Ol' Blue Eye

I've had this idea of doing a Euro 4-in-1 sheet of a picture adaptation, but I hadn't been able to decide on what to do. I was revisiting my inspiration files and 'focused' on M.C. Escher's art--in particular, his "Eye" mezzotint from 1946. It has always been one of my favorites, and I thought I could adapt it to the chainmaille pattern. I've sketched out the pattern and I think it's either going to be super-cool or so-totally not. There are 4720 rings, so I'm really hoping for the cool. It's worth the time and effort if it turns out like I envision and it leads to other patterns and pictures. I'll post photos of the progression of "Ol' Blue Eye" if I think it's going well. If not, you'll never hear about it again.

Wonder Twin Powers... Activate!

I got my ruby last week and I've been carrying it around trying to figure out what it should be. The sucker's huge, so I was thinking a pendant at first. I'm not one for wearing big jewelry. I'm barely one for wearing much jewelry at all, so when I started looking at it as a ring, I surprised myself. Is this my first stage of aging? Am I going to start wearing too much perfume and carrying around wadded up Kleenex wherever I go? It's just, the more I looked at it, the more I wanted it to be somewhere I'd be able to see and enjoy it. I always watched the superhero cartoons and had Underoos for every crime-fighting occasion. Now, I'm making my very own superhero ring. (I was going to call this my Wonder Twins Power Ring, until I researched and found they never wore rings, they just put fists together. I would've sworn they had gold bands or something, but no. I couldn't be bothered enough to change the blog title, though.) It may turn out looking more vampire-y anyway. It's a very dark reddish purple-black star ruby, so it has a mysterious vibe to it. I ordered more bezel wire over the weekend, and it should be here in a couple days. I can hardly wait.

Cheeky Monkey

Monkeys are creepy. Curious George, that little nightmare from Monkey Shines, and don't get me started on the barrell of--I want nothing to do with them. I don't know how anyone can have a sofa covered in this:

And monkeys dressed as people? Even worse. Was this a fabric shoppe with only monkeys and clowns and all the clowns were gone?

I was Googling myself, and found another Erin Michael. At first, I thought it was kind of interesting, since my name's not THAT common. Then I was horrified. The other Erin Michael makes sock monkey fabric! I usually enjoy irony, but this does not make me joyful. I stopped looking for any other Erin Michael after that.

One GOOD irony is that I love saying the word 'monkey.' It's hilarious! It makes any situation funnier. For instance, in Ghostbusters 2, there are 2 scenes in which Bill Murray uses 'monkey'--once as a noun and another as an adjective. The man's a comic genius with that twist. I've watched these scenes and tried to imagine him not using the word 'monkey' and, no, not as funny. Now, go back and watch and you'll see it's true. 'Monkey' is the new 'biscuit.'

Is This Anything? [rant]

David Letterman has an occasional segment called, "Is This Anything?" where they open the curtain, someone does something, and Paul & Dave bicker about whether or not it's 'anything.' I was reminded of this segment while reading random blogs and saw that some chick listed her hobbies as "listening to music & watching movies." How are those hobbies? You're not really DOING anything, right? And that's your hobby list? That's it? Aren't hobbies something you DO? Even if you're just a head on a stick, whistle or hum or something. Just sitting there while things happen around you isn't a hobby.

I had to look up what the proper definition of 'hobby' actually was and found it is any of several small falcons of the genus Falco, formerly used for catching small birds or game. I gave one of my 'hm, interesting' grunts then proceeded to definition #2: "an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation: Her hobbies include stamp-collecting and woodcarving." The 'or interest' part leaves that way too open for people. A hobby is something that you add some kind of value to.

I guess this hit me the wrong way, because saying your hobby is watching or listening to something someone else has created is taking credit for something you have nothing to do with, and that's lame.

Here Comes the Sun... wait... no... ok, now, go, go... wait...

Saturday, we had crap weather with some hail, so taking photos of the new things had to wait until Sunday. I got enough sun peeking through to get some taken. It wasn't easy, though. As soon as I would get everything set up, the clouds would come. I'd walk away to work on something else and the sun would come out. By the time I'd run over and turn on the camera, clouds again. I should be able to get the 3 new necklaces up tonight as well as a new look for the top navigation header on e-maille.com.

Some of the faceted gems I got online should be coming this week hopefully. Since all of them are being shipped from overseas, I'm not exactly sure how long they will take, but I'm certainly antsy to play with them. I was reading my Metalsmithing book about settings, but I have an idea to try that wasn't listed in there, so the experimenting continues. I'm mostly excited about my huge star ruby (my birthstone). I'd like to create a really nice signature piece for myself. As much as I like making things, I'm not a big jewelry wearer. I'll wear a new design to test durability and functionality, but I have a couple pieces (like my Euro 4-in-1 ring) that I wear everyday.

BBCAmerica also showed an Eddie Izzard mini-marathon on Sunday which made things even better. I'm telling you, if you're not familiar, you're missing out. :)

Get B-IZZ-y Laughing

I always listen to my Yahoo! Radio station while I'm working, and, in addition to all the music, I have Eddie Izzard's stand-up in heavy rotation. As many times as I've heard everything, it's still funny and makes me laugh out loud. I love his view of the world and often hear his voice in my head while trying to adjust the toaster or reflecting on bits of history.

Do yourself a favour, improve your day and check out one of his many shows (here in the U.S., they're frequently on the BBC America channel) or listen to him on my radio station below.

Catching A Cab

Yesterday, I got my new book (Complete Metalsmith, ProPlus Edition (Spiral-bound) by Tim McCreight), and I'm so excited to get started doing new things. I thumbed through it to check it out and it is heavy and meaty. I think this might actually keep my busy for awhile. When Tim says "Complete," he means it.

I did order some faceted gems online and am anxiously awaiting their arrival. In preparation, I went back through my rocks and found some cabochons I've had. I think the excitement has channeled into creative inspiration. I found a green onyx cab and made a setting/pendant for it over the weekend. It felt so good to solder, pickle, etc. again. I had been concentrating so much on the supplies side of things that I hadn't lit my torch in a few months. Once I started, I realized just how much I missed it. Now, I have sketches for more of my cabs and will be working on them this week. If the sun cooperates with me this weekend, I will have photos of my new things on the e-maille.com site very soon. I experimented with a kind of scrimshaw technique with my engraver pen and liver of sulfur. The detailed texture and color that comes from the process, I've been really happy with. Now, I need to add more bezel wire to my shopping list.

I've Got the Fever!

Whenever I've gone to gem shows or looked online at rubies (my birthstone), I've refrained from purchasing, because I didn't already have a definite idea in mind about how to use them. Now, I do. It's kind of coming in that same fever the silversmithing pokes are coming from. (My new book is supposed to be here Monday, but it's coming via DHL, so I might see it by Christmas.) Once I started looking at rubies, I got into about everything else that caught my eye. Today feels like the day something's gonna give. I'm focusing on a faceted gem--most likely an octagon shape--maybe an amethyst. I love purple and the stones with a deep purple just make me say, "Ooooooo." I'm already getting a star ruby cab that I'm excited about, but I can't stop thinking about the setting idea I have for the faceted. I think it will either be really super-cool-looking or eventually melted down into reale coins. Isn't that the way experiments go, though?