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Enchanted Lakes Renaissance Faire

For the third year in a row, Bramblefae Boutique was at the Enchanted Lakes Renaissance Faire and Marketplace, and as always, it was a wonderful, great time! I was set up near the pub, same as the last couple of years, although my booth faced toward the pub, instead of toward the lake (thanks to some pretty torrential rainfall the day before.), and I got to see and talk to A LOT of people.

Not too shabby, yeah?
Not too shabby, yeah?

This is the first year that I did not sell the elf ears off my head, but I did make a pair on the fly for someone who lamented that a pair they’d been eyeing was gone when they got back. Maybe I’m a dork, but I really do enjoy doing commissions and custom work. For the first time, I was pretty happy with my booth set up, although I can tell that I will need to add another 6 foot table to the mix before I do any more events.  I’ve also, thanks to Pinterest (ha!), really gotten a handle on displays. I had several folks ask if I would make my “Illuminated manuscript” ring displays for sale, which made me laugh.

You can see my "manuscript" display past all the parts and pieces. :D
You can see my “manuscript” display past all the parts and pieces. 😀

It’s one of my favorite times of year, but now that it’s done, I’m looking forward. Next week, the shop will be back open, I will be taking custom orders again, and I will be blogging more regularly. 😀  Till then, folks!

 

Bramblefae Commissions

Wicked, Wicked Crown

I’ve talked about this a bit on twitter and on Facebook, but I’ve not been able to talk about it much until now. 🙂

See, I was tasked with making a crown that was dark and rough and evil looking. I was given a reference pic

"Can you do this, only dark?"
“Can you do this, only dark?”

I was also pointed toward Ravenna from Snow White and the Huntsman.

How Badass is that?
How Badass is that?

With those two pics in hand, I went to work.  I’m not gonna lie at all, this was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, wire-wise. I wanted it to look rough and raw, but I didn’t want it too look like I just threw shit together.  It’s also the first time I worked with raw gemstones of any kind. (In this case, it was a raw garnet that fit comfortably into the palm of my hand. Huge.)

Fairly badass, as well, yes? :p
Fairly badass, as well, yes? :p

The chains were fun, because I have a drawer in the studio that is (Well, *was*, at this point lol) full of random chains that I pick up all over the place-yard sales, clearance sales, broken jewelry-seriously, I don’t throw anything away. 🙂

Bonus shot of my creepy styrofoam head!
Bonus shot of my creepy styrofoam head!

I am super super proud of this and I cannot wait to see it, looking awesome, wicked-evil and fit for a queen, on the woman who’ll be wearing it. Trust me, folks, as soon as I get those pics this summer, I will be sharing them with you. 🙂

Bramblefae Commissions

A commission that isn’t jewelry!

I think this is the first time I’ve been commissioned to do a wire piece that isn’t jewelry. (And it’s not really a commission, more of an art trade. 🙂 )

She wanted two foxes, and after some very very basic sketching, I got her approval and went to work. 😀

Simple little foxes!
Simple little foxes!

I took that fabric (Which is actually a deeper version of that blue/teal color. Sorry for the terrible photo. ) and adhered it to card stock, then attached the foxes to it in this way, so that it can be framed when the recipient gets it! 😀  This was kind of nerve wracking for me, but I’m happy with how it turned out.  I really like commissions that take me outside my comfort zone. 🙂

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A different kind of commission

I recently had a pretty big commission for a thing I can’t show ya’ll yet. I had a stone left over from it and my 15 year old came to me and said, “If you’re not gonna use that one, can you make me a pendant?”  He’d never asked me to make him anything before, so of course I said yes.

Black titanium treated "Druzy" quartz
Black titanium treated “Druzy” quartz

It’s just a simple bit of wrap to hold the stone in place. He wears it pretty much every day. 😀

Bramblefae Commissions

A poignant commission

This recent commission centered around the idea of remembrance.  In this case, it was remembrance of a child lost.  I felt absolutely honored to be asked to do this, and I am very proud of the results.

Bracelet/cuff and earrings
Bracelet/cuff and earrings

I used silver Parawire (As always!), and sterling earring hooks. Also, for the first time, I used some traditionally “precious” stones, albeit rough cut. In the bracelet are 4 rubies and a blue sapphire, and in the earrings are 2 small emeralds and a Herkimer diamond.  I didn’t take process pictures of this one, but it was a more organic process than I sometimes do. Less sketches and more feeling the piece out. 🙂

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This one is mine!

I don’t often make myself jewelry, oddly enough.  When I go out, I’ll often grab pieces from my stock-rings or pendants or what-have-you-but rarely do I make something specifically for myself.

I ordered a piece of Icelandic Spar for my husband, and with it, they sent a decent sized chunk of fluorite. I love it a lot! So, I made it into a pendant. 🙂

Pretty pretty fluorite.
Pretty pretty fluorite.

I wrapped it in rose gold Parawire, and put it on a length of suede and I wear it all the time, it seems!

Why do the thing?

Why Elf Ears?

I have loved fantasy creatures since sometime around 9th grade (age 15-ish) when I discovered a book in the school library by Piers Anthony. (I don’t remember which one I read first and I’ve since read A LOT of his work. 🙂 ) I had a thing for unicorns mostly (Thank you, Lisa Frank!) and I still have one ceramic unicorn that my grandmother cast, fired and painted for me back then. (She had a kiln in the basement and molds and everything. She made all sorts of stuff. My gramma was pretty cool.)

 

Then I discovered D&D as a young adult and it was pretty much all over. I fell in love with the idea of elves (And especially half elves #TeamAngst! ).  Anyway, to stop this story from meandering any more, I eventually learned that there were actual fake elf ears you could glue onto your own ears.  I swore I would wear them every day, even to the grocery and everywhere.

The packaging, though. :)
The packaging, though. 🙂

 

Which is all wonderful and there are so many designers and molders of great prosthetic ears, but I discovered that I really really hate spirit gum. 🙂  So, when I started working with wire, I also spent a lot of time on Pinterest (That place is both awesome and scary. 🙂 ), because I wanted to learn ALL THE THINGS about wire wrapping.  In there I saw a picture of someone wearing wire elf ears, and my whole world changed. *grin*

MoreEarsAgain

I’ll admit that I do some cringing when I see pictures of my older ears. I’ve gotten a good bit better at what I do in the last few years.  This year, I’m working on making some that are smaller and more streamlined for folks who like the idea but don’t want or need so much sparkle. You know, more of a practical whimsy. 🙂 Throughout the coming months, I’ll be showing off some of the things I’ll have at Enchanted Lakes Renaissance Faire so you’ll be able to see them soon!

Fan Art

On being a fan

Aside from making jewelry, I am kind of a nerd. This nerdiness is, in large part, responsible for Bramblefae Boutique.  If I’d never developed my love for elves and faeries, I would never have wanted a pair of elf ears that didn’t use spirit gum.  Would I have come to jewelry design from some other way? Maybe, but I am pretty content with the way things have gone and are going. 🙂

 

At any rate, back in November, a video game came out.  Not just any game, but the third installment of the Dragon Age series, Inquisition.  I could write a blog post about my love for this world, but that can wait. The short version is that I fell in love with an elf in that game (This shocks no one who knows me.). This particular elf, called Solas, wears part of a wolf’s jawbone as a necklace.

Pajama Wearing elf
Pajama Wearing elf

I’ve done different sorts of fan art before, writing and drawing, but I’d never tried to make a piece of game inspired jewelry.  So, after some poking and prodding at wire, a few incantations (not really) and some assorted curse words, I came up with a stylized version of Solas’ necklace.

Not an elf bootie.
Not an elf bootie.

It’s been pretty popular, and yesterday, it was featured on the Dragon Age website as a part of their ongoing series “Fanquisition”.

I tried to write a post about it last night, but I was pretty excited, and very flighty. 🙂  This is all very cool and inspiring to me, to be honest.

Before Christmas, I was very frustrated with the business and with myself. I won’t go into it, but there was a lot of self doubt. 🙂  This experience, though, has shown me that this really *is* what I need to be doing, and it’s made me a little more fearless about 1)trying new things with regards to jewelry and 2)showing my ideas to folks. 🙂

 

So, thank you folks, seriously. Thank you. And keep watching because there will be many cool things coming your way from me this year. 🙂

~BFae

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New year, new things

Like this blog!

It’s going to have a bit of a slow start, probably, as I work out the format and the kinds of things I want to share with folks. 🙂

Things you should know at the beginning, though:

~It’ll mostly pertain to jewelry (especially my own pieces. 🙂 )

~I think I’m funnier than I am, maybe.

~I can’t promise I’ll post with any sort of regularity. One hopes, but still.

~I will overuse smilies.

*claps hands together brisky* Ok! Let’s see how this goes, yes? 😀

~T