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  1. I have been practicing with my swivel knife and stamps, that I inherited from my grandparents, on some old veg tan scraps from the Local surplus store, for about six weeks now and feel like I will be ready for my first projects soon. I want to make leather stick barrettes for my mom and me. I still need some more practice because I'm still not confident in my abilities yet, but I think I have almost everything I need. I'm going to buy a piece of belly from the surplus store to practice on since it's probably a little better quality than the supper thick, warped, dry scraps I've been practicing on. I ordered an 8-1/2"X11" 6-7oz piece of leather from Springfield LC. It was a nice piece, I liked the stiffness, but seemed a bit thin for the project, so I ordered a piece of 7-8oz and it should be here in a week or two. Should the 7-8oz piece be ok? for the stick, I'm using a dowel rod from Walmart, because that is what I use for my Native Amercan beaded stick barrettes. I want my barrette to be black. I'm brewing up a batch of vinegaroon right now. I've done a lot of reading about it here on the site. If it goes wrong, I have a bottle of black Feibings oil dye. Do I burnish the edges before or after I dye, or is it personal preference? I'm going to be burnishing with water, a wooden burnishing tool and paraffin wax. something I'm really concerned about is the finish. Mom wants the natural look and mine will be black. Since the leather we will use will be some what flexible, I'm concerned that acrylic finishes will crackle. Unless I could wet form them into the shape we want, but I don't know how that is done.We need a finish that is moisture resistant because we plan on wearing our barrettes almost every day, which means we might have damp hair when we put our hair up. I have read on the site that a 50/50 mixture of beeswax and neetsfoot oil applied to the leather, then melted in with a hair dryer was a good way to water proof leather. Would that work for this project? Would burnishing the flesh side aid in making it water resistant? On a side note, from what I understand, vinegaroon will turn some wood black. I think I'm going to cut a piece of the dowel rod off and see if it reacts to the vinegaroon. I'd like to have a black stick to go with my black barrette. If that doesn't work, some of the oil dye will work on the dowel rod, won't it? Thank you for your time.
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