December 23, 2015

Holiday Trinket 2015

Apologies for being a little (more than) tardy for my yearly holiday trinket creation...  But, better late than never :-)

Ta Da!  A minimalist, tall and skinny Christmas tree made in European Vertebrae with graduated sizes of rings, in various materials and colors, complete with its own decoration of dangling rings!  Plus a tree topper with a Rosetta-edged whirlybird and a wire wrapped bead cap.

OK, let me guess what you're thinking, "That's not much of a tree"...  Hey, there's nothing wrong with ad hoc mailling, specially when my hands are still hurting from wrestling with those thick niobium wires, not to mention it's a great way to recycle, improvise, and learn something new at the same time.

So, what have I learned in making this tree?  Quite a few:

1.  The dangling rings in the middle of the "tree trunk" add colors, dimension, and movement.  They are forgiving in AR, so great way to incorporate the orphan rings!
..................::: ooOO:::..................

2.  Got any bead about the right size to fit in one of the big rings?  Put a wire thru the bead, wrap a single loop on each side, and thread thru the big "tree trunk" rings, for extra bling!

3.  Then there's the tree topper.  Well, I cheated a little on this one ;-)  If you had visited this blog from back when I first started mailling, you may have seen my Rosetta whirlybird bead from 2010, and the wire wrapped bead cap from even before my chainmaille days.  I've been saving them for the right spot to shine, and here they are!  String them together on top of a white flower bead, form a double loop on each end, and there is the adorable angel with the fluffiest ruffle collard!!

Well, what can I say, imagination has always been my best friend, LOL!

♥ Happy Holidays, everyone ♥


June 12, 2015

Sharon H.'s Custom Designed Jewelry Set in Ghenghiz Cohen Chainmaille Weave

Not much can be compared to this puppy; nothing ever even come close :-)

When Sharon told me she found a couple of pieces in my studio catching her eyes and would like to have something made to match the B²+1 Maltese Cross earrings, I thought, "Wow, that would be pretty!"


Well, it's way more than pretty, it's awe inspiring!!

It's substantial, sparkly, eye-catching, ...  100% spectacular!!

The cross focal is 3 inches long including the crystal dangles, 2 inches across, nearly half inch thick, built with mostly 14 gauge SWG round wire rings in bright aluminum and jewelry brass, with the hidden "queen ring" of the B²+1 unit in 12 gauge that called for some serious muscles out of this old lady, LOL!!

Ah, but the end result is a mesmerizing, three-dimensional texture that is extremely sensual to the touch, if you don't mind me saying so.  I seriously pat myself on the back for this most fabulous chainmaille motif I've ever created!!

  Yup, you probably have to be a chainmaille diehard like me to fully appreciate this level of euphoria!  But I won't lie, those big and shiny Swarovski gold and silver crystals are the magical touch that really made the whole thing pop!  By the way, I'll share a little tip just in case anyone ever runs into this:  Apparently Swarovski doesn't make Aurum 2X bicones in 8mm, only up to 6mm, now you know :-)

To match the brilliance of this gorgeous necklace, Sharon picked out the same Ghenghiz Cohen weave for the matching bracelet, but with an upgraded size of my Moon Rise toggle clasp for closure.

I must admit, for as many Moon Rise toggles I've made, each one is still an adventure to create, specially when it's made with thicker and harder metal than pure copper.  What we see here is actually the 4th one that finally fit the bill just right, hence the saying, "No two are exactly alike!" :-)

For more views of the necklace and bracelet, they are currently available in my online studio


June 6, 2015

Tool Storage

So I've been hoarding, uh.... I mean, keeping many tools for my crafting activities.  It started out with a cutter and some pliers, all fit in a small pencil box.  Then before I knew it, they grew into a collection of their own!!

I had struggled to find a way to store and organize them, in a way that they are easily accessible, can be quickly identified, either by sight or by touch, and I want them to be mobile, because I like moving things around :-)

Years ago, I had this "not so little" DIY tool box made out of 3 shipping cardboard boxes.  The small and medium ones hold the pliers, note book, and what not.  They all sit in the middle of the lid of the large box.

When I'm done using them, I put the large box on, and the whole thing goes onto the shelf.

Pretty neat, right?!

Then time goes on, and I managed to further my hoarding career...  Yes, it might as well be a career since I can't seem to stop it!  Now I use all sorts of pliers, cutters, hammers, hand saws, anvils, plus wires, chains, tubing, etc.  Time to reorganize!

The goal is to keep the tools handy, mobile, and out of the way when done.

And here's what I got!  My rolling tool cart.  What do you think?

I love this wire cart!  So much so, I got two of them:-)  Here's how I use one of them.
  • The most used tools, that'd be the pliers and cutters, go on the side-hanging, recycled priority mail boxes.  They're just held to the cart with some masking tape for now, since I'm not one for commitments :-)
  • On the corners are the sharp and pointy cutters in scissors pouches so I don't accidentally stab myself.
  • In the hanging folders are wires from 8 gauge down to 30.
  • At the bottom are more pliers, mandrels, hand saw, with all the heavy duty hammers and anvils.

The best part?  When I'm all done, it rolls underneath my work table :-)  It's out of sight, and most importantly, out of way!!

Pretty cool, yeah? :-)  I love the fact that it's on wheels, so the whole thing can be moved around easily.  I got these wire carts from Costso, they are fabulous!  Lots of configuration, sturdy solid wheels, holds up well and rolls smoothly!

Now only if I can get my whole studio organized as well....

....  ;-)  ....

April 25, 2015

Pet Dragon with Fire Mix Scales

Meet Sharon H's new body guard!

Mr. Lil Smaug, the chainmaille version, that is :-)

Thanks to the beautiful scales from Blue Buddha Boutique and C&T Designs, this handsome dragon gets to wear the most shiny armor ever!

Isn't he the cutest?!  :-)

So far, I've made a number of dragons.  What's the same is that every one of them is a labor of love; what's different is their personalities; each is unique.  How amazing is that?!!

Want your own pet dragon in your favorite color mix?  Please visit my online studio for more details.

March 14, 2015

Playing with Metal - Sprite Earrings

Much safer than playing with fire!! :-)

For as much as I'm addicted to chainmaille, from time to time, I would find myself back doodling with metal wires, for its flexibility, fluidity, and best of all, forgiveness :-)  With only hand tools, forming the coils, stretching it, loosening a round, compress the next few, the possibilities are endless!

And if it's with niobium...

You can add pops of colors too; they are pure joy!


Now available in my online studio

btw, did I mention the possibilities are endless? :-)
They're equally delightfully in all precious silver!

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February 5, 2015

Forged Heart Pendant

Following my original design of S-hook clasp, I went on to experiment with more complex versions.  One of the variations was the whimsical ducky clasp, which is a stylized ducky outline complete with a pointy tail, folded wing, and a long beak that easily catches and releases to function as a clasp.

Alternatively, when I bring the beak closer to touch the duck body, then turn the duck side way, it becomes a shapely heart!  Additional bending and forging of the wire creates the varying thickness in the final heart shape, reminiscent of calligraphy but with metal.

Since I can never stay with just one color, this newly re-purposed clasp got a rainbow dip in the anodizing pool, so to speak (hahaha, I crack myself up!)

OK, so it's pretty easy so far.  Finishing the heart clasp on a necklace is a different story.  Deciding where to add the crystals, how to hang the pendant, what kind of neck ware, and how does it clasp, etc etc...  The devil is always in the detail.

But I must say I'm pretty happy with the results.  Every little part fits together finally and nicely, making it a one of a kind necklace that's dainty in scale but bold in presence.  Icing on the cake?  This beauty went straight to a dear friend the second it's listed ;-)

January 27, 2015

Pet Dragon with School Color

I'm not a sports fan, never paid much attention to school colors either; but I recently noticed a lot of them chose maroon!  Interesting!  Never thought of this seasonal, somewhat muted color would be so popular among school teams.

Any how, I received a request to make a pet dragon key fob with maroon color scales.  Well, in our chainmaille world, we just call this color "burgundy" :-)  and many thanks to C&T Designs for supplying these fabulous scales!!

This handsome dragon takes after its older siblings in not only being totally awesome,

but super adorable too ;-)

Want one of these cuties with your school colors?  Please visit my online studio for ordering details.

Click here for more views.