Nomad-Unlimited http://www.nomad-unlimited.com Tue, 10 Dec 2013 18:50:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thailandbodia http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/thailandbodia/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/thailandbodia/#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 02:53:04 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=5221 Thailandbodia

This is a collection of unorganized photos from the trip to Thailand and Cambodia from which Cindy and I recently returned. I will likely try to organize them a little better and eventually fill out all of the captions and descriptions, but this is my first go…

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Thailandbodia

This is a collection of unorganized photos from the trip to Thailand and Cambodia from which Cindy and I recently returned. I will likely try to organize them a little better and eventually fill out all of the captions and descriptions, but this is my first go…

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Power of the Purse 2013 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/power-of-the-purse-2013/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/power-of-the-purse-2013/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2013 02:14:30 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=5191 Power of the Purse 2013

A few months ago, I was invited to return as a designer for the 2013 Power of the Purse charity auction organized by Girls Inc. of NW Oregon. I had a great time last year when my “hop” bag sold for over $3000, so I readily accepted the invitation for this year’s event. For my […]

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Power of the Purse 2013

DSC_4753_1A few months ago, I was invited to return as a designer for the 2013 Power of the Purse charity auction organized by Girls Inc. of NW Oregon. I had a great time last year when my “hop” bag sold for over $3000, so I readily accepted the invitation for this year’s event. For my “purse-o-nality” I was paired with Chief Jannsens, the first woman Chief of Fire Dept. in Portland. We had a quick meeting at the fire dept. and discussed the details of the bag I would design. Based on that discussion and some subsequent e-mails, we agreed that the bag would be a duffle-style hand-bag with removable shoulder strap, pocket for an iPad, space for a business folio, room for wallet, phone, etc. and a main compartment with room for a change of gym clothes or the like. It was to be an all-purpose bag for the woman or man on the go. Chief Jannsens expressed her style as very minimal and functional, and since I was going to be pressed for time due to an upcoming vacation, it seemed perfect.

When I began working on the design of the bag, however, I felt the need to jazz it up a little bit. The idea of flames immediately came to mind. I ran it past the Chief and she reluctantly agreed to include them, provided they were understated or even hidden during normal use. I immediately had the idea to have flames on the strap, influenced by a beautiful guitar strap I had seen with black leather inlaid with red crocodile leather flames. If the strap were reversible, then I needn’t worry about the flames being too overstated. I had the idea to make the flap on the bag reversible so that it, too, could be decorated with flames. I wanted the main style of the bag to evoke motorcycle saddle bags and I chose a gorgeously textured pebble-grained black chap leather to use for the exterior. I found a great red faux-ostrich embossed cowhide at the Oregon Leather Company which would be perfect for the inlaid flames.

photoI conducted a test of the inlaying process using the two leathers. I laser-cut a custom-designed flame shape into a bit of the black chap leather and did the same with the faux-ostrich leather. Fitting them together and cementing them both to another layer of chap leather worked perfectly – I was beginning to get excited about the bag. I began to lay out the main pieces of the bag and figure out what hardware to use. I decided to use nickel-plated fittings throughout the design to give it that classic motorcycle feel. I used hefty hardware and placed the fittings so as to accentuate them. I decided to line the bag with a red micro-fiber upholstery fabric to accent the flames.

I didn’t have time to make a prototype, so I was especially careful with every decision I made, allowing for extra material in places that I couldn’t accurately determine the exact size and shape until other pieces started coming together. The most difficult part was determining the flap length and the placement of the handle on the flap to make it match the handle attached to the rear of the bag. I couldn’t figure out a feasible way to make the flap reversible, so I decided to just sew it in to the rest of the bag. I hope Chief Jannsens is OK with the small flames being so conspicuous on the flap. I left that joint until the very end to allow for adjustment if necessary. Unfortunately, this made machine-sewing the joint imposible and it took me four hours to hand stitch the final 16 inches.

Overall, I am very pleased with the way the bag came out. I learned many useful tricks and techniques that I will surely apply to my product line in the future. I can’t wait to see what this bag sells for at auction. The Power of the Purse event is on March 8th at the Portland Art Museum.

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Etsy Front Page!!! http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/etsy-front-page/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/etsy-front-page/#comments Sat, 15 Dec 2012 20:14:35 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=5166 Etsy Front Page!!!

Now my my iPhone wallet that Etsy started using two days ago as their featured item for Etsy’s Gift Ideas For Him page is right on Etsy’s front page and right at the top!! My number of visitors has exceeded 3500 a day!

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Etsy Front Page!!!

Etsy Front Page!

Now my my iPhone wallet that Etsy started using two days ago as their featured item for Etsy’s Gift Ideas For Him page is right on Etsy’s front page and right at the top!! My number of visitors has exceeded 3500 a day!

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Etsy’s Gift Ideas For Him Page http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/etsys-gift-ideas-for-him-page/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/etsys-gift-ideas-for-him-page/#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2012 23:55:59 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=5159 Etsy’s Gift Ideas For Him Page

My iPhone wallet is used as the featured item for Etsy’s Gift Ideas For Him page. I’m receiving over 5 times my normal number of daily hits. Too bad I am no longer taking Christmas orders!

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Etsy’s Gift Ideas For Him Page

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My iPhone wallet is used as the featured item for Etsy’s Gift Ideas For Him page. I’m receiving over 5 times my normal number of daily hits. Too bad I am no longer taking Christmas orders!

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Free People iPhone Wallet http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/free-people-iphone-wallet/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/free-people-iphone-wallet/#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 16:45:58 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=5142 Free People iPhone Wallet

A few months ago I was approached by a buyer from Free People about making an exclusive design for an iPhone wallet for sale on their website.  It was to be similar to the iPhone wallets I was already selling on Etsy with a pouch for the phone and a pocket for cards or cash.  […]

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Free People iPhone Wallet

A few months ago I was approached by a buyer from Free People about making an exclusive design for an iPhone wallet for sale on their website.  It was to be similar to the iPhone wallets I was already selling on Etsy with a pouch for the phone and a pocket for cards or cash.  I worked with the buyer and ended up making two different designs for them and they are now available on their website:  iPhone Wallet

If they prove to be popular, they are considering ordering more of them for availability in their stores throughout the country.

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Power of the Purse http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/power-of-the-purse/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/power-of-the-purse/#comments Tue, 28 Feb 2012 21:23:07 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=4527 Power of the Purse

Last November I was contacted by a lady organizing a charity auction for Girls Inc., a nationwide organization that empowers young women. The auction is an annual event called Power of the Purse and it teams local celebrities with local craftspeople to design and create purses that are sold to the highest bidder, the proceeds […]

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Power of the Purse

Last November I was contacted by a lady organizing a charity auction for Girls Inc., a nationwide organization that empowers young women. The auction is an annual event called Power of the Purse and it teams local celebrities with local craftspeople to design and create purses that are sold to the highest bidder, the proceeds all going to Girls Inc of NW Oregon. I was asked to participate as a crafts-person and I readily agreed, frankly stunned and flattered by the invitation. I was paired with Irene Firmat, founder and CEO of Full Sail Brewery in Hood River, OR. I was already a fan of their beer, so I was honored to get a chance to meet her.

We met at the brewery and Irene first gave me a personal tour of the works. Afterwards, we sat down to brainstorm ideas for a purse design. We both wanted to make a bag that would raise as much money as possible for the charity. In addition to the purse, the winning bidder and guests would enjoy a meal at the brewery with Irene followed by a personal tour. We both agreed that this package would appeal to beer aficionados and therefor the bag should also appeal to this same demographic. We wanted the bag to suggest the brewing process, but still have universal appeal. Also, since the bag would be modeled during the auction by one of the girls from Girls Inc. we wanted to make sure that it was appropriate for minors.

We both love the beauty of hops and wheat or barley, so we decided that I should focus on those motifs for the decoration of a messenger-style bag that could appeal to both men and women. In the next few days, I started experimenting with some designs. I decided that I should incorporate all of my prototypes into designs that I could sell in my Etsy shop. I was just working on a new design for an iPad sleeve that was modeled after the old inter-office envelopes, with a flap tied with a string wrapped around some buttons. So, I decided to decorate the front of this sleeve with hops and barley. I used a spiral (I am fond of them if you haven’t noticed) to separate the two motifs:

While, I was happy with various elements of the design, I didn’t like the overall feel of it, especially not the spiral, but is still available in my Etsy shop.

I decided to focus on either hops or barley, but not both together. I made another iPad sleeve decorated with a hops motif:

I was much happier with this result and in fact I have sold a number of these in my Etsy store. I also began experimenting with barley designs, making a third iPad sleeve:

I was very pleased with how this came out and have since made a Kindle case with a similar decoration in addition to the iPad Sleeve.

I was starting to formulate an idea for the purse and sent Irene some sketches:

The flap would be decorated with the hops design and underneath the flap would be the barley design. Irene was pleased, so I decided to make a prototype of the messenger bag, slightly smaller than the final size. For the sides and back, I used the same burgundy pull-up leather that I used on my iPad sleeves since I liked the way it coordinated with the brightly colored dyed leather.

As I began sewing the hops panel onto the flap, I could tell that it would not lie flat since the two layers of leather would bunch up as the flap bends over the front of the purse. I thought about sewing it so that it would naturally follow that curve, but decided that it would then bunch up whenever someone opened the flap. The simplest idea seemed to be to have the flap made of a single layer of leather. I was also not entirely pleased with the way the design seemed to end abruptly and decided that if the hops design was more stylized, rather than depicting a scene, that it would match the barley design better and would be easier to incorporate into a pleasing composition. So I decided to make a single larger hop flower to be the focus of the flap. I finished the purse, lined it with upholstery fabric and added a strap.

Around this same time, it was announced that the purse designers could make another bag or purse available for auction (also benefiting Girls Inc.) during a radio promotion during the week prior to the main auction event. I wanted to participate and decided that this prototype bag would be perfect. The more I looked at the bag, however, the less I felt that it would be enough for the actual Power of the Purse event. I had learned that in prior years the bags normally went for $1500 to $7000. I realized that the bag or purse was only part of the package and that whoever won was obviously expecting to pay much more than the actual value of the bag in order to benefit Girls Inc., but I still felt that it wasn’t interesting enough.

I was rapidly running out of time before the purse was due (I actually was going to be on vacation on the due date, so I had to finish the bag prior to leaving.) I decided on a last minute change of plans. I contacted Irene for the go ahead and she rather reluctantly agreed if I thought the new design could make more money for the event. My idea was to make the bag itself resemble a hop flower with the petals being individual pieces of leather stitched onto a base. I sped through my normal design process, making a few cardboard mock-ups and then jumping into the leather work. I managed to finish the bag in time and I am pleased with the results, although if I had more time, I would have done a few things differently. I hope someone is willing to pay a lot of money for it!

The auction itself is taking place next Friday evening (March 9th) at the Portland Art Museum – entry is $150 per person and it kicks off at 5:30pm. Irene and I will meet our Girls Inc. model at the end of the runway after she models the bag during the event. Concurrent to the auction and also a few hours prior, is the Boutique Night ($35 entrance 4:30-9pm) in which the purse designers and other local boutiques can showcase their work – twenty percent of the proceeds will go to Girls Inc. I will have a table there featuring some of my latest designs, all of which are also available in my Etsy shop.

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50th Etsy sale approaching! http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/50th-etsy-sale-approaching/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/50th-etsy-sale-approaching/#comments Sat, 25 Feb 2012 04:36:47 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=4518 50th Etsy sale approaching!

It seems like only yesterday that I had my first sale on Etsy. It was very exciting and validating. My friends and family had been constantly telling me how great my work was, but this was the real test – a perfect stranger paid hard earned cash for one of my products. That was in […]

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50th Etsy sale approaching!

The anatomy of a tote

The anatomy of my popular shopping tote - click the photo to see the finished product

It seems like only yesterday that I had my first sale on Etsy. It was very exciting and validating. My friends and family had been constantly telling me how great my work was, but this was the real test – a perfect stranger paid hard earned cash for one of my products. That was in October and it was my only sale for that month. It took a while for orders to start rolling in, but they eventually did. December proved to be a great month for me with lots of Christmas orders.

The orders kept coming in for January and February, and I am now starting to believe that this business is viable. I just had my 47th sale on Etsy today, so just a few more will put me over that 50 benchmark. To help things along, I’ve created a coupon code for my Etsy shop. You can find it by “liking” my Facebook page for Nomad-Unlimited. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, please “like” my page and you’ll have access to exclusive content – when I find time to put it up there :)

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Custom Double Kindle Carry http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/custom-double-kindle-carry/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/custom-double-kindle-carry/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 23:15:20 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=4438 Custom Double Kindle Carry

I received an order for a custom case that would carry two Kindles at the same time. After some discussion, my client and I decided that it should be a book-style case, the same as my other ones, except with room for a second Kindle under the front cover. He had a Kindle Fire and […]

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Custom Double Kindle Carry

Happy Man

I received an order for a custom case that would carry two Kindles at the same time. After some discussion, my client and I decided that it should be a book-style case, the same as my other ones, except with room for a second Kindle under the front cover. He had a Kindle Fire and a Kindle Keyboard, which fortunately are nearly the same size which made my job a little easier. He decided on an image of a fat happy man for the front cover and he sent me an image of what he wanted. After trying some other techniques, I settled upon stippling as my best option to accommodate all the shading of the original piece. I think I did a good job of capturing its essence.

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Custom Motorcycle Bag for ArtOfGear.com http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/custom-motorcycle-bag-for-artofgear-com/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/custom-motorcycle-bag-for-artofgear-com/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2012 17:59:41 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=4426 Custom Motorcycle Bag for ArtOfGear.com

I was contacted by Owen of Art of Gear to make a custom bag for his motorcycle. I agreed to make him a great deal in exchange for a review on his website. Owen sent me some photos of the space available for the bag and gave me free reign to come up with something […]

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Custom Motorcycle Bag for ArtOfGear.com

Art of Gear Motorcycle Bag

I was contacted by Owen of Art of Gear to make a custom bag for his motorcycle. I agreed to make him a great deal in exchange for a review on his website.

Owen sent me some photos of the space available for the bag and gave me free reign to come up with something suitable. I made a few sketches and sent them back for his approval before getting started.

The design is very similar to my bicycle bags, utilizing the same durable oiled leather and the same unique closure flap system (inspired by Chinese take away boxes) to keep the contents safe and dry. It was a fun project and Owen was very pleased with the results.

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Custom Camera Case, Laptop Bag and Accessories Cases http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/custom-camera-case-laptop-bag-and-accessories-cases/ http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/posts/custom-camera-case-laptop-bag-and-accessories-cases/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2012 00:52:43 +0000 http://www.nomad-unlimited.com/?p=4418 Custom Camera Case, Laptop Bag and Accessories Cases

One of my more interesting and demanding projects was a custom request to create a series of bags and pouches for a customer’s camera equipment and laptop, utilizing as much as possible, the materials from an unwanted Eddy Bauer Packhorse rucksack. He had some other Eddy Bauer bags and wanted everything to have a similar […]

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Custom Camera Case, Laptop Bag and Accessories Cases

One of my more interesting and demanding projects was a custom request to create a series of bags and pouches for a customer’s camera equipment and laptop, utilizing as much as possible, the materials from an unwanted Eddy Bauer Packhorse rucksack. He had some other Eddy Bauer bags and wanted everything to have a similar style and utilize similar materials. During several Skype sessions, we hammered out the details and afterward I began the process of deconstructing the rucksack and then constructing first, the main camera bag. I utilized the waxed cotton fabric from the rucksack as the sides of the camera bag and added some pull-up leather for the bottom, back and top flap, augmented by some smaller pieces of hand-dyed green leather. I lined the bag with some soft rust-colored upholstery fabric.

The next item was the pouch for his 11″ MacBook Air. For this, he wanted to use the leather flap from the rucksack, which happened to be about the perfect size to use for the back and flap. I used more of the waxed cotton and a zippered pouch from the rucksack on the front, again adding green dyed leather as needed for strength. He wanted his business logo on the front, so I incorporated this into the closure tab.

Additionally, he needed several small bags to hold his camera accessories, some of which he wanted to be useable even when the accessories were mounted on his camera. I came up with an accordion style closure for some cylindrical shaped pouches which would hold his spare lens and filters. For his other accessories, he needed more rectangular pouches, so I devised a simple flap closure.

My customer was so pleased with the results, that he contracted me to make a custom bag for his camera tripod:

This was perhaps an even more demanding task and also more interesting. He wanted the bag to be part of the tripod, or rather, the tripod to form the structure of the bag. After several more Skype sessions, he was able to communicate to me what he wanted. I proceeded to mock-up a prototype and then set to work constructing the bag out of the remaining waxed cotton from the rucksack. I had to get it right on the first try since I didn’t have any material to spare. I used a similar accordion closure on the top and again lined it with the rust-colored fabric. Once completed, the bag sagged a little more than anticipated, so we came up with the idea to support the bag on a “trampoline” of leather which I designed to be tightly stretched between the tripod legs and would protect the bottom of the bag. Another design aspect was for the bag to transform into a travel version, containing all the spare parts inside itself in a more compact form.

Overall, it was a great project or rather series of projects that tested my skills both as a designer and as a craftsman.

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