March Madness

hand tooled belts at The Beggars Pouch North Conway NHFor the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of hunkering down in The Annex for weeks on end and tooling belts.   I pretty much ignore everything else and everyone else while I cut  hides into belt straps, bevel the edges and tap away with my stamping tools.

I really look forward to these weeks.   I can mess around with new designs, create new tooling patterns and then experiment with different color patterns and dye techniques.   I got into working with leather by learning how to tool belts.  Now, some 48 years later I’m still at it, and still having a ball doing it.   I guess I  haven’t grown up quite yet!

Of course this year is a whole lot different.   The virus has taken over and everything has changed.  North Conway is pretty much closed down.  The Beggars Pouch has been closed to the public for the past 3 weeks and it looks like at least another month before we even think of opening up to the public again…..maybe??? Who really knows when?

But if there is a bright side to this insane time, at least I am able to sneak off to the Annex each morning, lock the door, crank up the tunes, put on the coffee and settle in to hand tool belts.  Rene gets a few hours of peace and quiet without me and I have no distractions from customers or crew.

And I’ve got to tell you, this years belts are some of the best I’ve ever done!  I know, I said the same thing last year and probably even the year before that, but seriously, these are really looking awesome!  I’m loving the stamps I picked up in Sheridan WY last spring and the tools I purchased from Bulgaria really fun to use.  It’s always fun to have new toys to play with and these are making me smile big time!  These tooling designs and stamping patterns are  some the best I’ve ever come up with.

At some point this craziness will end and life will get back to normal and we will have customers again.  And when that happens be sure to stop by the shop and check out these belts.  And don’t forget to bring $$$$ and take a few home with you.


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