Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving


We have so much to be thankful for this year. All week I've been trying to create a beautifully written post about how blessed I feel, but ended up with a list instead.

So this Thanksgiving I'm thankful for these things big and small:

~Benny's summer of unemployment. I seems like a weird thing to be thankful for, I know. But the time we were able to spend with him was so wonderful.
~We're also thankful we made it through that time financially and that Benny has a great job now. One that he likes, and is suited for him.
~For my 4-H advisors from many years ago, Kay DeWeese, Vivian Brelsford, and Joyce Bricker. As I've been designing all the new products this year I'm reminded of them and all they taught me. How else would I have known to wrap the thread around the button to make a shank? I hadn't realized until recently how much these women really shaped the path I would take.
~For my family of course. We're all healthy, happy and have great friends. What else could we want.
~For my customers and friends I've met through J.J. Boyles Leather. This has been an exciting year and I have great things planned for 2011 as well. Because of you I've stretched myself into new directions I never thought I would take. It's thrilling and nerve wracking at the same time, like a roller coaster. Thank you for being there with me, and your continued support and encouragement!

Have a wonderful day today and tell the people you love you're thankful for them!
xo Julie

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Now I'm in the spirit!

I have lots of news to tell and some great new journals to show you. But not today.  This video brought tears to my eyes with memories and made my heart sing.  Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Great Holiday Gift Wrapping Dilemma

It's that time of year again.  These are the days when I become obsessed over my holiday packaging.  This is the big question I've never been able to answer.(Much like the chicken and egg question)  When you order a gift, either from me or another handmade maker, do you open the package if it's wrapped to see your item, or do you leave it wrapped until it's time to give the gift?

All through the year I send out my packages wrapped in brown Kraft paper and white string. I've always liked this look especially for the journals; it feels nostalgic and just seems right. But the Holidays are a different story. I like to be a little more festive since I know so many of these journals and accessories will be for gift giving.  This will be my 3rd Holiday season in business and I've never been able to put a rest to this mystery.

The first year I sent out all my journals in drawstring muslin bags. These were extra nice.... but costly!  I would have liked to continue these, but in the end thought it just wouldn't be sustainable in the long run.  Last year I just used the brown paper and red string, or some nicely colored yarn.  I know, I know, you're thinking, "How imaginative, Julie."  Well, I knew I was going to be the featured seller on Etsy for a few days in December so that was my focus last year, so I didn't obsess as much about packaging.  As long as the journals were made to the best of my ability and they were wrapped in something, I was happy.

Now this year is different.  I started obsessing earlier and found this lovely Baker's Twine in red, cream and white.  I think it looks so nice with the brown paper and is just the right thing for the upcoming holidays.  As of this week I'm officially ending my yearly Holiday Gift Wrapping dilemma. The choice is really yours whether to leave the wrapping intact until you give the gift, or to gleefully unwrap the package as soon as it arrives on your doorstep. I know what I would do....... Never has a package arrived at my door without me tearing it open to see what's inside. (even if it's not mine... I know, I know...)  It's not a matter of trust for me; I'm very confident of the quality of the products I order. I just can never resist the temptation! Here's what you'll see when you open up that USPS Flat Rate Box from J. J. Boyles this season

I hope you'll like it!  It's earth friendly, cost effective, and good lookin'.  Really when it comes down to it, it's what's inside that wrapping that matters the most. Right?

Coming this week: Special Edition 2011 One Year Leather Diaries, and oh my are they special.  I can't wait to show you!   Stay tuned......

Thursday, November 04, 2010

New in the Shops!

I was going to say "New Stuff in the Shops but my family scolds me when I call my lovely handcrafted leather journals and iPad cases "Stuff". :)

I have many, many new items in my shops just in time for Holiday Shopping. I've been so excited all summer getting these designed, made, photographed and listed. So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and take a look at what we've been working on for the last few months.  Here are a few of my favorites...

Leather iPad Cases and Sleeves

This one is really special!  A leather iPad case with our signature baseball stitch up the side, and a really unique closure. The case is made from a single piece of leather, coated in black on the inside, and hand rubbed with antique patina on the outside.  It comes in Antique Tan, Antique Saddle Tan, Antique Brown, and Antique Black.  Now traditionally, black isn't a big seller in my shops, but this black has undertones of dark brown that show through and it is so beautiful, I had to include it for this special iPad Case.

These are the Antique leather iPad Envelope Cases. They're designed like the Office Memo cases, only these are in landscape format.  Available in 3 colors.  Even though I'm very fond of the Office Memo style, this is a great alternative, and I might be making one of these for myself!

The leather iPad sleeve is simple, classic, and has an interesting curved feature at the opening.  It's designed to be easier by having the curves where your thumbs and fingers naturally go to pull out your iPad. It's available in 6 colors and made with premium, full grain veg tan leather.  Incidentally, this iPad sleeve in Antique Saddle Tan will be making a television appearance after Thanksgiving on a MAJOR TV Network!!!!  Stay tuned for more details on this.

Leather Kindle Cases
 These Leather Kindle Cases and Sleeves also fit the Nook and the Kobo.  I've used both the Kindle Sleeve with the Strap and the basic Kindle Sleeve, and can't decide which I like best!  Have I mentioned how much I love my Kindle?  No? Well, I do love it!  It's so easy to read, and one of the most interesting things happened when I got mine and began using it. All my kids loved it too!  Everyday they ask me, "Can I read the Kindle, Mom?"  Anything that gets my group to WANT to read more is a good thing in my book. (pun intended)   Hmmm, might be a good gift idea in there somewhere. 
Anyway, these Kindle Cases come in 6 colors and are just the right thing for your device. Almost all the Kindle cases you find on the market are the portfolio type that open like a book. In my way of thinking, the Kindle is great all by itself. It's light and easy to carry around or hold. Why would you want to put it into a case that adds bulk and makes the device more difficult to use? I designed these cases for you in mind, just pull your Kindle out of the sleeve and READ!

As if all these new things aren't enough, I've got more!  I'll be adding some new iPad cases soon and one very special style journal that will be a Special Edition and will only be around until Jan 31, 2011.  Stay tuned....

You can find all these new J.J.Boyles Leather items in my Etsy Shop or my Website


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Poppytalk Handmade Market Holiday Market One

Please enjoy this beautiful lookbook created by Poppytalk Handmade for the first of their Holiday Markets.

I've had a table at the Poppytalk Handmade Market for several months, and must say Jan and Earl at Poppytalk are some of the kindest, hardest working professionals I've worked with. I'm very honored to be a part of this market. You can find my table here: Julie Boyles Table 57
Be sure to look at all the tables, you'll find some very special items for the gift giving season.