Chained to the Strange started as your source for Chainmaille, and a little bit of geekery. Over the last few months the maille has really taken a backseat to the other projects, especially since I sprained my wrist.
While there is some overlap, from a marketing prospective it was becoming a real problem. Dividing up my shop was especially troublesome. The clear answer was to split off the Geekery, leaving Chained to the Strange to be what it originally intended to be, a mailling blog.
Hence, Nostalgic Nerdom was born! There will be my geekery, and my geek musings. It's still pretty empty at the moment, but take the time to become a Fan on Facebook and check out the galleries for a sneak peak!
That said, this blog will still be only occasionally updated. Mostly when I'm doing major projects or special events.
Hope to see you on Nostalgic Nerdom!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Chained to the Strange started as your source for Chainmaille, and a little bit of geekery. Over the last few months the maille has really taken a backseat to the other projects, especially since I sprained my wrist.
Posted by Jennifer the Geeky at 6:54 PM
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Classes have started again, meaning my attention is greatly divided.
Most of my work on the shops has been transferring over my main selling venue back to etsy. I love Artfire dearly, I think they're better run, and better features, better admins... but they are lacking in traffic. I don't have time to drive the traffic to Artfire myself, so, back to etsy I go!
That said, I have played with my perler beads a little. Check out the awesome Robot Pendant! His arms, legs and body are free to move and dance about!
I've also brought over the current stock of d20 Pendants!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I've had the blogger interface open for 3 days now (what, turn off the computer? For shame!) planning to post. But, I kept putting it off because I wanted to finish my new project! Well, things still aren't quite finished, but I am so in love with the new set of banners I have for my Artfire Studio, and for ads and whatnot!
Such as... my new banner!
I'm so happy with how the style turned out. Simple enough that it doesn't annoy the viewer, but very eye catching! As one person commented, it's very reminiscent if a 50s Sci-fi title, or a comic book. Geekery indeed! Let me know what you think!
I still have a lot to do with the studio itself, I have a number of circuit board items to list, and more pictures to take, but it's coming together! Focusing on a theme will make things much more marketable, jewelry on a whole is difficult to do.
Closing off with my animated square!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I... am a geek. I've mentioned this before, and I keep proving it over and over.
My order of d20s finally came in, and I spent Saturday drilling holes in them. But totally worth it!
I have a couple up at my Artfire shop, and will be listing more later. But, if you'd like to have any of these just send me a message and I'll see if it's still in stock!
Also new in the shop are some pixelly fun!
We have some gamer goodness:
And I am in LOVE with this duck. I don't know what it is about it, the cute little bill, or maybe the adorable googly eye, but it just screams SQUEE!
Friday, May 7, 2010
I love the categories feature (which they call shop sort) that I get by being pro at Artfire. I'm a lil... obsessed... with keeping things tidy (online anyway!), and this and the other sorting features let me keep things tidy. Check out all the other amazing features! If you want to upgrade, lemme know, I still have a couple of codes for the lower rate :D
I've been doing some tidying in my shop, and decided to do a feature on each of the categories to show off some of the beauties that have missed their time in the spot light :)
This earrings are SO customizable! I personally have a half dozen pairs in various colors that I've made to match my outfits. At $5 a pair, they're perfect for every day and for evening! If you want 5 or more, message and I'll do 5/$20 for you :)
Want something more dynamic? These are also highly customizable, but the micromaille gives this piece amazing movement.
For for an even more striking bit of dangle? Check out this scale earrings! Still just as customizable, but also make a lovely tinkle sound as you move! Perfect for performers both on the stage, and off it!
As you may have noticed, I love customizing any and off of my pieces. Custom orders are just more fun! Even if you are just wondering if something is possible, head over to my Artfire Studio and send me a message!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I admit it, I love dice. When I got a custom order recently asking for gold plated d20s (that's a 20 sided die) I was in heaven! Digging through dozens of gaming sites, looking at all the beautiful colors. Yes, I may just be a bit of a geek.
One thing every gamer needs is a way of transporting their favorite dice! Making these bags are almost as fun as playing with the dice themselves. Of course, you can put many other things in these as well, some of the more elegant designs make for great evening bags!
But, for the geek at heart, a triforce protecting your precious cargo:
As previously mentioned, shiny dice are my friend. And I know I'm not alone in the need to collect epic looking dice. So why keep them hidden? Show them off with this loose weave bag:
I've got a lot of supplies on the way, the sci-fi convention cleaned me out! Here's a sneak peak at what you might be seeing in the future:
Saturday, May 1, 2010
More or less anyway. I think I'm physically incapable of taking a "real" vacation.
However, I am spending a week and a bit at my parent's place. Eating their food, and generally being lazy. But, I get bored easily, so I'm still playing around with my wires :)
Gave wire braiding another go, this time using 19g copper only. MUCH MUCH easier! I brought home some 20g aluminum that I might try later. I'm still getting the hang of finishing the ends, but I think having one longer to wrap around might fix that in the next one. There's also the issue of how to have them keep their shape. Maybe wire a 12g frame onto it?
The other thing I've finished as of today is this lil japanese ball. Nice bright colors!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Happy Earth Day, or as one person called it "The day Google turns their logo into a tree."
I live fairly green, mostly out of need. I don't have a car and cabs are expensive, so public transportation and walking for me! Today had the added bonus that they were giving out reusable bags on the bus, yay! I never can get enough of these things.
One thing that's being batted around is sustainability in crafting. Some forms of crafting are very plastics heavy, and the items created are... well take a look over at Regretsy for how useful some of these items are. Crafters has the ability to take forgotten items and make them beautiful (upcycling), dismantling unsuccessful creations for new items (especially true for us chainmaillers! And beaders to a large degree), and choosing items which are green for supplies.
Upcycling has to be one of my favorite things some crafters do (and me soon!). Yes, there are some absolutely terrible examples, but that's true of most things. There is so much geeky goodness to be had out there!
How about this blast from the past by RussellDornan?
I could certainly use the memory boost TransientTreasures is providing!
And for those days that you need a little bit extra resistance, my own creation!
What's your favorite upcycled creation you've seen?
Monday, April 19, 2010
This! Is! Madness!
Anyone who's ever been to a convention knows that even a small one means you are running on junk food and coffee in substitute for sleep. This explains why I slept for 13 hours last night and woke up with a headache! Add in the fact I had my last final exam during the con and you have even more chaos!
But I had a blast, sold a ton, and can't wait til next year! However, now that all that is over my attentions turn to my sorely neglected shops! My friend over at Angry Owl talked me into giving Etsy another shot, so I'm going to be setting up over there again at least partially. Btw, go check out her stuff! It's made of win AND awesome!
So look forward to tons of new stuff!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Taking a quick break from studying for my final exams and preparing for the up coming convention to bring you this! I've finally started getting the hang of glow photography (and learning that my camera has manual settings!), and would like to share what makes many of my pieces truly spectacular!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Where oh where has the mailler gone...
No where, I swear! I've been right here the whole time!... sorta.
I'm a full time student on top of mailling, so this time of year is naturally busy anyway... but add to that my biggest event of the year and it's full blown chaos!
I'm excited to be selling here this year, in addition to showing off my swanky trek costume!
However, I am but one person, and in all this time had to give. And that something was my online presence. I have severely neglected my shop, my blog, and even twitter. I did take some pics to drum up excitement for my table, and to show the organizers the piece I'm donating for their auction...
but that's about it.
However, once April 18th is done I will have some free time. First order of business... clean my house. The microwave is about to develop sentience and may be in cahoots with the toaster oven. Second is get a TON of stuff listed to Artfire. Seriously, there might be over two dozen new items to list! Third will be to get a backlog of posts done! I have a bunch of new styles and weaves I've been doing that I'm dying to share, but just have not had the time. Fourth will be to update my much neglected guilds.
I'm also going to be doing up a tutorial for one of the new weaves I've been doing! After I posted about it there was much confusion trying to put into words how to do it, so I'll do up some pics :D
Thanks for you patience those who still keep checking me out here! You can check out my Flickr page for a sneak peak for my upcoming listings (and for a sample of what I'll have at the Convention!). If you want to make sure I'm still alive at times like these, follow me on Twitter!
If you can't wait for me to list something that's on my flickr, send me an email/artfire convo and I'll get a custom listing done up for you if possible!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
First, thanks for the pliers advice! I'm making a trip to see what I can get soon and now I at least have an idea what to look for!
Also takes for noticing the feedburner issue :) When I was messing with the blog (tried to move to my server, moved it back, changed templates) a while ago a few bugs appeared that I never noticed, so letting me know is a great help!
I still haven't gotten pictures of my experiments, let alone work on them more. Any time you're self employed time management is always a challenge. There are lots of blogs out there that deal with this subject, and are better informed that I have time to be! While most of them deal with self employment when you have children, we can all use some advice.
Personally my biggest challenge is not neglecting school. Face it, creating/crafting/mailling is WAY more fun then writing a paper. Staying up late messing with wire is definitely preferable to getting early for a class you regret signing up for.
For me, the key is prioritizing. Once crunch time hits (finals and the biggest show of the year at the same time) I don't have time for many of the tricks. But I need to decide what I DO have time for. Yes, I might LIKE to spend three days learning HP3, but is that wise?
Make a list of everything you need to do. Then decide, do you *really* need to do that? What can you put off to when you're less busy (such as a store redesign), what can you ask for HELP (it's not a dirty word) with (ask your husband/girlfriend/roommate/parents/favorite second cousin/best friend to cook a couple of extra times), what absolutely has to be done, what should be done, and what needs to be done for your sanity.
The last point was one I needed to learn. Maybe that store redesign isn't vitally important. But is thinking about it keeping you up at night? Are you worrying about it to the point where you have trouble concentrating? Then it *is* a top priority. My boyfriend is a perfect example of this. He can't study while there are dirty dishes to be done, and I do mean can't. He drives him to distraction, and he is better off just spending the time to get it done and move on. If he's really swamped, he'll ask me if I can do it.
My mother is huge proponent of lists, and while it took me time to warm up to them it is worth it. How do you deal with the time crunches?
Since I have nothing to show today, here's something I'm currently lusting over!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
While I have a broad range of products, they use a lot of similar weaves. It's easy to see the Euro 4-in-1 similarities between my chainmaille tie, and chainmaille bags, but even things like this use the same weave:
I'm actually still a bit of a newb when it comes to mailling, and anything to with wire. Well the weekend I decided to try my hand at some new things. I don't have any pictures to share at the moment, mostly because the vast majority of the attempts no one will be allowed to see. So many tool marks!
First I tried full Full Persian. I was... surprised. This was a weave that last time I tried I ended up nothing but frustrated. This time it was as easy as making a ham sandwich. I think my proficiency in byz helped to understand how the rings needed to fold. That was happy.
Then I tried Half Persian. Not so good. It seemed like I was doing it right, but it just flops into a mess, beats me.
Then I tried to make ear cuffs. This was kind of successful. My Mum bought me a magazine while we were at the craft store for wire stuff (can't remember the title!) which included tutorials in how to make spirals and such. With this info I dove into making some cuffs. They actually turned out really well... shape wise. They'll take some practice to get even, but my biggest issue with it is tool marks. I end up with having to pick between marks due to slipping, or marks due to the teeth on my other needle nose pliers. I'm going to have a look for some coating and some stubbier pliers which might help. If anyone has any advice for this let me know!
Friday, February 26, 2010
As promised, my dice!
Ok, ok, MAYBE my imagination had gotten away from me a little and I was imagining enough to fill a small wading pool, but that giant d6 of DOOM completely makes up for it!
A close up of my d20s, which are destined for pendants for the most part. Not sure what I'll do with the blanks there at the top, but if nothing else the may for a good practice medium for my drill!
And pairs of d4s for earrings!
Hopefully Sunday I'll have some pics of my recent (non-dice) experiments!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I know I have a few maillers who follow, and we all know injuries are par for the course with this hobby. More than once I've stabbed myself with the pliers, often resulting in an (annoying) bandaid.
Well, this is a new one for me! In all my crafting experience I've never pulled a muscle. Sore hands, sure. Bad back from being hunch over, all the time! But no, this is an honest to goodness pulled muscle. I didn't believe it at first, and thought for sure I must have something else going on. I had a doctors appointment anyway today, and asked him to take a look just to be sure.
Sure enough, I have pulled my right oblique muscle. My side hurts when I laugh, or when I cough which I've been too a bit with this cold. I figure I must have done it the other day when I spent the majority of the day working either with stainless steel or 12g 1/2" aluminum rings. My hands certain gave me hell for it! I ben primarily with my right arm, so it makes sense... I guess.
Anyway, no more hard rings or weaves for a few.. weeks? Hopefully I don't sell out of my hacky sacs!
Any other weird crafting injuries guys?
Monday, February 22, 2010
I love scales, especially anodized aluminum ones! Their colors make for a great addition to any piece, and I tend to use them a lot. I find they add an extra dose of flare that really sets an item apart.
An example of adding an extra touch would be to my dream catcher:
And then you have items which the scales make the item. I'm really happy with how this one turned out, reminding me of laurel leaves! Only, you know, metal! One of my friends mentioned that it gives them a sci-fi kind of feel, which jives just fine with me! Maybe I'll try them in green next?
And then there's a scale piece that's dramatic all on its own! This necklace hangs beautifully across the neck, making any outfit extraordinary!
My order of dice should be in later the week... look forward to images from the gleeful box opening!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Balancing school and a social life can be hard enough when you're in university. Balancing school and a part time job even tougher. Balancing a home business and school? Near impossible.
I'm a full time student, and started mailling as a hobby. As anyone who is involved in chainmaille can attest to, it's addictive and quickly spirals out of control. You sell to pay for more supplies to play with!
(Because I totally need more rings)
I'm lucky that I have previous business experience, and a lot of skills that have made setting up Chained to the Strange easier. I've taken business writing classes, know web design, some graphic design, and have experience with marketing. However, I'd never been a sole proprietor.
With classes there's always one more thing that needs to be worked on, the same goes with your home business. Something I'm learning, luckily early, is that you really do have to treat it like a job. You need to set at least an hour every day, and a minimum of 10 hours a week to keep things running. Yes, there is the advantage that if need be you and push things off for a day or two, but make sure you make up the time!
But, the main thing I have found is this. Don't confuse work for fun! It seems simple enough, but is really easy to over look with a hobby-turned-business. You aren't going to enjoy every part of it, and some of it will get tedious. There's a few weaves that I hate doing, and of course they're popular. Making those items aren't fun, and I shouldn't expect them to be. It's easy to see working on Chained to the Strange as a break from school work, but it's not a guaranteed break from stress.
How you balance is an individual thing. For me calenders and deadlines help a great deal. To-do lists are also an effective means. But really, the right mind set is half the battle!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Anyone growing up in the 80-early 90s remembers Bob the Painter. I can't remember why we used to watch him, but I do remember me and my sister watching him paint his paintings, totally unaware that it was supposed to be teaching us something (like most PBS shows of the time). One thing that sticks out was his love of "happy accidents."
Well, when you order as much online as I do, there are bound to be happy accidents. The first was when I ordered 1" aluminum rings. I got my package (which has a lot different products in small amounts, I was intending to experiment), opened up, and cursed. "What the *bleep* am I going to do with this" was probably my exact words.
Well, one day while trying to make celtic stars I was getting frustrated. Mine were so floppy they looked dumb. I needed somehow to get them to hang without drooping!
Then inspiration struck!
Since then I've been using the 1" rings so much I had to order more, I make a wide range of "dreamcatcher" style pendants now! And all thanks to a Happy Accident.
Why do I bring this up now? Well, it happened again.
Not sure why or how, but I ended up with TEN bags of 12g 5/8" ID blue AA rings. 1500 rings that I had no idea what to do with. It seemed like such a waste, they'd never get used. But, given my past experience, I set to work doing some basic weaves with them to see how it worked. Other than my hands hating me (perhaps doing this on the same day I just started with SS was a bad idea), I'm pleased. Almost pleased enough to order a mixed bag of the size!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Many changes over at my Artfire store! New header, colors, categories, and more!
Why all this sudden tidying up? Because I won this contest put off by Artfire, and soon will have an influx of visitors!
What would a post be without pictures?
This isn't in my store yet because I have no idea what size it is... but it's one I'm proudest of! It's titanium, with 1/16th inch rings. TINY AND HARD.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Only a couple new pieces to photograph and share in the future, been busy with Winter-een-mas (gaming holiday!) and selling my wares, so mostly just been ring monkeying.
However I did snap a couple of shots of my organized chaos!
That's not including a lot of my larger spools of wire, chains, ribbon and other odds and ends that I keep loose. in the top of my storage container storer. I got one of them for Christmas from my awesome Mom, and later bought another for myself. I want to get the medium sized one too, they're just so super handy!
Here's another look at my pile of stock. It seems like a lot more when trying to set up quickly!
And here's how it looks neat. This is an older photo, I'll have one next week of my flea market set up. If anyone has suggestions on how to display belly dancing coin skirts so they DON'T take up my entire table I'd be grateful! This particular image was taking from an Art Show I attended in September. Don't let that sun fool you, it was COLD!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
First! Want to let all my local followers that I will be attending the 2010 Total Exposure show on February (what a retarded name for a month...) 4th. It's from 6-9 at the College of the North Atlantic on PPD. If you're in St. John's I hope to see you there!
Second, want to share some pretty new items!
First is a scale choker that I'm in love with, it's so nice to just run over my hands!
Next is a simpler but even more elegant ribbon choker. I also have a larger size of this, but the ribbon isn't as pretty, too shear and doesn't give as much definition to the maille. The original version didn't have the handy dandy hidden clasp, but I added it on the advice of a friend.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Finally had a break in the studies (sort of) to add some new products to the store! Over a dozen new items, so go check it out on Artfire!
Since there are so many, I'll just show some of my favorites for now :)
Yup, that's the molecular structure for our favorite chemical!
Anyone else having flashbacks?
I made this one a bit big, but it'll look great on a larger guy! That's made from an actual network cable, I have the scar on my pinky to prove it! On a side note, network cable casings are tougher that I thought.
This is probably my second favorite item currently! <3
You may have noticed a severe lack of chainmaille this post. Have no fear! I've been trying out my new crafting supplies for making these, so have an abundance of such items. I've spent a good part of today making some more chainmaille related items to build up my stock for the upcoming months, including a couple of twists on old items! Look forward to them in the coming weeks!