I think that I've probably lamented about spring time in Maine for the
last several years in a row. You get stuck reading this garbage about
meltwater, and that's too bad, really, but here comes some more of it. We're right into that season here upcountry, and the only thing that makes it seem
alright is that pretty soon we'll have black flies to enjoy. You've read the news - we Americans, as a group, are overweight. Blackflies help keep the
excess weight off us northern folks. If you're too weak from blood loss you can't lift the fries to your mouth.
This old house where we live and work was built in 1882, according to
the old deeds registered at the County building. It was a pretty
standard New England
Cape at the time, not terribly huge, no indoor plumbing, with more room for horses than people. A former owner expanded the footprint of the place sometime
in, oh, maybe the 1930s, adding on a sunroom and large bedroom to the back of the house. Under the addition, when Amanda and I bought this place (for about
what it costs you to buy a car in your town these days) there was what we call a 'daylight basement' under the addition, but there was no passage from the old,
original cellar to the new (1930s) cellar. We had a mason friend poor concrete floors in both cellars years ago, so now my office is down there. Why am I
telling you this? Because of my shoes, that's why.
To get out front when the trucks arrive to find out we still, after
14 years, do not have a loading dock nor fork lift (but 2006 is feeling
lucky) I have to walk
around the back of the house, circle the barn, and creep up the slope to the dooryard. Tricky in snow and ice, but we haven't had much of that this year.
What we've got is mud. Good old glacial till, saturated to the point of blurring the line between solid and liquid, with cool features such as the
ability to make weird sucking noises when you trod up the hill. I'm covered in the darned stuff, but you'd have to see That Dog to understand who really
catches the brunt of it.
I'm just bellyaching. Ready for things to dry out, ready to run
the tractor, ready to swat some bugs. Ready to get the boat in the
water so I can remember
that I forgot to change the lower unit oil so the motor can grind to a halt when I'm at the far side of Brettuns Pond with full dark coming on, which is when I
remember that I forgot to put the emergency back-up auxiliary power supply (canoe paddle) in the storage compartment, so then it's 'heave out the anchor,
pull your self along, heave out the anchor...' How I do love summer. And, oh, yes, there will be bugs.
Make it through the time change OK? Sleepy? So aren't those
daughters of mine. If you've been reading these newsletters since
Volume 1 Issue 1, you remember
when those two stinkers were 2 and 4 years old. Add ten years to each, and you can see that we're creeping into teenage territory. This is why, for example,
last Tuesday night I was dialing a phone for all I was worth to vote for a singer. If you know what I mean then you don't need to me to explain it, and if
you don't know what I mean then I can't explain it. Bonding with the kids? Maybe.
OK, enough drivel and verbal flotsam. What's new around here...must
be something. Oh, I know. More leather craft tools, and some
of these are good
for antique trunk work too, so I've sent this message to both groups. When worlds collide...
We're now set up as vendors for a company called 'Techni-Edge' which
is a USA company specializing in high-quality utility knives and replacement
Whether you're trimming leather or hacking the canvas off an old trunk, a good utility knife is essential. The ones we're selling on both sites now are very,
very nice, with a rubberized grip for traction (I'm not sure but traction seems to be an important feature in hand tools) and a cool dial-thing on the side that
allows you to swap the blades out quickly after you push too hard at an angle and break the tip off the current blade, sending the little teeny tip of the
blade across the room and into the cat's fur, causing, thereby, the cat to whirl into a frenzy of couch destruction the likes of which haven't been seen in your
village in years. You calmly twist the dial, swap the blade, and get back to work. You are, among other things, very, very smooth.
Those arch punches have been a big hit and we appreciate all the orders
that have been coming in. If you look through that page on the site
(I'll whip you
up a link here in a second)(or three) you'll note that we politely advise you to never (Evah!) use a steel hammer on any of these tools. You're supposed to use
a rawhide mallet or a synthetic mallet. Well, I'll bet you can guess what's coming, but there's a Made-in-Maine twist to it.
Checking with our New England sales rep for some other items, I just
happened to mention that we should be selling good mallets to go with the
'Garland Industries makes the best mallets, and they're right here in Maine,' he says. Sweet. So, now we have synthetic head mallets, rawhide mallets, and
split-head mallets (this type has interchangeable heads, just change them if they ever wear out) in a few different sizes. We can add to this line anytime
if you need something heavier than what you see on the site.
Hole punches - we've been selling some el-cheapo rotary punches for
a few years, but they don't last long. Finally found some heavy-duty
interchangeable cutting diameters. I like these things. They're easy to use, simple of design, and built to last, being cut from a single piece of steel and
machined accurately to work well.
All of these tools are shown on the tools pages:
For leather use this link:
For the tools page on the trunk site, hit this one:
Added a couple of new trunks to the For sale page last week, including
a Louis Vuitton if you're hunting for one that's been butchered.
It arrived on life
support, we did our best but, for goodness sake, we're not miracle workers. See the For Sale page on the trunk site if you want to have a look at it or if you
just want to see how much loot we're asking for the thing. Brace your feet.
Thanks and sorry to be so long winded. Wipe your feet before you come in this house!
Brettuns Village, Inc.