Thursday, April 28, 2011

Be Positive About Your Art!

Chainmail Armor Vambrace
When I was young I was quite gawky. When I got to be a teenager the gawkiness had pretty much completely set in. I was too tall for my weight and too skinny for my height. I was clumsy and awkward. Add to this entire mix that I had a strong like for math, science, SciFi and Fantasy. People called me nerd, geek and a few things I do not want to mention here. People bullied me and beat me up and made my life miserable.

I guess you might say that not much has changed. I am still quite gawky and awkward. Though now I am over weight for my height and under tall for my weight. People still call me names and if I had not found ingenious ways to avoid fights they would probably still be beating me up. And yes, people still call me names. One important thing has changed over the years.

When I learned how to make chainmail as a gawky, geeky, awkward 13 year old some my have thought that would put the final nail in the coffin so to speak. Here is a kid with no friends and not a really great chance of getting any making something that has been obsolete since about 1400AD Yep, that ought to get him some attention. And attention it did get me.

No one in the area I grew up made chainmail. No one in my area had any idea how to make it. And though there were not that many of my peers that were impressed a few people saw my work and loved it. They were so impressed by it that they asked me to make things for them. Over the years I have gotten really good at making chainmail. I have gotten very fast at it and have created things that people would want to wear in public all the time and not just at a Renaissance Fair or costume party.

Am I the best chainmailer in the world? In my mind I am quite sure that I am. Actually, there are probably a lot more people out there making chainmail better than me. There are probably people out there who make better jewelery than me. There are probably people out there who are much faster than me. But in my mind, I am the best.

My point is, I see a lot of negativity out there in the world. Know where I see it the most? I see it the most in crafters and artists who think everyone is better than they are. Why would anyone demean their own work? I think the whole point of doing what you love is loving what you do. Be the best that you can. I am not the best chainmailer that has ever lived anywhere except my mind. And I am 100% okay with that.

If you craft, if you create art, if you doodle, if you glue macaroni together in the shape of a cabin, more power to you. Even more power to you if you think that you are the best at it. Of course, keep in mind it may not be the greatest of ideas to tell everyone you are the best at something. (That little tidbit comes from experience.) But in your own mind you have created something. You are the creator. You should be happy about it.

You'll find that if you start taking pride in your craft/art that it will bleed into other areas of your life. It could make you a happier person in general. It will at least give you the knowledge that you are positive about your art. Ask yourself why you started doing it in the first place.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

101 Items Listed In My Etsy Shop!

Today I listed item number 101 to my Etsy Shop! That is a pretty huge accomplishment for me. Chainmail takes a lot of time to make. You have to close every single link, and some items have over 500 rings in them. It takes time and patience.

Wine Bottle Charms

These Wine Glass Charms were made from stainless steel jump rings and glass beads. I sell them in sets of six charms. These would be great for a wedding reception or a party. The jump rings are very small and take a long time to make anything with them. I have several other items in my shop made from these really small rings as well.

The Absinthe Machine by Tangled Metal

I also have several Steampunk items that I create that are one of a kind. These take a lot of time simply because I want each and every one to be unique."The Absinthe Machine" featured in the image to the left is created using recycled watch parts and glass beads. There will never be another one like it. I am not sure sometimes what inspires me, but in this case it was the green absinthe colored glass beads.

Aqua Water Clock by Tangled Metal

"Aqua Water Clock" is a pendant I created using recycled watch parts and a teal or aqua glass bead. The brass and steel really offset one another on this uniqu one of a kind brooch or pin. It would look great on a top hat. The brooches are quite fun to make and are really different than most people make.

As you can see I have been very busy. To celebrate my latest accomplishment, every  order placed in my Tangled Metal Etsy Shop in May will receive a free gift. It may be a pair of earrings to match what you bought or a key ring for your keys. It will be a surprise. The only thing I will say is that it will be handmade by yours truly.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog today. I really like comments and suggestions so feel free to leave your mark.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vote For Tangled Metal

Click on image to be taken to the page

I awoke to a great honor in my inbox yesterday. I was chosen to be in Linda B's Top Etsy Finds Favorite contest. People vote on several contestants and whoever wins gets a personal interview featured on her blog. As of the writing of this blog my Blue Chainmail Necklace is in the front running.

The competition is strong but I think that I have a real shot at winning. That is with your help. Please go to Linda B's Blog and vote for my necklace. Then if you would, leave a comment for Linda B letting her know how awesome her blog is.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Was Featured In A Front Page Treasury On Etsy!

Tangled Metal featured on Etsy Front Page Treasury
Early this morning I received a message on Etsy congratulating me for having an item featured on the front page of Etsy. I was pretty shocked. Very happily shocked. These hand picked Treasuries only stay on the front page for an hour but it gives everyone in the Treasury a lot of exposure.

I ended up with about 250 views to the hand flower and  couple of dozen "heats" to my shop. Having only have had a shop for a little over a month on Etsy and having nine sales and a front page Treasury listing one of my items gives me much hope for actually making a living doing my art. Which is a great thing since I was laid off from my day job on Thursday of this past week.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Make Mother's Day Happy!

Mother's Day Picks From Tangled Metal
I created a treasury today featuring items that any mother would love to have. Have a look at the items and remember that this coming Mother's Day (May 8th) is not very far off. Don't forget to show your mom how much you love her.

Do you have any Mother's Day gift ideas that you would like to share? Have a shop that has something special you think a mother would like? Post a comment and by all means add a link!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tangled Metal Is Now On Art Fire

Tangled Metal on Art Fire
They say that if you want to sell an item you have to get the item in front of the person who wants to buy it. Because of that I have opened an Art Fire Shop. This is one of the alternatives to Etsy Shops. There are quite a few differences between the two.

Art Fire has one major difference that I do like, you do not have to sign up for an account to purchase an item. This is great for people that do not feel like creating an account on Etsy. I know this can be a drawback to some people. I do not want to offend anyone by not making my items easy to purchase.

Some people don't know that you do not have to set up a PayPal account to use their services either. This is something that is a pretty popular misconception. Though it is way more convenient in the long run to open an account, there is the option to just purchase with a credit card without opening an account. If you run a shop you may want to add that to your description as it might help a little.

Anyhow, if you have time, have time, have a look at my Art Fire Shop and let me know what you think. Also, I am still working on my website at and would really love some feedback on that as well. As always, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What Is Steampunk All About?

My Favorite Steampunk Movie
What is Steampunk? Let us start with what it isn't. It isn't a style of clothing. It isn't a style of jewelry. It isn't a subculture. It isn't a bunch of kids playing dress up. It is all of these things and much more and in some cases much less.

Imagine what our world would be like if the internal combustion engine had never been created. What if electricity had never been the primary source of energy to power all of our many devices and gadgets. What if steam had won out as the best way to power things. What if Edwardian and Victorian clothing had stayed in fashion.

Steampunk is "what if." Movies like "Stardust" and "Sherlock Holmes"  and "The Time Machine" portray a very different society with a very different set of rues and sense of style. The style is quite beautiful to some, me included. I design some of my jewelry in the Steampunk style.

Perhaps our world would be in much better shape had we never had the internal combustion engine and the need to use so much fossil fuel. Perhaps we would be better off if steam power had been the primary force in running all of our machinery. Perhaps not. This is where the fantasy of Steampunk comes into play.

What are your thoughts? I would really like to know.