Monday, March 24, 2014

Daddy’s Wallet

mighty fold 1

mighty fold 2mighty fold 4

If I didn’t make wallets for a living I imagine I would find it really frustrating that my husband keeps losing his wallets.  Then finding them again – this most recent time in my daughter’s sock drawer.

It always gives me an excuse to design a new wallet style, which I enjoy.  The trouble with him is always the pattern.  He’s simple in aesthetics – likes solid colors, and maintains his favorite color is gray.  His only request is a wallet that folds.

So I altered the “Mighty Wallet” to create the “Mighty Fold” Front Pocket Wallet It’s about the same size when closed, and has four card slots on the inside with space behind for more cards or cash. 

My favorite part about this one is the inscription.  A quote from our almost four year old daughter:

“Daddy works hard for the money.”

I don’t think he’ll lose this one.



(ps: The Mighty Fold Wallet in the Smokey Pattern is available at and can be personalized with up to 200 characters of your choosing)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Color of the Year

orchid belt 4orchid belt 1orchid belt 2orchid belt 3

I don’t know how you choose the color of the year at the beginning, but Pantone does.  The 2014 Color of the year is Radiant Orchid and this, my friends, is my Orchid Belt. Beautifully detailed carving with a collection of orchids at the back, trailing vines, and another orchid on the tip for a little visual excitement from the front.  Wood grain background, and of course, a bit of Radiant Orchid in the flowers.

Enjoy, and wear radiantly!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I’m Every Mother



Every mother has that feeling.  The feeling that she is working too much and not spending enough time with her kids.  It is impossible not to feel that way from time to time.  My baby boy goes to work with me every day and I still feel that way from time to time.  Last Wednesday was one of those times.

I woke up late so when my husband came home I wanted to exercise.  We went to my in-laws and I exercised, took a shower, and then came downstairs towards the kitchen.  My daughter ran up to meet me at the bottom of the stairs.

“Mommy, I’m worried about my baby.”  I asked what was wrong, “He’s having trouble with his breathing.”

From the other room I hear, “CAITLIN! THIS IS SERIOUS!  COME HERE RIGHT NOW!”

When I get into the kitchen I see my son in my husband’s arm, bib on, and blood on the side of his mouth.  My husband was feeding him dinner and he got a piece of broccoli stuck in his throat.  He tried to help him clear it, but to no avail.

The sight of the blood made me panic.  When my husband asked me to do a “finger sweep” of the baby’s mouth, I did it.  I felt the broccoli go farther down his throat.  All I remember is telling my mother-in-law to call 9-1-1.

My husband was swimmer when he was growing up.  He was also a lifeguard. Somewhere in his 30-something years he’s taken CPR.  Something I have always meant to do, but have never done. As a last resort, he turned the baby upright, and gave him what I call the “Baby Heimlich” (it takes very little force on a 17lb guy) and a bloody piece of broccoli came right out.

The dispatcher sent an aid car, two very nice firemen, who arrived quickly and looked down my son’s throat to see if there was any swelling.  While one took notes, the other read my daughter a “Biscuit” book. The firefighter reading to my daughter told me the finger sweep never works on these little guys. ALWAYS turn them upside-down (on their belly, head lower than heels) and give them a swift pat on the back to help them use gravity to dislodge the food.  That’s what I have always done, with both kids, except in this instance.

The doctor also wanted to check him (the blood made them worry he’d hemorrhaged something while trying to cough up the broccoli).  So, we went to urgent care where they said his breathing was rapid and he had a 1.5” cut in his mouth from one of our fingernails. An anti-inflammatory for his throat and a chest x-ray just to be safe, and we were on our way home.

He had trouble eating for a few days because his mouth hurt, but he seems back to normal now.  Today, Wednesday again, I woke up late.  This time I think I will take the day off from exercise and instead I’ll play in the yard with my kids.  It’s a sunny day, and my two kiddos are the brightest lights of all.


Monday, March 10, 2014

A Give-Away: Music to Your Ears?



Late last year I was contacted by someone named Michael at Universal Music Group.  He said he loved my work and wanted to know if I was interested in doing gifting for the 2014 Grammy Awards.  My first question was:  How much does it cost?

His answer? Nothing. 

What??? The last time I did gifting not only did I have to give away almost 100 pieces, but I had to pay to participate in the gifting suite. But, Universal Music wasn’t hiring a firm this time around, they were doing it themselves.

Always appreciating the value of hard work, I said okay, but for artists only (this made it 60 pieces instead of 400 which was MUCH more manageable given the timeframe that we were working in). 

The icing on the cake was that Michael sent us two big boxes of CDs as a thank-you.  We’ve discovered some new bands that we like – my son loves Empire of the Sun – and some that we aren’t so fond of, but we’ve enjoyed listening to all the CDs that he sent.

So what’s the give-away? Are you sick of my story yet?  Well, when I made the flasks I put a Bob Marley quote on the front and our logo on the back as well as an edition number.  We made 62 flasks.  I sent 60 to Universal and kept two.  One is going in my son’s timecapsule (he will get it when he is an adult, or 21, whichever comes later) and one can be yours, if you win it!

What I want from you is simple.  Head over to the Moxie and Oliver Facebook page and find the giveaway post.  Leave your answer to this question in the comments:  “What leather-related question would you most like answered?” This can be anything from how something is made, to what you can do with leather, to how you can care for it, etc.  As long as it is leather-related, it’s fair game.

Because this question requires a little thought I will leave the entries open through Midnight Pacific DAYLIGHT time on Tuesday March 18, 2014.  I will announce the winner on my Facebook page so be sure to “Like” it to see the winner.

I look forward to hearing your burning leather questions! (hehe)

- Caitlin

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Two custom wallets

guitar trifold

bike trifold

I’m trying to dig my way through all the pictures of pieces I took these last few months.  It’s taking longer than expected.  It takes so much less time to click a shutter than it takes to process and post the image.

As I was digging through I found these two trifolds.  The top one with an electric guitar, the bottom with a road bike. Both with initials, both gifts, and both clearly reflecting the passion of the recipient.  Possibly, what the recipient does with his (or her) money, too.

I thought they looked sweet together, so I wanted to post them.  Of course if you have an idea for a custom leather wallet, send me an email (  I’m happy to help.

Now, back to sorting images.  Yikes.


Monday, March 3, 2014

One drink is never enough


When we were in Baltimore and people would comment on the different size flasks – the key chain flasks being so tiny that it couldn’t possibly hold enough of anything, all the way up to the 12oz flasks that they couldn’t imagine drinking all of – I would laugh just a little to myself.   Those key chain flasks wouldn’t get me drunk, but they’d give me a buzz (after spending the last 4.5 years either pregnant or with small children, my alcohol tolerance is pretty sad). And that 12oz flask, well, that flask doesn’t hold a candle to the flask I made a holster for right before we left.

I made a flask holster, and belt to match, for a half gallon flask.  Yeah, that’s right.  This baby holds 64 shots, so if drinking is literally a team sport where you’re from, it’s perfect for you.  And in that case, someone needs a holster to match. After all, carrying a flask like that in your hands is not only awkward, it’s heavy!  So here’s the solution a customer came up with, and I couldn’t say no.

flask holster 3

flask holster 2flask holstertire belt 2

And the belt to match, because no flask holster would be complete without a matching tire tread inspired belt.  All pieces are made by hand in my Seattle studio out of full-grain vegetable tanned leather.  The belt is hand carved and the flask holster is branded.  The holster has snaps on the back for easy on/off and the edges are stitched by hand.  The finish is antique brown.

Yes, I can do holsters for smaller flasks.  But this baby is a show-stopper.  I would love to see a picture of it in action!



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Love, Abandoned

When we got back from the Buyer’s Market of American Craft we had a Valentine’s Day rush and I started a blog about it.

Then my son got the flu.

Then my daughter got the flu.

Then I got the flu, followed quickly by my husband.

Then I had to make and ship all the Valentine’s Day orders – fever and all.

Then Anna’s daughter, Saya, got the flu (Anna is my lovely stitching assistant, and her daughter is six weeks older than my son – happy birthday Saya!)

Then my assistant Caitlin got the flu.

Then Anna got the flu.

Then we left for the American Craft Council show in Baltimore.

Now we’re back and I’m feeling like I am free again.  Busy, but not insanely like I was before we left.  Re-evaluating my direction, my creative inspiration.  And promising to blog again soon.  I’ll be here, and less quiet, than I have been.



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