If for some reason you'd been visiting us in Central Maine back in December but in a blinding snowstorm you had wandered off into the night and clocked yourself on a low-hanging maple branch, and if you just started waking up right about now, you might start wondering what time of year it is. Feels warm, sort of, and the sun is a little higher in the sky by mid-day, but that doesn't balance against the snow that's still a few feet deep everywhere. You'd also be wicked hungry. Cold too, I suspect. Of course, the first thing on your mind would be the outcome of the Superbowl, which isn't a very popular subject in New England this year, and then the final four, which never really affects us in that special way it seems to get a death grip on some states, and maybe how the race for president is going or not going, as the case may be. You'd rub your head, smooth out your clothes, and walk into the village to get a bite to eat. Right after the mashed acorn squash it'd hit you hard, as if cousin Charlie had walloped you amidships with a trout - you've missed all those Brettuns Village newsletters! Well, relax, Jasper, I haven't pounded out any of these outhouse emergency back-up pages in a while. Here's some news for you:
True shell cordovan is hard to get these days, but we've got the good stuff, tanned by Horween, available in black only. We've got them on the Hides and Sides page on the site if you feel like looking at a horse's butt (that's where cordovan comes from, I kid you not). Black only. Our shipment of shells (the name given to this piece of a horse's hide because 'butt cheek' is socially unacceptable) includes the following colors: black. I know from experience that I'll get at least ten e-mails asking if we have brown or oxblood or navy or chestnut or celery or 'brown like my coffee table' or with polka dots, etc, so to save us both some time here's the answer to your e-mail, in case you're one of those ten folks who will ask:
"Thanks ever so much for contacting us to inquire about available shell cordovan colors. At the current time we have the following: black."
And yes, I already know that if we're working our way down through the stack and just happen to come across one in that special color that you and only you want and really, really need, I'll call you, personally.
So there you go.
On our Thin Hides/Lightweight Leathers page we've got black garment horse fronts, black garment quality cowhide sides, black deer skins, white deer skins, and a very, very nice super-soft garment cowhide in a buckskin color that's called Palomino. These are half-hides that are very, very nice. Check them out here.
If you haven't tried our fish hides yet then you've got something to look forward to. Sure. Fish. These are skins from carp, salmon, and perch that roam free or in pens and eventually end up under the knife, I guess, for one reason or another. The skins get de-scaled and tanned, then dyed and finished, which yields the following scenario:
"Hey, Bob, where are you workin' these days?"
"Oh, I'm a skinner over to the fish tannery."
"Well, that explains why the seagulls follow you all over town."
We just got a new shipment in, about half a school (rimshot) in blue or red. They make great accent pieces on all sorts of things, although I can't seem to think of any right now. They don't smell like fish. I knew you were wondering.
Shipments expected next week include more sole bends (the ones tanned for use as floor tiles) and a load of deer skivers, which are very, very thin pieces of deer skin in an off-white color which you can dye in your bathtub and why not throw in the dog at the same time so that everything matches because once that dog hops out and shakes...just picture it.
Coming soon: Dog collars and matching leashes, believe it or not, on a new site that my eldest is developing: That-Dog.Com which was named after you-know-who, aka the pooch who has her head on my boot right now and is snoring like a Husqvarna chainsaw.
So, it's mud season to the lumberjacks, but sugar season to many of us, with sugarshacks belching out the nicest smelling smoke of the year, and all sorts of maple treats to be had. On your list of Things to do in This Lifetime be sure to include a trip to a sugaring operation some Spring in New England. It's really something to see and smell, trust me.
Drop by the site if you have a minute. There are other new things on there, but we're pretty busy so I can't recall them all off the top of my head, which is where these letters are born. Thanks-
Churchill Brettuns Village Leather Auburn, Maine
PO Box 772
Auburn, Maine 04212