Corona Crisis Crafting IX: Restoring my Earrings

Apparently some people take off their earrings before taking a shower or going to bed. I’m not one of them (unless they have some parts that must not get wet or are huge ones for special occasions), so I tend to periodically ruin my cheaper earrings. The pair I was currently wearing is a cute fox where the stopper is actually the body of the fox so you have the whole animal dangling from your ears. Since I can’t go out and get new ones and also have some time I decided to restore them using UV resin.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Here you see the sad remains after about three months of constant wearing. From behind it looked like the red was some kind of shrink wrap with little adhesion to the metal. First I cleaned off the remaining paint. The paint around the eyes looks like it’s proper enamel, so I left it at that.

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Next I coated the parts in several layers. One difficulty is the attachments of the tail, since resin would glue it to the body permanently. I worked carefully there with moderate success. Another thing is that resin leaves a lot of volume. The previous “shrink wrap” paint showed off the contours you can see above, but in the restored version they are gone. Foxy probably got a thicker winter coat. Also the colour is more brownish.

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Here’s the finished version. I quite like how they turned out. Kestrel would probably laugh at my clumsy painting skills, but I can live with that.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved


And here’s some bonus Pikachus. Because why not have a flock of them?

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The Art of Book Design: What Can a Woman Do? Her Position in the business and Literary World

M. L. Rayne. What can a woman do? Her position in the Business and Literary World. Petersburgh, N.Y., Eagle Publishing Co., [c1893].

What can a woman do? It turns out she can do a lot, according to the author, who goes on to discuss the need for increased educational and vocational training opportunities. It’s a fascinating look at feminism during the time of the Suffragette Movement in America.


via: The Internet Archive

The Art of Book Design: The Red Fairy Book

The “coloured” Andrew Lang book this week is the Red Fairy Book, originally published in 1890. The colour of this book, though, is all on the cover. The illustrations are all black and white and done in the Victorian style of the period. I’ve included some of my favourites, mostly animal-related and including a dragon,  below the fold. I hope you enjoy.

Andrew Lang. The Red Fairy Book. Illustrated by H.J. Ford and Lancelot Speed. London, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1890.

[Read more…]

The Results are in….

©kestrel, all rights reserved

The tiny horse painting competition has been judged and Kestrel tells us,

I did not win anything but I got an honorable mention in the Gallery division, and the judge – a very well respected top level artist in the hobby – made nice comments about my entry. So that was nice, I appreciated that she made comments. Thought you’d like to know! 

Thanks for the update, kestrel. It’s too bad my vote doesn’t count because I think you should have won first place.

Tree Tuesday

Gnomish Runes, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Recently, while talking with a couple of gnomes, I discovered that many of the markings we see on fallen trees and branches are actually a form of map-making done by the little people of the woods. I was told that they are mostly made by Gnomes and Elves, who are terribly forgetful, as a way of remembering where their caches of food are stored. I commented that they look convoluted and, after having a good laugh, I was told that they are convoluted for humans, but the little folk travel in circuitous routes because they like to see the sights and visit other little folks along the way. Well, then, I guess that explains it.


Our Monday flowers from Nightjar are  here,

I think this vetch is Vicia angustifolia, a wild relative of fava bean and pea plants. Even though I can only do short walks near my house now, I don’t think I will run out of wildflowers any time soon. There’s a lot of diversity around here right now. I hope you are all well, stay safe!

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

Corona Crisis Crafting VIII: The Dragon Egg

After lots of sanding and polishing and some more sanding and polishing and then dropping it on the concrete because it’s so smooth and getting a dent in it which I won’t sand out again, the dragon egg is done.

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What you can see in this picture is that I didn’t get it completely round. For one thing, I don’t have a lathe on which I could actually turn it. The other one is that I wasn’t willing to remove so much material. The piece of burl that I used was a triangle and if I’d gone for a really round design, I would have lost about an estimated 30% in size. Also I don’t think that most people will notice anyway.

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There’s that damn scratch on top. Clearly not my favourite side. One thing about the resin I’m currently using is that it allows for rather thick pours without many bubbles. Usually the maximum in fast curing resins is 1cm (though it depends a lot on how you’re mould is. The other eggs I posted a while ago have more than 1cm in any direction, but they also have a large surface that allows for cooling). This block had a lot more than that in any dimension and actually I’d speculated on getting bubbles, which I thought would look cool. But as you see, nothing happened. Sure, it got warm and cured super fast, which allowed some of the gold leaf to stay afloat, but no bubbles. Definitely a good resin for dragon eggs.

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OK, I got one bubble, probably from when I stirred the darker blue resin that you can see in this shot in. The burl got a bees wax coating to make it shine.

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Here you can see the odd shape of the burl. The remaining bottom is clear resin. While the biggest part was poured in one go, I actually did three castings: the first one to create a solid bottom, gluing the burl into the mould. BTW, I used an old milk carton for that. The second casting added one thin layer to the burl:

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Fluorescent pigment, here under UV light. In normal daylight this is just blue as you can see in the pic above. It glows white under UV light and then…

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…it glows green in the dark.

I think I’ve proved to my own satisfaction that you can make dragon eggs without a ladle and it#s definitely something I want to repeat, probably with a somewhat larger piece, though I already dread the sanding…