Monday, March 31, 2008

(Non) Photoshopped Spines, Seadragons and Body Farms

Since last weekend, I have been the proud owner of a mostly-recovered, non-Photoshopped spine, and a beautiful silver iPod Nano, courtesy of my rockin' brother (the iPod, not the spine. That would be a little freaky.) I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but I will once I get around to downloading the new iTunes! Aside of that there have been many shiny pretty objects that I'll get around to photographing, including the beautiful rings from Mei. They really are works of art, I absolutely adore 'em and have been wearing them two days straight.

Unfortunately due to circumstances and training, I wasn't able to join the Sketchcrawl that was held this weekend with Sandra and fellow artists - but I did manage some atonement during my family vacation to Langkawi Island last week. We spent time at Under Water World, where I got to see many, many curious sea creatures and lots of penguins. I'm a lousy photographer in general, so I sketched instead. Here is one of the most fascinating creatures there:

This is a Weedy Seadragon. Its colouration is a wonderfully fantastical congolomeration of red and black stripes and other colours I can't quite remember. It really does look like it has all different sorts of weeds growing off of it!

Reading/study material for the night - Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Body Farm by Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. It really is a fascinating read about how the Body Farm at University of Tennessee was established and some of the bizarre cases that have passed through its doors. I've been trying to settle down to do some studying, and between this and the online Architecture notes from MIT, this is a lot more comprehensible.

More updates later, I promise - sketches, jewellery, and mad rambles. That last, after all, is almost obligatory if you go by the people who happily inform me I'm cheerfully insane. You notice I haven't refuted this yet either.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fly Me To The Moon - I Mean, I Need A Photoshopped Spine...

I suppose it was inevitable that the Flu Pandemonium would catch up with me. That would be the last two days, and I'm immensely thankful for the institution of Public Holidays so I can rest, after having to take sick leave on Tuesday. For whatever reason, the typical flu muscle aches seem to have settled in my lower back and hips, making it deuced painful to move, sit, stand, or bend. It's been aching for two days. That would be two days too many.

Times like this I -really- want to Photoshop myself a new spine.

That said, the combination of a choral version of Fly Me To The Moon and some beautiful glass beads which looked exactly like planets led to an afternoon of wrestling with wire, complete creativity block and bad temper. I broke one of the beads before finally deciding that a redesign might be in order. The result, of which I'm still not too happy with, became known as the Interplanetary Fly Me To The Moon Bracelet:

I really need to practice coiling those wire focal beads a bit more. And let's not get started about the fiasco that was the clasp, all because I was fool enough to forget to measure my wrist before I made it...

Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars...

I think I'll do just that in my dreams tonight. And hope for a new spine.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lo, The Fruits of Madness

...which result in 3.20am bedtimes for young women who obviously don't know the value of the perfection that is sleep.

To be fair, it was my intention to go to bed somewhat early. It was a perfectly good intention. It's also what the road to hell is paved with, so I've just added a new cobblestone to the already wide and bumpy path.

But I got caught up in the Coiled Earrings Tutorial, by the lovely Corra of de Cor's Handmades - do check the lady out, she is a marvellous jewellery artist with such an elegant touch! - and being stubborn, refused to go to bed till I'd mastered the Inanimate Objects that are wire and beads.

It was worth it mind, even if I made a total and utter imbecile mess of the top of it - one bead was a bit too recessed, and I yanked too hard at the wire with my pliers, thus breaking it and having to scramble to attempt and repair the damage. All the little imperfections bug me like no tomorrow; there goes my perfectionist streak again.

Tonight, I -attempt- to sleep. But since I'm already fiddling with wires to make the second half of that pair of earrings...ahem.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Emerging from the Bell Jar

References to Sylvia Plath not withstanding, this past week has been absolute madness, necessitating the burial of my head within the bell jar of work and an ostrich-like tendency to stare fixedly at anyone embarking on a different topic of conversation that does not involve 'Hong Kong' or 'Children's Choir'.

I should emerge this week with (most of) my sanity (somewhat) intact, and get back to the whole business of Jewellery, Art, and Speculation. I offer up, for humble appeasement, an unfinished work in progress of my favourite little Abyssal, Whisper. The finished work will be posted. Eventually.

On another note, the fact that I watched The Punisher and Hellboy to destress yesterday should probably send most of the people who know me (and the known world in general) running for the hills. It was bad enough they let me watch Hitman...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Wire, Wire, Wire!

An epiphany occured this afternoon after two hours of costing trips for the Children's Choir sent me flying to take a break, in the form of photographing the jewellery pieces I've been working on for the past two weeks.

Namely: I have a tripod.

Yes, I have a desk tripod. It came with my camera some three years ago. It's also been sitting in my clothes cupboard for the last three years because I forgot it was there.

So it occured to me suddenly that it might make still shots a lot easier, and I dug it out after some creative invective (I reorganized my cupboard a while ago and it was not where it was supposed to be).

And it made the photographs a BREEZE. Stupid me! Now I don't have to worry about holding the camera still, because the tripod will do it for me...duh. Duh and duh again. Took this long for me to realize this. DUH.

Anyhow, for Mei especially, here are the pieces in no particular order:

Sha's Fire, another of my Dragaeran series of jewellery. She's a tough, sometimes cranky spitfire of a short little woman, and I thought the Fire Opal Swarovski crystals and Byzantine chain in bronze would work perfectly for her character.

An exercise from Kathy Frey's fantastic book, Elegant Wire Jewelry. It was fun, easy, and turned out as well as I could have expected. Instant gratification!

A wrapped-bezel mistake of a pendant. I originally wanted to see if I could replicate Eni Oken's wrapped bezel with attached charms...well, as it turned out, no, I couldn't, and had to scramble around to improvise. It's fine - just not what I originally intended!

This may be my second favourite bracelet that I've made so far. The black glass focal bead just cried out for something ornate and Victorian, so I experimented with twisting 22g black and 20g copper wire together. The antique effect was unexpected, but perfect for what I had in mind! It defied being named for at least two weeks till my friend Jon pointed out that Simon Green's Nightside books boasted the character of Julian Advent, the Victorian explorer turned Perfect Hero and Gentleman, and I should add him to my list of literary characters to run off with. And suddenly, Julian's Lady was born. This bracelet seems like what he might give to a lady he was interested in. I think, anyway.

An desire for instant gratification one evening led to these quick and easy projects.

I play keyboards for a wedding tomorrow morning at church, and the theme colours are orange, pink and brown. In a fit of insanity, this is what turned out - my first metal choker!

Given it's not yet midnight, and I'm not sleepy yet, I might do some sketching since I haven't done that yesterday.

Creativity-ward, ho! (Or perhaps I haven't had dinner yet and this is the blood sugar crash talking...)