Shouldn’t we be done with these by now?

We know we’ve only got about a week to go, but there are a few more things to made for our tree.
Yes, made, because apparently we really are insane. Last year, the concept started at “let’s make at least half our tree decorations”, and finished with, well, glitter and paper and glue everywhere!!!

So, there’ll be more pictures to come (especially when we make the topper – it’s still a tie between a top hat or an angel I saw over on ) but here’s some of what we made last year as a teaser!

Lantern 4Lantern 2 Lantern 1 Lantern 3egg nest 3 egg nest 2 egg nest 1

burlap flower Bulap snowflake

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A Proper Bag for a Magical Journey

Dscn2135This is my new bag. We just returned from a journey to another magical kingdom – known conveniently as The Magic Kingdom [perhaps you’ve heard of it], and for the journey, I decided I had need of a new carrier for all the little things one must carry with one these days. It served most effectively!

Rivets make anything look awesome! And, I used a lot of them. Dscn2133smI also tooled my second original knotwork pattern. I didn’t cut in the design as one normally does, because I wanted the more shallow surface effect. Still, without that added step, it only took me 5 hours to complete that image. Only. 

I’ve also been saving that ring closure for the right project.

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“A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” Yes, most efficacious.

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I considered using all leather straps, but leather straps can be expensive, and I wanted something with a but of give. So, I found this excellent 2″ cotton strapping, which I dyed to my personal colour, and I love the added flexibility it gives to the design.

I got to use a dramatic amount of gear conchos on the strap rivets, as well as the steampunk buckle I’ve had set aside for just such an occasion. I even found need of a healthy amount of chain maille in the side panels.
I used the large 3″ steel rings to give some added functionality, as well. The straps connected to them are fastened with screws, so they can be changed out if needed, and they also give a convenient location to hang things – my bumbershoot found the back ring an ideal home. You can also see my phone stand hanging from one ring.


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New phone case covers…


These are ready to become phone cases, as soon as they get some colour and they’re all put together.

On the top case, you can see some of the new stamps we’ve procured from Tandy Leather Supply. I love that place!


Dscn2117 The other case design is a completely original knotwork design – my first ever! I’ve been wanting for quite a long time to learn that art, and I’ve taken my first steps. This one, of course, will be a book-style case.Dscn2119sm Dscn2120sm

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Just a little something…

As I sat at my bench one day, I took a few moments to peruse the interwebs, and happened upon this little oddity someone had created [Check out the original here!]. As I myself was surrounded by leather scraps, I, of course, had to immediately reproduce it…


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Making vs. Posting: Guess which I’m better at?

It’s been so long since I’ve updated our studio adventures, that I find I must re-learn this WordPress madness!

But, busy we have been! I will stop for a moment, and show you some of what we’ve been up to…


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Here is the prototype messenger bag I made. Very simple, very utilitarian, yet the soft upholstery leather I used make it most luxurious.
You may notice there are 2 different options for the strap – yes, that is chain mail! One solid strip of welded stainless steel maille, fastening into the buckles just like the leather strap. When it finds a new home, that will be an additional option I’ll offer (for an additional $30 – welded maille isn’t cheap!).
I do intend to offer it for sale, but I haven’t settled on a closure method for the front flap, nor have I given it a final rub down in mink oil to seal it.

I guess that means, if anyone were to be interested, they could influence that choice, and have the oppourtunity to select  embellishments or other decoration. 🙂 

Not to get too post-happy, I think I’ll make a new post for the next project for your perusal.

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Maille Call!

This gallery contains 11 photos.

So, it’s been quite busy around here, and it’s high time I take a moment to show off a bit of sparkly goodness. Check them out at our Etsy store! Tweet

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Mission Accomplished!

C’est finis!

Elastic closure; check!
Openings for audio and USB ports; check!
Crimson suede lining; checkedy-check!

Now, into wrapping and a perfect shipping container for a speedy trip to its home and worthy responsibility guarding its phone.

And that is how things are done here in Studio StormyRaine.

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A stitch in time…

So, with the glue dried and everything ready, it’s time to commence the sewing portion of our program!

And this is the way we do it! When we use a cotton lining, only the top edges get sewn in. In this case, however, the entire cover is bordered with hand-stitched goodness. Going up and back on the ends actually took somewhat longer than I’d anticipated.

And here we are, all sewn up! Not far to go now…


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Busy, busy, busy…

Moving right along…

At this point, all the stitching holes have been punched, the distressed writing has been stamped on the cover in silver, and the vivid red suede has been glued to the inside front panel.

Here you see the remaining pieces of the case; the side panels and the tab for the closure. The tab is conveniently ready to go (with the exception of oiling to smooth down those beveled edges).
The sides, on the other hand, take considerably more work. Remember all those lovely sharp, pointy tools I was taking such care in sharpening? Yes, this is where they all come in. The side panels have to be carefully shaped and carved, so as not to leave great lumps on the inside corners. It is the messiest, most time-consuming part of the process, but, essential.

With all the pieces ready, now assembly begins in earnest. The sides are punched, glued, and aligned to the cover. Then the suede lining is glued in place, rolled smooth and pressed into the corners. In this picture, you can finally see the lush crimson “right” side of the suede. I suddenly have the strangest desire to be the phone destined to rest in this luscious cocoon.

For now, I have to leave the glue to dry, but then the stitching can begin!

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…Return to our continuing story…

So, here’s a bit of what happened today –

First comes love – and a strange love it is, as normally I’m not a great fan of mathematics, and pattern making requires a surprising amount thereof. But, given the choice between measuring everything several times on the material, or measuring it on screen, I find the screen more forgiving.
OK, so, yes, I usually measure a time or two on the material. Yes, I know what that says about me. I’m fastidious. That’s what we’re going with. Yes.

Now, this may not seem quite so important, but sharpening one’s tools makes perhaps the single greatest difference to the job. Knives, skivers, bevelers, groovers; I’ll actually freshen the blade after every few cuts, just to keep everything running smoothly. And, in the words of Walter Bishop – I like to cut things… 🙂

Precision is of vital importance.

The finer the material, the finer the cut.

Now the real magic begins. But, you’ll have to wait to see that til next time.

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