Keep Track

I made a special little notebook cover, for a very special friend. She requested Paisleys, turquoise and purple.  Freedom within constraints. 

This notebook was made for Midori Traveler notebooks, in the passport size. Custom inquiries are welcome, drop me a note- crbabbie {at} gmail.com or the contact for in the 'About' tab above.

 

(Big thanks to C, for taking these photos for me.  I was too excited when I finished and sent the cover off without taking any photos! We also added a tab to the bottom, to better hold the pen.)

Three little birds

errr... Cocoons, I mean, cocoons! 

 

 

 

Custom made for a dear patron's Christmas gift-giving. 

 

I am honored, as always, when you help me share my work with the world. 

 

xo

This sweetie is actually a really deep pretty fuchsia... BUT my camera decided not to play nice, and I didn't realize until it was shipped. ah, life. 

This sweetie is actually a really deep pretty fuchsia... BUT my camera decided not to play nice, and I didn't realize until it was shipped. ah, life. 

Backpack? Backpack!!

This backpack. Ooooh, this backpack. It nearly didn't happen, it nearly drove me insane.

Sound a bit dramatic? Yes, but it is the most challenging project I've taken on in a long, long time.  Which is why it kicked my bum.  Some of the pressure was totally my fault- it was requested by a dear, dear friend, it had a deadline that seemed manageable (or would have been if, you know, I didn't have a day job to deal with… oops).  On top of that, I threw in a completely new material. Plus it needed to be comfortable to wear, AND it needed leather to be involved as well.

I usually figure out construction in pieces and steps to about 95% before I start building a bag… This one was more like… oh, 60%. There were so many unknowns in this.  I had sketches, concepts, supplies, I knew I had the individual skills to pull it off… but would I be able to throw them all in the mixing bowl and come out with a usable bag? That was questionable.  

I can sew, but had never sewn with waxed fabric.  I can make a leather bag, but had never combined it with fabric in this way.  I’ve made purses, never backpacks.


It felt so personal, to make this right, to make it FIT her unique and fabulous body and spirit.

I almost dog-barfed it So. Many. Times.


As you can see, it worked. I had to simplify some things in the end, but it worked out.  She’s pleased as punch, and I'm exhausted and exhilarated to offer up my hand-work to such a challenging project.


I've learned a lot.


I do not know if I’ll make another, but I know enough to never lock a door to a challenge.  

Success is such a sweet reward. 

The Guardian

The Guardian, a custom cocoon for a talented jewelry artist I met this summer.  She reached out initially about a different cocoon, but ultimately chose for me to make one just for her.  True Self, finding Her, sacred space, trees, and gentle energy were our themes.

Tendrils, greens and rich blues were requested. Though it turned out more purple than blue, I ended up loving the evening-twilight-between duskiness of the colors. The sway of tendrils weighted down with beads.  Tucked in here and there are beads she sent me to use.  The inside speaks of geodes, the tendrils of roots (rooting down into her inner self-journey).

Opening to the light.

Journey within, find the jeweled cave, your shining soul, heal, rest, love. 

A wee mouse

A custom order for a sweet soul.  It came out so dear and small, it felt like a mouse, in the best way. Tiny, delicate, yet powerful.

Mandala Purse

 Pa·tience (ˈpāSHəns/)

Noun

1.       The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

The initial spark for this purse started in the summer, its making took six months, at least. I said yes too quickly, not realizing how much time I simply did not have, trying to work the day job, plan a wedding, have a small social life and maybe eat and sleep too.  Luckily, the friend who “ordered” this purse is patient and as an artist herself, understanding of my too-tight schedule.  As soon as I recovered from jet-lag, we met again to make sure we were on the same page and I began.  The pattern is one I designed for myself, about a year and a half ago, so I was able to make some improvements on the original, which was fun.

The cutting, tooling, dying and final construction was tucked into evenings and weekends. I am grateful for having this project upon my return.  It would've taken me a bit longer to jump back into the studio on my own. I didn't plan the tooling pattern on the sides and back, I just worked, and trusted my hands and tools.  This is how I work on mandala pieces, no matter the size.

The clock was ticking on my personal deadline. I pushed hard to get it done before I left for Christmas, and man, that day was completely Worth. It.

I am so happy this purse is now hers, and excited to get rolling on the next project on my list!

 

Can we talk about leather patina for a minute? The front and back of these two purses were cut from the same hide! The dark one is mine, about a year and a half into heavy, everyday use, the pale baby is the new one, and I can’t wait to see how she ages! I do not baby my purse, it’s been rained on, the back is nearly blue from rubbing along my dark jeans, and it’s been on adventures and cushioned sleeping cats on occasion.  All of these things have added character, and daily use has softened the sides and straps to perfection.  I love how leather ages, can you tell?