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21  Totoros! in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by acidtrix on: October 19, 2009 12:32:15 PM
I made these three paintings for fellow craftster Nven's nursery (she's due any day now! woo!)
They're done in acrylics and sealed with a thick coat of resin. O Totoro is on a 1620″ canvas, Chu Totoro is on a 1010″ canvas and Chibi Totoro is on an 88″ canvas. Theyre super glossy and bright in person, but the gloss makes them pretty tricky to photograph and makes the colours look a little streaky in places.

This is probably the biggest painting project Ive taken on to date - O Totoro took me around 30 hours alone. O Totoro is much larger than Ive ever done too (dearest boy picked the canvases as his contribution to the project and would accept no compromise to his artistic vision!) It takes an unreasonable number of coats to get a good solid colour, and painting all the black line work my hands are rather shaky Smiley Oh and mixing the colours all in all it was quite the learning experience. The resin on O Totoro didn't come out well either after the first coat but luckily it came out perfect once I added a second thicker coat.

I love how they came out and am a little sad to see them gone. Here they are, hung on the nursery wall - hopefully the baby will think theyre cute and not scary Wink
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22  Re: Personal/Private Swap Gallery, Third Quarter 2009 in The Swap Gallery by acidtrix on: September 30, 2009 10:49:37 AM
I finally got a taker for my Hello Kitty bento package, the lovely Plummy! I just received from her yesterday and, boy, did she out do herself! She saw that I like skeletons and zombies and cute monster things, so she ran with that and made me four zippered pouches, a wristlet, a lap quilt, 2 key fobs and some rockin artwork (plus two chocolate bars) ^_^


(that last one is a close up of the tentacles on the lap-quilt <3

Believe it or not, there are even more detail shots on my blog www.acidtrix.com if you want to check them out! Thanks SO much plummy, I really love everything, its really outstanding! Any craftster would be lucky to swap with you!!!! Cheesy

And here's a shot of what I sent her (everything was purchased, I didn't make anything, lame!)
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23  Arsenic and Old Lace in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by acidtrix on: September 23, 2009 12:38:30 PM
Hello Smiley

I have a jewelry show fast approaching so last night I made this piece for it.

Lots of pretty things on this beauty. The necklace is made of two 24″ strands of large, mixed sterling silver chains and rhodium-plated Swarovski crystal chain, and is dotted with Swarovski pearls. It closes in the front with a sterling silver toggle clasp, from which hangs an antique chandelier crystal, accented with a sterling bead cap, and a carved bone skull. More Swarovski pearls and sterling silver beads, hung from hand-made head pins, compliment the two larger pieces.
Its fairly heavy and is nice and long (though not so long that it catches on things). Ive had the carved skull for about a year now so Im happy that Ive finally come up with a design that suits it. In fact, a lot of the materials in this are from the magical save for something special box. Ive come to realize that this hoarding thing Ive got going is in no way productive so I figured, what the hell, lets put everything in one necklace (well not really, but you get my meaning). I quite like the messy vintage look its got going on, and its definitely an attention grabber!

(hehe oops, I just realized its not hanging straight Tongue)
Thoughts? Smiley
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24  without the rain, there'd be no rainbow in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by acidtrix on: September 10, 2009 09:50:10 AM
Hey Smiley Haven't posted any jewelry in a while so I thought i'd share this commission piece I finished up yesterday.
The chain is absolutely killer - solid sterling silver, its got some serious weight to it. I just want to fondle it, its so beautiful. mmm silver.
All 22 headpins are handmade from sterling, and it fastens with a sterling lobster clasp (bracelet is 7.5″ long). The beads are amethyst, fresh water pearl, Swarovski crystal, lapis lazuli, glass, Swarovski pearl, jade, citrine, amber (Baltic and Russian), fire agate, chalcedony, dyed coral, and garnet.

hehe part of me really wants to keep this, but I'll be a good girl and send it off to its new owner Smiley
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25  Bzz bzz i like bees! in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by acidtrix on: September 08, 2009 12:08:56 PM
This was a little experiment to see how resin works on acrylic paint. It works very well, in fact Smiley

(acrylics on 2" x 2.75" canvas)

There are still a few things I need to tinker with - because of the weight of the resin, it causes the canvas to bow so its much thicker at the center than the edges. This isn't awful, but I am a little worried about what will happen when I'm working with, say, a 16" x20" canvas. I'm going to try putting in a board on the back of the canvas to support the resin while it dries next round. Or perhaps I should be working with wood canvas...

Anywho, its exactly the effect I was looking for, so yay!
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26  Brock Samson says: "Hey. Happy Birthday." in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by acidtrix on: September 08, 2009 12:00:10 PM
This is a quick card I drew up for my guys birthday. Yeesh, Im useless with pencil crayons, but its cute anyway and he liked it! One of these days I'll have to learn about blending colours Smiley

Only Brock could rock a mullet and jean shorts like that ^_^

Quick back story: When the boy started spearfishing a few months ago, we were sitting around chatting about how badass it looks, what with the spear gun and knife strapped to the leg. It dawned on us that, if Brock Samson went fishing, hed totally go spear fishing.

And he so would, too.

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27  A Sassy Conspiracy logo painting :) in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by acidtrix on: August 28, 2009 08:24:00 AM

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend an event hosted by the city along with several other artists. We were asked to set up a display of our goods and to actively do our craft so that the conference attendees could see us in action and talk to us about our respective work. We were asked not to sell at the event, but were invited to hand out business cards to prospective buyers so that they could contact us outside of the conference.

So I've never had a business card before. A little back story on my business's name: I have an affinity for ravens - they're amazing birds, crafty, intelligent and they hoard shiny things! I didn't really want to use the word raven in the name of my business though, so I finally settled on A Sassy Conspiracy (conspiracy being an antiquated term for a group of ravens). I love the name, I think it really embodies the personality of what I want my business to be, and I always enjoy a little word-play.
Since then I've been trying to come up with a raven logo to go with the name.

Inspiration finally hit me at 10:30pm the night before I had to send my cards to the printer to do one of my propaganda style paintings with a pair of raven silhouettes on it, then glue/sew crystals and chains hanging from their beaks. By 1:30am I finally had the raven design drawn up, and all the angles for the sunburst rays measured out and I was exhausted. I admitted defeat, scanned my line drawing and popped it into Illustrator to make a digital version of the logo. My Illustrator skills are laughably poor, but it turned out good enough Smiley

So off my design went to the printer, the cards came back and everything looks groovy.

I still wanted to finish up my painting to display at the show though, and the process of making the digital version sort of helped me better visualize how the final painting should look. I scrapped the idea of hanging jewelry from their beaks and, instead, decided to embellish their branch. If I were a raven, I'd totally bling out my tree Wink The branch is painted metallic silver and embellished with rhinestones, metal stars and star confetti. One of the ravens also has a large rhinestone in its beak. I also changed the beaks a little - after I sent it to print I realizes that ravens don't have hooked beaks. ah well Smiley

A Sassy Conspiracy
10x12" acrylics, with rhinestone, metal star and star confetti embellishment.

and here are a few closeups of the branch detail:

Im really pleased with how the branch turned out: its hard to see in the photos but the branch is painted metallic silver, and the stars are actually a shiny silver. The photos seem to flatten the things I want to be shiny, and have glare on the things I want to be flat. ~sigh~ I always spray my paintings with a sealer but Im starting to wonder if its necessary - it creates a lot of glare, and makes solid colours look uneven in photos (like the black - I promise you, its uniformly black in real life!). Anyway, you get the drift of it Smiley

So there, after a year of putting it off, I finally have a logo. And business cards!
hehehe, I feel so mature and stuff Wink

What do you think?
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28  Re: Amber Sweet Zydrate Anatomy Bra in Costumes: Completed Projects by acidtrix on: August 25, 2009 01:33:50 PM
For shits and giggles:

Crappy 3am-on-my-porch-after-the-show pic that I posted with the Pavi costume post but forgot to add here Smiley

hehe the bra is really fun to wear ^_^
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29  An afternoon in the beeyard, and subsequent sticky adventures in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by acidtrix on: July 15, 2009 09:21:03 AM
On Sunday we headed up to the lake with friends to enjoy a bit of sun and get some swimming in. A cursory check on the bees was on the schedule for the day, but little did we know that wed end up processing gallons of honey! Luckily with friends on hand, quick work was made of a sticky job (thanks ladies!!) The thought didnt cross my mind at the time to take photos of the entire process (stupid), but we did manage a few shots, thanks to the talented Aeramel, so Ive put together this little photo essay for your entertainment.
We currently have two beehives - here is our intrepid beekeeper opening the larger of the two (and discovering sticky bounty!). This is a particularly enormous hive - approximately 90,000 bees - and scary as all hell to this suitless onlooker Wink I particularly love the shot with the smoke - look at all the bees in the air! (these first two shots were taken by the lovely and talented Nven).

Ill prepared as we were, our uncapping knives were off-property so we had to get a little crafty. Heres G working away at uncapping a wheelbarrel full of frames with a fork which worked surprisingly well. Each frame weighed about 10lbs, and the honey is a beautiful light colour, I think our nicest harvest to date.

We have a badass old-fashioned, two-frame hand extractor (a fantastic xmas gift from mom & jim - even more badass is look where its from!) The trick is to have two frames of relatively equal weight otherwise it can be difficult to manage. Each frame is spun twice (to spin out each side). In the second photo you can see the 6″ or so of raw, unfiltered honey at the bottom of the extractor. This is a pretty crude process - you get honey, wax, bees, and pollen all mixed together in the bottom. You also get covered in a fine sticky mist during the spinning process Smiley

Here is the beekeeper looking mighty pleased with the haul (even the pregnant lady couldnt escape manual labor!). Sadly, at this point in the process, we all became too sticky to touch the camera so the rest of the filtering/bottling process remains undocumented. Suffice it to say, we filtered the honey, then bottled it (and did ample sampling as we worked!) Other missed photo opportunities: poor boyfriends swollen ankles and wrist (the bees werent pleased with him), and the fine coating of honey on the arm hairs of our spinners. Oh and the bumblebee that came to rob, that was pretty cute, too Smiley

And now, on to the haul! This represents maybe a 20th of what we harvested. We got a little creative and whipped up cinnamon honey butter, and pumpkin spice honey butter, too. It was our first time attempting honey butters and the recipes we tried to follow were terrible (1/4 cup honey in an entire batch of honey butter?! I think not!). So we did our own thing and the results are fantastically rich and flavorful. yum!

Here are the jars with the labels I designed for our honey. I havent designed labels for the butters yet, but I think theyll just be a variation on the same design.

Now, on to the wax! I use a lot of beeswax in my mixed media stuff, but weve never actually attempted to properly render the wax. Usually I just toss some chunks of honey comb into my mini crock pot and go from there, but its messy and the wax itself can be full of gunk. A good half dozen buckets worth of wax cappings and burr comb have also accumulated in my spare bedroom, so it was time to get to business.
The first step of the rendering process is to throw all the dirty wax into a big pot with water and boil the hell out of it. It looks a lot like oatmeal actually Smiley

We didnt have a wax screen to filter the boiled wax/water, so a quick run to the hardware store and a few slightly frustrating hours later, tada! Wax screen! It may be a tad shoddy in construction, but it worked like a charm.

Here is the strained wax/water solution. Left to cool overnight, the wax floats to the surface and hardens. The dirty water is then dumped and the wax disk is broken up into small chunks, melted again and strained a second time, this time through cheese cloth to get any small impurities, then poured into the bottoms of milk cartons to set into bricks.

The gunk that the wax screen filtered out is mostly bee bits and cocoons - in the future we wont use old comb because there is just too much junk in there to make it worth while. However, a nifty tip I found online said that this gunk makes excellent fire starter, either for your hive smoker, charcoal bbq or wood stove. As I know folks who use all three, the gunk will not go to waste Smiley

The end. Smiley
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30  One-eyed kitty pendant :) in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by acidtrix on: July 03, 2009 10:39:29 AM
Meow! This little kitty may be missing an eye, but shes still all kinds of cute! Shes hand cut from sterling silver, with a little Dix gold heart soldered to her chest (I love how the positioning of the heart also mimics the shape of a kittys chest). 

Shes approximately 1.25″ long, and hangs from an 18″ 1.5mm sterling rolo chain.
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