A Balance

Wired
Wired

I have been busy, with graduation receptions, Father’s day, a wedding, some GARBC conferences – all sorts of good stuff. But I have also tried posting a few things to my ETSY store, like this little wired pendant.

I really love this thing.
But I have discovered that things I love are pretty universally not the things that actually sell.
How do you figure out what will sell, if you sell things? Or do you just make things for the love of making them, and assume “the right person” will find it, when they find it?
Fortunately for me, this is not my main source of income (or I’d be starving, because I haven’t sold anything all year, heh).
How do you figure out what to make? Do you do it for love, or do you do it for fanservice? Where is the balance?
Also, I am taking suggestions, if you can think of something you’d like to see!

Craft Night (Thursday May 7)

I was itching to do some bead stringing, instead of clay, but my stockpile of beads just makes me dizzy, so I took only a limited number of beads with me. This turns out to be a good plan, for me, and it forced me to find ways to use the things I took with me.

So the moral to this story is: Sometimes you have to make a box, in order to think outside of it!

I didn’t finish clasps on all of these necklaces yet. They will all be up for sale on etsy or artfire once I do, but if you really want to own one, feel free to drop a note to glimmer at glimmerville right now.

This one I had to make, because this week I bought these fluorite and silver-plated beads intentionally to make a necklace out of them. And in order to justify buying “yet more beads” I figured I had better use them immediately. The necklace turned out well (meaning, like it looked in my head).

Fluorite and Silvery Bits.
Fluorite and Silvery Bits.

This next one is “Spring” colored, and I’m pleased because it uses up some paired-but-random spring bead mixes I had set aside for I’m not sure exactly what.

Spring Mix
Spring Mix

This third necklace is a departure for me, since it’s asymmetrical. I’m pleased with the way it turned out.

Hearts, Flowers & Asymetry
Hearts, Flowers & Asymmetry

Finally I’ve been working on this little whimsy, by covering it with flowers.

Fairy Votive
Fairy Votive

Steampunk Artisans, Inspirations, Resources [EDiT]

Oh! And just to plug the two other sites I know that use the Aspire WordPress template…
(And both are neat sites!)
http://steampunkspectacular.com and

http://steampunkwallpaper.com (great images! I’m using one right now!)
I’m not going to bother to explain what the Steampunk genre is all about this time.
Feel free to check out the Wikipedia entry. But what enthralls me about it, is the beautiful combination of craftsmanship, technology, history, magic, sci-fi… wow! No wonder it’s growing!
I want to do more in this style myself!

Steam-type Dragon by Rachel Ross
Steam-type Dragon by Rachel Ross
Now, to start linking to people.
Four folks on deviantART whose Steampunk stylings really inspire me:


Porkshanks also on Etsy.
Earthenwood Studio also http://www.earthenwoodstudio.com/
Her husband is a great fantasy artist, too.
And of course, some other resources for you – these already include just about everything:

http://crabfu.com/ (even includes drawing tips )

Brass Goggles

Datamancer

And don’t forget

Girl Genius comic! (I am so frustrated, I can’t find my copy of Volume 5)

Finally, PMOG is a free browser-based Steam-stylized game (only for Firefox)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Quite Spring Cleaning

I just finished “decrapifying” my desk at work.
It now looks slightly more professional, though I still have a colorful amalgamation of fantasy/steampunk items. (But hey, the hourglass is functional… and so is the brass rolling desk loupe… and the USB owl…and everyone needs potpourri, right?)

It was a lot easier to clean this “finite cubicle” than it ever is to clean the “craft areas” at my house (or my bedroom, for that matter). My problem is when I say “decrapify” or “clean” sometimes it ends up really meaning “Put the offending miscellania into a box and move the box into a closet/attic/car trunk/under the bed/out of sight until I find it again and discover ‘all this really cool stuff’, or until I take each item back out piecemeal as I need it and forget to put it away again.” I have a compulsion to buy “just one more Rubbermaid tote” to store things, but it is invariably the wrong size. And I will spray Simple Green on anything. (While we’re at it, both Tide sticks (that you can carry with you) and OxyClean really work at removing just about any stain I’ve ever had. It’s nigh miraculous).

I have seen people rail against clutter as everything from a psychological issue to a spiritual problem, but I really don’t mind a generous and eye-pleasing (to me) amount of artisinal clutter (ie. look at the artistic arrangement of stuff on the counters in an Early American Life magazine spread). I especially think it sparks creativity when I’m doing arts and crafts. If I see the pile of fiber laying next to the eyelets, and rubber stamps next to the deckle edge scissors and those “cute star-shaped brads I just had to buy” – it can spark a great idea!

Keep in mind I am not talking about “garbage hoarding” and I definitely did throw things away as I was going through my desk drawers. And the “perfectly decent” things I don’t want I will take to Goodwill. And hopefully I will not want them back again next week (but chances are high they will still be in a box in my car on the way to Goodwill for awhile).

Do you have any organizational tips/trials/tribulations?

 

 

Toy Trends

I am not really sure if the “clay creatures” I make from polymer clay are toys or statues or what, but here are a couple of sites that inspire me – or at least keep me informed of the latest collectable toys out there.

ToyCyte – This website features different toys and designers, and mentions the Beastlies which are high in demand and made of polymer clay!

Tomopop – This website features different toys and designers too, most seem to be Japanese.

I like these two sites because they aren’t just online stores selling items; they don’t even sell, though they link to sale sites. These sites focus on showing the toy designs and their designers.

There are other interesting sites out there like ToyQube and even TheBananaLab but those are more like stores and less like blogs.

I’m sure there are other toy sites out there – got any inspirational links for me?
I will do another blog on inspirational polymer clay sites, but this one is just focused on toys. I admit I’m not an authority, and I don’t even like most of the designs, but I find it interesting that so many custom vinyl/collectable toys are out there!

If you are looking to make your clay items zing with the trends, try checking these sites out for ideas.

Failure

JB (jbscresties.com and catharsiscomic.com) said she likes seeing “crafts gone awry” so I am posting a couple of polymer clay things that didn’t go as planned.

Not sure what can be done with these
Not sure what can be done with these

 

These little guys were made of layers of colored clay, and translucent clay – then covered with a thin layer of black clay, then stamped into, then the top layer was shaved off, revealing the stamped clay color only in the inset stamp pattern. Great, complicated idea, that is just not pretty.

I may do this again sometime – but these sure did not turn out very well.

Just not cute. At all.
Just not cute. At all.

 

These little guys… I thought maybe paint would repair them, but it didn’t. The lizard on the far right is mokume-gane, though, not paint. The cat on the far left is still waiting on more paint but it just looks so ugly to me I don’t think paint will repair it!

But you never know – maybe someone else thinks they’re cute.

And you can still learn through experimentation, even when the experiment fails.

What do you think?

Gravatars, Holy Cow & Plug for Myself

I was featured on the Polymer Clay Productions website back in June and I never knew it, until I did an ego search just now! (The link to my feature is here.) They have a podcast too.

You can commission me! Or you can check out anything on my etsy page to see what’s there and get a ballpark of how I price things. I have made a custom figure from someone’s sketch, though prices would vary. And the big Copper mech dragon was about $125 as well.