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My Solution to Symmetry

Typically my sketches are more “guidelines” than actual blueprints, but lately I’ve had to be much more accurate with my drawings. When I’m working in metal clay, I make my own templates out of paper and tape. (I laminate the paper with tape so that the clay doesn’t get my template too soggy.) Usually I’ll make things symmetrical and get the dimensions perfect in Illustrator. It makes it easy to size up and account for shrinkage depending on what kind of clay I’ll be using.

Right now, my printer is completely broken, which means no printed templates, unless I take a 15 minute drive out to Kinkos. That’s 30 minutes I could be spending sketching! So, I’m doing my templates the old fashioned way. Lots of measuring, multiplying, and then sketching one perfect half.

TemplateMaking

Then I x-acto out that half, fold it over on the midline, and trace it on the other side! Then cut again, and I have the outside template. From there, I just keep folding and cutting as I build it up in clay, until I have a finished metal piece, and a pile of paper scraps.

A Family Outing Resulting in Baldness

A Family Outing Resulting in Baldness

Note the goatee! Also, that is a lot of hair I have pinned up in there!

Married life is just as I thought it would be. Exactly the same as our unmarried life, except with weirder taxes. We’re always trying to find budget friendly activities to do together. There’s only so much pizza and Netflix a couple can do!

Last weekend, my husband and I found the perfect activity- supporting our community! One of my husband’s coworkers organized a St. Baldrick’s Day event.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation raises money for childhood cancer research and aims to bridge the funding divide between adult cancers and childhood cancers. Volunteers can organize what’s called a Head Shaving Event. At these events, volunteers from around the community take donations from friends, family and even coworkers to donate as they shave their heads.

My husband is the exact opposite of me. He has very little hair on his head. But what he does have is his beloved goatee. For the past five and a half years, where he goes, his goatee goes. In the beginning, his fundraising wasn’t brilliant. He would get a few dollars here and there, but it wasn’t until he put a bounty on his goatee that the donations started pouring in. (Who doesn’t want to fight cancer while watching people you love have potentially unflattering hair?)

So much hair!

So much hair!

Inspired by his donation, I booked myself an appointment to have 12 inches of hair cut off and made into a wig by the non-profit organization Wigs for Kids. I really love this organization because the recipients of the wigs do not pay for them.

The results of our family outing!

We had a lovely time at the St. Baldrick’s event despite the torrential rain! It was entertaining, high energy, and right outside Natty Greene’s in Raleigh. If you’re in the area, I recommend the chicken tenders. Wow, are they good. We also won a cake in the Cake Walk raffle, so we’ve been chowing down on a delicious homemade Irish Carbomb cake for the past few days. All in all, a fantastic day of bonding with my husband for a wonderful cause!

haircollage

Before and After!

Our Weird Wedding Masquerading as “Normal” (Pic Heavy!)

Our Weird Wedding Masquerading as “Normal” (Pic Heavy!)

It’s been 6 months since marrying my husband, and embarrassingly enough, I still haven’t blogged about it! It’s hard to believe that six whole months have gone by. Time doesn’t fly. Time got a warp drive.

The stately Castle McCulloch

The stately Castle McCulloch

Our wedding took place in a very classy castle, complete with moat, suit of armor, and resident duck. The wedding party processed from the castle, across the bridge and to the pavilion to the timeless “Indiana Jones Theme.” Then the “Spectre Induction” from Mass Effect started playing, the dj yelled, “Go, go, GO!” through the walkie talkie, and Dad and I made our way to the ceremony.

0135_www.BlueBoxWeddings.com_IMG_5052The ceremony itself was solemn and tasteful, with references to how much we love each other despite laundry procrastination and stubbornness. Between our Ravenclaw and Griffyndor colored crests hung the One Ring, and our dear friend presiding over the union even managed to work in a Smeagol impersonation. All in all, very normal and not at all alarming to older relatives.

0010_www.BlueBoxWeddings.com_IMG_4873Our reception featured vodka soaked gummies, Kahlua brownie balls, candy Legos, Chocolate Frogs and a banquet of what a southern caterer believed was Filipino food. It was tasty, if not accurate. The entertainment was provided by our friends and family, who all took turns at the karaoke, singing everything from the Beatles “Eight Days a Week” to “White Wedding.”

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The first dance was excellently choreographed by Dance Dance Revolution, and I did not once fall on my face. (It helps that I took off my heels and went barefoot.)

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When it came time for speeches, the best man led with a song that he felt summed up our love, and all the groomsmen joined him for a very enthusiastic rendition of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

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Not to be outdone, my father had prepared a special speech, which was, in fact, a rap. He put on his backwards baseball cap and told me to feed my husband well, or he might “stay at work late,” as well as other bits of advice about not having children until we’re ready to spend less time on video games.

And that was our nerdy wedding with enough normality to keep relatives from having heart attacks! Scroll down for more photos!

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Passion

It’s weird; the prompt for today (well, yesterday) was to talk about what I’m passionate about. This should be the easiest thing to write about, but it’s suprisingly hard.

My husband says that one thing that really drew him to me was my passion. I’m not kidding when I say I’m passionate about a lot of things. You know how most people have a nice middle ground most of the time, and only get really excited about a few things? I’m not like that. I’m constantly REALLY into something. Most of the time it’s just an overwhelming curiosity that drives me to research things that have absolutely no bearing on my life. A few months ago, I was fascinated with squids. The differences between species, the anatomy, the behavioral traits, the whole nine yards. I watched documentaries, read articles about new discoveries, and talked about them all the time. Eventually I stumbled upon the Humboldt squid. They have moved into the #2 spot for creatures I never, ever want to run in to. #1 is still cockroaches. It’s an irrational fear, I know. Doesn’t matter.

I do this all the time though. I have this constant need to acquire new information. I guess for me, passion equates to curiosity. And I’m curious about pretty much everything. It’s actually really entertaining in odd ways too. With Google’s new ads, they try to target your interests based on your searches. Mine are ridiculous! Sometimes they’re spot on and give me relevant jewelry supply websites, and sometimes they think that I need financial advice on how to pay off my psychology degree student loans. Spoiler alert: I don’t have a psychology degree. And I have no student loans. Kudos for trying to be specific, Google, but don’t trust anything you read on my history.

Life is ALMOST Normal!

I realized that I haven’t blogged much at all since the “craziness” started. Apologies! I was juggling jewelry tine, house-buying, wedding planning, and a part time job to help pay for it all. I know, we probably should have only done ONE huge life change at a time, but sitting here in our new home (with a real dining room and back yard!) and chatting with my husband, it’s all worth it.

Now I have no excuse! I made this blog to share works in progress, the stories behind some of my jewelry, and some random things that I find interesting, and now that the dust has settled, I’ve got to start sharing more.

I get inspiration from a lot of different sources, and honestly, most of them need explanation. I draw a lot of ideas from books, TV shows, and video games, so I like to give backstory when I can. My hope is that my designs can be appreciated without the explanation, but be even more special once you know the “why.” And if it inspires you to read the book, watch the show, or play the game, let me know! We can geek out together!
I’ve got a couple designs in various stages of work right now, including new armor pieces, some flame jewelry that’s carved and ready to become metal, and a whole new set of drawings for a Supernatural themed set. Some work in progress shots are up on my Instagram, so check out the link on my sidebar!

So, that’s about it for today, but keep checking in for stories! Also, if you see any jewelry on my website that you’d love to know more about, just let me know in the comments, and I’ll do a post about it!

The Wedding is almost HERE! And I’m not ready.

Seriously, where does the time go? It really seems like just yesterday I announced my engagement to this awesome guy. Remember that awesome Mass Effect proposal he did?

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And now the wedding is here. Well, in September anyway. We haven’t even planned our cake yet! We’re having fun getting the music list together though. Neither of us is the most successful dancer, nor even passably graceful, so we’re having karaoke to avoid serious injuries. (Not that either of us are any good at singing. Should be a Youtube worthy wedding!) I’m not sure that the photographer/DJ really understood how offbeat we are. The suggested music list was full of R&B, soulful country ballads, and hiphop. Where were the video game scores and trance music, and who has a wedding without at least one Beatles tune? I’d love to do my walk down the isle to the Spectre Induction from Mass Effect 1. I hope the DJ can get the soundtrack! I would feel so EPIC!

Cover of "Mass Effect Original Game Sound...

Cover of Mass Effect Original Game Soundtrack

I’m still searching around the internet for some shoes. I’m leaning toward Tardis does. 1. I LOVE the Doctor. 2. My bridesmaids are in Tardis blue dresses! Maybe these?

LeadFoodLucy’s Tardis Heels

 

I just hope I’ve got them in the budget, haha! Did I mention that we’re closing on a townhouse in July? Just in time for my man’s birthday! I’m so excited. There’s just something about leaving the apartment life that feels so good. No matter how much personal stuff we have, or how we decorate, living in an apartment always feels transient. Everything can change at any time. I’m looking forward to settling down. (Yes, 12-year-old self, I said settling down. Don’t freak out.)

Anyway, there are still a million decorations to make. I’ve got to make paper flowers, candy for our Honeyduke’s dessert table, wooden signs with things like “Always.” and “Allons-y!” and “Mawwage” and little coin/candy pouches for the favors, and more, but I don’t have my list in front of me. Check out my Pinterest board if you want to see the styles I’m thinking of!

I love this bouquet! I really want to do this, but have some of the flowers be pages from my favorite books. (Copies! I could never bring myself to actually rip up a book.)

Love this bouquet!! Aren’t the colors fantastic?

And we’ve GOT to have a Monster Book of Monsters for our guest book.

Check out this Harry Potter wedding. Talk about a theme!

To all of you on Pinterest, if you find cool geek wedding DIY‘s send those pins my way! I can use all the help I can get!

 

I’m so ready to BE married. To come home to my HUSBAND and call him that all the time! But the wedding itself? So not ready. I just hope I don’t panic when everyone looks at me. And I hope I don’t trip on the way down the isle.

Uncommon Goods

So, I got to the semifinals on my very first jewelry design competition!

As you may remember, I’m so shy when it comes to my work. I like to agonize for days, then post a picture, and run away and hide. I’m constantly concerned with how others will perceive my work, and whether I can really consider myself a designer. From talking with other artists, this is a totally common feeling. That’s good and bad! I’m not alone, but the feeling will probably never fade. I’ll just have to shut it up with chocolates and sushi.

Anyway! I saw Uncommon GoodsJewelry Design contest on the very last day of submissions, and though, “Why not. I’m feeling brave today.” I submitted my Ivy in the Garden ring, inspired by the book The Secret Garden.  It’s always been a favorite of mine, ever since I was a kid. It’s actually created a “life dream” for me. I desperately want a house with ivy climbing the walls. Or the porch. Or the chimney. Or everywhere.

“…she took another long breath, because she could not help it, and she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly-slowly.” -The Secret Garden

“…she took another long breath, because she could not help it, and she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly-slowly.”
-The Secret Garden

Then I got the best email. I got to the semifinals! YES!

But Uncommon Goods has an uncommon way of selecting products for their site. It’s an amazing strategy; I don’t know why more online companies haven’t adopted this! They open up to the community, and let people VOTE on what they want to see on the site. Not enough votes, they don’t purchase it. Lots of votes, they wholesale from the artist, and everyone wins.

I’ve got a shot now! But I need a bit of help. This shy thing that I have isn’t helping me at all, especially with social network building, which in all honesty, is the most important thing any artist can do. I’m doing to use this to push myself out of my comfort zone and evolve from reclusive artist, to confident designer. I hope!

So if you’re seeing this, would you mind going to Uncommon Goods and voting for my ring? I’d really appreciate it!

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