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!

 

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How to Chain Your Dragon

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I did it…I got the tutorial done for my dragon design.

YEA, ME!!!!

 

It was a monster of a project – almost as monstrous as all the design work that went into the form.  I lost sight of the actual photo count by the time I finished (added a few last minute shots, dropped a few others) but I had 251 pixs edited and lined up by the time I’d finished the photo work phase.

The final page count for the tutorial is 79 – but most of that space is taken up by the pictures.  It ended up a HUGE file in my hard drive.

Now, I’m no stranger to writing (duh!).  I’ve done ‘how to’s’ for employers in the past as they attempted to document JUST how a certain job is performed.  The writing of those little guides were usually dry, cold, impersonal and boring as hell, because there were higher-up’s involved who wouldn’t know a humorous phrase if it came up off the page and bit their noses off.

When I started the dragon tutorial, this was how the writing ‘clicked,’ because that’s my past experience with guides…a very ‘business impersonal’ style.

Took me a moment to realize what I was doing – and scrap the first draft.  I didn’t need to impersonalize this work, because there were no higher-ups between me and the publishing button.  The ONLY thing that would stop me from inserting my personality into this work was ME.

Can you see me cackling madly at my keyboard, yet?

If you want to make a dragon of your very own – here’s the listing:

How to Chain Your Dragon (a tutorial)

And if you want a dragon withOUT all the mucking about with pliers and little metal rings – I’ll make one for you:

My Pet Dragon

Chainmaille Dragon Face close in

 

 

Art Abandonment Project – 7th Drop

 

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The weekend of August 12, the kids and I took a little trip half-way across the state to Madison…the justification being a new bra.

Once we tried on all kinds of over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders and selected the ones we wanted – it was time for fun.

Not that bra shopping in an upscale boutique-y place isn’t fun when you get to embarrass the hell out of the lady assisting with the sizing, selection and trying-on of the things…but I digress.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit ‘coarse’ when discussing boobage.  ESPECIALLY my own.

We ended up on State Street.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Wisconsin’s Capital city – state street is the connecting street to the actual capital building and UWM’s campus.  It’s filled to the brim with an eclectic offering of tiny mom&pop shops:  eateries, bars, glasswares, clothing, artistic gifts, metaphysical stuff…etc.

It’s also interspersed with an amazing number of very well thought out urban ‘chill’ spaces – fountains, greenery, water amusements, seating areas, and the like.

Because Madison has taken such care in creating an attractive space around the actual Government building(s), State street is a magnet for a very interesting class of people.

To put it bluntly – you get the hippies.

I don’t mean this in a negative way – I LOVE the hippy vibe – these are people who, in any day and age the tag has been affixed, go against the standardized social ‘grain’ of the time.  These are the thinkers, the dreamers, the rebels, and the artisans.

In short – my kind of people.

With such an eccentric gathering, how could I NOT bring along a few little artworks to abandon?

Grouping

I picked a total of 5 pieces for this little trip – an offering of some of my best…and some forms that hadn’t been chosen for abandonment before this.

We’ll start with this little teashop on State Street.  The kids wanted something kinda sweet to drink, and I badly needed a bathroom – Sencha Tea Bar served to fulfill both functions.  I laughed so hard at the signage in their restroom, I HAD to leave an offering…so the multi-colored fin whirly was perched on the sign.  Although my little twiddle isn’t as beautiful as Beyonce – I hope whoever found the piece treasures it as much as I loved making it.

We then wandered down State Street in the direction of the college quad.  One of my favorite things about State Street is the mix of old & new.  Here…some ancient storefront architecture bracketed with modern high-rises.  Perfect if you need some bohemian foodstuffs 😀

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Once we emerged into the quad – we found a gathering of flow artists…doing their thing to the beat of a small drum-circle.  I don’t know if you can really call 2 drummers a ‘circle’…but I was willing to just go with it.  Besides – the beats they performed were infectious – I couldn’t keep my feet still throughout the entire performance.

I managed to drop the dude and the inverted whirly in the quad – the dude ended up between the railings behind the drum circle, and the inverted whirly on one of the concrete seating areas surrounding the quad.

 

The kids spun things along with the group…after all, they’re flow artists and knew some of these people…and I wandered about the quad with my cell phone camera.

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Art comes in many forms – this storm grate isn’t your standard piece of cast iron.  This kind of detail is what makes the State Street area something special to visit.  And look…I took a selfie of my feet 😀

 

 

 

 

 

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You know I live in Wisconsin – we worship cows ALMOST as much as we worship beer.  I couldn’t help but snap up this little cutie.  She was quite intrigued by the flow artist spinning his hoop in the grass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don’t need to go to Europe to see a castle…we have one of our very own!

 

 

 

 

 

The last piece to be abandoned in the quad was the full Persian keychain.  This wasn’t my standard abandonment, however.  One of the flow artists was having a birthday.  The group stopped in the middle of their performance, and offered impromptu birthday wishes and a pretty green present.

As green was her favorite color…the FP keychain was just the thing – it had green scales attached.  S duly presented my little twiddle to her…and she ran over to give me the biggest hug I’d had in quite some time.

FP Keychain

We had 1 more stop to make.  Mimosa Books & Gifts on State Street is a familiar haunt for the kids – they offer a lot of metaphysical stuff, some Eastern-themed tchotchkes, and tumbled, carved and shaped mineral stones.

Lots of those.

I slipped my final whirly on a corner of the counter when we were checking out.

We then grabbed a bite at the Which-Wich.  I tell ya – their lettuce-wich’s are HUGE – and very keto friendly.

We then made our way back to the old cheap-jeep.

But first…

When a building demands a good goosing – who are we to disappoint?

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And the last shot I’ve got from the Madison trip?  This little gem, spotted as we were getting into the car.

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If there were ever any doubts about how Wisconsinites feel about their beer, their football team, and their major religion – I believe this photo has erased all of that – the only thing missing from the signage was an advertisement for bratwurst.  We worship hops, the Packers, grilled brats, and Christianity in this state (well, the majority do…I’m the weird one!) and in that order.

 

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.

To Infinity!

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A couple of weeks ago, a lady on my chainmaillers group on Facebook posted a video of a new creation she’d come up with.  Everyone ooo’d and ahhh’d and, with the fevor of hard-core creative types, requested (begged, pleaded, kowtowed, offered lavish sacrifice for) a tutorial become available.

Well, JUUUUST before Labor day – that tutorial suddenly appeared on the interwebz.  There were delays involving technical difficulties with recording the tutorial video, a LOT of Facebook stalking of that thread in our group, a few bitten fingernails (mostly mine, I can’t confirm the status of anyone else’s digits) and, overall, a lot of good-natured ribbing as we waited for the magic images.

The $12 bucks I threw at her tutorial was some of the best money I’ve spent on the web.

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She calls this pattern the ‘Infinity Rose.’

Damn…this thing is addictive – both to create, AND to play with.  So addictive, sadly, that I think I irritated a nerve.  The inner tip of my left ring finger has been slightly numb since Saturday evening.

My pliers are, for the moment, in the penalty (tool)box – waiting for some feeling to come back into my finger.  With most sprains, strains and body-irritations, time & rest is what heals things.

But I’ve NEVER wanted to chainmaille so bad in my LIFE!

On the other hand, a forced break from creation is allowing me to get some well-overdue listings for pieces up on Etsy.

Come see what I’ve been up to 😀

Disregard the sound – Roommates watching Futurama when I recorded this…