Simple Strap Planter

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Since we’ve moved into a larger workshop, there’s so much more room to breathe. As a side-effect, new plants keep showing up. Beth, one of our designers, came up with a sharp idea to make a svelte plant hanger DIY. Using some leather straps, some brass hardware and a terra cotta pot, this is what she came up with.

Assemble your parts – you’ll need three Chicago screws, a long strap of leather, a loop for the hanging point, a terra cotta pot. For tools, gather a drill, masonry bit, leather punch, water jug, scissors, and leather dye if necessary.

You’ll need to cut your leather strap to 48″ long and a width of half an inch. This makes a long, dramatic hanger, but can also be cut to whatever length you need. Beth decided to dye the leather edges to keep it cleanly all black. If you’re going for a natural look or using a lighter leather, you can skip the dye.

Next, grab your drill and a masonry bit and some water to drill out slots into your planter. It is helpful to have a friend pour some water during the drilling – it keeps the dust down and seems to help the bit cut cleaner. Drill two holes next to each other and then you can steadily push the drill bit into the side and cut through the middle of your slot. It takes a little patience, and don’t put too much force on it at once, since the terra cotta can break. After both slots are drilled, rinse off the dust and bring it back inside to your bench.

Feed your leather strap though the slot and measure where you’d like the Chicago screw to be on the ends. These are about 3/4 inches from the slot. Add your hanging hardware to the strap (Beth chose a brass loop and ring combo from Oregon Leather Co.) and attach the other side to the pot. After both ends are attached to the pot, you can find the center point of the strap and add the third Chicago screw to secure the hanging loop.

Lastly, mount to your ceiling or a wall hook and get to plant shopping.

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Joseph and the Abandoned Scout Camp

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Recently, one of my best amigos purchased a little fixer-upper project in Joseph, Oregon. I’ve heard great things about the little town, but until a few weeks ago, hadn’t seen it myself. Being about six hours from Portland, it’s not the quickest getaway. However, now that Greg is living there part-time, I’ve got reason to leave the shop for a long weekend once in a while.

More on Greg’s project in future posts, but I though I’d at least start to show some pics from starting visits. A small group of us spent the fourth of July out there and it was quite fun. The route is directly east through Pendleton, then La Grande, then up and around the west edge of Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and dropping into the gateway to Wallowa Lake. It’s a varied and beautiful drive out, with plenty of small town stops that are reminiscent of the small Kansas towns that I grew up around.

Part of the venture was spent on the east moraine of Wallowa Lake watching the fireworks, then exploring around through an abandoned scout camp. Part of the camp history involves a dining hall fire, floods, landslides and finally a mudslide in 2002 that led to the closure. Also nearby is the Wallowa Lake Tramway, which takes riders to the summit of Mt.Howard. From the 8,000ft elevation, you can look out across the Wallowa Mountains and Eagle Cap Wilderness.

If you get a chance, Joseph is really a unique getaway. I’ll be posting more with subsequent trips.

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Brooke Thompson Engraved Lighters

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This project has been on my mind for a while. It was one of the earliest conversations I had with Brooke when we were chatting about her artwork over a year ago. I had heard she was engraving lighters for a few select friends and while I was asking her to create our bandana illustration, I kept thinking about lighters too. Fast forward to now, and they are finally here.

I envy Brooke’s talent and her amazing mind. The characters she creates are comfortable, funny and bizarre all at once, and in the best ways. She’s taken some of our imagery from the bandana and added her own to this limited collection. Once you order, I’ll put her to work. They won’t run forever and there’s only two places to get them… from me or her. I feel like she’ll continue with some new ideas later, but no telling when these will be discontinued, so if you like one – order it.

Also, to celebrate her unique style, I’ll make you a deal on her bandana edition too. You’re gonna want to polish this thing and maybe cleanup some spilt lighter fluid anyway, so might as well. Use the code BANDANA and get one for 50% off. Also know that these are hand engraved, so your lighter may not be 1000% absolute exact to the flash sheet. Because of this, lighters cannot be returned or exchanged.

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New Belts: the Harrison, the Martin and the Matchstick

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I’ve been meaning to add some new belt models for a while, and I’m happy to finally show them off. After the big studio move, things were understandably chaotic. Now that the dust is settling and some client catch-up work is back on schedule, I can get back to our own offerings.

Starting with the Harrison, I went with a bold, yet comfortable buckle. It has a feel of old folk and rock-and-roll. What belt was George wearing on the cover of “All Things Must Pass”? I’m pretty sure it looked just like this. It uses our favorite English bridle leather, but I also added a new color too – cognac. It’s available in a stout 1 1/2″ and a slightly more subtle 1 1/4″ width.

The Martin is your classic end-bar buckle shape. Timeless looks, tough W&F character. This one’s named after my Dad, but since most of you haven’t met him, you’ll have to take my work that it’s a good fit. Most honorable and hardest working guy I know. Available in a 1 1/2″ that’s good for jeans and a 1″ width – perfect for casual styles and looks great on women or guys.

Our third release is just for the W&F women… the super svelte Matchstick. It’s a clean 5/8″ width with a tiny solid brass center-bar buckle. Sizing for this one has more range, so it can be worn low on the hips or high on the waist. Very versatile for jeans or dresses. Same hard-wearing English bridle leathers, but takes on a decidedly softer feel with the thin width.

All are available in the store today! Built upon order, they ship in about 5-7 days after purchase.

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Wood&Faulk Travel Pack

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We’ve been working on our take for the standard dopp kit for a while now… Even releasing a very traditional shape to our retail partners earlier this year. After producing a few dozen of them, we just weren’t completely thrilled with it. We wanted something a little different and more fun to make. Following a regular production run and an afternoon of feverish experimenting, the new shape emerged. Not only was it more fun to make, it had much more utility than the first design. A larger, bucket-like opening makes contents easier to see and the vintage loop of tent cord works great as a pull or extended hanger. The new design now also has a nylon liner that’s easy to clean.

Now that we’ve finalized the perfect shape, we’re releasing a (very) limited edition to start with. Using the last small bits of a camouflage printed nylon, there will be eight pieces made for the first release. We don’t have enough camo to enter full production, but it’s too cool not to offer a few. So, there’s two of each color way being made with the nylon camo. First some, first served. When we track down another supply of nylon, we might make more in this style.

If you can’t get your hands on the camo version, we’ll be offering continued production with a bark brown nylon liner. The bags are made with water resistant US milled canvas, huge YKK zippers, a small bit of SB Foot leather and vintage stock tent cord. Available in the store today!

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Campfire Starters

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The season for campfires is upon us. Whether you’re in the forest or in your backyard, a simple DIY fire starter is super helpful. Tiandra, of the W&F family, is sharing her fire starter recipe today. Tiandra is a camping master and knows tons of simple tricks like this to prove it.

You’ll need an empty egg carton, about five handfuls of sawdust and some wax. Beeswax, paraffin or even discarded candles can work for this. Try looking for cheap candles at the thrift store or paraffin in your grocery store baking supply aisle.

Start with the empty egg carton and remove the lid. Fill the carton voids with sawdust and pack it down a bit. Heat up your wax over the stove using a double boiler method. Make sure you’re melting wax in a vessel that won’t be affected by the wax and will be easy to clean. Once the wax is melted completely, slowly pour over the sawdust and completely saturate. If it looks like wet oatmeal, you’re doing it right.

After drying, you’ve got a dozen little fire starters ready for your next burn. Carve some shavings to cover and then build your wood structure around it.

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Wood grain, plaid and brass

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Here’s just a check-in of recent things happening in the shop. Firstly, we’re introducing brown stained Ash legs to the campstool options. The darker brown legs looks amazing with all the colors, with my favorite being the tan combo. The lighter seat and dark legs look quite sharp. They are available here as of today.

In personal news, the Landcruiser is getting some new upholstery! The original seats were worn, torn and stained. Driver seat has been missing some foam and was tearing on the entry side as old trucks do. After lots of searching, I finally found the perfect material. I’d been looking for the right plaid, but it’s hard to find in upholstery grade. Happy to share that it’s now in the works. I love plaids, and wanted something that reminded me of the patterns from 80s Porsches and old Mercedes G-Wagens. Should be done in a couple weeks, but here’s the teaser. I’m lucky to have one of my studio mates, Revive Designs, working on it.

Lastly, we’ll have some customized lighters coming to our shop soon. They will be limited in supply and only available through our online store. Brooke Thompson, the brilliant illustrator that worked on our bandana, will be pulling some symbols from that (and more) and engraving into antique brass lighters. As we get closer, I’ll put another post up with details.

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heavy move calls for a heavy sale

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For the last two and a half years, W&F has been happily working out of the Beam&Anchor space in Northeast Portland. In about a month, we will be moving. Extremely thankful for our growth in the past couple years, but now we have lots of heavy stuff to sort out soon. In advance of the move, as we stare at inventory on the racks, maybe a little sale is in order.

In honor of our pending move, HEAVYMOVE will get you 15% off all Northwesterner bags in our shop. Help us help you – stock up today!

It’s already been previewed a little on Instagram, but I thought I’d share some progress pics of our new location here too. Still in Northeast Portland, and really close to our friends at B&A. (They will still be the premier retailer in Portland to buy our goods.) The new shop will still be open for visits, but we’ll not have a retail portion. Just expanded production, design space, plant refuge, and higher employee morale! There’s six of us working as of today, all in about 600sq ft. The new facility will be a little more than 3,600.

We’ll post more as we move in and get settled, and if you’re visiting town, think about stopping by.

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Bagby Hot Springs, Oregon

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Took a rare couple days off recently and decided to check out Bagby Hot Springs in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Even though Bagby has earned decidedly rowdy reputation, I hoped it would be sleepy on a weekday. Upon arrival, thankfully it was. Only a few cars in the parking lot when we arrived, and on the short hike in, we passed all the hung-over campers as they were leaving.

The simple hike follows along the Collawash River and is lined with huge trees – Especially helpful as it was lightly raining most of the day. Walking up to the facilities, we were greeted with a fenced path and a few buildings. There’s a historic cabin, Forestry Service guard house, couple outhouses and the bathhouse. We sheepishly explored the grounds to understand the layout and since there was no one soaking when we arrived, it was easy to claim a tub and start filling it.

After about an hour, a couple other parties showed up. Everyone was friendly and there was plenty of space to enjoy the soak. While we were there, the Ranger stopped in for a cleanup and to make sure fees were paid. The previous nights’ party had left a lot of cans stacked in corners (alcohol is prohibited) and the Ranger was friendly about it, though obviously disappointed that daily cleanups are necessary. It could be an amazingly beautiful facility if everyone would pack out what they brought in, stop setting fires to the benches, carving graffiti on every surface… Regardless, the area is pretty magical when it’s not over crowded and littered.

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beautiful departure

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I’m always experimenting in the shop with new plans. I know I’m really late to the tote party, but I usually don’t move unless things feel really right. After starting to use some new leathers in our products (from SB Foot Tannery of Red Wing Boots fame), more ideas started to emerge. Ideas and directions get planted, a few attempts fail, some ideas get too complicated, but now I think we’ve come up with something simple and special.

This plan has been in the works for a while (and of course leaked plenty on instagram), but I thought a proper launch might be nice. So with the help of some friends and conspirators, we have put together this official launch. It’s a real departure from what we’ve been doing, but as the experiments go around here, it seems comfortable at the same time.

Superb thanks go to Alison Brislin for art direction and as producer, Lisa Warninger for photography, Hannah Ferrara of Another Feather for jewelry, Maya Rose for her line Samuels exclusively for Lowell, Frances May, Ailsa Hopper for hair and makeup styling, Jessica Smith and Emily Mills as represented by Option.

The new bags are available today in our store – I hope you like them.

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