Besides getting completely obsessed with the linen fabric that I’m currently working with, I’ve also become quite a hoarder of leather horse bridles. They are strewn about the floor of my studio in complete disarray. This happens because every time I make a new bag, I need to dig through all the different bridles to find just the right one to fit with the feeling of the tote. No two are alike. I strip down every harness until it’s broken down into all it’s many pieces. I look at the hardware, the condition of the leather & if I’m really lucky some really fantastic brass fittings will be found. I don’t always use the most “beautiful” strap. I tend to lean toward the broken in ones with a bit of wear & tear. This gives the bag personality & character that you just can’t get from a brand new strap. I polish up the brass bits (not TOO much mind you) & oil the leather then lay it all out on the table. When it’s all put together the total package pleases me. I also like the slight smell of a stable when you get near the strap. That’s just a bonus.