A Valentine gift

I’ve been way too busy lately. I’m entering my heavier travel schedule, and every time I go on a trip I get behind with things in my growing lab. Things have been fun, but it is hard to find time to get into my leather shop.

It has also been hard to keep track of important events, like Valentine’s day. My wife and I were on a nice trip to NYC last week to visit our daughter and her husband, and in the middle of the trip I went to a scientific meeting in Connecticut. It was a whirl-wind, and when we got home, things were very busy at work. Yesterday I realized that it was Feb 13, and I hadn’t gotten my wife anything for Valentine’s day.

She had been looking for purses in NYC, and she didn’t find anything she wanted. Even nice purses with fancy designer names seem pretty cheap and poorly made. I kept thinking that many of the ones she was looking at would be pretty easy to make, but I usually have a harder time making purses than more “cowboy-looking” things.

It has also been about a month since I’ve been able to work in my shop, so I decided to give myself a Valentine’s day present this year. I had a few new kangaroo skins and decided to try to work on a purse for my wife to remedy my lack of preparation. Unlike most things that I make, everything on this purse was done with my sewing machine, which was fun and fast! And my hands aren’t aching from hand-stitching!

She wanted something colorful, so we started off with several swatches with different colors. Then after getting the overall shape and size, I spent a wonderful 8 hours in my shop figuring out how to put things together and making her purse. I had no idea if I would be able to make it work, but it all came together pretty well. There are a few experimental things that I tried, and she’ll tell me what works and what doesn’t. In the meantime, it was a very nice gift to myself to spend some fun time in the shop!

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