12/31/10

Show and Tell

So y'all know TiltShift maker? It's a site that lets you upload photos and processes them to create a narrow depth-of-field, for neat effects.  Then you can download your picture and use it, say, for an eye-catching etsy listing.  
before:
   after:
This is the kind of effect you can achieve with a good camera set on a ... higher? f-stop...? lower? bigger? smaller? Yeah, I know all about camberuhs.
Here's one more I did.
before:
after:  
And now I can't remember why I ever stopped using it! Oh, yeah, on my old computer it would crap out. But these were created instantly. You can adjust where you want the focus, the size of the focus, the speed and strength with which it goes out of focus and even something called bokeh:
Which I just learned are those spots of light that show up in un-focused areas on pictures. Damn!
Except when I try to do it with my macro pictures, just these weird stripes appear:
Because the site is originally intended to make landscapes look like miniatures:
<-- This is a real landscape through tilt-shift maker!
So, that was my show-and-tell for tonight.

12/30/10

Today I took some more pictures. It was, like, 2 in the afternoon and already the artificial light overhead was dominating the light coming from the window. See the yellowish reflections?
Innavigable Soul. Salvaged Antique Glass in Soldered Setting. Innavigable Soul.
I also shmeared patina all over my life. It's not hard to rub off, to answer richelle's question. In fact, it has to be sealed to not rub off. 
If the World Goes On. Sacred Heart Milagro.If the World Goes On.
It keeps rubbing off the raised veins on this heart. I still have to work on this, some came off after this picture. Argh. Also, the metals you see are all different- solder, brass, copper, plated, raw, 'antique' finished, etc. It seems to act the same on everything. Well, that's cuz i was mostly using the 'Patina Stain.' But as far as I can tell, it's the same as the others just a bit thicker.
Nautilus. Salvage Wood Victorian Tribal Necklace.Nautilus.
The 'universal' and the 'dye oxide' seemed to just drip off everything. Plus they go on shiny and dry matte and that has been confusing. Novacan is on the one hand easier, on the other it eats away at my skin and doesn't get nearly as black as what you see here. Plus you have to put tons of it on anything that isn't solder and it's sucky on plated things. Though I'm still all about the Novacan, I do have a whoooole newfound respect for all of missficklemedia's things.
Darling Desperate Daughter. Soldered Patinated Crystal and Coin.Darling Desperate Daughter.
Here's a picture with the caged chandelier everyone liked, as you can see, its not as dark as the one picture made it seem. I'm having a lot of struggles with that. When you're improving the photographs, at what point do you begin mis-representing the items?
The Abode of Ineffable Things. Salvaged Wood in Soldered Bezel with Various Vintage Elements.The Abode of Ineffable Things.
I'm eye-ing these to mix w/my blacks, just cuz now I have so much damn black. I should give someone a bottle.
Violet - Patina SolutionSaffron Yellow - Patina SolutionPersian Indigo - Patina Solution
And I'll try not to keep showing the exact same pieces over and over. As I have in the last 3 posts.

12/29/10

So I tried to take some pictures.
  


The light was icky and the pictures turned out awful.
So I just used them as fodder for my photoshop practice.
It's growing dark at 4:00 so I never have time to take enough pictures. 
But that also has something to do with how I'm not fully up til after noon.

 Plus, I think there's solder dust in the wood grains in these two. There's all these little flecks on the pictures. I went and blurred them out one by one, but that doesn't look quite right either. Sometimes I think it's dishonest when I do that.
 Imna try rubbing or washing them out or something, then try again tomorrow.
 These, by the way, are antique glass buttons with broken shafts. And the little ones in the corners were a pain.
But I feel like I'm in a necklace/cord/bead rut lately and I have to try something new. 
 I got me some bottles of black patina from Sculpt Nouveau, which Spirited Earth recommended. I wasn't sure which type to get, cuz there were so many types, so I got a 'Universal Patina' and a 'Dye Oxide' and the company was kind enough to throw in a free bottle of 'Patina Stain'! And I swear they are all 3 the exact same thing
Also, I thought patina would be similar to Novacan, and I was so totally wrong. It's more like stinky gritty paint that actually sticks to metal, any kind. Or anything else anywhere nearby. And I got the sealant all over everything, what a mess. Not as easy as I brashly assumed. I'm very overconfident when it comes to these things. (But then things other folks see no problem with- making appointments for things, car ownership, anything to do with money, befriending my cellphone, children- make my stomach clench. So I'll just let myself be overconfident with little things.) More educational fiddling and mucking about in my immediate future.

12/28/10

I love Novacan

So I did a ton of soldering yesterday.
My torch decided to act up so I had to do it all by iron. So it came out messy, which means I had to file a ton, which is why it looks gritty instead of smooth in these pictures.
 And why my home is coated in solder-dust grains. But really, the torch was making a sputtering sound and would only function in 2 modes: flame thrower and off. 
So, I had to use so much solder for what I needed that it caused a lot of iron grunge, so I had to rub it on my sal amoniac, which creates tons of horrible chemical smoke.
Which in turn caused me to have to open the windows into the freezing cold winter. 
But I was too focused to stop, so I ended up w/that exhausted feeling  you get after spending all day freezing w/your muscles clenched against it. 

Here's my bits right after getting painted with the Novacan. Still damp. 
You can towel it off here, that works too. But I like to try to get it as oxidized as possible, so I tend to leave it on.
I'm thinking I shouldn't, though.
 Cuz then when it dries on stuff, it leaves a white film.  
Can you see it? Even after I wiped it down w/a paper towel, it's still in the crevices 
Thing is with the messy solder situation I ended up with an unusual amount of crevices. I fiddled with it some more and I think it's good now.
I finally got tons of beads I'd ordered in the mail. Because I'm on my 'staycation', it seems like time is moving slowly, so mail seems to be taking forever. But I got some goodies and finished off the chain/cord/necklaces of the above. I think I might be stuck in a rut on how I connect wired beads for necklaces, but I donno.... 
It sure is nice to have time to blog during my process and not just when I'm done. 
Hope you're all doing well and staying warm and that you had a nice Christmas if you do Christmas.

12/24/10

My Christmas Post

File:MCB-icon12.jpg
Ricardo André Frantz

I never do anything holiday-related here. So I looked up the history of Christmas and whittled it down to the following:
       The earliest known mention of Christmas as the day of Jesus' birth was in the Chronography of 354 AD, an illuminated manuscript compiled in Rome. In this manuscript the date is also given as that of the winter solstice. Lack of any other, earlier, or more detailed records of this date as a solstice celebration put into question the commonly held notion that a pagan holiday preceded Christmas.
Medieval Christmas Feast
        In the Early Middle Ages, Christmas Day was overshadowed by Epiphany, which was when Christ was said to have been born and which focused on the visit of the magi.
         Following the Protestant Reformation, groups such as the Puritans strongly condemned the celebration of Christmas, considering it a Catholic or papal invention. The Catholic Church responded by promoting the festival, which had become a time for drunken and rowdy parties, in a more religiously oriented form. Following the English Civil War, England's Puritan rulers banned Christmas in 1647. Protests followed as pro-Christmas rioting broke out in several cities and for weeks Canterbury was controlled by the rioters, who decorated doorways with holly and shouted royalist slogans. The book, The Vindication of Christmas (London, 1652), argued against the Puritans, and makes note of Old English Christmas traditions: dinner, roast apples on the fire, card playing, dances with "plow-boys" and "maidservants," and carol singing/dancing. The Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 ended the ban, but many clergymen still disapproved of Christmas celebration. In Scotland, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland also discouraged observance of Christmas. James VI commanded its celebration in 1618, however attendance at church was scant.
         Christmas was not particularly popular in the US, where Puritans and Protestants disapproved of the holiday.
       By the 1820s, sectarian tension had eased in Britain and writers, including William Winstanly, began to worry that Christmas was dying out. These writers imagined Tudor Christmas as a time of heartfelt celebration, and efforts were made to revive the holiday. 

In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the novel A Christmas Carol, that greatly helped popularize the 'spirit' of Christmas and seasonal merriment. Its instant popularity played a major role in portraying Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion. Dickens sought to construct Christmas as a family-centered festival of generosity, in contrast to the community-based and church-centered observations, the observance of which had dwindled during the late 18th century and early 19th century. Superimposing his secular vision of the holiday, Dickens influenced many aspects of Christmas that are celebrated today in Western culture, such as family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games, and a festive generosity of spirit. A prominent phrase from the tale, 'Merry Christmas', was popularized following the appearance of the story.
        A note for those offended at the abbreviation Xmas as taking the 'Christ' out of Christmas: In Greek, the letter Χ (chi), is the first letter of Christ, and it, or the similar Roman letter X, has been used as an abbreviation for Christ since the mid-16th century. Hence, Xmas is sometimes used as an abbreviation for Christmas.

        Sinterklaas is a traditional Winter holiday figure in the Netherlands, Belgium, Aruba, Suriname, Curacao, Bonaire, and Indonesia; he is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas' eve, December 5th. The feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children, sailors, and the city of Amsterdam, among others. Sinterklaas is the basis of the mythical holiday figure of Santa Claus in the United States and Canada.  
Gonna be listing these later tonight:



And I'm working on these.
Gotta go to Ace Hardware to get a can of butane. First time out of the house in days. It's cold out!
 Hell, it's cold in. I had to open the window to vent the solder fumes. This is why it's bad to solder in winter.
 
Now I gotta make myself just presentable enough to go to ace. I cut my hair yesterday and it's sticking straight out either side. Don't be jealous.