Monday, April 30, 2012

I've Got a Bug...

 I've got the leather bug, no doubt about it!  City Boy has been diligently scanning the sales on ebay and craigslist in search of tools he thinks I may need, and one day we even made a trip down to Tandy Leather in Seattle to see what they had.

To see what they had?  Oh, my!  I was like a kid in a candy shop!  Tandy Candy, that's what it ought to be called.  Stamps and knives and conchos, not to mention leather.  Leather, leather, glorious leather.  And not just cow's hide.  Oh, no, they also had kangaroo and alligator, too!

But on this particular day, I was only after a handful of conchos and a good 'shoulder' off a cow.

First order of business, mouse pads.  I'd seen one online and just had to have one of my own!  The first one was very simple; a stamped border with Tika's name on the bottom.  But it wasn't enough to satisfy the creative side of me.  I wanted more!  So I pulled up a photo of a wild mare and her filly, printed it, traced it onto my leather, and off I went on an adventure!

I got a few mousepads down, then started seeing other things online that looked interesting.  Tables, for one.  Leather table tops?  Hey...why not?  So I ran down to the thrift store and found a little round table and hauled it home.  Then I cut out a circle of leather and went to work.  Again, I used Lupe and Lucky Charm, but this time did a border of flowers along with a dragon fly and humming bird.  As of tonight, it's been oiled, polished and glued to the table top thanks to a little help from the Cowboy.

Speaking of the Cowboy, he had an old saddle he'd built 10 years ago land in his lap a few weeks ago.  It was one he'd built for a customer, but they'd not used it much and it'd spent the past decade as a living room ornament of sorts.  When it showed up in the barn, I was ordered to take it for a spin.  Being that it was a 17" seat, there was a bit more room than I needed, so the Cowboy went to work.

He lifted the leather off the seat and began adding layers to the front, creating a 'rise'.  While this didn't really change the size of the seat, it did change how it felt when I sat in it.  So after a bit of cutting and gluing and sanding, the saddle began to take on a new shape that better suited me.  It was then oiled and polished up, and is now ready to go!

Now I've got another plan.  I want a saddle custom made for me.  Not a cutting to hit the trails with.  And I want to tool it with wild ponies...wild, glorious ponies running across cantles and fenders and saddle skirts!  Ah, yes...tis my new illness, to be sure!


Reddunappy said...

Awesome! Love the leather table! I would put a piece of glass on top to keep the leather clean!
A few years ago I bought an old partial leather stamping kit at a garage sale for $40. I have only stamped a leash with it for now, without letters, free hand!
I would love to get an alphabet set.
We have a Tandy leather down here, and Oregon Leather, I need to make a trip to Oregon Leather, I love that place! Downtown Portland, Or, in an old warehouse, wooden floors. The first floor is leather goods, and the second floor is saddlery, and tack. I smells so good!! LOL

Allenspark Lodge said...

Ohhh, a saddle with wild ponies running on the sides sounds wonderful! Can hardly wait to see one. I had a saddle made to fit me-and-my-horse a couple years ago, and had all tooling left off of it 'cause I just couldn't do the flower thing - and the thought of trying to keep it clean from mountain riding - yuck! It's just now getting 'worn in' and comfortable (would probably help if I rode it more, but I prefer bareback). Have fun with the tools.
Bionic Cowgirl

Linda said...

I LoVe the mouse pad and the saddle!

Linda said...

BTW, are you selling mouse pads?

Shirley said...

I totally think you should have a custom made saddle. Both of mine are, and I love them and they fit my horses. I suggest starting with setting the bare tree on your horses and seeing which one looks like it will fit the most of them the best for the type of horse you ride.

Tracey said...

Reddun, that sounds like WAY too much fun!

Allenspark, when I was younger I loved going bareback as well. Then I got old and fragile (not bionic like you!)

Linda, thank you! And yes, mousepads are available for $30 :0)

Shirley, he's got a tree there right now that he's fitting to different horses. Too bad my mustangs don't come with a 'standard'! But I'm thinking by next year I'll have some sort of riding horse here (oh, I hope!) that I can do that with.

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

LoVe the tooling work~ you are a natural!! I love Tandy Leather, since I don't live there anymore, I order supplies from them online for my cuff making! Become a Gold or Elite Member, you'll save some money on items and they have great flyer sales. When you head this way I will have to introduce you to our neighbor or at least borrow his photo album of saddles that he's made to show you...he's awesome! Your saddle is looked so good! I think the wild pony idea is perfect for you!
p.s. give that roany pony some kisses for me! ;-)

Tracey said...

Ranch, you'll need to start a new blog; Roany Pony Diaries, lol!

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Cheyenne said...

Truly beautiful! Bug? Not a bug, more an obsession!Lol. Great looking stuff, well done you!