allow me to introduce you to a culinary delight: squashtatoes. jessie first concocted of these when we had some butternut squash delivered in our organic bin & no clue what to do with it. she boiled it & mixed it 1:1 with potatoes, & OMG. i didn't know anything except garlic could make mashed potatoes even more delicious than they are to begin with. a recent organic bin came with THREE butternut squashes, so i smashed those with a previous bin's two enormous idaho potatoes & a pound & a half of fingerlings with their skin, & i'm in starchy root heaven.
i also earned a pie this week by doing a favor for a girl who works at three girls bakery in the market. she asked livejournal for a tech favor, i responded, & i've been homphing fantastic apple/cherry cinnamony awesomeness all week while converting a few audio dvds for her.
otherwise, i've booked tickets for gorthok & i to hit philly at the end of may, so heads up if you're in the area. OK NOW WHAT.
tulipwood in ebony - http://community.livejournal.com/stretched/4949286.html:
ok! my tulipwood in ebony plugs from blackheart organics have arrived.
billi mailed me pics before sending, & at first i saw a bit of glue on the inlays & some parts looked slightly undersanded. i emailed back with these concerns, & the next round of pics looked much better. there's one funny spot on the ebony where it's maybe just the barest edge of a knot, but it's tiny & acceptable. the wood's well polished, very smooth to the touch. the inlay edge is nearly perfect on one side of each plug, & just a little rough on the other. what i've noted here is being completely anal retentive; all things considered, i'm very pleased! there is NO "sealant" on these plugs, by my request.
plus, billi sent me a bit of extra tulipwood so i could make this from the other diablo ebony eyelet i bought from BAF. it was NOT easy to dremel & sand down a 4mm wooden cone & not sand my fingers off, haha. it would've been far less effort to just paint a fake match, but hell... i already had the ebony. :)
i'm happy to post the first positive review of this company. my plugs show billi CAN produce the work we're looking for - i think he just didn't realize what this community sees as an acceptable baseline for organic jewelry. stretched is legion. & to that end, i'm working on getting him to join up so he can promote his work (& handle any problems) completely on his own. he seems like a really nice guy, & was very sweet & accommodating in email with me.
(for those who like to reminisce, my other recent posts have been metalinked here & in earlier posts on my lj.)
another DIY painted match - http://community.livejournal.com/stretched/4963560.html:
recently, i asked bill about making a 4ga match for the blue glass plugs i bought from him ages ago, back when he actually had time to put his own designs up on his etsy page (sigh!). he replied that he no longer has the glass to make a match, & i wept bitter tears. (or i immediately forgot about it, either way.) anyhow, joe likes them a lot, but i don't wear them very often, & i didn't know what to do to match them. so they sort of sank to the bottom of the matchmaking pile.
i had some time & inspiration this week, though, & i found out that it's not very easy to make teal paint. :) just like my neptune match, this is acrylic paint on top of my other 4ga GWS kind-of-neptune/pluto-attempt, sealed with clear nailpolish.
the pics are very slightly deceptive - the dark blue doesn't show up nearly as much in regular light (in the glass OR the acrylic), so they match even better in person than in these pics. i tried to capture a good non-flash photo for you guys, but it wasn't happening. anyway, i'm pleased!
the red spiral dichro quest continues - http://community.livejournal.com/stretched/4964870.html:
i have a pair of red 7/8" spiral dichro incoming in april thanks to thuglyorgan_ism spotting it in a shop & remembering me. if it ends up being Very Red, i'm going to try to have bill resize it to my 3/4". in the meantime, though, i've been working on a bit of DIY...
these are 18mm silver spiral plugs i bought from wildcat for super cheap back when they first put their IS stock on clearance. one day i suddenly realized that a red transparent enamel would make these look pretty damned close to what i wanted. that said, it seems impossible to find a red enamel transparent enough to actually allow the silver to shine through.
so i ended up covering them with red sharpie, but that couldn't be sealed in clear nailpolish, as the acetone in nailpolish removes sharpie. that's when i took this pic:
that's fine for bme, but the sharpie would rub right off the glass if i touched it. no bueno. so i started thinking of other methods of sealing them...
& i ended up with some high gloss spray-on acrylic. i first cut some 18mm holes in a piece of cardstock, & made a slit to the edge so i could pop the plugs in. i taped up the slit & put an o-ring on the back of each plug so i could press it tight to the cardstock. thus only the front flares were exposed:
several coats of acrylic later i have a decent finished job! the spray-on stuff isn't perfectly smooth, but there are no bubbles, & the color makes up for pretty much anything. ;)
proof that they're still silver under the DIY work!
as with all my 18mm plugs, i've given them a couple wraps of bondage tape back up to my proper 3/4" (19mm). & as with all my plugs, i, uh, made a match. it's a sickness, i'm sorry. (i'm not sorry.)
i had a 4ga DF IS silver dichro plug that i never wear with anything. so i cut out a tiny spiral from masking tape, stuck it on the plug, painted a couple coats of black nailpolish over it, peeled off the tape, sharpie'd the silver, & did the whole cardstock-cut-out-spray-acrylic thing again. here's a backlit pic after i finished the spiral:
& mostly finished. i still need more acrylic to even the surface, but that'll take boring days of letting coats dry, so this'll do.
edit: i've finished!
prizmatic cabs finished - http://community.livejournal.com/stretched/4993121.html:
i bought two pairs of 21mm cabs from prizmatic a while back, & she was totally able to make some 7mm matching cabs. i'd absolutely buy from her again.
here are mandy's pics:
i tried mounting the small green spirals first because i didn't value them as much as the red, & it's a good thing i did. i used my blue superglitters as the base. (i decided that blue color doesn't really work on me, but man my ears LOVE superglitters. they're nice & thin, & for some reason my ears always feel happy & moisturized after wearing them. cheapass acrylic? NO idea why.)
the green ones change color quite a bit - the in-ears were taken with flash, & the close-ups are natural light. walking around various light sources in my apartment changes them basically between those ranges.
anyhow, they ended up grossly front-heavy in just gluing them to the superglitters, so i COULD wear them with the front "seam" in my lobe, but that certainly isn't a great way to go. in-ear they look fine, but i'm going to detach them & maybe try again later. i'm not as stoked on the color on me anyway, so i may just pass the cabs to someone else.
the larger, sort of fanciful spirals are on translucent red, & they're much more appealing. for these, i used some of the 20mm ugly ikon plugs i bought for a buck each on wildcat sale. learning from the greens, i dremel'ed off the entire front flare, sanded the edge smooth with some 600 grit, & superglued them on. i was originally thinking about putting them on clear or red acrylic to preserve the translucency of the glass, but they were more visually interesting when held up to black.
same thing re:flash in these pics - the out-of-ear pics are more true to life; they're not as yellow as the in-ears look. i like them a lot - they're fun & sparkly, but more fancy than just wearing dichro.
moss agate inlay + match - http://community.livejournal.com/stretched/4994914.html:
when splatterhouse posted her DF 5/8" moss agate a while back, i was enamored. BAF had only a 11/16" pair which wasn't as exciting a cut or color, & i don't dig on undersized jewelry. so when splat put hers up for sale for $20, i bit.
i'm 3/4" & can wear 20mm, so i took a while thinking about how to inlay them. at first we'd tried kaos eyelets, but they ended up 21mm, which i didn't want to stretch to. the next best idea was having paul put them into ebony, but he could only do it as cabochons, which would require slicing the plugs in half. & he wasn't 100% certain that a 5/8" DF flare would leave enough room to set in a 3/4" DF flare anyhow.
eventually i figured i'd go safe, & just sand down one flare & inlay them with black silicone into acrylic eyelets like i did with my mirrorbacks. turned out it worked even better...
i chose which sides would be the "backs", then started dremel'ing them down slowly & testing the eyelets. i found the acrylic had just enough give to allow me to jam them through without sanding them all the way down to size. i used a hammer on top of padding to get the second one through, & it's perfect. the first one will spin in the eyelet if i force it, but it's not loose enough to rattle or move on its own.
before (splat's pics):
for the 4ga, i figured it'd be impossible to find matching stone, & BAF's out of 4ga anyhow, so i painted an acrylic plug. it was more complicated than other painted matches by far! i basically matched the green color with paint, but the clear nailpolish seal actually made the paint look yellowish. so i added some blue ink to the clear to rebalance it, at which point i'd lost the 'movement' i'd painted. i tried fixing it with some powder from resin & horn sanding i've been doing, but that vanished when i added the next layer of clear nailpolish. i ended up using a bit of white greasepaint gorthok had from halloween. i painted on a tiny bit & then softened it with my fingertip, making "clouds" to match the variations in the stone. more nailpolish to seal & it's done!
only in a super close-up can you even see that it's paint:
the agate is domed, so i also worked the nailpolish to give the plug a domed appearance. you can see this in-ear:
i've had a busy weekend! i also just ordered another set of cabs from mandy & more shit-cheap ikon bases from wildcat, so look for those soon. :D
supernova plugs? what? - http://community.livejournal.com/stretched/4998009.html:
click for huge
what are those?!
actually, they're amber purple colorfronts i purchased from skaforbreakfast, shown backwards. before, they were fully translucent to a reddish purple color. i painted the "fronts" with black nailpolish so they wouldn't be translucent, then removed an uneven halo of the nailpolish. these pics were all taken backlit by different light sources with various degrees of flash:
i think they really do look like supernovas now!
it's another painted match for this one, acrylic paint on GG DF clear glass, clear nailpolish seal. i was going to paint the back, but it just didn't show up well enough.
dear splatterhouse, i'm sorry all my awesome blue plugs make you go >:| & then ;_;. i promise you can pet them when you are in town.
lish's new travel box! - http://community.livejournal.com/stretched/5016788.html:
for an upcoming trip to PA, i decided i need a travel box for jewelry. i haven't been on any trips more than 2-3 days recently, so it's been fine to just pack an extra pair into the travel pouch i made. but gorthok & i will be in philly for five days, & i didn't want to be stuck with only two choices.
so i went looking for something small & hard-sided that could hold 5-6 pairs of plugs & survive at least a carry-on bag. i found what i was looking for at a local grocery store's hardware section. for four bucks, i got this box full of thumbtacks:
i lined each cell on all sides with stick-on felt:
& i made some further divisions using flexible burgundy plastic. these seem to stay in place just fine, even when shaken around. i may eventually go back & secure them into place by removing the horizontal felt from the four bigger cells & cutting longer pieces of felt into a sort of ][ shape to surround each divider. (hi, i'm lish & i overthink DIY stuff.)
here's a pic of it with five pairs of very protected plugs & their matches:
& the top has an impressionistic anatomical heart i made from the same silky material used for my travel pouch:
i also posted a new pic of my dreads for those interested in that sort of thing. click here.
great, now go.