Sunday, July 28, 2013

When Medallions Go Freeform, part 2

Yesterday, I blogged my first freeform... thingies. Unsure what they were, I let the smaller one be the medallion centerpiece it was insisting on being. (no, I'm not really in charge. I go where the shinies tell me.)  By last night I had made the frame, weaved it all together and tacked down the centerpiece. After a whole lot of great feedback, I decided to go with it and finished it up. I secured the centerpiece, played with the antiquing, polished it all up and ended up with...

 My first freeform medallion. :D

It's actually got a couple new things going on in it. Not only is it my first free form attempt, but it's also the first time I've successfully used one of the rings I soldered. :D Didn't bend it, break it or ... otherwise muck it all up.


It's also the first time I've tried to weave something using different size wires. Oh! and the balled up wire. That's fairly new too. At least as far as actually being put in a working piece.

New, new, new. All kinds of new. I'm rather excited so much new worked out as well as it did.

Ok, rather uber UBER excited. :D

Not sure this exact one will end up in the Etsy. It might. I suspect I may just keep it. *pets* ya know, in the name of product testing and all. *pets more* It's my duty as the shinymaker. ;)

There will definitely be similar goodies in the Etsy in the near future. I'm over the top in love with the look, feel and overall concept of my 'medallions' and I'm already working on transferring it all over to sterling. Sterling works up soooooo different. Much much harder to work with, but so far it's coming along. I've got the inside frame woven in so hopefully the rest will come together well. Pretty sure that was the hard part. *fingers crossed*

The other freeform piece I blogged yesterday will try to be a brooch. I've not made many brooches, and never a copper one so we'll have to see how that works. Copper is so much softer than silver so I worry about the pin mechanism holding up. But, I see other people do copper brooches sooooo.... surely it can be done.

Where there's a will, there's a way. Right? Right. One way or another, that shall be a brooch.

 While on the subject of new things...

I FINALLY got a Tree of Life leather bracelet that pleases me. It's just a working proto, but that it's finally working has me all kinds of excited. Lots of new things I'll be doing with that baby.

Yesterday was a good shiny day. Lots of things I've been working on for a good long time all came together at once and months of frustration finally paid off. Feels good. Feels like I've gotten a good enough handle on several new things finally and it could very well take my shinies in some new directions.

That has me on cloud nine today.

This week brings me daughter's birthday, and with it... a busy week. Her wish list is vera shiny, and of course includes things I can't just crank right out. Like the sterling silver medallion I'm working on. Her list also includes a big Labradorite, sculpted cabochon wrap. Easy peasy. Right?

Here's hopin.

Easy or not, by the end of the week I hope to have silver medallion, sculpted cabochon, sterling tree bracelet and a brooch all ready to rock. I also want to have a good start on a new scorpion piece. I've had a scorpion medallion nagging at me for the last 2 weeks, played with it a little yesterday and it might actually work. And work cool.

That's a big week.

Adventures in shinies. W00T!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New Tree of Life Leather Bracelet

I've had this little project going for a good while now. A Tree of Life leather bracelet. Tried a good many different things for the wrist band and darn it if each one didn't fail in one way or another. Between looking too bulky or sloppy to just plain not cost effective. Especially the sub par way they were coming out.

I'm not a fan of the subpar.

Nor the sloppy.

This week I went out and got some more leather cord to try. A slightly bigger size. She's a worker.

The end caps are hand made and suit the tree quite nicely I think. Best of all, they're strong.

And, it lays nice too...

Big yeah for that.

Now that it all works right... time for sterling. Sterling and black will look cool! :D

Tree bracelets. WhooWhoo!

When Medallions Go Freeform

It's been a rather unproductive week over here. At least unproductive in the sense of making finished pieces to list. A lot of behind the scenes new technique things happening though.

My new medallion shiny I made last week really got me excited. It's part of my 'learn to weave' thing I've been doing. Learn to weave + learn to make a dream catcher + dying to make scroll work = my first medallion...

...which led to my second medallion...

I uber love the first one. I /want/ to love the second, but... it bothers me. It's close, but no cigar. The scrolls are wrong. Not shapped right, or maybe that bottom one is just too big. They're slightly crooked too. Maybe too open. Maybe all of the above. 

This displeases me.

So, I set off to practice my scrolls. Scrolls are very hard for me. I obsess to much on things like... are they even? Are they round enough? Are they the right size, shape, without kinks, with graceful curves, good lines, blah blah blah... drive myself crazy enough I usually just give up after my gazillionth try. But, my medallions must have ... something. Something... scrolly. So, that's what I've been doing all week. Making scrollies. 

I have about ... 1000. Mostly rejects. 

They're starting to come out better finally. I even got the torch out and decided that everything was better with little molten balls on the ends. Now I have some ... molten balled up scrolly thingies.

Curious if I can torch the other many hundreds of rejects sitting on the table into some kind of usable something. Will have to give it a whirl. 

That second medallion led to something else too. The openness of the bottom scroll shows too much of the back netting. Looks fine enough, I suppose, but it's not what I'm after. I want the netting to not be a focal feature, just a behind the scenes hint of a ... something. A filler. As well as a very useful construction component. But it's not to take front and center. The stone is. And the scroll design. 

No idea what to do to fill it all in. I tried layering different scrolls on top of what I had. That was kinda cool. I need to play with that more. Last night I decided to throw away the strict design of the scrolls, threw away any rule I thought I was hanging on to and went full freeform. 

Freeform and I are not friends. Freeform is actually next to impossible for me. Everything I do I use some kind of tool for. Could be one of my many pliers, or it could be a makeshift bottle mandrel, but everything is made with tools. It's the only way I can get everything straight, even and round. Not even my trees are freeform. Not to me. I use the stone as the tool to dictate to me how the tree looks. I'm not free to just... twist one up all willy-nilly. 

Freeform? Ugh. There is nothing straight, even and perfectly round about freeform.

To bad, so sad, it's not up to me. The medallions seem to want some kind of ... I don't know what. Tools weren't working right. Too rigid in the forms. Maybe. Time to get out of my box and figure something different out. So... suck it up shinymaker, it's freeform time. 

Got 2 that I kinda like. 

The first is a smaller one. I got a little crazy with the swirling so it came out kinda ... dense. 1/2 way thru I decided to see what a stone would do, so it inherited a Red Tiger Eye. Then, remembering that everything looks better after I set it on fire, I torched that baby. >:D

I think I got lucky that I didn't crack the stone. Not sure you're reeeeeally supposed to torch things with stones on them. Prolly not.

After messing with that one, I decided to try for a more open feeling one and ended up with...

... a garnet swirly freeform thingy.

Not entirely sure what they are, if they're anything. They might be center pieces for my next try at a medallion. Maybe they are pendants. A friend suggested that, or that it could be a brooch, or even a tie clasp.


Could very well be something like that. Yep.

Time will tell. Whatever they are, they were one thing for sure. A lesson in free form. Considering how hard it is for me...I think it went well.

I am pleased.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Craft shows HERE I COME!

Ok, that might be getting a little ahead of myself. But I did just make my major traveling road show acquisition. W00T!

Go me.

Gotz me a tent. Yep yep. This tent to be exact...

A white, 10 x 10, commercial grade tent of my very own. Complete with 4 walls.

It's supposed to be here by Aug. 6th. By Aug. 7th I'll be quitting my job and hittin' the road.  :D

Ok, not really. I still have tables to get, display type stuff and, and, and... I don't even know what else yet. Stuff. Lots of stuff. And I need to make lots more shinies. But the tent was the major part.

One big leap forward.

I'm toying with the idea of maybe even making one show before winter hits. Maybe the local Saturday Market.

I got all their info, downloaded all the applications and whatnot. Cost wise, it just might be doable. I'm going down this weekend to check it out, see what's up and try to get a feel for things.

Will it all come together this late in the season? *shrugs* who knows. But with tent in hand I sure don't see why it can't happen by next season!

2014 shall be known as the year Mamba & Renji hit the road. Caravan baby!

It's gonna be great!

ps: I'm not scared witless at all.

pss: ok, that's a lie. Mah wits have all been scared off. I am witless.

psss: *bucks up* it's gonna be great! grrrrreat!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

To Weave a Medallion

I had all these grand plans for last weekend. All kinds of things I wanted to either finish up, or try out, or ... I don't know, shiny... stuff. Number 1 on the list... cabochon weaving tutorial. But then on Friday my granite guy brought me back the raw Labradorite slice I'd gotten at rockshow #1, all polished up and uber flashy.

Shiny it was.

So, of course, it moved to the top of the list. I went home, broke out several sizes of copper wire and set out to make a wall tree plaque thingy. *sigh* It didn't so so well. 4 hrs later I realized I was making no progress and had pretty much managed to waste almost ALL my 20 and 22 gauge copper wire. That wasn't how it was supposed to go. All that was left to do at that point was... call it a night. 

Not sure what happened when I Saturday morning, but I had a pendant in my head that was nagging at me pretty good. Sometimes shinies are loud in there. Make me! Make me! It's my turrrrrn!!!!!

So, I gave it it's turn and made my first medallion. And I love it! love Love LOVE! It blends together several new techniques I've been trying to master this year. Some weaving, some coiling, some layering, some scroll work. 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = Medallion of Awesomeness.

Whatch'ya think? 


The plan was to wrap in some stones into the lower portion of the scrolls...

But in the end I decided... no. Leave it be and go for the antiquing...

and there she be. Mah first pic worthy medallion.

I am so excited about this jewel. It has an 'old world charm' type feel to me, which I absolutely love. And... it has a good, sturdy feel to it too. That's so vera important.

Medallions. I almost haz em. :D

Go me.

Friday, July 12, 2013

New Coils and Weaves

Yep. Still with the weaving and the coiling. I will not rest until I get a handle on this. This week's weaving play yielded a pendant. The earrings have been laying around for a while, waiting for ear wires. Forgot all about those. I need to polish them up a bit, but mostly... their done.

The pendant is new. It's name is Carey's Hocus Pocus, after a friend sharing some of her magic w/me the night I finished it. :D The pattern is from a book I got a couple months back, Wire Jewelry Masterclass by Abby Hook.  It came out alright. I misunderstood the pattern though, thought it was for a cabochon. Turned out... it wasn't. It's for a bead. That's what I get for looking at all the shiny pictures and not actually reading things.

My bad.

I decided to finish it up anyway, simply because it was a different method of doing things. The woven heart I made last week was one continuous weave, formed as it went. This one is separate pieces woven together to make the whole. It's very much similar to the weave I was using on my scorpion, only with a swirl instead of claws. And a bail that isn't a tail. But the weaves were the almost the same. I changed the pattern up a little bit with the bail weave, just for practice. All in all... I like it. Mostly. It's not as sturdy as I want, so it stays a practice piece instead of a real finished piece. Sadly, it was too close to what I'd figured out on my own to help me much with figuring out how to overcome my scorpion problems.


So, on to the next one.

This weekend I want to retry this tutorial...

I had tried it after I finished her heart tutorial, but I didn't have a Marquis shaped stone. Tried it with an oval, even though the tutorial says not to, and ended up full of fail. Imagine that.

This week I found a Black Stone closer to this shape, like the tutorial says to start with, so I want to give it another go. This one IS for a cabochon wrap so I have high hopes of learning some new things about how to get a good woven cab wrap.

Fingers crossed it'll come out looking somewhat close to the pic.

More importantly, fingers crossed it will shed some light on what I'm doing wrong that has me all stalled out on my scorpion and I'll be able to move forward again. That would be good. Vera good.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Updates, WIPs and Sales! Oh My!

Guess what. It's July. Guess what else. July's birthstone is Ruby. Guess what else. I have Ruby shinies. That can mean only one thing...

Yep, sale. I've put markdowns from 10-30% on all in-stock Ruby shinies in my Etsy. Made a special July Specials category for it and everything. :D That makes it all extra official.

There's trees and earrings and chains and, and, and... stuff.

Sales are fun. W00T!

Other goodies I've had going on is... well... um... not sure exactly. I did manage to get some new pieces listed finally.

Some new earrings, a Sapphire chain and... *ponders*... a bracelet... I think. I've got a whole bunch of new cab trees to get up there too. I went to gather them all up the other day and realized I have like 7 trees to write up. That's a lot! It's my first ever cabochon forest. :D

Isn't it beautimus?! It's changed a smidge since I took that pic. Antiqued that Moonstone tree last night, so now I have this...

...iz more bettah now. :D

I ended up with so many trees because my main goal is to get this weave thing down. Still have a LOT of that going on behind the scenes. So of course, that means trees. Right? Right. Well, in a round about kind of way. Each weave attempt ends up leaving me rather frustrated. I'm getting the hang of it better, but holymoly does it stress out my 'GOTTA HAVE IT BE STRAIGHT AND EVEN!' thing. That's a lot of coils and weaves to, ya know, get straight and friggin' even. So I have what amounts to a lot of practice wires. Uneven, tension pulled, mucked up, practice wires. After each practice wire, I'd get frustrated and ... bang out a tree. A bit of a reminder to myself that I actually /can/ ... do stuff.

Now I have 7 'i can do stuff' cab trees. And my first ever cab forest.

Go me. :D

Now I just need to sit down, take decent pics and write about them. Or... keep staring at them and pet them some more. :D

That works too.

Another little frustration I've had going on is that darn Tree of Life bracelet I was working on. I got a tree I liked and thought it was coming together rather nicely. I attached some suede cord to it, and still with the nicely. Then I clasped that bad boy and it all went awry. It turned out looking like an awful mess. Boo. So, back to the drawing board with that. One of the new ideas I had was to hang a tree off of a bracelet, like a charm. I started wondering how small I could actually make a tree, and out popped this little cutie pie...

A little uber tiny tree. Might work quite nicely as a charm. I'd like to see if I can add at least one little stone to it; maybe hang it off of a viking knit bracelet or... something. Now I'm wondering if I can go even smaller. Maybe use it as a Freia Inguz signature tag, so... something.

Who know. My brain, it wanders.

Tonight I'm back to another weaving tutorial. The past couple nights I've been working on a pendant from a book I have. I'm about 1/2 way done and... so far so good. Fingers crossed it stays that way. Maybe I'll be able to share a pic in the next day or so. If it comes out good enough anyway.

Here's hoping. :D

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Emerald Tree Earrings WINNER!

~ Jason! ~

Please email in the next 7 days with your address to claim your prize and I'll get it sent out right. (freia.inguz @ gmail dot com) If I don't hear by 7/13/13 I'll pick a new winner.

Thanks for playing everyone! You all rock.

Later taters!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ongoing Projects: New trees and weaves

As always, I have several. Many. Several many even.  One of these days I might learn how to do one thing at a time. Maybe. 

Don't hold your breath. ;)

Some of what I've been working on the past week...

One is still in the Tree family. For the past 2 years I've been buying beads I thought I could throw trees on. If I can put a tree on a cabochon, surely I can put one on a bead. Right? Easy peasy. 

Or not.

Turns out, it's harder than I thought it would be. I've been giving this one a whirl for the past several weeks...

... a copper tree on a big Amethyst bead. I like how it turned out. Mostly. The tree is good. Diggin' the new bail too. I wanted to make a special necklace for it, but sadly, the frame blows so... start over. I think I need to double that wire up, or... something. So close, and yet... still so far away. But it's coming along.

Weaving is another thing I've been working on learning. After months of trying to just figure it out, with more frustration than luck, I bought a Nicole Hanna tutorial from one of the groups I joined this year. She rocks the weaving. Big time.

I posted pics of my little heart I weaved last week. It was my 2nd try and totally just a tester piece. I blew the length on one wire by just a smidge so ... start again. Which... is exactly what I did. :D Didn't even come up short this time.

Go me.

This morning I threw the tester heart in the antique pot to see what happened...

I won't know for sure until I get home tonight and maybe burnish it a little more and polish 'er up but... I think I might like the raw copper one better. That's never happened before. I ALWAYS like antique copper better. First time for everything I guess.

I've also managed a couple finished pieces. A big antique copper Aurora Borealis TOL and some antiquing on the Charoite tree I made a week or so ago.

Reeeeally glad I took the plunge on that Charoite tree. It was awfully shiny before, but the tree contrasted so much with the stone that it obscured it completely. Toning down the tree with some antiquing did exactly what I was hoping it would do and now sets off the awesomeness of the Charoite. Now I love it.

Uber love even.

Tonight I'll polish them up real good and they'll be ready to list. I'm all behind on my listings again, darn it. Need to sit down and get busy. :D


Go me.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...