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Some Bling for Jane

April 1, 2011

Jane has been wearing a hand-me-down collar from her sister.  Hangdog made it, but it is plain, practical and well, just a plain ol’ cow collar.  Sturdy and serviceable, but not too fancy.  Milk cow babies around here start out in dog collars and progress through the bigger sizes of cow collars, in conjunction with occasionally wearing turn-out halters for tethering or adjustable rope halters for quickies.

Made to order:  nice buckle with a roller, a sturdy D ring for quick on and off snapping.  (You know, plan for the worst case scenario, hope for the best.)

Smooth side of the rivets placed on the animal side to avoid any rubbing injuries.  Just what I ordered.

Just a little on the plain side.  With a little inspiration from every day surroundings…

and some rummaging in Hangdog’s tool area, I found the perfect solution.  I didn’t want to spend any money, or add spots to her collar, (potential hardware disease) so stamping a design on the leather was just the answer.  Subtle and just a wee bit showy if you look.

Tools needed:

Mallet (this one has hard rubber tips)
scrap leather for testing
stamping tools

Even though it is a piece of outside tack, I still want it to look like I at least gave it my best effort.  I wanted the barb wire to be in the center of her collar, so measuring was in order.  I love my Omnigrid rulers, and not just for quilting, the design is so useful with its two colors for dark or light fabrics leather and I like being able to see what is underneath too.

The collar measures 1 ½ inches, so I made my mark at ¾ of an inch to center it.  I just used an ink pen, so it was visible on this dyed leather.

Next to get the leather ready to receive the stamping it needs to be cased, or wet down.  Using a damp sponge, wet both sides, not soaking wet, but just damp enough that the tool will make a cut in the leather when stamped.

None of this has to be perfect – these are cow garments we’re talking here, subjected to all weather and various other things that people associate with cows… .

It’s helpful to practice a little, so you know where to place your tools before committing to working on the final piece.

I started at the buckle end using the rule of odds to stamp my barbwire design.

I started with three wire, one barb, and then went to seven wire and repeated the one barb, seven wire count until I reached the first hole.

Dirty fingernails optional – I was trying to get this done between chores.

The end.

In use.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    April 1, 2011 4:28 pm

    Beautiful and Hand made with Love for Jane! 🙂

  2. April 1, 2011 4:44 pm

    Now all she needs is a noisy bell 😉 😉

    • April 1, 2011 5:28 pm

      Linda, I’m thinking I’m gonna have to get out her Gramma’s bell, just so I can keep track of her this summer! I haven’t used a bell on a cow since then and it has just the right sound, although it would probably drive her crazy 😉 I’m already there… 😀

  3. Marcia permalink
    April 1, 2011 5:02 pm

    Beautiful! I do carving and tooling on leather also – my goal is to someday make a saddle from scratch. I’m sure Jane is very appreciative of her re-designed “necklace”. Off the subject – will you breed her at a year or a bit over? (seems like her bd is coming up May?) and will you AI or use a bull? I am planning on breeding our Holstein cross heifer in June – she’ll be 22 months old – hoping for a March/April calf.

    • April 1, 2011 5:32 pm

      Marcia, have you seen Linda’s work?

      I’m going to breed her this August for a May/June calf – and probably AI to a low birth weight bull, since she will be two when she calves. Her mom was 27 months at her first calving and lived fairly long and never missed a beat until she was 11 and then it kind of went down hill from there 😦 But she produced lots of calves and lots of milk in that time.

      Truly, I wish Jane would stay this age forever… I hate to think of 12 years down the road!

      • Marcia permalink
        April 2, 2011 6:32 am

        I have seen Linda’s work – not live but via her blog – it is incredible! Also have visited with her about the saddle/leather shop and western type fair they have sort of nearby me in Sheridan WY. My Molly cow is 4 and going on her 3rd calf due the end of June – boy the time sure goes by fast! Re: bell – we had to put a bell on Molly’s calf last summer to keep track of him in the tall grass – she would bed him down and then go off and graze – SHE knew where he was but I didn’t!

  4. claudia w permalink
    April 1, 2011 6:31 pm

    Pretty cool! Jane should be proud.

  5. Sunnie permalink
    April 2, 2011 6:29 am

    Dang, that is one good looking cow collar! Good job mama!

  6. Fid permalink
    April 2, 2011 6:36 am

    The spring issue of Vogue for Cute Cattle? Oh, if Lucy & Pearl could see this, …! 🙂

  7. April 2, 2011 8:16 am

    It makes me happy to see someone put that much effort into something for an animal, besides a cat or dog. I love all animals and they all make great pets; cow, dog, goat, sheep or any other animal I didn’t mention. I’m sure she enjoyed it and appreciated it. I know it sure looked good.

  8. April 2, 2011 8:52 am

    Such a good philosophy – I still want it to look like I at least gave it my best effort.

    Coming from you I would have expected an electric fence design!

  9. April 2, 2011 12:15 pm

    Beautiful! My mother used to do a lot of leather carving. It’s something I admire but have never started to do. You’ve done a great job there!

  10. Jenj permalink
    April 2, 2011 3:10 pm

    Lovely work! Jane will be the envy of the pasture. 🙂

  11. April 2, 2011 5:15 pm

    Well done- that is a handsome collar!!

  12. April 3, 2011 12:20 pm

    Lovely art work on a simple utilitarian item!! 😉



  1. The Calf | Throwback at Trapper Creek

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