Butter that Fly

Just a little twiddle…

Someone on my chainmaillers group posted a picture of what they’d done with the Conjure units.  Not to be left behind now that I had the tutorial and the weave in my hands (as well as the aluminum scales) I had to follow suit…

 

Lookit – a butterfly.

 

Conjure Butterfly

Am I having too much fun with this weave?

 

 

Abracadabra – I Conjure a Pendant!

Look…I made a thing!

Conjure - 3 unit E4-1 choker

 

I have to admit – I dithered over purchasing this tutorial for the focal, called a Conjure Pendant, for about a month.  This weekend, I finally caved in and ordered it.

Now, I have two sides to buying tutorials for crafting stuff.  On the one side, I like to support someone else’s creative endeavors.  Not only are these people taking the time to craft a new way of weaving little metal rings together, but they’ve also dropped creation to take multiple photos and write up the do’s and don’ts of their particular creation.

I wrote out a tutorial once – it’s a whole ‘nother brand of insanity.

But…on the other side of random internet purchases…I hate to buy tutorials because I may not have the rings or stones on hand, which means a delay of a week or more to get rings in from TRL, or time and more temptation running to the beading shop in Brookfield, or just putting the tutorial in one of my files for ‘stuff I gotta get around to…’

That file is starting to get a bit large…

I’m blaming the chainmaillers group I belong to on Facebook for the purchase of the tutorial.  Too many people were posting too many pendants, earrings, and other bits and bobs featuring the Conjure pendant for me to resist the urge to get the damn thing and make some of my own.

So, I caved, and hit the purchase button on Saturday.

shocked-face

 

 

I HAVE RINGS IN THE RIGHT SIZE!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

*Insert celebratory dance here*

Out of respect to the author of the tutorial – I won’t go into detail on how I built the Conjure unit.  Once the pattern is in the hands, though – the units go together nice & smooth.  By the time I was on the 3rd pendant, I was fully ‘off’ the tutorial, and weaving in a way that made more sense to my own personal pair of hands.

Now that I had three little fully-encased gems – it was time for some fun.

First, I attached the three units together with short lengths of byzantine on either side.  Sure, I could have connected the units together with a single ring between the pairs, but what fun is that?  And I like the bubble effect it gives between the units.

I tried to craft a length of hoodoo for the chain – but that failed rather spectacularly.  I’ll just add hoodoo to the list of ‘stuff I gotta get around to.’

See…that list grows even with the right rings in stock…

But…I do know E4-1 quite well, and the sidewalls on the Conjure pendants were spaced like the pendant was created specifically to fit into an E4-1 sheet with my ring sizes in mind.

I just love when things work out like this 😀

I even struck gold on the clasp.  A couple of months ago, I bought a tube clasp for a different project.  That clasp turned out to be way too small for that project, and has been languishing in my parts bin since.  It fits this choker PERFECTLY.

 

So much for getting anything else done Sunday – I spent pretty much the entire day on this build.

Worth it!

Conjure units

Art Abandonment Project – 3rd Drop

Art Abandonment logo

I have to admit – I dropped the ball…

It’s been a couple of weeks since I offered another chainmaille art piece to the winds of fate to brighten the day of some random individual slated by those fates to receive a gift.

Last night, I finally remembered to grab one of the packages I’ve had sitting, patiently, on my desk as we headed out to the theater.

So, not only did I pick up the aforementioned ball last night…I managed to place a very successful abandonment, get a picture, and walk away without any witnesses whatsoever.

Whirly Bird Abandoned 4.18.17

So, if anyone out there is looking for the artist who left a whirly bird chainmaille at the Ridge Theater in New Berlin, WI on 4.18.17, a bit before 8pm….

 

 

And…the movie we watched last night?  It’s a Japanese Anime Chick-Flick being shown in the US on a VERY limited release called “Your Name.”  It’s a gorgeous film – the artwork in it is top-notch, the story was enough to move me to tears, and we left the theater feeling extremely good.   It’s got a good blend of mystical “what-in-hell is going ON here??” paired with teen-aged hope & dream, a dash of love thrown in, and, just to top it all off, a looming disaster from space.

I just love it when a film can multi-task.

My Stuff – Flash Fiction

Greg at Almost Iowa offered up a challenge on his post the other day…pick an object, and write an essay or a bit of flash fiction about it.

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Greg…ya had me at Flash Fiction 😀

Sooooo…live and in living color, straight from my work desk to your screen…I present you with:

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The Smurf and the Wookie…

…A love story

A story by Peyton

A very long time ago, in an office far, far away, a little girl sat, eating her happy meal, trying very hard not to look at the toy.  It was brown and horrible-looking, and, worst of all…it was the toy given to the boys at McDonalds, not the girls.

But Mommy had promised to fix it after work, IF she was good…so she ruthlessly shoved a few more french fries into her mouth, and tried very hard not to look at the boring plastic shape.

 

“Maybe,” she thought, chewing through her last bite of hamburger, “the nice lady by the front phones will talk to me?”  So, looking carefully around the cubicle wall for Mommy, she darted across the hall and up to the front desk, boring brown plastic shape still clutched firmly in a fistful of ketchup-stained fries.

Today, the nice lady was in Daddy’s office with Mommy, talking about boring things.

AH!

On the nice lady’s desk, perched proudly next to the plastic cup of paper-clips, a little form in blue and white.

“Well…that Smurf is a LOT prettier than this old brown thing…”

So, up on the nice lady’s chair she went…

The Smurf and the Wookie had a glorious time that Wednesday afternoon at Mommy’s office – they danced on the nice lady’s desk, they played hide & seek in the file cabinet, they squished the french fries because they were really, REALLY big worms.  AND…the best part was when the smurf tied the Wookie in a big chain of paper clips.

After all that – the little girl decided the Wookie couldn’t go home with her and leave his best play-friend behind… (and, besides, Mommy said she’d fix it, so she was getting a new toy!)  With the logic of youth, the Wookie had to stay, happy and proud to be on the nice lady’s desk with his buddy the Smurf.

And the nice lady said she could play with the both of them anytime she had to come with Mommy to the office.

 

 

To this day, the Smurf and the Wookie hang out on my desk, smelling slightly of that epic, long ago french fry/gigantic worm ketchup-smothered battle.

They’re still best buddies.

toys at the bar

There ‘aught be a Law…

Here’s a silly….this particular phrase.  Honestly…there ‘aught to be a law against using this phrase to pass yet another stupid law designed to keep the population fighting amongst itself.

We should really start taking our politicos to task for stupid legislation, instead of getting drawn into yet another debate on how ‘stupid and unreasonable the ‘other side’ is.’

I got news for ya – both sides are unreasonable.  People should be celebrated for their differences, instead of castigated for them.

One of my favorite mini-series of stories is penned by Mercedes Lackey:  The Diana Tregarde series.  The lead character is a pagan, a Guardian (we’re talking high-level mystical art stuff, here), and paranormal researcher, who happens to write bodice-ripper romances as a mundane way of paying all the bills.

The character’s personal mantra:  If it makes someone feel bad, doesn’t spread a little love around, or leave the planet in better shape than you found it…DON’T DO IT.  It’s a take on the Wiccan ‘law:’  If it harms none, do as thee will.

I did do a tertiary study on Wiccan beliefs when I was searching, and I did adopt this guideline as one of my own…because it makes sense.

 

The Diane Tregarde stories are available on Amazon for Kindle.  If you’ve got the time and inclination to read magical stuff…give ’em a try.

 

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I’m Walking Around! – or – Alright…who conjured a demon?

 

It’s interesting how life things just…happen.  I had started out today’s posting by putting words on the screen Saturday.  I knew it was gonna be about the first, triumphant walk to work…and I wanted bragging rights.

Then Sunday night happened – an unfortunate incident involving a pan of freshly hard-boiled eggs and my sock – and I started a second post for today growling about the vicissitudes of fate and rapid disrobing techniques.

Hence – the double title for today’s post.  I wasn’t sure until this morning which one was gonna go up…I couldn’t pick a favorite, so they both did.

 

First – I believe Spring has finally gotten Mother Nature firmly back on her meds and moderating her off-the-wall mood swings…we had a beautiful day here in Wisconsin on Saturday.

I got to take a walk, and solidify my work route.  According to the map – I got in 1.8 miles for the round trip.  The route to work is only 1.5 miles, so I’ve proven to myself that I CAN walk the distance.

Today – I got that nice morning.  It was in the high 50’s at 7am – a bit of a breeze and overcast, and a slight chance of rain for the walk home.

I took to the streets.

Downtown Summer 2016

 

First, there was the march through the downtown district – pavement, pavement, pavement…but our buildings are pretty cool, so I’m OK with that.  If I didn’t like all the paving, I wouldn’t have moved to the center of downtown in the first place.

 

 

I got to the Fox River…this is where the pavement shrinks and the green starts.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Who doesn’t love a walk in the park?  Especially when there’s moving water involved?  The green and growing and the flowing water generate a very in-tune-with-the-Natural vibe that’s evident even just off the center of the bustling downtown district.  It’s one of the reasons I focus so well in downtown Waukesha – the river winds through it and tamps down the oppressive “Buy more shit now” energy generated by humans caught in the throes of capitalism.

So…the 2nd leg of my walk is through Bethesda Park, following the Fox River.  Right now, the trees are still bare, but the grass is greening up so it shouldn’t be long before we have buds springing from those sharp branches.

Beetle Bridge

 

This will forever after be called (in my mind, at least) the Beetle Bridge.  What I love about this is, even through there is other tagging work on it – nobody has bothered to molest the faces.  Under this bridge, there’s additional artwork which has also remained clean of hostile influences.

 

Directly after the bridge – there’s a home with an overabundance of little purple flowers in the front lawn, and I can see the iris plants poking their green blades up from the leftover fall leaves.  Spring is aggressively on its way here.
a IMG_3861 clean grass

 

And here we go for the third and final leg of the trip – up to say hello to my greenspace, and continue up the street to land at work.

 

1.6 miles – before coffee – DONE.

tick1

But…this trip very nearly got delayed again…because sometimes…eggs happen.

Personally, I think the remnants of my fat cells have gone out and summoned a demon in protest.  They’re sick of the ever-shrinking living accommodations my butt is providing, and have taken it into their own hands (or a reasonable facsimile thereof…) to right the wrongs of this ‘damnable Keto diet thing.’

We’re a household of hard-boiled egg eaters.  I have egg salad from time to time, S likes her HB Eggs with a shot of mustard, B takes three to work each morning, and D will grab one on occasion – even though he worries about the cholesterol content.  Eggs are perfect for keto, ideal for gluten-free, and a low-sodium, very low-cost complete protein source.  Every Sunday night…I put a dozen & a half to the pot.

Well…last night, while transferring the pot of freshly boiled eggs from the stove to the sink to shock them cold, those fat-summoned demons caught the bottom of the pot on the counter.  It did this crazy jiggle – which a vessel filled with water likes to do – and I ended up slopping boiling water down my front to soak happily into my shirt, pants, and left sock.

I swear – I heard the demonic little fat cells cheer over the successful completion of their evil plan.

Well…while saying a few -less than polite- words, I did my own crazy little jiggle I like to call the ‘hot pants dance.’  It’s amazing how quickly the clothing comes off when pain is involved.

I think I got off lucky.  The last time I ended up with near-boiling water in my lap, I was 5 – and had 2nd degree burn blisters all up and down my legs.  This time, I have some bright red and puffy spots on my stomach and top of the left foot, but no blisters.

So what’s a freshly-boiled girl to do?

I slathered the burns with coconut oil.  A nice, thick layer over my belly and foot.  And I went to sleep.

This morning – nothing short of fabulous…the foot barely hurts at all, and is only slightly red along the top.  The belly is still just a bit twitchy, but the redness and puffiness diminished markedly from the night before.

I’ll continue to oil up for the next couple of days, but…I’ve defeated the demons and I FINALLY got to walk to work!

obscene-gestures-mooning-gnome

TAKE THAT, FAT CELLS!

 

 

 

Leg Day

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I have a couple of Facebook friends who are gym rats.

You know the type – they post their little check-ins when they get to the gym of their choice – because if you don’t check in with Facebook, it doesn’t ‘count.’  They detail how many reps they did of this exercise or that one, and how fabulous they look.  Sometimes, they offer up complaints of this soreness or that one from their exertions, anecdotes of locker room hysteria, or even “This guy was appreciative of my quads…maybe I should have asked for his number…”

Gym life…is actually a LIFE, complete with highs and lows and social expectations and anxieties.

Now, the Gym Life isn’t for me, but those who commit to this discipline are still having a damn good LIFE.  If the endorphin rush you get from repeatedly stressing your body to its muscular limits makes you happy…fabulous.  Keep at it, and don’t let anyone dissuade you from enjoying yourself.

Now that I’ve laid the groundwork…

I have this one friend who is a gym rat.  He posts often enough about Leg Day.

Leg Day.  You hate leg day, but you never skip leg day…because it’s LEG Day!

 

Chainmaille Dragon Legs CIR

 

 

Here’s how I do leg day.

 

I don’t hate leg day, though – I enjoy it…because that means my dragons can stand on their own.

 

 

I’m trying a different weave for my dragons’ legs.  Before, I’ve used a captured bead frame, and wired the legs for stability.  Earlier this week, I dug out the tutorial for Captive Inverted Round (CIR) and made a couple of short strands to experiment with.

I’m loving CIR.  It’s a bit of a fussy weave, and the three connection/terminus points may make for a new challenge in attaching the leg to the body – but the weave is structural on its own, without the need for wire support.

I need another leg day to continue my experiments.  With all the household stuff (laundry, groceries, dishes) and having a voting day and the SQO’s mother’s birthday this week, I’ve been banned from my workbench for anything longer than a few minutes to glance longingly at the leg bits and half-constructed dragon form.

I might just have to go to the gym  🙂