Friday, November 18, 2011

Two birds with one stone...

As thanksgiving approaches I’ve started thinking of things I’m thankful for. (Thinking of things I’m thankful for…say that five times fast!) And I'm not trying to be sappy. Usually on Thanksgiving one of my aunts likes to play the “what are you thankful for game” and goes around the room and asks every single person, and I don’t want to be put on the spot. I like to be prepared. So really it’s like I’m getting ready for a pop quiz or something. But I’m glad she does it, because it gets me thinking about all the good things in my life and how blessed I truly am.

Now me, I am a very lucky person. Not only am I not allergic to dogs, but I can also whip up a cup of hot chocolate that makes me go into a happiness induced coma for at least a half hour. What else could I ask for? Especially during these cold winter nights that are starting to creep up. I also have unusually small feet for my height, which I constantly get ridiculed for because I get to wear elvish-small cute shoes. Yes, very lucky indeed.

But thinking about things more seriously, I have so many great things in my life! Especially my melting pot of friends. Now I don’t get to see them all the time, but when we do get together we can have a real hootenanny. I am really thankful for them, they are all those special kinds of friends, the ones that when you get together you just pick right up from where you left off. It's like we're back in high school...except some are just married or having kids haha!

It was recently one my friend’s birthdays…okay that was a fib. It was a while ago, and I am always behind on birthday presents! But last weekend I finally cleared off my “work station” (which constitutes as a folding card table smack dab in the middle of my already small bedroom) and got to work on my gift for E. Giving handmade presents is one of my favorite things to do, even if they might not know all the hard work you put into it, I still think it feels wonderful to make something with your own hands and to know that no one else will have the same gift that they are getting! Ooooh exciting and unique! And who doesn’t like unique?

I am in love with leather working and I want to share my project as a way to get others interested in the craft too! So here are some pics of my belt project and some tips on making your own belt…plus now my friend can see what work went into her birthday present! Two birds with one stone...

Get those ideas on paper...they usually turn into something cool!

The inspirations for the floral pen holder at work.

I always start with the back of the belt, to make sure it's centered. (Don't forget to measure it out and put the buckle on the correct side...I learned that the hard way on my first buckle was on the men's side! It gets very annoying.)

I thought a saying would be a fun alternative to a name.

I didn't have enough room for the rolling hills in my drawing, but the stars and moon filled it in nicely.

On to the floral design...

I love free-handing my designs...I just keep adding to them until I'm satisfied...

I'm not a big fan of symmetry so I make the sides different...I like variety!

Thank you pen holder for the inspiration!

The tip of the belt is often forgotten about...I like to add design there since it's so visible. It's also a good place for personalization if you didn't use a name on the back.

And it's ready for some stain and embellishments!

After I stained it, I added some rhinestone rivets for an extra sparkle.

And a fancy buckle from Tandy Leather Factory.
(They have everything you need!

This is a special case in which the project IS as easy as it looks. Leather working is a great hobby and once you start it's hard to stop, it's so much fun! There are endless possibilites to what you can make. I hope this gets you thinking about starting another hobby : )


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