Friday, April 29, 2016

Move Status Update

We got the internets hooked back up yesterday and work's been cranking around the clock for the past... two weeks?  Long enough that I've lost the ability to time.  In any case, we're in the new place (which is grand!) and well underway to having everything ship shape.  There's still some rooms to renovate (including my work areas) and lots of furniture to build (which is the current task).  I'm hoping to be able to reopen the shop in another week though it might be two.

Testimonial for the DM Binder Prototype

This came during the dark times between having the internet disconnected and getting it reconnected at the new house.  I like hearing back from clients after they've had a chance to try out their orders and this is one I was particularly curious about.  Definitely going to be adding something similar to the store's stock.

"Totally forgot to message you when I got the binder. It's absolutely amazing and the players like it to.
Thanks very much, very happy with the product."

Friday, April 15, 2016

One more Tumbler Prototype

I could probably make a dozen of these and never quite zero in on a series of dimensions that works for each cup.  Depending on the thread I use for the stitch, the type of stitch, the idiosyncrasies of the pricking iron, and the tension of the stitch, the body can effectively be up to 1/4" "longer" or shorter than I expect.  So at this point I'll just have to accept the ambiguity and account for it as best I can.  The pattern's to the point where I can predict the result, if not fine-tune the seam, and that's good enough for me!

This was a really quick prototype since Ive been working on the move while pulling it together.  As a result the staining is a bit sloppier than I'd like.  I only let it cure for a couple hours (rather than over night) and this patchy-ness is the usual result of that.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Deertan Toolbox

I'm usually pretty good about getting orders out within a week or two of receiving them but this one took a few weeks.  The client wanted a Toolbox as a surprise for her DMing husband so fortunately there wasn't a specific date it was needed by.  Everything was going pretty fine until I found I didn't have enough goatskin to make the skin of the toolbox.  True, I still had an uncut, "whole" goatskin in stock but it was so riddled with holes that there was no way to cut the pieces large enough for the toolbox from it.

That's how this toolbox wound up with a Deertan Cowhide skin (which took forever to arrive, probably due to Easter) rather than the old goatskin.  It's less expensive, probably a bit more durable, and feels a lot nicer to boot so it's probably going to be the new standard.  Especially since the goatskin isn't reliably available (at least within my supply network).

Along with a shoulder strap this was probably the last order I'll be filling from our old apartment.  As of this writing we're still waiting for the go-ahead to start the actual moving but work's well underway to get ready for that.  Between the time and attention that's taking I don't have the focus to spare to an adequate job on anyone's orders.  I have a few prototypes I'd like to bang together if I can, but otherwise any production is on hold until I have everything up and running in the new place.  I'm still happy to answer questions and take orders but it'll probably be May before I can really start working on things again.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Godsfall Dice Tumbler

One of the great things about winnowing patterns down with prototypes is finally having the justification to make more gifts for podcasts and such.  This time around it's a dice cup for Godsfall.  For anyone who isn't familiar with Godsfall they're a high-quality "Actual Play" D&D podcast, meaning Dungeon Master Aram sits his 4-5 players down in his living room to play a game, records the whole thing, and then edits it down to about 60-90 minutes and releases episodes about once a week.  The setting Mr. Aram has built for his campaign is pretty fascinating but I appreciate that he's extremely decent with how he treats his players, characters, and audience.  By which I mean to say that he's made a point of treating all the people around him as other decent humans, irregardless of gender, sex, orientation, etc.  I've always found that worthy of some respect.  Meanwhile, it sounds like he's working on a worldbook for his setting and maybe by the time this goes up there'll be a kickstarter for that (Not yet, but SOON!).

So far as the dice cup goes, I used the Godsfall logo (or closest thing to it) for the lid and a map for the body.  The map shows the area the party's spent the most time in to date  and just happened to more or less fit in the right space.  I used some tinting and resisting to get the colors about right for the terrain.  The forests are still a bit of a pain (I should probably find a green mix that tints well) but everything else came out pretty well.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cthulhu-Chan Dice Cup

I think this is my fourth or fifth prototype for the Dice Cups so far and I'm pretty close to nailing down the geometry.  It's taken me this long to figure out it's the circumference of the stitch that's the primary factor, rather than the circumference of the material.  I came up a bit shy on my estimates this time but a couple of troublesome splices and it's all done.  I'm expecting to make one more prototype to verify the pattern and then it should be ready for production.  The handle/lid retainer's working pretty well too.

The design this time was selected by an impromptu Twitter poll.  I'm amused at the notion of wee "Cthulhu-Chan" sitting in the depths making friends with Blue Whales despite her horror-filled self.  It seems very Cthulhu.

I also took this opportunity to try out Fiebling's brand of gel stain.  It's more of a paste than a gel so it's messy as all get out but I kinda like it.  It adds a bit more character to the leather than the Tandy brand.  Though this is probably the first time I've had to wash my needles... >_>

Saturday, April 2, 2016

We're Moving!

This is something that we've been building towards since late last year but sometime soon, probably in the next couple of weeks, my Wife and I will be moving out of the one bedroom apartment that's been our home for the past four years.  We'll be moving into the ground floor of a house that her parents just purchased in January that's really just a few blocks from our apartment.  It's one of those good situations that you didn't really see coming so it surprised everyone involved when it fell out of the sky.  I'm sure ya'll know what I'm talking about.

This will mean a few things for the shop.  In the short term it means production is going to slow down between April-May.  I normally balance my time between personal and professional endeavors but there's a lot of work to be done to get us settled into the new place.  I'll still be available to take orders and answer questions during the whole process but delivery times are going to be a bit longer than they normally might.  And the more complicated builds (toolboxes, messenger bags, etc) might be delayed until after the move is finished but I'll be handling that on a case-by-case basis.

The upside for the shop is that when the dust finally settles (though there's no telling when that'll be) I'll finally have a proper workshop to house Foster Leathercraft.  To date the shop has "lived" in our living and dining rooms and, while I've found ways to make that work, having a separate space for my work is probably my most anticipated about the whole move.  I probably won't post (or twitter) much about the move in general but you can expect more news about the workshop once it's imminent. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Rider Pouch with Red Walls

This order started as a default Rider pouch but when I noticed the client was a cosplayer I asked if they'd wanted any customization.  I've yet to meet the cosplayer that doesn't have something particular in mind for a commission.  Sure enough they were interested in using a red leather for the walls.  After reviewing my stock we went with a reddish/burgundy sheepskin and I think it's worked out pretty well.