Saturday, July 14, 2012

Headless Torso, Torso-less Head!

Yup, that's right folks!  There's a new headless torso and a new torso-less head floating around these parts.   Why, you ask? ( you all really do talk to yourselves alot here in my blog.  It kind of worries me, actually.)  Well, because the quest for getting the perfect picture never ends, that's why!  It's finally getting pretty close.  I've got a bunch of necklaces that have been finished for months but haven't been listed in my etsy shop because I can't seem to get good enough pictures, no matter what I do.  And yes, it's entirely the prop's faults, not mine in any way.  So when my favorite re-use store (thank you Coffeefreak for giving me the heads up about these)  got some new mannes, I went to check them out.  I'm thinking this is pretty close to perfect.
There's no cleavage to fight with, for those necklaces that hit in just the wrong spot on my other mannequin.  There's no texture to compete with the texture in the necklaces. 
They had a great selection...torsoless leg mannes.  They had headless baby mannes.  They had headless standing whole body mannes.  All child sized.  This is the one I picked...

Near-perfect, right?

Here's some new pics of some already completed jewelry that you may have seen before.  Please tell me what you think.  I'm LOVING it!

The Edgy Bride, which I know you've seen before.
Didn't get listed for the spring wedding season because all of the backgrounds in the previous pictures seemed to compete with the necklace.
What do you think of this one?

Much better right?  You can see all of the detail now.

A concrete-bezel-set-cast of an a fossil ammonite.
Yes, this was done at the same time as the other concrete
pieces.  Last summer to be precise. 
 Finally, after a year,a picture of it that I'm happy with!

A big hunk of turquoise with green serpentine, raspberry quartz, magnesite,
some beautiful turquoise beads of stone or glass (?) and sterling.
This effect is so much better on the plain background. 
The colors stand out against but don't compete with the display.

the manne even has cute little hands.
soft soldered wire bangle with turquoise colored magnesite
and a champagne colored freshwater pearl.

Even the ombre ribbon shows up nicely against the neutral beckground.
From the Floral Frenzy article in Belle Armoire Jewelry.

And this is one of those glass bezels cut from an old perfume bottle that was
 published in Belle Armoire Jewelry.

The etched metal and the smooth glass
encased in resin also look pretty nice, don't you think?
I'm thinking this is a winner for those difficult to photogragh pieces.
Thoughts, please.

But you must be tired of seeing all of those older pieces. 
 Here's a couple of actual new things for you.....

Bohemian Rhapsody
Vintage silver filigree, glass beads, lampworked headpins from Havana beads ,
lustrous mother of pearl seashell and sterling earwires.
Here's a closeup

These went a completely different direction than what they began as.
Do you guys do that too?

Saturday at the Park.
Against an interesting, tho rather busy background....

Amazing how the background adds ambiance, eh?

Here's a bracelet that I absolutely couldn't get a great photo of.
This is probably as good as it's going to get.
Cuz well, the hand displays are all packed away.  Sigh.
So I might have to keep it if I can't get good enough photos to list it, right?
And these aren't good enough for listing, right?
Of course they aren't. 


Currently named
The Woman Whom He Loved.
Ok stay with me here... see all the components.... the game commission bird band, the REALLY BIG bird band,  For a big bird of some sort.  Suggesting a manly man, eh?  There's the soldered wire frame providing the anchor for it all.  Yeah, stay with me some more.....  See the knobby antler tine?  Cool, huh?  And the big horn bead and the turquoise donut bead affixed to the antler?  Ok to me those all say mining or hunting. 
 Sure, us ladies can do that. 
But see, I know I don't want to.   Except for the easy mining part.  
I have no desire to be underground in the pitch black chiseling away for treasure. 
That's right, when I'm tired, my sense of adventure departs rapidly and completely.
Well howsa about the FOSSIL MAMMOTH BONE BEAD?  
 Or the Turkoman button?   Surely those suggest some rugged chiseled hunk of a guy, don't they?
You know like this?

Yeah in fact, I think he was just washing up after working in the mine. 
And being the thoughtful person I am,
I included a locket to put his ruggedly handsome picture in,
so you (or I) can keep him near to your (or my) heart while he toils away trying to find treasures for you (or me)..... 

Ok, so that explains the name.  Or I could just call it antler tine on a soldered frame with a chain and  a locket, a fossil mammoth bone bead,  a game commission bird band with a Turkoman button.  See, so much better to weave a story into it.  :)

Wanna see some w.i.p?

Turkoman Goes Modern
I don't usually oxidize until the very last step, thought I'd try
this sequence for a change.

Hugs and Kisses assemblage bracelet.
Very much in the progress stage.
Actually in the stumped, no idea what I want to do next stage.

and that's it!
two w.i.p.  Wow!

so that's not real exciting, but this is

Welded bookends from Iron Hut Dezignz

blacksmithed blades.  very cool, huh?

Chased copper bowl.
Wanna hear why this work is so cool?
Aside from the obvious fact that it's just cool work...
It's made by an 18 year old young man who has only been
metal working for a couple of years.
And is so talented that the fine art center
where he first learned how to blacksmith and weld,
has now invited him to demonstrate technique!

He started with this type of work

and quickly progressed to this

and this

Wow!  Precision wrapping!
Um yeah, this was his first try with this technique.

How about some welding?
Nothing this young man can't do!

A tropical paradise for your desk!

And this next one is mine

Not mine because I made it, mine because he gifted it to me.
Be keeping your eyes peeled,  I think we'll be seeing lots more
from this talented guy.
Thanks for letting me share your work, Z!

Now that you've had your senses filled up with all that eye candy,
I bet you're wondering where
that torsoless head is,
aren't you?

Right here....

So why do I need a torsoless head, you're asking yourselves.
well, obviously for this....

Because the quest for the perfect ear never ends!
True, my latest ear model, Melissa has a very lovely ear and she is
by far the best ear model I could ever hope to have.
Better than an ear on a string.  Better than a creepy polymer clay ear.
Better than a resin ear that still stubbornly refuses to come out of the mold!
Sadly, as most of you know,
 I will soon be moving far away from Melissa's perfect earring modeling ears.
So this manne will be named Melissa Too. 
Kind of like Audry Two for you Little Shop of Horror fans. Only not.
We'll see how this works out after I take a drill to her ears.
I'll be drilling Melissa Too, not Melissa One's ears.

And now,
 please bear with me while I indulge in yet another flower photo....

The plant on our arch is loving this hot dry weather.
And rewarding us with tons of gorgeous blooms.
The hummers are pretty thrilled with this turn of events as well.

One last promised in response to some of your comments,
I added the "how-to add a blogroll to your sidebar" as an update on my last post.
As you'll see if you check it out, all thanks go to numinosity Kim 
for explaining to me how to do it.

That's all I've got for you this time. 
 Hope everyone has a perfectly wonderful week ahead of them.

See guys, he likes the arch.

Snakkes (Norwegian)


  1. Woo hoo - what alot of lovely stuff to look at! The new torso works a treat - the pics look great. I also struggle with decent pics for etsy so I feel your pain. I have to admit though that the little hand creeps me out - just a bit mind you but for some reason I had a mental flash of "Chuckie" the homicidal puppet ... what does that say about me? (ps my enjoyment of the featured six pack tells me that I am not dead yet!cheers!)

    1. Thanks Sue, now when I round the corner and see my little manne, guess what I'm going to think of?! hahahaha. ooohhh so glad there was an enjoyable picture in the bunch to counteract the chucky effect. :)

    2. aww shucks - they were all enjoyable - your hunk shot just reminded me that middle-age is no barrier to appreciation of a fine male form ... Oh and soz re chucky business ...

    3. aww shucks - they were all enjoyable - your hunk shot just reminded me that middle-age is no barrier to appreciation of a fine male form ... Oh and soz re chucky business ...

  2. Your new stuffed manne makes very nice photos. Great choice. (Do like it raw without the tea stain.) Loving the new earrings, the bracelet and the arch. Sad you can't take your garden along but you will soon have Texas blooming too. Was Z a student of yours?

    1. I think you're exactly right. No tea for the manne. I'll have to learn how to garden in Texas, er I mean, the second most interesting man in the world will have to learn. Texas is way too hot for me to want to garden. I'll enjoy it through the window, after i scrape off the icicles that my uber cool ac is going to produce on the inside of them.
      No, Z is a family friend. Known him since he was just a little guy and look at him now! I'll be taking classes from him pretty soon!

  3. New mannes are great! Perfect backdrops for your jewelry and yah there is no cleavage or color/texture competition. Bohemian Rhapsody and Saturday at the Park earrings are beautiful. I really like your hunky antler bracelet too, nice muted darker tones and shapes. Is that a trumpet vine in your garden? I have a red one but love the salmon pink of yours.

    1. Thank you Flotsam. :). You might notice that I managed to list 4 things, the antler bracelet NOT among them. hahaha. Yes, it's a trumpet vine. The color is delicious. I love how the hot colored flowers bloom during the hottest part of the summer. Harmonious.

  4. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to include me in your blog. I would love to hear what your followers have to say about my simple creations.

    I always know that when I come to your blog I will be inspired and amused and now I feel very special that I am a part of it!

    Than you!


    1. Z~

      Let me be the first to say how talented you are! The welded bookends are wicked cool and I adore the chased copper bowl. Your jewelry creations are gorgeous and Janet is correct in saying that we'll be seeing a lot of your designs in the future.

      Congrats on being invited to share your talents!

      Bond Girl (as known to Janet)

    2. Thank you! The bookends are a gift I made for my Dad. He is a huge car fan and loves working with them. So they are very appropriate for him!
      And the copper leaf I actually made in a copper smithing class I took with Janet


    3. Hi Z,
      Your copper leaf bowl is beautiful! You made that in a class, learning how to do it???!!! Janet is right - you have an extraordinary natural talent going on there!! Look forward to seeing lots more of your work.


    4. Oh - and your black-smithed blades are amazing!!!!!

    5. Thanks! The three knives on the right are actually made from rail road spikes. They are extremely fun to make!
      The axe is made from iron from an old wagon wheel and tool steel is forged into the edge.


    6. Absolutely a pleasure to share your work and showcase your talent, Z. It's been wonderful watching as you master one technique after another. Looking forward to seeing all the cool things you do with your new welding equipment. Really excited for you!

  5. Dude, you always have such epic posts! Having a mannequin makes a HUGE difference to photos, it really does- I have two; one has a head so I can show off earrings (Trinny) and one has no head but a much better set of tits (Susanna) -necklaces look nicer on her.

    One possible problem though- if the mannequin is child-sized, doesn't that make you're jewelry look oversized? I mean when shoppers look at it, they're going to think it's much bigger than what it is. Which might either put them off or get them really excited. Maybe it's just me cause I'm so horrendous at measuring and scale.

    Also if you want some background tips, I did a blog post a million years ago: People seemed to find it handy so you might get something out of it.

    1. Hey Sparrow, speaking of epic, quite the blog post you linked in. Great info! Really appreciate you sharing it. I think I'll be referring back to it numerous times. Thank you! Check it out guys, if you haven't already. It's wonderful!

      Yes, valid concern. I wondered if the size issue might be a problem for some, but I almost always include a picture with something that has a size reference in my listings and/or specific measurements. Probably this manne will be for close ups and detail shots, so hopefully no problems there. And I got the biggest child sized manne they had. A small woman or large child is just about this size.
      Thanks so much for the helpful tips. And btw, I've often admired Trinny. :)

  6. Ha! Janet....I just gave my mannequin a makeover. But the linen on mine was not white like yours. Mine was a tan - neutral color and everything died on it. Yours look good on the white! And WOW, that Edgy Bride is gorgeous!

    1. Yes you did! Great post on how you transformed your mannequin. Looks great. I love how the pattern on the tissue peaks through the paint ever so slightly. And it's a cool mannequin with the ability to stand on it's own. Great for showcasing long necklaces, I bet.
      Thanks so much, Lela. Too bad I missed the wedding season this year, eh?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Z is unbelievable! I had to comment to his post.

    Now on to you.....I have mannequin envy! My husband just rescued another torso ( gosh that sounds grusome) with stand from beside a dumpster...this makes 4 now. I love him! I decoupaged one last weekend with a vintage pattern from the 60's. Yeah....tissue paper...
    After much cursing along with learning the hard way, I'm begining to love her two-toned self. The big one I'm thinking of your gesso technique in a toasty white.....

    The new man~e is definitely making your jewels pop! The wedding necklace photo'd fabulously on it. Loving Bohemian Rapsody! Now, on to the antler tine bracelet....I bow down on one knee to you! The bird band has me blown away! Where do you find these things??? Between you and Fanci, you both make my head spin. No, not like in the Exorcist!!! In a good way. I also would like to add that you never disappoint with the gorgeous hunk...I mean model, errrr photo, which followed! Loved the trumpet vine too, really, I mean it!

    1. that husband of yours is a keeper! So when do we get to see pictures, eh? Cuz in your shop, they always wear a coat and I can't see the mannequin. Believe me I've tried. :)
      The toasty white sounds intriguing. c'mon bond girl...a little show and tell. in fact might be fun if we do a manne fashion show. all manne, no fashion.

      aww thanks much. I got the bird bands from an etsy shop, but will have to do a bit of searching for you to give you the particulars. wouldn't a big band ring in that style be amazing? hahahahaha, yes, the hunk-model-photo does add a little something to the blog, doesn't he-it?

  8. Random bare chested men, now that's what I like! Loving that concrete bezel and the tin earrings are winners. I haven't got a manny yet and I could really do with one. I usually photograph them on me which is very challenging! But I've got my daughter back for a bit so she can pose for a bit.

    1. you ladies...guess I'm gonna hafta forget showing jewelry one of these days and just have a parade of bare chested men, eh?
      Yes, that would be quite a challenge. How do you manage it? hmmmm- Gonna have to scrutinize your pics and see if I can figure out which ones those are. Since it's not obvious, you're doing a great job. I'll give it a try just for comic relief....and to be even more impressed that you make a success of it.
      btw, really enjoying your polyvore posts

  9. I'm afraid that puppet hand gave me the willies too! But, your wedding necklace looks absolutely beautiful on that background - such a pretty piece of fairy tale-y lovely!
    I don't know why on earth you're not listing that pee-your-pants-gorgeous bracelet though! I LOVE IT!!!!!! Oh, and Bohemian Rhapsody - I do adore your ear parties!
    Awww, such a shame you can't take your beautiful garden with you, but that dude looks more than up for a bit of gardening in the heat!

    xoxoxooxox :O)

    1. hahahaha but having wild animals crawl all over you doesn't? HAHAHAHA. too funny.
      thank you, appreciate your sweet words, Petra. I'm not listing the bracelet, cuz I love it too. Not ready to let it go yet...might have to keep it...decisions....I don't want to make.... :)
      yes, he does look quite up to the task. I think I want terraces and an orchard and a field of........well, one of everything sounds about right, wouldn't you say?

    2. You may be headless and torso-less but I'm a little behind... behind on catching up on blogs, I feel so remiss!
      It seems like every week I'm playing catch up on the shop and the blog and the studio as if I had a real job keeping me from dedicating my time to the biz. I guess retirement has reinforced my sometime slackerness.
      Anyhow I did want to concur on the breastless manne. My manne has stiff boobs that don't play well with most of my designs, I know exactly what you mean. One of the reasons I didn't list necklaces on my Etsy site for so long. That and the fact that I didn't know much about photographing them.
      Those Bohemian Rhapsody earrings... have so much going on. How I wish I could spend a day with you and my supplies to stretch my fastening techniques. For years I've been making such straightforward easy designs and now with this new direction I get lost in the fastening problem solving and am not always happy with the results.

    3. Spending a day working on fastenings would be fantastic! Then the day after that, we could work on lampworking, eh? Then an afternoon for collaging. then textile manipulation.....hmmmm I think we could fill up a whole month of just being creative and never run out of ideas. ooh and you could teach me how to make peanut sauce! And I could teach you, well absolutely nothing if it involves cooking. :)

  10. Love the new Mannie ... but they look so... blah >.< You need to keep them enrobed in riches so they don;t look so boring ;) lol

    I'll cross my fingers that your torsoless-head ear piercing session goes well and you get your perfect model :)

    In mean time, I discovered this through one of the fb beading groups I procrastinate on and immediately thought of you .. lol & They haven't appeared in her shop yet though lol

  11. hahahaha everything looks better enrobed in riches, eh? guess that means we need to layer on the jewels ourselves, cuz we sure don't want to look boring (says the jewelry maker who doesn't have on even one tiny bit of jewelry at the moment)
    yes, the ear piercing session went off without a hitch! You'll be able to see for yourself in my next blog if you think she's perfect or not! I'm pleased.

    thank you for the links! so thoughtful. couldn't open the first one but the eye bead is awesome. love that it made you think of me. :)


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