Hunker Down

Hunker Down

To “hunker down” – to hide, to shelter in place, to cower from the storm, to huddle under the covers, to roost in a warm spot.

We are dead-center for the worst of Jonas with a possible 36″+ snow fall and blizzard conditions.  So we are hunkered down!  If you are hunkering down for Jonas you might want something fun to do as you watch the snow fall.

For our pyrographers, check out Grandpa’s Pride, a quick look at how dramatic tonal value contrasts will increase the impact of your burning.

wood burning, pyrography

For our 3-D wood carvers, have fun creating your own Tiki Chess Set, a beginner’s level project.

Tiki Chess Set by Lora IrishTiki Chess Set by Lora Irish

 

Want to try something new?  How about Chip Carving!

negative space in wood chip carving

straight-wall chip carving patternSo, stay save and have fun … !!!!

Pyrography on Leather

Pyrography on Leather

I am spending some time this morning working on my Holiday gifts which will include a few leather wrist bands, leather bracelets, and leather crafted hair barrettes.  You can purchase pre-made leather items for your pyrography at most large craft stores at very reasonable prices.

Since I already had some leather scraps left over from a half-side hide I cut my own leather shapes. These are pieces of 8 ounce leather that are either irregular shapes or that have some imperfections, and therefore got regretted from another project.  But for what I am doing this morning they are just perfect.

Cattle Brand Leather Burned Bracelet
Please click on the image for a full-sized photo.

Cattle Brand Leather BurningMy first sample, the Cattle Brand Bracelet, measures 1 1/2″ wide by 8″ long.  Through the middle left side of the scrap there is an obvious tear in the surface of the leather.  There are many ways this tear could have happened. In examining the scrap to see if it was ‘save-able’ it appeared to look like a scar made by barbed wire, which is exactly what sparked my idea for how to decorate it.

I used a stylized barbed wire design to accent the scar appearance of the flaw in the leather.  In the center of the lower barbed wire design I added my cattle brand and for my main design I used a classic long horn steer icon with stars.  My finished burning now makes that scratch in the leather surface into part of the overall design and gives the finished bracelet a real Wild West look.

I finished off this piece  by using a mid-sized hole punch along the bottom edge of the leather to create two holes, plus one hole at the outer edge of each side of the bracelet.  An 8″ piece of braided leather cord was used to secure my buffalo skull charm and two 12″ pieces were added to the side holes for tying.

To learn more about Cattle Brands, and to snatch a few free Lora S. Irish patterns for branding please visit our blog page about Cattle Brand Layouts.  This page also features the Long Horn Steer pattern.  If you wish to explore more Wild West ideas, you might enjoy our Western and South West themed pattern packages at ArtDesignsStudio.com.

Lady Bug Hair Barrette
Please click on the image for a full-sized photo.

Lady Bug Pyrography Leather Hair BandSearching further in my leather scrap bag for my wood burning projects I came across several pieces that were perfect size for hair barrettes.  My sample barrette uses a 4 1/2″ x 2″ wide piece of 8 ounce leather, a bamboo kitchen skewer, and an assortment of jewelry making supplies.  The arch along the top edge of the barrette was cut by placing a salad plate, evenly centered, over the leather and then cut using my bench knife. The side arches were created using large medicine jar lids.

This particular piece of leather had one very odd, dark-colored spot – just were my ladybug now resides.  That spot was not big enough to be a problem in burning the design, but obvious enough I could not ignore it.  My solution was simple, any spot in leather can be hidden using acrylic paint or permanent marking pen.  So I needed a design that would allow me to color over the spot once the pattern was burned.

My choice was to do a fun Henna Pattern project and add one little, brightly colored Lady Bug to hide that blemish.  Once the burning was completed I used black and red permanent pens to color my Bug!  She was so fun, and outstanding that I returned to my scrap bag to find more little scraps to add more little Lady Bugs to the beaded decoration of the piece.

If you want to try your hand at Henna Tattoo burning, check out our two newest pattern packs at ArtDesignsStudio.com in our New Release section.

So, the lesson for today … don’t avoid problems in your burning media, use them to your advantage!