The boys up at Chamberlain, North of Baxter State Park

From January 6, 2003

Greetings from under the drifting snow, up here in Maine, where Brettuns Village Leather somehow struggles through the winter for yet another year.  We're up to our necks in snow, with more on the way.  This yields some interesting observations (put together a small sale page for you, but you have to read 
through this hoo-hah first):

1.  Maine's biggest and loudest whiners are the sledders.  This is modern lingo for what used to be known as snow-mobilers.  Last year they whined that we didn't have enough snow.  This year it's just the opposite - too much snow.  I guess if you go out and spend eight grand on a loud piece of machinery that 
breaks down after every three hours of use you somehow get a license to whine and belly-ache about snow conditions no matter what they may be.

2.  Those of us who live in old houses (BV HQ was built in 1860) don't just get  to enjoy shoveling the driveway, sidewalk, path to the barn and shed, and mailbox.  We also get the added bonus of shoveling the roof.  If you've been with us a while you've heard us describe roof shoveling in past years.  It's a 
hoot, let me tell you.  Your boots barely cling to the shingles as you chip away at ice dams, drifts, and chunks of ice.  Keeps you very focused.  One false move, down you go, and next thing you know you're at the hospital trying to explain how that suet bag got stuck in one place or another.

3.  As soon as you get the driveway cleared so that Aunt Marge can drive over in her low-slung sedan and then winch her sorry carcass out onto the tar for no good reason, the town's plow truck comes roaring by, with Earl Tabor at the wheel smiling and waving like a buffoon.  "Just a winging 'er back" he'll holler 
over the radio when you call him up to give him a good cussin.  You bet.  Try to explain that to Aunt Marge while she waits for her clothes to get out of the dryer.  That's about when I'm glad I was standing in her 'shadow zone,' which allowed me to emerge snow-free from the event, although I was hobbling after 
sliding off the porch roof four times.

Ah yes, the joys of the season.

At any rate, happy by-gosh new year to all of you.  Hope you had fun over the holidays.  We sure did.  Been skating up to camp, skiing down at the local hill (Lost Valley - home to many olympic medalists, believe it or not), and, as usual, getting up at 4 am to fill boxes with leather.  Had a great Christmas,
complete with 16 inches of new snow that fell on Christmas Day.  Nice effect. Another 18 inches fell this past Saturday, so we've got plenty to spare if you need some.

Did you make a New Year's Resolution?  Not me, I just signed up for another year of the same old creed - support the things you believe in, work hard for them, and, most importantly, tickle your kids at least twice each day.  Here at  Brettuns Village we throw our support behind a couple of causes - things we 
believe in - and there we draw the line.  Lots of charities and worthy causes these days, but we find things work better if we focus on a couple of important ones.  You have the same sorts of things going on in your towns, probably.  Around here we support Ducks Unlimited because of the great work they do, almost 
all with volunteers, to protect and preserve wetlands.  11 million acres and counting, which I think is pretty darned impressive.  We also support our local humane shelter because those dogs and cats don't do well fending for themselves in this climate.  The shelter is too small, so they're raising money for a new 
one.  We're onboard with the effort.  Third thing we support is our local library here in Auburn, which is a great place to go if you like to squeeze between aisles while looking for a book.  They need more room and have planned an expansion.  We're there.  I guess I'm just mentioning these things to let you 
know that we set aside some of last year's profits for these three causes.  I wonder if that means you can deduct part of your purchases from your taxes?  Probably have to fill out about 50 forms to get that one through.  If you're still thinking about your resolution for the year, think about volunteering in 
your town in some way.  It's a lot of fun, a lot of work, and a great way to tire yourself out.  

OK, how about some news on leather?  Not much to crow about, except a shipment of thick veg-tan sides on the way, expected to arrive by Feb 1.  These are good sides for shaping and wet forming, but only so-so for tooling or carving.  Weights will be north of 10 oz, possibly as high as 14 oz, natural tan color.  
The seller didn't have a way to gauge the thickness properly.  I tried to sell her one of ours, but she wasn't having any of it.  You can still get one of our gauges, by the way.  Still on sale.  Hold on to your horses, we'll let you know when these sides arrive.  Nobody will  know except for our subscribers - you get first crack at them.
Pricing is still up in the air.

Here's an odd-ball item - we have about 100 sides of lime green nubuck, 4.5 oz, roughly 15 square feet per side.  These are $35 each, free shipping (as usual).  Pretty bright stuff so be sure to wear your wayfarers when working with this leather.

We put a few things on a sale page for you folks.  Here's a link:

No big deal - some suede (6 hides for $100), some rivets (5,000 for $25), some 
hand sewing thread (4 gross for $35).  The thickness gauges are still there too, 
but only a few left.  Give us a holler if you have any questions about the sale. 
Over in the trunk barn we've added a couple of newly-refinished antique trunks 
to our For Sale page.  Here's a link if you'd care to take a look:

Well, I guess I drank too much Mountain Dew today.  Sorry that this letter went 
on for so long.  It's snowing again right now.  Great.

Live it up this year - it's going to be a good one.
Village Leather