I like it when I make people happy I don’t usually get to see the look of happiness in someone’s face when they receive my work. I don’t get to know what they do with my work or how they fill it out. I had someone local who bought one of my journals a thick chunky book in metallic pink. It was great to pass that off to her and see her face, then she brought it in filled with watercolor, ink, pastels and her works and thoughts. It was amazing to handle a large chunk of her life and my work so lovingly used.
Then I make the other things that use up the scraps and my odd moments, things like penslips. They originated as hack on some one else’s idea of a way to keep your pen with your notebook. I took that idea, translated it to leather and eyelets and there you have a penslip. I have several that I use on a regular basis and I’ve tweaked my design to make them better. These are the functional little items that make life easier but I don’t usually get a lot of email or fanfare over, when I do its neat-o!
One of my "regulars" Olivia asked me to custom make her a PenSlip to go with the red Moleskine planner but something not plain. I considered hand distressing some black leather with pewter eyelet- it would look stunning on the red planner, but it wasn’t very special. It needed to represent Olivia. We’ve worked together several times before and I know she likes earthy tone and colors. So I sat on it waiting for inspiration. I got out my black moleskine wrapped some brown cowhide around it glued it for the time being and primed it. Leather takes acrylic like crazy, acting like raw canvas if not primed. I looked at the colors and items on Olivia’s website and blog. All earth. How could I get that earthiness into the PenSlip?
I looked to the PenSlip again, looked around to my tools. Saw the V-Gouge, thought to carve the leather. Started with a few basic leaf shapes and then incised the vein, rubbed in green to fill in and dye those veins, then headed to the rest of the PenSlip. I thought a deep dark blue would look good against the bright tomato red of the planner. I laid in the blue added a touch of red and let it set. I then hit up around the leaves with some interference paint, making the leaves glow, it doesn’t show up in the photos or the video as it does in person. I knew that eyelets wouldn’t look good with it so I decided on asymmetrical stitching in red linen.
So here’s how happy Olivia is: