Yeah, that's right, I'm doing crafts.  Yesterday, whilst waiting for the mail I took my "reusable tote" pattern for a test drive.

Later, whilst on a frustrating quest up and down the Valley looking for a local source of impregnated (snicker) canvas, I made the decision not to purchase any more canvas from Princess Auto.  Most (if not all) of their products are manufactured in China and for the following reasons I will not source my canvas from them:

1. It is my desire to support Valley businesses by buying local (even if their product is also made in China, at least someone local is making money from me).

2. Princess Auto canvas is already treated - of what exactly the treatment consists is anyone's guess as PA does not specify. I would rather not subject my friends to possibly toxic substances leaching directly onto skin.

3. It's a hella long drive to Princess Auto - why waste fuel to purchase something made in China from a gigantic business which can do with out my patronage?

4. Lastly, the locally available canvas is offered at a reasonable price.

The only downside is that the material from the local canvas shop is not treated with a water resistant product.  However, I have been doing a bit of research on how to do this myself using safe, locally sourced products.

Before plastic and petroleum based products became widely available, waterproof fabrics (for tents, clothing, etc),  were made using plant or animal based oils and waxes.  For my next amazing adventure, I'm going to make my own waxed cotton/oil cloth from which to sew another cagoule.  Most recipes consist of wax, oil and turpentine.

Apparently the turpentine acts as a carrier for the wax/oil and will completely disperse after airing out for a week or two.  Common waxes include paraffin and beeswax mixed with oils such as linseed, mineral, olive or sunflower.  Some people also citrus oil to mask the scent of linseed.  It's important when choosing an oil to consider spoilage.  Some oils will turn rancid over time, and rancid oil is the second last thing you want to smell like.

For my purposes, I purchased some beeswax from a local producer, Cosman and Whidden Honey and will be obtaining the other ingredients, including the canvas, this week.

As an aside, I stopped at a local building supply store to see if they carried treated canvas.  The guy working there asked what I needed it for and I explained that I had wanted a waxed canvas pull over jacket, but could not afford $200-$300 charged for just such a garment.  I explained that this left me with two options - to make it myself or to go without.  So I'd used a treated canvas tarp and made the prototype jacket I was wearing.  I showed him how I had messed this one up a little bit here and there, and told him that I was looking forward to making another.  He told me how he likes to walk his dogs in the woods and that the jacket would be perfect for just such a task.  We shared some doggie anecdotes, but because the store did not carry canvas tarps, I continued on my merry way.

As I was getting into the car, I saw the guy leaving the store and making a bee line for me, so I put the window down to talk to him.  He asked me how much I would charge to make such a jacket for him! I told him that it was not my intention to sell the jackets and that I had no idea what it would be worth.  He asked that I come back when I'd completed another so he could test it out for size.  He then asked that I give some consideration to pricing.

So, it appears that I may have unwittingly recruited a customer!

Homemade tote bag made yesterday morning and 7oz of beeswax purchased today.


  1. Wow, look at you go. That tote bag looks amazing

  2. Hey Karen! Thanks!

    Storm bound with cabin fever and weird things start to happen, including crafts!