Sunday, January 30, 2011

Exciting New/Used Materials!

To the left is our standard wallet made of a new silky smooth but very strong Asian pear (or apple, banana, or pineapple or mango!) material from a bag of dried fruit chips from a grocery store in Asheville.  The colors and design are spectacularly beautiful. 

Below the pear wallet is one made from a Kettle's new Tias corn chips bag-- great intensity of color with the strong blue shown here as well as a fine burnt orange.

You can order these wallets in the Kettle and King Arthur section, which we are going to rename Food Bags (as distinguished from Feed Bags) since we're carrying additional kinds of food packaging material now.

We have friends in Michigan and New Hampshire as well as Asheville who have been sending us some lovely horse feed bags.  If you're a horse-lover, this is a great fun wallet to carry.  You can order horse wallets from the Feed Bags catalog page.  We have lilac, light green, and pink as the dominant bag colors in addition to the colors shown here.

Coffee bags smell wonderful in addition to being strong, colorful, and graphically interesting.  We made these two checkbook covers for some friends out of their favorite coffee bags.  We had never done so much piecing of material before, but the small size of the bags made it necessary, and we love the quilted effect that resulted.  So we're adding coffee bag material to our checkbook, standard, Shara, grab 'n' go, and ultra slim wallet possibilities. 

Coffee bag material is a heavy film in most cases.  If you have a favorite bag, send us a few and we'll make up whatever you want out of it.  If you only have one, we can still do the job but will have to piece it out with material we have on hand.  if you want it made from your coffee bags only, send us at least three bags.
Our final new material this time is a gorgeous new bird seed bag from an Asheville friend.  We've used it here to make our new BIG wallet, called the Shara after the friend who asked us to design it based on a large leather wallet that she had.  The Shara has ten credit card slots inside, two billfold cases, a coin purse, and a small notebook.  You can order your own Shara on the NEW Big Wallets catalog page.  (This is the same wallet we featured a few posts back, so scroll back until you come to the painted version, which also shows the inside.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wallets as Piggy Banks-- the Hardest Working Wallets of All!

During the month that Piece Work's studio has been closed for the holidays, I've been traveling around the northeast visiting family.  As usual, I was curious about the state of any wallets we had planted there.  Last spring when I was in New Hampshire, two of my little grandsons had wanted me to make wallets for them.  This was nine months ago, and theirs is a very active and relaxed household, so I was stunned to learn that they still had both wallets in their possession, and that, amazingly, both kids knew exactly where they were!

These wallets were definitely cases of field surgery, so I was really surprised to see that they looked about the same after nine months of very hard use.  I had had no sewing machine or patterns or anything else I usually use to make a wallet.  The kids had wanted Kettle wallets just like one I was carrying at the time.  So we went to the co-op and bought two bags of blue-flavored Kettle chips.  I approximated a pattern and used dental floss to sew the wallets.  The boys both wanted small notebooks but no coin purses or credit card cases.

You can imagine my surprise the other day when six-year-old Luca showed me his wallet, which had no closing elastic or button (his choice) but was somehow managing to carry about ten dollars in coins (I think gravity was holding it together) and a gift card for a bookstore.  Then eight-year-old Tallis brought his wallet in.  He had asked for a button and tie, which we had made out of some yarn, and his wallet still looked pristine and new.  Inside he had his life savings-- $25 in one-dollar bills.  He also had a gift card tucked away.  When we went to Borders' to cash in the gift cards, the boys lugged their wallets and pulled them out to pay, augmenting the gift cards with cash from their wallet-banks.