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Tuesday, March 24, 2020


So much to report, can't even decide where to start!!  

We took a vacation to North Carolina, specifically Brasstown, the home of the John C Campbell Folk School! 

The first day my friend  Jo-Ellen and I took a class with Karen Stack who has an amazing leather business called Gulland Artisans.

Check out her Etsy shop: Gulland Artisans

Karen taught a leather journal class, which is the same class she offers at the folk school, but the class was full and had a wait list. In fact, Karen will be teaching a class where you can create your own leather bag at the school in June and October and one is already full. 

We loved the personal attention of taking the class in Karen's studio. I enjoyed every step of the process. We learned how to work with the tools to make designs in the leather. In addition we tooled the flaps, stitched the journal cover and attached snaps. Finally, Karen taught us the Coptic stitch for the book we made for our cover. 

Working with leather is so rewarding. I enjoyed the process and Karen's studio is a great art refuge. My goal is to come back and take another class with Karen.

Here's Karen shop and studio in Brasstown.

Here's Jo-Ellen with all the amazing tools we used to emboss our designs in the leather.

This is my journal cover with the closure ready to sew.

Here's our amazing teacher Karen!!

Jo-Ellen opted for a larger journal cover and she had more tooling to do, so she ended up with homework. Karen sent us back to the hotel with tools, hammer and the stone. I had to take a picture of us doing our Lobby Hobby at the hotel.

I loved how we learned to smooth the edges of our journal flaps. We discussed a great quote by Zig Ziglar "there are no traffic jams on the extra mile" and that is so inspiring. It's so true!

This is the before:

This is the after:

Punching the holes to do the stitching.

Got to use a blue waxed linen that looked perfect with the color of the leather.

And ta da, my journal cover is complete! 

I'm going to wrap up this post but I have a follow up story that I cannot wait to share in another post. It's about a very important muse that found her way into Karen's life. Now I'm a fan as well.

P.S. Stay safe everyone. Please keep creating art and supporting local businesses through this pandemic. We can take things one day at a time and be kind to others.  Even to those who are rude and irritable (I'm guessing it's a sign that they are stressed and scared). Find silver linings where you can. For me, working from home and having a job are major blessings. I now have more time to make art and that's what will get me through. We are all trying to figure it out. I liked what a doctor on the news said, this will have a beginning, middle and an end. That's what we have to focus on.

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