Sunday in Seattle: Leather and Cher

It’s possible the title of this post is misleading since I didn’t actually see Cher in Seattle this past Sunday.  I did, however, meet one of her most fervent and vocal fans, Jesse James of Just Like Jesse James blog fame.

My Seattle adventure started with a drive to the east of Seattle, to attend a class on making floggers, specifically the class on Leather Braided Handle Floggers.  Daddy Wendell was hosting the class at his home because of a scheduling snafu at the Seattle Center for Sex Positive Culture (the class will be held at the CSPC as well, on March 22, go to and look up DaddyW for more information).  There were 5 of us seated around his work table as he showed us the steps involved in flogger making.  He’s writing a book on leather work,  and handed out copies of his flogger chapter along with red pens.  He wanted feedback both on the chapter and his demonstration.

The first thing I learned is that flogger making is a multi day project involving leather, a minimal number of tools and a lot of glue.  The glue is pretty hardcore stuff and must be used in well-ventilated work spaces.  We had a chance to try some of the braiding techniques and discuss the challenges and pitfalls of different techniques and materials.  I especially enjoyed the section on ‘stingy vs. thuddy’ and how to accomplish those goals with different flogger materials and techniques.

Though I won’t be buying leather and gathering tools and supplies for flogger making anytime soon, I have an increased appreciation for what it takes to create good looking ones of high quality.  I feel confident that I can look at floggers with a more educated eye, understanding something about their construction and quality, thanks to Wendell’s class.  And maybe, when I have the space and children old enough to explain it to, I’ll venture into making things like floggers myself.  I know Wendell’s upcoming book will be an excellent guide and reference.

After the class, I headed back to the other side of Lake Washington, ultimately strolling into the Wildrose Tavern to meet Jesse James.  We’d been joking back and forth about not being able to recognize each other.  Jesse is pretty stingy about showing pictures on the web, so all I had to go on was the yellow-toned half-face shot she uses as a Twitter avatar.  She’d jibed me by saying I might not be recognizable with my clothes on.  As it was, the Rose wasn’t crowded at all, and even facing away from the door, Jesse was instantly recognizable.

Jesse was exactly who you think she is based on her blog:  cool, funny, humble, smart.  We had barely a moment of just-met-awkwardness and were soon talking and sharing with the ease of old friends.  We talked about our blogs, about the people we’ve met through them, the challenges and rewards of exposing parts of our lives to the public eye.  We talked about food, love, relationships, jobs, family, friends… any path our conversation took was enjoyable.  Our only concern was to not talk so loudly that we interfered with the Oscar watching crowd who’d gathered that night.

After a couple of hours we were joined by Violet, Jesse’s beautiful partner.  A little prior to her arrival, I discovered that my phone was almost dead, a big disappointment considering I’d hoped to talk to Roxy on my drive home (it’s an hour drive, and can be feel a whole lot longer late at night).  I texted her and must have looked pitiful because Jesse sympathized and said it was likely that Violet had a charger with her (all three of us are iPhone-iacs).  Sure enough, after introductions, Violet pulled a cord from her purse and I went off in search of a place to plug it in.  I was able to get enough charge in the battery to talk to Roxy for the entire drive home.. WIN!!  Big, big thanks to Jesse and Violet for taking mercy on my po’ pitiful self.

I am definitely looking forward to hanging with them again.  Jesse and I got along like old friends, she’s so easy to talk to.  And yes, the subject of Cher did come up and so did the Golden Girls.  How could they not in the presence of Jesse James?  I didn’t share my Cher stories though, I decided to save something for the next time.


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