Posted by Julie Ann Smith on

I hope this finds you all doing GREAT!  The weather has calmed down a bit here and I've been doing very special orders, for the last month!  It's been crazy for sure.  But I feel a change coming in my life and I'm not quite sure what to expect, but I just feel it....you know!?
I know it's been a while since I posted.  My bad.  I was trying to stay on a schedule but I just didn't get there.  I will try harder.
Since I "officially" retired 2 years ago now, I decide I wanted to try my hand at leather work.  I simply love the feel of leather and the joy that comes to me when I create "something", well, it brings a smile to my face.  
I love, what the leather folks call it, "veg-tan" leather.  It's basically a hide that has no color in it, therefore leaving it a clean slate.  and for this old gal, my artwork is calling.  Here is a wallet that was made using the "veg-tan" leather and I hand dyed it to give it this teally-tuquoise color!  i love it!
The finished product sold quickly and therefore I set out to make more goodies.  Like I said....a blank canvas is all I need.  This wallet took almost 12 hours to make, reminding myself I'm still somewhat new in the field.  Everything is hand cut, hand dyed, and hand sewn.  Whew....how much more can these arthritic hands endure?  Well, I'll tell you...
Here is another example of what a blank canvas brough to me.  They make leather paints that really bring out the depth of a project.  Once again, a veg-tan piece, that flew out the door.  I'm gonna have to make another one!
It was fun dying this veg-tan leather.  I used a sponge and did a graduated look to the inside and outside.  I got to say that when I get some idea in my head, I kind of go HOG-WILD.  To set up a leather studio, it took me several months to gather all the supplies.  The leather is definitely the most expensive, but the hide can make several small products like this.
These fun rings were so fun to make and I could make several in a day.  What is a day for me?  I usually get up around 3:30 am. I either crochet or head to my studio/office so I won't wake up Rob.  I usually spend 14 hours or so creating.  In between, I try to do some housework.  We live in an 800 square foot cabin so there isn't much to get dusty, except when you open the window.
I did most of these projects in 2021.  Most of them are all gone.  So I closed my HANDMADE BY MOMMA BEAR shop at etsy.  It's out there somewhere waiting for me to get busy again.  I guess I better get to it, huh!?
Here is a special order I did for a customer's sister, Merlene.  She told me PURPLE with an initial of red.
I love how it turned out!  The customer told me Merlene loved it and she and I were very happy how it turned out!
I've just showed you part of my leather journey.  I have so much more to do in this area of art and I hear those hides calling me.
I was commissioned about 3 weeks ago to do some stained-glass work for a customer in Fort Worth.  I've done alot of mosaic glass work, but not any stained glass.  I have all the supplies, so for the last week or so I've been practicing how to cut glass, foil the glass and then to solder it.  Oh my...what have I gotten myself in to?
I've also been doing some painting.  Furniture, that my dear Robert made for me.  I will show it to you next blog post.  Stay tuned!  "I'll see you next time, on THIS OLD HOUSE!"  Who doesn't love THIS OLD HOUSE?


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