Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pirate runes and cartilage earrings

My fiancé makes me laugh. When I mentioned how pleasantly surprised I was that my cartilage chain earrings are such a hit, Josh joked that there must be a whole lot of Bajorans who shop on Etsy. You know, that race from Star Trek famous for their earrings?

This just supports my theory that there are only so many ideas in the world, and they'll hit whoever is receptive to them. When I first designed these earrings two years ago (or was it three?) I came up with the idea because I wanted something to decorate my multiple ear piercings but in a way that looked kind of Elven; I was definitely not a Trekkie and had no idea even that Bajorans existed. It wasn't until this month when I saw an episode of TNG with Ensign Ro in it that I knew what Josh was talking about. Obviously I was receptive to the same general idea that whoever designed the Star Trek costumes also got hit with; that earring muse sure must be busy!

Here's my most recent earring:
Halloween Kitty Cartilage Chain Earring
It's a Halloween kitty- I love this one! :D It's here in my Etsy shop and here on Artfire. Like all my cartilage earrings, if you want a cuff and/or a clip on earring instead of the pierced posts, I can switch those out for no cost (I only charge extra for sterling silver posts, since those cost a bunch).

Woah, and in the time between writing up this entry two days ago and queuing it to post, I got two more requests for custom chain earrings! People really do love them and I really love my customers! You guys rock!

The other thing I want to blog about is my latest set of runes. I'm so proud of this set; a lot of work went into them- I hope they'll go to a good home! I am so tempted to keep them, but I don't need another set of runes, lol.
Pirate runes- pouch
Yarr! Here be their pouch; it has a skull and treasure map design, perfect for a pirate diviner.

Pirate runes- front
And here be the treasure! 26 gold and silver coins and I shall vow that none be cursed. (Unless you count how long it took to make them!)

Pirate runes-  back
These coins also have the runes on the back, of course!

These were my first try at stamping things into clay, and I think it worked out well! :) First I shaped the coins by hand, then stamped them; the coin design is from a large jewelry coin I have (there are actually two slightly different designs on the runes for this, since both sides of the coin are different), the dragon is from a pendant like the one on my Underwater Wyvern necklace that I then poked a design around, and the ridges on the back are from a real seashell. The polymer clay is actually grey (you can sort of see this in the stamped designs) that I rubbed with silver and gold Pearl-Ex powders after the designs were stamped on; a few of the runes also have glitter on them, as well. After I baked them (that took a while with 26 runes larger than I usually make them; I could only do about eight at a time in my little clay oven), I painted on the runes and when that was dry, painted a layer of varnish over them. When all that was done, I handsewed that pouch (I still haven't learned how to use a sewing machine because I like sewing by hand, but it's definitely time consuming so I'm going to have to learn soon) and added the ribbon and beads.

See- lots of work, but it was definitely worth it, and they were so much fun to make! I need to get more colors of those powders because I really enjoyed working with them.


FunkyMonkey Girls said...

Oh yes, I made some of those as well back in the day. I am a Trek person so when I saw those I went hmmmm. I am thinking about having more of a "line" idea for my jewelery so I can make my unique one of the kind items but also make close by not similiar items as well:) I am glad that you are doing good in ArtFire, I may open a store there since Etsy isn't doing that great for us.

Funky Monkey Girl,

Merily said...

lol, it's just funny that I had the idea for these earrings without having a clue that they were anything like something else. They're not exactly like the Star Trek ones, but it's close enough that I have to laugh that I got struck by the same muse. ;) I like that idea of doing a line of jewelry, then something close but not the same- good luck with it! :)

I definitely recommend Artfire, especially since they're doing a promo now where basic (free) accounts get unlimited listings for the next month or so- I think before the free accounts only could have 10 items in their shop. That would be good for testing it out. :) I think I still get more sales from my Etsy shop, but not by much; I've sold almost as much in my Artfire shop since I opened it during the spring.

Cecily said...

I love that style earing (although I would have to get it with a cuff instead). I've loved that style since I was little and saw Ensign Ro's.

I have a shop on Etsy and on Artfire and I've had only one more sale on Etsy than I have on Artfire as I have on Etsy and I've been on Etsy 6 months longer! Also it's free on AF for a basic so it doesn't hurt financially at all!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I still think these runes look awesome! And the pouch you made for them looks great too :)

Mom's going to teach me how to use a sewing machine soon! I want to start making my own bags to ship my jewelry in :P

Melissa said...

I will admit that the very first time I saw those cartilage earrings you had been making it instantly reminded me of Bajorans.

Merily said...

I think I officially have some dorky friends. ;)

I've been on Etsy for years verses since April on AF, but since I've joined AF I've had just about an equal amount of sales in both places over the past few months. :)

Thanks, Ruthie! Ooo, that sounds like a really nice touch to add to your jewelry!

Carapace said...

How-- how can you not be a Trekkie? I mean, Next Gen, ok, but do you have any idea what wacky wonderful weird things you're missing by not knowing the first series? Does Space Lincoln not interest you at all? Magic Spore Death Plants? Papier Mache Death Machines? *sob* It's like I don't even know you!

;)Seriously. It is the most wonderfun crazy show. You should watch it, preferably with friends who will hoot it up with you.

Oh, and the whole earring thing? Is a perfect example of why I look so askance at the people who cry "copycat"! It's pretty well impossible to have a totally unique idea. But you can have a cool idea, all the same-- I like your earrings a LOT better than the Bajoran pieces!

Merily said...

LOL! Well, I mainly haven't seen the original series because it was never played on tv (at least not when I could catch it- that's why I know TNG and Voyager, because they were played on tv recently), and I don't have the money to rent it. I think my friend said NBC or or something is running it, so I'll have to catch it on there before they stop streaming it (the problem is I can't sit at my computer for an extended time because of my back). If I could get the DVDs of the original series for free, then I'd have watched it by now, lol. No one I know has them for me to borrow. *pout*

Aww, thanks! :D Yeah, that's the same reason I'm iffy about people calling out copycats; I bet most of the time those people really aren't copying them and they both just got struck by the same muse.

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