Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The random interesting stuff: my thoughts, what I’m up to, half-finished projects, just-for-fun pictures, possibly tutorials, and whatever else I feel like posting.

Comic Con is in less than a week!

Between having a life/job, working on a fun but time consuming commission, and my tendency to spend far to much time on the internet (curse you fandom part of pintrest), Comic Con has snuck up on me and I am not feeling prepared!
Back at the Comic and Toy Expo in September my mom and I brainstormed a whole list of ideas I was interested in pursuing. And now Comic Con is in four days, and I can finally check a few of these off.
IMG_1812So this year I’ll be presenting a few more geeky items than I had last year.

Presenting, the Owl Avengers:IMG_1808Iron Man, Hawkeye, Captain America.  IMG_1810Thor (complete with cape), Hulk, Black Widow.
I’d been thinking of doing these on and off since last year when I made an Iron Man owl, but I didn’t have the rings. I finally bought the sizes I need, and built them all. Some turned out better than others – particularly Iron Man and The Hulk, but I also do like Captain America.
My seven-year-old cousin keeps playing with them and is clamoring for me to make an Ultron. If I ever get the time…I’ve also toyed with the idea of making Loki, but I just don’t think I could pull off the horned helmet and all that.

I’ve also got back to an idea I played with years ago: IMG_1803These are both painful and fun to make. The rings are tiny and annoying to work with, but the end result is so good it’s mostly worth the bother.IMG_1807I’ll have at least three of these at Comic Con, maybe more depending on how much I can get done, but with the way my current ‘to build’ list looks, that might be a bit of a stretch.

Anyways, all this to say come to Comic Con!
October 30      2-9pm
October 31      9am-7pm  November 1   10am-5pm
RBC Convention Center, 375 York, Winnipeg

I’ll be in Artist Alley, in the aisle closest to the hallway. I’m pumped for the costumes, talking to Con-goers and Vendors, and seeing all the amazing geekery that shows up at these things. Hope to see you there!

A Display Rack

So you may have noticed the past couple of pictures of my display that I have a display rack now.
Back in October when I was preparing for Comic Con, I decided I really needed a rack to display my chain maille shirt, shoulder pieces, and inlays on.
As I’m used to DIYing everything, I sketched a bit, and this is what I came up with:
IMG_1305Then I went shopping, and found out that in order to build that, I’d have to use either copper or iron pipe, both of which are very expensive. Then the very helpful older gentleman at Home Depot showed me the aluminum grounding cable. So between that and me foisting this project upon my dad, this is what I ended up with: IMG_1294It’s not exactly how I had envisioned it, but working with different (and more cost effective) materials meant some changes had to be made.
IMG_1296   IMG_1297
Between working in different locations, not all of it got painted the first time through, so hopefully at some point the rest of it will receive a coat of flat black paint as well.
IMG_1304It’s a little large, and occasionally difficult to fit into the back of a vehicle, but other than that, I quite like it. And it makes displaying my non-jewelry pieces so much easier. IMG_1299Of course, once this was all over, I found out that IKEA sells clothing racks $15. But I’m not sure they’d stand up to the abuse of multiple pounds of metal hanging on them, and being dragged from show to show. And I think this one will.

new year, (time to make) new plans

IMG_0863I don’t always think much about the new year. I’m not one to make much for resolutions or anything like that, but it seems to be that this year my culmination of unorganized resulted in the beginning of this year being far more organized than the end of last year. Hopefully that trend continues…
I haven’t spent much time thinking about Bonnie Maille’s plans for this year – that will come when I’m settled slightly more into normal life and out of holidays, but I do know that I want to be active within my business. I’m planning on doing some chain maille classes at Diva Beadz, a local bead shop. I’m hoping to also do some classes in schools, as well as collaborate with Peridot, a local jewelry shop that just opened this past November. I’d also love to do Comic Con again. I still have a lot of stock to update, and I also want to do some more exploring into new designs, particularly using more matte colours. The future will be interesting, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it’ll go.

Life and Christmas

I can’t believe that it’s half way through December already! Somehow all the time has melted away.
It has been a while since I have posted, and while I have not been idle, my efforts have been focused elsewhere. And unfortunately, they will most likely continue to be focused elsewhere for the next little while, as I have picked up a job, after several months of searching. This looks like it will do well, and I am excited to get into this new routine. Hopefully once I’m settled into it I’ll have the brain space to focus on chain maille again.
The other thing that has been taking up my time is Christmas. I love Christmas. I love the decorations, the music (only the classical and jazz stuff though, not pop), the lights, the time set aside for family, and the gift giving. I am a gift giver. Every year I dream of inspired, thoughtful gifts to give my friends and family, although most years I start too late and don’t get as much done as I had hoped. This year I’m doing a bit better. This year also happens to be the most chain maille gifts I’ve ever given. I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what sort of jewelry my friends will like (and wear) most, and although there have been a few failures along the way, I think I’ve been successful with all of them in the end.
Here are a couple of my ideas that didn’t make the cut.
I really love the way this necklace is going, but it’s just too much for the friend I was envisioning it for. Not that she couldn’t pull it off, but just that she’d lack opportunities to wear it.IMG_0886IMG_0883 I started off with this really cool idea, and wanted to incorperate keys. But while the necklace turned out the way I had expected, it didn’t really suit the person it was intended for. So I tried a different combination of rings and semi-precious stone beads, and it turned out much more suited to the recipient. IMG_0880 IMG_0882Hopefully once christmas is over I’ll have a bit more time to devote to chain maille again.

Big(ger) Ideas

Ever since Comic Con ended, I’ve continually been coming across things that inspire me to create on a slightly larger scale than jewelry. Sitting across from a gorgeous leather work booth (at the Con) was definetly the start of my inspiration.

This pieces is going to be made almost entirely of scale maille, and will have leather lacings holding it together, making it way easier to get on and off than my current piece is. IMG_0760
This one is very similar to my finished scale piece, only one sided. It will be scale maille on the shoulder, and european 4 in 1 for the strap. Those three large circles will be the clasp that closes it up. IMG_0761
In the past I’ve made a chain maille tie, and I thought it was time to expand to included bow ties as well. IMG_0762However, it isn’t going so well. It’s slightly floppy, and wouldn’t look at all like a bow tie while being worn. IMG_0758The center knot is also a bit too long, so I’m guessing I’ll fix that, put a chain on this one and turn it into a necklace. Then I’ll start over using a slightly thicker ring combination that will help it keep its shape a lot better. IMG_0759
I came across some diy website where they showed how to make epaulettes to pin onto shirts. I thought it was such a cool idea, and saved the link, but since then the blog has been taken down.
Anyway, I’m thinking of a scale diamond that rests on the top of the shoulder, with chains coming over the top of the arm, but I’ve had a second idea as well. IMG_0763Unfinished edges of scale maille hang loosely, so I’m going to try leaving the edges unfinished and hanging like a fringe. I think I’m going to have to try quite a few variations on this one before I get something I like.  IMG_0777
Last idea – I’ve been seeing body chains around on the web, so I thought I’d experiment a little bit.
IMG_0764 I’m not entirely sold how it turned out, though it was interesting to try. But the fact that I don’t end up connecting with people who are into this sort of thing will halt my experiments for the next while – at least, until someone who’s interested gets in touch with me. IMG_0772I’m not sure how long it’s going to take before all of these become reality, especially the first two, as they’ll both require quite a bit of supplies, which I don’t have at the moment. But this is what I’m considering for the future, for now at least.

what makes Comic Con special… part 2

I’ve been a big fan of trades between artists/vendors ever since a women selling scroll-work goods made the suggestion to me. It’s a way for artists to get something new using their skills, which seems so much cooler than paying for it in the conventional way. And I picked up a lot of pieces at Comic Con.
The reason you aren’t getting picture of my art wall is because I’ve only found frames for half the pieces so far.
This Portal print was sitting exactly where I could see it an aisle across. And it was calling to me. Never mind that I’ve never played Portal (although I do listen to the soundtrack). But now I am going to have to.IMG_0649Another piece from the same artist. Unfortunately I did a really bad job of keeping track of who I got each picture from, so I can’t even link to half the artists.  IMG_0657 This steampunk picture is made from old photographs, most of which come from Winnipeg. You can find more of Kevin Fawley’s work here IMG_0651 I love the colour on this one. I didn’t see the child hiding in this woman’s skirt until the third or fourth time I looked at the picture.IMG_0652  The glass makes this one look a lot softer than it actually is – the colours are far less muted in real life.IMG_0656  I was specifically looking for art that wasn’t comic-booky, and I though I succeeded with pretty much every piece I bought, this one is the furthest from a comic book that I found.  More of Sam Secter here.IMG_0648As well as my plethora of prints, I also picked up a mocking-jay pin. While I’m not the most die-hard Hunger Games Fan, I do love things that come straight from a movie, as opposed to inspired by items.  IMG_0655As much as I love trades, and wish I could do more of them, I can’t imagine what life would be like if we went back to the barter system.

what makes Comic Con special…

I’m not sure exactly what caused me to fall off the grid after Comic Con… I guess when you’ve been focusing all your efforts on one event, it creates a black hole after it is over. Because I still have such a huge stock left over from the Con, I’m not exactly sure what to be focusing on (more on that in my next post). Hopefully I’m back now.
But for now, I want to talk about what makes Comic Con special and so different from all my normal craft shows.
The biggest thing is the people. A good chunk of them are in costume, so there’s the fun of trying to figure out who everyone is. Not to mention a good chunk of them have built their own costumes – which is amazing to see. The lighting wasn’t great in Artist Alley, which is where my booth was, and where I took most of my pictures. Here are a few of the vast collection of amazing costumes I saw over the weekend:
Bender, from Futurama. I’m amazed at the construction – it’s brilliant! And the teeth is a screen!IMG_0611    Astrid, from How to Train your Dragon. There were a surprising number of kids at the con.IMG_0605This Loki crocheted her own horns! (and the rest of her suit for that matter)IMG_0602    This steampunk chick built her own wings! Her whole family was steampunked to the nines and were all as amazing as this girl.IMG_0600    Madam Vastra and Jenny from Doctor Who. My sister and I had this thing going where whenever one of us would leave the table, an awesome Doctor Who Cosplay would go on. IMG_0597    I don’t even know what to say about this guy.  IMG_0590    My sister as the Eleventh Doctor with the Third Doctor.IMG_0589     A Healer and Wizard from Clash of Clans.IMG_0617 One of the few chain maille pieces I saw during the convention. Although there were a few knights wandering around in 30+ pounds of maille.IMG_0616 This lovely lady had to be my favorite of all the cosplayers. She’s Moist Von Lipwig from Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal. Not only is it a character from a book (albeit one that was made into a rather good movie), she knows how to pose in her character and made her costume herself. Makes me wish I could connect with her somehow – that is a person worth knowing. IMG_0612-001People in costume are so much fun to talk to – they’re very open and willing to talk, and often you have that connection of both being into the same games or shows or whatever. And I think at least one person’s costume was the source of a sale over the weekend.
And I think that since this post is so long already, it will have to turn into a two-parter.

Winnipeg Comic Con Follow-up

 The Winnipeg Comic Con has been over for two days, and I think I’m still short on sleep/energy. Sales were not as good as I was hoping – but I made back my expenses, so with 3-4 other people selling chain maille I guess I  can’t complain.
Besides the unfortunate sales (and the standing for basically 12 hours straight), the Con was a lot of fun. My biggest highlight was trying out the Oculus Rift, a virtual gaming headset. My brother has been telling me about it, so as well as trying it myself, it was pretty cool to be the one in the know, and tell him it was there. And it was amazing! The headset immerses you in a virtual world – from an evolution of a landscape, to a room without a door, to outer space, to the very top of a construction tower. After I tried out the demo, the people running it said they could tell I was afraid of heights, cause I didn’t interact with that last one much. Enough with the endorsing… but it was one of the coolest things ever.
Something else I really enjoyed was seeing all the costumes, especially a few lesser known characters. I’ll be posting some of the pictures I took on my Facebook page, hopefully within the week.
Between seeing the awesome leatherwork across from my booth, and people talking to me about larger projects, I think I’m going to get back into some non-jewelry pieces. Unfortunately, my funds and supplies are a bit limited, but I think I’ll be trying some shoulder pieces and bracers in the not to distant future.
Comic Con was a great event, and I think I’ll be going again next year with a better costume, geekier jewelry, and a better idea of what I’m getting into.

Comic Con is coming up!

Earlier this week I attended a pre-Con meeting, and the Con’s website countdown is telling me the same thing: Comic Con is almost here! It’s slightly terrifying to only have two weeks left to get everything ready, but hopefully I’ll get everything done on time. Here’s a few new pieces that I’ll have out:
IMG_0546Lock and Key bracelet: I’m really excited with this bracelet. The key is part of the clasp.IMG_0563 IMG_0566A Full Persian Sheet bracelet in a chessboard pattern.IMG_0560And last but not least: a subtler version of Tom Baker’s Scarf from Doctor WhoIMG_0558Comic Con website is here. Schedules here, and ticket prices here. And of course, guests. The only ones I really know are the dwarfs from The Hobbit.
I’ve also been working on display pieces for my table. I built the stands the other weekend when I went home to my parents place. My new favorite tool is the dremel set into a table. Those things are nice!B&A - Bracelet Stands B&A - CratesDates are:
Friday, Oct 31 – 2-9 PM
Saturday, Nov 1 – 9 AM – 9 PM
Sunday, Nov 2 – 10 AM – 6 PM