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It’s 2020! WTF Happened??

Seriously, what the actual fuck? I’m not going to list all of the WTF things that have happened so far this year. I’m also not going to make some silly “it can’t get any worse”-type statement. Let’s be real, that’s just asking for (more) trouble. What I am going to do apologize for largely neglecting my site for most of this year because I know that for the 2 or 3 people reading (I’m being optimistic) it’s nowhere near the worst thing that ever happened (probably not even in a good year lol).

Anyway, I’m sorry. I wish my website was the only thing that was fucked this year. Let’s take a moment to share a virtual hug. *BIG SQUEEZE* Seriously, I hope you are ok.

WTF doesn’t necessarily have to be bad though. There have been some good WTF moments. I got to see my son suddenly start riding his bike after struggling with his balance for the last few years. We finally went on our first bike ride together! Our neurotic little birds (we have parakeets now) sorta became friendly almost overnight. Who doesn’t love treats? I’ve learned all kinds of new digital art tricks, but those were more like “holy shit I didn’t know it did that” moments.

Think about it. I’m sure you’ve some good ones in there, whether small or big.

Then there have been those mixed bags. Moments where I sat in a fog, feeling like I was crying, but maybe I wasn’t, and two little arms reached out and hugged me because right now all we have is each other. It was a “WTF am I even feeling right now” moment. There’s been a lot of those for many of us. So much is coming from all directions all the time.

And there are a lot of different directions to take this post. I’ve rewritten this paragraph at least ten times because this is not what I intended this to be about. (Who needs planning??) So I’m going to leave with this – I hope you are ok. Really. And if you aren’t ok, please reach out. Behind all the shit, there’s a community of people rallying together and there are more than a few that want to help, even if it’s just to listen. You are important. You matter. You are loved.

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It’s 2020! Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2020! I hope the new year finds you well!

What’s New? 

Last time I posted Inktober was approaching and so was my carpal tunnel release surgery. I sat down a bagillion times to write an update, but… ok, no excuses. I just didn’t do it. But it’s a new year and the perfect time to start afresh! 

First, what happened with Inktober and Drawlloween? Let’s start with the bad news. I didn’t finish Drawlloween. I got the first week done and then fizzled out before surgery. For some reason it just wasn’t flowing this year. There were a couple of decent drawings in there, but a few bad ones killed the momentum. I thought I might finish it up once my hand felt better after surgery, but recovery took a lot longer than I expected. You can find the stuff I did get done here. 

Now on to the good news! I finished Inktober! Aaaaaand I did the whole thing left-handed! The drawings aren’t detailed and they are mostly terrible, but it was a fun exercise in just getting some stuff on paper. Even better, I did some additional left-handed drawings – most of which were Pokemon. Not to toot my own horn, but they came out pretty good! Head on over to my sketchbook page to see all the things!

What’s Next?

Streams! Lots and lots of streams! I started back in August on Mixer and have been semi-consistently broadcasting jewelry, drawing, and digital art. Now that I’ve been at it for a little bit, I have a basic schedule sorted out. I plan to be on Monday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, with any additional days being fun, fun extra days! 

There’s going to be lots of digital art, too! Clip Studio Paint is my go-to software for digital painting. If you can deal with me being kinda slow (at digital painting), you’ll be able to check out all of my progress and finished work on Insta and Twitter

There will still be traditional art and jewelry and Chewy and Pokey AAAAND we have two new additions to the household – Shawn and Timmy the parakeets! I’m super excited for 2020! How about you? 

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

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Inktober is Almost Here!

The lists are out!! That’s right kids, Inktober (and Drawlloween) are less than a week away! Last year I combined the *official* Inktober list with Mab Grave’s Drawlloween list to make a double-whammy drawing each day. Some combos worked out better than others (and you can pretty much tell which days were “catch up” days), but all in all I was looking forward to doing it again this year. 

Was. 

The thing is, I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome years ago. I had some handy dandy steroid injections and things were good for a few years – until those pesky symptoms started coming back. The past six months have been *really* bad and the pain in numbness has been getting rapidly worse. It took a very short appointment for Doc to recommend surgery and guess when it is… Right smack in the middle of Inktober! 

So I’m left with a choice. Cheat, and get it all done with ahead of time (with a wonky hand), or try to do the second half left-handed. After perusing the lists, I really want to do it justice and take the opportunity to get it all done ahead of time. 

There’s another little hang up I have with this year, too. The Inktober and Drawlloween lists match up in a really sucky way. Like I don’t even want to combine them! I know I should see it as a challenge and blah, blah, blah, but we all know that if we force it that much the art is just going to be bad. 

So what do??

Did you know there’s ANOTHER Drawlloween list? Camilla d’Errico also does a list (I wish I knew sooner!) and it is THE ONE! Not that the other two aren’t good, but the Camilla list just speaks to me. It has more prompts that I haven’t done and fewer duplicates from last year. 

Soooooo, I’ve decided to just do this list: 

camilla d'errico 2019 drawlloween list camillasdrawlloween

I might pick and choose a few days from Mab Graves’ list… maybe… if there’s enough time in the day, which there rarely is. But given all that’s going on, it’s probably best to keep things simple this year. 

mab graves 2019 drawlloween list

UNFORTUNATELY I’m really bad at keeping things simple… Wanna hear the rest of the plan/decision/ramble?? The Inktober list is still in play, just not in combination with the Drawlloween list. You see, I’m going to be out of commission for at least two weeks post-surgery, and there’s no way I’m not making some kind of art!

inktober 2019 prompt list

Why not do the Inktober list left-handed? The prompts are more open to interpretation (and gorked-out terribleness), so it’s the perfect opportunity to push myself in a different direction… or something… right? It’s more abstract and it will be funny, right? RIGHT?!? 

Ultimately it’s going to depend on how much of my other stuff I get done, the planetary alignment, and my list of potential excuses on any given day. But for super serials, I’m getting that Drawlloween list done and it’s going to be amazing! (No pressure)

Thanks for reading! Please check back to see the drawings if you have sec or catch them on Insta. <3. Until next time!


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Third Time’s a Charm – Jewelry Making with the Kiddo

jewelry making copper pipe pendant necklaces rings bracelets

It. Finally. Happened. I made some new jewelry! I hope you weren’t holding your breath this whole time… Everything was laid out – beads, copper pipe sections, cord, glue – EVERYTHING. I *thought* about playing around and making some new pendants. I thought reeeeaaaalllly hard. 

Then I put it all away because it was just SITTING THERE. 

The cleaning struggle is real…

A short while later I went on a reorganization spree that hit every room in the house. All of my art supplies are now neatly tucked away in plastic boxes! Yay!So I pulled out my boxes of jewelry making supplies and put them *back* on the table. Then I thought about making some new pendants. I thought about it EVEN HARDER that time. I legit took some stuff out and fit things together and contemplated the universe in a noncommittal way – then put it all away.

‘Nuff said.

Not too long after that Mixer made its rounds in the media for all the reasons we don’t need to discuss here and I decided to check it out. After poking around the creative section I noticed a few things: 

  1. It’s a lot less crowded than Twitch
  2. Most of creators are digital artists
  3. I’ve seen zero other people making jewelry on Mixer (although that could just be a timing thing)

That night I casually asked my son if he would be interested in making some jewelry with me and streaming it. Of course he was all about it and wanted to get started that very instant and maybe play some Minecraft after or some Geometry Dash and we should get Super Mario Maker 2 and… Anyway, getting my mini-me in on the crafting fun meant less screen time for him and more accountability for me. Win-win!

You really should check out chibird. 🙂 https://chibird.com

For the *third* time I pulled out my jewelry making supplies, but this time I set up the camera, mic, and lights. After some test recording and even a *GASP* test pendant – away we went! We streamed for a few hours and I got a few new pendants done while helping my super enthusiastic kiddo make two necklaces, two rings, and two bracelets. 

My awesome friend also popped in and watched *the whole stream*, which was really cool and above and beyond. You don’t find a pal like that very often. She mentioned coming over to watch IRL, but crafts aren’t a spectator sport in my house! MUAHAHAHAHA!!

Anyway, here’s the stuff we made. The boy especially loves showing off his bling! <3

Jewelry making necklaces pendants bracelets and rings
One necklace was a gift and we didn’t get a pic of it.

I don’t know why I didn’t think to take pictures along the way. I guess I went full n00b even though it technically wasn’t my first stream. For some reason our stream was flipped when we went live, even though it looked fine in OBS. Of course I didn’t realize it until the end. 

We all have our moments…

On top of that, the table was a MESS. Short of anything to do with resin, I had just about everything I use for jewelry making on that table “just in case”. It wasn’t all in frame, but there was a lot of reaching and confusion and switching seats – exactly how it would have been without the camera. 🙂

I ended up taking down the stream recording because my precious little one is still learning about what to say/not say online – especially live. At some point I’ll take highlights from the stream and post a video. We’re definitely going to be streaming more and it won’t just be jewelry. Drawing, painting, games and whatever else we can think of will be part of the createm0de channel! 

What would you like to see us make? Come find us on Mixer!

Thanks for reading! Until next time!

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Bookbinding Doesn’t Take that Long

Well, it shouldn’t, but it did for me and not for the reasons you might think. I started my handmade sketchbook adventure back in January when I decided that I wanted one with all different types of paper in it. That’s not something you can zip over to the art store and buy (why not??), so I took it as an opportunity to make something really personal. I thought I did that last year when I converted an old (and meaningful) art book into a journal, but after a year of filling it up it still isn’t quite what I want. 

What Happened?

So I started the book months ago with plans for three types of paper (drawing, multimedia, and watercolor) and a cover made from my son’s old jeans that were too holy to donate. Of course, it all had to be filmed so I could make a video out of it! Everything was all set up – lights, camera, computer, and bookbinding supplies took over my dining room table. During the first session I cut all of the paper to size and gently creased and stacked it into signatures of one of each type of paper. 

And there it all sat. The whole time I wondered what it was, why I wouldn’t just sit down and work on it. It’s pretty obvious now though, right? It was that extra step of making the video. Rather that just sit down and put all the effort into making the book, the video was what really had priority. My excuse was what a pain it would be to get set up and get going even though most of what I needed was left out. And because of that dinners at the table didn’t happen for months. Family crafting didn’t get done at the table. There was an eyesore in the middle of my house! 

Last week I finally took the camera set up down and put the bookbinding project away in its own special box. Guess what happened? We ate some food at the table and did some projects together. Then I finished the book – in two days. Mistakes were made, but I feel like since they’re baked into the book already that there’s no point in worrying too much about what goes into it. That first page of a sketchbook is always the toughest!

How I Made the Book

The tutorial I followed can be found below. It’s really easy to adapt your own measurements and I found the whole process to be very relaxing, except for the very end where I realized the cover was too big and I already put glue down. I snapped a few pics along the way, because it still needed to be documented, so rather than make you read more of my rambles, let’s go on a little photo journey together!

A pretty stack of signatures ready to be sewn!
This is a beautified version of what my table looked like for MONTHS, except without holes punched in the signatures. How long did it take to measure and punch those holes? Maybe 10 minutes. At least I was able to get any bitterness about it over with right away. 🙂
The signatures all stitched and ready for glue.
I thought sewing the signatures together would be tedious, but it was very relaxing! It was kind of my favorite part. <3
Signatures glued and clamped.
I have no control over where glue goes. It’s a miracle that none of it got on the pages! That’s a paint stirrer cut in half and two-inch clamps to keep it all together.
Signatures glued, clamped, and drying.
I set them out to dry like this. I forget why. Maybe to make sure they dried evenly? It must have worked because they did. 🙂
The cover pieces all laid out.
The cover is made out of my son’s old jeans and chipboard.

The Result!

There aren’t any pics of the fiasco that was gluing all the things together, but this is how it looks now. I sewed denim strips on and left the edges out so it would fray over time and have a nice distressed look. Plus it’s kind of relaxing picking at the little strings as they come loose. I finished it off with a patch from Alex Pardee. 🙂
At the end of the day, bookbinding is fun!

The tutorial I used: https://thepostmansknock.com/bookbinding-tutorial-by-jessica-of-greenleaf-and-blueberry/

If you don’t know him, now you know him. You’re welcome. 🙂 http://www.alexpardee.com

Thanks for reading! Until next time!

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Why Did I Buy a Hedgehog?

Two weeks ago I brought home a hedgehog. A week before that I didn’t even know I wanted one. I don’t know why I’ve been looking for a new pet for the past few months. It started with looking at cats, and my friend did an awesome job of talking me down from that ledge. Then I moved on to guinea pigs, but they have more social needs than I can provide. Then somehow I stumbled upon something, somewhere on the internet – and it was about hedgehogs. 

Cue the borderline obsessive research into everything hedgehog-related. I don’t remember where it started – it definitely hasn’t ended – but none of that matters now. She’s all set up in my room and I can already tell everything she’s doing by sound. It’s like having a late-night buddy for those times when I can’t sleep. 

This the the first picture we took of our new hedgehog, PokeyNibbles.
Introducing Nico PokeyNibbles O’Shaughnessy! This is the first ever pic we took of her. <3

She’s also adapting really well to her new home. I thought my 85lb ball of codependence (Chewy) would be an issue, but she simply doesn’t care that he’s there. Of course that drives him nuts and makes him want to play with her even more! Funny thing is, no matter how much he bugs her, she rarely hisses at him. What a good hedgie!

It doesn't matter what kind of animal it is. Chewy will sniff the butt.
Chewy has been trying so hard to figure out what she is.

We have her out all the time and once the weather warms up it will be even more. I’ve never had such an impulsive (but ultimately well-researched) decision end feeling so right. Who would have thought such a prickly little creature would be so meant to be? But it’s forced me to ask myself why. Why the hell did I buy a hedgehog??

PokeyNibbles the hedgehog
This should be all the answer I need, right?

Hedgehogs aren’t pocket pets. Yeah, they’re super cute and they can do neat things and OMG TINY HATS, but they aren’t cuddly the way most mainstream pets are. Case in point – I brought her into the office one day and all kinds of folks were stopping by to see her. She handled the field trip really well, even when my one colleague came in and shouted, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?” The whole time she happily snuffled along my desk and (mercifully) didn’t poop on my keyboard. She didn’t even hiss when he gave her a quick pet and said “That is NOT what I was expecting!” I still don’t know what he was expecting, but his whole interaction with PokeyNibbles was pretty entertaining. 

But why? Why did I bring home this little creature that is adaptable and adventurous enough to always want to be climbing all over me, but insists on pooping on my left shoulder nearly EVERY TIME. She’ll let me pet her through fleece all day, but without it I get the quills. She’s not big on being held – definitely an explorer hedgie – but makes up for it by being so fun to watch. 

PokeyNibbles is all cozy in her blankey. <3
Maybe she found deeper meaning in there?

Maybe it’s not worth trying to find some deeper meaning in something done on a whim. I could say I identify with the hedgie’s personality wrapped in a prickly exterior or something, but I don’t think it’s even that. There wasn’t a single bit of hesitation in making the hedgie decision, even after I tried to research myself out of it, and there’s not a single bit of regret now. It was a right place, right time, balance in the universe type of thing to bring Nico PokeyNibbles O’Shaughnessy into our home and she is perfect. 

Her face when she’s going for that left shoulder…

Thanks for reading! Of course, PokeyNibbles has her own Twitter and Instagram, so be sure to take a peek at her latest adventures. Until next time!

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Body Kun Alternatives?

Over on my YouTube channel I posted a review video of some knock-off Body Kun figures and later another for the most recent run of Figma Archetype figures. Someone commented on one of them asking if there were any other figures out there similar to Body Kun that have more manga-style proportions. The Figmas are great, but they have more superhero builds and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you want manga proportions from Figma, you either need to track down an earlier run of figures, which will be more expensive, or wait and see what the next run will look like. 

All that aside, I responded to that user’s question with what amounted to a shrug. I really haven’t seen anything else comparable, but I also haven’t been looking that hard. I’m happy with my Figma Archetypes! 

About a week after I received that comment, I coincidentally came across some art reference models on Dick Blick. Pretty sweet, right? I really wanted them to be good because I get most of my supplies from Blick and I include affiliate links (at no cost to you) whenever I list materials. Unfortunately, the figures look… wacky. The proportions are wacky, the joints are wacky, and counting all the wacky things about them won’t make the wackiness go away. They’re so wacky that I’m almost willing to waste some money to get them. Almost. 🙂

Did I Mention Wacky?

One set is called the Manga Manikins and it looks like they are no longer made (bummer!). The product page is still live on Dick Blick if you want to read about them and here’s a screenshot to check out if you don’t. They were kind enough to include two versions of the female model with different sized boobs, because I guess that’s a thing that some people needed. 

body kun manga manikins dick blick art reference models anatomical anime hollywood proportions figma archetype alternative

If ever can find these (for some sort of reasonable price) I’ll get one in a heartbeat. Please, please give me a heads up if you see one. If Hollywood is using them (like the description says), there must be something great about them!

Now for the ones you can get. These are the Art S. Buck Anatomical Models that are described as “anatomically proportional one-sixth scale models have over 30 points of articulation”. These figures are wacky, too. They have wacky joints and big wacky heads, but are they $35 each wacky? I might grab one if I catch it on sale, because judging these things from afar really isn’t fair, right?

art buck dick blick body kun figma archetype alternative art reference model wacky proportions big heads

Good News, Everyone!

Pretty soon I’ll have a new one to review because, *GASP*, I found a REAL Body Kun for a decent price ($38)! More specifically it’s a black Body Chan (the female model) and I’m 95% it’s legit. If it’s not, you can expect a pretty awesome rant where I swear I’ll never make the mistake again (i.e. a THIRD time), but eventually I will and you can all laugh at me. 

Thanks for reading! Until next time!

UPDATE!!!

The review video is live and the figure is real! Aaaaaaand there’s a special guest! Pop on over to my YouTube channel to check it out or watch here:

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Updating the Etsy Shop

photography studio lighting softbox kit

Finally! New stuff is being added to my Etsy shop! And when I say “new” I mean jewelry I made a couple or more months ago and never properly photographed… It’s not that I don’t like doing it, but I don’t keep up with it. Then it results in LOTS of work to do all at once and it takes all the fun out of it. Of course that means the Etsy shop ends up being a dumpy old out of date jewelry page.

No more of that! (Hopefully…)

I decided to order one of those “product photography” kits from Amazon. Not that buying something will magically update my Etsy shop for me, but I figured if I could take some really nice, somewhat professional-looking product photos that the ginormous backlog of jewelry to post wouldn’t seem so bad. In that respect, it’s working and I’m getting new items posted to the shop. Yay!

But let’s talk about this kit that I bought. You’ll see them all over the place. It basically a soft box that you light from the outside. Many of them (like mine) fold up into a neat little square and come with backdrops, lights, and a camera stand. The one I got even has pouches in the front where you can store the extra gear. I didn’t want to get the cheapest of the cheap because I wanted something halfway decent, but I still went fairly cheap. I think I spent maybe $50? 

photography studio kit lighting product etsy ring lights camera softbox phone
I ended up having to use my own lights.

Well guess what – that was still too cheap! The box itself is okay, though it sags a bit on top. It’s quick and easy to set up and folds back very nicely. If I could do it again I would get just the soft box and I wouldn’t pay more than $15 for it. The rest of the kit was pretty much useless. The lights are these little ring lights that aren’t all that bad, but the stands they are on are beyond cheap. It would be okay if I could take the lights off and put them on something else, but the mounts aren’t universal and are the same cheap plastic as the stands. 

photography studio kit lighting product etsy ring lights camera softbox tripod phone
If this worked properly it would basically be a weapon.

To open the base of the light stand you have to turn the end of it and these metal death spikes come shooting out. Then you splay them out and it’s a little tripod. One of the stands wouldn’t open and I’m pretty sure forcing it would break it (should I care about breaking it at this point?). The other stand won’t close back up.

Then there’s phone/camera stand. It’s some of the cheapest plastic I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t figure out how to open it at first. It looks like a garden hose attachment when it’s folded and two of the legs swing out to make it a tripod. I didn’t even try to use it. 

phone stand tripod photography kit studio camera photography studio kit lighting product etsy ring lights camera softbox
Behold! Color correction fail! Side Note: It’s not a sprayer. Side Side Note: That’s one of the death spikes peeking in from the left…
photography studio kit lighting product etsy ring lights camera softbox tripod
I’m afraid that if I throw this out at home my trash can will get mad at me. It’s that bad.

I did end up getting some decent shots of my jewelry, but it took some editing afterward. The box didn’t light up very much, even with my own lights, so that had to be adjusted. Despite that, I had to do zero color correction and that alone is a win in my book! I’m not super happy about the wasted cash, but I am saving time editing because color correcting is a PITA. Pretty soon I’ll have nice uniform pics of my jewelry in my Etsy shop!

After my first photo shoot with the new box, I packed everything up. This was where I realized that I was not going to be able to get that light stand closed up. So I just crammed it in the front pocket for now. Maybe a gnome will swing by later and take care of that for me. 🙂

photography studio kit lighting product etsy ring lights camera softbox tripod
I leave this by the door at night as a trap for intruders.

All in all, one of these boxes is worth getting, but save your money and don’t get a kit. You’re just spending more for a bunch of junk. It’s cheaper to grab a couple of clamp lights and daylight bulbs, which are a great to have around anyway, and get a nicer box (or make your own).

Thanks for reading! Please swing by my Etsy shop and check out the new listings. More is on the way! Until next time!

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My First Yupo!

pino ergo proxy line drawing ink micron sketch sketchbook anime manga fanart

Yupo paper is pretty amazing. It’s a synthetic (read: not made from trees), waterproof, recyclable paper that comes in white and translucent finishes. Because of that, you can’t treat Yupo paper like regular paper. I sort of knew this before I tried it, but rather than read all about the do’s and don’ts I jumped in straight away with a Micron and some markers. 

**I have a few affiliate links in this post. A quick click helps me out at no cost to you. Thanks for stopping by!**

I started out with a sketch of the little cutie Pino from Ergo Proxy. It’s a pretty simple line drawing – perfect for tracing a bunch of times and experimenting!

pino ergo proxy anime manga drawing sketch sketchbook pencil
So cute!

I used a .01 Micron to trace the line drawing onto computer paper. Normally, I draw lots of sketchy lines when I use pens. This time I went for long, smooth lines and regretted it about half way through. I grip the pen too hard, my hand shakes – it’s not me and it shows. So I switched to a .005 Micron and used shorter strokes on some cheapo marker paper and the Yupo paper.

pino ergo proxy line drawing ink micron sketch sketchbook anime manga fanart
I did another drawing on computer paper, but didn’t color that one. The bottom left is marker paper and the bottom right is the Yupo paper.

One thing I did read about Yupo paper was that you could use watercolor on it, pretty much wash it off after, and the paper would be fine. Knowing this, I tried (SO HARD) not to drag my hand through the ink or touch it at all. Knowing this, I used a super-secret technique to strategically place archival fingerprints all over the drawing. 

I used Prismacolor, Copic, and Winsor & Newton (W&N) brush markers to color the line drawings. Keep an eye on the big art supply websites and every once in a while you can catch a good deal on a set! For the computer paper drawing I used a #2 cool gray W&N marker to map out the shadows, then colored it in. 

pino ergo proxy anime manga fanart drawing sketch sketchbook marker micron copic prismacolor
I love gray tones though…

I liked the effect of doing it this way, but for some reason the W&N marker didn’t play nice with the other two brands. It created a strange edge, even after giving the first layer plenty of time to dry. I also noticed that the W&N markers don’t flow as well as the Prismacolor or Copics. 

pino ergo proxy color marker prismacolor copic fanart drawing sketch sketchbook  manga anime
The brown was too dark and I messed up the pink on the bottom. Sssssh, don’t tell!

For the marker paper I used a lighter gray because I thought the other one was a little dark. As it turns out the W&N #1 cool gray was too light, but the effect was still nice. 

When it came to the Yupo paper I had a decision to make between the lighter and the darker gray. Since the permanent, archival Micron smeared so much already, I figured the lighter gray would be better. Let’s be real, I had no delusions that the markers would blend on the Yupo paper. But I really wanted to see how this would work. Spoiler alert: it was a mess.

pino ergo proxy yupo anime manga micron drawing sketch sketchbook fanart
I need a little practice. 🙂

Not only did the colors not blend at all, but they picked up the permanent, archival Micron ink and smeared it all over! I wasn’t super surprised by this, since drawing on this stuff is kind of like drawing on plastic. The paper is not absorbent at all, so layering isn’t really an option. 

pino ergo proxy yupo marker color fanart smear anime manga drawing sketch sketchbook
The colors also came out a lot lighter!

Side note: the translucent version does give you the option of using both sides to add layers/colors/etc. Mab Graves does amazing work with Yupo paper and if you don’t know her, you do now. You’re welcome!

Yupo paper is pricey, but the good news is that you can play with it and wipe it pretty much clean if you don’t like the result. Obviously some media and colors will stain, but that just adds character, right? The flip side of that is if you want to preserve your masterpiece it will need to fixed properly – both to protect the work and to keep the paper from yellowing. 

I’m super excited to keep playing around with Yupo paper. If there’s something you want me to try, let me know in the comments. 

Thank you so much for reading! Happy New Year!

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Copper Pipe and Impressed Blanks

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart

It’s time to take some poorly stamped blanks and make slightly better looking copper pipe pendants out of them! Are you ready? If you don’t remember the whole ordeal that was my first experience with metal stamping, you can find that here. TL;DR – if there wasn’t such a thing as a “rage pendant” before, it exists now because I made one. 

Setting aside the dramatic process of rage jewelry making, sometimes things work out beautifully! It just so happens that those little blanks are the PERFECT size to dangle inside a slice of copper pipe. 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Why does my mat look so dirty? 🙁

I started out with the Tree of Life piece since it came out the closest to some sort of reasonably good usable impressed upon metal. What do you call a stamped blank anyway? Is there a word for it? Or is it just a stamped blank and that’s it? Well the tree was kinda good and I like the design, so I snipped a bit (too much) of black wire. I thought it would look good with the design, and it does, but there’s one problem with black craft wire. It is SO easy to get tool marks on it and then you’re left with very noticeable copper spots. It also makes me wonder how long the black will last on the wire, but this was an experiment, so perfection was not necessary. I kept the natural curve of the wire after the loop to go with the design. 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
It wouldn’t focus!

I took a slice of copper pipe with a hole drilled in it and threaded the wire through. A quick loop and a wrap later and it became a pendant! I like how this wrap looks, but it doesn’t prevent the pipe from spinning around the blank. I think that might be okay (like a “feature”) for some pieces, but in this case I’m not wild about it. 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Pliers make a great prop for stubborn jewelry that won’t sit still.

Round two! This time I wanted to fix the spinny pipe problem, so I started this piece the same way as the first, but finished the wrap a little differently. I gave it a little “tail” to bend down over the back of the pipe. At first I tried to bend the wire on itself to give it a more finished look and to keep it from having a cut wire sitting against the wearer. The only problem is that it rarely ever occurs to me to measure things when it comes to wire wrapping. No big deal, right? Eyeballing it is totally fine! 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Measuring is for chumps!

Eyeballing it did not work this time around and my tail was waaaaay too long. Since you can’t really unbend a wire that’s bent in half (well, you CAN, but it will most likely break), I had no choice but to cut it. By the way, eyeballing it totally worked that time and that tail did its job. No more spinny pipe pendant!

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Ok, maybe measuring can be helpful… (*grumble grumble*)

 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
Mission accomplished!

Are you ready for the finale? The rage piece got a little extra experimentation. Instead of drilling a hole for the wire, I decided to wrap the blank onto the pipe. That way it saves me from drilling a hole and the pipe won’t spin. It’s also because I thought I drilled three pieces of pipe, but apparently only did two. Oops!

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
The question now is: leather or chain?

It might need a little tweaking, but it’s not too bad! The wrap also gives the rage stamps the subtle air of suffocating angst. (Was that too much?) This might be the one I wear myself! 

All in all these were a lot of fun to make! If I can get my stamping technique on point this could be a whole other line for my shop. 

jewelry making craft copper pipe metal stamping impressart
But what do I call them??

There will definitely be more of these coming with more precision and less frustration! If you have an idea that you want me to try, let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter. 

Thanks for reading! Until next time!