Saturday, March 31, 2012

Facebook Timeline

Well, Facebook has now changed my page over to their new Timeline format.  I'm not sure yet what I think about it.  I love the cover image idea, but the rest of their page layout for the new Timeline seems kind of odd.  Sometimes, when FB trys to "improve" things all they do is just mess it up more.

So, what do all of you think of FB's new Timeline?

Friday, March 30, 2012


("Arrabella" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Long and delicate, Steampunk earrings made from watch springs, watch gears, and various upcycled vintage chains and small charms.   They hang at just above the shoulder.  They measure at almost 3 1/4 inches long.

Gemstone of the Week: Sillimanite

(Sillimanite sample from

Images of Sillimanite

Sillimanite is a closely related gem to Kyanite, in fact, it is one of the three polymorphs of Al2SiO5  (chemical composition aluminum silicate oxygen), the other two are Kyanite and Andalusite.  Most often it is found as colourless to white in colour, but it can also be pale yellow to brown, pale blue, green, or violet. Sillimanite occurs as either long, slender glassy crystals or as blocky and poorly terminate prisms. It is a highly pleochroic (it shoes different colours at different angles) and has yellow-green, dark green, and blue within the same stone depending on the angle. Sillimanite is often found with Corundum, Kyanite, and Cordierite.  Sillimanite is found in Scotland, Vltava, the Czech Republic, India, Canada, and the U.S.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


("Tendril" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Copper wire-work pendant.  The pendant was allowed to oxidize and then selected portions of the pendant were polished to re-brighten the copper.  The piece has been coated to retain the two-tone copper.  The pendant is 2 1/4 inches long and almost 1 1/4 inches wide at the widest point.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Massive Project by Kali Butterfly

I think there is a time in every maillers' chainmaille obsession when we undergo a ridiculously massive and possibly ludicrous (at least in the eyes of others) project.  For me, it is completing a chainmaille Renaissance bodice using the same ring sizes that I use for my jewellery.  Well, for fellow femailler Kali Butterly this project is to create a chainmaille wedding dress

Best of luck, Kali Butterfly, on your new project!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pinterst Terms of Service Updated!

This is great!! Pinterest is a fairly new site, and like all sites when they are first put up it had some issues.  The main issue being its original 'Terms of Service.'  In the ToS it was mentioned that by uploading/pinning content to Pinterest you were allowing them redistribute, use, display, blah blah blah all the other normal things they put in a ToS.  However, they had also included sell under these ToS and that caused a lot of artists and other Pinterest users to be concerned.  I read on another blog (I believe it was Art Biz Blog, but I'm not sure) about one lady who actually contacted Pinterest with her concern over this and ended her e-mail with 'call me.'  To her surprise, the founder of Pinterest did actually call her to talk about her concerns. 

Well, he must really have been listening and serious about making a site that people were happy with and at ease about using because Pinterest has now updated their ToS.  And guess what!!!  They have completely removed the mention of being allowed to 'sell' image uploaded/pinned to Pinterest! So it would seem Pinterest really does care about what its users think and how they feel the site could or should be improved, as they have now addressed the major concern that many have had about the site.  I was so glad to see this, because so often a site will say to contact them about suggestions, concerns, etc., but then don't do anything about it afterwards.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Prehnite

(Prehnite sample found on Jewelry-gems.blogspot)

Images of Prehnite
Prehnite is an interesting gemstone. It's note used in jewelry very often, which is a shame as it's a beautiful stone. Typically, Prehnite will be a beautiful soft almost apple green in colour, but it can also be any shade of pale to mid-green, tan, pale yellow, gray, or white.  Prehnite is another gem than can also occur in a cats-eyed form.  This gem was first discovered in 1789 by a Dutch military officer named Hendrik von Prehn.  It can form as globular, spherical, or stalactite aggregates and on occasion will even be found as individual prismatic to tabular crystals (often with curved faces) and some transparent material has been found in Australia and Scotland.  Some Prehnite has been marketed under the name Cape Emerald.   Prehnite can be found in the U.S. (it is a common beach stone in Michigan), Canada, Australia, South Africa,  and much of Europe.  Prehnite has a hardness of 6-6.5.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Image theft situation resolved

Fortunately, it would appear the situation with the lady on Facebook who has been using other people's images has finally been resolved!  She's finally admitted that some of the older images on her page were indeed other peoples' images and is going to replace them with her own images.  Unfortunately, she still doesn't seem to realize that using them and passing them off as her own was wrong.  I'm soooooo glad that this issue seems to be over.  However, in some of my earlier blog posts about this issue I posted in a manner that was less than controlled.  I was highly upset with what was going on and allowed it to affect the manner in which I posted about it and for that I apologize.  I am certain I could have (and should have) posted it differently than I did.

Monday, March 19, 2012

This so makes me want to scream right now!

For the last few days several of my friends have been having a major problem with image theft.  There's a lady on Facebook (her page is called "Capturing Essence", she also has one called "Irish Forge" where she was also caught posting stolen images) who has been stealing people's chainmaille images and posting them as her own.  Some images on her page are her own, but others are not and everytime she is confronted with it she gets belligerent about it.  She deletes eveyone's comments that show that she has been stealing images and then yells and whines about everything as if she were the victim.  She's stolen images from Blue Buddha Boutique, Spiderchain, Zlosk, Corvus Chainmaille, Chainmaille by MBOI, and others.  Even when she is shown a list of pics side-by-side of the ones on her page and where the original image came from the she still denies it (and if it was posted publicly she deletes it so no one else can see it and see that she is indeed stealing images)!!  She also has the nerve to watermark the stolen images!!  Facebook has been good about removing the stolen images when they've been reported, but she just goes and reposts them.

Honestly, I rather hope the FB just decides to ban her as she is obviously never going to stop stealing people's images and will certainly never admit that that is what she's been doing.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Brief(ish) Copyright Rant

What is it about copyright that people don't seem to understand?  Really, it's not just an issue of copyright but about honesty and integrity.  If the image is not yours, don't use it without permission (and if you get permission, properly credit the owner of the image), and certainly do not steal it and pass it off as yours!  In the chainmaille community, we've had a lot of issues with image theft lately.  It seems that every year we find at least one or two websites that are using another's images without the owners permission,  and in most cases, are trying to claim credit for them.

 I am really getting rather tired of this.  I can't put into words just how much it irks me that people do this (especially when I find that the stolen image(s) belong to my friends).  The chainmaille community is not very large, and most of us know most everyone else from various messageboards (be it Maille Artisans, The Ring Lord Forum, Mailler's Worldwide, Handmade Artist's Forum, etc.) and so tends to be a rather close community.  We help each other out with advice be it about chainmaille construction issues, advice about selling, etc., but we also look out for each other's images/designs when we find that they have been absconded with by another.

So to anyone that reads this, please, please please, do not use anothers' images without permission or pass them off as your own!!  I know dishonest people, will be dishonest people and will do this anyway, but sometimes these issues happen because of a lack off copyright understanding.  In short, if it is not yours, either do not use it at all, or ask permission and wait for them to approve your use of their images.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Lapis Lazuli

(Lapis Lazuli sample from

Images of Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is a gorgeous blue gemstone.  It is the anniversary stone for the 9th anniversary.  The interesting thing will Lapis Lazuli, is that it is not a single mineral.  It is, in fact, comprised of Lazurite, some Calcite, Pyrite, and sometimes some other minerals.  Lapis Lazuli has been mined for centuries.  While its primary use has been adornment the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans would also grind it up to use for eye shadow, medicine, and a paint pigment known as ultramarine. The most valued Lapis Lazuli is that which has a rice blue-violet colour with little or no Calcite.  

Often, Lapis will be dyed to minimize the noticebility of the Calcite in the Lapis, however this dye is not always stable and may rub off unless sealed.  As with any stone, if the seller knows it has been treated they are supposed to disclose this, however, they don't always or may not even know if it has been treated or not.  If you would like to test whether the colour on your Lapis has been dye-treated or not, you can often find out by rubbing the Lapis with a piece of cotton that has been diped in finger-nail polish remover or alcohol.  If you do do this to test the colour of your Lapis, try to do it in an inconspicuous spot.

Much of the Lapis Lazuli that is found is mined in Afghanistan, but it can also be found in Chili.  However, the "Lapis" that comes out of Germany and Switzerland is not actually Lapis Lazuli at all but blue-dyed Jasper that is often used as imitation Lapis Lazuli.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Feathers in Jewelry?

("Marielle" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

I've seen a lot of feathers being used in jewelry design and other accessories lately.  I've made a couple pieces using feathers, and I'm wondering whether to do more with them.  Feathers just add an interesting texture to ones work, and can add a lot of colour and pattern without over doing it.  If paired with the right materials, they can really make a piece feel exotic. 

However,  I do have a concern about the durability of these pieces.  Feathers can be so fragile; the wearer has to be very careful about them.  If they get wet, they can get a bit bedraggled and don't always dry nicely. 

So I kind of have mixed thoughts about using feathers.  I would really like it if others could give me their thoughts about using them! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Sphene (Titanite)

Sphene is calcium titanium silicate and is a very beautiful stone.  Also known as Titanite, Sphene is generally either yellow, green, orange, or brown.  Part of this stones beauty is that it has a diamond like luster and a very high dispersion.  In fact, its colour dispersion is even higher than that of a diamond.  Sphene can be brittle, so most stones are cut for collectors, although I have seen it used in jewelry.  While the previously mentioned colours are what it normally is found as, Sphene can also be black, pink, red, blue, or colourless as a result of the number of other elements can be be substituted in its structure.  Sphene's mos notable locations are: Austria, Italy, Madagascar, Brazil, Mexico, Norway, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Pakistan, and a few locations in the U.S.  The value of Sphene varies significantly depending on the size, colour, and quality of the stone, but for the normal colours there is a value chart on that you can consult: Sphene value chart.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


("Gabriella" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

This is a very elegant chainmaille set (the weaves are: Not Tao 4 and Not Tao 4 Chain).  The set is made from non-tarnishing copper, enameled copper, and freshwater pearls.  Every ring and all the clasps/earring hooks have been made by hand.  This set is inspired by the beautifully detailed jewelry designs of the Art Nouveau period.

The necklace is 17 inches long and rests near the collar bone when worn.  The central pendant of the necklace is 3 inches long.  The bracelet measrues at just over 7 inches long and 1.25 inches wide at the widest point; the earrings at 2 inches.

Friday, March 2, 2012


("Dalya" by Handmaden DesignsLLC)

Copper and enameled copper Not Tao 4 chainmaille bracelet with freshwater pearls.  It is just under 7.5 inches long and is about  1/2 inch wide.  The bracelet design was inspired by the bracelet styles of the Victorian and Art Nouveau periods.

Gemstone of the Week: Unakite

("Sasha" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Unakite is an interesting form of Granite.  It's Granite that has a high content of a material known as Epidote, thus Unakite is also known as Epidotized-Granite.   Unakite is a gorgeously mottled stone of green (the Epidote) and pink (the Granite).  It is a very common beach stone in Michigan and makes some really lovely jewelry and carved sculptures.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


("Ayaka" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

These cute little earrings are copper and enameled copper Not Tao 4 chainmaille earrings with freshwater pearls.  They are about 1.5 inches long.


("Demora" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Not Tao 3 copper and enameled copper with freshwater pearl chainmaille earrings.  These earrings are just under 1.5 inches long.