I have written about the leatherwork shop LeCow before – both about my Field Notes sized Flame leather traveler’s notebook, which I won in a leather naming competition, and about Diamond’s leather covers here. I particularly love his puzzle and mountain covers. Every day in the LeCow Facebook group, you see custom covers in fantastic designs. Look at these for example, from the group:
The possibilities seem endless, and I particularly like the different buttons you can choose for the cover. You can combine different options to create custom traveler’s notebook and Hobonichi covers, and there are also leather clips and tassels which you can buy as add-ons.
One of the covers I really liked recently in the Facebook was this one, because the ‘mountain’ on the front formed a full length pocket across the cover, and it had puzzle pockets on the inside.
So imagine my surprise when I received a totally unexpected package yesterday from LeCow …
I was so impressed with this cover. About a month ago, Diamond and I had a chat about him making a cover for me. I said I liked stiff and thick leather in shades of brown and natural tan, and would like an A5 in a combination of mountain and puzzle patterns in a fairly simple design. We did not discuss it further but he took my ideas, put them together, and put them into a surprise review copy for me. I was thrilled!
What I really like about this cover is that it is thick and sturdy, without being heavy or bulky. The leather is great quality and will age beautifully. The amount of work that must go into making the patchwork must be enormous. I am not sure how it is done but it looks like the pieces are individually stitched together on a base of leather. It is so nice and sturdy! The clasp is really simple to use and I like that the button is nice and big – it is a focal point on a pretty detailed, colourful cover without clashing or being too much. The smell of the leather is absolutely divine! When you feel this cover it is substantial and nice and solid in your hands. I wish I could reach out of the screen with this to all my readers so they could feel the leather and smell it. The leather is of such great quality – it will just look better as it gets older and more battered.
All in all I am really impressed. It is not only pretty, but the design is practical. I did not pay for this one, but my review is the same as it would have been if I had. I know this is not going to be my last mountain/puzzle cover. Look at all the add-ons you can choose from!
One thing about Diamond and his shop that I really like is that he is active, constantly growing and developing new products. He has regular competitions where you can win covers – that is how I received my first one – and he travels to the US to sell his covers ‘in real life’. He is also hoping to have a physical presence at planner conventions which would mean people can feel and test his covers. I wish it was possible to do that with more sellers – I like online shopping but there is nothing that beats holding and touching products.