swirl

7 Sins ring wax exists!

Here is proof that this ring exists in wax and is about to exist in metal as well. It is the same style as the Chivalric Virtues ring - triangular cross-section with two lines of rustic blackletter engraving. 






This one should be able to size down to a 6, but I'll find out for sure once I have multiples to size. 

All you wonderful people who indicated a willingness to preorder these are respectfully requested to PayPal $20 to lscavanaugh@earthlink.net. If you include your ring size, you will be the very first to receive this mew ring style. I will probably have them in stock by the end of May, but people who preorder will get them before that. 

I did laugh about the suggestion of charging $66.60 for these, but I am still trying to keep the cost under $50 because only a few people will pay an extra $16 for humor. Hmm. Maybe I can gild the word "avarice" on some of them and sell that version for $66.60. :-)

Thank you all for your encouragement! 
swirl

By popular demand... Sins!

Enough people have bugged me over time about making a ring with the seven deadly sins that I'm going to make this as part of my annual pre-Pennsic product development push. This will look much like the chivalric virtue rings - two lines of text on a triangular-shaped band. My proposed text is:

gluttony lust avarice
pride wrath envy sloth

because it fits nicely that way. I like wrath instead of anger, and everyone should know what it means (I hope). I may have to explain that avarice means greed, but at least it's a one-word explanation, unlike "franchise". Both Dante and Chaucer used pretty much exactly these sins for the 7 deadlies. What do you all think?

I am going to take some more of the work on this in-house to try to keep the final ring price under $50. Silver is up 45% from a year ago (Eek!). I'm hoping that if I do all the sizing and polishing myself I can keep the cost down. I really need a new hotcake item like the virtue rings, and I'm afraid that a silver ring that costs more than $50.00 is not going to fly. 

Also, I'm thinking of opening these up for preorders. I have to invest in casting the original, getting a mold made, and buying silver to get these produced, and the finances are a bit strained right now.

What do you think is reasonable? I could take a $20 deposit towards rings for June delivery with the balance due when the ring actually exists. That would kick my butt into gear to make sure I have these in stock well before Pennsic. I am reluctant to presell the entire thing until I know how much they will cost me and how long they will take to size and polish. 

Feedback, please! 
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swirl

BusyBusyBusy!

So naturally, because it was one week until the convention, I got sucked into a particular project. It had become a challenge. Eventually, though, I triumphed! I had created a new charm of a sextant with wee little mirrors and telescope that was 3/4 inch high, and went along nicely with the other charms. People (the ones who could see it, or who I pointed it out to) were impressed. It took me all damn week. How many did I sell?

0.

That's right. A big fat zero. A couple of guys were looking at it for a watch fob, but it was too small. Facepalm. I promise to post a decent photo as soon as I manage to take one. A fellow at the con took a few, but he hasn't posted them yet.  I have vowed to revitalize my Etsy shop with these things so that I can attempt to make back some of the effort I have put into them.

Oh well, the rest of the con was pretty fun. Many amazing costumes and contraptions and actual steam-powered gizmos. A woman with a mohawk and a doohickum that puffed "steam" that smelled like artificial maple syrup. A complete line of mens and womens steampunk corsets debuted by Dark Garden. The Cutest Top Hats Ever. Being all cool and non-fan-girly at Phil and Kaja Foglio, except to squee about Agatha fighting off Lucretia from within her own head. ( Read girlgeniusonline.com if you don't understand that reference) Dancing at the Steampunk Ball in my 1865 peach gown. The St. Clair Aeronaut Crew delivering messages that were texted to the mechanical teletype machine. Seeing many many friends from several different crossover fandoms. 

The absolute coolest thing of all, however, didn't even happen at the hotel. There was an offsite open house/mixer at the Shipyard, an industrial art space in Berkeley where they build crazy fire-spewing art sculptures for burning Man, biomass electrical generators, robots that mix your drinks, steam boilers that power carriages or anything else you want,  a 3-story Victorian house on wheels, and basically anything else they want to build. alessandro_bard  and I were completely agog at the mills and lathes and welders and grinders and giant forklifts and electronics and the wacky things that had been built with them. The place is huge. It is made up entirely of nooks and crannies, each of which is filled with serious tools, crazy things built with those tools, sculptures in pieces, and scrap materials that cry out to do something neato with them. He had never been through the Neverwas Haul before (www.neverwashaul.com), and of course peppered the builders with questions and enthusiasm. I really want to see it all in daylight. A and I are now bubbling with ideas for the railcar. Bwaaaaahahaha! 

Tomorrow I get to judge the county Science Fair! How cool is that! learnteach  will be there too and gave me some pointers. Apparently my experience dealing with contest entrants will be more useful than would a detailed knowledge of the subject matter at a higher level than I have. I am prepared to be completely blown away by the stuff these young people come up with. It's for Science!

On Thursday there may or may not be something personally interesting happening involving ice cream. Or at least frozen yogurt which usually has so little yogurt culture in it that they might as well just call it ice cream.

Meanwhile this week I'm moving the auxiliary workbench back downstairs and doing some much-needed Spring cleaning in the studio. Monday I went over to Sam's place and got started on the master model for misagillian 's coronet, which I hope to show her this weekend. I will be at the event this weekend, but I'm not setting up a booth. I'm undertaking a radical experiment to see if I can just go to an SCA event and enjoy myself. I do have business to do there, but just the idea of not having to park my butt in a booth all weekend has me actually *not dreading* the event. 

Therefore, onward! Excelsior! 
swirl

More Computer Woe

The screen on the new netbook is black. I've turned it off and on a few times and it hasn't helped. I'm going to leave it off for a few hours and try again. I'm posting from the old laptop with the dying hard drive, which is very slow and may give up the ghost at any moment. If you need to get in touch with me, please call.

I am unimpressed with technology today.
swirl

Sherlock Holmes! - no really bad spoilers

Saw it today.

I come from the perspective of never having read the novels or even seen the old TV shows. I get that it won't be like the books, and I thought it was pretty clear from the preview what kind of movie it would be. The preview did not lie. Much action, chasing, clever detectoring, sinister occultists, and dashing men in Victorian dress with hats. I love a man in a long coat and a nice hat.

The preview showed a bit of a boxing scene, and that was indeed an entire scene of RDJ being athletic and shirtless. I'll give those of us who appreciate such things a moment.


Whew.

Jude Law was less annoying than usual, perhaps because his character was supposed to be a bit peevish at Holmes. The Plucky Damsel did have a brain, but was still mostly patronized through the entire film. Watson's love interest was a small role, but better written. The whole occult-mystery plot was fairly foolish. The crows were overdone and annoying, but minor. Cool scientific and technical machinery, gadgetry, and weaponry. Not specifically steampunk because all that stuff maybe could have been period (except perhaps for the Fantastic Contraption toward the end and one particular handgun), but visually fascinating anyway. Cool coaches, filth on the streets and on the people but not stupidly overdone. Clever back-and-forth dialogue. Victorian social mores about a man and woman being alone together were completely ignored.

In short, it was overblown as only Hollywood and Guy Ritchie can be, but a good, fun action (not mystery) flick with excellent explosions. If you understand this going in, you will likely enjoy it, and if that's not your thing, you likely won't. Purists about the original stories had better stay away.

Laurie-Bob gives it two thumbs up, and I would see it again in a theater with a larger screen.
swirl

Steampunk Cookie Cutters!!!

I was inspired to run off and do something silly and irrelevant after finishing the Big Damn Coronet, so here goes. I made cookie cutters patterned after my charms:

An 8-toothed gear, A pair of goggles, A ray gun, and of course a cartoon airship.



I then had to try them out to be sure they work, you know:



Those are plain, from my great-grandmother's sugar cookie recipe. I figured I'd frost them in astounding ways, with piping for gear details and airship ropes, and wee brass pipes going here and there on the ray gun. Yeah. That takes forEVer. I did get some good food coloring, abut the copper turned out rather pumpkin and I got tired of standing around frosting cookies when I should be working, so I cut to the chase:



so I've eaten a ray gun and a pair of goggles, and they're tasty. ;-)

These are a prototype set of cutters, made for the heck of it, and I've figured out that it would be worth my time to make another set for $60. I thought that sounded high, but it turns out that handmade copper cookie cutters seem to average $12 - $15 each at various websites, and mine average out to $15, so that isn't so bad. I think I'll make up one more set on spec for Etsy, and see if any orders happen. I will include a paper illustrating some of the design possibilities, and maybe even include that recipe. It turns out rather fluffy cookies, because it uses both baking powder and baking soda, and the cookies are intended for frosting - there isn't much sugar in the cookie itself. I of course, love them, and no other sugar cookie recipe is quite as good.

Anyway, there's my silliness for the day!
swirl

A long-awaited project

Finally done!!

There were many adventures along the way, and I'll need to get some better photos - I'm having a heck of a time with the reflections and glare. But it's done! Ha!




And from a slightly different angle:



I'll be bringing this for show-and-tell to Girlie Monday. I so need a drink.

ETA: The lettering is Aldith's motto, four times around the band - Ars gratia artis, "art for art's sake" the design is based off a wedding crown from 1460.
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