Monday, January 23, 2012

More on Tooled Leather Cuffs... and Tooled Leather Flowers.

I have owed my friend Shawna a cuff for  an embarrassingly long time.   

It's hard to make stuff for her because we get together and create art all the time... and she's so talented in her own accord, so I feel kind of silly making her stuff.  Hence the procrastination.

So I decide for Christmas (yes, I realize it's nearing the end of January) that I would make her a cuff.  I spent forever trying to decide what to put on the cuff.  I found all sorts of quotes about red-heads that were perfect for Shawna, but would have been weird on a cuff. 

For example:

"You'd find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair," said Anne reproachfully. "People who haven't red hair don't know what trouble is." (From Anne of Green Gables)

 "When a fellow has a home and a dear, little, red-haired wife in it what more need he ask of life?" (This actually need to go on a cuff for Shawna's Husband...)

"I would always hesitate to recommend as a life's companion a young lady with quite such a vivid shade of red hair. Red hair, sir, in my opinion, is dangerous."

Ha!  If you know Shawna, you know the definition of a sassy red-head.

Love the quotes, but not quite right. 

I strongly considered stamping the bracelet with:

"Icarus was a moron-
Fly high."

But I hesitate.. the explanation could go both ways.  "Fly high regardless of danger?"   And then the quote also really didn't work with the design I had planned out...  and all that goodness and confusion so.... pass.

So I went with a good old standby..  Tried and true:

I wanted to try something a little different with this cuff, so I've incorporated two new techniques.

1. leather tooling by hand, as opposed to using stamps.
2. Applying sculpted leather flowers.

First I sketched my design onto the leather with a pencil, then to sculpt the leather I used a leather tooling swivel knife. 

I cut the flowers out using the same technique I always use. 

ie.  Cut a circle, draw "pie lines" on the back and then trim the petals using the pie lines as a guide.

I then used a moon shaped texture tool to add dimension to my flowers and a small circle tool to create the flower centers.  Once all the tooling was complete I molded the petals by hand and let the flowers dry.

In the meantime, I used flower punches to fill in the background on my design and the swivel tool to add additional detail and leaves where they were needed.

Next paint. 

Paint is the scariest part of making a cuff because color choices, application, and technique can completely make or break the finished product. 

Trust me...  I'd show you pictures of my first WonderCam cuff...  but I had to burn it.  It was that

 I went a little vintage 70's with Shawna's cuff.

Finished with dark umber brown (my absolute favorite brown)  diluted with water, and a coat of Mod Podge.  Oh, and I added blue rhinestone rivets to a couple of the flower centers.  <3

She loved it.
That, or shes a really good actress.

Makes me sooo happy...  Because the second most scary thing is actually giving someone something you've made for them and hoping you've nailed it.  


I love you!!

xoxo Cam

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012: The Year of Hope

(noun) A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
(verb) Trust, Expect, Anticipate

I am emotionally challenged.  Hugely emotionally challenged.  I can't allow the consequences that come with vulnerability.  As a result... when you build high fences...  you are safe inside, but everyone is locked out.  The good, the bad... and yes, even the ugly.  There is no closeness, no pain, no happiness.  Just you.  Sometimes you is all you need.

I don't know how to allow myself to be vulnerable.  I don't know how to even talk about this without freezing up.  It just seems so unreasonable to put yourself into the position where someone could hurt you.  HOW do you gain close, trusting, complete relationships without ever being vulnerable?  I've been working on figuring that one out for the longest time.  I haven't got the answer yet, but I'm sure it has to be possible.  There are way too many happy people in beautiful relationships to believe they all have been open to vulnerability and pain.  How could they be that happy if they have been hurt that bad?  Vulnerability = pain.  We all know that.

The problem lies in the inability to let anyone get close.  If there is absolutely no vulnerability there is no opportunity to build trust.  I want something more.  I just don't know how to get there. 

I don't know how, but I can hope.

And so I choose to hope.  Hope for more.  Hope for a solution.  Hope for rapture... euphoria... and  elation. More than the normal standard.  More than average.  More than closed, cut off... 

More than what is simply SAFE.

Hope that what I want is possible.  And hope that it can be achieved without the completely debilitating sting of hurt.  Or at the minimum, that it is possible to recover from that kind of low.



Just hope.

Vulnerability feels like giving up, or giving in. Accepting things as they are and making myself susceptible to disappointment and pain regardless.  Vulnerability feels like I can't expect that anything will change.  Vulnerability feels like falling and falling hard.  I realize that my perception is irrational, but that doesn't help me to change it.  I'm not ready to commit to... well.. anything. 

To hope opens the door.

I can HOPE.

Allow myself to hope...

And so here is to HOPE for 2012.


Will you have hope with me please?