Thursday, February 28, 2013

TypeKey Hairpins - Listed!

Yay!  Guess who just listed eight TypeKey Hairpins to her Etsy store?

That's right--this girl!

I got them listed just in time, too--February is apparently International Typewriter Appreciation Month.  Who knew?  :)

The Story:

In the Landus Fantasticus, almost all writing is done by hand. That is why good handwriting is highly prized, and much emphasis is placed on learning good penmanship. Professional calligraphers and scribes are always in high demand.

However, there have been a few imports from the Land Beyond the Sea... and one of these imports was a typewriter. This particular contraption is now in the possession of the High King, located in the Royal Library at the Noble Court. It is being studied (and utilized) by the Head Librarian.

These hairpins boast charms that resemble number keys, much like those found on that imported typewriter. Indeed, these accessories look like they could adorn the hair of one of the librarians—a small tribute to writing, and the many forms that it takes.


Want to see the listings?  Check them out here!

And want to see how cool they look in someone's hair?  Check them out here!  
(Many, many thanks to my best friend for letting me take pictures of the back of her head.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Behold, a Wild Hairpin has Appeared!

Look what I saw recently, wandering the wilds:

By Jove!  It's a TypeKey Hairpin!

Yes, indeed, my friend was wearing the TypeKey Hairpin that I reserved for her.  (Remember how I said the number 3 was spoken for?)

Another angle... both to show off the hairpin
and my friend's lovely hair.

I am really excited with how this design turned out...  I'm working on the listings, so that I can post them to my store.  I'm also currently hunting down silver typewriter charms, so that I can make some in antique silver, too.  Excitement!

...And I have very tolerant friends, letting me take pictures of the back of their heads.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Show and Tell: Necklace Make-Over

I am so incredibly lucky.

I have a few people in my life who send me beautiful jewelry and beads to play around with.  My Aunt who is downsizing her jewelry collection so that she can move, for instance...  

Or my Aunt (a very good friend of my parents--technically not related, although she might as well be) who is sorting through the jewelry owned by one of her relatives.

Going to the mailbox is sometimes like Christmas.

Now, you can probably guess: this is one of these necklaces that I have remade.  

(Was it the title that gave it away?)

The original was sent to me by my not-related-but-still-awesome Aunt, my parents' good friend who I have known since I was a little little girl.

This original necklace was made of two long strands.  

One was made with creamy glass pearls, and the other with a pattern of pearls, amber beads, and large brass bicones.  (I, unfortunately, did not get a good picture of the necklace before it was dismantled.)

At the back, there was a gorgeous clasp.

When I went to remake it, I thought that it was a shame to hide the clasp.

...So I brought it to the front.

Now, I have to admit that the original pattern was lovely, but not quite my style... so instead, I focused on the glass pearls--using the amber beads and brass bicones as accents, tying in the colors of the clasp.

I added the three-strand dangle to add some elegant drama to the piece...  

And it really does look quite stunning when the necklace is worn with the clasp just slightly off-center, and the three-strand dangle cascading down.

To be honest, this style of necklace is not something I would have ever thought to make...  

I usually don't work with such elaborate clasps that demand attention, or really work with vintage-cream all that much.

This necklace--and the other jewelry sent to me--makes me tackle different color combinations, different designs...  

Challenging me to acknowledge possibilities that I might not have seen otherwise.

It's like my own personal Bead Soup, pushing myself out of my comfort zone to learn and tackle new things.

I even had beads leftover for a simple matching pair of earrings.

...I am so incredibly lucky.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Apparently I'm an Excited Over-Achiever

So, my Bead Soup reveal is April 6th...

That's when I get to show off everything that I've made with the beads that my partner sent me.

Bubble, bubble... beads and rubble?
Okay, so it doesn't quite work.

As of right now, I have made 5 items.

...And a 6th item is bubbling right along.

I think that my biggest challenge in this experience is not going to be making something--but waiting until I can blog about it!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cozy Day

Today, I am thankful for quiet things:

   and coffee 
      and time with family
         and fuzzy slippers
            and the thought of home-cooked applesauce.

The Dr. Who Scarf is slowly coming along...
I'm about 1/3 of the way done.

These cozy moments are precious, peaceful... And I am thankful for a chance to just sit and be content.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Why anafiassa?

It has occurred to me that I should probably explain my username.  After all, I use it both here and on my Etsy site...  and anafiassa isn't exactly a common word.

The Short Explanation:

Anafiassa means "wondrous." I picked it, not to say that I am wondrous (hardly!), but to recognize that, no matter how grumpy I get, my life is amazing and filled with lovely, beautiful things.  

...And it is those lovely, beautiful things that I want to share with the world... to bring shimmers of light into people's lives, and perhaps to make them smile when they're having a bad day.

I can hear you now: "it's a random piece of paper with squiggles on it."
Keep reading to learn just what
this random piece of paper with squiggles has to do with anything!

The Long Explanation:

You're still reading?  Yay!

Now, you might be wondering in just what language anafiassa means wondrous.  I'll tell you: in Ishuan.

What is Ishuan, you ask?

A language that I created.

...So, yeah, there's that.  I create languages for fun--mostly to use in my novels, but also just because it's fun.  I have about five good, solid languages that I've worked on--from the phonology to word-structure to grammar.  I've even worked on alphabets.  Ishuan is, by far, the most advanced language that I have done.

(Trivia: I actually wrote my wedding vows in Ishuan, and read them like that at the wedding--well, in English, too. I have a very, very supportive husband.)

Anywhere, here is the translation of those squiggles piece of paper:

Did you see it?  Did you see the word "anafiassa"?

In case you missed it, this is what my screen name looks like, written in the original Ishuan:

So, there you have it--the origin of anafiassa.

Thank you for letting me explain the meaning behind my screen name...  and for letting me share just a little piece of myself with you.

Hopefully, one day, my words will live up to my name.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Story of a Pylon

Alternate Title: 
3D Modeling Meets Jewelry Making

For the past several months, I have been hinting--repeatedly--that I was working on a very special commission.  

Now that said commission is completed and received by its intended recipient, I can finally talk about it here.  I have been beyond excited, and I am absolutely thrilled to be able to write about it. 

Let me start by showing you the final product:

This, my friends, is a Pylon Pendant.

And now, I will tell you how that particular pendant came to be:

It began when, last year, I was contacted by a young man who wanted to commission a very, very special Christmas present for his girlfriend. 

He wanted a pendant in the shape of a very specific, very unique pylon.

Not too hard, right?

...Except I couldn't just call up the pylon store, or visit the pylon website. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been contacted about making this pendant in the first place.  (Why did he contact me? Because of this listing on my store.)

So, it was immediately evident that, in order to fill the commission, I would have to make a pylon.

As I explored my options, I rediscovered that my polymer clay skills are not that impressive.  (Ugh, need to work on that.) 

And while my wire-wrapping and bead skills were more than competent, the best I could do was something stylized...  not quite the specific look he was interested in.

I am still very proud of this prototype...  it was going to go around
a lovely light blue Swarovski crystal pendant.

In all honesty, I was at a bit of a loss.

...And then my husband suggested 3D modeling.


Say what?

Now, I had been dabbling with 3D modeling some time ago (see here)... But make a pylon? Really?

But, I decided to try it. After all, there is a website called Shapeways that you can submit designs to, and they 3D print them for you in a variety of materials... So, if I could successfully model a pylon, I could get it printed.

I played around, and was thrilled when I made something close to what I was looking for.

By golly, it's a pylon!

Here it is again!

That model could then be printed as this:

Wow!  I made that!

The inside of the outer ring.


Except that the crystal was in no way connected to the outer ring.

And the little hoops didn't print--the ones on the tips, put there so that it's actually attachable to a necklace.  (After all, it was supposed to be a pendant.)

So, back to the 3D model!

...And thus began the rather painful process of trying to get something that worked.  

Pylon 7 couldn't be printed, because the little hoops were too thin,
and so was the disc connecting the ring to the crystal.

Pylon Attempt 12 couldn't be printed, because that blue
piece was too thin.

Pylon 13 couldn't be printed, because the pointy ends were too thin.

I went through 17 different drafts, tweaking as I went to make something that was actually printable.

Then, finally, I came up with this one:

Pylon 17 - printable!

Now, I'll admit that it doesn't look like much when it's on its side like that...

But look at how it prints out!

Top view.

Side view.

...And then, to paint it.

After all, the final pylon was supposed to be blue, with a golden outer rim.  While quite stylistic, color was necessary.

To go with detail on the outer ring, or
not to go with detail on the outer rim?

And then, once the color was decided on (a combination of the different options), the final pylon came to light.

Glamour Shot!

...Another glamour shot!
...Yet another glamour shot!
You can't blame me--I worked hard on this!

This was the listing that went on my store.

All told, this process took six months, from July to December.  And keep in mind that, during that time, I got extremely sick with wisdom teeth issues, my wrist was still healing from being over-knitted, and my husband broke his leg in a motorcycle accident.

Of course, I couldn't have asked for a better customer.  I was sure to keep him involved in every part of its creation...  I told him upfront that it would take a long time, and he was so wonderfully patient as I explored the way to make it exactly what he wanted.

And so, that is the story of the Pylon...

...thinking outside the box, trying something new, pushing myself to overcome limitations and making something pretty dang impressive. I still look at that and go, wow--I made that!

3D modeling...  it's not just for computers, anymore!

P.S. In case you were wondering: the girlfriend absolutely loved it.

P.P.S. My apologies for the long entry--it's rather hard to encapsulate 6 months of work into one post!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oooooo, shiny!

It is no surprise that I like things that are shiny...  

But, recently, I've been enjoying things that are really shiny--faceted Czech glass and Swarovski crystals and all manner of sparklies that glitter in the light.

So, in honor of this, I have posted a new series of bling, named after a particular bird that also enjoys shiny things:

Magpie Treasures 

Earrings in deep cobalt blue

Matching cobalt hairsticks

The Story:
Magpies, it is commonly believed, like to collect shiny things. It's certainly true of the Magpies in the Landus Fantasticus! 

Iridescent plated Czech glass earrings

Matching iridescent hairsticks

Extremely intelligent birds, they have been seen flying all across the land—from the Coast to the High Mountains—looking for discarded pieces of glass, stray beads, bits of shell, anything shiny and shimmery. 

People have even been known to leave out shiny trinkets to attract these Magpies... After all, in the Landus Fantasticus, they are considered bearers of good luck.

Bronze plated Czech glass earrings

...And, you guess it: matching bronze hairsticks!

Made with faceted Czech glass, these earrings and hairsticks certainly sparkle in the light... 

And they look distinctly like something that would attract a Landus Fantasticus Magpie!


Click here in order to see these items in my shop!

For those new to my blog, the Landus Fantasticus is the setting for a novel series that I'm working on... and it is also the source for the stories that I attach to my jewelry.

Why do I do this?  To make each piece unique, and add some extra flavor.  It might be silly of me, but I figure, why wear a piece of jewelry, when you can wear a piece of a story? :D

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bead Soup - What I Sent to My Partner

What I Sent to My Partner:
A Reveal in Four Photos

Here it is...  all black and white, swirly, and mosaic-like.

Here it is... swirly and mosaic-like.

Here it is...  swirly.

Here it is!!


This is the collection of beads that I sent to my partner...  And, since she has received them, I am now at liberty to share them with you!

The focal is a flower carved in olive jade.  The clasp is a antique gold toggle in the shape of a leaf.  The beads include lilac stone, cats eye glass, glass pearls, seed beads, and freshwater pearls.  Brass filigree, leaves, and stampings round it off.  Hee--I even included two hairpin blanks, for her to have fun with (if she so desired, of course)!

I had so much fun putting it together for her...  I can't wait to see what amazing things she makes with it!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bead Soup - What My Partner Gave Me

It's here!  My bead soup is here!

*does an excited happy dance*

Look at it!  Isn't it lovely?

Another shot, to show off the color of the pendants a bit better.

My partner was so incredibly generous with her soup...  She sent me not one, but two beautiful dichroic focals that she had made.  In her letter to me, she explained that they were a new mosaic design she was working on.

How cool to get things that are new and exciting and on the "cutting edge"!

I think they are awesome.

Here, have a better look at them:

The came individually wrapped in bright pink tissue paper.

Pendant 1:
It is so bright and cheerful, it makes me smile.

...And I know that I have at least two skirts that would match this.

Pendant 2:
The colors aren't quite as in-your-face, but it is
still beautifully striking.  I love how the blue shimmers.

She also included a lovely array of things to complement those amazing pendants.


A lovely toggle clasp.

Beadcaps!  Chain!  Round spacer beads!  Awesome silver hexagons!

...And then, to top it all off, she sent me a gorgeous pair of handmade dichroic earrings.

Just because.

They are definitely more subtle than the pendants...
But they still have the lovely dichroic shimmer.


I am speechless and thrilled and so excited to start working on my soup.  There are so many wonderful possibilities...  I certainly hope that I can do these pieces justice!

Thank you so, so much Marianne!  :D


Remember, her website is here:

And her blog is here: