Friday, 31 December 2010

A Belated Merry Christmas

Well, that was a bit mental! I ended up frantically making things right up until just before Christmas - eek! Added to which, my job was also frantically busy and my body did it's usual end of year shutdown, presenting me with an evil cold just when I didn't have time to get sick. Boooooo.

Had a lovely Christmas with the boy's lovely family in the snowy South West. I was still pretty ill, so everything was a little bit of a daze, but it was nice to have some enforced rest.

Having just started to feel less ill, remembered we had agreed to hold NYE party. Bum. We are, however, dividing the party with our friends who live round the corner, which will be fun. They are hosting drinks and nibbles, then it's over to ours for giant buffet. How terribly grown up.

Spent most of yesterday prepping and cooking, so hopefully it will be okay. First ever attempt at proper pastry making about to go in the oven, so fingers crossed...

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, have a lovely New Year.


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A Small Shiny Roller Skate

I have finally finished my silver roller derby skate charm, hurrah!

This was a project I started way back in 2009, as I wanted to do a skate charm that looked like my Riedell 265 skates.

You may recall that my initial attempts at sculpting the boot in silver clay were somewhat disastrous and looked like this:

Which is rubbish, obviously.

Attempting to sculpt the trucks and axles was even worse, as silver clay is far too brittle to do anything delicate with.

So, I decided to ignore it for a while instead. Obviously, this wasn’t helpful to the overall getting it finished plan.

Finally, defeat was admitted and a modelmaker specialising in sculpting tiny things was called in.

And so over to the very talented (and also terribly patient) James Freckingham of Robotic Industries, who deciphered my scribbly pictures and paragraphs of wittering about wings and delivered me an adorable little replica of my skate. Hurrah! Here it is.

I decided to shorten the wings a little, so it looked like this:

Then off to the caster! Who may have wanted to kill me... Apparently it was terribly difficult to cast, many moulds were made, but finally my little silver castings arrived. Tada!

And, after cleanup, soldering, polishing and attaching wheels, my little silver skate finally looked like so:

Which was exactly what I wanted, yay! A small silver roller derby skate charm, which looked just like my 265s. Except my skates sadly don’t have wings...

A few different angles:

It turned out much heavier than I had thought – the charm weighs around 15 grams, which is a big old chunk of silver!

I also did a couple of special ones with sparkly gemstone attachments to represent league and team colours.

I think they look rather nice...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

OMG December!

Another year, another December sneaking quietly up behind me and shouting "Boo! Here I am!" at the top of its little tinsel-festooned voice.

So, I haven't posted in a while, as I've been ridiculously busy the past month. Trying to get the website finished, ordering business cards, repeatedly chasing up my fancy boxes, which slightly alarmingly still haven't arrived. The UK rep for Dahlinger Boxes with whom I have been dealing initially told me that I would have my boxes within three weeks of ordering - that three week deadline being up today - but seen nowt of them yet, and with my emails going ignored and promises of telephone calls being returned coming to nothing, I have a feeling that they are not going to turn up.

Also, my little silver roller skate charm has caused many headaches for the caster and much expense for me, but the silver castings should be turning up by the end of the year. Exciting! But sadly I will have to charge a lot more than I wanted to for them, due to the insanely expensive casting costs. Booooo. It's also going to take me a while to get them ready to sell, as a lot of work needs to be done on the castings when they come back.

I've also been hard at work on some new shiny weather jewellery to add to my collection and, as I really hate to do a post without any pictures, here they are.

A super-cute little cloud pendant with blue topaz raindrop:

Some rather nice dangly ear wires, as I've made a pair of earrings in this style for each collection I've designed since some time in the year 2000:

And, as the boy pointed out that very few of my collections contain rings (I rarely wear them as they annoy me greatly when I'm cycling), I've actually gone and made some that I really like! A charm ring with an adorable little silver cloud dangling from it and a rather nice band ring with a cloud and a lovely deep blue topaz pear shaped gemstone. Tada!

As I really liked the way they turned out, I think I may make rings more often.

And now I must return to the workshop, where it is currently so cold I can see my breath poof out in little clouds. At least I can tell I'm still alive...