Hi Kimberlie here...
Let me tell you a bit about myself and Rulien’s Lost Muse.
First off I can’t play guitar, but I sure love to listen!
It seems I am happily surrounded by friends and family who are musicians.
I have always loved making beautiful things, drawing, sewing, embroidery...creating! I began sewing for renaissance festivals in the 1980’s and loved all the detail work...
The musicians in my life kept asking me to create guitar straps and bugging me to get into leather work.
I resisted, just doing my art for fun, not for a ‘real paying job’
In early 2003, my youngest brother and the kindest, best bass playing, cool guy in the world tragically had his life taken from him by the hand of another in his home at the age of 29... His name...
‘Kent Rulien McConaughey’
(Rulien being my moms maiden name)
As you can imagine my very loving family was devastated, I literally fell apart and was lost for a time. Gradually I reevaluated my life and what was important for our time here on earth.
So I quit my job, cashed out some of my stock and went to Mexico! Yep everyone said I went crazy! I spent over 2 years wandering, living for a while in the jungle on Cozumel Island and traveling the Yucatan peninsula, driving around in my pickup truck slowly finding my art again and reconnecting with myself.
I spent a lot of time in small villages using my Spanish and learning to speak Mayan...hanging with local wood carvers, leather crafts people and jewelry makers...kind humble artisans.
I was re-inspired! I started to buy gemstones and experiment, and finally decided to go home to Wisconsin and try to mix my gemstone ideas with my leather work! My husband and all the guitar players in my life sure were happy to try out my guitar strap proto-types!
‘Rulien’s Lost Muse’ is of course named for my brother who would have loved one of my straps, I know he is watching me and proud.
I am a perfectionist when it comes to these straps...Loving care goes into each one of them... I did lots of experimenting with different weights and types of leather, sizes and colors of gemstones to express the textures and ideas in my head.
Some designs come from dreams, others from the guitars themselves singing me ideas.
My favorite leather to work with is buffalo...it is amazing with so much texture.
One of my favorite stones is Amber...they look like they are on fire when light hits them.
Each strap is well loved and sometimes it is hard to part with them.
Rulien’s guitar straps can take up to 24-30 hours to complete, plus design time. I dye all the leather myself, I meticulously cut the design into the buffalo and then back it with a quality canvas material to create an enduring beading surface. The design is top stitched to frame the detail. Each stone is carefully selected and sewn by hand into its place using either nylon or kevlar thread.
When the stone design is finished I back the buffalo with a high quality cowhide to prevent the straps from stretching.
My leathers come from the U.S.A. and the stones are from their various countries of origin.
I like to design straps to compliment the beauty of the guitar it is paired with...each instrument has its own personality, as does its owner and each guitar deserves a strap to show it off.
I like to say ‘you don’t hang a diamond on a shoe string’
Thanks for checking out Rulien’s, and come back often...