Baseball Bracelet

Baseball Bracelet 9

Major League Baseball is over for yet another season (go Tigers!).  But who says it has to end for everyone else? We have a baseball fan in our family.  Actually, fan is an understatement.  This person is wholly engrossed in obsessed with baseball.  So this is a wee giftie for that person.

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I got the idea from My Ruby Girl and modified it a bit so it would be a bit bigger.

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First you need yourself a baseball, one made out of genuine leather.  This one is from an Ottawa Little League.  Not sure how we ended up with it, but nonetheless …

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Then you take a sturdy craft knife or box cutter and you cut around the seams, leaving a centimetre or two of space. You don’t want to cut too closely because you might cut the threads binding the whole thing together.

Baseball Bracelet 1

Baseball Bracelet 2

Then you can peel off those little centre bits away from the seam.

Baseball Bracelet 3

And then you can peel off the seam, all in one piece.

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You can easily pull off all that sticky string.

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Now you want to find the spot where the seam ends and the stitches are loose. Pull a few of those stitches out so you have space to cut the leather. You don’t want to cut the string.

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Baseball Bracelet 9

Now you want to trim off that excess leather, cutting closer to the seam. Not too close, of course, but close enough that it looks nice and tidy. It’s up to you. Then you’re going to fold your long strip in half and cut it again.

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Now you have two bracelets. If you want, you can stop right here, tack on some string or hardware at the ends for fastening and be done with it.

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But we’re going to take it a little further.

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What if we take both strips and sew them together? Makes the bracelet a bit bigger, right? I have some lovely hemp string here in a nice shade of Toronto Blue Jays blue, for their biggest fan.

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I popped open my Altoids tin containing my special needles.

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And got to work with one of the curved ones. It was a little bit of a challenge to force the string through the small holes, and because of the curve, not all the holes lined up properly but that didn’t really concern me.

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When I had finished, I used the existing holes to sew on some vintage plastic buttons.

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I made sure to tie the knots carefully underneath, and I rubbed a little beeswax over the knots to keep them in place.

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Put a little wax on the buttons, too.

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Then I doubled up the thread to make two loops around which to hook the buttons and fasten the bracelet.

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I used beeswax here too, to strengthen the hemp string.

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And then the loops naturally twisted around themselves.

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The finished product.

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I put a little almond oil into the leather, too, to soften it. It’s a nice little cuff.

Baseball Bracelet Final 2

Extreme Organizer: The Total Nerd Edition

Total Nerd Edition

So you already know that I’m a librarian.  Organizing books is kind of what I get paid for.  I also have a lot of books at home, most of which I like to wave around in the hopes that they will magically help me write my thesis.  And so I can remember the names of the authors through osmosis when my thesis supervisor asks me to back up some theory or another.  But the collection is growing, and it’s getting a little out of hand, hard to find some things.  So I decided to catalogue the whole thing using Library of Congress call numbers (LCCN).

Total Nerd Edition

I love walking through the narrow, ceiling-high stacks of MUN’s QEII Library.  For all of MUN’s failings, they did a good job on their book collection, and it’s rare that I can’t find what I want.  MUN, like most university libraries in North America, uses the LCCN system, which is sorted by subject.  I spend my time mostly in the Gs and Hs, but occasionally I branch out.  I’m not looking forward to the day when I have a real job and no longer have access to libraries like this, with free journal articles at my beck and call.

Book Stacks at MUN library
Book Stacks at MUN Queen Elizabeth II library. Photo (with thanks) via Rob’s Photo World on Flickr.  Click on the photo to see the photo stream.

The best part about the system is that when I’m looking for a specific title, I can always find other titles on the exact same subject (like hegemonic masculinity in team sports, for example, one of my pet subjects) right next to each other. So I figured that if I did that with my own personal collection, then all my own books would be adjacent to books on similar topics, which saves me a search. In addition, if I have a book at home and I know the LCCN for it then I can go to the library and know that any book with a similar number will be on the same topic.

Total Nerd Edition

So I did it.  I have about 450 books, and it didn’t take that long, a few hours here and there with a pen and some address labels.  Most books, at least the academic ones, will come with the LCCN printed on the back of the title page with the publication data, along with various other standard call numbers for other library systems.  Others you can look up through the Library of Congress website, or the library of some academic institution.  There were a few books, just a handful, where no LCCN existed, so I had to kind of fudge it and make it up based on books on similar topics.  But for my own personal system that’s okay.

Total Nerd Edition

Now that it’s all done, there is some stuff that feels to me like it’s mis-catalogued.  Like my anthology on the anthropology of sport is right next to stuff on ritual and performance theory.  I mean I guess it makes sense — it’s just not what I’m used to.  But I’ll get used to it.  And as my collection grows I think the order will make more sense as I fill in some of the blanks.

Total Nerd Edition

So that’s it — you have just seen the heights of my total nerdiness.  I bet you can’t wait until I get back to baking.

Total Nerd Edition