The Completion of the Dragon Project

I’ve done it.

Really done it.

No more experimentation.  No more half-realized wing patterns.  No more going to bed at night dreaming of chainmaille weaves and rings and toes.

I have a fully upright, free-standing chainmaille dragon that screams D.R.A.G.O.N.

Just look at him:

Chainmaille Dragon Front side

I’m absurdly pleased with my little creation…and although he doesn’t actually fly or growl or toast mine enemies to a golden brown, I’m claiming the title of ‘Mother of Dragons.’

Daenerys – eat your heart out.  Mine isN’T CGI.

Ok…I’ll admit to being a Game of Thrones fan.  The new season starts on SUNDAY!

The Return of The Dude!

dude-assembled

A bit ago, I posted one of my Etsy listings for The Dude Chainmaille pattern I created – selling ready-made-dudes, customized colors, and I even included a tutorial for any of the other chainmaille addicts out there if they wanted to make one of their own.

All I asked for was recognition as the designer of the pattern.

I did a search on Etsy last night – and I found my Dude being sold by another vendor.

 

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

 

What an awesome feeling – that something I pulled from the creative soup inside my skull was considered good enough for another creative person to duplicate 😀

Warm fuzzies and happy tinglys – CHECK.

Green Goddess

Neck shot

The last couple of weekends, when I haven’t been obsessing over  new & inventive ideas to get rid of my butt – I’ve been enjoying myself with little bitty rings.  I managed to get a few new pieces up on Etsy.

via Green Goddess asymmetrical Swarovski crystal by TempestAndTeapot

It’s all very exciting, as it’s Madame Maillestrom’s Etsy debut!  Naturally, I had to pick a cool name for the mannequin – something crazy and edgy.  Now that I’ve got the name, it’s only a matter of time before her personality becomes apparent (in my head, at least).  I think she’s slightly fuming over having a blanket over her head when not employed (S tends to freak out over human analogues – so I have to keep the ‘fair Madame under wraps unless she’s working), and has mentioned the need for a wig now and again…

 

drum full chain

I’ve wanted to do an asymmetrical necklace for a while.  They’re unusual & kind of crazy…just like me.  They also slide around your neck.  The trick, I think, is to weigh down the apex point.  With this incarnation of the Green Goddess, I didn’t do that – so it does a fair amount of sliding around.  I’m sure I’ll go back to this design soon, and figure out a way to weigh down the end I want DOWN.

 

close in HP 3 in 1A lot of the build on this one was fairly simple.  Half-Persian 3 in 1 is the pattern for the long chain, and is pretty easy to weave once you get it started.  A shorter length of 3 in 1 is between the two crystals.

 

close in HP 4 in 1I slipped a length of Half-Persian 4 in 1 between the crystals for a bit of contrast.  4 in 1, especially with those TINY rings, is a multiple four-letter-word, I need a few more hands starter – but like it’s cousin 3 in 1, is an easy to replicate pattern once you’ve stabilized the chain.

 

close in spiralBelow the crystals is a length of spiral 4 in 1. That chain was made from some leftover enameled copper rings in a different green & brown.  I absolutely LOVE this color combination – I keep calling it my dark chocolate mint combo.

 

Which reminds me – my stash of those rings is getting low.  Might have to place a new order…

 

So now, I’m up to the crystals.

Rivoli and clasp close in

As these are the focal, they had to be special.  For starters, I went name-brand.  Genuine Swarovski Rivoli’s.  I have a build in my arsenal already to make stars out of chainmaille – and I modified this build to create the rivoli cage.   There are no glues or adhesives or wires to hold the crystals in place – only the tension of the weave.

And tension there is.  The last few rings are a real pain in the (hopefully deflating) backside to slide into place and close…but totally worth the end result.  The rings used on these 2 are more of the main chain’s green, interspersed with pure copper.

 

I finished her off with a sterling silver hook I found at my local bead shop, and a largish aluminum ring to hook into.

 

All in all, I’d she’s a beauty to behold.  Total build time was around 3 hours, total ring count is approximately 520 rings.

 

 

 

 

 

Punchin’ them Keys

Keys

OK…ouch.  I punched the keys on the advice of another blogger out here on WordPress – and got sore knuckles to prove it.

His suggestion, naturally, was not to duke it out with your keyboard (bad for tech and knuckles both) but to just sit down and start putting words on that blank screen.

Whatever words come to mind.  Don’t think about ’em, don’t obsess about ’em, and for Gawd’s sake, don’t panic!  Just fill the available area with black characters.  Before you know it – you’ll be hitting that save key, rearranging them words so they flow into a story, digging out the appropriate photograph(s) from either your files or from the ‘net, and publishing your next blog post.

journey copy

From one of my beach excursions

I’m finding this approach works especially well for me with the flash pieces I’m amusing myself with.  With one of the standard ‘rules’ in flash being a tight timeline to get in submissions – if I waited until I had a story fully fleshed-out in my head before beginning to write, I’d never get anything submitted.

I usually start a flash piece with a single sentence or idea – the first thing that pops into my head when I see the photo prompt.  It’s usually followed by a companion idea, which complements that first one.

Why, hello there – you’re looking mighty fine in that black & white tonight…

From there, I work backwards to tie the two together…and voila!  Flash!

it was late last night (for me) and I had to check things one last time on the ‘net before shutting things down, curling up on my recliner, pulling up the comforter, slapping on the CPAP, and going to sleep.

And, as an aside – yes – I am FINALLY getting some sleep!  We moved the recliner into my bedroom last weekend so I no longer have to sleep on a completely horizontal surface!!!

Well – Grace, the wonderful hostess at Three Line Thursday promptly put up her weekly competition just as I was doing my final ‘net checks – and, with a burning need to be the FIRST to offer up a submission – I quickly devoured the photo prompt, the additional challenge, and filled that little blank space with words.

As TLT is as micro-fiction as flash gets (three lines…30 words max…that’s all ya get!), it didn’t take me long to create something worthy to share.

All from simply filling that blank space with a couple of words, and letting the ‘birthing’ process proceed from there.

Here’s the piece that emerged:

 Tell me why, the beautiful ones
hang their heads in shame
when shown, the debts, on their souls?

I encourage you go visit Three Line Thursday, and the artist’s page, for the visual.

If I had to have an Aesop Fable ‘Moral of the Story” on this post, it would be:   write.  Don’t be intimidated by that blank page.  Don’t let it tease you with terrifying visions of rewrite after rewrite after rewrite.  Don’t let it convince you that you’ve nothing to say.  Just write – and let those words flow.

Words are becoming easier…

toys at the bar

A Smurf & a Wookie walk into a bar…

I’m looking over my drafts folder – and am a bit shocked at the number of posts I’ve got the writing done for, but have no muse-pushing (or will to create) photos to go with them.  It’s ironic if you’ve read the T&T over on the Google site.

One of the early posts I put out was ‘Pictures are easy, Words are Hard.”  At the time of that posting, I had images pouring out of my mind, while the words were more illusive.

And now – less than a year later?  Complete reversal.  I’ve got fiction pouring out, a lot of typing going on – but no push for photography or visual arts of any kind.

It’s been at least 2 weeks since I opened the ‘shop application on my computer. 😮

My DSLR case is gathering a fine coating of shed cat hair.  😮

I don’t know how much battery life is left on the little point & shoot that still resides in my purse for photographic emergencies.  😮

There have BEEN no photographic emergencies…

But the words?  Sheesh – they’re EVERYWHERE.  You can tell on this blog, if nowhere else.  Flash fiction is running me these days – along with the numerous voices all clamoring in my subconscious demanding I write THEIR story next.

My muse resembles Rich Little –

1001 voices all directing my fingers at the keyboard.

Yea…I know what this means.  I’ve spent the last 29+… (none of your business how many pluses…) years evaluating my subconscious against my creative impulses.  I know my cycles, and when I move back toward the written word, it means turbulence is brewing – either personally or professionally.  It also means that I’m once again trying to bull my way through things in a mad attempt to think my way out of whatever niggling issue with as little collateral damage as possible.

At this point, any damage is contained within.

The breaking point is usually involves crafting REALLY bad poetry – so I’m not there yet.

Drunk yodaSome people drink to alleviate the pain caused by life…some people garden.  Still others indulge in research chemicals, insane physical challenges, or crazy spending-sprees.  I indulge in words, fiction, and chutzpah.

I do have an inkling of what the hind-brain is saying, but I’m not quite ready to admit to myself or the blog-o-sphere what that is yet.

Morning Cup of coffee copy

But don’t worry – It’s rare to have a full implosion…as long as there’s coffee.