If you’re the one person who follows my SitReps here, you might be aware that I’v been working on designs for a new shoulder bag for some time. I’ve been edging steadily closer for the last few months, but it’s never come fully to the front of my list of projects.
It is now.
I’d like to have it ready for the Autumn, but that means starting to work on it now. It’ll take time to get materials in, make patterns, cut & sew, and finish. If I don’t start soon, I won’t be ready for the cool weather.
So the other night I sat down in the basement studio to sketch some- I had some ideas and design criteria, but I wanted to flesh things out. I’ll need detailed dimensional drawings soon, but first I need to understand the construction. Pencil and paper in hand, I got to work. Which is when the eldest child (8.5) rolled up next to me on her own chair to “help.”
And you know what? She totally did. She started asking really interesting questions about how things would work and how the bag should look and behave. And as I drew, she kept asking these amazing questions- and the sketches kept coming and getting better. And now, after a bit of that, I’ve got the best design I’ve come up with in a good long while. It’s amazing what someone unafraid of asking questions can do for the creation process.
Slowly Getting Things Done (SGTD®)
- Shoe resole project is done. Shoes have been worn and didn’t even fall apart or anything. They definitely weigh more (what with all the rubber I’ve added…), but they’re totally comfortable and ready for the autumn.
- Bike #2 (the Burrito Slayer) is completely ready for my vacation next week. Pedals got swapped, and I even managed to ride it on a bit of a shakedown- so that’s great. I’d love to eventually swap the handlebar, but that’s nothing like a priority.
- Nearly all the picture framing queue has been dealt with- there are two longer-range items that need frames, but for now much of the backlog has been dealt with. A bit of hanging to do as a result, but that’s mostly fun. It’s good to have much of the collection finally up on walls to be seen.
- New shoulder bag design is making progress. I’ve had a couple of good ideas about straps and modularity, so I’m slowly getting towards being ready to source materials and start cutting. I’m still aiming for a very different esthetic than some of my other bag builds, and I’m trying (!) to mostly work with what I’ve got around here already (instead of some god-awful huge order of all-new stuff).
- My new store is (slowly) coming along. I’ve re-designed the first patch offering there (which still isn’t for sale…) after reading some more about the process. Much of the text I’d originally included was going to be far too small to work, so I’ve removed much of it. The result, I think, is less complicated and better on the whole. I’m not entirely ready to pull the trigger on production yet, but closer.
For a host of reasons I’d rather not go into here, it’s not been a great week. But I’ve been chipping away at the lists and the projects and I’m determined through shear perseverance to make things better. SO THERE.
The state of things (short version):
- My Jeans Shop shoes are nearly done. Commando soles have gone on with just some tiny detail work to finish and I’ll be able to (finally!) wear them again. They’re a great fall shoe, so the timing even works.
- “New” bike saddle hasn’t exploded in flames yet. So that’s great.
- I’ve made a teeny bit of progress on my new custom sneakers- but that’s ever-so-slightly back burnered until I clear one or two other things off the docket first.
- Speaking of other projects: I’ve been working on the design for a series of patches. Good old-fashion embroidered patches with iron-on backing. I’ve got two mostly done, and another two in design progress. Be forewarned, though: these will be shortish runs. You’ll find them (eventually) here.
- Slow, slow, slow progress on the new shoulder bag. Stumbled upon a lovely way to do the bottom of the bag, and I’ve been collecting reference pictures of bags to help work out some of the other details about size & construction. Still trying to get away from so much of the “tactical” look but retain functionality and durability.
Oh how time flies in the summer.
- Went on vacation- and I took much of that time off the internet as well. Got outside more, ate (too much) food, and played with happy kids in a pool.
- Updated the bio every-so-slightly here. A little less focus on the past, maybe a little more focus on the future.
- A new shoe project (slowly) making progress- I’ll share more as things come along, but right now I’m still in the “amassing supplies and logistics” phase of these things. Indeed, I haven’t entirely settled on the model of shoe I’ll be modifying for this, though a Vans Classic Slip-On is high on the list.
- The long-dormant new-shoulder-bag project is back! I’ve had some inspiration (finally!) about what I want to be different about this new bag (as compared to the existing & failing shoulder bag I currently use). I even have many/most of the materials in stock- I’ll need a couple small things, but that’s it.
- Just ordered most of the supplies to overhaul my best shock fork for my mountain bike. It’s long overdue, so it’ll be good to have it feeling plush and buttery soon. Of course I’ve never overhauled one of these before, so there’s that. And a bunch of the parts I need are on backorder, so I’m waiting as well. After, I’m looking at maybe a drivetrain modification. We’ll see.
Time, once again, for an update.
- I’ve seen a big (for me!) bump in newsletter subscriptions. That’s awesome! I have no idea where these folks have all come from (or who sent them my way)! Puts a bit of pressure on me to get the next edition out, anyway…
- Tom Sachs has a new NikeCraft website up (with a new movie!) that’s pretty neat. I’d add it to my “Required Viewing” playlist, but it’s not hosted on YouTube, so…
- On that note, I’ve been building a bunch of boxes/crates to better organize things. Finally built a box for 7″ records I’ve needed for a few years(!), a box to organize my index cards, and the start of a new art-supply cart for the studio. I’ll have spots for tools and markers and whatnot, but it’s capped by some paper storage and a smallish bookshelf, letting me keep reference books close to where I’m working. Need to build a wheeled stand for the whole thing, now.
- I’ve beed riding bikes more (again), and I’m starting to get some of my groove back. I still have “off” rides from time to time, but some confidence and practice is paying off. Maybe (just, maybe) some fitness is coming along. Also, finally have the bike running properly- though my fork needs an overhaul (and I’m loath to send it out for maintenance, but I’ve never overhauled one like this, and I’d similarly loath to have any bike downtime, so…)
- Starting to think about and plan a new pegboard setup in the garage- right now I’ve got too much 2nd tier stuff in 1st tier placements. I’ve got a single 4′ x 8′ board right now, but I’m looking at making that a true 8′ x 8′.
- I still need to build the 2nd small parts rack (and the accessories that go with it). I finally located space in the studio/office for it to live, so I suppose it’s time to fire up the saw…
Here’s where I stand (currently, anyway…):
- Despite it looking like the weather was on the verge of changing (into spring), that’s not happened. So all the wood-based projects have to continue to wait a bit longer. Which is fine, in reality, because I’ve not yet finished designing them.
- A bunch of new framing projects just fell into my lap- the re-discovery of some art by my wife means some large frames (30×44″ for the work itself, with the frames being somewhat larger than that…) need to get dealt with. Also mats. And glass.
- I’ve been working on a new “Required” list- a compendium of readings, movies, music, and items that I feel are/should be required in my world. Inspired by Tom Sach’s latest notebooks and the references in the back. Take a look at his here. I do keep a relatively-up-to-date “Required Viewing” YouTube playlist here, if you want to work your way through that.
- Working on a new project for myself, and I’m hesitant to give to many details yet. It’s one of those where I’m not sure anything will ever come of it, or if it’s just a step to the next thing. Regardless, I’m getting all organized with notes and lists and folders and whatnot. It feels good to get the juices flowing, sometimes, regardless of what might (or might not) come of it. Building things is good, you know? Even when those things are just knowledge structures.
- Starting to read up on the rigging of zip lines. Kids want one, but I’ve only ever rigged them with rope, and this would be a wire-rope situation, so there’s plenty of differences. Learning is fun. Have I mentioned that?