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.

1

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

 

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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…

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

Sheesh…am I writing about Chainmaille AGAIN?

I really can’t help it…I’ve had some interesting things come off the pliers lately, and I’m gonna share…

 

Chainmaille Dragon Final 2

When I completed the dragon tutorial, a couple of people in my chainiac group on the evil Book of Faces asked if there’d be a kit coming for this one.  A kit, for those not in the know, is when a jump-ring supplier offers a packet of rings in counts and sizes that were specifically put together for the tutorial at hand.

Sooooo – I reached out to a couple of suppliers I know offer kits for tutorials they don’t own.  Sadly, the answer was no.  The dragon is simply too complex a build, requiring 7 different ring sizes, as well as scales, beads, and wire.

 

Damn.  But the answer got my blood flowing for having a tutorial written that someone WOULD kit out.  It’s great for the chainmaille community as a whole, as it allows cross-support between the vendors and the designers, and gives new enthusiasts the chance to build some really cool things with rings they KNOW will work.

 

Pile o failHalf my design work ends up in the ‘well, THAT didn’t work’ bucket, awaiting deconstruction.  Or a new idea…

So I banged out a new pretty – simple (for me) design, and sat down to write out the how-to.

I’m calling this one the Mobyzan Heart, as it’s a mix of byzantine chain segments interrupted with mobius balls.  Cute, in’nt it?

Mobyzan cover 3

I have a favorable response this time – Metal Designz will be kitting out my work this time 😀

 

YEA, ME!

 

Art Abandonment Project – 5th Drop

Art Abandonment logo

Now that I’ve got my new cards for the Art Abandonment project – I like dropping stuff a lot more.  This time, I’m taking advantage of the kids going far and wide on their summer camping/festival runs, and I’ve sent a couple of things along with them to drop.

They have three:

Drop weekend of 7.27-7.30.17

These little pretties will be abandoned in Harmony Park, MN, as part of the Campfire Flow Fest going on the weekend of 7.28-7.30.17.  I don’t know where the kids are going to do the specific drops, but S has said she plans on doing the ‘deed’ early in the weekend, to allow plenty of time for my little pretties to be found.

Now…I can’t post pics of the actual drops yet, because they haven’t happened – but I’ll give you a little background on my pretties.

 

Chainmaille 8 point Byzantine Star Abandoned 7.27-7.30.17

Yes, it’s another Byzantine Star pendant.  These are happy little charms – they’re some of the first forms I was able to make when I started chainmailling, and I just love to make ’em.  This is another 8 point star, in mixed copper & aluminum.

Chainmaille Whirly Bird Abandoned 7.27-7.30.17

Whirlys also feature on my favorite things to make list.  This one has a reddish marble in it, from S’s big bag of antique marbles.  I added some red aluminum connector rings to accentuate the marble’s color.  These are my favorite little fiddle toys.  Because the cage is slightly loose around the marble (but not too loose to allow the marble to slip out) it can roll around in your hand or between your fingers.  The form is fluid and alive in your hand or wherever you play with it.

Chainmaille Celtic Pendant Abandoned 7.27-7.30.17

And lastly – the 4 point Celtic Star.  This little guy was an early experiment in Maille.  I don’t think I’ve ever made another.  I do remember looking over the piece as I dragged it out of the storage case, and saying “Man…that’s a bad closure.  Oooooh – there’s another one…”  So pliers were applied to fix my ‘student’ closures before tucking him in his bag.  I might have to revisit making these stars, as they do look nice, and were fairly easy to put together.

 

Wish the kids stealth as they drop these pieces for the festies to find and cherish.