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Archive for December, 2011

One of the other surprises of the pocket watch haul was that a few of them

"Peace" watch case collage

still have their crystals intact. All of the cases I’d come across before either never had crystals or they did they had been long lost. Having intact crystals meant that I had the option of creating the collages and knowing that the items added would be protected, even if the pieces were worn. It gave me a bit more freedom in the designs. It also meant that I could go with a more graphic style, since I wanted the finished effect to be readable a bit farther back. I decided to base the first couple on some themes I’m still exploring. I started with an antique image of the world. It was then delicately tinted with watercolours. The round shape of the world made it easy to place a pair of antique hands on it in the near-midnight position . It was then stamped with “In our hands” and a small, white dove was attached in the upper right corner. (it was just the right size to fit the case) This was the chunkiest of the recent case pieces, so it would be a bit heavy as a pendant, but still wearable. The other drawback was that it is heavily worn. I love how the case itself looks, but the crystal is rough and it partially obscures the design, when it’s closed.

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There was one last style of vintage ornaments that I altered to give them a more

rusted steampunk angel ornament

steampunk feel. I started with metal angels in a rusted iron finish. They already had great, leather hanging loops and holes in the hands. That made alteration really easy. I mostly went with attaching watch springs that were dressed up a bit with some glass beads in reds and greens. A couple got brass gears, and they worked as well, but the the darker colour of the springs was a better match to the base ornament, in my opinion. They may have technically been unfinished craft supplies, since they did not hang balanced without the added decorations. Maybe they were always intended to be personalized, I’m just not sure, since none of the group appeared to have been decorated prior in their history. Anyway, I ended up with a quartet of this style and I like that they have a more rustic feel than the other “steamed” ornaments, so they will work on a different range of trees. (and would still easily fit in a country-style look)

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This is one of another trio of this years Steampunk ornaments.

steampunk bulb ornament

They also started with vintage ornaments. These ones have a glass bulb, topped with pressed metal and filled with a smaller thing, something like a those foiled vinyl bells. If they had been in good condition, I wouldn’t have changed them since they did have a cool, retro vibe but they had been kept in a damp space at some point. The result was that the interior decorations had discoloured and the glass had become spotted. To steam them up, I peeled off the tops then took out the damaged insides and cleaned the bulbs. The top opening was wide enough that I was able to fit in a good sized watch spring that mostly filled the interior. (it helped that the spring could squish down a bit to go through the top) The spring was jazzed up with a couple of additional mini gears, as well as a couple added to the bottom, and then the ornament was re-assembled. I ended up with three, in this style, although each one is slightly different.

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I’ve been staying busy with some holiday framing but still managed to work on a few ornaments.

steampunk bell ornament

This year, I decided to branch out a bit from my typically traditional style and make some steampunk decorations. The big haul of clock/watch parts meant that there was lots of parts to work with. A number of the designs were done using vintage ornaments as a base and then pulling them down the path to steampunk. The pictured bell is one of those. I liked the simple, but traditional shape of it and the colour was already perfect. The addition of a cast brass sextapus, (yes, it should be an octopus, but he only has six legs, don’t ask me why) and some gears give it a great Steamy vibe while still being suitable for almost any holiday tree. The drawback to using vintage is that the numbers are limited and I was only able to make a co-coordinating pair of it and a matching ball shaped version, but it’s nice to know that it’s a one-of-a-kind!

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