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Archive for the ‘about stuff we carry’ Category

Working on jewellery designs in a Good Omens theme was fun. I loved making parts and finding all sorts of bits in the stash to represent the Angel, Demon and their world. I went looking through the pretty wide range of mother-of-pearl drops and pieces and found a few circles that had a very “Planet Earth” colour range to them. They were great, but small enough that all I could really fit properly on them was “Our Side”.4nwgo1

The engraved circle was so clean looking that I decided to stay as minimalist as possible and used only a pair of black and white glass bead flat circles with a smaller silver metal one to join it all together.

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I’d been having fun with making Good Omens necklaces with pairs of shell wings, but wanted to do a few that were a bit more casual. The little banners I’d engraved for a couple of the wing pairs made me really happy so I wanted to try that as the main focus. Luckily, the stash provides and there were a few different shapes of mother-of-pearl drops to choose from. This one is a bit of a free-form drop and it was a good shape to show “Our Own Side”. One of the silver snake links takes up the left (Crowley) side while a gold shield with a pair of tiny wings makes up the right (Aziraphale). Of course, a little heart joins them together!2nwgo2

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biomon3In the last couple of years I’ve gotten lucky on the hunt and scored a group of Care Bears for mutant making. Among them were a couple of the “friends”, which are other animals. When I saw that the monkey was a bright yellow, I knew right away that he needed a bio-hazard symbol on his belly! biomon5

While I prefer to use sewn details for the bellies, it wasn’t possible in this case so I went with doing it with fabric paint. Luckily, the paint is a close enough match that several people have been very surprised that it is an alter!

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I don’t do very many craft commissions. I’ll get the occasional custom stuffie request but it doesn’t come up much with the jewellery and I generally just make what I want and then offer up the finished pieces. This was one of the rare custom necklaces I’ve made.

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One of my framing clients would stop in every year or so with more pieces and she always enjoyed seeing what I was up to in the crafts and decided she needed a custom necklace that made a statement. She’d seen the large chest piece I’d done using a brass clock frame and wanted something very much on the same scale with the theme of Time.

I had a second brass frame plate and that was the base. A trio of enamelled watch faces became the main part of the design. A pretty little watch case, with a red heart inside, was set into the centre of the top and flanked by a pair of tiny brass wings. Chains of glass beads and brass decorate it and make up the support necklace.

She loved it and told me how much she enjoyed wearing it, especially to any meetings where there would be “questions” about if/when she was considering retirement!

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The jewellery supply stash has all sorts of interesting bits and bobs and one of the things was a, truthfully, slightly tacky, necklace that was made up of snakes and skulls. I’d had it for quite a while, and had used a couple of the skull links, but the snakes just hadn’t jelled with anything. That was before I’d seen “Good Omens”!

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I had been able to cut a few more pairs of shell wings and the silver snake components were perfect for the black, Crowley, side of a necklace. A silver key, with a silver feather balance it on the white, Aziraphale, side. One of the little skulls hangs between them and I made an apple drop from some red and green glass beads. While I stayed with silver toned chain for the whole thing, each side has a different style.

I loved the splash of colour from the little apple and used them in quite a few of this group.

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Some of the stuffie mutants are riffs on a theme that I’ll come back to several times but some are total one-time-only things. Sometimes that’s because I just had an idea that I wanted to try and once it’s done, I don’t need to come back or sometimes, it’s just because the salvaged parts worked out that ONE time, and they probably never will again.

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This guy was a case of getting lucky with the supplies and dye batches. I had made a large spider bear out a pair of the big Beanie Bears and, as usual, all that was left of the second bear was his head. Luckily, I also had one of the small, regular sized version of the same bear on hand AND the dye batches were close enough that I was able to give him a big head and have it look seamless!

Not something I ever expect to happen again since these “Pooh” bears have a supersoft fur that dramatically shows the slightest wear so they are pretty rare to find in usable condition.

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Last year, at the beginning of June, “Good Omens” was released on Amazon Prime. I’ve loved the book since the early 90’s and tried not get my hopes up too high about a tv adaption butI was thrilled to have been too pessimistic since it was fantastic!

Falling in love with a show very often gives me a creative burst and this was no exception. It took a bit for the making urge to clarify itself. One aspect is that I’m working on my first direct character cosplays for myself. (I’ll have pics and discussions of those as things get farther along)

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The other group that came out was a collection of shell “wing” necklaces. I wanted to represent both characters and how they join together. To do it, I handcut wing shapes from empty shells I’d found and then stained the mother-of-pearl inside of one black while keeping the other in it’s natural pale tones. The first one I did, had a small heart from the stash, joins the wings and then I hung a little skull and a mother-of-pearl banner below and etched the banner with “Our Own Side” and rubbed some paint into the cuts so it shows. The wings are held in an open position by the placement of the chain attachment points. As often happens with me, the first is the one I consider mine so I’m keeping it!

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There are tons of vintage and salvaged parts you can use to mod weapons as well as in other altered art projects. One of my favourites are buttons. While using them is pretty common in vintage/antique collages, they don’t have to be limited to those. While a standard, flat 2 or 4 hole is always clearly a button, there are so many styles that can give you other effects. The ones I like using the most are all sorts of the dome or shanked styles. (although I usually cut off the shanks before using the tops) They can have great details that give a pop of texture, and real metal finish, to a gun. In other cases, they get painted over. When I’m modding a gun, I’ll often end up cutting off areas or parts that don’t go with the finished design I want. While it’s possible to use various sculpting compounds to create covers for these spots, it’s often much faster and easier to use a button.

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In this example, I used buttons in 3 different ways on the same gun. One pair of textured metal buttons were added as accents to the sides. The circular spots originally had the logo of the base plastic gun. While I was able to mostly remove it, the centre was still rough and read as strangely empty due to the raised edges. A pair of buttons solved both problems and their authentic aged, metal finish helps sell the gilded and painted “metals” on the rest of it.

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The bottom of the grip had had a pair of small, uninteresting domes on either side and they were cut off. I covered the holes with a couple of flashing fibre-optic buttons in black and grey. Finally, the back end of the top had a small open slot, where you used to be able to load the plastic disks it fired. This was both blocked and decorated by a very modern looking button in silver and matte black.

You never know where you’ll need a little bit of fill so I just stash all the interesting buttons that cross my path!

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Some stuffie parts stay in the stash for a long time, waiting for their “match”. This beautiful white buffalo was one who had a long wait. He was so lovely, and in perfect condition, so I wanted to make something extra special with him. He was also a bit bigger in scale than most of what I use for supplies.

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While it took a couple of years, I did eventually figure out what he had to become. A large Snowy owl was found and it had a perfectly scaled pair of big white wings. I love how he turned out and it was really hard to let him go!

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While I’ve frequently got some sort of plan for many projects, there are other things that come from putting random parts of the stash near each other and then seeing what my mind comes up with. Considering that I’m working with mostly salvaged and found materials, it generally means that there will only be one or two of any concept that they spark, but sometimes there can slightly larger groups.

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A few years ago, I found some eggs. They were quite small, around 1 1/2” and painted with a wonderful marbled range of colours. At first, I thought they might have been plastic but a closer look showed that not only were they wood, but that their marbling was hand-done. They were a bit reminiscent of old Fordite and depth of the colours as well the smooth texture of the surface make me think they might have used automotive paint. Someone had gone to a great deal of trouble to make them but then either never got around to their intended use or did, and these were the leftovers. This is one of the cases where I would love to know the history of a supply bit, but it’s unlikely I’ll ever find out how they came into my path.

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Their size and shape was close to a few vintage doll arms I had and one got used to make a small wearable doll. I loved the look of the doll, but had used all the spare arms so put them aside again. By the time I went into my next round of jewellery making, I’d added a group of leaf-shaped mother-of-pearl beads to the stash. Looking at those beads, I saw they could also read as wings and the scale was very close to the eggs! I had to put together pairs of the shell “wings” and match them each egg since the colours were so individual, due to the marbling. Then it was figuring out how to get them all hang together so the “doll” illusion held and then matching each group to assorted bits for the heads. A few got watch cases and ended up as the funky ones, while the ones with the glass bead heads turned out to look almost like little angels. I was happy enough with them that I used up all of the eggs, even if it did pain me to not keep one “just in case”!

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