RSS Feed

The (Finally) Finished Arkenstone! (Pic Heavy)

The (Finally) Finished Arkenstone! (Pic Heavy)

This stone has quite a history for me. It’s not exactly a rare find or anything. It’s just a simple 10mm 5 ct mystic topaz. Mystic topaz are treated to give them their rainbow look. Anyway! I found this one at a stall in the Philippines while visiting my mom. Most of the stalls just had pearls, but this one had a lovely array of faceted stones, and I couldn’t resist. I brought home quite a few, including this one.

The Arkenstone, my 5 ct mystic topaz.

The Arkenstone, my 5 ct mystic topaz.

I grew up loving Tolkien, and still do, so as soon as I saw it, I thought it would be a great Arkenstone. I bought it knowing exactly what I wanted it to be, but no idea how to do it. I’ve been trying to come up with a design for the past 3 years, and have finally come up with something I liked!

The templates are ready and cut out using the Cricut Explore.

The templates are ready and cut out using the Cricut Explore.

So many times I tried to come up with a setting and couldn’t think of a thing. So many scrapped drawings. But it’s finally done! I made the templates in Illustrator, and cut them out with the Cricut Explore. I used a medium grade cardstock so that it would be a bit sturdier and not warp as much when it’s on the metal clay.

I prefer Goldie Bronze Clay Hard, but I’ve been trying out the 50/50 mix of hard and soft to see if that captures better detail. Since I do most of my carving when the clay is dry, I think I’ll stick to just hard. The dry clay tends to be more flexible when it’s got soft in it, so I always feel like I’m about to snap the piece.

Here's the underside of the setting, before I decided it was way too plain.

Here’s the underside of the setting, before I decided it was way too plain.

The prongs are all on, and the knot work is carved and secured.

The prongs are all on, and the knot work is carved and secured.

Remember how I said the back was too plain? I fixed it with more knots.

Remember how I said the back was too plain? I fixed it with more knots.

Working on the bail now.

Working on the bail. I kept thinking I was going to snap it while carving.

It's all ready to go in the kiln now!

It’s all ready to go in the kiln now!

The patina, fresh out of the kiln! I always take pictures because the colors never last.

The patina, fresh out of the kiln! I always take pictures because the colors never last.

The seat is cut, and the stone is set. After 3 years, it has a home.

The seat is cut, and the stone is set. After 3 years, it has a home.

The back, all polished and bright!

The back, all polished and bright!

And one last finished shot! Now to design the clasp for the chain.

And one last finished shot! Now to design the clasp for the chain.

Studio Streaming

Studio Streaming

I’ve always loved visiting other artist’s studios while they’re working. I don’t really care what the medium is, or what they’re working on, I just love watching them work. One day, I’d love to have a store with studio spaces for artists. There just aren’t many nearby that are comfy and inviting for visitors.

The beginnings of a custom piece! She wanted amethysts, so that's where I started.

The beginnings of a custom piece! She wanted amethysts, so that’s where I started.

Sketches and the armor ear cuff I just made.

Sketches and the armor ear cuff I just made.

I love having people over to my home studio. I love explaining my tools and showing people how I do my work. So, I’ve been toying with the idea of streaming some studio time.

Creating the bezel setting for the tiny purple tourmaline.

Creating the bezel setting for the tiny purple tourmaline.

I’d pretty much just be doing what I always do, bouncing from project to project, listening to my Pandora stations, but I’d also be able to chat with people about whatever they’re seeing. We could share stories, swap tool tips,  laugh at my clumsiness, whatever the day brings.

My gorgeous mortar and pestle! I love how it matches my marble top work bench.

My gorgeous mortar and pestle! I love how it matches my marble top work bench.

It would also give me incentive to clean my space more often, haha!

So, if I streamed it, would you come?

Sketching at Caribou Coffee! Sometimes it's nice to have a change of scenery.

Sketching at Caribou Coffee! Sometimes it’s nice to have a change of scenery.

Tea Time and Quiet Moments

Like most artists, my studio space is a specialized area with many tools, myriad materials, and lots of works in progress. To the untrained eye, it’s a mess.

Honestly, my mind is no different. It jumps from one thing to another with no rhyme, reason, or warning. I make lists daily just to keep myself on task. I try to take time away from work to recenter myself and recharge, but it’s so difficult. Luckily, I’ve discovered tea.

My mom has always loved English tea. Not just the actual teas, but the ritual that goes along with it. The timing, serving, snacks, tiny spoons, everything. As a kid, I never really understood the draw. I just wanted the cucumber sandwiches, and as much sugar as she’d let me put in my cup. Lately though, I found that I really understand. I read a lovely book called “The Book of Tea”  about Japanese tea ceremonies.

It’s not a tutorial type book. It’s more of a documentation of the culture of tea. Every single thing in the ceremony has a reason. It all celebrates subtlety, beauty, peace, and calm; all the things I could really use more of in my life. The precision of preparation and ritual in the tea house demands all your attention, even in its simplicity. There is perfection in simplicity, impossible to achieve when distracted.

Although I can’t have a tea house of my own yet, I’ve started planning a space in the spare room for tea. The room catches the afternoon sun, and there’s a mimosa tree right outside the window frequented by chickadees, sparrows, and cardinals. I have the perfect table, low to the ground, with lots of space for a tea set. I just need to make a sitting pillow for myself.

Losing myself in making the perfect cup of tea is so soothing. I have tea almost every day now. I really look forward to having a time and place just for tea.

Here’s a wonderful list of teas I found! It has tea from all over the world, and how people usually take it. I’m going to try them all one day! I’ve checked off English, South African (thanks to my best friend), and Chinese pu-erh so far.

Exciting News!

Exciting News!

So, July 2 was awesome!

Last week or so, I posted a few of my new pendants, including the improbable sperm whale from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I love The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I love crazy Zaphod, (who I would never vote for as president, but I would definitely go to all his campaign speeches) I love Arthur, I love Marvin, and I love the Infinite Improbability Drive. Basically, I love it.  So I made a little sperm whale as a token of my affection.

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.” -Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.”
-Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

It’s part of my “Towee” collection, which is all based on quotes, and it makes me so happy every time someone orders a piece from that collection, because it means they probably love that book too. Since I’m not always in situations where I get to meet new people, (and I’m not always the best at striking up conversations) Towee is my little way of connecting with people. If they love the same books I do, that must mean they’re awesome people, and I can go about my day happy that there’s someone out there with the same taste as me.

So imagine how thrilled I was when I saw my tiny little whale in a Buzzfeed article!! I love Buzzfeed! It’s part of my morning Facebook routine to check out what’s new, and behold!

Click to see the other 26 awesome gifts in the article!

Click to see the other 26 awesome gifts in the article!

Anyway, things got busy, and it’s taken me days to write about it, but I’m still excited, so it still counts. :D

Story Time Again! A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Story Time Again! A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’ve always loved Shakespeare. When I was a kid, my parents used to bring me to see Shakespeare on the Sound. Every summer, they’d preform a different play. The first one I can remember was “The Taming of the Shrew.” I had NO idea what it was about. Love and gender roles and courtship were way over my head at that age, and I remember trying to catch fireflies without leaving the picnic blanket.

“In this same interlude it doth befall That I, one Snout by name, present a wall. And such a wall, as I would have you think, That it had a crannied hole, or chink,” -A Midsummer Night's Dream

“In this same interlude it doth befall
That I, one Snout by name, present a wall.
And such a wall, as I would have you think,
That it had a crannied hole, or chink,”
-A Midsummer Night’s Dream

But one year, it was A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was hooked. Puck was my mischievous idol for years, and I dreamed of having a bed like Titania’s bower. I have to say though, one of my absolute favorite parts of the play was Bottom’s theatrical troupe. And Snout! His bumbling role as the Wall still makes me laugh. A Midsummer Night's Dream Wall So, I simply had to make a Wall. Even if no one but me gets it, I will wear my Wall proudly on days when I need a good laugh.

You can find it on Etsy, or my website!

What a Day

What a Day

So, U-Verse is having an outage in my area. 20ish hours and counting. I always knew I was heavily dependent on the internet, but wow. I can’t do anything. Can’t post listings, can’t listen to Pandora (and I don’t really have a saved music collection,) can’t study up on Java.

So, lack on internet has driven this homebody from home, and into the general public. I feel out of place and awkward.

I do have a story to share though!

Here’s my latest piece.

“Love is that condition in which another’s happiness is essential to your own.”
-Stranger in a Strange Land

loveis2

Stranger in a Strange Land has always been one of my all time favorite books, so I thought it was time to create something from it. I chose this quote because to me, this is love.

You can love so many people in so many different ways, but it all boils down to this fact. Their happiness is essential to your own. They succeed, you feel pride and joy. They cry, you’d tear apart the world to fix it. I am lucky to have so many loves. My husband, my dad and mom, my best friends. Each little heart hole represents someone. And their hearts complete my heart. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. One by one, all the holes are filled by the happiness of our loves.

So that’s my story for today! Maybe I’ll leave the coffee shop and clean the house. Or not.

If you like this piece and its story, you can find it on Etsy, or my website!

Works In Progress- Armor USBs

I know it’s been a while since I posted these sketches on Instagram, but they’re still works in progress. I finally got the actual drives in, so I can start building the armor shells.

image

However, I realized the designs need some tweaking. Sometimes ideas come out perfectly the very first time, and sometimes not so much. At least I’m still happy with the aesthetics! It’s just the functionality I’m working on.

Lately I’ve been on the struggle bus trying to design things I’m happy with. I squished seven things the other day because they weren’t right. Poor little things. Oh well! That’s what happens to some works in progress!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 619 other followers