Monthly Archives: April 2012

Skull Rings Like Crazy

Today I finished up all the unfinished and half finished skull rings that I have here and am now totally burnt out!!! I made so many… Fourteen new rings got added to the shop, plus three more that I’d let expire were put back into stock. The skull ring section of my store is nice and robust. Next week I will try and get some of the other items that people seem to like such as the metal Lego keychains back in stock. Here’s a quick picture of some of what was added today. Click it to jump to the shop:

Don’t miss my “pay what you can” post below this one, it applies to all this.

Caitlin and I are out of town this weekend, heading down south for Nefarious’s birthday. Just a short visit as I have a doctor’s appointment that I have to zip back up here for at the start of the week, but I’m sure it will be nice nonetheless.

Announcement: My Etsy Shop is “PAY WHAT YOU CAN”

As an artist, it’s important for me to not just pay my bills, but also to make sure that people who appreciate what I’m creating are able to own it for themselves. The payment part is a necessity, but it’s seeing someone enjoy your art that is the gratifying part. I also come from a shareware software background (remember PC-SIG?), where the concept was that if you create something worthwhile, people will gladly pay you for it after appreciating its value to them. Now, unlike software, I can’t give rings away for free and then hope to be paid, because there is a raw materials and time cost per item, but I am going to try what I think is the next best thing — allowing people to discount the price of any item by as much as 50%, with them choosing the amount.

I have created a bunch of new coupon codes for my Etsy shop. You enter them at checkout if you want to use one (obviously I am very happy if you are able to afford to pay the regular full price). They are:

 5PERCENTOFF — Save 5%        10PERCENTOFF — Save 10%
15PERCENTOFF — Save 15%       20PERCENTOFF — Save 20%
25PERCENTOFF — Save 25%       30PERCENTOFF — Save 30%
35PERCENTOFF — Save 35%       40PERCENTOFF — Save 40%
45PERCENTOFF — Save 45%       50PERCENTOFF — Save 50%

If every single person chooses the maximum coupon I will probably reconsider the wisdom of this idea, but I will be truly surprised if that happens. I believe people will continue to support the shop fairly, but that it will mean that more people will be able to have access (so don’t feel bad if you do choose 50% off — I wouldn’t have included it if I didn’t want people to use it). I will report back in the future on how this idea works. Thanks again to everyone who has supported the shop so far.

Now, I also wanted to share what I made today, and I have to give credit to Caitlin who gave me the idea after seeing the last heterochromia ring I made — she told me I should make a David Bowie Ziggy Stardust inspired ring. So I present to you Ziggy Skulldust… or… Deaddy Stardust… or something…

You can click the pic to jump to my store and snag it before anyone else or just look at higher res pictures. It’s currently a size 7.5 so it fits smaller hands, and has two slightly different coloured gemstones. The inset lightning bolt is coloured with a permanent epoxy that I baked in place.

Today’s Rings

I made four rings today, three of which were just added to my Etsy shop. Here they are, and of course go ahead and click any of them except the last (as it was a commission and is not for sale in the shop) to see bigger pictures or to purchase them:

Blood Eye (Almandine Garnet) Skull Ring, Size 10

I should mention that the next two are, by request, in smaller women’s sizes:

Red/Gree Heterochromia Skull Ring, Size 7

Yellow Citrine Gemstone-Eye Skull Ring, Size 6 ½

Black Spinel-Eye Skull Ring, Size 12 ¼


We carry a harpoon*?

I got the latest session of tattooing by Shane Faulkner done yesterday, the fill over the sky. Boy oh boy oh boy did it hurt over the knee. We actually did less than I’d hoped to because it was just too awful. But I do have an excuse which I will explain in a moment, but first, check it out. Be sure to zoom it in. I swear it gets better and better every single session. I’m so happy with how it’s turning out.


So anyway. Yesterday morning I got a text from Shane asking me if I was ready to get tattooed, and I replied, “well, my tattoo appointment isn’t until tomorrow but if you want I can do today instead, I’m not busy” and he was like, “no, you’re booked for today and I have a client coming from Italy tomorrow so it’s today or we re-book…” I don’t know if I wrote it down wrong or if he did, but either way, when I’d walked out of his studio last time, I wrote down one date in my phone’d schedule and he wrote down a different one in his tattoo appointment book. But no big deal, I didn’t have anything pressing that day anyway.

Problem was, the night before when I was reading before bed, I noticed a couple times that I had stopped breathing. I don’t normally have apnea problems when I’m awake, but that night I was. Because it’s brain-related, not blockage-related, when I stop breathing, I just lose the “impulse” to breathe because my brain doesn’t notice the CO2 building up in my blood for some reason. I do start to feel faint or dizzy after a while but there’s no urge to inhale whatsoever. So I notice it, take a deep breathe, and there’s a certain sense of relief from the faintness, but it doesn’t come with the same “oh, thank you oxygen” rush that you might get after your first breathe after holding it for a while. Just nothing at all. It’s more than a little disconcerting, but it’s not as scary as I imagine it is to have some kinds of asthma or an allergic reaction where your throat closes or something else where you really want to breathe but can’t. Logically I know that I have to breathe to live, but there’s absolutely no subconscious desire or need to breathe. Anyway, I was scared that if I went to sleep that I wasn’t going to wake up, so I decided it might be best to just stay up all night and let it pass.

Problem with that is that I was incredibly tired when I went to get tattooed, which meant that none of my normal psychological pain coping mechanisms worked and parts of the tattoo, specifically the area around the knee, were brutally painful. We tried using spray and wipe anesthetics, which is basically lidocaine that soaks into the outline and numbs the surrounding skin, but because most of what we were doing was big filled areas with almost no outline, they didn’t really work. I feel bad because I wanted to do so much more — and I know that Shane wanted to do more as well — but I just wasn’t up to it and we quit after a bit over three hours of tattooing. That said, I am asbolutely thrilled with what we did do. Filling in the sky has made the tattoo feel so much bigger, so expansive, and given it a real feeling of depth and scale. Like I said, every single tattoo session I feel like this tattoo takes a big step forward and just keeps improving every single time. I don’t want to say it’s my favorite tattoo, because I really do love almost all my tattoos and think they are top notch pieces of art, but this one is definitely vying for the top of the podium.

Also in personal body modification news, I hand-machined a couple of test pieces of jewelry for my leg pocketings. I made one in a microdermal style (sort of like what I posted a blueprint for recently) and the other in a pocketing style, which is essentially a metal version of what I’m currently wearing in silicone. Here they are:

I tried popping in the pocketing one and to my great surprise it was immediately obvious that it was not going to be easy to do so without a fair amount of tissue trauma. The fisutla opening was not willing to casually stretch to accept to footing’s diameter, even though it’s actually smaller than what I’m currently wearing. The silicone that I’m using in my current jewelry is of a 20 Shore durometer, so that’s about the same as a soft squishy gel bicycle seat. A bit softer than the rubber in a rubber band. Anyway, it’s great for this you can make a relatively large footing, but when you’re inserting it, it squishes down completely and does not require the entrance hole to expand to accept it like you would for metal or glass or just about any other jewelery. To say nothing of the other advantages like impact resistance and weight. So to be honest, right now I am leaning toward continuing to use the silicone jewelry. I may however machine some nice metal decorative caps for it out of aluminum (which is extremely bio-inert even though you rarely see it in the body jewelry world).

Finally, I mentioned above that we tried anesthetic on my tattoo today and perhaps that perked up some ears, since I know that a lot of people would love a painless tattoo, even if they might be afraid to admit it out loud — I think there’s a real stigma against it. Anyway, a while back I got a handful of different tattoo anesthetics, and every time I’ve been tattooed we’ve tried different ones. Some have been junk and some have been extremely effective. Some time in the nearby future I will write a review of all the ones I’ve tried and share what I’ve discovered and my feelings on the subject.

* Harpoon? Spear of Destiny more likely!

Man Conquers Space (I wish, I hope)

I just watched a move teaser/trailer that I want to share with all space dreamers:

There are more here on the official Man Conquers Space website.

I have opined here many times here about how sad it makes me that we did not grab ahold of the vision of Werner von Braun and Krafft Ehricke and other space engineers of the first part of the twentieth century and their very big dreams for the latter half. This movie asks the question of what kind of world we’d be living in if instead of pouring our money into a completely pointless nuclear arms escalation — a technology where the best thing we can say about it is that we never used it — we instead poured it into pushing humanity into the stars.

We had the science well underway to put space station up in the fifties. Moon bases up in the early sixties, and Mars bases up in the late sixties. Full colonization of Mars in the seventies. Terraforming of Mars in the eighties. Asteroid mining and bases on the Jovian moons in the nineties. A half billion humans living and working off the surface of the Earth by the turn of the millenium. And then on to the stars in this twenty-first century!

But instead we have mountains and mountains of useless and extremely expensive weapons stockpiled or already disposed of. Wastes of money where the best thing that we can hope for them is that they continue to be only wastes of money, not wastes of life as well. In a world of unbridled wealth, with enough resources and riches for every person to live in luxury we still have artificially created caste and class systems, artificially created scarcity, and completely fraudulent poverty and all the misery that comes with it. Looking at the way humans squander their intellectual gifts bringing misery to each other for tiny rewards of individual greed, it’s hard to be optimistic that we’ll ever conquer space, let alone our own vices and personal shortcomings.

That said, I am very excited for April 24th, not just because it’s both my brother’s and my daughter’s birthday, but because a mysterious company, controlled by various Google Execs, Space Entrepreneurs, James Cameron, and other forward thinkers, called “Planetary Resources” is making a “big announcement”. Word is that they’re going to be announcing the beginning of commercial asteroid mining, which I have to admit is very exciting. In one of my recent rocketry posts I mentioned that a few major mining corporations are realizing that mining the moon is starting to make financial sense… perhaps capitalism will succeed where previous dreamers have failed? Gosh I hope I get to live long enough to see it happen.