Small church craft shows are rarely exceptional, but I have to say, St. Vital EMC’s craft show this year was superb.
With all that I’d had going on these past couple of months (particularly Comic Con), I hadn’t given the show much thought (which is why there wasn’t a pre-show post about it). Initially, I’d only agreed because it’s my church, it was convenient, and I had gone three times before.
So I wasn’t thinking much about it, and didn’t even do my usual test run set up at home.
But despite that lack of thought, it was amazing.
It’s a small show – thirty-something tables, but it’s very community based. They set up some tables and chairs in one corner for shoppers to chat around, and sell hotdogs and homemade soup. There’s a lot of people I know, so the atmosphere is a lot of fun.
Set up was surprisingly quick, even with my lack of planning, so I was actually presentable before the doors opened (which I hadn’t been sure would happen). Sales were great, and a friend hung out at my table and figured out how to make European 4 in 1 by copying one of my bracelets. And I made a trade for fudge with someone I met last year.
The next day at church, I was given these pocket watches by a member of the church. He had got them for free a while back, and having seen my chain maille watches, thought this would be a great home for them. They’re fairly basic pocket watches – nothing fancy – but they don’t have batteries! They’re watches you have to wind, which I find so cool. They sound different from battery operated watches, and it’s cool seeing the little gears spin through the clear panels.
So look forward to some new watch chains for them – as soon as I get rings that match. I’m thinking Byzantine for one of them, but I haven’t decided which other weave to use.
I don’t have any more shows left for this year, so it’s great to end on such a high note.
If you were hoping to get something from me yet before Christmas, shoot me an email. While I don’t have any weekends free for shows, I still have time for commissions.
It has come to my attention that I never formally posted any pictures of my Doctor Who inspired jewelry. So here it is, in all its glory: For those of you who don’t know what Doctor Who is, it’s a British Science Fiction tv show, about a humanoid alien with two hearts (known as the Doctor), who gallivants through space with one or more companions, saving things and experiencing the wonder of the universe(s). And they travel in a spaceship called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) disguised (due to a malfunction of the chameleon circuit) as a blue police box. It is impossible to explain how amazing it is, or even what it is, without sounding crazy. Anyway, the larger bracelet says ‘I (double) heart the TARDIS’ It is approximately two inches wide, and seven and a half inches long. Which is, unfortunately, too big for me to wear comfortably. The other bracelet is a representation of the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. It’s a far more practical way to show your love of Doctor Who than the original scarf – my sister knit a full size scarf, and it’s a lot of yarn to hang around your neck. I really enjoyed doing geek stuff, and Doctor Who is something I’m really into (even though I’ve only seen the new stuff), which made it even better, but I’d love to make more geek related stuff in the future, hopefully in time for Comic Con.
Anyway, if you’re interested in seeing more geek jewelry, have ideas for me, or just want to fangirl about Doctor Who with me, drop me a line!
footnote: I realize that I really suck at posting the prices of my jewelry, so here it is: the TARDIS inlay bracelet is $76, and scarf bracelets start at $18.
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.
It’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. 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.
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. Now 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.
I love steampunk. I love the colours, the intricacies of it, and all the details. Keys, gears and pocket watches…
Unfortunately, these things aren’t particularly chain maille. A lot of steampunk jewelry is made up of lots of little charms glued or linked together. So I’ve never attempted it… until now!
A friend of mine was interested in some steampunk jewelry for a Christmas gift, so she bought me a package of gears, propellers, and a very cool compass point design, and asked me to see what I could come up with.
And this is what happened next:
Granted, it took a week. And this necklace was definetly the hardest part. The propeller in the middle didn’t come with holes in the corners, so I punch though them with a nail. Fortunately, copper is relatively soft. Trying to get the pieces to hang nicely required reworking the design a couple times, and I’m still not entirely happy with it.
For this bracelet, I connected the gears far tighter together than the necklace, and finished it up with a strap of European 4 in 1, in brass. Now I’m going to have to try another necklace connecting the gears in this style. This bracelet is made of two copper byzantine chains on each side of the medallion. I had the idea almost as soon as I saw the charm, and it turned out exactly as I’d hoped. I can’t wait for the patina on the copper to match the patina on the medallion. I was tempted to try and age the copper, but I think I’ll save that for another time, and let this age on its own.
Not quite strictly chain maille, but I made one two many jewel encrusted gears for the necklace, so they were a quick throw together, and I like the way they turned out. I found one key in my box of miscellaneous charms, and had to use it. Once I was finished, building all my current ideas, I found another set of key charms somewhere else, so I’ll just have to make some more…And she loved them! It was a successful experiment in steampunk. The third and last jewelry pieces are no longer available, but I will be making more.
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.
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.
In the past I’ve made a chain maille tie, and I thought it was time to expand to included bow ties as well. However, it isn’t going so well. It’s slightly floppy, and wouldn’t look at all like a bow tie while being worn. The 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.
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. Unfinished 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.
Last idea – I’ve been seeing body chains around on the web, so I thought I’d experiment a little bit.
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. I’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.
Or last week, more accurately. Well, from Sept 13-19, most accurately. Quite a lot of it is my new rings.Somehow it doesn’t look like quite so much spread out though.The Glow in the Dark scales are pretty impressive. In the dark, a package of them is almost as bright as a laptop LED, and just as annoying when you’re trying to sleep. All these scales are plastic, and pretty cool.A new design of scale bracelet. The gold one is my favorite. Older scale designs, and rubber bracelets. Coloured rubber rings are an interesting new addition. I’d tried the orange and white ones before and didn’t care for them, but the whole rainbow isn’t bad. Miscellaneous necklaces and bracelets. The black keys were being sold as stickers, but they turned out to be charms with a bit of rubber glue on the back of them, and much better for jewelry than scrap-booking, or whatever. These earrings and pendants are a new idea, inspired by who-knows-what, but I happened to have the supplies. And I apologize for the quality of the photos. I guess basement bedroom lighting isn’t the best for photography.
I started this inlay at least a year ago, maybe closer to two, and I finally finished it a few months ago. I ended up dropping it in pursuit of more interesting projects, so it lies dejected in a box now, awaiting the day when I put a rod through the top of it so it can hang on a wall.
Despite their seeming monotony, inlays are a lot of fun to make. They’re just mostly useless, because by the time I’m done making them, I don’t feel like making another times as much maille to turn it into a shirt or something.
I’m not sure what to say about this necklace. I’m not even sure what to call it. It was a fun idea to play with, but I don’t think I’ll make more, except as custom orders. It’s a European 4 in 1 necklace, with lots of simple chains hanging off it.
This necklace: $40. Made of Aluminum.
A Custom order for a client. Stainless Steel, European 4 in 1, Lobster clasps as fasteners. $100.
This was one of the longer projects I worked on a while ago. It is a small European 4 in 1 bag made of aluminum. The inlay is the Chinese character for ‘inferior’. It’s a weird design to choose, but I like the look of it. I still need to find a use for it.
This particular bag is $100. The price all depends on the bag size, ring size and type of inlay.