Monday, February 21, 2011

Winter Enchantment!

Time for another installment in the ArtBeads Beaders who Blog program! ****

This time, the theme was Winter Enchantment, and the challenge was to design something that represented what I find beautiful or inspirational about the winter season. Well, truth be told, I'm not really a winter person. Growing up in northern Illinois/southern Wisconsin, I had more than enough of snow and ice to last me a lifetime. But I do like the crystalline beauty of ice on tree branches, and the look of a newly-fallen snow, as long as I'm inside, looking at it out through a picture window, while bundled up in a warm fuzzy blanket and drinking a steaming mug of cocoa! So, truthfully, winter-inspired jewelry, that you don't have to freeze to enjoy? That's right up my alley!

This time around, I picked some bicone crystals and pearls from their vast selection of Swarovski beads, and three sterling silver charms, snowflake shaped. The end result was a five-strand bracelet:

ice and snow bracelet 2

ice and snow bracelet 1

ice and snow bracelet 3

ice and snow bracelet 5

These pictures don't capture the true sparkle of these crystal beads, but they are remarkable! They really do look like sun shining through ice-coated branches.

****This post is a part of the ArtBeads Beaders who Blog program. They provide the beads to us free of charge, and we provide an honest review of their products. We are not paid to review or endorse them.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BeyondCon 2011 Panel Programme

This year's theme for BeyondCon is the "Costumer's Chop Shop", taking place at the Inn at Gig Harbor this weekend!

Here's our schedule of events:

Friday 2/18/2011

8pm-10ish Hospitality Suite Costumer's Swap and Shop (the hospitality suite is potluck)

Costumer's Baby Shower

Saturday 2/19/2011

9 - 10 am Jonnalyhn Wolfcat Don't Reinvent the Wheel!

Internet and other resources

10 - 11 am Dorothy O'Hare Reblocking Felt Hats without breaking the bank

Using kitchen/everyday implements to reshape those older finds

11 am to 12 pm Melissa Quinn Unique Embellishments

12 - 1 pm LUNCH BREAK

1 -2 pm Melissa Quinn Forgeless Armor

2 - 3 pm Dave Tackett Demo - prop modifications

3-5 pm Anita Taylor Introductory Victorian Hairstyling Demo

5-7 pm Dinner Break

7 -10ish pm Sock Hop/Ice Cream Social
Enjoy the tunes, dance, enter the outrageous sock contest (with prizes) and enjoy sweet treats!

Sunday 2/20/2011

10-11 am Jonnalyhn Wolfcat Demo: Faux bas relief

11 am to 12 pm Hoshikage Basics of how to light your costumes

More than simply using Xmas lights, how to set up basic wiring and safety

12 - 1 pm LUNCH

1 - 3 pm Vicki Glover Hands-on Workshop: Faux Cloissonne

How to recreate jewelry effects with inexpensive everyday items (like nail polish!)

3-4 pm Victoria Shaffer One Man's Trash…

Making jewelry for steampunk and other conceptual art costumes

4 pm onwards Traditional End of BeyondCon Thrift Store Crawl!

Plus an All -Weekend Limerick contest, doll meetup and discussion groups in Hospitality Suite!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

At the EM Gallery

This week, I was invited to set up and display my pearls and parasols for a reception for wedding planners at the EM Fine Art Gallery here in Seattle. It was a lovely evening, with amazing food catered by the folks from Herban Feast, especially the creamy paella with pan-seared scallops, garnished by lemon basil foam. (Yes, I am obsessed with food!)

The venue is truly lovely, an older building lovingly refurbished. I especially love the old brick along the back wall.

Podium by Candlelight by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Candlelight by *dbvictoria on deviantART

I packed light, but still got to show off some of my favorite pieces.




They even stuck a couple of nails in the wall so we could hang and backlight one of my parasols:


And on top of all the other goodness, it gave me a chance to wear my new pearls:


If you're in the area, you should go check them out to see what loveliness is hung on the walls!


The making of a black and white plaid hat

I realized I'd never posted about this - back in January I attended a Steampunk Exhibition Ball at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. Part of the evening's festivities were fabulous hat and facial hair competitions. I decided I was going to make myself a new hat for the occasion. My wonderful friend Stephanie, who appropriately travels under the name Plaidbrat on LiveJournal was bravely tackling a dress-making project for me, with this wonderful black and white plaid I'd unearthed from the stash early last year. It had a velvet floral scrollwork pattern on one side. She did the jacket for me with this pattern out, but we decided it'd be just too busy for the whole outfit, so the plain plaid side is out for the skirt.

I didn't take enough pictures of the making in progress, I'm afraid, so bear with me.

For the hat, I wanted big. Really big. And I had these six fake crows that had been sitting around on top of my bits and bobs cabinet, staring at me accusingly for not having used them yet.

I started out using household items for my pattern, a ceramic serving dish for the brim and one of our salad plates for the crown.


I added another 3" around tracing the platter for the sides and back, and about 5" in the front. It's amazing, because I fail consistently trying to draw a straight line with a ruler, but managed to freehand an almost perfectly symmetrical oval. ???

The brim is made with two layers of buckram sandwiching a spiral of millinary wire, glued into place. I covered the entire hat, inside and out, with felt, and then covered it with the fabric. Then out came the flowers, birds, feathers, and maribou trim. Here's what I ended up with:



A friend of mine swore that the birds were staring at her whenever we talked.



And here's the whole outfit:


Odd Fellows Memorial Park

I drive past this cemetary quite often when I'm "on the clock," and have always wanted to stop in. Well, I finally made the trek down there with my camera and did a bit of a walk-about, and got a few pictures. It's an older cemetery, with some graves dating back to the 1950s. Photographing some of the monuments was a bit interesting, as I was waiting for cars to pass on the busy road behind them, but I still got a few good shots.

Cemetery Angel 2 by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Cross of Silk Flowers by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Tree at Odd Fellows by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Obelisk Monument by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Cemetery Angel by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Clasped Hands on Monument by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Mossy Chain by *dbvictoria on deviantART

There's a full gallery of all my pictures on flickr here:

Odd Fellows Memorial Park


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2011 Beading Contest from ABeadStore! has posted the voting for their 2011 Beading contest! I entered the Beaded Jewelry category with my Blue Lagoon necklace:

Blue Choker

Click here to view the entry!

Click on the "Vote here" button to vote for your favorite! (You have to enter in the number of the entry for each category)


Sunday, February 6, 2011

The History of the Zipper

Worried about zippers in your Steampunk wardrobe? Never fear. They've been around in some form or another since the end of the 19th century.

Elias Howe patented an “automatic continuous clothing closure” on Nov. 25, 1851 (patent #8450), but he was so caught up with his other inventions (hello sewing machine!) that it wasn’t ever fully developed.

Whitcomb Judson patented the “clasp locker,” a shoe fastener on August 29th, 1893.

zipper4 - judson

He tried to market it with his company Universal Fastener Company, with business partner Colonel Lewis Walker, at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, but met with little interest. It was expensive to make, and didn’t perform that well – it developed a reputation for tearing fabric and popping open.


zipper2 - clasp locker

Gideon Sundback, an employee of the Universal Fastener Company, patented the “hookless fastener” in 1913, and the improved “separable fastener” on March 20, 1917, the zipper which we are familiar with today.

zipper5 - sundback2

zipper5 - sundback1

The name “zipper” was coined by the B.F. Goodrich Co. in 1925, when they began using them in their galoshes. They tried to trademark the word zipper, but were only allowed to trademark “Zipper Boots.” “Zipper” was determined to be a common noun, and too much in common usage.

They first became used in clothing in the 1930s, first in children’s clothing, and then in pants.

Since 1934, Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha (Yoshida Industries Limited) has been the leading producer of zippers, and also the machines that make zippers. They're estimated to make over 90% of the world's zippers today! That’s why so many zippers have the initials “YKK” on them.

zipper - modern

So zip away! As the years progressed, even though clothing styles in a Steampunk world may have not changed much, the ease of clothing yourself would have, I'm sure, let the zipper find its way into many a wardrobe.

New this week on Artfire!

OOAK Cabbage Rose Antique Painted Beads, Necklace and Earring Set

Spring Flowers Bracelet Purple Green Glass Blooms Pearls and Amethysts

Garnets and Pearls for My Lady OOAK Necklace on Sterling Silver

Steampunk Necklace For the Unlocking of Arcane Treasures OOAK Brass

Vintage Tri Tone Cuff Bracelet Copper Silver and Brass 1960s

Vintage Oval Cufflinks 14K Gold Filled

Vintage Purple Glam Silver Glitter Oval Pierced Earrings

Black and Clear Vintage Rhinestone Y Necklace

Vintage Rhinestone and Optic Blue Leaf Clipon Earrings

Friday, February 4, 2011

How cool!

Both dbvictoria and missvictoriasvintage were included in this collection by javagoth that just hit the front page of Artfire!