"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finished Blue Necklace

Here is the finished necklace, made from the components I showed in the previous post. This one turned out really nice, very elegant, and it's a hard one for me to let go of because I really like it. However, I need another piece of jewelry like I need a hole in the head.  Also,  I think it's already sold. I put pictures up on Facebook, and a friend loved it and wants to buy it. If that falls through, I'll put it up on my Etsy site.

Center component is a vintage bracelet. The rest is "gold" chain, blue drop crystals, and dark blue glass beads.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Back to Projects

Now that the ARC mounted archery event is over, I can go back to my normal (?) life of working on different projects. Here are the latest. These are being done simultaneously with the Riding Costume, but I like variety and hopping from one project to another. It's the same reason I read two and three books at the same time.

Here is number one. I apologize of the lousy quality of the photos, but trying to take pictures in my house in winter is like trying to take photos in a cave without a flash. Usually I take things outside to photo, but it's pouring rain today, so that option was out.

My latest Goodwill score. A Christopher & Banks cropped linen jacket, bought for only $4.99. New they run over $40. I think this is the natural, un-dyed color of the linen, but not sure. It's a soft, sorta greenish beige. It has same-color machine embroidery in a leaf pattern up the front, on the collar, and a detail on the back. There is also what looks like narrow, pulled thread work up the front along the buttons and buttonholes. Rice, over at the Voodoo Cafe, would dye this some bright, zingy color, but I'm not really into the whole dyeing thing. I will, however, add more thread detail and beading. I might also swap out the buttons, if I can find some others I like better, which shouldn't be hard, as these are pretty bland. I really liked the gold thread work I did on my red bolero, and I think that would also look good on this jacket. Maybe small gold beads, or shiny rust colored ones. Not sure. I will have to play around with stuff to see what works best.

Anyway, I love the feel of the linen, it's pretty heavy, but very comfortable to wear. I did laugh when I bought it though, as the cashier lady made the comment, "Oh, this will be really nice when you iron it." Yeah, like that's ever going to happen!

Here it is hanging in my bedroom. The machine embroidery actually shows up better than I thought it would.

Here is the detail along the front, and on the collar. Now that I really look at it, I think the pulled thread work is just more machine embroidery. Oh well. Still looks nice.

Back detail.

So, that's one project.

Project number two is a necklace.

The main section is an old vintage bracelet, with lovely sky-blue crystals. The end link is missing the main stone, and I will remove it, maybe find a stone later and use that piece in something else. I have three blue teardrop crystals, some darker blue glass beads and will probably hunt up some other small metal detail beads or spacers. To extend the length, I'll make links with gold wire, add a dark blue bead to every link, and if I have enough, make the extensions a double strand of links. The links will be hooked into these really wonderful peacock-blue jump rings I found. The teardrop crystals will hang from the vintage bracelet.

Overview of the components.

Closeup of the vintage bracelet.

And that is project number two. Can't wait to do this one. It will be an experiment in mixing vintage with the modern, more flashy jump rings. I've had that section of vintage bracelet for ages, just waiting for the right other pieces to fall into place. It was finding those peacock blue jump rings that sparked inspiration. Funny old world, isn't it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

After Event R&R, then Moving On

It has been a week since the ARC event. It has taken Robert and me that long to detox and get our place back to normal after concentrating on nothing but ARC for over three months or more.

ARC (Ancestral Remembrance Celebration) turned out to be a ton of fun, but in retrospect, a ton of work. And as usual with such things, mixed messages and human error or misunderstandings were part of the territory. In the end, it all worked out and everyone had a grand time. I kept thinking of the lines from the movie Shakespeare In Love, "It will all work out"..."How will it work out?" ... "I don't know, it's a mystery." Friday evening I was in a panic because folks hadn't shown up to get qualified to play, the lady who was supposed to bring the equipment for them to qualify with didn't get to the event until after 6 pm – too late to do anything— which was moot, since there was only two riders on site by that time, and they had already done a "going through the motions" type qualifying with borrowed weapons. Then I heard that the man who was to make the prize for the hunt didn't come to the event, and there was no prize. To say I was in a high state of anxiety is an understatement. However, by late Saturday morning, everything had smoothed out, the prize was indeed on site, and the qualifications went just fine. Truly...it was a mystery. 

Here is the group photo of the riders right before they started the hunt course. They were out for over three hours, trail riding and shooting targets. Everyone had a good time, which in the end, is the real goal of any event organizer. That's me standing next to Robert on Apollo. I didn't ride the hunt, as I was manning one of the last obstacles, and toting up the scores. Robert and I did ride the course on Friday morning, which was nice, we just didn't shoot.

The Monday after the event Robert and I went back to the site to take down all the targets. When we got to the one of the crane, we found a little surprise. This is the back of the target.

Apparently the local bear took an exception to fake cranes in his territory.  While clearing the course in the weeks previous to the event, we had spotted quite a few piles of bear poop on the trail, so this wasn't a total shocker.

So, now that ARC is over and life has gone back to normal, whatever that is, I can get back to the projects that got put on hold while I drew targets and organized a hunt. First will be finishing the riding costume, and then I need to make an SCA period winter cloak or robe for Robert, who needs one badly. After that, not sure, but lots of ideas in the works. I also want to get back to playing around with the Alabama Chanin-type T-shirt adaptations and of course, making more jewelry. It helps that winter is setting in, and outdoor chores will be nothing much other than cleaning stalls. Oh, and I also want to get back into writing, and doing some artwork.

So, that's it. Event recap and the projects lined up for when the Dark Days have socked me in for the winter. Hopefully, they will keep me from going insane until the sun comes back next May.