Friday, January 09, 2015

Fiskars Fuse Creativity System and cutting LEATHER!

I received a Fiskars Fuse Creativity System as a gift from my sister Lori for my birthday.  She  bought it for me because she knew I had been looking for a cutter that would cut leather...but it needed to be simple - i wasn't ready for a huge learning curve.  Lori owns just about every cutter known to man, including the electronic ones.  I sent her leather samples....and she tested away.  This was the one that met my criteria!
The Fiskars cutter is a manual cutter.  It weighs a TON!  But it is super powerful! You can use brand dies other than Fiskars with it.
I wanted to use Tim Holtz Dies, so I went online and watched a you tube that told the right adapters to use.   Lori had given me the adapters, too..... although you can also use the equivalent size acrylic plates and/or self healing mats,  cut to size.  There are a lot of you tubes that show this.
OK...,these are the dies i used.
I used them with the fiskar adaptor cutting plate, the b shim and the c shim.  It said to use the b on top of the c, but the b is so thin that the die cut thru it. I didn't want the shim to be shredded after minimal uses, so after that i put it under the thicker c, and it still cut my leather fine.
I tried to use the Tim Holtz Alterations thin border dies, but they would not work on the leather.  I built the adapters up into a configuration that was a thick as the above Tim Holtz dies, but the leather would not cut.  Finally I realized the leather was thicker than the depth of these thin dies.  Boo Hoo. 
Nope....these dies won't cut thru leather...will cut paperstock
So this is what I cut.  I used several different thicknesses of leather for my experiments.
I used 2-3oz leather (each ounce is approx. 1/64 "), suede and embossed leather that was approx. 4 oz (1/16th inch)  and 6 oz leather (about 1/8th inch).  The 6 oz leather did not cut all the way thru, but sort of partially cut/embossed the leather.  That is the brown zig zag piece in the pics below.  I had another piece of 6 oz brown leather that was very stiff.  It would not cut/emboss this piece at all.
aren't they cool!  

The suede piece is the pinkie brown one on the left.  The one on the far right is the 6oz piece that did not cut all the way thru. The rest are 2-5 oz leathers. The wings were the only ones that cut with a bit of raggedness - but not too much.  You can see the bit of fraying on the right wing if you enlarge it..... I will probably use these doubled up to put on thicker veg tanned leathers for cuffs. Awesome, huh?
Now I need to get some more of the thicker Tim Holtz  Sizzix dies that also emboss.  For that I will use 4 oz veg tanned dies that have been softened with water so that hopefully they will take the embossing.
Stay tuned.
Rainbow on Kauai to welcome the New Year

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


 A Funeral and a Wedding

Mr. amd Mrs. Matthew Linhares
Services for my father were the day before, on Thursday......
Friday night my sister Lori and her husband Ken held the rehearsal dinner at Marianni's.
Highlight of the evening was when our long lost foster brother Laurie Yee came to the dinner. I hadn't seen him in 20 years - he is a chef for Google.  We all had a marvelous time catching up.  Our other brother, Jack, couldn't make the dinner - but I am so happy we reunited with both of them again!
Cousin Walter Sandmann, My sister, Lori Girl and my brother, Laurie Boy!
Saturday Lori and Ken hosted the wedding and reception of their  son Matthew Linhares  to Geraldine Linarte,  for about 200 guests.
Santa Clara Mission Church
The Bride arrives in style
St. Mark, Jaden and Jacob
My sister Lori and her hubby, Ken
waiting for the bride...
married at last!
i added this picture because my sons (Sky on the right, Vince on the left) were asked to bring up the Offertory Gifts for the Mass.  They are not religious, and were surprised, but willingly participated....
Geraldine, the Bride, and the entire Linhares gang
The wedding party
Lori and Ken enjoying the moment....
It was a beautiful wedding, and a gorgeous reception.  Lori designed  and made/supervised construction of the invitations, the church bows, the garters, the ring pillow, the table centerpieces, the place cards, .... well everything!  She is amazingly talented and the results were stunning! Guests were treated to candies apples and mini apple baskets of candy

The Bride and groom greet their guests...
Juliette, Ally and Gina
my Aunts..4 sisters and best friends!

The best man - Jeffrey
orange orchids....

so many bows to tie!
dancing aunts and Gigi
93 yr old Henry dancng with a babe!

 Bridesmaid /flower girl jewelry.  The theme was autumn ....

swarovski crystal earrings on gf chain, and a awarovski leaf pendant with a gf bail and chain.
...the presentation card
The flower girl had 2 crystal bracelets and an autumn fairy wand too (in lieu of flower petals)

...and to top it off....
The next morning Lori and Ken hosted a breakfast at their house for about 40 guests......
It was mexican traditional comfort food - chorizo and fresh tortillas....and dozens of donuts!

Whew!  What a week it was!
Monday i fly to LA to start a new job...."Twisted".......

Monday, October 14, 2013


...a Funeral and a Wedding...


Me and My Dad
WWII pic

My dad died on Aug 20th,  10 days after his 93rd birthday.  It was not unexpected, he had been on hospice for 3 weeks, and in failing health way before then....I saw him three weeks before - my sister Lori and I sang to him old family songs from our childhood - and he garnered up the strength to sing WITH us...and bittersweet..
For the past 2 years everyday was groundhog day for my papa.  He did not remember the previous day's frustrations and started each day happy and unaware of his new failings. Eventually he needed around the clock care, and my family was fortunate dad had enough finances to be able to live in his own apartment in a wonderful senior facility and to have the proper care he so needed.
Dad's plane
Dad received the Distinguished Flying Cross during WWII, after being shot down over "the hump" and subsequently walking out of China.   He was an administrative engineer at Lockheed and the chief organizer of the Lockheed/Nasa/JPL Mechanism Symposium.  His Little League Baseball team won the World Series.  He was handsome, funny, often silly, proud, generous, talented and a total chauvinist  ...which often clashed with his 5 daughters ideaology, haha.  When i was a kid i thought he was amazingly clever with finances---we had little cash money, but somehow he figured out how to give us everything we thought we ever wanted.
The fabulous "Bird Avenue"  house we grew up in, in San Jose
He helped raise 6 biological children, 2 foster sons and innumerable other children who moved in when their parents could no longer handle them or they had no place to live.  He also tolerated all the other strays that became part of our crazy and kooky household....and a zillion pets. We were a loud, opinionated, rambunctious group of kids, and he let us be that way. He valued honesty and always kept his word.  When it was time for a licking, he would have us fake cry and pretend he was punishing us - and we'd laugh and laugh. He loved keno, poker parties, and  polkas. He played the piano, the accordion and the harmonica and was an expert carpenter.  His greatest love was airplanes.  When he was 14 he even had his own model airplane store!
finishing a model plane

...with his brothers and one of his model planes
Dad loved tools, and instilled in me my love of fine tools.  He bought me my first tool when I was 11...a jigsaw -  much to the concern of my mom....and then my very first "foredom" tool , and a paasche airbrush. Over the years I acquired a collection of quality tools - all gifts from my Dad.  I still have them all.
We had a fabulous send off for Dad.  The Air Force came and did a Flag Folding in the church before the Mass. Before and after the rosary the church let us show films of my dad playing the piano and being dad, and the organist played my Dad's favorite Italian music....all wonderfully compiled by my sister Gina.  Afterwards we had a family and friends lunch/reception to honor dad.  Once again my sister Gina and her husband Mark had put together an incredible slide show of old photos of my dad and an accompanying soundtrack of polka music.  It was a party my dad would have loved, and you could feel his presence, partying with us.
Dads progeny.....

The fabulous slide show showing my brother and sisters as children

All of us now......

Me and Lori
more grand kids and great grand kids
Dad's companion, Marcia
enjoying the celebration
Ah Papa!
My emotions are SO mixed.  I am happy you are finally reunited with Mom and all of your brothers and sisters and friends.  You are whole again.  It was time.
But still, your passing has hit hard.
You are gone.  You and Mom are GONE. ..
and with your passing I come closer to the reality of my own mortality.
I will miss you Papa. Your mischievous smirk, the way you smushed up your nose and said "oh fooey!"when you were in disagreement with any of us, your beloved Old Spice scent, your piano playing, your obsession with CNN (...well, not so much....)
So many memories.

Love You, Papa.  Give Mama a kiss from me.