Friday, August 6, 2010

The wonderful people along the way

There have been some wonderful benefits from operating my own business on the Internet. One of these are the people you meet along the way.

Sometimes I am too focused with my own shop that I forget to take a look at what's around me. Morgan Moe of Morgan Chelsey Designs is one such example. She is the owner/operator of a lovely hand-made jewelry shop on Etsy.
It wasn't until recently did I really take notice to the gorgeous earrings and necklaces she makes. I was floored at the low cost of the items as well. She uses semi-precious gem stones, crystals and plated Sterling silver on all her goods.
I consider Morgan a friend of mine. Every time she visits our shop she brightens my day. I have never met such a courteous and ultra polite person as I have with her. She claims these attributes came from dealing with the public all her life. She reports that she refuses to be like some of the people that she has encountered in her life. For this I am greatly appreciative because most of us, if not all, have had our share of difficult patrons.

I bought this beautiful Chalcedony necklace from her shop just recently and can't wait to receive it. Maybe if you ask her she will make you one too! =]
LUCID - Chalcedony Necklace - SOLD
Pictured below are just a few pieces of the gorgeous work she does. Do visit her shop. It is an experience you wouldn't want to miss.

Thanks for dropping by. It is always a pleasure to serve you.
Anne & John

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Two years strong

Tomorrow will mark our second year selling our unique and hand-crafted products on the Internet. We have come a long way from making a simple name band to designing custom portfolios and bow and arrow quivers.

As trends, styles and mediums have changed so have we. I was hoping to have completed a unique bag that I have been working on for some time but, and I will say fortunately, we have been rather busy to afford the time to finish it. Maybe next month I will be able to unveil it for you. *fingers crossed* However, this is what I have designed this year so far.

"For Your Eyes Only" wedding Edition
$27.00 Hand-crafted from tooling leather, beaded lace and white deerskin. The interior reads the bride and grooms names, date of marriage and "From this moment on"...,
Loving braided wristband as I do I designed this wristband for the romantic at heart. This design allows several options for the buyer, from a name band to a medical alert bracelet.
Personalized braided signet wristband
The braided wristband below was commissioned by a university student for her friends as a keepsake/reminder of the great work they did for unfortunately family.

I have, for some time, wanted to create a wrapped wristband but was waiting for the right time and text to stamp on it. Thoughts become things when shortly after a young lady commissioned this very article. It is 10 mm wide and can accommodate up to 134 characters including spaces.

Personalized triple wrap wristband.
My latest design is my favourite of late. This ultra thin braided wristband is only 1/2 inch wide. And although I love the mystery braid, the only width I have been making for the last two years is 1.25 inch wide. I have worn my "Family -BFF" wristband but wanted something less obtrusive. Something more delicate. So, after experimenting with a remnant piece of leather - I created this one. I wear constantly. I recieved a request for it but hadn't listed it until recently. This wristband can accommodate up to and including 15 words.

Personalized - Ultra thin - braided leather wristband.
This one (mine) reads "He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. Psalm 91:4"
If there is something that you have in mind but just don't know where to find it look no further.
You can either contact us , visit us at Leather Made Nice or Etsy .
Thanks for dropping by.
Anne & John =]

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It has been a long time since I have posted my last blog. I would like to say it was because we were terribly busy with sales but then I'd be lying. Actually, if the truth be told, I am enjoying a lull in the action if you will. John and I haven't had a holiday in a while. I think our trip to Disney 4 years ago was our last.

Anyway, John and I have taken this time to re-discover, create and re-new. Leisure time has become our playground. I was digging around in our leather supply and came across this very expensive piece of crocodile embossed leather. As anyone who knows our work, I readily thought of our "For your eyes only" series of wristbands. Here comes the T.M.I. part. I was looking at my dear husband working in the kitchen, oh yes, he cooks and like a god!!. Anyway I looked at him and thought, "I want you tonight". Dare I say more. *giggle to myself* Hence, my newest wristband.

I discovered, as I am sure most folks my age or wiser young people do, that life is too short to squander so I "carpe diem"( seize the day)! I made a matching set of FYEO wristbands for John and myself. He chuckled and thought it VERY interesting but I, as I sit and write this, am wearing my wristband. heehee!! SO!! I wish you all a good night. I am sure I will have one also.

P.S. I have created our own website ( still a work in progress) and if you feel so inclined to visit, we invite you to take a browse and leave your comments in our guest book section. Leather Made Nice or our Etsy shop

Night all!

Anne *evil grin*

Thursday, January 21, 2010

VANCOUVER 2010 - Welcoming the winter Olympics

As a proud Canadian and a former athlete (many, many years ago) I am both thrilled and delighted that Canada is hosting the 2010 winter Olympics in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Although I cannot be there personally I will be watching my favourite winter event on T.V.

As a young girl I watched Karen Magnussen (famous NHL brother, Keith - Chicago Blackhawks - defense) and Dorothy Hamil (I even got my hair cut like hers. LOL) float like angels on the ice. Like many girls, I dreamed that one day that would be me. Although I am much older now - I still dream.

I made these leather wristbands to commemorate the occasion. It is not limited to Canadians but a unique keepsake for fans, friends, family or participants of the Olympics.

After these wristbands were finished I checked the Internet to see if I could use the Olympic logo (the five rings) on my wristbands.

Unfortunately, I cannot. Any use of the logo, without permission, is an infringement of copyright laws. :(

However, I will continue to make and sell the following wristbands and any deviation there of, that a buyer can imagine (minus the logo) to create a special moment in time for you.

I can stamp names, countries, events..., whatever it is that makes this momentous occasion special for you.

Let the games begin!!!

Contact us with your ideas and we can discuss the possibilities.
Thanks for viewing,

Anne & John

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's in the bag

I am quite excited about this artisan. I am not really sure where exactly it was I met her but I fell in love with her deerskin waist bags instantly.

I would like to introduce Linda, my new friend and owner of HighsmithStudio . She is the creator of these very practical and gorgeous waist bags.

I am particularly fond of deerskin. It is a wonderful medium to work with. I have always been reticent to use the rough edges of a hide but after seeing her work I may have to re-think my decision. I am sure I have a long way to go before I can create something as stunning as Linda's waist bags. But with practise and imagination one never knows. :D

As a motor bike rider Linda created this style of bag for hands free convenience. There are spring clasps on the side of each bag so it can be attached to a belt or pant loops.

The white deerskin bag below is my personal favourite. She utilizes the entire deerskin to create these one-of-a-kind bags.

As you can see, her work is very well thought out. I like her use of contrasting colours and placement of feathers and heart cut outs - quite striking actually. I find myself staring at each bag and examining every little detail. Just beautiful.

Linda has not been a member of the Etsy community for very long so I invite you to visit her shop and take a browse. You won't be disappointed - I wasn't.
Thanks for viewing,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Knife Sheath Like No Other

If there is one thing I learned about men, especially sportsmen, is that they take their knives seriously. Over the years I have had all kinds of knives in my home while my husband handcrafted a custom sheath for them. Some of them quite impressive while others I wouldn't use in my garden. But all of them have something in common. Sentimental value to the proud owner.
I slipped once, while at our local Farmers Market, when an avid knife collector brought three knives to our table. They were wrapped and bounded in layers of soft cloths. I looked on as the owner gingerly unwrapped each one and recalled the story behind the knife. With cautious consideration he handed my husband, John, one of his Bowie knives. John with the same care handled it like it was gold. I slipped, something I will never do again, and stated rather quietly, "it's only a knife". If ever I felt small it was then. The gentleman gave me a look that would freeze alcohol.
I have since learned to respect and understand the value of one's prize possessions. In retrospect it is like comparing an aluminum camping pot to a set of Lagastino cook wear. The user will know the difference.

That said, I will show you some of the awesome custom knife cases John has made for some very satisfied customers. Only recently has John found the time to make the sheath below for a knife he has cherished for over 40 years. Both knife and sheath were handed down to our son, Chris.

The next case was one of several made for a collector - the gentleman I previously spoke about at the Farmer's Market. The buyer choose the sheath to be able to slide on his belt. He also choose the stamp pattern and dye colour.

The next two cases, which will be used to house the pictured knife, are used for underwater divers. I personally wouldn't suggest leather for underwater but the owner was okay with it. The sheath was hand formed around the knife to give it a fitted appeal.

One case was customized with the owners surname and the other with wolves.

The following cases were handcrafted according to the owner's specs. One for a left handed person and the other a right handed person. Every detail right down to the thread and snap colour are left to the buyer.
When John makes each case he actually creates a new pattern, a new design. As I have seen there have never been two the sheaths the same. And that is the beauty of a custom case.

What John has been doing lately is making cases from knife outlines. As we all know it is virtually impossible if not insane to attempt to send a knife over the boarder. So in an attempt to fulfil orders he has been working with cardboard cut outs. We are happy to report that it has been successful thus far.

For the most part the majority of knives John has created cases for are antiques. There is nothing quite like it to see the face of a customer when John hands him/her their knife in a new case. It is like they have just received fine crystal and mustn't drop it. I have asked John to wait for me to be home when a buyer drops by the house to pick it up. If you can imagine it can be rather spiritual. But only someone on the receiving end will understand. I can only aspire that people receive my work with that kind of reaction. Luckily John is a very modest man so I will do the bragging for him.

The sheath below, in my opinion, has to have been one of John's favourite ones to make. It was made for a Bowie knife that has no hilt. Many hours of planning and pondering went into this one. The owner didn't want snaps on the back of it because he is a hunter and felt it would most likely fall off when he bends down. As a matter of practice now, John hand stitches all his sheaths rather than snap closures over belts.
Each one of these knife cases are unique and as individual as one's finger prints. I have not attempted to make one yet, and maybe I won't too soon. But for now I will leave this aspect of our business to the true master - my husband, John :D

'Nuf said. If you would like to chat with us about having a knife case custom made please do not hesitate to email us. We are always happy to create something special for you.

Thanks for stopping by and do visit our shop Leather Made Nice


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Celebrating fellow artisans!

I promised myself that this year I would be more active in the appreciation of fellow artisans. I often sit in amazement at the skill and talent that goes into these works of art.

Today I came across one such artisan. The shop is Miamiamia designs and the wonderful creative force behind these original pieces is, Esen.

My jaw dropped as I browsed her shop.

Some of the most intricate and stunning beaded cuff bracelets I have ever seen were on sale for a fraction of the already inexpensive price. Esen is closing her shop but will be re-opening another under the name Mystic Fibers.

I have "hearted" several pieces that I have added to my wish list. But the way things are moving they won't be available too much longer.

I invite you to view her awesome shop and possibly pick up one of her designs for a song.

The pink and silver surf style peyote beaded cuff below was in the sold file. Sorry ladies.

This peyote beaded bracelet was featured on the from page of Etsy. I just love the mix of solid to translucent beads. I drooled over this one many times today - It was just sold!! *sigh*

This is one of Esen's signature designs which I think is stunning also. Again she combined various beads to create this fascinating and brilliant look.

The last time I looked this hot pink cuff it was still available for only $30.00. What a steal!!! I'm hoping that when she opens her other shop she will have more of these lovelies for us ladies that missed out on this opportunity.

All of Esen's items are shipped to you in a lovely organza gift bag.

I know I will be going back to visit her shop.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Anne ^i^