Lies and Lines

The Ultimate Craft Show is just at the end of this week, and I realize that I’ve been lying to myself. Somehow it seemed like it was so far off, and I thought I had lots of time. So much so that I worked on other projects and killed time instead of focusing on chain maille.  Because of that certain projects that I was hoping to debut at this show won’t exist for a while yet. And now there are only 5 evenings left, and I’m pretty sure two of them are already booked full.
Now I need to buckle down and work, and hopefully not panic.

On another note, at my last show, my mom and I were talking about booth design and ways to set up to be more appealing. And we/she had the ‘revolutionary’ idea to sort jewelry by colour/style/what would be worn together.
And I’m sure you’re laughing at me now, but as a creator (and someone who’s somewhat fashion challenged when it comes to myself), it’s not the natural sorting model. I’m using to sorting by weaves – how the piece is put together. And I’m not sure why I stuck by that for so long, because sorting by types of metal would also make sense. But there you have it.IMG_1234My jewelry sorted into a progression of designs: from steampunk to natural metals, silver coloured jewelry, to fun and trendy pieces, ending off with geek jewelry (Hogwarts House colour bracelets and a Tardis inlay bracelet). You can expect my booth to look very different this next show.


Seeing as my last three posts on what I’m making have involved watches or clocks, I figured it was time for something different. A while back I posted about some bigger ideas I had (see here), but I didn’t really go anywhere with any of them. That’s the problem with not getting to them right away – new ideas come and take there places. Now I’ve got some more ideas, but as they are in my head, and may never turn into reality, they’ll stay unknown for now. Hopefully I’ll get the supplies I need to make them in the near future.
Anyway, one of the ideas I had was to make epaulette style shoulder jewelry. I had gotten as far as making a piece of scale maille, but it wasn’t functional yet.
IMG_1217So I sewed it onto some black wool fabric, which I picked up at my local MCC thrift shop a good while back.  You can’t really see it in the picture, which in this case, is a good thing.  IMG_1222
I sewed a broach pin onto the wool, and it was done. IMG_1227It wasn’t exactly what I expected – I think I should have used larger scales, and gone for a full shoulder piece. But then it wouldn’t have really been much like an epaulette. What the design really needs though, is someone who can style it. IMG_1221

Ultimate Craft Show

April 11 & 12th is the Ultimate Craft Show. I’ve never been before, but this year I’m presenting there. It’s located at the Assiniboa Downs, from 10-5 on Saturday, and 11-5 on Sunday. The Ultimate Craft Show runs in conjunction with the Ultimate Women’s Show.
I’m super excited to set up there, not only because it’s a large show (two floors), but because they’ll have a different set up for vendors than I’m used to. Instead of just having a table, I’ll have a 5’x10′ space I can set up however I want.
Admission is $5, but the show has kindly provided a 2-for-1 admission coupon. Just print out the picture and bring it with you. Bonnie Maille 2 for 1 Admission e-Coupon for Ultimate Craft Show
Check out the Ultimate Craft Show website here.

Reworked Watches

There are times when I come back to something I have made, and go ‘what was I thinking?’ At the time, they seemed great, but by now I’ve changed my mind on them.
I was really excited when I found this watch face at the Winkler thrift shop for $3. I love Disney, and while The Lion King isn’t my favorite, the colours are amazing. It sat around for a while, until I needed a watch for camp, and mine was broken.
At that point, I hadn’t figured out how to make leather watch ends, so I made a bracelet style chain. It worked, but didn’t quite suit the watch, and as it had a lobster clasp, it was often a pain to put on.
IMG_1208It’s been lying around for far to long, so I finally switched it out to a more appropriate watch band style strap. Unfortunately, I’m terrible for remembering to take before pictures, and as I took apart the old strap to make the new, I have no record of what it used to look like. Just take my word that this works far better. IMG_1207 This watch was another Winkler thrift store find. It’s got a lovely rainbow face, and I wanted to make a chain that echoed it. This was at the point when I had just started making necklace watches, so I made a full chain of blue, green, yellow and pink. But as the rings didn’t have the same ombre effect, it just didn’t work. IMG_1213
I switched it out for a bracelet style band (which works a lot better on this watch than The Lion King watch, as this one is circular). The colours match the case of the watch, which leaves the ombre face as the focal point. IMG_1209 IMG_1212Now that I’ve reworked these watches, I’m far more satisfied with them than the original design. And it’s neat to see how I’ve progressed.

Chain Maille Clock

I made a chain maille clock! I’d be wanting to do this for ages, ever since my camp did clocks as their craft last summer, and were selling the excess clock movements when the summer ended. And this is the first one I’ve used:IMG_1191IMG_1194The outside frame is just a deep picture frame. I built a wooden frame that fits inside of it, and nailed the chain maille across it – after I had added the movement, of course. The edges of the mail are sandwiched between the two frames.IMG_1195IMG_1193It ended up looking basically how I had envisioned it – however, it isn’t perfect. The movement box tilts backwards, causing the hands to get stuck on the top edge of the clock. IMG_1192
I really like the way it looks, but it doesn’t  run as nicely as I could have hoped. However, in building it, I’ve had some inspiration to try out a few more styles of maille clock, and from what I’ve learn from this one, I expect them to be more successful.

Remaking a Dollarama Watch

A while back I was in Dollarama, and noticed that they had watches. Normally I like to get my watches from the Winkler Thrift Store, as they have an amazing selection, but as I hadn’t been there for a very long time, and I wanted to do a watch again, I picked this one up.  IMG_1069 Now, this watch isn’t quite as fancy as it looks: the two smaller buttons don’t have any function besides decorative, but as it’s a very large watch, it’s purpose is mainly decorative.
I took off the brown strap, and as I didn’t like the colour or texture, decided not to reuse any of it. I did take off the buckle though, to use for my own strap. IMG_1086I wanted a chain maille band with leather ends for stiffness. The large rings are made of aluminum, and the small are stainless steel, for strength.  IMG_1091I used a waterproof glue to make the buckle end of the strap, as well as stitching through the folds, and it seemed to work very well. IMG_1089I upcycled part of an old thrift shop briefcase to make the leather parts of the strap. According to the label, it’s real leather. And the colour is so much better than the old strap. IMG_1090
I have skinny wrists, so I had to push up the watch in order for it not to slide around my arm. But you can see how big the watch actually is. IMG_1096And a last comparison shot of the two bands. ThIMG_1093The watch will join my display on Sunday, and hopefully will find a new home soon, or I will be very tempted to shorten the strap and keep it for myself.  It will run for $25.

Celtic Labyrinth

I learned how to make Celtic Labyrinth a number of years ago, but as I didn’t have the right ring size at the time, I didn’t do much with it. Recently I rediscovered it, and have fallen in love. IMG_1045I love ornate looking things, and while much of chain maille has complex patterns, it often blends into one long, repeating design. But with Celtic Labyrinth, each unit is self containing, and can stand on it’s own, or be joined into a repeating chain.  IMG_1053It is a very versatile weave, and I haven’t even tried adding different colours yet, which I’ve seen used to very good effect.   IMG_1060And making it with slightly different ring sizes can change the look of the unit itself.  IMG_1049

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.