Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Holiday Sale!

Need a holiday gift for your favorite nerd? Don’t want to give them something they already own, but something really unique and new? You’re in luck! Now through December 15th, 20% everything at and new custom orders, all designed and hand-stitched by me in Michigan.

Leather dice bags, patchwork leather bottle holders, beautiful and warm leather hooded capelets, custom card-game carrying cases, and more!
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Monday, November 27, 2017

20% Off Continues Today with Cyber Monday!

Today's the last day you can get 20% off everything in the shop (including new custom orders)!  Let me know if you have any questions about anything.  :)
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Special Holiday Season Shop Discounts

I'm going to do something fun for this holiday season!  There are going to be a series of discounts available in the shop, on everything in the shop, through the end of December, starting on Black Friday.

What discounts, do you ask?  These ones!

For Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, (...poor-lonely-without-a-name-that-I-know-about) Sunday, and Cyber Monday, all contents of the shop will be 20% off.  That's this Friday, November 24th, through Monday, November 27th.  20% off the larger items is a lot of money off, by the way.  Plus, it's my 30th birthday this week, so it'll be a fun birthday present to me (along with an amazing holiday gift for you or your loved one) if you buy something.  =D

Then, as we go into my favorite season (I adore winter - there are reasons I make gorgeous fur-lined hoods for winter, because it's the most beautiful season with sparkling snow everywhere and it deserves deliciously warm pretty and unique accessories), there will still be a discount running from November 28th to December 4th: 10% off everything in the shop.

Haven't made up your mind yet on what to get your loved ones for the mid-winter holidays?  Buy them something for 20% off from December 5th to December 15th!  This gives me enough time to make sure the item gets in the mail and shipped to you for most of the mid-winter holidays that you might celebrate.

Then, if you couldn't make your mind up earlier but still want to sneak something awesome in to your 2017 budget, the week of Boxing Day (December 26th to December 31st) will have another 10% off sale.

If you order something that will be custom-made, I will work with you to add you to my schedule of making custom-made items.  You most likely won't receive the item by the holidays (unless it's really small), but I will give you a 1-2 month window and make you a fun card outlining the custom order, if you want to purchase the custom order and give your loved one the ability to choose the options.  Regardless of the timeline for completing the item, if you talk to me and order it within the timeline of the sales, I will apply that discount to your custom order's cost.

If you're wondering why it would take a while to make an item, here are some reasons:
  • I'd rather under-promise and over-deliver, so there's a chance you'll get it sooner!  I want to give you a realistic window.
  • I have a full-time other day job (I manage a bunch of scientists, it's pretty neat), and a family of my own to celebrate holidays with, so it takes me a while on my free evenings and weekends to make the awesome item of your dreams.
  • I want to take my time to make sure that everything I make has top-notch materials and is hand-crafted with strong stitches and beautiful lines, to last a long time and be worth every penny you pay for it.
  • If I have other custom orders already, those come first, so you get added to the queue.  I'm an independent artist, doing all of this by myself, so everything gets done in the order they get purchased.  So order early to get a better timeline of completion!

All the items pictured here are currently in my shop

Let me know if you have any questions!

Anyone have any fun holiday plans?  I'm looking forward to seeing my parents and celebrating with my boyfriend's family for the first time.  Should be a good time!

~Kell, aka Birke die Jaegerin
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Cat walk! Haircut! Paul Bunyan! Oh my!

This post is a bunch of random photos of recent happenings in my life.  First is a series of photos from the first time my cats followed me on a walk!

The first walk, I got two streets over before they got skittish and wanted to go back home.  The second time, I got a little beyond the third street.  They seem to be having fun following me around.  It's super adorable and I love it!

Mohawk!  It's the first time I've had a mohawk.  I love it so far!

Also, this plaid shirt cost me only a couple dollars at the best thrift shop in Ann Arbor, the PTO Thrift Shop.  The only issue was that the sleeves were annoyingly about one inch too short.  So I spent about 45 minutes carefully hemming the sleeves down to 3/4 sleeves.  I love it now!  <3 thrifting and sewing!

Random photo of a recent lunch, with my Iron Man bento box and SCAdian belt knife.  I'm quite happy with this fruit, veggie, and nut lunch with some summer sausage.  Tasty and mostly healthy!

I traveled to Minnesota recently for an awesome family reunion.  This is a fun photo on a Paul Bunyan statue at a rest stop with my sister and boyfriend.

I found this couch on Craigslist for $100!!!  I'm so happy with it.  It's definitely elevated my home a lot.  It's so comfy, and so so so so much better than my previous couches, both of which went to friends who were happy to have them. 

And we're ending the post with more cat photos, because I can't help it.  They're my beautiful fur babies and they deserve all the photo love.

Kobold's a big snuggle bug.

A rare photo of Gnome!  She's harder to pin down.

But she's still super snuggly, too, when she wants to be.  This is my favorite photo of my baby girl.

And another of a sleeping Kobold.  Oh, cat yoga.

Things are still rough adjusting to my new life schedule with the new job, and July is always hard for me (grieving month), but there are bits of joy.  So I thought it would be fun to share the bits of joy, because it's important to remember those when times are difficult.

Any bits of joy in your life lately?

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Monday, July 10, 2017

The Stars of Border War

Moira brought three kittens to Border War, a local SCA event.  They were definitely the stars of the day!  This post is entirely gratuitous kitten photos with me and my friends.

In case you're wondering, this patched hood is the same linen hood that was in this post of me blacksmithing.  It has worn down so much that all of those patches are covering rips and holes.  Six years ago, it was all from one piece of fabric:

Now it's almost entirely patches, and had a kitten cuddled up to it just last month.

Look closely - there's a kitten curled up asleep in Azriel's lap!

Kittens are the cutest!  ~Birke
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Monday, July 3, 2017

Custom Card Game Organizer

It's been over two years since I started designing my storage case for my Dominion cards.  I finished making it in May of 2015, and it's had a year of solid use before these pictures were taken.  Let me tell you: it works, and it's awesome.  I've ironed out the couple bugs it had (one of which I'll point out later in this post), and it's a thing of beauty and a powerhouse of a carrying case.

And I'm offering to make a custom-ordered version of it, or similar work for a different game, in my Etsy shop.  It's the most expensive thing in there, because it's the most labor-intensive to make, but boy do I think it's worth every penny if you're an avid gamer and have the money to buy nice things (and support local artists!).

Here's a more in-depth look at my custom card game organizer!

Carrying all those cards is heavy, but there are two carrying straps: one thick adjustable belt for carrying it over the shoulder, and one hand-held handle.  Both are firmly stitched on with multiple tracks of saddle stitching and woven into the spine of the case, so they should last for a very long time.

Two more belts wrap around the case, holding it shut.  Undoing those buckles and laying out the case on a table, this is the first thing you see - another layer of leather protection to make sure those cards don't slip around and get lost, damaged, or wet (if it rains while carrying it outside).  These leather flaps are tied together with leather thongs, so they can be pulled snug to keep the cards in place.

Peaking out of the end, you can see the longer case that holds the larger sets of base cards.

Opening the two leather flaps, you can see the top page of the "book" of cards and the long case for the base cards.

In order to make pockets that perfectly held 10-16 cards without the cards easily falling out, I made eight different prototypes.  The final result is made from a beautiful black cotton twill that is backed with two layers of strong interfacing between each set of cards.  This fabric was specifically chosen both because the names of the cards pop out easily against the black background and it's durable and strong, with just the right one-way stretch to allow the pockets to grip the cards securely.  The pockets are cut and stitched meticulously by me, because a mistake of just 1/8" will make the pockets too loose or too tight to hold the cards right.

The last page includes a folder that holds the rule books.

This page, with pockets to hold the mats from the first few expansions, I do not include in the custom version for others, simply because it does not hold up to time.  The mats are simply too slippery to stay in the pockets, and they slide around too much.  In the custom order, I will make the outside pocket (for coins and other mats) larger, in order to fit them, unless the customer has a different idea they would like to try.

The base cards are in a wet-formed and painted stiff leather case, held closed with buttons.

I am open to ideas for how the customer wants to separate their cards.  I have simply written the names of the cards on heavy cardstock that is a little taller than the cards, but these could be printed with custom name plates that are much more visually appealing.

Here is a close-up view of how beautifully the cards pop out against the twill fabric.

The one-of-a-kind pocket on the outside holds mats, coins, and other pieces for the game.

You can see how strongly all the pieces are stitched together.  The handle is also adjustable, to fit different size hands.

Interested in a custom leather case for your treasured favorite game?  Let me know!  I am willing to make up prototypes and quotes for other types of games, too.  I adore my Dominion case.

Your nerdy local neighborhood leather artist,

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