Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Hippo's Quest: My Etsy Finds, Dragon Edition!

Hello readers, and welcome to the long-delayed and long-awaited (by me, anyway) second edition of The Hippo's Quest, my 'etsy finds' series. This edition's theme is perfect for the pre-Halloween madness. Halloween conjures up themes of myth and fantasy, and one of my personal favorite myth/fantasy creatures is the dragon! Dragon-like creatures were found in both European and Asian folklore. Their image and meaning varied widely from culture to culture. They could be winged, snake-like, scaly, or feathered. They have sometimes been seen as intelligent, as benevolent and powerful or as evil and destructive. Today they continue to fascinate fantasy-lovers, and are found everywhere from Harry Potter books to plush toys, so it should come as no surprise that I sorted through TONS of dragons on Etsy. Here are a few of my favorites. Please click on the caption below each picture to go to the actual item listing on etsy

Lately I've been fascinated by all of the different scrabble and glass tile pendants on etsy. (I think I want to try them out as my next major project) There are a ton of different ones, even just counting dragon-themed pendants. I thought the ones made by mrooart really stood out from the crowd because they were made using her original artwork. And not only that, the tiny artwork is gorgeous and detailed:
Dragon Tile Pendant

Also on the jewelry front were two stunning wire examples of dragons. (I admit to having a bias towards wire, as I love to work with it!) First this little silver dragon, intricately wire-wrapped and suspended in a wire circle by ylfdragon:

Silver Dragon Pendant

And then this example made of copper wire complimented by a green amazonite bead, by serpentsdancedesigns. Just loving all the spirals in this design!

Copper Dragon Pendant

I also found lots of cute (or scary!) handmade dragon figures, in every material you could think of. The polymer clay dragons were all so colorful, it was hard to pick a favorite but I really liked the ones I found at DragonsAndBeasties. This shop has dragons of just about everyc olor or description, along with unicorns and other beasties. This cute little orange guy holding a gem (makes sense, as dragons have sometimes been described as hoarders of treasure in some stories) looks kind of cuddly. The listing notes that it can be made in other colors, too!

This second one, by the same seller, is a little more edgy, in black and orange for halloween!

Halloween Dragon Figure

And last but not least, some examples of glass dragons from a shop I've had my eye on for some time. The glass figures by Glasmagie are some of my absolute favorite etsy items. They're attractive, detailed, and just have personality!
The mini dragons are my favorite thing in her shop but she has several dragon figures, a dragon pendant, and dragon orchid rods.

Mini Glass Dragons

That's it for this edition of the Hippo's Quest. Hope you enjoyed looking at the finds, please check out these lovely etsy shops! I haven't decided on a theme for the next Hippo's Quest. Is there a theme you'd like me to cover? Just leave a comment and let me know!

Copyright 2010. See more at Voyage of the Hyperspace Hippo

Monday, October 4, 2010

Handmade From Top To Bottom

Hi all! I haven’t made any new jewelry in a while, so I’m pretty excited to have something new to show you today! I bought these interesting beads with a blue and white bulls-eye pattern quite a while ago at my local bead store, and hadn’t come up with any good ideas to use them. So, I was staring at them and trying to get inspired again a few days ago until I got a whim to combine them with some of the Swarovski pearls I have left over from custom-designing a friend’s wedding jewelry. The blue and white combo is perfect! I played around with a few combinations until I had a combination of beaded links that I liked (made from 22 gauge sterling silver wire).I’ve also been determined to create something that was completely handmade, apart from the beads, that is. I used a couple of books I have on hand to get ideas on forming the chain and clasp. I connected the beaded links, and created the chain using small, simple figure-eight shapes made of 20 gauge sterling silver wire. Then (and this is the part I’m most excited about) I figured out how to adapt some of the hook-and-eye clasp designs to make this necklace expandable! (I do this for most of my necklaces and bracelets, but using store-bought lobster slasps). I started out making a regular hook-and-eye style clasp, but instead of simply making a hook and a wrapped-loop version of the eye, I made a short extra length of chain with larger loops by creating three links similar to the wrapped-loop eye. Now the clasp can be fitted into with any of the larger loops, to adjust the size of the necklace for the buyer!So, what do you think? It’s definitely a more complex and time-consuming piece than the others in my shop, but I’m pretty pleased with how it came out! If you’re interested, click here to see the Etsy listing!

If anyone’s interested in what books I am currently using for inspiration, they are: Teach Yourself Visually: Jewelry Making and Beading, and Inspired Wire, by Cynthia Wuller. I got them both at the library!

Also, a quick update-I know I told you all quite a while ago that I was working on an 'etsy finds' post featuring dragons! I'm going to try and get moving on that this week, so you can let me know on twitter (@HyperspaceHippo) if you know of any listings anything you think I might want to include!

Copyright 2010. See more at Voyage of the Hyperspace Hippo


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