Yeah, you heard me.

Tell your favorite fellatrix how special they are this holiday season with a piece that definitely makes a statement.

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People seem to go nuts over the wire tree pendants I’ve been making this year, so I made some tiny ones into a 5-in-1 piece.  A sturdy bracelet that can be separated into four pendants to match the season or your mood make an awesome gift that will be appreciated year-round.

I offer tree-making lessons (in person only for now) for $25, which includes materials for one tree and  an hour of hands-on instruction. Yes, you get to keep it. 🙂

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WTF is an “underlight”? This, apparently.  Naming this one was a challenge, as several hours were spent trying to mesh the colors and coil pattern into a clever title.  Looking at the pictures, I was thrilled to see that my favorite aspect of the beads showed up; the soft green glow that made me buy them in the first place was in full effect.  Underlight is one of those pieces I’d keep if the cat didn’t need to eat.

 

About the hiatus…

November 21, 2009

It was involuntary. Well, everything is voluntary, but this one was in the name of neighborly relations. It seems that the neighbors on the 3rd floor hear like bats, and took issue with my nocturnal schedule. The situation had me in a knot and kinda paranoid about walking around my own apartment for about a week, but I’ve resolved to simply go all crazy white girl on whom ever  kvetches about my schlepping to the kitchen between 10pm and 6am.

As of yesterday, I am armed with Concerta for that pesky issue of  losing things in plain view. I’d  finish a link and spend hours looking for the rest of the chain which was usually within a few inches of me. Same with tools, beads, pieces of wire, people, Monkey, and in another regard, tasks. It was frickin’ awful and getting worse. The first dose resulted in the most productive night in a long time. Despite my aversion to meds that interfere with natural function, it seemed necessary this time.

I used to contend that people are a certain way for a reason, even if they don’t know what it is; that chemical imbalances, raging bipolarity, and a melange of diagnoses that haven’t been entered into my file yet are all part of what fuels creativity, innovation, and the ability/willingness to think “outside the box”. But dammit… I need to be able to find my pliers, and if it takes medication to do that, then so be it.

Symmetry crisis

November 7, 2009

Labradorite is one of those stones with almost too much personality to put in a setting; unfortunately thats  the destiny of this week’s shipment.

This gorgeous pear-shaped cabochon had an unusual deep indigo spot that I became obsessed with framing in silver. After a quick wire wrap job, I noticed some scratches in the wire left by my pliers. I spun a coil around the scratched spot and scorned myself for how stupid it looked.  This is where the project began its descent.

After a few hours of poking and shifting the ever-increasing pile of corrective coils and spirals, I was satisfied. I held up the finished piece that had grown from a pendant to a something of a tentacle monster having it’s hentai-like way with a neck wire. Holding  it backwards and upside down to check symmetry before photos, the beast showed itself. The pendant itself was asymmetrical… at the base. This wire-devouring monster had been built around a  fucked up base… like a strip mall being built on a sinkhole.

I worked to fix the structural hiccup for several hours, and then the focal stone broke. Stunned only temporarily by the overwhelming amount of fail, a swearing fit ensued and I went to bed.

Now I can’t find another cab that will match.

The fail tag has been earned.

FFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Yes, there really is an “Awesome ‘Possum” collection, and no, it was not inspired by Louis C.K. (who I love, but had nothing to do with this).

There is more to Atlas III‘s story than what the Esty listing indicates. I have a tendency to  exhibit  textual diarrhea when it comes to writing copy, and often have to weed out entertaining or otherwise interesting stuff for the sake of holding a reader’s attention. Have I lost you yet? Good.

How it started

Coincidentally (or maybe not?) today is actually the 3rd anniversary of Awesome ‘Possum’s beginnings (11/05/06).  A friend and I schlepped south on rt. 15  from Leesburg, VA for for about 2 hours in a Honda Civic ( nicknamed “itsnotahooptie”).  It was virgin to our antics, meaning  it had a neutral odor, noteworthy lack of staining, and no sweaty handprints of frightened menfolk on the inside of the rear windows.   The trunk was occupied with a plastic storage bin specifically for collecting street meatballs, which are abundant year-round on this particular road. I had my roadkill kit (trash bags, mask, head lamp, change of clothes, and and gloves), and was ready to bag as many critters as possible.

It didn’t take long to realize that most of these furry speedbumps had been hit so many times that there wasn’t an intact bone in their bodies, and that sucked for all parties involved – live and dead.  The ones that were beyond use were placed just beyond the closest tree line to avoid further dances with tire treads; the ones that still had some rigidity to their structure were double-bagged and placed in the plastic tub. This was not the first time I had scooped critters, but certainly the first time a day trip had been made of it.  Normally, collection  happens sporadically as I find specimens in my everyday travels.

A sampling of ooze to come...

A side note about the art of collecting roadkill: its a crapshoot. Very rarely is the collector graced with a perfect specimen that looks like it fell asleep in the road. The norm is unfortunately rather gruesome and undesirable on all accounts (floppy meatbags, popped out eyes, gross crap even by my standards). Even the best looking ones have very few usable bones, and the collector only finds out after several months of decomposition.

About an hour  into the journey, my friend made a familiar face.  Gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles, she pulled over and popped open the trunk.  It seems that the aroma of carrion flesh isn’t as noticeable to me as it is to others. Similar to the smell of garbage (I’m an avid dumpster diver),  I just don’t register the odor as anything but an opportunity within sniffing distance. Its an awkward skill actually… this ability to sniff out a corpse from about a mile away; very awkward date conversation though.  Anyway, the double-bagged critters in various states of decay had… uh… oozed. Iwon’t say bled, because I can’t say with any confidence that 100% of the black goo at the bottom of the tub was all blood. It was probably a mixture of blood, organ juices, and internal matter that broke down quickly. Whatever it was, it instantly made my friend understand my “smaste” affliction (I’m perpetually congested, and therefore taste what most people only smell) .   The smaste of five juicy bodies was a particularly foul, and I wouldn’t wish it on any first-time smaster; its the equivalent of tossing a first-time swimmer into the Mariana Trench without water wings or a snorkel.  Between a cheekful of super-minty gum and the bandanna tied around my face (pro tip!), I was spared while  she was not.  For the record: in 2004, this friend ate enough chicken wings to feed a small country, just so that I could have the bones for art projects. Today, she selflessly besmirched the sanctity of her new car with the vile stench of death. If that isn’t friendship, I don’t know what is.  Moving on…

Necessary measures.

Two hours into the journey we ended up at Clark Brothers, a  landmark just south of Warrenton, VA. While I schmoozed the large men in camo overalls and bought a bone saw, she paced around the car alternating between furious texting and grabbing her knees to steady the dry heaves. Promising to score her a pair of coveted raccoon hands with my new bone saw as thanks for being a trooper,  she was temporarily sated though still edgy.

The lack of opossum on this stretch of road was noticeable since  they are abundant in the suburbs where I live.  As the country road reached the familiar ‘burbs,  I spotted a mangy one on the shoulder. Leaning out the window, I pointed and yelled “POSSUUUUM!”. Scowling at the prospect of another contributor to the smell, she said  “oh awesome“. Feeling somewhat euphoric and giddy from the quality of our payload, I started singing “aaawesome ‘poooosuuuum” to the tune of Chili’s “Awesome Blossom” jingle (circa 1990) and doing the cabbage patch in my seat.  She glared at me with the “what the fuck is wrong with you” look that I get with some frequency, and cracked a smile. It was then that the need to disarm people in order for them to accept my work became apparent.

Srs Bsnss…

Nothing  about any of this is intended to be gross or morbid. Sure, there are some really foul things that just come with the territory, and there is certainly an audience for that aspect of it. The lighthearted approach I have regarding the collection of these poor creatures is more of a coping mechanism than anything else; it breaks my heart every time. People who are in a rush to get their snot-nosed little oxygen thieves to soccer practice, texting, screwing with makeup, and who knows what else are completely oblivious to the fact that they are taking a life regardless of the number of legs it has.  Would they go nuts if they hit a pedestrian? Of course. A deer? Maybe, but only because it probably messed up their (totally replaceable) car. An awesome  ‘possum? In most cases… no.

Next to squirrels, ‘possums seem to be the animal that the general public cares least about running over. They aren’t particularly cute,  and  largely regarded as pests. The first animal I ever moved out of the road was a ‘possum; I was 14 and the flattened tree rat made a lasting impression  to say the least.  For me, ‘possums (the dead ones anyway) embody motorists’ overwhelming  apathy toward the gravity of ending a life without flinching. Awesome ‘Possum is more than a stupid song that  came to me in a moment of  sweet sweet mania; it is a series of  ‘possum-centric pieces made with the intent of promoting benevolence toward all forms of life, regardless of how cute, sentient, or worthwhile we deem them to be.

Sense of humor required.

New tag?

October 31, 2009

I might need to implement a new category or tag called “fail”, possibly in all caps.

After snapping several dowels, bruising my dainty digits, colorful diatribes with wire (I love a captive audience), and eventually fondling bags of frozen veggies to placate my hands… I learned how NOT to make heavy gauge barbed wire.

It started off as 4g, and I almost cried. After a few of my trademark trial and error attempts, 8g ended up working. Only after the base twist was finished, I asked OrigamiZen Jen (a handy rural diva who not only happens to know how to make the stuff, but is tatted with it as well) where to put the barbs. I did it incorrectly; the barbs were supposed to be strung on to a single wire before twisting the two. Crap. I put the barbs on anyway, and they spin all over the damn place. Fail.

So all this copper wrangling has left me with a ton of scraps. Being my father’s daughter, I pinned this morning’s 7-11 Domo cup to the  side of the desk for scrap collection. Eventually they’ll be melted down for something neat, but for now just having them out of the carpet is great. Well, that and Domo’s unflinching OMNOMNOM face makes feeding him wire clippings feel compulsory.

Mah Domo cup!

Etsy update

October 29, 2009

6g and 4g hand-finished satin sheen  wireThis thing with Origami Jen is working out pretty well; I totally recommend the buddy system to anyone procrastinating with home business projects. There is a constant “get crap done so I don’t look like the lazy one” urgency that is managing to keep me afloat.

Moving on… today is our first formal Etsy listing day. Yes, we have a schedule… what about it?

I started off with some of the satin finish wire I’ve been making/using.  I’m normally a steel/silver girl when it comes to personal pieces, but I stumbled upon some info about the chemistry and medical benefits of copper recently, and decided to wear a few pieces to see if I noticed a difference.

8 rings and 4 bangles that could double as shackles later,  I can testify that my hands don’t get nearly as fatigued when working for long periods.  My mouth tastes like I’ve been sucking on a penny… or my entire swear jar… but the hands are good. Maybe I can ditch a few rings and be able to taste food again.

To read more about benefits of copper and find out why/how it turns skin green, check out any of the wire listings.

EDIT: There was supposed to be a mini gallery here, but WordPress won’t allow the code. Just one more (lack of a) feature that is making me want to transfer the blog to another host.

Its up!

October 27, 2009

Technically, yes. The new website is up. I’ve been using the same pics for a long time, so the gallery will go up after this week’s picture day so that there are fresh shots. 🙂

I think the site is such a chore because I’m particular. Not  a perfectionist, just… particular. Things need to be a millimeter or two to either side, this is too much info/no its too little, this takes too long to load, this needs to be resides, that looks like crap, etc. It takes forever.

The new version is cleaner, more compact and minimal, and half the links on the menu are to external sites. Yay for low maintenance design.

 

 

A wonderful dude brought me this sweet little gadget for keeping photos of my work handy! How crafty is that?

Shift3 Digital Photo Keychain

Surprisingly, it is not packed with photos of my cat. Yet. It automatically compresses pictures to fit on the 1″x1″ screen, and is super easy to use in terms of software. The transition effects between pictures are kinda cute when you aren’t in a hurry to find a picture.

 

My only kvetch is the brightness of the display. You might want to and just brightness of you pics before uploading, as well as reshape the original image into a square to avoid the program’s area selector cropping stuff out.

This definitely gets a thumbs up as a gift idea for any crafty person you know, and can be found most places for under 20 bucks.