Sunday, July 31, 2011


This was a pretty relaxing weekend.  Jillian and I, along with our friends Natalie and Chris, relaxed all Saturday at the Del Mar Beach Resort aboard Camp Pendleton and I spent all day today throwing together another wallet while hanging out with Pepper and Olive. 

I'm still not at a point where I can be satisfied with my final products.  I ran into a few problems with this forgetting how to stud up a spider web.  The last time I did  a spider web was at least six or seven years ago, but as always I had a blast putting this beast together.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


1950's Chippewa Engineer Boots repair.  Now that's some amazing patina!

Friday, July 29, 2011



ARTISAN ar·ti·san [ahr-tuh-zuhn] -noun: a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsperson.

I've added a new entry onto my short list of people I believe are true artisans.  I received my Mexican Marine Corps souvenir ring from Innis of Fine Light Trading a few days ago and haven't taken it off since.  The attention to detail he applied to this custom-made ring is amazing and totally lends to the authentic look and feel of an original.  From the latitude and longitude detail on the globe often overlooked when an attempt is made to create a "vintage" style Marine Corps ring, to the unrecognizable difference in weight when compared to my collection of original vintage Mexican souvenir rings, this is as good as it gets.  Not to mention Innis is the only craftsman that reproduces vintage Mexican style service rings. 

When it came down to sizing, I was unable to locate my ring sizer so I provided a guestimate of 8 to 8.5.  He got back with me to double check asking which finger I planned on wearing it on as this seemed a bit too small.  He recommended a 9.5 and he couldn't be any more spot on with it.  This is, by far, the best fitting vintage ring I've owned to date.

This is a man who knows his craft and is obviously genuinely passionate about what he does. 

I don't mean to put him on the spot, but I'm sure if you had a custom idea he'd be able to accommodate. 

On my last two combat deployments I brought a couple of original Mexican Marine Corps rings with me.  This piece of art is ready for its first taste of combat life as I'm sure my originals have had many times over the years before me.  There's only one souvenir ring coming with me on my next deployment - Thanks Innis!!

I've already made plans to purchase another ring from him soon.

Contact Innis to have your custom ring made.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Earlier this year I posted a pair of amazing boots I used to call "Riding Boots."  They're actually called "Campus Boots" according to this advertisement.  Now we know...

Original Post

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


As passionate as I am with Vintage Engineer Boots, Jillian is obsessed with vintage Carlo of Hollywood watercolor's.  Over the years, we've owned enough Carlo's to fill a decently sized art gallery. 

Jillian has decided to display her knowledge and passion for these midcentury masterpieces in her own art gallery in the form of a blog.  In it she'll include photos and information regarding the artist's watercolors, the frames and shadowboxes associated with his work as well as those few revivalists out there recreating frames using similar style wood. 

This will also be a forum for readers to share their collections, missed opportunities and ask questions.   It doesn't stop there...don't hold me to this, but I'm almost positive she'll also showcase her other passion for midcentury Moss Lamps.

I'm a huge fan of these paintings and look forward to what she has to bring to the table.  She also has an amazing eye for midcentury doo dads and whatsits, so this should be a thoroughly enjoyable journey.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Back in June of 2010, I posted a sweet pair of Brown Bomber Chippewa Engineer Boots belonging to Coleslawyum with the full Okuyama treatment.  Well, this return customer has done it again.  Check out his early 1990's Chippewa's just back from the man himself.  These have the double leather outsole, late-era Cat's Paw heel caps (made in Canada) and of course Okuyama's custom buckles.

These have to be the coolest "shorties" I've seen a while.  Congrats Coleslawyum!!

Photos courtesy of and Coleslawyum 


Mutt and his Carolina's.  Thanks for reminding me of this photo, Cameron!


26 July 1947: The National Security Act of 1947 became effective, reaffirming the status of the Marine Corps as a separate military service within the Department of the Navy. The Act Provided for Fleet Marine Forces, and confirmed the Corps' mission of seizing and defending advanced bases, as well as land operation incident to naval campaigns.

"The Marine Corps shall be organized, trained, and equipped to provide fleet marine forces of combined arms, together with supporting air components, for service with the fleet in the seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of such land operations as may be essential to the prosecution of a naval campaign." Thus, the law now recognizes and directs that the maintenance of fleet marine forces is the fundamental function of the Marine Corps. Such a stipulation is wholly consistent with the concept of the Marine Corps, which, for the last quarter of a century, has pioneered and specialized in amphibious operations. It is in the concept of the fleet marine forces that the amphibious character of the Marine Corps finds its most convincing emphasis.

True, the Marine Corps since its earliest days has engaged in amphibious operations. Also, the fact cannot be disputed but what the Marines, in the years following World War I. developed the amphibious knowledge which in World War II proved to be prerequisite of victory in global warfare. Yet the fundamentally amphibious nature of the Marine Corps, so apparent in fact and action, was not recognized in the basic laws governing the armed forces. Neither the National Defense Acts of 1903, 1916, nor 1920 even mentioned the Marine Corps.


Sunday, July 24, 2011


I've been having a blast relaxing at home and making things out of leather recently and came up with the idea of creating something that honors my passion for Engineer Boots. 

What better way to this than with an Engineer Boot instep strap-style key lanyard?  They look cool and are completely functional.  I tooled around with a few styles and before I realized it I had ten of them laying in front of me.  These are completely hand crafted from beginning to end - The leather is hand cut, hand punched,  hand dyed (or left natural, which ages wonderfully), swivel snap hand riveted in place and finally hand studded, as required/requested.  Having said that, no two are the same. 

They are made with 3-4 ounce veg-tanned natural leather and are available in standard and small size nickel rectangle roller buckles, standard size nickel non-roller buckles as well as standard and small size brass non-roller buckles.  I also have a limited run with custom buckles from Japan's one and only, Takeshi Okuyama. 

*I also have another set of limited run Horween Shell Cordovan key lanyards coming up.

All hardware color corresponds with the nickel or brass colored buckles which include the studs and rivets that secure the swivel snap hooks.

The edges are left raw and not beveled or edged in order to stay true to the look of an instep strap. 

Limited run:  Custom Okuyama buckles, both standard and small sizes. 

I also decided to create a leather wallet lanyard that connects the key to one of my wallets. The wallets have been my favorite project so far and I think I'm getting close to a product I'm happy with.

Studding belts and making wallets are super time-consuming, so for instant gratification I'll continue to make these fun little pieces.

All key lanyards will have a pointed strap; however, the rounded end can be made upon request.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


 Brand: Sports Wear
Circa: 1950's
Size: Medium
Chest: 18"
Length: 25"
Sold For: $399.43 / 1 Bid
Seller:  farmhouse_vintage

Here's the description from an original 1950's add for this awesome $1.50 t-shirt: "A comfortable shirt for the neat rider.  Beautifully made of fine white cotton jersey in a very close knit.  Looks "smooth" on and feels it, too.  Finished with an attractive Indian head and script design processed in maroon across the front.  Big demand for this shirt makes it available at an attractively low price.  Sizes are small, medium and large."


Friday, July 22, 2011


"Alexander Calder (July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976), whose illustrious career spanned much of the 20th century, is the most acclaimed and influential sculptor of our time. Born in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially "drew" three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. Calder also devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted sheet steel. Today, these stately titans grace public plazas in cities throughout the world." -Calder Foundation


Although a lot of people know his work through the amazing abstract sculptures used around the world, some may be more familiar with the mid-century barkcloth fabric with his mobiles design. 

The very first big ticket item Jillian and I purchased together when we started dating over eleven years ago was this all original 1950's three-piece Rattan chair and table set with a famous calder bakcloth design.  We paid a grand for the it.  Here is Pepper Anne doing what she does best...looking ever so glamorous.  Over the years, Jillian has found original barkcloth panels of this print, both deadstock and slightly used.  We've used them for pillows and curtains.  We may even still have some tucked away in the garage somewhere.


If you ever find yourself in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area and in need of a boot/shoe repair Tulsa Shoe Rebuilders is one place to definitely keep in your back pocket.  Check out the pair of Carolina Engineer Boots, belonging to Smittybat of SuFu, that were recently completed by them.

"We specialize in shoe repairs, cowboy and western boot, fashion boot and hiking and work boot repair, recrafting and restoration -- Tulsa Shoe Rebuilders is the oldest shoe shop in the city and we have been in downtown Tulsa serving the U.S. since 1928."