Monday, March 7, 2011

Mandible Fired, EFA Treasury, Showing Some Love

I've had a low couple of days, but I did manage to fire the galago mandible, as well as a medallion I made using an antique vulture button. I'm really happy with how they came out, and just need to make some final touches. These will be put on sterling chain like my other bones and medallion, but for a lot of my silver pendants I also have plans for more elaborate designs using beads and natural bones. A little something for everyone maybe, and I really enjoy putting together pieces that have a theme or are just a little more complicated to make. The mandible pic is not great, so I'll put that at the bottom after I share a couple of treasuries.

This first is an Etsy for Animals Team collection of bees including my silver and gold bumble bee:

This is a collection I made including some of my favorite people on Etsy.

And the galago mandible:

Thanks for reading, and I'll try to be cheerier next time!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Today's Project

It's all about phalanges today. I'm going to use my Christmas/Birthday present, a new Dremel, to drill holes in the toe bones from my second found fox so I can make more Dancing Phalanges earrings. At four pairs sold, they're officially my best seller, so gotta keep those stocked! This is my most recent pair, and if you click the pic you'll find a link in my listing for a cute video snippet on YouTube.

Dancing Phalanges

I also currently have more pieces molding for some kind of silver toe bones and claws creation, maybe a necklace and earrings set. These are from a king penguin, and the biggest claw is over an inch long! I made the mistake of not using enough molding compound in an effort to conserve, so I actually had to roll some extra onto the bottom of four of the molds to thicken them. A phalanx had gone through one, but it seems to have made a nice seamless patch and hopefully won't affect the surface of the silver. Anyway, here's the set in the lovely blue silicone compound. You can see how good I am at keeping my nails from digging into it.

I woke up this morning to a nice surprise, and I hope you'll take a few moments to check it out in support of the curator and all the wonderful Etsy shops. Thank you for reading, and have a great day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Newest Mandible

The last few weeks have been an exciting time for me thanks to a very kind person who offered to share some of their teaching collection of natural bones and Bone Clones®. Bone Clones® are resin replicas cast from real bone, and the brand has become highly respected by educators for their exacting standards and detailed reproductions. The natural bones, many exotic, were obtained legally and humanely. This is important to me, and I trust my source, who has good reason to have the bones in the first place.

I've been doing a lot of molding, but I'm anxious to have a finished piece, a gift of thanks for the opportunity. My first project is a galago, or bushbaby, mandible. I had to go with this one first, because it's so interesting compared with other mammal jaw bones. Galagos, along with lemurs and lorises, are in a special group of primates which have a toothcomb. The structure is in the front of the mandible, and in the galago consists of four lower incisors and two canines [three on each side]. These teeth aid in grooming by removing dirt and matted hair. In the topmost picture below, you can see the incisors peeking out from behind the largest forward pointing tooth, which is the canine.

It would be nice to have a casting machine so I could make true 3D reproductions, but I really enjoy the process of molding by hand. Even though it's more work to pick up the details of the bone, trim the excess clay, and angle and smooth the edges, there's a connection to the bone that I think I'd miss using a machine. I can only hope there are people out there who appreciate that aspect of my pieces enough to maybe buy someday! In the meantime, I'm having a lot of fun, and am so grateful for the inner motivation and external opportunities which allow me to do it.

My dad has dubbed my mandibles the 'Jaws Line', imagine that! I know there are more popular items out there, but I just love that I have enough jaws to continue to develop a little line. If you're interested, you can see my finished ones by clicking the pics below.

Fine Silver Hedgehog Mandible

Fine Silver Squirrel Mandible

Thank you for reading, and have a great day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Until Tomorrow

I've been swimming in molding compound and a borrowed collection of very unique bones lately, which isn't such a bad place for me, and is definitely keeping me very busy! Tomorrow I plan to take a little break and share my current project in process, but for now I want to post the most recent treasuries in which I've been included. Aside from posting links in my listings, this is the best way I have to share the wonderful work of the other featured sellers and the curators who were kind enough to include me. I've made just a handful of treasuries myself, and it's not an easy task. There are so many cool things on Etsy that it takes a lot of time and patience to put a collection together, as well as a special talent to display your picks beautifully. Thanks much, guys!

I hope everyone has a great night!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

International Polar Bear Day

Double Feature: The Oscars & International Polar Bear Day - Polar Bears International

[Testing the share on Blogger thingy]

Polar bears are classified as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but experts in polar bear science consider them endangered, and predict that two-thirds of the world's population could disappear by mid-century as the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change. The major threat is rapid loss of sea ice, but pollution, poaching and industrial impact are also considered dangers. Today is about raising awareness of the threats polar bears face, but also about what we can do to help. If I've done this correctly, you can visit the link at the beginning of this post for tips. If not, I'll fix. :)

Happy International Polar Bear Day!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Quieter Snacks & An Awesome Gift!

I swear they aren't paying me, but SunChips may have just made my life a little bit happier. Chris and I used to eat them all the time in CA, excepting our vegan years. It actually took us a little while to find them around here after we moved back to small town upstate NY. Since then, they've been a luxury treat, or we might eat them all the time. However, last year they assaulted my [and apparently a lot of other people's] ears with a new 100% compostable bag registering at about 80-85 decibels, and I just couldn't have them any more. I've always had very sensitive ears, notice sounds a lot of people don't, and am easily driven to distraction by what I call 'undernoises' - quiet background sounds which to me never seem exactly quiet. Strangely, loud noises were never a problem, but they became so when my mega depression set in. It always struck me as kind of the near-sighted vs. far-sighted of hearing, and now I have both. So thank you, SunChips, for redesigning your bag to now register at only around 70 decibels! Okay, still seems quite loud to me, but it's more in line with the original packaging as well as most chip bags. Just so you know, the info was gleaned from Care2 and you can even listen to the difference at the chip people's site. The ad lady seems very excited, but as this is certainly important news, I will report my own findings after our next shopping trip.

I really want to take a moment to thank my wonderful friend, Ronnie of WolfBANGbullets, who just sent me such a thoughtful birthday present! Among other beautiful things, she sent all the fixings for a little shipping station, which is going to make my life easier and has already seriously reduced the clutter in my workroom. There are containers and labels, notebooks and lavender sachets, and a huge hefty bag with pockets to hold everything. I had a workable system before, but things were everywhere. If there's anyone out there as disorganized as me, this kind of centralized system is a great idea. And it only took over a year of selling and someone else doing it for me to realize!

I mentioned the bats yesterday, and I thought I'd share some of my bat earrings today. While everything that isn't bone related in my shop generates at least a 10% donation to BCI, my bats specifically generate 20% for the organization. I'm working on some with Swarovski stars, but here's a little sample of my current designs.

Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Treasuries

Good morning, everyone! Just a quick test of Craft Cult's treasury widget, with many thanks to the curators, my dear friend Vee of Very Vee, and Susan of Jewel Re Motion. So many beautiful items, and I'm grateful to have something of mine amongst them! I'll get the hang of this, but for now I'm excited to see it work.

I received a very kind note from Bat Conservation International this morning, in regards to the donations from my shop. If you love bats, you may want to check them out and read up on their progress fighting White-nose Syndrome [WNS]. With last week's discovery of the fungus in Indiana and North Carolina, WNS is now confirmed to have spread to a total of sixteen U.S. states. There's a little section on how you can help, even if you don't have money to give.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and enjoy browsing the treasuries! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Go?

Eight months since my last post, and I'm just making some revisions with hopes of returning on a more regular basis. I have pictures to take, 34 projects to be finished or remade, a workspace amounting to two inches of usable area, piles everywhere, and absolutely no idea where to begin! It's a far cry from where I was just one year ago; struggling to focus, short on ideas, and barely able to complete one project a week. Still, I'm not much more productive now because I feel a bit overwhelmed, so maybe I need another outlet. I had thoughts of making this into more of a business blog, but that just isn't me, so if I return it will be much the same. Maybe some day I'll change the top image. For now though, a few updates: a little rearranging, a new page for my babies, no more Facebook link because I just can't maintain it, and a little post to potentially inspire myself to come back.

In other news, it's 46 degrees, the snow is melting, I have newly planted seeds on the windowsill just starting to peek out of the dirt, a new albino rat, guppies being born as I write, and part of a teaching collection of bones on the way to mold. I'm listening to Puscifer's Momma Sed because I think it's pretty and, well, it's Maynard. And I'm now 41. Good times! :)

My Dear Readers