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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Custom knives are crafts too, right? (many pics!) on: February 07, 2008 07:02:05 PM
I am posting these on behalf of my good friend Dan who has been producing gorgeous knives but doesn't do much internet stuff.

So here I am, sharing these projects.  Since he doesn't read Craftster, he can be contacted at webmaster@savagesmith.com .  All of these knives are made from scratch, he starts with a drawing and ends with these finished pieces.  He also did all of the leatherwork on these.

He has been making knives for 11 months now and is apprenticed to Roderick Caribou Chappel.  The leatherwork is something I particularly like about his projects.  He did a custom piece for my husband and it's absolutely beautiful.  I don't think I'll ever be able to carve/stamp/stitch stuff like he can.  I think he learned most of that stuff when he worked for Tandy Leather back in the day. 

As far as the metal end of it goes he uses 440c and 154cm.  I have no idea what that means, but apparently it's what (some) good knives are made of.  The handles are mostly made with stabilized hardwood, which is a really cool material if you've never seen it.  It's essentially a gorgeous piece of wood that's been totally saturated with polymer.  It's still wood, but it will last forever since for all intensive purposes, it's plastic.  I've gotten my hands on some of the stabilized hardwood, I had no idea it existed before Dan started talking about it (and never really stopped). 

I had the opportunity to hang out with him at the forge he worked at back in the day.  He used to blacksmith before he got into serious knifemaking and I can't even imagine the environment he works in.  The forge was loud and dirty and hot and..well...I guess my craft room isn't much safer, honestly!

One of these days I'm going to bug him enough to let me spend a day at the knife shop (assuming Rod is okay with it).  I've done so many different crafts and knifemaking is something so foreign to me, it doesn't seem to use most of the crafting skills I have and I'm desperately curious.

I'm also going to try and get pictures of some of his leather work.  Yet another thing I want to learn how to do, as if I need any more crafts to spend money on, right?  I just keep seeing the coolest molded leather masks and they're so intriguing.  Maybe I'll make my dog some leather armor or something, that seems like a fun project.

But I digress, I'm totally wandering off topic.  His knives are pretty and I have to share the shiny awesome.

He also has a website at http://www.savagesmith.com . Smiley
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Crazy backwards stapling to pin fabric - have you tried it? on: September 19, 2007 06:29:21 PM
A friend of mine over on LiveJournal just pointed out this article.  I'm intrigued, it seems like it would involve less sewing pins lanced through my fingertips accidentally.

Has anyone here tried using their stapler for basting/pinning?
3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Necklaces - Evergreen Shine and Orca War Collar on: September 14, 2007 05:50:00 PM
Most of my beads are from Shipwreck Beads.

Evergreen Shine:
Pearlescent green swirl beads, glass beads handmade in Africa, "piano key" style green drop pendants made out of green goldstone, and a real clover embedded in resin and mother of pearl. I really like how this came out.

Orca War Collar:
I've had this orca pendant for a while now and have been dying to see it on a war collar. I used up our whole supply of snowflake obsidian (the round black/white speckled beads). Also found some glass pony beads (the smaller speckled round beads) that look like snowflake obsidian, but with a mustard color as well, and then some nice denim blue/black/white speckle ceramic beads directly behind the orca pendant. The long hairpipes are antiqued bone, the pendant is ceramic, and the necklace ties closed with deersuede. I think this will be a special piece for whoever ends up owning it.
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Necklaces - dragons, wolf, bears on: September 03, 2007 04:03:07 AM
I had the opportunity to go to Shipwreck Beads brick-and-mortar store yesterday, which is seriously like a birthday made of candy for me.  I never get out of there for under $100, that store is like kryptonite to me.

I think I posted the wolf necklace before, but he's in here again because I batch uploaded everything.  My jewelry is so not vegan friendly, I do use real bones and claws whenever I have the opportunity.  Apologies if it upsets anyone.

  Black and red bear choker.  The black beads are bone, as are the spacers.  The dark round beads are a very deep garnet colored glass.  There are also some hematite beads, and the claws flanking the pendant are made of solid hematite.  The pendant is .925 silver, and depicts a roaring grizzly bear with a northwest bear mask below.  It ties closed with wonderfully soft deersuede straps.  I think this necklace would look fantastic on a guy.

  Denali wolf.  This necklace is built with bone beads, and is colored with both lapis lazuli and sodalite stone beads.  The pendant is .925 silver, and depicts a howling wolf over a northwest wolf mask.  There are two claws flanking the pendant, and are real wolf claws from my trip up to Alaska earlier in the year.  It ties with deersuede straps.

  Dragon and Bear.  This is my personal necklace, a remake of the one I posted about a week back.  I had to adjust the fit by removing some beads on the top row and moving the ties to the top row.  The long beads are foot bones from black bears, and the claws are real black bear claws.  There are lots of hematite beads with the bones, I absolutely love how hematite looks with bone.  The green tube beads are dyed bone.  The pendant is .925 silver, and is a regal dragon wrapped around a hematite donut.  It ties with green deersuede straps.  This necklace really does have a "life," so to speak.  Once I've been wearing it for a few minutes and it has warmed up to my body temperature, it feels like I'm not wearing any necklace at all.  The hematite and bone conduct the heat so well, it seems to have a pulse when I finally do take it off and hold it, still warm.

  Matching hairsticks to go with my dragon and bear choker.  The sticks themselves are carved bone, and the beads are hematite with some green wooden ones.  The silver bear face is a Haida design that I picked up in Juneau.  It's really light!  And my hair is finally long enough to wear up in sticks, which is nice.

  Tiger-eye Grizzly.  I made this necklace because I wanted to experiment with these wonderful bear-track buttons I found at JoAnn's.  The long harepipes are made of carved horn, the round beads are tiger's eye, and the spacers are bone.  I'm not sure what the buttons are made of, but the pendant is .925 silver, and is a grizzly bear head.  It's hard to get a good picture of the pendant.  This necklace ties with deersuede straps, and would look great on a guy.

  Shereth's necklace.  I made this for my brother's boyfriend, it's my way of welcoming him to the family.  I was told that he liked silver, blue, and dragons, so I came up with this piece for him.  It's made of bone, hematite, fiberoptic horns, metal beads, and a .925 silver dragon.  I hope he likes it.

  Soreth's necklace.  This is my brother's necklace in it's umpteenth incarnation.  I've been building and rebuilding this necklace for years now, every so often he'll come by for repairs or upgrades, and I'm always happy to oblige.  The current version is made with bone (the same bone beads he's always had on there, so they've aged beautifully, with that wonderful translucent glow to them), tiger's eye, purple goldstone (the sparkly beads), hematite, glass, metal beads, agate horns, and the infinity dragon pendant.  I purposefully made Shereth's necklace similar to Soreth's, because I think it's cute.

  Lava dragon.  Have you ever found beads that *scream* to be used for /something/?  That's what these lava beads did for me.  I had no idea what I was going to use them for, but the gorgeous dark matte black color was irresistable.  I spaced them with red glass beads, put on some matte black claws/horns, and then the silver dragon.  I think I'm going to give this to a friend for his birthday, seeing as he loves dragons, and his favorite colors are red and black.

  Hematite dragon.  I've been using this pendant for years on various necklaces, and right now it's on this choker.  The spacers and round beads are hematite, and the tube beads are dyed bone.
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / My Little Pony beaded necklaces on: September 03, 2007 03:31:06 AM
I posted just the finished pendants for these over in the general completed jewelry section, but now that I've actually made them into beaded necklaces, I think they had to move over here.

I made the pendants myself using some My Little Pony stickers, and made the necklaces because there isn't enough "grownup" pony jewelry out there.  Everything is like plastic birthday party stuff, although there is a 24k gold -plated- charm bracelet that sells for $150, which is RIDICULOUS!  No thanks, I'll make my own pony jewelry for a couple bucks.

These all range between 18" and 22", so they're a little longer than chokers but they're not super long.

  Daisy May, pegasus
  Rarity, unicorn
  Rainbow Dash
  Silver Glow, pegasus
  Star Swirl
  Pinkie Pie
  Rainbow Dash
  Thistle Whistle, pegasus
  Star Catcher, pegasus
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Resin pendants (My Little Pony) on: August 27, 2007 04:19:11 AM
I made these a couple days ago.  Sadly, I can't name all of the ponies used in the pieces, although I know I have them.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with them though!  I had a burning desire to work with 2 part epoxy casting, and a hojillion MLP stickers, so naturally the two combined in a convenient crafting worldwind!

So they'll either show up in my Etsy shop, or hopefully can be used as trading fodder or something with Arena folks, or maybe at the next WA pony gather.

This was the better of the two castings I did.  There is a pearlescent/iridescent medium that was mixed in with the resin, and it is clear enough that the images of the ponies are easy to see through the plastic.  I also used glitter stickers, which made them even more sparkly.

L to R: Pinkie Pie, Silver Glow, Pinkie Pie (different pose), and (name?)

L to R: Star Catcher, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Tangerine Twinkle?

These were from the first casting, I used too much pearl stuff so the ponies inside look kinda ghosty, hiding in the mist.  I think I'm going to keep the one with Silver Glow for myself.

(no idea on the name)

Rainbow Dash:

Silver Glow:

Tangerine Twinkle(?)

7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / War Collars x2, made with real taxidermy items on: August 18, 2007 10:32:17 PM
My husband and I went on our honeymoon to Alaska!  While we were up there, I found my way to pretty much every taxidermy shop in every stop along our trip, and collected goodies for my treasure pile (bead collection).

It's a long story, but my husband and I really came together because we both share Bear as our totem.  It's a very important part of who we are individually, and I am very thankful and happy to be able to show off my "bear-ness" to the rest of the world. Smiley  Hematite has been a special stone to me for almost 10 years now, so I was very excited to find a carved hematite bear pendant!
This necklace is remarkably comfortable, given all of the bumps and curves of the foot bones.  The taxidermy place did a wonderful job preserving the bones and keeping them free of scratchy bits and nicks.  Not surprisingly, my bear necklace gets lots of attention. Smiley

Anyways, here's my supply list:
-Two real black bear claws from MicMac Crafts (great guy to do business with).
-Real black bear foot bones from Moscow Hide and Fur.  I had to drill them myself, but bone is a really nice material to work with.  It's like butter when you're going through with a Dremel.
-Camel bone 3-hole spacers (available here)
-Dyed green camel bone hairpipes
-10mm Hematite rounds (with a few 12mm next to the claws)
-Hematite bear pendant
-Strung on artificial sinew, ties with deer suede

While we were in Alaska, we had the opportunity to take a day tour into the heart of Denali National Park.  If you ever have the chance - go!  We were SO lucky, we got to see a wild Denali wolf walking right along the road with us, he was beautiful.  To thank the wolf spirit for allowing us that wonderful bit of Alaska magic, I made this necklace.

-10mm Lapis Lazuli rounds, mixed randomly with 10mm sodalite rounds.
-Camel bone hairpipe (antiqued)
-Camel bone 3-hole spacers (available here)
-Dyed blue bone hairpipes
-.925 Silver native wolf / wild wolf pendant
-Wild Alaskan wolf claws (Moscow Hide and Fur sells wolf claws)
-Strung on artificial sinew and tied with deersuede

I have a couple of other war collars that I'll get pictures of in the next few days.  They're my favorite kind of necklace to make, just because there aren't many people who do custom work.  I am so tired of seeing the mass produced tourist trap pieces that are everywhere in gift shops and online.
8  Washington / Washington: West / Bothell craft night - cancelled indefinitely on: July 31, 2007 03:55:49 AM
On Oct. 13 my husband passed away.  I can't do social things right now.

So when I lived in Bellingham, I got my first taste of the stitch n' bitch phenomena.  It was so awesome to hang out with other crafty gals!  When I moved down to Mill Creek, I started my own craft night with old highschool friends, and had my apartment at capacity every Wednesday night with people drawing, hot gluing, beading, and being otherwise crafty.

I'm not working right now and I'm really feeling the need to meet other crafty friends!  Would anyone be interested in getting together for a regular craft night sort of meeting?  I have a house to offer, as well as tons and tons and tons of craft supplies and my years of random craft knowledge.  I mostly sew and draw, but I've made masks and costumes, done lots of beadwork, sculpted, and on and on and on.  Lately I've been making soap with caffeine.  My husband loves it.

And if a regular weekly/monthly meeting seems daunting, maybe we could organize a one-shot night.  I would be happy to host a "make your own dragon mask" night or series of nights, if people are interested!

Believe it or not it only costs about $20 in supplies to make something like this:

9  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / My liquor-toting best friend - decoupaged brandy barrel on: July 25, 2007 05:55:39 PM
Disclaimer!  I did NOT make the barrel itself!  The nice man over at Saint Bernard Barrels did a fantastic job and made this barrel for us.  For only $28 + shipping! 

I decoupaged the town crest on this, though.  I sanded down the face of the barrel, printed the image out on a nice glossy cardstock, and then sealed it with a spray varnish before mod-podging it onto the barrel itself.  I sealed it all up with a couple coats of brush-on waterbased varnish.

It's a working barrel, too!  We cured it for four days with water inside, and now it's full of Jagermeister.  My dog, Kenai (or Howitzter von der Lowenhohle, if you want to be fancy), loves to wear his barrel.  He's a Leonberger, and they're a working alpine breed.  The golden lion crest is actually the town crest of Leonberg, Germany, and was what this breed was originally created to resemble. 

I'm hoping to have a nice wagon/cart finished for him soon, so I can put on a German dirndl (think Oktoberfest beer girl) dress and take him out to our local Oktoberfest this fall. Smiley

It's his first birthday today, and my husband is going to make him a "meat cake" with hot dog candles.  Should be fun.
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Super Mario Chicken Utopia (image crazy) on: July 10, 2007 01:06:39 AM
After losing four of my beloved chickens to an attack from the neighbor's dog, and then another to a raccoon brought in by the smell of injured birds, something had to be done.  My husband, best friend, and I spent a day in the sun building this place for my little friends to be safe and sound in.  Of course, I couldn't allow them to live in a plain abode, so with the help of my trusty box of acrylics, I solved that problem. 
The nest boxes are a 15" by 15" plastic planter boxes we got at Lowe's, and then added the face board on the front.  It helps the chickens to feel more "nesty" and it also keeps the eggs in the box!  They seem to like that astro turf in there, the hens seem to need to kick and scratch and dig with their little feets before settling in to lay eggs.  It's also a little insulating, and easy to clean.
We mounted the boxes on simple shelves just about 2 feet off the ground (chickens like elevation).  It will keep them dry, and I also put a 1"X1" strip of wood along the tops of the boxes, so they have somewhere to roost at night.  The doghouse sort of apparatus is made of plywood, and has an additional nesting box inside for the discriminating hen.  The white hen (Raptor) seems to like spending the most time in there.  Unfortunately, the only birds actually -laying- eggs are the two smallest, the little banty cochins (feathery feet, big round poofy tails)!  Their eggs are crazy rich and delicious though, so I'm not complaining.

Black sexlink is The Captain (from Aqua Teen Hunger Force "tar monster" episode, "the captain's feeling a little sexy, who wants to come up here and feel sexy with the captian?"), the buff orpington is Big O.  Good shot of their dust bath area, The Captain loves to roll around and get all dusty in the cool dirt.  There used to be an ant hill located there, but the chickens were all up on the ant genocide, so they're all eaten and gone.

Little Girl (banty cochin) standing in front of the chicken house.  It looks like she laid a mushroom!  Also, chain chomp.  She's by far the most curious of our birds, and lays the tiniest little eggs!  Her black iridescent feathers are gorgeous.

This is Mama.  She's one of the smallest birds in our flock, but she's absolutely the top hen on the totem pole.  She's a banty cochin/rhode island red mix, has extra toes, and is full of personality.  You can see three of the nest boxes (there are a total of seven in the coop, although we really only need one per four or five chickens).  Her nest box is the Shy Guy one.

The Super Mario house!  I pulled some of my favorite enemies from the earlier games, I was all about Mouser when I was little.  There are also little chicken totem poles on here, with little cartoon versions of my real-life birds (minus one who was killed by the dog).  They like to go in here and be cool when it's sunny out, there's nice dirt to dig and scratch around in.  They also like the raised doorway, so they can feel more secluded and private.

My favorite chicken, the rhode island red is Uno.  She was left with one tail feather after the dog attack, and she and I bonded while I was nursing her back to health.  The black and white one is Darles Chickens, and is a silver laced wyandotte.  They like the big weave on the chain link fence, they can peek through and nibble at the fresh grass growing outside of the coop.  Both of these chickens are just a couple of months old, they haven't filled out or gotten fat like my older hens.  They should start laying eggs within the next month or two.

Close-up shot of one of the nest boxes, before I put the astro turf in.  I used rub-on letters for the monster names.  I chose to attach the face plate with wingnuts so I could take the boxes apart easily for cleaning.  Everything is modular, so I can change and move stuff as needed.

Full view of the new chicken coop.  We used our old dog run (dogs are WAY too big for it now) and then topped it with a narrow weave plastic mesh.  The only predators we really have to worry about around here are raccoons, other dogs, maybe raptors, and maybe possums, so we didn't need a narrower weave on the walls to keep out weasels or snakes.  The chickens spend their day out in the yard, and then go into the coop at night to sleep safely.  That lawn chair set up is so I can sit and watch my chickens.  It's amazingly relaxing, believe it or not!  They're just the funniest little animals.

Mama lording over her territory.  Good view of the nest boxes all lined up, as well as their water bottle.  We mounted the feeder under the shelves, so it's out of the rain and the chickens can't poop on it.  They really don't discriminate when it comes to relieving themselves. Smiley  Cameo of Uno's butt in the lower right corner of the picture, you can see how her feathers are growing back.

I'm glad my chickens are so happy in their new home.  They're safe and secure and are getting spoiled daily with lots of fresh produce and even the occasional treat of nightcrawlers bought from the local fishing supply shop.
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