MOAR Chainmaille!

Just a quickie today…as I hear the pliers calling me even now.

 

I got to put the finishing touches on a couple of things.

 

Not content with JUST making cubes with the Shippo Tsunagi weave – I tried my hand at using a single long strand as a choker.  I think it turned out rather well.

Shippo Tsunagi Choker

A new conjure princess-choker also emerged:

Conjure E4-1 red and black

This is my first attempt at different colors in the European 4 in 1 weave, and I added that step in the weave I find so very fantastic.  Soon (as directed by purchases of colored rings) I see myself sitting down and crafting an inlay.

Lemme explain…

An inaly, as defined by the chainmaille community, is a simple sheet weave, usually E4-1, where a pattern is woven into the thing with different colored rings.  Some people out there are coming up with INSANELY detailed stuff:

 

And, maybe one day, I’ll be that detailed, too.  But for now – I think, once I’m ready to tackle a longer range project like an inlay, I’ll stick with something really simple.

Or maybe I’ll go back and finish the dragons…the gold guy still doesn’t have feet.

The HoneyMoon’s over (Lake Michigan)

Originally published 6.15.2014 on The Tempest and the Teapot’s Google site.

This Friday, June 13th, 2014 – there was a rare event.  A full moon rising on Friday the 13th.  What made this moonrise even rarer was the coloration – a warm, amber-honey color was predicted for this rising.  Thus, the Honey Moon.

So, risking all the horrors of Friday the 13th – and when you’re carrying a DSLR camera to the beach/lakefront that’s a LOT of money to be daring the bad-luck fairy to look away from – the mythos of the full moon causing madness (ok…so I’m already crazy and didn’t need to worry too much about that one) and the SQO’s being bored, I dragged him into the car and off we went.

Once we got to the lake, I realized I had forgotten all about the whole ‘cooler by the lake’ thing, and was only wearing a light top with no sleeves.  Well…  Artists always suffer for their work.  My Turn!!!

We arrived a bit early – sunset was in full swing, but the moon hadn’t come up yet.   So, as I had some time to kill, I set up on my beach for some sunset shots.

I wasn’t disappointed – Mother Nature delivered a very purple sunset…

My beach on the Lake (and just to be clear, here, if I’ve gone to a location for shots 3x or more, it officially, at least in my mind, becomes ‘mine.’  My Beach, my Riverwalk, my Fountain, etc…) runs roughly northwest to southeast, so I can get both sunset and moonrise on the same location.

I foresee a foray out to my beach in my future…one VERY early morning.. to catch a sunrise.  

Two years, hasn’t happened yet.  Can I procrastinate, or what???

As we made our way up the concrete causeway to the round observatory extending into the Lake, I found – people.  Not many people, mind you…but just a few -as crazy as I am- with cameras extended toward the horizon to catch the Honey Moon rising.  Once again proving that I’m not the only nut-job in this state, but amongst a small, eccentric minority of slightly insane nature-lovers.

I snapped away.  Moonrise was well in progress, the color was fantastic, and the camera was singing in electronic joy.  Once I took my attention off the moon – I noticed the power plant further up the shoreline.  Beautiful, the way the reflections hit the water.

Say what you will about the cost of utilities these days, but I’ll forgive them my high-heat bill last winter for them putting out this spectacular light show on the shore.  But only last winter’s bills.  This winter, they’re on their own.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned that the SQO is a musician.  As a performer, he’s a natural in front of the camera.  I’ve lost count of the number of projects he’s appeared in – he’s always a willing vict…er…volunteer for whatever insane idea I have involving my camera.

I’d come across a number of forced perspective photos on the web – and naturally, the ‘what the hell’ just burst out of me in the throes of the moonrise (who am I to question the strange ideas blooming under the light of the full moon?)
Several moments of ‘just a bit to the right, now raise your hand JUUUUUUST a bit more, back to the left a hair, turn your head a little more, lower your chin, NOPE, too much, lower your hand a fraction of an inch,’ produced this ducky little shot.

 

And, as an aside – He was certainly more attentive to the Lakeshore temperature than I was – June, and he’s sensibly dressed in a leather jacket, hat, and scarf, while I’m doing the whole ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ thing.

Overall, the shoot went well – but I couldn’t tempt the wicked fates of Friday the 13th by getting great shots without paying the price for my success – even with being under dressed, freezing my bunz off, and succumbing to the influences of the light of the crazy-generating moon.  (where do you think the term ‘lunatic’ comes from?)

Finally, there were no more good shots to be had.  As the moon rose higher in the sky, the amber hue faded away, until only the standard white moon filled the sky.  Quite pleased with my shots, I quickly packed things up…because by this time I was shaking more than a bit, I believe I started acquiring a lovely shade of blue, and the mosquitoes were undaunted by the brisk night air.

In Wisconsin, the mosquitoes grow fur to combat the weather!

The DSLR came off the tripod and into its bag – close and clip.  The Canon with the mega-zoom got looped around my neck.  The tripod was folded, but the legs were still extended.  The teacup had its own little bag to stay secure in, along with a smallish brass chalice I’d picked up at Goodwill (seriously, folks, if you’re ever looking for awesome photo props that won’t break the bank – go to your local Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, or any other resale shop in your area), and they were both nestled inside.

We made haste to the car – up the concrete sidewalk toward shelter and warmth, when I heard it.

A metallic tink. Followed by the breaking of glass.

I had forgotten to zip the bag with the teacup.  Both it, and the chalice, launched from the bag in a misguided attempt to break for freedom.  My poor, brave, foolish little teacup.  I guess the pressures of stardom were too much for it.  It must have been depressed to never be pressed into service as a container for a hot bath of Earl Grey, surrounded with happy, crunchy bikkies on the side.  It ended its life of photographic supermodel-dom on the concrete walkway for the observatory on Bender Beach on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan.

Rest in Pieces, little buddy. Friday the 13th took you from me, and the Honey Moon is now over…

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Cee’s is a blog I stealth-follow.  I look at the pictures, I ooooooh, and ahhhhhh…and see her weekly challenges.  Most of the time I just view, as chainmaille has dominated the creative soup and the cameras sit (patiently) in their cases.

This will be the first time I’ve contributed to her photo-challenge.

Better late than never, eh?

This week, her challenge is glasses, cups and saucers.  Well…the T&T has LOADS of these things..so thanks a ton, Cee – for the opportunity to toss out a blog post featuring some of my favorite shots.

Octopot – by far the quirkiest teapot I’ve ever seen!

A Octopot

 

My chalice – brewing up some potent water under the full moon’s face.

A Chalice forground Moon behind copy

 

Dare you try the wicked brew?  The martini glass here, with the glass etched in my own hand, now exists only in photographs.  It was a victim of fur-covered curiosity combined with gravity.

aIMG_3563 center frame

 

This teacup will also be greatly missed – gravity and concrete took this darling from me.  I still occasionally shed a tear over his grave.

Tempest teacup crop

Proudly Seeing Faces

Humans have a gift…we perceive familiar patterns where none exist.  The ‘learned’ amongst us call this phenomenon Pareidolia, and go on with a long and even more boring dissertation on the hows, the whys, and the psychology of said same.  The rest of us say:  “Look – I see a dragon eating a castle in the clouds.”

 

I looked this term up this afternoon – and found something that royally irritated me for a second.  An article, who’s headline read:  “Do you see faces everywhere?  That’s because you’re a neurotic mess.”

Ex…..CUUUUUUSE me?????

Ignorant, judgmental, terrified boneheads…

 

I’ve always been proud to be able to see the drunken octopus… put-your-dukes-octopus-door-hook-demotivational-posters-1376398793

 

Or the shocked faces in a wall outlet…

electrical-outlet-face-stickers-300x250

And I’ve seen some pretty freaky stuff in clouds…

 

But to say this is the result of a diseased mind?  It’s called having an imagination, which (I suppose) in today’s regimented, group-mind-think culture may be considered an affliction unless you’re seeing the Holy Virgin-Mother Mary in a piece of toast (now with more whole-grain miracles!) …but still.

Ignorant, judgmental, terrified boneheads…

I’ve captured a few oddball things on my walks about town.  There are a couple of pretty funky trees in Bethesda Park – one looks like it’s bowing, and the other like a diva in full high-note on stage.

And I found this stone in front of the Waukesha County Historical Museum where someone molded a face.

20170422_103527

 

 

Rest assured, I’ll be browsing my little town all throughout the summer for more examples of my ‘neurotic mess’ of a mind.

And speaking of neurotic messes of the mind – ever read one of them articles on organizing your workload?   The one I remember from long ago (and I do use this mental trick) was:  instead of focusing on the entire task from start to finish, which can seem insurmountable and WAAAAAY too much work – if you mentally break it out into several more manageable ‘chunks,’ and then only focusing on the chunk at hand, you can trick your mind into getting it done more effectively.

So, I’ve officially broken out my walk to work into three distinct and smaller legs.  I’ve the city leg, the parks leg, and the industrial leg.  I realized I’d been doing this this morning, so I figured I’d celebrate with a blog post.

So here’s a few shots from that qualify for the City Leg:

 

 

And from the Park Leg:

 

And…lastly – the Industrial Leg.  I even get some color on this segment of the journey, because on one side there’s industry, and the other, a huge cemetery with plenty of flowering trees:

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.

Leg Day

xtumblr_mw8dcgj9nx1snedsxo1_500-pagespeed-ic-bxek-i5z14

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  🙂