Saturday, February 27, 2010

This week

It's been kind of a busy week. It started out with Monday being my birthday. I got to celebrate by pouring concrete in the morning and hanging sheet rock in the afternoon at work. The concrete didn't set up very quickly so I didn't get home from work until around 8:30 in the evening. Stacy made up for a not so fun day with a really yummy steak on the grill and a new swivel knife from Paul and Rosa at Leather Wranglers.

Here's a picture of my new black knife along side my old(er) purple knife. The new knife has a really thin 1/8th inch angle blade. I'm looking forward to trying it out when I start over on that tiny picture project from Silva (the last attempt got taken over by some really nasty mold!) I think I've mentioned it before but I'll do it again, cuz this is my blog and I can :o) Paul and Rosa are a couple of the nicest people you're ever gonna meet anywhere, and Paul makes a really nice swivel knife. The colors are fun too. My new one is called Badlands Black. Kinda fitting, don't ya think?? If you haven't checked out the "featured artists" page on their website you should. They have a lot of great leather carvers featured there. It's been awhile since I've checked it out and see that my good friend Kathy Flanagan is on there now too. Kathy does some awesome carving, guess that's why they added her there.

I've also been spending some time this week working on ordering a couple saddle trees from Rod and Denise Nikkel. It's been a learning experience for me. On all the other saddles I've made, I had Rex order the trees for me, or I just used a stock tree from Bowden Saddle Tree company. For the saddles Jake and I are planning on making, we've decided we'd like a top of the line tree, and from what I've heard, Rod and Denise make those. They have a LOT of information on saddle trees, measurements and saddle fit on their website and Jake and I have spent a lot of time studying it. We also ordered the Dennis Lane Horseback Measuring System. The measuring card system arrived just in time for me to get our horses back's measured before I leave for Billings tomorrow. I had a chance to use the cards yesterday and it was really interesting. They were easy to use and it was kind of fun. Figuring out what kind of tree to order has been really intimidating for me in the past but I think with these cards it will be a lot easier. I talked with Rod on the phone today and it sounds like he now has all the info he needs to start working on our trees. He walked me through some of what he does and it was really nice to talk to him. I've known Denise for a while now through, but this was the first time I've talked to Rod. They are another really nice couple and I'm looking forward to working with them.

Tomorrow I'll be headed out for Billings, MT for my 2 week class with Jan Schoonover. I'm really looking forward to that but I'm really going to miss Stacy and my kids. It'll be the longest time I've ever been away from them. Stacy is planning on meeting me in Billings next weekend and that will help. I'll try and post my progress on my project with Jan here on my blog at least every couple days.

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