Monday, November 26, 2012

Looking for a gift for your lady? (under $150)


I spent Black Friday and Small Business Saturday at the Etsy Rain Holiday Show.  Over the two days I learned several things.  First and foremost, I should always bring a chair with me to a craft show.  My feet hurt from standing and talking to all my wonderful customers!  Though, I can’t complain too much.  And the second thing I learned is that my favorite two wallets were also the favorite of almost every lady who came into my booth.  From a show of almost 5,000 attendees, mostly women, I think the sample size is big enough to come to the conclusion that the lady on your list would love a new clutch wallet from Moxie and Oliver!

The January Clutch Wallet - Handmade leather checkbook wallet with carnation - Moxie and Oliver

One of the two most popular wallets was the January Clutch Wallet in pink, sage and antique brown and tan.  I was actually deciding between keeping this one and the second one, the Ginger Clutch Wallet, for myself (I need a new wallet, too!).

The Ginger Clutch Wallet - Handmade leather checkbook wallet with cherry blossoms - Moxie and Oliver

The originals of both sold, but you can get them on the Moxie and Oliver website!  I’m still taking orders for guaranteed Christmas delivery worldwide on custom/made to order pieces (APO/AE’s being the only exception), but don’t delay – this will only last for a few more days. 

Now off to play in the dark – hurray for Northwest winters!



Monday, November 19, 2012

Know how to prevent your leather from cracking?


Multi 1

Q:  “Have you ever had a problem with leather cracking?”

A:  “Nope.”

Several people asked me this at a recent show, and truthfully the answer is no.  After eight years of making leather goods, and many more of using them, I’ve never had a problem.  But I do live in a relatively humid environment, and leather doesn’t tend to dry out in this environment.  That, of course, isn’t a very helpful answer so here’s a better one:

Vegetable Tanned Leather:  This is the kind of leather I use, exclusively.  Some say that vegetable tanned leather is a superior leather, and I agree! The gentle tanning process (taking up to 60 days) produces a leather that doesn’t crack or harden over time. This may be why my answer is a solid “no” when people ask me if I’ve had trouble with leather cracking. If you do live in a dry environment or you’d like to try to soften up your leather, a vegetable tanned leather piece can benefit from some oil (and even cleaning if you like, but I prefer the broken-in look) from time to time.  I use Lexol Neatsfoot Oil – you can get it online – but Fiebings also makes some great products for the care of vegetable tanned leather.  Just go easy on the oil – put it on a cloth and wipe it on lightly, starting with a test patch.  You can always add more later! 

Chrome Tanned Leather:  This is a totally different beast.  When I took shoe making classes last year I could barely cut this stuff – it stretches, and vegetable tanned leather doesn’t.  A lot of furniture and leather goods are made from pigment coated leather,  which actually needs to be cleaned so that it can be kept free of dirt and body oils, which can cause it to crack.  Surprise!  So basically, unless you’re buying vegetable tanned leather, normal use will cause your leather to crack (another culprit may be a manufacturing defect, but there’s not much you can do about that).  There are some methods for repairing cracked leather if it has gone that far, but proper cleaning for the chrome tanned leathers are definitely your best bet towards prevention.

So, how do you prevent leather from cracking?  Buy vegetable tanned leather!  In all seriousness, chrome tanned leather requires cleaning and de-greasing, some say once a month, where vegetable tanned leather may benefit from the occasional rub-down with some oil, if you’re in super dry environment.  Otherwise, well, just enjoy it and trust it will last for years to come!

Off to clean and de-grease the seats on my car…. Why can’t I just make them out of vegetable tanned leather?  They could have flowers….



Friday, November 16, 2012

Stumped on what to get your “simple” man?


Got a “simple” guy on your list?  You know the type – that guy that loves life enough that he doesn’t need to have a holiday wish list that’s anything other than new socks and underwear.  Can you tell I’m speaking from experience?  Every year, figuring out a Christmas gift for my husband is a struggle.

monogram id front (1500x1000)

monogram id back (1500x1000)

This year he’s getting a new Monogram Mini ID Wallet. As he gets a little older (like we all do) I think that a simpler pattern suits his style more.  So, I made this one with just his initials.  He loves the style because as a “simple” guy he refuses to carry more than a few cards with him, and rarely carries cash.  He also prefers to put his wallet in his front pocket, so this style is perfect for him.

Of course, if you have at simple guy who veers more towards the traditional men’s bifold wallet we’ve got that covered, as well as the back-pocket sandwich of a trifold men’s wallet.

Speaking of sandwich… I think it’s dinner time!



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Order Early–Holiday Shipping Deadlines!


Every year I’m bombarded with emails and “convos” asking if something will ship in time for Christmas delivery.  Well, here’s your answer (and if you’re reading this, go order now!!! Why risk an empty-handed gift exchange on Christmas day?) for when you need to order for guaranteed Christmas delivery.

If you’d like a Custom item or something from the Personalized Patterns:

* Orders shipping to the US must be placed by Tuesday December 4, 2012

* Orders to APO/AE addresses ending in 093 must be placed by Sunday, November 18th, 2012.  All other APO/AE addresses must be placed by Sunday, November 25th, 2012.

* International Orders must be placed by Friday November 30, 2012

If you’re ordering an in-stock item (check my Etsy shop for a current inventory of in-stock pieces during the holidays)

* Orders shipping to the US must be placed by Tuesday, December 18, 2012

* Orders shipping to APO/AE addresses ending in 093 must be placed by Sunday, December 2, 2012.  Orders shipping to all other APO/AE addresses must be placed by Sunday, December 9, 2012.

* International Orders must be placed by Sunday, December 9, 2012.

I calculate my dates and ship according to the USPS Holiday Shipping Schedule.  If I can extend the deadlines, I’ll certainly make an announcement about it, and likewise, if I have to close the custom ordering window early, I will let you all know!

Oh, and if you happen to be celebrating Hanukkah – GO ORDER NOW!!!! It’s in less than a month!

Happy holidays!