Tatting, crochet, origami and quilling

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Obsessed crafter...voracious reader.

Monday, October 17, 2011

More Bracelets

I had so much fun making bracelets for Horror Realm I decided to do it again for the Dormont Street Fair last weekend. The event was a lot of fun and also a success for both my little company and for the bookstore. And although the colors didn't come out very well, I did have time to snap some quick shots with my phone as I was packing up my stuff for the show so here they are!
 If you like this kind of thing, check out the supplies at JoAnn's, where pre-cut rings are often wither 40% off or buy two, get one free. Patterns, which are sometimes as simple as a photo of the link, are free all over the place online. I mention this because of the number of people I talk to who say they'd love to learn chain mail work, but don't know where to start.  A few years ago you would have probably needed to wrap and cut your own links, or find someone to cut them for you (scroll down and you'll see my boyfriend's  work done in silver, copper and stainless steel). But now that this is a trendy craft, pre-cut aluminum links and colored rubber o-rings are easy to get.

Here are some pictures...

Aluminum links in silver & hematite 
Top: blue and silver aluminum links mixed with black silicon.
 Bottom: green, blue and copper-colored aluminum
Both in silver and turquoise aluminum.
Top: basic link (so basic, I don't think there's actually a name for it)
Bottom: Japanese (for the record, the size ratio between the links is wrong, so it's more a variation on the traditional link.)
The same as above, using blue and purple aluminum
Gold & black aluminum.
Top: another extremely basic link
Bottom: Shaggy Link (the easiest thing in the world, look for shots of a bunch more in different colors soon)
Aluminum in green, gold, hematite and silver

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Horror Realm wrap-up

I promised pictures of some of the bracelets I sold at Horror Realm, so:

This is a Japanese 6-in-1 bracelet. The rings aren't in the right proportion to each other to achieve the correct effect, but I like the way it came out anyway.

Here are three Celtic 2-in-1 bracelets with silicon o-rings in place of some of the metal links.

But, now on to more interesting things, like all the other people I met and other cool things I saw at the con.

I already mentioned Morose & Macabre's House of Oddities and I bought another necklace from them I'd love to show you, but the photos just don't do it justice.  Here's a link to a similar piece they are selling in their shop.  CLICK HERE  And as cool as this one is, mine's cooler.

You can feed your zombies-and-government-conspiracy novel craving by visiting www.ericlowther.blogspot.com and then feed your locally-produced-zombie novel cravings at www.libraryofthelivingdead.com (You can also purchase fine locally-written zombie fiction at Eljay's Books)

For those of you who like your social network conversant in gore, check out www.fiendster.net, the social network for horror fans. (And since the man who gave me this info is one half of the notorious Bastards of Horror along with movie critic Tim Gross, I have to assume it's where the cool kids are.)

If you want to see some great chain mail, visit www.mygoodbabushka.etsy.com 

And on top of the people I met and exchanged cards with, there were tons of other wonderful people I want to thank for being at the show and being lots of fun.

I also have some pretty exciting news, involving www.zombiesandtoys.com. I will be selling my work through their vendors at horror conventions all over the country, thanks to Jason (the owner) who curates an exceptional collection of zombie toys and collector's pieces. It's an honor to be sold along side all this cool stuff.

As always, thanks for reading. I'll be making zombunnies non-stop for the next few weeks, but after that I have some ideas to expand the zombunny line, along with some new (and possibly emotionally-scarring) bunny horrors for you to check out. There may also be something else cute, who knows? Sometimes, cute just happens.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Horror Realm 2011 quite simply, kicks ass.

I may be calling this a bit early as it's only the first night of the show, but so far Horror Realm is fantastic. I have worked at a bookseller at a lot of conferences and conventions, and the whole reason I decided to sell at Horror Realm this year was because of the good experiences I had in the past.  My past experiences did not prepare me for how much fun it would be when I was selling my own work.

The vendor's room is full, but well organized. I fought to keep myself from shopping, but still ended up with these two amazing pieces from Morose & Macabre's House of Oddities.

If I had the cash, I'd probably just have bought out the table, the work is exquisite and the designer and vendors are just delightful, which is why I ended up with two things instead of the none I had originally planned on.

The crowd was in a buying mood and I did better than I expected, not to mention chatting with lots of people who asked me about my work. Horror fans are absolutely one of the best groups of people I have the pleasure of working with (and it helps that I'm one of them, but they are really a friendly, interesting bunch in general) The quality of the art I got to see was excellent and I'll be posting links to my favorite work in the next few days (like the guy who made very nice chain mail jewelry, purses and juggling balls which were absolutely genius.)

I've been up since 9am getting ready for this weekend so I'll have to stop here, but if you are in Pittsburgh I want you to know that making a stop at the Horror Realm Con is well worth it. (And the entry fee is definitely within reach for even the poorest of horror fans)

Horror Realm (www.horrorrealmcon.com) continues through Sunday, with vendors, screening rooms, a reunion of cast members from the Living Dead movies (and other horror films), horror artists and even a raffle to win lunch with Tom Savini (who is a really nice guy and probably a fantastic lunch companion).  Tickets are available at the door.

Friday, September 2, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different...

A few of my friends have chain mail bracelets with o-rings in place of some of the links. The o-rings look good with the metal, but also make a stretchy bracelet that doesn't require a clasp. When I saw the rings and pre-cut links at the craft store I decided to pick up a bracelet's worth. When I got them home, Steve suggested I learn to assemble the bracelet myself (I had planned to turn the links over to him and bat my eyes)
On the right are aluminium rings, on the left are silicon o-rings.
It turns out that making chain mail jewelry is completely addictive. Working with the silicon rings really makes the work easier and faster, and allows a first time mailer to fudge things a little bit.  I don't usually get very attached to the things I make but I am fighting to keep every one of the 15 bracelets I made yesterday. I did mention that making these things is addictive right?
European 4-in-1 bracelet

So here is the first bracelet that I made, and as soon as I have a chance to snap photos I will post the 15 bracelets I made yesterday.  I'll be selling them at Horror Realm September 16th-18th, but after that I will post a few on the page for sale, and custom bracelets will be a snap to whip up.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Alice the Lion

There's not a whole lot to say about Alice, other than that you can now purchase her from the Buy Now section of my blog.  Please note that I have just sold the last green-eyed Alice and her eyes are now yellow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Before there was a Monster there was...Frankenstein's Bunny


He had to start somewhere right? This is one of my favorite bunnies to make because I love adding the large black stitches at the end.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Attack of the Zombunnies Part Two!!!

 Redesigned with tons of feedback from my family and friends and customers, here are the best zombunnies ever! They have poly-pellet stuffed bodies giving them a fantastically stable base. The Dragger zombunny (Linda, pictured left) no longer rolls onto her head, instead balancing on her paws with a weighted base. You can now purchase zombunnies using the option on the right hand side of the screen. Please keep in mind that mangled limbs and hanging gore are done free hand and will vary from doll to doll, as will the color and style of buttons used.







Thursday, August 4, 2011

If there's Zombunnies in your neighborhood, who you gonna' call?

Hrm...perhaps we shouldn't call this guy.

     The white and black monster slayers look   like brothers, but at heart they are as different as cabbages and umbrellas.  The white slayer is an all-around good bunny, but the black slayer is brooding and angry. What dark secret is he hiding? They fight on the same side, but these two bunnies will never really trust each other.

These bunnies stand about 6" tall (including the ears) and the sword they hold is an over-sized yarn needle (it's a bit sharp, as I found out the hard way.

The sign at my display at Confluence.

The two slayers that I brought to the Confluence art show.

If you like these guys, you can purchase them on the right side of the screen. Each slayer is slightly different, so please allow for variations in eye color, button style, and the ratio of grey to white or black in each ear. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The very latest in Wizards!

Here are my latest wizards.   I've been working on making some better free-standing dolls, and hit on the right combination of stuffing (plastic pellets), and closing techniques to make a more stable doll.  I'm also comfortable enough with jewelry making techniques to have added a lot of accents like chains and dangling charms.

 Here's the best news. The White Snow Wizard (below) is still available, and he is for sale. Just click the Paypal button on the left hand side of the screen to buy him. He's one of a kind, so grab him now! (and for anyone who is unfamiliar with Paypal, you can use a Paypal account or just use your credit card. Paypal is very safe and reliable, and I've been a very happy customer of their for about eight years.)

These two were made for Confluence 2011's art show.  (for more about Confluence 2011 from a convention-goer's perspective check out www.hotcoldrunningbooks.blogspot.com )  

 This little guy is on his way to my friend Connor. He is the first wizard to have a slightly re-designed hat (same pattern, different stitch) and a slightly military flair.

I originally designed this doll after the character Schmendrick the Magician in The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle. I got to make this wizard for Peter and give it to him when he was in Pittsburgh for Anthrocon in June. While many of my wizards wear keys to their front doors or potions cabinet, Peter's wizard holds the key to the universe. True story.
Peter's Wizard with no hat and the head of Connor's wizard.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm Back!

Okay, all twelve of my loyal followers, I'm finally back from all the craziness. The next few posts will give you all the details (and photos) of what I've been working on, but here is the shortest run-down on the last few months I can offer...

I'm consulting for Eljay's Books in Dormont, a wonderful used shop in Dormont. We've recently added events and new book orders to our offerings, and I'm running as much marketing for them as I can squeeze in. To check out the store visit www.eljaysbks.com. We do not have a ton of material on the website yet, but that's where the basic info is listed. If you'd like to check out our updates on cool books we find, upcoming events and out random musings you can visit us on facebook (as Eljay's Used Books) or on Twitter (@eljaysbooks). I'm spending tons of time playing in the bookstore these days, and it's blissful.

I'm also doing some freelance marketing, and if that interests you, you can contact me with work at chris.rickert@perfectfishdesigns.com . My specialty is low (or no) budget marketing campaigns.

But the vast majority of my time has been spent working on crocheting my ideas. I honed the look of the zombunnies, found a way to make the lions significantly easier to make in quantity, designed a vampire bunny, a golem bunny and a bunch of wizards and then looked up and the summer had flown by and I had made a ton of things and photographed and posted exactly none. Sadly, by the time I figured it out I was in the middle of preparing for the art show at Confluence (Parsec's annual sci-fi and fantasy readers and writers event) and trying to get 60 pieces done for an upcoming show in September (and, quick plug, you should DEFINITELY try to make it to this show...www.horrorrealmcon.com) so here is what I've done:

I used my phone to take a bunch of shots of everything as I was taking it out the door to sell in various places, and threw in a bunch of shots of me making things along the way. These are not the best shots, and the backgrounds are random corners of my house, the top of my dresser etc. but if nothing else, you'll be able to see what I've been up to.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Where am I? Ingram.

Perhaps you have noticed that after a frenzy of posting I have suddenly stopped cold.

I was at home on the couch watching the GI Joe movie (did you know that the blond guy isn't Joe? I had no idea.) Anyway, I was taking a break from tatting some jewelry for this weekend's Steampunk convention in...VA? DC? and my boyfriend and I heard a strange crackling sound. We looked around for the cats and seeing nothing, looked back to the TV. Then we heard the sound again and the ceiling fell on our heads.

This is the original hole in the ceiling.  Notice the places the drywall is sagging? Those would fall on us while we were trying to clean up just a few minutes later.

This is where Steve and I were sitting, and the plaster that landed on us.  I'd also like to point out that the ungrateful sheep in the background did nothing to help in the ensuing chaos.
And while the vacuum, Steve's best coat and a nice candle were all casualties the most dramatic damage was done to my scanner.

I've explained the ensuing clean and move operation heroically undertaken by my boyfriend and friends too many times to feel like typing it out again here, but after a month of cleaning, scrubbing, packing, moving, unpacking, cleaning and generally being miserable I am happily installed in a lovely house in Ingram.  My friends are awesome, my cats are calm and my craft supplies are protected in three layers of plastic.  I was also able to send almost 30 pieces of my work to the steampunk event, so the month off from work doesn't seem to have hurt as badly as it could have.

Next week I promise to post at least one new thing and resume my weekly postings.  But in the meantime I'm also working on a new project that might interest you.

I've never gotten over losing my awesome bookstore job.  I have another awesome bookstore gig now, but it's part time and like the book junkie I am it's not enough. So I've started a book blog called Hot & Cold Running Books. I'll be reviewing pre-releases, talking about bookselling and recommending old favorites of mine (finally, an excuse to make some lists!!!) Right now there is just an introductory-type post up but I'll be writing two review this weekend and generally working on the look and features.  The goal will be to read and review at least one book a week, although it would be awesome to do two books a week.

As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beaded Lace

This week I started working on pieces that incorporate beads into their design.  I've done work with beads before, but it's tedious and doubles the time it takes to make a bracelet so I've been putting this off.  Being without a model, and also without the closures I want to use for these pieces, I'm posting some photos of them as is.  When I have the final website ready shots done I'll post them for you.

First, the completed lace samples that will hopefully end up in the window of Parker Button and Clarissa Bridal in South Side.

And now the latest bracelets....the only new design is the last one, and it's my new favorite creation.  As you will see, it's actually three layers of lace with beaded flowers woven together into a bracelet.  It was tricky to figure out and trickier to assemble (you have to weave each row into the row below it as you work instead of making three pieces and assembling later) but totally worth it!