A Chainmaille Tribute to that ‘S’ word

Late last month, I got a rather urgent call from my SQO.  He was over at his Aunt’s place, and was going to be there a little while longer than planned, because they had to wait for the EMS.

His mother was visiting as well, and, upon exiting her car, she misplaced a foot.  The difference in elevation between the driveway and the lawn snagged an unwary victim, and she ended up falling out of her car.

Diagnosis:  she broke a hip.

Now, if we ‘age’ this wonderful lady by her attitude, I’d put her in the late teens.  She’s a fiery person in a chronologically-correct 80 year old shell.  So, with bones having spent that amount of time defying gravity’s pull, her doctors decided to replace the joint, rather than immobilize and let it heal naturally.

I had an opportunity to visit with her in the hospital…and made her a little something to brighten her room.

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The flowers are sprouting ALL over my little corner of the Earth.  Winter is back in the coat closet 😀

 

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Even the Cats are Artistic here

Now, I do have 4 furballs in residence here…

4 pack of cats

 

Each have their own cat-way of doing the things that it is cats do.

Mariko Dos Equis Box

Mariko is the talker of the bunch.  She’s ALWAYS got an opinion, and is happy to share.  She also likes to pick on Spooky, then comes running to one of the humans in the household when he ‘picks’ back.  Above all else…she needs to be the FIRST breathing thing in a room, so she always gets underfoot as she races to be upstairs and on the ledge before I’ve finished climbing up the stairs.

I’ve learned to look before I step 😀

 

Spook in sunshineSpooky is the proverbial rebellious teen.  If he wants to do something, no amount of chastising, yelling, stomping or finger-snapping is going to deter him.  He’ll continue to push the boundary until you get the water bottle out and squirt him with it…then be back in 5 minutes to start the cycle over again.  He is very much a cat, convinced of his own superiority, and lets the humans know this on an hourly basis.  He’s also not very user-friendly, and hates strangers.  Picking him up usually involves a hospital visit for the uninformed, as he uses teeth and claws with little to no provocation.

 

Illy RBFLillian, on the other hand, is not a cat…at least, she THINKS she’s not a cat.  Granted, she spends a lot of time on the ledge getting warm and sunshine-y… like a cat.  She grooms constantly… like a cat.  She likes laps and occasionally bats at catnip toys… like a cat.  But she is not, in her mind, a cat.  She doesn’t do cat things with the other cats.  They’ve learned this (more or less) for their own safety, because reminding Illy that she’s a cat usually involves a lot of very-much-cat caterwaulin’ and claws.  She also has the feline equivalent of RBF (Resting Bitch Face)

 

Henry in BagWhich leaves me with Henry.  Of all the cats, Henry had to be the one to go last in my lineup, because he won’t mind being at the back of the pack.  Where Lillian has RBF, Henry has a perpetual smile.  Henry can best be described as a Stoner cat, because he’s always happy and relaxed…unless the front door is opened.  Henry is also our little escape artist, because there’s got to be something real cool on the other side of our front door, and he can’t wait to share a bowl with whatever it is.

 

The four of them have been at the little cardboard scratching pad we’ve had in the house for claw exercises.  With all the stories lately about how deforming declawing a cat can be, I’m glad we made the decision to keep all paws intact, even though it does require a bit more maintenance on our parts keeping all 40 nails blunted.  Here’s what the cats have done to the one we really need to replace:

Smiley Face Scratching pad

Our furballs must be happy with us humans…the said so by scratching a smiley face into their pad.

 

Ducks, Clocks, Sunshine and Bananas

I make no apologies for the content of this post…I need to drain the brain, such as it were, so be warned…weirdness inside…

now that I’ve scared off the timid… 

Last night, I went to my favorite ring vendor to drool, dream, and torture my credit card.  What do I see front and center?

 

The duckies are spreading 😀

And how appropriate – for a Tweet to appear featuring one of them?  Maybe I can convince Twitter to start calling them ‘Quacks’ instead of ‘tweets?’

To celebrate, I went to my Etsy account, and scheduled a sale…from March 22nd to the 29th, I’ll be knocking off 15% of the sale price of any of the Duck YEAH sculptures listed on the site, so I can spread them far and wide.

 

 

And, in COMPLETELY unrelated news…we’ve shifted our clocks again to be on daylight savings time.  Not sure what daylight I’m saving by this move (as far as I can tell, the sun shines the length of time it’s gonna shine no matter what our clocks say…), and I’ve gone from getting out of bed while the sun is JUUUUST peeking around the buildings to it being dark and cold again.  I’m sure there was some little toadie in some office somewhere in this country who thought it would be nice to get up BEFORE the sun, and everyone should be so ‘lucky.’

To which I say “Dude…get a damn cat, and leave the food bowls empty overnight.”  I can guarantee you’ll be getting up at Feed-me-O’Clock and the rest of us can sleep in!

 

 

And…slightly related but yea, that’s a stretch here…I had a hard time falling to sleep last night, partly because of the yearly issue with the aforementioned clocks and sun, but also because I had an earworm running rather loudly in my head.

The fun part (or annoying, as this one was chasing off the illusive ZZZ’s…) it the worms were singing it wrong.  I now am utterly convinced there’s a line in Weird Al’s ‘Tacky” song that goes…

“banana-flavored love machine…”

 

I may have to step away from the iPod for a few days…

Art Abandonment Project – 9th Drop

Art Abandonment logo

The long winter is coming to a close…and so, I can spend a bit more time outside now, wandering about my little corner of the world, spreading influence and

ART.

I did mention I considered the angel pins I made part of the Art Abandonment project, even though I handed them out instead of spreading them to the fates.  This drop, I have once again followed our ‘official’ protocol, and left a little piece of something behind on Sunday, March 4th, for one lucky finder.

Chainmail Rubber Duck 2

Not a great stretch, eh?  I’ve been obsessed with the rubber duck form, so it only seemed natural to drop a ducky to the winds…and, because the weather was cooperating this weekend, I got to pair it with a lively stroll around the downtown area.

My first camera-worthy event is one I’ve kinda drooled over for a year now, ever since I first saw the icons spray-painted on the pavement.

Wisconsin has 2 distinct seasons…winter, and road construction.  When you see the pavement getting all painted up, you know we’ve officially crossed into the ‘other’ season.

20180304_134024

Road Construction Prep, or HUGE Tie-Fighter Battle Reenactment?

I know these markings are ‘officially’ to mark where water, sewer or utility lines are under the pavement, but I ALWAYS see them as tie fighters from Star Wars.

Perhaps I should hold this photo until May the Fourth?

I got this shot from the top of the parking structure, which gave me plenty of room to snag the shot, as my street level attempts throughout last year all failed rather spectacularly.
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This is one of my favorite buildings in the downtown area.  It’s the Waukesha County Museum.  An interesting couple of snippets here…the building was originally built in 1883, so it’s got an age tag of roughly 135 years, or well on it’s way to the second century.  It’s still standing tall and proud and majestic as hell.  It started out as the county courthouse, has gone through several expansions throughout the years, but ALWAYS housed the County museum.  The shots I’ve got here are both of the original building.

 

Of course, a walk for me wouldn’t be complete without stopping by to chirp a happy greeting to my favorite ribbon of water, so the Fox River once again grandstanded for my camera.  All I have to say is…we have some hella stubborn trees in this town, because this one refused to drop its leaves in the fall.

 

I didn’t forget to mention earlier that Waukesha hosts a veritable nest of art-lovers, did I?  This one may not depict our legendary ‘Guitar Town’ moniker, but it’s an awesome mural nonetheless.

20180304_140852

And the dropped duck?  Well, I did call him the Fire Duck, because he’s got the red eye and a couple of red rings along his crest, and he mentioned he was thirsty, so I dropped him off in front of Bernie’s Tap to peruse the fire water menu.  I hope whomever was lucky enough to adopt him can handle his liquor consumption.

Chainmail Rubber Duck

 

First World Artist Problems

So…I had a thing happen on Etsy today.

 

I listed out my stainless steel dodecahedron July of 2016.  It languished on the site, got some views, some favorites, but never attracted a buyer.  I priced it higher than most of the goodies on my store for a couple of reasons.

  1. It’s 16 gauge stainless steel rings.  A LOT of them.
  2. Stainless is a right royal bitch to work with.  It fights (and sometimes BITES) back.
  3. It took several hours of hard work time.  It also spent some time languishing in the “what…how…am I doing this RIGHT???” project pile on a corner of my desk.  While there IS a tutorial on M.A.I.L., it’s one of the very scaled down ones, and didn’t offer much help besides: just study the form, it should be easy…
  4. It wasn’t.
  5. It was proceeded by older brothers who never really got past the ‘well, THAT didn’t work’ pile, and got deconstructed.
  6. It was the first time I EVER successfully completed a 3D form.

 

Early this morning, someone bought my ball.

I’m kinda on the fence with this one.  On one hand, I’m happy that someone appreciates sculptural forms enough to purchase one from me…but on the other hand….

it’s kinda like selling my first born.

Once I got over the sentiment, I wrapped him up in paper and a box, plastic on the outside of that box, more stuffing and a bigger box, which I then taped the living hell out of.  He’ll make it, as safely as I can make it, all the way to California.

I even hugged the box for good measure…

My toys travel farther than I do 😀

Life’s Just Ducky

It was a good weekend here in the frozen wastelands of Wisconsin.

First…it wasn’t FROZEN.  Saturday, with the sunshine, lack of wind, and Mother Nature having a hot flash, we saw temps raise above 50.

It.  Was.  WARM.

So I did what any self-respecting Wisconsinite did.  I went for a walk, to enjoy this breath of non-frozen fresh air…because it ain’t gonna last.

I did a good 2 miles, and got to speak with a portion of the river I haven’t had the opportunity to visit with since it got cold.

Jan 2018 river

I also played with a new weave called Borealis. (The chainmaille ‘purists’ out there in the world call it ‘True Aura Sheet,’ but I don’t believe in being that formal.)  It’s a weave I’ve drooled over for quite a bit.  And, because it’s a weave with a good write-up on the M.A.I.L. site, but no formal tutorial, my earlier attempts have ended up in the ‘Well, THAT didn’t work’ pile more often than not.

Because I was soooooo excited to get this weave in my head and hands…I tossed out three pieces.

A medallion, which was the first piece.  This ended up rigid and slightly cupped, so expanding it out farther is probably not possible without the weave physically locking up (the pattern simply tightens down so far that you can no longer ‘insert ring A in position B’).  BUT – what it ends up as is tantalizing.  I can see colors turning this piece into a real head-turner.

borealis pendant

After the initial weaving produced this cupped, round form, I tried with slightly different rings…and came up with this:

Borealis sphere stand

As you can see, I went the wrong way – the rings used in this form curled rather aggressively, and I only did a single ‘strand’ of the stuff.  It was quite easy to stitch the two ends together seamlessly, though…and it makes a wonderful, rigid circle, perfect as a display stand for circular objects of all sizes.

Which leads me to my third object:

1st rubber ducky

It’s a Chainmaille RUBBER DUCKY!

I gotta admit – this one was FUN.  Sculptural forms in maille are really where I live and breathe.  Granted, the form still needs a bit of work.  The head isn’t attached to the crest of the duck seamlessly – I gotta fix that.  The duck’s bill isn’t completely solid in the form, I gotta fix that, too.  And…I really want to add color to this guy, which carries it’s own laundry-list of troubles.

But is a rubber ducky made out of little metal rings still a RUBBER ducky?  Or just a very RubberDucky-ish form?

Balls!

 

This started as a little lark about a month ago.

Single Unit

The chainmaille form is called the Celtic Star.  Basically, it’s a short length of Celtic Visions (WHERE do we maillers come up with these weird names???) chain circled around to join with itself and all the outside frilly bits tied up nicely with additional rings.

Well, I attached a couple of these stars together.   And…meh.  Took that apart, and attached a different way.  That’s when the muse woke up.

Day 8

Why is there a voice in my head right at this very moment screaming “DUCK AND COVER!”?

See – the 4 flowery forms had attached in a configuration that was VERY familiar.

So I rather quickly built up 2 more stars, and put them in juuuuuust the right spots.

Half Ball

BINGO!

I had half a dodecahedron…my favorite little 12-sided Platonic Solid.

I liked this form so much, I immediately went out (well, in…as most of my jumpring suppliers are online) and got the right size rings in bright red and green.  I was making ornaments for the SQO’s family for Christmas.

Look pretty, no?

On Hook