I've been spending a majority of my free time exploring a hobby I hadn't given much thought to for years. Chainmaille was something where I knew two weaves and could make two interesting, if basic, jewelry pieces out of. But in November when a friend asking me if I wanted to participate in her holiday art sale, I knew it would be a great opportunity and that I would have a lot of work ahead of me.
I spent the next month learning as many weaves and techniques as I could and creating dozens of jewelry pieces. If I wasn't working or sleeping, I was watching Breaking Bad and chainmailling... it was kind of frightening. In the end, I felt pretty well stocked for the show and even managed to do a tiny bit of branding for Ishkadoodle Designs.
The Art and Soul Holiday Art Sale went extremely well. I sold plenty of pieces and got a good idea for what people like. It felt like the ideal way to get my feet wet with my first art show and helped me get the hang of it. The group of artists was extremely supportive and had such an eclectic variety.
I had a few opportunities to create custom orders for people on the spot, while they shopped with the other venders, it was wonderful to know that what I was working on was already going home with someone. Custom orders are my absolute favorite.
After the show was done, I had plenty of stock left over. I did what I've said I needed to do for a long time and finally set up an Etsy shop of my own. Ishkadoodle Designs will be home to not only chainmaille, but someday I'd like to get other things like tie skirts, paintings, and other jewelry up there. It's about time I start applying more time and energy to sharing my work with more than family and friends. I take so much joy in creating things, I can't possibly keep it all!
Now that I have a few weaves under my belt, I've started exploring more sculptural chainmaille patterns. The dragon pictured below is a combination of at least 6 different weaves and features both rings and scale maille. I loved piecing everything together and learning a few things on the fly that weren't included as part of the pattern I had. I've already got a custom order for the next dragon and I can't wait to make more. There is so much room for variation with sculptures like this. Even though I was working from a pattern for this one, I'm starting to brainstorm what else I could make with chainmaille as I become more comfortable with techniques.
Now that the holiday season is well in the past, I'm getting back into training parkour. It's been painful basically starting from zero again, but I wasn't very far along anyway. After the competition Fight or Flight Academy had last weekend, I feel pretty inspired. I'm glad more of my friends have expressed interest in participating because it's so much more fun when you train with people you know. Fortunately I've also been making more friends at the gym which is helping me get over the "they're all so good, they'll just laugh at me" issues I was experiencing before.
But more on that later. I've rattled on enough for today.