Sunday, October 14, 2012

It Is Safe To Say: I Need Practice

Yesterday I stopped pussy-footing around, took the jewelry saw out of its packaging and attempted to saw a simple round-edged piece of copper for a ring. And the results are. . . I definitely need more practice. Much more practice.

See? A very simple pattern. Straight lines with slightly rounded ends. Easy-peasy! Nothing to it. Don't know why I've been so intimidated. All I have to do is open the package, install the blade and saw. I even looked up the recommended blade size for my 24 gauge copper-- 5, 6 or 7. No thing, man. Piece of pie, easy as cake. Only. . .

. . .this is how the blades came. They are bundled in smaller bunches with hair-thin wire-- to make them that much harder to get to-- but I do not believe they are bundled into different sizes. And even if they were, how would I know which size is which as the only significant number on the entire packaging is there on the lower left: 72 pieces. I'm gonna need every single one of them because. . .

. . .this is how far I got before I snapped my first blade. It only got worse. A lot of times the blade would snag on the copper and would only move in one direction, the non-cutting direction. Luckily I have a few blocks of paraffin wax (doesn't everyone? I mean, who hasn't made a candle or two in their lifetimes?) and running the blade once through it stopped that-- mostly.

I also read that you must hold the saw at 90 degrees, move the saw without putting pressure on it and turn the metal and not the blade around curves. What I found worked was putting the saw at a slight angle prevented it from sticking and sawed through the copper like butter without hardly any pressure at all. And no matter what I did around curves, the blade snapped and I didn't get any curve at all.

Six blades and one very frustrating hour later, this is what I achieved. I could have done it in 10 minutes with straight (although jagged) lines and rounded curves with my tin snips. I must say that even though the straight lines look pretty jagged in this pic, they are not jagged to the touch. Tin snips leave ends that will make you bleed. The saw will leave a much straighter and smoother line, once I learn how to control it.

Oh wait! It's Sunday and we need a silly:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

This Post is a Cop-Out

I bought a jewelry saw over a month ago. It is still in its packaging. I look at the saw and get hives, I'm so intimidated by it. Now, I have been intimidated by tools before, most notably the chainsaw. But I had time enough to make a concentrated effort to stop being a punk. When you're not working, you've got 24 hours a day to stare down your fears. With the saw, however, I only have to think about it over the weekend. Not enough time to build on fortitude and stop being a big pussy.

The saw still sits unopened on my makeshift bench (which I should really put permanent legs on) and instead of dealing with the fear, I am posting-- about kinetic jewelry. You like jewelry that moves? Well, I got links to stuff that'll exhaust you.

This little guy is pretty simple as for as kinetic jewelry goes. It can be found at Colleen Morgan's site. She's from Australia and I have to say I'm a little disappointed that there is no bouncing kangaroo involved.

Next up is this gear pendant. Now, I'm not one to judge (I am one to lie about how I don't judge, though) but this here is something of a cheat. It is laser cut by machine. However it is a machine owned by one guy who fabricates it all in his shop. So I'll give it a small pass. Now, if he'd made that intricate piece of jewelry with his very own hands-- well, I'd say he was a bit on the obsessive side. But he didn't so I won't.

Lisa Pavelkas has a lot of kinetic jewelry. I liked this bird the best. It makes me wanna make a pinwheel ring. Yeah. . . a pinwheel ring. That's. . . that's quite doable. Hmmmm-- uh-huh, yeup. . .. Thanks, Lisa, for the inspiration! Now if only I can get up the nerve to open the saw package. . ..

Need flappy wings to get your fingers going? Well, Dukno Yoon has got the ring for you. And a whole bunch of impractical but very kinetic jewelry.

Last, and definitely not least, is this very cool gear ring I first saw on my Facebook page. It's made by Kinekt Designs and I fell in love with it the very first time I saw it. Too bad it costs more than six hundred dollars. I'd like to think that some day I could create something as creative and beautiful as this. But then I look at my unopened jewelry saw package and I know better.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I No Longer Need To Wrap for Survival

Since I got a job chasing paper across the outer boroughs, I now only wrap for fun. And hammer for fun. And blowtorch for fun. I plan to soon saw for fun too, having bought my first jewelry saw about 3 weeks ago. The down side of wrapping only for fun is that I do a whole lot less of it. Which isn't a bad thing considering how much stock I have in traveling bags sitting under my dining room table.

And just so you don't think I've abandoned jewelry making the same way I've abandoned this blog, here's a picture of the chain mail thingy I was making for The Boy the last time I deigned to blog. Now he wants it big enough to fill his own arm. The reason being is that he's a huge nerd who wants a chain mail arm thingy. He can have it too, as soon as he buys the probably more than a thousand jump rings to make it.

I'm sure if I put my mind to it I could give an estimate of the number of jump rings needed but I'm full of Trader Jose's Dark (not as tasty as I'd hoped but as alcohol-y as expected)and multiplication and long division are beyond my ken at the moment.

And now for something a little different. . .

Instead of a pumpkin, how 'bout carving a watermelon for Halloween?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Making Chain

With the news of my imminent employment, I went ahead a purchased a boatload of jumprings and have begun The Boy's chain mail bracelet. Here is the base.

It is in a circle only because I wanted to check to make sure it fit and also, it was the only way the whole thing fit in a picture.Having spent 3 days making this thing, I have a few observations.

1.I wish I were rich enough to not have to hunt for dropped jumprings. I'm thinking I drop about one in twenty. What a pain in the ass.

2. I would probably drop less if making chain did not involve beer. The chain pictured used about 2 and a half bottles of Killian's Red.

3. The more I look at this chain, the more it looks feminine and dainty. Not at all the manly chain mail The Boy is probably expecting.

4. Basic European is probably within my capability. But only with much larger rings. Too late- I already have a boatload of this size.

5. I used to think I was pretty good at opening jump rings. I didn't know what good jump ring opening was. I am now a world champeen jump ring opener.

6. This bracelet is gonna take a while.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy

PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Geek Search For WoW Jewelry Continues

World of Warcraft Jewelcrafting Winners: Copper Division

My search of World of Warcraft Jewelcraft skill jewelry has come up pretty empty. So I’ve decided that instead of looking for real jewelry crafted specifically with WoW in mind, I’ll search for the best representative Wow jewelry that Internetsians inadvertently made. Since I do not know how deeply the Venn diagram of World of Warcraft players and people who make jewelry intersects (I suspect that may be an intersect of one—me), I’ll describe the WoW spell for the jewelry I picked.

Braided Copper Ring
Regents: Delicate copper wire.
The Winner: ME!

Woven Copper Ring
Regents: Delicate copper wire, copper bar.
The Winner: Wabbit-t3h of Deviant Art

Heavy Copper Ring
Regents: Delicate copper wire, copper bar.
The Winner: ME!

Malachite Pendant
Regents: Malachite and delicate copper wire.
The Winner: Artbrasil (site no longer active)

Tigerseye Band
Regents: Tigerseye and copper bar.
The Winner: Beavjewels from Etsy

Ornate Tigerseye Necklace
Regents: Tigerseye, copper bar and delicate copper wire.
The Winner: Nancy Woods of Wear Art

Judge's note: This entry was almost disqualified because of the poor quality of the picture. Nancy Wood would do herself a large favor if she dusted her display and focused her camera before taking a picture.

Inlaid Malachite Ring
Regents: Malachite and delicate copper wire.
The Winner: Nobody! I could not find an inlaid malachite ring made solely with copper. But I did find these very cool inlaid malachite rings. The only problem with them is that they won't give you any buffs if you wear them in Azeroth.

Wood and malachite:

Mokume Gane and malachite:

P.S. Mokume Gane is mixed metals layered sometimes 16 times, forged and twisted together to make distinct patterns. It is very cool looking.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy

PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yes, Son. Your Mamma Does Love You A Little.

It was perhaps 7 years ago that my son, after hearing me say more than once that I'd sure like to try my hand and making jewelry, bought me a bead kit and a this book: The Complete Guide To Making Wire Jewelry for Christmas. Although I have used many of the beads in the bead kit, it was the book that fired me up. To this day it is still one of my favorites. And the only thing The Boy asked was that I make him a chain mail sleeve.

"As sure as as you fruited from the flower of my loins, I shall make for you this majestic chain of mail!" I promised him. 7 years ago. The book he purchased has two chain mail projects in it. It did not take long for me to realized that I didn't know what the hell I was doing. All I ended up with was a tangled mess of jumpring chains. Years went by and I got no better at it. In fact, it got worse. I couldn't even get a single chain going. It was hopeless and I finally admitted defeat to my son. "Son," I intoned, "the dark pallor of shame will color my every mood and thought from here until the dark dwarf sun-death of our Universe. I cannot make chain mail."

In the darkness of my shame there shone one tiny half-glimmer of hope. It was two years ago that I purchased Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections: New Techniques for Wire Wrapping and Bead-Setting and the strange magic of aspect ratio was explained to me. I could again make a chain. And, not only could I make a chain, the reason why I couldn't make a damn chain all of a sudden wasn't because I was brain damaged! It was because I was using the wrong danged sized jumprings for the job. Perhaps now I could elevate my status once again to the greatest Mom to ever slide a squalling creature out from within. I could create a chain mail sleeve for my only born son!

Yeah, no. I was reminded of when my Abuela tried to teach me how to crotchet when I was 8. I learned how to make a chain easily. I enjoyed making crotchet chains so much I'd make them a yard long. But when she tried to show me how to make rows. . . let's just say the yarn would have been put to better use strangling kittens. It took a while for my grandmother to give up on me-- she was a fighter-- but she finally just sighed and let me continue to make yard long chains.

Still, the book did show me how to make different types of chains. Not the most intricate ones, I am too stupid to understand how to read the patterns, but the simple ones. Two weeks ago I used one of those simple patterns to make this chain and turned it into a pair of earrings. I have incorporated this chain pattern in other jewelry because I think it looks neat and a hell of a lot more complicated than it actually is. The Boy caught sight of these earrings.

"You CAN make chain mail!" he accused. It sounded like an accusation to me, anyways.

"Alas, no my son. I can only make chain-- no mail," I answered with my head hanging. Just like The Temptations' mama when she had to explain to them what a bastard their rolling stone papa was.

"Why can't you just put two chains together?" he asked as if it was that simple. Sorry son, life is never that simple.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered-- why can't I just put two chains together? I looked at patterns again. Unfortunately I was reminded of how stupid I am. Here is the basic European pattern. I am at WTF! by step 3. But my son's words still rang in my head just put the two chains together. . . just put the two chains together. . . just put the two chains together. . .. My head is mostly empty, hence the echo. So I sat down and, without a pattern, just put the chains together.

I think I can make him a bracelet of chain mail. All I need is, like, 30 dollars worth of jumprings. Maybe more. That won't happen for quite a while seeing as how I'm unemployed and flat busted. But one day, Son, I will be able to walk through the halls of Motherhood with my head held high.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One Post A Month? Why The Hell Not!

It's a good post, though. A one-handed tutorial! Not as good as a Sunday Silly but you do get to see my messy craft room since this tutorial involves a mini torch and that is one thing I won't do in bed-- just ask my husband.

This is the finished product. A textured copper fire colored cuff ring. Now there's a name that simply rolls off the tongue like silky pearls of soothing sounds. P.S., don't put pearls in your mouth.

The reason there have been so little entries is the simple fact that I have nothing to say. I'm a boring, unemployed tinkerer who is a lousy and very bad blogger. Wait! That's not true at all. I don't have lice.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy

PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh, It Just Got Real Up In Here!

This blog post is to all the jewelry ganstas out there who ain't frontin'. They're designing and making authentic bling that don't lie. They're keeping it real. Really, really real.

Take our first realist. RosaMillieICARO. She dips real roses in resin and makes jewelry out of them. These rosebud earrings are so real, the only thing missing is the prick. And, let's face it, we all have enough pricks in our lives.

Laura McCabe has a whole art studio full of real. One section of her shop named Exotic Eye Cuffs got my hopes especially high. Alas, those bracelets are made with real fake eyes. They are antique glass eyes so there is a chance some poor WWI vet wore them in his head, but they aren't real real eyes. I did not leave Laura's studio without a measure of realness. The choker pictured is made with real beetle wings.

Katie VanBlaricum not one-ups, but two-ups, Laura in the keeping it real department. Katie doesn't use just wings, she uses the whole beetle. And then, to top that off, uses a real leaf dipped in copper, driving the realness factor up by eleventy. If you click the link, you will see that Katie has a whole shop full of realness and that she really likes bugs. Or hates them. I can't tell which.

Over at ArtFire TheHouseThatCrowBuilt has a whole slew of Morpho butterfly wing pendants. This shop name makes me wonder if the designer had a pet crow who would present her with "presents" like a cat will sometimes do. Except instead of dead mice and birds, the crow delivered mutilated butterflies. I sure hope morpho butterflies aren't endangered.

These beauties were found on Care More's creations photostream. They are ammonite pendants made with real fossils. Poor ammonoideas, they didn't make it out of the Cretaceous Period, so these pendants have been real dead for a real long time.

Last but not least is this bitey pendant. It was sold on Etsy a long time ago but the Etsy seller is no longer there. And yet, this artisan's work is so real it has outlived the artist, surpassed real and spring-boarded, jaw first, into legend. It is said the designer found this mandible on an island owned by one Dr. Moreau.

I was going to once again link to some taxidermy jewelry. However, I have linked to some in the past and really, once you've seen one hamster hair ornament you've seen them all.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Saturday, May 5, 2012

It Is 5 AM And I Am Melting Metal

This entry's subject is two lies strung together. It is not 5am, it is ten to seven and I am not melting wire, I am at the computer typing. But it was 5 am when I first thought about typing this entry and I will be melting metal, oh yessiree! I got my micro torch and I'm gonna set the world on fire.

Meanwhile back at the asylum, I thought about entering Rings & Things' contest but then on closer inspection, I saw that, in order to enter, you must buy at least 30 bucks worth of beads and chain from them and the prizes are all Rings & Things gift certificates. That isn't very sporty of them, is it? Still, if I had the money I'd enter. Not like I haven't spent far more than thirty bucks on jewelry making supplies without any hope of getting something back.

And then, on an even closer, less stupid inspection, I saw that not only do I need to buy at least thirty dollars worth of jewelry making supplies, I also need to build a time machine as the contest ended on my birthday, which was in January.

And lastly, on a slightly less retarded note, I have continued my search for World of Warcraft jewelry. A few items were found but none of them-- NONE-- are from the jewelcrafting profession. Still, I must put a picture in my entry or I will feel naked for the rest of the day. So here is a cute hearthstone keyring. My search for a fitting Westros crown continues unsatisfied.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'll Finally Get You Out of My Brain!

There were over five thousand e-mails in my gmail account and, well, it was time to take out the trash. I searched my e-mail for the word "amazon" and went through all 20 pages deleting three shitons* of Amazon mail. On page eleven or so I see that Katie is wishing me Happy Birthday! So I open it up. Katie has sent me a thirty dollar Amazon gift certificate for my birthday on January 31. Of 2011.

Found money? Well you just know it's going to feed my jewelry making habit. And what better way than to do something about that design I have in my head. The one that is killing me all up in my brain crevasses unable to be worked on because I don't have a torch. Well, no more! I ordered that sucker. Soon I'll be able to clear my head. Hopefully, this piece isn't crap burnt up good with a torch, but even if it is, at least it will be gone!

And because I hate to not have a pretty picture in my blog posts, here is a picture of the Bleeding Hearts in my shade garden in the backyard:
My Hearts Bleed

*Shiton (pronounced SHIT tun)is a new unit of measurement. It's basic unit is the number of e-mails received daily from sites where you have shopped in the past. It should replace the word 'google' as the biggest number ever, especially since the word 'google' is busy defining something else.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Monday, April 30, 2012

WoW Jewelry. I Know It's Out There

One of the things I've always wanted to do was make the jewelrycrafting jewelry from World of Warcraft for real. I'd use the same materials but not the same amounts. Because how in the world can you make a Woven Copper Ring using an entire copper ingot? You can't, that's how.

Well here it is, my first piece of World of Warcraft jewelry. It is also the first piece of jewelry learned in the jewelcrafting profession in World of Warcraft.

This is the first of what I hope will be all of the WoW jewelry. This quest I know I can finish before I die or lose interest, which ever comes first. I thought for sure there'd be plenty of other jewelry makers playing the world's most popular MMORPG (Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Game) however, this doesn't seem to be true. The first non-ring jewelry recipe learned in World of Warcraft--malachite pendant-- brings up a lot of pendants but none WoW specific.

This pendant from from a place called Art Brasil, has absolutely nothing to do with WoW but it a pretty copper and malachite pendant. Surely this would sell at the Auction House.

This perfect representation of Tigerseye Band? A vintage ring made long before Blizzard ever dreamed of Warcraft let alone it's World. It so says WoW to me. Simple, old style and pretty.

I did find one piece of World of Warcraft jewelry that looks magnificent AND was made specifically for WoW. It is not a jewelrcrafting recipe, however. It is this badassed Horde ring selling for sixty bucks.

My quest to forge all the World of Warcraft jewelry will not be thwarted! All I need is perseverance, money for expensive gemstones and a supply of fel iron and, truesilver and Thornium!

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm Never Reading Again!

Night before last I'm in my bed reading A Storm of Swords and enjoying myself when, BLAM!, I found myself in the middle of the worst wedding ever. This wedding traumatized me so much I was unable to pick up the book last night to continue reading about all the assholes in Westros. Seriously, every character is a prick in their own medieval way. So, instead of reading, I made this:

These oval links were made easy by a mandrel I bought that has 4 different heads, oval, triangle, square and, um, something else. I seem to have forgotten. Probably circle because that would make sense.

Make no mistake about it, though. The worst wedding EVER!!!!

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pure, Unadulterated Laziness

Jewelry making? Pshaw! I've barely bestirred myself enough to cook and clean. In fact, the only thing I've done faithfully this last week is read A Storm of Swords. Which makes me even lazier because I start reading in bed and then can't stop reading it and soon my husband is rising to go to work and I'm still reading the damned book. Then I open my eyes and it's almost noon.

So as of today, my family is starving, I'm living in a pig stye and the only pieces of jewelry I've made is this tool mark marred ring and these here earrings:

BTW, bestirred? That's George R. R. Martin talking.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy

PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Grillin'

This is not a one-handed tutorial. I used both hands to take these pictures. I made this all up myself. Well, not the grilling in foil part, all the stuff I put inside part.

Also on that grill: a pouch of shrimp, shells on, heads off with julienne'd garlic and ginger with sesame oil and soy.

Other foil-wrapped goodies include corn and heads of garlic with the tops cut off plus salt and pepper and olive oil. Totslly worth the allergy attack I suffered for forgetting to take my pill and hanging out all day long in the backyard. This, btw, is crafty. It involves wrapping and foil.

Enjoy spring!

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy

PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Need To Get Personal

I have been a bad blogger. It has been almost a week since my last entry. This is because I am again blocked by unfinished business. In my head I have a project that cannot be completed because of lack of equipment. This project is based on somethings I have made before, only much, much better. The project, however, requires a micro torch. Not a cheap 11 dollar micro torch-- believe me, those things are only good for browning creme brulee-- but a regular non-plastic nozzle micro torch. I have prefabricated all the components. I have cut, punched, sanded and measured them all. Every single piece of scrap that goes into this imaginary piece of jewelry is ready. But without a torch it's just pieces of junk laying about.

That is not to say that I've haven't been making stuff. Here is a martini glass with a crackle glass olive pendant which, after careful consideration, should be a pin. Plus other stuff that I also feel meh about. I think I will feel meh about everything I make until I can complete the giant, right-on-the-tip-of-my-brain, micro torch needing project. Even if it ends up looking like melted crap fused to rusted scrap metal, I cannot rest until it is done. Which means no rest for me until I get a job as that is the only way I can justify buying an actual functioning micro torch.

Another excuse I'm using to rationalize neglecting this blog is that spring has sprung. The exceptionally warm winter and very early spring weather has me outside doing things I would not normally do until around Mother's Day. For example:

This is the walkway up to the tiny dollhouse in which I live. There was a lot of potting, grooming and trimming to get it to look this shabby. Also noted: the bottom left side of the walkway needs MOAR TULIPS!!!!! This is why you cannot see it in the picture.

Yesterday I did have one moment of pure craftiness ecstasy. Look at this shelf:

You are looking at daffodils from my back yard in front of a lion vase that I painted besides a picture frame that I embellished to within an inch of its life. The picture in the frame is my mommy. The only full-sized picture I have of her. The only other picture I have of her is her NYC welfare ID from the mid-sixties.

And there you have it, folks. TMPersonalI. Happy crafting!

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy

PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Royal Sunday

Today starts season two of HBO's Game of Thrones and to celebrate, I went looking for some crowns, some hand-wrought crowns. A crown worthy of gracing my head whilst I sit atop the Thrown of Swords. A crown made by hand-crafters like me. This crown would replace King Robert's House of Baratheon crown as seen here:

After as thorough an amount of research that can be done in an hour, I walk away largely disappointed.

Oh, there are plenty of handcrafted crowns out there, if a Queen didn't mind monarching over Westros in a felt crown

or a wedding tiara

or being a doll

Really, being a doll seems to be the answer

Why was I having such a hard time finding a fitting crown? Did people just stop making crowns? LARPing isn't a thing any more? It looked like if I wanted a proper crown, I'd have to go to a professional metalsmith.

Malcolm Morris has this crown:

Although it's pretty, it's a bit too dainty for the crown of an iron-fisted ruler.

While this one by Pantania metalsmiths is far to modern.

Looks like I'm going to have to not engage in warfare in Westros. I don't have the wadrobe.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy

PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio