A Cozy Needle is a Happy Needle

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Happy Sunday, all!

Today we are ensuring that we continue to take excellent care of the tool that arguably works the hardest for anyone that does any kind of sewing. Last time we covered needle cases which are great for trips and transporting odd sized or duller needles. This time we are going to give our needles a bit more care and store them in soft felted cloth, more specifically in a needle book. Most needle books are fairly simplistic: take several squares of felt and sew them together in the middle to form a spine, then fold in half. Some crafters and artisans have taken this to a whole new level. This first one from Mouse Garden uses the traditional and adds their own flair:

Simple, pretty, and ready to carry your needles!

Using all felt makes it easy to add simple embroidery or other designs. Like this second rather whimsical one from Crafty Cat Lady UK:

I love it’s cute whiskers!

Many of us that mix our different sewing projects can also relate to this third one  from Angelic Emporium that may help to clear up some of our quilting scraps to make something useful for hand sewing components:

Plus a skull and roses needle book is super cool!

Finally, if you want to be super fancy, I suggest treating yourself to one of these beautiful vegan leather needle books from Naeh St Design:

All the way from Germany, no less!

Keep your needles happy and they will always treat you right! The felt pages of needle books not only serve to prevent accidental stabbings while rummaging around in a project bag but also help absorb leftover oil from your skin! Next week we will look at a different type of needle case.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Finger Armor

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Happy Sunday, all!

Continuing our trend of decorative and useful tools, this week we are focusing on a small but essential bit of sewing paraphernalia: the humble thimble. I don’t often have sewing projects that call for extra finger protection but when I do, it’s because the fabric is super thick or stubborn. I have a traditional old-fashioned metal thimble that was my grandmother’s but I think my idea of thimbles has been thoroughly expanded by those available online! First and foremost, I adore the simple and tasteful design on this leather thimble by Holly Hawk Designs:

Very elvish looking with the pretty little tree!

I also appreciate the ability to customize designs on wooden thimbles available for purchase from Becky’s Craft Shack:

I mean, asking for a sloth thimble would be just perfect!

If you want something soothing and elegant, this Nephrite Jade thimble from Jade Mine Canada is just gorgeous:

Jade is also said to enhance creativity.

By far one of the coolest and most unique thimbles I found, though, was this blown glass one by Eighth Planet Glass:

Though this one makes me want to bust out my blacklight like it’s the 90s again.

I may give one of these a whirl someday when my Grandma’s gets a well deserved retirement. Next week, I think I will give my crochet tools some love, starting with some amazing yarn bowls!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Serviceable Stylish Steampunk

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Happy Sunday, all!

I’ve made my second trip to the local Renaissance Faire this weekend and purchased something I’m so very excited to use! I will say that while I don’t have a full outfit as of yet, the Steampunk aesthetic has always fascinated me and so I found myself purchasing a teacup holster because one never knows when you are going to need a cup of tea.

This is not exactly mine but very similar!

This is not exactly mine but very similar in idea and performance.

This got me to thinking, what other functional Steampunk accessories are available? Anyone can slap some gears on a hat/necklace/bracer/belt and call it Steampunk but what about those things that actually…work? I’m kind of a sucker for stuff that not only looks good but serves a purpose as well. Here are a few more items I found that may someday find their way into my cosplay attire.

A parasol holster because let’s face it, I’m pretty fair skinned even with SPF50 slathered all over:

Could also hold a traditional umbrella for those unexpected showers!

Could also hold a traditional umbrella for those unexpected showers!

A bracer that holds tailoring essentials because outfit malfunctions can occur at any time in any place:

Or, you know, if you are suddenly inspired to do a little darning while you wait...

Or, you know, if you are suddenly inspired to do a little darning while you wait…

Or even this lovely bandolier with optional pouches and straps for vials, mirrors, or stakes (if you happen to find yourself dealing with pesky vampires):

There is the possibility of an alchemist's panel as well with more room for vials!

There is the possibility of an alchemist’s panel as well with more room for vials!

My summer wandering days are coming to a close so I think upcoming Sunday posts may include more holiday prep, gift ideas, and settling in for colder weather. See you next week and stay crafty!

~Laura


Lovely Leather Loot

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Happy Sunday, all! While at Wizard World Philadelphia last week, I also had the good fortune to meet a wonderful leather worker. Steven is the owner and creator of all of the wonderful leather bits at Loot Maker.

A stylish way to store money for chimichangas!

A stylish way to store money for chimichangas!

From purses to wallets to a wide array of leather coasters, there is all sorts of excellent loot to acquire!

LootMWallet  LootMCoasters

He has something for practically every fandom and if he doesn’t, there is always the possibility of a custom order. I must say that I was particularly attracted to the lovely flask sets.

This will help you imbibe in a flash!

This will help you imbibe in a flash!

If you’d like a geeky leather fix or to set up a custom order, Loot Maker can be found on Facebook, Etsy, or their website.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Leather Barrettes

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Over the years, my hair has been many different lengths but I generally default to a longer style simply because it is the easiest to pull back out of my face. Because of this, I like to find embellished hair ties, bows, and barrettes. During the convention season this year I regret one major thing: not purchasing a leather barrette from Armoured Wolf Productions. These little beauties are so detailed and eye catching that I couldn’t help stopping at the booth just to take a closer look.

A lovely knot to keep your hair free of knots.

A lovely knot to keep your hair free of knots.

I’ve purchased similar hair accessories in the past but Armoured Wolf had some truly unique designs.

Hair in your face? Nevermore.

Hair in your face? Nevermore.

For the lengthy haired steampunk enthusiast in your life, tentacles and gears are always a good idea.

OctopusBarrette  GearBarrette

Besides unique hair tamers, Armoured Wolf Productions also creates beautiful leather pouches, bracers, and other excellent cosplay pieces. They can be found on Etsy or Facebook and I would suggest making a beeline to their shop to take advantage of their current holiday special coupon!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Casual Leather Wear

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To take a flip on last week’s selection with the more classic use of leather in armor, today I want to feature an artist who does the exact opposite.

This is one of many hand crafted leather cuffs by the New York artisan Corey Christopher, also known on etsy as The Leather Geek. (Even if his old watermarking goes by a different name..sshhh…)

His shop has only been around for the last year but his leather jewelry is very different from the wrap bracelets you find in stores. Most of his designs are all cuff based like the Jack Skellington above or this kiss ass Agents of SHIELD one:

He has also dabbles in other fashion accessories though such as pouches, hair clips and even custom luggage tags. Sadly, just as soon as I started making my write up he seems to have switched his shop to vacation mode for the next few weeks so you won’t be able to order any of this loveliness, but fear not! You can still see his work over on his deviant art account for the time being. 🙂 He even has a few WIP photos of pieces to share a little bit about his process; which as someone who knows that can’t do leather working I find fascinating. Definitely worth a look over.

~Nicole

 


Absolute Devotion

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One of the things on my to-do list for 2015 involves leather-working, so I’ve been doing a little research. While my plans involve nothing as stunning or complicated as what this artist does, I can’t help but share her incredible work.

Absolute Devotion is a small business in Perth, Australia by Rebecca Hedges. Her catch phrase is “wearable artistry” and man, does her work live up to that.

This corset is what first drew me to their page, but the more I looked, the more I felt in awe. Not only does Rebecca have a beautiful sense of what she can create with leather, but her design skills are amazing. The intricacy, complexity, and detail involved in her works truly make what comes out a work of art.

Even if you’re not interested in buying one, Absolute Devotion is great to follow as Rebecca will post regular updates and progress shots on Absolute Devotion’s Facebook page, allowing you to watch the creation of such stunning pieces as this dragon corset below. I’ve learned so much, just by watching already.

For those of us who can’t afford the corsets, Absolute Devotion also does accessories, particularly chokers:

With the time and effort that goes in to making something like this, it isn’t a surprise that her one of a kind pieces would fetch a pretty price, but you will undoubtedly be gaining a piece that will make the rest of your wardrobe feel pale and drab.

For those of us not ready for the plunge into leather, Rebecca offers non-leather items too, which still have the flair and design beauty seen in her leather work.

Absolute Devotion can be found on Etsy, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

~ eliste


Suit Up

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I know I’ve mentioned before how much I’d love to give cosplay a go, but how I need to find a character first. A friend of mine already has his character picked out (Dart from Legend of Dragoon), but is unsure how to make the armor. I may have found someone who can help him out…

Carapace Bracers by swanboy

Swanboy is a leather workers, and his work is just gorgeous. It’s all authentic pieces (no foam core or light substitutes) so you’ll have to wear the weight with it, but the look is worth it I’d say. Most of his pieces seem to be original designs, but he also does some amazing cosplay stuff as well.

NCR Ranger Armor by swanboy

He’s been a member of DA for 9 years now, but you can also find his work on his etsy shop should you be in the need for some quality leather armor. ^_^

~Nicole


Leather for Everyday Use

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I know I’ve mentioned before about my love of keychains, but I can’t help it. They just speak to me on a minimalist level AND as a craft on a small scale. Ugh, if yarn held up to constant wear and use, you better believe I would be make some. Until then, I will just have to patron artist like WingedMasks.She’s primarily a leather worker from Europe, and her pieces are wonderfully designed and made with a clean clear final product that speaks for it’s self.

Navi Leather Keychain by WIngedMasks

Stark Banner Keychain by WingedMasks

Her keychains continue to expand in difficulty and selection all the time, but she also appears to be trying her hand at other crafts such as glass etching, and jewelry making. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future, and you can buy the pieces you see here (and more!) over on her etsy store. 🙂

~Nicole