Polymer Clay Adventures – Feathers and Dragons and Tentacle-y-things…

I’ve decided to dive back into the madness that is polymer clay. It’s been fun having a fiddle and a play with the squishy stuff again. I used to enjoy sculpting though it’s been almost two decades since I picked up any sort of clay. As a teenager I used to make cake toppers for my mother’s Christmas cakes and it was something that I always enjoyed in school, but 20 years means that there’s been a huge lapse in the skill set and polymer clay isn’t exactly like working with sugar past or mud clay. Polymer clay has a bit of a rebounding rubbery type texture when sculpting it which takes a little getting use to. Not to mention my fingers are all thumbs and shakiness which makes fine detail somewhat tricky.

I was inspired again by a challenge in the Australian Beading Forum group on Facebook, posted by my friend, the insanely talented Neva of Nifty Creations. What was it? Dungeons and Dragons, of course. Even though I’ve never really played the game except to steal a few ideas for some fantasy fiction I occasionally write, I was all over this.

The chance to make some fantasy themed jewellery? HELL YES! I had been wanting to do something like this for ages and it was just the push that I needed to get started.

The challenge came in the form of the requirement of using two different mediums with which to create a piece that went with the theme. Oh well, nothing like a challenge to inspire new learning! Since I am neither a wire-worker or a clayer, so naturally I decided that those two mediums would be the most fun to use!

And by “fun” I actually mean frustrating swear-word-inducing and almost-marriage-ending tantrums as a result of using…

Anyway…

I knew I needed some practice before I started, and of course I had to buy ALL THE THINGS that go with claying, so I marched on down to Spotlight and bought a week’s wages worth of stuff to add to the collection of bits and pieces that another friend had kindly donated for me to use.

And then I jumped in and started making stuff.

This was the first project I’d done a couple months ago:

Renlish.com - Clay Play - Feathers
Feathery, pearly goodness!

These feathers are based off a tutorial by Mandarin Ducky which you can find here on Youtube and they were lots of fun to make. Unfortunately that same day the manbeast was helping me open a packet of blades (for cutting clay) and ended up gashing the tops of his fingers quite badly. On his painting hand. He still hasn’t forgiven me.

After that successful first step, I wanted to try something a little more sculptural and opportunity came knocking when another friend posted a picture of a polymer clay and dicro cabochon pendant that she’d fallen in love with on Facebook. So I made her one…

Renlish.com - Polymer Clay - Tentacle-y Thing!
A rip-off of someone else’s idea.

I make absolutely no allusions to the fact that I am the original creator of this style of pendant. This is an exact copy (mostly) of the picture I saw on Facebook. I just happened to have the right sort of cabochon and the clay on hand to make it.

So all of that leads us to this, the Dragon Shade.

“The Dragon Shade is a powerful amulet said to be carved from the scale of a slain black shadow dragon. Its jewel holds the spirit of the beast which can be unleashed upon unwary heroes with an arcane spell.

(Which means if you come across anyone wearing this amulet, run. Run far, far away. Run very quickly.)”

Renlish.com - Polymer Clay - Dragon Shade Amulet
As evil as it is pretty.

Technical: Blood, sweat, tears, and many swear words. Also polymer clay sculpting and Viking weave as well as a bit of beaded chain and some coiled and oxidized copper end caps.

All by hand.

I need a freakin’ drink.

The Weekly Bindi – Week 14 to 18, Cheater’s Edition

Ok, so I lost count with my Weekly Bindis.

In my defence, I had a lot going on. I went on a whimsical weekend with my husband and I was busily preparing for my epic-but-very-short trip to the USofA – from which I am still recovering after getting back a couple days ago already.

But for now, here is a collection edition of The Weekly Bindi. And by collection I mean cheating with one session when my cat was being ultra cute shortly before I left on my adventure.

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“Zzzzzzzzz…”

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“You, again with the camera?”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“Can’t you just pet me? Here – here’s my tummy… Rub it. You know you want to.”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“No belly rubs?”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“Fine… Then prepare for…”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“THE FUZZY CHIN!”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“She resisted the fuzzy chin. She is more powerful than I thought…”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“Fuck it, goin’ back to sleep.”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“Ooohh, NOW you finally pet me!”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“Wait… where you go?”

The Weekly Bindi – Week 13 – Of Bindis and Bald Spots

I know that I have fallen behind with my Weekly Bindi.  Pictures have been taken, I just haven’t been able to get on to post them.

See, I am going bald.

Slowly.

Painfully slowly.

But steadily.

It’s a slow-burn sort of agony in the same way that orgasms are a slow-burn sort of agony, only NOWHERE near as much fun.

But it’s that sort of loss where I can see it and very few other people can.  Those who see me every day can see it.

And a few days ago I actually discovered a bald patch that’s appeared.  It’s not completely bald as such, but only the ultra-fine baby hairs that never grow are there. Cue breakdown.

Yep. Very little hair there.
Yep. Very little hair there. But don’t my cheekbones look awesome?

I am not a vain person. I try not to be. But in my life, my one redeeming feature was my hair. Long, naturally honey-blonde, and dense. It’s always been fine but very dense. Not anymore, sadly.

For the past ten or so years, I’ve had a handful bouts of what is called Telogen Effluvium. It’s the natural process of hair-loss but it’s dialed up to eleven. Sadly, each time this has happened, my hair has never fully recovered even though, technically, it’s supposed to grow back as it normally would as hair follicles move out of the resting phase. What has prompted these bouts of effluvium has always been a mystery to me. I know the first time was a reaction to some medication and massive stress. These subsequent times… I am clueless.

And I’m stressing over it.

And of course, the vicious cycle continues apace.

Needless to say, it’s been a distraction.

Anyway, here’s a picture of Bindi and I, cuddling on the couch while watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

"I know you're taking pictures again, Mum."
“I know you’re taking pictures again, Mum.”

The Weekly Bindi – Week 12… and corsets… and OMGI’MGOINGTOAMURRIKA!

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“I’m cuter than that kitten you’re watching on Youtube, right mum? RIGHT MUM?!”

I actually can’t remember what video I was watching, but I was cackling away and then all of a sudden I felt the SCRAMBLE-THUD of Bindi on the bed. She started on my hip and slowly worked her way up my back until she was within petting reach and purring happily into my ear as I obliged her.

And then of course I flipped the webcam on and took a couple of shots. She didn’t mind so much. It’s cold now and I was the warmest spot in the house.

Anyway… last weekend I went to OzComicCon at the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings in Carlton in search of all things geeky and nerdy and, joy of joys, I found it! I have become somewhat obsessed with cosplay after my first experience playing at SupaNova a couple months ago and I’m now part of Facebook cosplay group where some local talent show off their amazing work and works in progress for up-coming conventions.

Sadly I didn’t get any pictures at OzComicCon because I was simply unprepared for the amount of people there and the crush inside the exhibition hall but the bro in-law and I are planning a visit to Armageddon to take pictures of the awesome cosplayers that show up there. And I know there will be many!

The other reason I went to OzCC was to go looking for bits to add to my steampunk costume.

Because…

Renlish.com - DragonCon
DragonCon. ATLANTA, GEORGIA, USofA, BABY!!!!

I am going to DragonCon!

I’m going to AMURRIKA!

Yes, due to the extreme kindness and generosity of a dear, dear friend, I have found myself America-bound for one of the biggest conventions in that country.

AND I AM STOKED.

Because I don’t really have the body to be comfortable cosplaying most of the characters that I like, I am sticking with what makes me look good and feel good and to that end, I’m joining the American steampunk ranks and revisiting my steampunk costume. Steampunk is huge over in the States so I’m hoping to see some amazing stuff at DragonCon.

As my original corset is looking somewhat sad at the moment, I decided to go corset hunting at OzCC with one of my mates and my mother and, at Wonderland Corsets, found the most glorious corset I think I have ever seen and when the helpful shop lady strapped me into it, it looked like it was made to fit me. I had a perfect hour-glass, my boobs looked awesome and my back-cleavage all but vanished. I bought it immediately. Who wouldn’t?

Renlish.com - Corset of Wonderment
Steel-boned gorgeousness.

I cannot wait to wear this baby out with my new, pimped-out costume.

The Weekly Bindi (and friend) – Week 11

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi

The only way you can see Dugite’s stripes is if you put false ones on her. She is actually a stripy tabby.

“…She can only disguise, and only for those eager to believe whatever comes easiest. She cannot turn cream into butter, but she can make a lion look like a manticore to eyes that want to see a manticore. Just like she put a false horn on a real unicorn so they can see the unicorn. I know you. If I were blind, I would know what you are…” Schmendrick, The Last Unicorn, Peter S Beagle

The Weekly (back to)Bindi – Week 9

Another sort-of selfie with the Bindipuss this evening.

She was just being so cuddly that I didn’t want to move to go get my camera, so I turned the laptop around and this happened:

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“Mmmm… a little to the right…”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“OMG I LUV DIS LAP!”
Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“Waaaaaait a minnit! You’re taking pictures again, aren’t you?”

Oh yes… Yes, I am, Bindi. And we’re only up to week 9.

The Weekly Bindi – Week 7

My cat has a weird habit.

She likes to be with me.

That in itself is not weird but the fact that we’ve got a whole house of beds and couches and open-shelf wardrobes with lots of comfy warm clothes to snuggle into and get hair all over and yet… she chooses to curl up on boxes or plastic bags or guitar amplifiers instead.

I’m in the computer room right now and where is she?

Curled up on the box my new keyboard came in, right behind me.

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
Comfortable Cat is Uncomfortably Comfortable.

Both very sweet and infuriating.

The Weekly Bindi – Week 6

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
Watching the birdies from the couch.

So, we had a bit of a scare this week.

On Wednesday evening after popping in on Mum on the way home from work, I was greeted by a scene out of a horror movie.

Pools of very bloody bile everywhere.

It seems that Bindi’s tummy irritation flared up in a huge way again and she had thrown up all over the house.

My little Bindipuss wasn’t quite herself. She was wandering around the place looking a bit off. No winding figure eights around my ankles trying to trip me up as I walked down the hallway. No trying to herd me towards the food bowl. No noise.

It was the “no noise” bit that worried me the most. Anyone who knows Bindi knows she is a vocal cat when it comes to when she thinks it’s dinner time (aka ALL THE TIME) so for her to be near silent and not begging for food? Was not good.

Upset, I wandered around and cleaned up all the mess, getting increasingly distressed as I found each new puddle – the next one slightly bloodier than the last. I could track her movements through the house.

So the next day we were off to the vet for a new round of investigations and ended up bringing her home again with some new meds which, while they had the advantage of settling her nausea, also totally killed her appetite and even will to drink anything. I had to force-feed her water with a syringe to make sure she stayed hydrated because I wasn’t about to let a repeat of the near disaster of two years ago happen again. Three more days of this and I couldn’t take it so Saturday morning I took her back to the vet and cried “TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER!”

He couldn’t really give me an answer – the little shit of an animal was, by all outward appearances, fit as a fiddle. She didn’t even have a temperature. So of course the vet was looking at me as if saying, “Woman, you are wasting my time” while going through the motions of telling me everything that he didn’t think was wrong with her. In the end we mutually agreed to take her off the medication (with the exception of the gel for her hyperthyroid) and see if her appetite came back. So long as she wasn’t throwing up anymore, she was in no danger of expiring.

Sure enough, a day later and with no extra meds in her system, she’s now picking at food and getting noisy again.

The relief is, of course, short-lived. Noisy Bindi is very, very annoying.

But I’ll still take Noisy Bindi over Scarily Quiet Bindi any day.

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
“Are you really gonna take more photos, Mum? I. Don’t. Think. So.”

And since she was posing so nicely, I managed to get another nice shot of Dugite before she decided to go “Nope, nope, nope” and wander off again.

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi
This cat always looks like she’s thinking “Fuck you, human.”