Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tea and Jewelry

In the midst of studying for the four tests I take today (yes you read that correctly!) I was pretty productive this last week! Here's a quick look at my latest projects. :) 

(Also I need help naming posts, apparently. I was going to name it "New Finished Projects" or "Updates" and then decided to be boringly descriptive and name it "Tea and Jewelry"... oh well. Please tell me that other bloggers have this problem, too!)

New in the Sketchbook:

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.' - C.S.Lewis
I'm working on a series of small sketches and illustrations for the wonderful Regina Doman. It's actually an old project that didn't go anywhere before-- she's bringing it to life! Regina Doman is the author of some wonderful fiction novels (such as the Fairy Tale Novel Retold series) and fellow fans of hers have been very instrumental in my life.

During her travels, Regina will do "Fairy Tale Tea Parties" in which she will give talks and sign books at small tea parties hosted by fans. The illustrations are for a tea party booklet!

This is a work in progress shot from my Instagram account (which y'all should follow for more behind-the-scenes of making art and jewelry) with a couple more of the sketches.

 New in the Shoppe:

Here's a peek at the newest listings in my Shoppe. I made some pieces for custom orders, too.

Bluebell Chainmaille Bracelet-- I'm especially proud of figuring out a brand new chainmaille weave! (Well, brand-new to me!)
Aurora Rhinestone Pearl Earrings -- designed to go along with my Princess Aurora circlets and cuffs
Blue to green ombre chainmaille bracelet
This bracelet took quite a bit longer than most pieces I make using this weave, since it is to tiny! It's more feminine and elegant, and of course I made this with my all-time favorite color pairing: bright, non-tarnish sterling silver, and a huge variety of shiny blues and greens!
Autumn Red flower spray leaf hair clip -- that's a really long name for this piece but at least it's descriptive. 
Here's the same hair clip on a lovely model!
Mint Green chainmaille flower bracelet. I LOVE combining the ultra-modern, sleek look of colorful enameled wire with the historical look of chainmaille and the whimsical fun of my signature leaf flowers!
Golden Galadriel Star Flower Earrings-- with green crystal dangles
Rustic Celtic Copper Cuff
OK, so this one is a bit of a cheat-- it's not a new item in my Shoppe. It's been up for a couple weeks. But during a fantasy-themed photoshoot, I photographed this stunning model wearing the copper cuff from Eowyn's Jewelry Set. The gown was handmade by a friend of mine, and the sword is a replica of Glamdring-- Gandalf's sword from the LotR movies!

Summer Greens Enchanted Forest Earrings. The Enchanted Forest earrings seem to be a favorite-- they are at once elegant and elven. I normally make them in solid colors, but these various shades of green just called to me. Also, can I geek out about this photograph? I don't know how I got the sunray to be "just so" but I'm loving it!

On My Workdesk Wednesday

I'm staring a new, regular blog feature: Workdesk Wednesday.

It is inspired by the WOYWW link-up over at the blog Stamping Ground, but I'm going to use it as a personal challenge to keep this blog updated on a weekly basis!

(You should check out WOYWW to see the workdesks of other artists and crafters!)

Every Wednesday, I will take a picture of the workbench in my garage studio at home, or my dorm room at school, or one of the tables at my school's studio.

So, what have I been up to this week?

What's On My Workbench:

What's this? A gigantic power supply running electricity through an acid bath?

Ooooooh, yeah. After learning how to etch and oxidize copper using all sorts of chemicals, I just had to keep going. This technique is my largest monetary investment into supplies... so I'm really hoping it works well. I'm having some hiccups right now.

I'm learning how to electroform organic materials! This means that I will be able to literally turn real leaves into copper. Well, not literally. What I'm literally doing is plating them in a nice, sturdy coat of copper.

I can then take the copperized leaves and patina them in various colors to make jewelry. I'm also looking for a way to create a sparkle dip that doesn't look cheesy, so I can make the leaves a little iridescent.

Hiccup #1: I can't skeletonize the leaves very well. I've been boiling the leaves in baking soda, soaking them for a day, and scrubbing gently with a toothbrush, but all I've managed to do is tear the leaves apart. If anyone has ANY tips, please let me know!

Hiccup #2: The conductive paint is taking some trial and error, as I can't seem to get an even coating and only parts of the leaves are turning copper.

Hiccup #3: The rectifier I bought online was defective and I had to return it. I'm borrowing this one from my dad's work but it's only for a couple days. They recently got an upgrade to a stronger power source, so maybe I can buy it from his boss?


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Elven Photoshoot | Sneak Peek

Warrior royalty mother and daughters
On the 4th of July my close-knit extended family stayed at our house for a few days, and I convinced four of my cousins and two of my aunts to dress up in my Elven dresses and the Lord of the Rings swords and staffs for a quick photoshoot.

Fun fact: the girl in the middle of the top picture dyed her hair with Kool-Aid!

Elegant Elven mother and daughter
My relatives are so photogenic that I deleted barely twenty of the three hundred photos I took.

Going on a journey

Three rings for the Elven kings under the sky...
Before the photoshoot we had doodled "henna" on ourselves. We used cheap eyeliner and sprayed it with extra-strong hairspray. The "henna" lasted for two days!

Yeah, don't get on our bad side.
REALLY don't get on our bad side.
Next week, look for a big masterpost with quite a few of my favorite images from the photoshoot!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Giveaway at Aquariann's Blog

Hello fairy friends! Today I am pleased to announce that I am hosting a giveaway over at the lovely fantasy art blog Aquariann.

The giveaway is a $25 gift card to my Shoppe, but even if you don't win, you are in store for a treat! I am letting all customers raid my little pirate treasure chest of wirewrapped rosette rings and sparkling leaf earrings. Check out Aquariann's blog post to get the coupon code (good until August 10th 2014)! You'll have to visit her blog to enter the giveaway (which you can do by leaving blog posts, following myself and Aquariann on social media, spreading the word, etc!). I love her writing style, by the way, so be sure to read through the whole post!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dragonfly Wings, Rhinestones, and Fairy Garlands

I found this post in my drafts from earlier this spring! 

When I was little, I used to think that dragonflies were the fairies' cousins. They are so quick and beautiful, with sparkling, flitting wings... I actually got the idea for this necklace while sitting out by the pond watching some dragonflies hover above the water!

It's a stylized version of a dragonfly, though. Very Art Nouveau. The tassle thing is new. I've never used anything like that in a necklace before but I like it!

Copper is so beautiful to work with and so deliciously creamy when paired with pearls.

(This necklace is on my Shoppe).

Here is the necklace, along with other assorted jewelry I've made, on one of my lovely models.

This one's called the Woodland Fairy Garland! I made a necklace similar to this for my friend Laura's Entwife Costume that she wore to a Lord of the Rings ball-- pictured below.

So, the new necklace is not a new idea, but I do like it better the second time around. The vine-like branches are studded with iridescent Czech glass leaf beads and I made a flower pendant as a centerpiece.

This little fella is just something pretty. It wasn't inspired by anything but shiny beads. I think I'll name it after something related to stars, though. Think it looks like a shooting star? I'll go with that. :) This is a Shooting Star pendant.

These two beaded necklaces were not as complex to make (although I'd forgotten how long it takes to string a necklace instead of using chain!) but that doesn't mean they are boring!

I've found myself wearing smaller pieces like these quite often; more will be appearing in the Shoppe. Sometimes the simple things are the most elegant.

Also this necklace was featured in the Saint Louis Post Dispatch. :) I thought it was funny that they chose this necklace set, because it was far simpler than the other ones I brought by their photography studio. However, I think they chose it because it's more conventional than the all-out costume fantasy jewelry I lean towards.

EDIT: I wrote this in the spring, but I wanted to let you know that this summer I've made more variations on this beaded double-stand leaf and flower necklace. Here is one, in more busy summer sunset colors!

Another Aurora Circlet! This one already sold, but I usually have one or two in stock. These pieces are frequently made to order in any case, so I can adjust band size and colors and such.

Here it is, modeled by a beautiful friend:

You can see more pictures of various Aurora circlets I've made here on a masterlist of all posts containing the circlet and it's variations!

And here is another piece that I completed recently; an arm cuff (now sold) inspired by the same Entwife jewelry set.

That's all for now, I'm busy with classwork but keep in tune because this summer I will be working on jewelry full-time in the midst of my summer classes!

EDIT: Hi, now it's me from the summer, aka NOW! I hope you enjoyed this peek at just a couple random jewelry pieces! Love, Shaylynn. :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July Sale

Today and tomorrow I am running a flash sale for 10% off your entire purchase-- but it's only good until 11:59 pm on July 5th! Here's the link to my shop, and here's the coupon code: HAPPY4TH201407

I'm writing this as we wait for some thirty or so relatives to arrive and celebrate the 4th! It's going to be great! 

These pictures are just a small sample of all the jewelry I've listed in the past week:

Enchanted Evenstar in Sapphire Blue


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rosie, Princess and Photographer

Always a smile!

This is my sister, Rosie. If you've read my blog before, you've probably seen her quite a bit. She is a fearsome little girl who will gladly go defeat any dragon with her super-awesome taekwando skillz gained both from classes and from having four brothers, but she is such a sweetheart and girly-girl, too. Sometimes more of a girly-girl than me (when I was her age I hated it when fantasy books had romance instead of pure adventure. Just today, Rosie spent quite a while debating whether Miri from Princess Academy should be with Peder or the prince.)

Basically she is a real life princess.

Not too long ago I was photographing on of the Aurora Circlets I made (this time, finally with silk in pink champagne to more closely match the ribbon in OuaT), and she was in my studio making some jewelry. Of course I roped her in to being my little model minion. I am such an evil overlord sister. MUAHAhahaha!

She just got her hair cut (it used to reach past her hips) and positively squealed when she saw how "flippy and swingy" her hair is now, especially in these pictures.

I'm going to lose proper English for just a minute and enter the dialect of Tumblrspeak: d'AWWW ALL THE CUTENESS I. CAN'T. EVEN. WHAT.

She also modeled the circlet that Gwen wears as Queen in the BBC show Merlin. I was very excited to be able to create such a close replica, and Rosie was just ecstatic that I FINALLY made some jewelry based on her favorite show.

Then, I gave her a few tips and she photographed some pieces on me!

(Above is a double necklace set inspired by the one that was featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and below is a necklace I handstamped that says "all that is gold does not glitter").

She also got some ones with my face in it which is funny because I can't pull off the whole starry-eyed princess look.

Rosie has been becoming very good at photography and has been getting some beautiful shots of our baby sister "Josie." I should download the photos this weekend and teach her some basic Photoshop editing!

I'm so grateful that she'll come in my studio and pose for me at random times of the day! :) I sure miss her when I'm away at school!
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