Haven't done much today really. But to my surprise I found that my elm bark, which has been soaking in a stream for 5 days, had dried completely over night. Instead of turning brittle, as unsoaked bark invariably does, it remained fairly supple. Below: bark soaking in the sink.
I wetted the bark and tore strips in the width I felt was best suited and braided two straps. They are very strong, but as I ran out of the best bark I feel that the first one was slightly better looking than the second one.
Below is a closeup. As you can see the right piece is more even than the left one.