It’s hard to believe it’s September again. I hope you had a nice summer. My family and I had a wonderful summer. The weather was great in Vancouver. We had a couple of days of rain altogether, I think. Typically we would get a few hot days and then some rain, but this year we got good weather almost everyday. The only thing with the nice weather was that it didn’t help forests fires happening in the central part of our province.
We didn’t do any out of town travelling. I feel like there’s not really a good reason to go anywhere far when the weather is good around here. The kids like going to the playground, the waterpark (pictured here) and doing things outdoors.
The boys stayed at my parents for a few days during the summer. It gave my husband and I some time to do things on our own and enjoy some quiet time. One day we went to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to walk and just watch the ferries come and go.
I like going to community gardens. I’m not much of a gardener, but I like to look at all the things growing.
Thank you everyone who participated in the group buy for the 60 and 65/68% mechanical keyboard sleeves or cases. With my husband, Christian (/u/pabloescobyte), we hosted a group buy on Reddit’s Mechmarket. We ran it for 1 week and it just ended last Monday, August 14th.
I’m overwhelmed with the response we got for these. In total we got over 100 orders, so I’ve got a lot of work to do! The mech keyboard community have been incredibly generous and supportive. So many nice comments and good suggestions.
Production has started. I’m tracing all the pattern pieces and cutting them out. When I cut it like this by hand, rather than use my machine cutter, it saves a lot more of the lightly waxed canvas and minimizes a lot of waste.
There are stacks and stacks of keyboard sleeve parts in the studio. When I make things by small batches, I’m very productive. For example, I’ll sew 20 pockets at a time and do another 20 of another part. Trace, cut, sew and repeat.
Over the last few years I’ve been watching my husband fidget with these small mechanical keyboards. He has all these tools to take the key caps off and switch them with different coloured key caps, amongst other things. The keyboard can look pretty fancy at times. I’ve never really asked him about them. There are a few things that I feel are his domain: vintage cameras, mechanical keyboards, video games and computer related stuff. I don’t ask and he doesn’t have to tell, as in I don’t ask how much he spent and he doesn’t have to tell me.
Anyhow, he wanted a sleeve for his 60% keyboard (it has 60 keys). I decided to make him one. The first version was good, but it was a little snug and I felt that it needed a handle (see last photo in this post). The photos you see here are version 2.0 and the final design, which I’m happy with and my husband was ecstatic about.
To make a long story longer… my husband posted his on Reddit and I posted it on my Instagram.We received a lot of interest in them and so we decided to run a group buy so everyone can get it at a special price. Right now we’re running a group buy on the 60% and the 65/68% sleeves or cases (The 40% cases are coming!). They are $39usd and $49usd respectively. After the group buy, they will be selling for $59 and $69.
If you’re interested, please visit us on Reddit. There is a form where you can place your order. We will be running this group buy until next Monday, August 14, 2017.
The sleeve or case is made out of a water resistant lightly waxed canvas. It is a beautiful textile that doesn’t rub onto anything else. It has a carrying handle and a front pocket to put your cords and other gadgets in.
These 2 Carrier Totes are for Ernest, an interior designer, and his husband in New York City. Ernest wanted a large tote for his work and travel and decided that he would also get one made for his husband. The midnight blue one is his and the grey for his partner. I love that they will have matching bags.
Except for the colours, everything is the same on these bags. Both of them have the luggage strap on them to use as a carry-on. What also makes these bags great for travel is that they have a full zipper top, so nothing falls out. If you have to stow it under the seat in front of you, you’re reassured nothing goes missing.
Ernest chose midnight blue and charcoal grey. This combination is only available when ordering a custom bag.
I finally got the Courier Bags in the shop this week. It’s now available in this midnight blue and charcoal grey combination or charcoal grey and brown.
This bag came about because 3 years ago, my husband wanted a messenger bag. He wanted to use it for work and as a diaper bag (Pax was 3 and Nol was a newborn then.) I made him a custom one that he used for years. That was version 1.0 (you can see it here). Along the way, I started appreciating that bag more and more. The wax canvas was really durable and the leather aged beautifully.
For the past few months, I’ve been working on adjustments and improvements for this bag. I feel that it is now a worthy bag to sell.
The lightly waxed canvas creates a water resistant exterior. The Italian vegetable tanned leather gets even better with wear. It gets a little darker brown and remains durable, but softer against the body.
The Courier Bag also comes in this charcoal grey and brown combination.
This is a custom Utility Tote for Christine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is using this as a work and travel bag.
2 front pockets were added to this bag for more organization. In total, there are 6 pockets (4 interior).
This tote can hold a 13″ laptop.
Since Christine is also using her tote for travel, a custom luggage strap was added. This is very useful when you’re using this bag as your carry-on.
This bag is made out of water resistant lightly waxed canvas, Italian vegetable tanned leather and antique brass hardware.
Orange is the new colour in the selection (and no, it is not the new black). There’s also charcoal grey, brown and red.
The size is 9.5″ W x 4.25″ H x 1″ D (24cm wide x 11 cm high x 1″ deep). I gave it a bit more height and depth than version 1.o. I think this allows it to carry a lot more.
The optional personalization is a nice touch, especially if it’s for a gift. I emboss 3 initials onto it.
What’s interesting about the Stock Pouch is that it becomes what the owner uses it for. In this case, it’s a “film pouch.” What??? Isn’t film dead? Tell it to the camera enthusiasts, like my husband. It seems to actually be alive and well.
This is a custom Courier Bag for Josh in Bayside, New York. Josh contacted me, said he likes the textures of my bags and asked if I have a messenger bag. Even though the Courier Bag has not yet officially been released (it will in July), I showed Josh one that I made for my husband in midnight blue and grey. He liked it, but wanted the closure to be more simple, like the Field Bag.
These are custom colours that Josh chose. He initially thought about having it all black, but saw that I made a few custom bags previously with black and brown leather. It really makes the colours stand out.
I had an interesting conversation with one of my Canadian customers, in Winnipeg, who was buying a bag for her daughter. She said her daughter is thinking about going into fashion design after high school and wanted to know my thoughts on being a designer.
I can only speak of my experience, as I’ve never worked for a company doing design work. My purpose for going to fashion design school was to start my own business. I would say though that overall, it is a good time to be an independent designer. So many barriers have come down to starting your own handcrafted business. At least, you would have a chance to have a go at it with a small start-up fund. Also it’s something you can start while still working, studying or part-time to test the market.
I have mainly been featuring customs bags that I make on this blog. I don’t think I feature some of the bags available in the shop enough.
Today I want to show you the Medium Zipper Tote in black, one of the most simple, yet useful bags available in the shop. In my opinion, the Medium Zipper Tote is an ideal size. It can be used for work, school, as a 13″ laptop bag, a diaper bag or for travel. It’s a classic style that can be used for a long time.
If you’re familiar with this site, you’ll know that I use lightly waxed canvas, Italian vegetable tanned leather and brass hardware. These materials are durable and water resistant.
This tote is actually my 1st design. I wanted to create the perfect tote that I would love to use. I saw so many beautiful looking totes out there, but they were not functional. Even the most high end bags were, in my opinion, lazy. Many totes were wide open without any closure. Placing a full zipper requires more time and labour. I wasn’t finding a lot out there with a full zipper closure, so I knew the tote I made had to have this. Over time, I’ve heard from so many customers, who have stumbled upon my blog or shop, that they have been looking for a bag with a full zipper top for a long time.
This custom bag is for Rhea, a local Vancouver customer. She liked everything about the bag, but wanted 2 more interior pockets. The Satchel comes standard with 2 inside pockets and 2 outside pockets.
The Satchel is a mid-sized portable crossbody bag. It’s good for personal belongings, fits an iPad mini and paperback sized books.
This is a custom Carrier Tote for Stephanie in Humble, Texas. She told me that she has been looking for the perfect bag for a long time. She’ll be using it for work and as her everyday bag.
First of all, these are custom colours Stephanie chose. The body of the bag is all black with brown leather straps. This combination seems to be quite popular lately. I have made 3 custom bags in this combination in the last 2 weeks.
To the tote, she wanted to add 2 more outside pockets for convenience and organization.
The Carrier Tote comes with an adjustable and detachable crossbody strap. You can carry it as a shoulder tote or messenger style across your body.
This is the back view of the bag. Stephanie wanted an outside zippered pocket to keep her wallet, phone, etc. in a convenient place while being secure.