Testing looks good!

Test last for the cowboy boot shoes. I’ve always had some sort of innate ability to visualize how pattern pieces should be shaped and how they fit together–until I began making shoes. Shoe linings confound me. I am pleased to say that I may finally be getting better; this is the first shoe I’ve made where I cut the lining correctly the first time, I understood how and why it fit, and I managed not to sew through it while sewing on the vamp.

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Leather Art

This is a demonstration of why a machine cannot duplicate what I do with leather, and why I have little use for a Bell Skiver or a computerized sewing machine. Work this fine can only be done by hand. That may mean that it becomes obsolete, or it may mean it’s recognized as valuable and worth saving. Time will tell, I suppose.

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Something new

The easy part’s over now
And the hard part begins…

Assuming my patterning is OK, because I don’t have much experience with patterning for shoes, this project will be an inlaid/overlaid pair of Oxfords made on a cowboy boot last.

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Amazing

My new printer printed three double-sided color copies of my catalog in a row without eating any paper AND stapled the edges too!

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It’s a Boot Life

In the pursuit of plugging everything in using the two outlets my 1967 building has graced my office area with, I spent most of the morning trying to run an extension cord behind my huge, heavy, not-going-move-it leather rack. This involved balancing precariously on the top of my step ladder (you know, on the very top where it says “NOT A STEP”), wedging myself above the shelf and between the rafters and over the conduit into the corner, and then fishing the extension cord up and down behind. The FedEx guy came in while I was on top of the shelf, up against the ceiling, with only my feet sticking out, sincerely hoping I’d have the strength to push myself back out. He asked if I need help and I bravely told him I was good. Actually, I had conduit digging into my ribs, I was dripping sweat all over my glasses, and he missed the groans of effort and pain working myself back in there and then back out (twice, because I didn’t know what tools I’d need the first time I squeezed in there). My desk is not pushed all the way back against the wall because there’s an inconveniently placed floor vent; it’s about a foot out from the wall and the outlet is back there. I also had to lie on my side and scooch in behind the desk to the outlet to plug in the cord and then inch my way back out. This is an excellent way to find and appreciate all of the rivets on your jeans. But hey!! I have ice cream in my new shop freezer and I think I deserve a treat!

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Vintage catalog

Someone sent me a vintage Jay Griffith catalog! It’s beautiful and I am laughing with delight while paging through it.

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It’s always something

The good news: These boots are ready to be side seamed and I have a new (to me) fully refurbished Straight Needle.
The bad news: I’ve already sold my old Straight Needle and the new one is sitting at Dale’s warehouse until we can get it moved to my shop.
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Phoenix

Many boot makers use one tongue shape and it’s one of the defining and recognizable features of their boots. I have a tongue shape I use most often but once in a while I like to switch it up, so the Phoenix boots are getting an unusual and special design. Don’t worry about the discolorations on the leather; it’s just baby powder and it’s easier to watch it disappear when I wet the boots to last them than try to rub it away.

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Checks are for old people

I still occasionally use checks (I know, I’m old) and I ran out, so I designed a new picture check for myself.

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Wings and feathers

I stitched all the wings and feathers, but I still have to add the top band. I’ll leave that for tomorrow–I’ll need something to do then, right?

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