps from Bali...carved in pear wood 100 years ago...that's not a typo.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I have been struggling to attach hardware to some of the bags I'm working on. I've tried eyelets, glue, tape, even staples. There is nothing that fixes firmly to this epoxy. So "Aha!" the smarter and less stubborn part of me said to the frustrated part of me holding a hammer, "the leather people use rivets. Maybe rivets would work." Well, the stubborn part took that to the internet and ended up at the Tandy Leather site. Oh my! Lots of toys. I just didn't know what they were all for. So in desperation, I trotted over to the Tandy Leather Store on Portland. "Amazing" chorused the two part harmony in me. Three very knowledgeable men who took my problem seriously and explored all of their powerful glues and rivets and wow! I am home this morning pounding rivets happily and not so loudly as I'm using a wooden mallet -- on steel. It's so Fun! And even better, Larry, one of the fabulous men at Tandy, used to work at 3M in adhesives. He wasn't in the least bit surprised that the power glues at Tandy didn't work. He pushed me to reveal that it's not really epoxy I'm playing with, but instead a polyamide. And the best bit was he surmised that there would be a flexible version of this polyamide that will work better in bags and lampshades while the stiff version I'm using will continue to be optimal for lamps and tables I'm building with Dad and Allen. So. If you're struggling go see the wonderful men at Tandy. I'm trying to think of a reason to stop back over there today!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hat Artist Trading Cards

Our Artist Trading Card meeting is tonight. The topic is Bonnets or Hats. One of the gals has suggested we wear one! Perhaps. I'm not into Easter so the bonnet thing didn't resonate. The Kentucky Derby came to mind, but how to get it on an ATC! And I've been into sewing and fabric lately more than paper, so I decided to play at being a milliner. I used more glue than I bet those gals did, but the materials are otherwise those that they used. My Great Grandmother Susie was a milliner. So I covered some buckram with velvet, silk and brocade. And then it's a collage isn't it. I made the organza roses by rolling up the center and making a couple of stitches at the bottom to hold it. I then fold the ribbon backwards at a right angle to make the first petal. Wrap it around the center roll. Again tack the new petal at the bottom when you get it where you'd like it to be. Continue making petals by folding the ribbon backwards and tacking at the bottom. Indeed you'll end up on the opposite side, and of course you'll make it your own as you go along. Clearly I don't stay inside the lines as these ATCs will show. The lace on the one with the blue flower just above this text is from my grandmother's wedding veil. The feather at the top is from my friend Carolyn's head strong Sun Conyer. My husband is beginning to understand why I have "one of each". It's times like these ATCs that I need a full pallet.

Shiva Paintsticks

I've been playing with Shiva Paintsticks to make the fabric I use behind the light panel in my purses. They're oil paints in crayon form and can be used so freely and happily. No matter how many mistakes I make, the piece I'm working on is always fabulous. They are permanent without heat setting in 24 hours. And I like to do them over textured stencils, stamps or die cutting texture plates. They cover one another if I allow a bit of time between...and they can be cleaned up with water and lots of soap!