around the studio







A little bit of wood work and a lot of leather prep this past week or so.

It was my brother’s birthday last week, and I made him a cherry wood spoon to pair with some other gifts. This was one of my favorites of the spoons I’ve made so far – the size, the shape, the long handle – and I really enjoyed working with cherry. It has a dense grain and polished up so smoothly.

Often, and still to my surprise, the preparation of leather straps takes the longest of any other single process in the making of a bag. It begins with the hide, which I cut into strips. The strips are then split to thickness, beveled, oiled and then set aside overnight to allow the oil to soak in. If the leather is to remain natural, it is then rubbed with a wax finish, and the edges are burnished with beeswax. If the leather is to be stained, as you see above, this typically takes 3 passes, front/sides/back, with drying in between each pass. The leather is then set aside again to dry. Once the staining is to my satisfaction, the straps are rubbed with a wax finish, and the edges are burnished with beeswax. Finally, they are ready for hardware to be set, holes to be punched, etc.

I’m working on some bags in new colors for a wholesale client. They’re almost done, and as soon as they are I’ll share more. I especially love that green!


Swimming in wild bodies of water is one of my top favorite things about summer.  There is something super exciting to me about the fact that these days have just begun! This weekend we had our first river day, and I’m looking forward to more.

I keep thinking about the passing of time, and what kind of perception one should be in to experience time.. life.. at a slower, more steady pace… and what first comes to me is the truth in the words be here now. Be present. Stay grounded. Be here now. These simple truths have become cliché; but they are simple, widely shared words for a reason.








So let’s be here now, and take each day a moment at a time. Even amongst the seeming tough stuff, life really is amazing. We get to be here and live this life, on this beautiful planet, amongst all these other amazing life forms. Profound. Simple. Truly awesome.







It’s Friday night, winding down from a long week. I’m excited for a little break this weekend! How was your week? It felt oddly intense for me!

Beans are cooking, the house is full of warmth from a day full of sun, my body is buzzing from this evening’s awesome workout, we’re sipping a cold beer, and as soon as I’m done here I’m heading back upstairs to finish the week’s work so I can take some time out tomorrow.

Enjoy the weekend everyone! I’m hoping to do some swimming, some taming of the jungle of my garden, and just generally enjoying this warm and nurturing season. xo

dog days of spring

Our yard is so full of life right now. At any given time, we can sit outside and find unending entertainment and beautiful, amazing things to observe. In a single day last week we saw brand new baby deer while drinking our coffee, and then a huge black bear while we ate our lunch. It’s not every day a black bear walks through our yard!

We often joke how we could go out camping in the deepest wilderness and hardly see a single wild animal, but right here at home? Oh my. Do we even dare camp in the yard? We do sometimes, and it’s usually interesting.

Here a few photos from the past week.

Tiniest fawn, just days old.fawns_june4_9c

Bumblebees and thyme flowers.bee_thyme

Daily confrontations between crows and vultures. It’s pretty clear that vultures aren’t welcome around here right now, while crows are raising their young.vulture_0

vulture_crow_diptych_0The little fawns have been tucking in near our place during the day, while mom goes out to forage. This one chose a spot so nearby. We truly feel humbled to have gained this level of trust with the mother deer over the years we’ve been here. fawn_resting_0

Reunited in the early evening and ready to nurse again.fawns_

By then, they’re also ready to explore and run around after laying down for many hours. They are so bouncy and quite fast. I’m refraining from gushing here, but they are seriously so adorable. We have hundreds of photos to prove our adoration.fawns_0

Chestnut backed chickadee.chickadee

So many hummingbirds!hummingbird

And maybe the sweetest beast of all, helping me with some gardening while I’m busy working in the studio. smd

What’s happening in your part of the world right now? Anything stand out? This year is like no other in some ways – early flowers, early warmth, extra dry. It feels both frantic and laid back – like a mix of spring time energy and the dog days of summer. It’s hard to explain exactly, but it’s different than I’m used to.

one of a kind




I have just added a new tote to the shop. I’m excited about this one! A couple weeks ago, while sorting through my fabric stash, I came across this textile I had forgotten about. I don’t know why, but it really grabbed hold of me and I ended up dropping everything I was doing and shifting gears toward building something with it. It was the most fun I’d had at work in quite a while. I recently finished this bag, and have since pulled out a few other textiles from my collection that I’m excited to share soon.

It’s always hard to cut these materials, which have been carefully woven by hand, and in this case beautifully embroidered. It can feel like a disservice to cut them up, and yet here it is – a very useful bag that will be worn on someone’s shoulder, carried around for years. This textile is as striking as it ever was, and making an appearance like it never was. There’s no disservice there I guess, is there.

wood works









Some photos I took while making a few small gifts last week. I am quite in love with the process of woodcarving, right down to making my home made finish, which we use for all our wood care and which Steven seems to plow through in the wood shop, to my satisfaction.

In the simplest of steps – it starts with cutting a blank, then carving it into the desired shape, sanding through a series of grits, wetting to raise the grain, sanding, wetting, sanding, wetting (etc foreverrrrr), and finally the excitement of oiling and seeing the true colors of the wood shine through.

I like to keep a few wood projects at hand so I can pick something up whenever I have a few minutes, or the inspiration strikes.

Out of curiosity, if you were to learn one new skill this year, what would it be?

around the studio

In the studio lately…


I discovered Milky Chance recently and have been playing a couple of their songs (Flashed Junk Mind and Stolen Dance) on repeat. I’d love any music suggestions from you all! I’ve asked this in the past, and found a lot of new-to-me music which I still currently listen to because of your suggestions, so thank you. I LOVE discovering new tunes and wish there were an easy way for us to share with each other on a regular basis. I don’t care what genre, I just love to discover new sounds. What’s on your playlist lately?

custom_work_0An order of totes with some new colors in the mix. Fun to see an old style look new again. I have since added this one to the shop, also available with a shoulder strap here.

shipping_2_smA package ready to be wrapped up. I once read somewhere, regarding someone’s thoughts (and sadly I can’t remember who) on “what is handmde to you” and she said something to the effect that to her, handmade is when you hold the item you just finished and really look at it before you send it off. There is an appreciation and a deliberateness in what you have done. I could relate to that so well. Everything I make is made with love and care, time and effort. It’s satisfying to see it finished, and I wrap it up with a feeling of anticipation for the recipient. I hope this recipient, like all my customers, will be truly pleased with their package. And if they are not in any way, I want to hear about it. I really do!

shippingPackaging orders. A rare human view :)

I hope you all had a rejuvenating weekend.

Happy Mother’s Day to my moms, both of you ♥


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