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Blackstone Raid XXVI – Coming Up!

Blackstone Raid is happening this week! We’ll be in West Virginia, and looking forward to seeing a bunch of our friends! ^_^

Lemony will probably spend some time fishing, and otherwise running about and enjoying herself. Brian will be fencing and compete in the Torchlight Tournament. I’ll see if I can go sit in on some classes. I dont have anythign specifically made for the A&S tournament, so I’ll probably sit this one out. Brian might submit a gemstone, though.

Although this is technically “work” for me, I always look at Blackstone fondly. Blackstone is full of firsts for us. It was our first SCA event. It was the first time I ran into someone who had not only read a book I had, but who said she loved it. Brian got to fight. I won an award for my art. Lemony got to try fishing. People understoond what I was doing with my art and they GOT IT.

So this weekend, even though it’s technically work, it feels like we’re going home.

Do you want to join us?

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Pittsburgh Events This Week

We have some local Pittsburgh Events we’re going to this week!

First off is Thursday’s event, the Wyland PTO’s 3rd Annual Mom’s Night Out held at the Narcisi winery in Gibsonia. It’s a gorgeous location, and tickets are only $40! That’s pretty dang good for a night out drinking wine.

On Friday the 21st, we’ll be at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Night Market! There’s going to be music, food, beer, and (of course) art. It goes from 5:30 to 11, at 8th Street & Penn . You can click the link above to look at the website for more information, or you can click here for the Facebook Page. Please invite your friends!

So, where will we see you?

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A Giveaway, Steel City and the FIRST BOX.

First off, the Giveaway!

In case you didn’t know, Brian is a published author. He’s always made his short stories available at conventions as little mini books, but due to popular demand he’s making them available as 99¢ Kindle books. To celebrate, he’s offering his most popular short, “Insomnia” for free starting today and going through until the end of the holiday weekend. It’s a horror/suspense story about a man’s struggle with severe insomnia, and partially based on Brian’s own personal experience with sleep paralysis. Very creepy!

You can visit his author page here, and get the ebook on Amazon here. Please tell your friends and leave a review!

As for Steel City Con – We had a great time and will be back with his book (potentially more books!) in July. Brian will have two books done by then, and hopefully the second Windsmith City book available for purchase.

And speaking of books – I got the FIRST BOX of my “Celtic Spirals to Color” book in! That means it’ll be up in the shop as soon as I get enough light for a clean photo. Probably later today. Aren’t they pretty?

If you’d rather get one from Amazon, that’s fine with me. Here’s the link to the coloring book.

I have some new local shows coming up next week, and you’ll hear about those soon. Talk to you later!

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Blackstone Raid is Coming!

Yep! There’s a month until Blackstone, which means I have a month to make things. Is there anything you’d like to see? Seriously, aside from helping Brian sell books at Steel City Con this coming weekend (look for me in the Artist’s Alley with books!) I’ve got plenty of time to get some jewelry done.

What I have planned:

  • MOD Medallions
  • Get some Bronze to etch (So, bronze medallions)
  • Antique finish medallions
  • A ~fancy~ award medallion. Not sure which, we’ll see
  • A baronial coronet (or two)
  • More etched cuffs
  • MAYBE a finished Queen’s Rapier Champion Pin

That’s a pretty good list, but that’s a lot of etching and I’ll need something to do while that happens. Leave me a comment if there’s anything you’d like to see!Save

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New in the Shop – SCA Award Medallions

I’ve often been asked for Award Medallions, and they’ve been on my two-do list for a loooong time. During Gulf Wars, I was approached by several people looking for medallions that were nice, but not too fancy. Ones that they could wear on the battlefield, stick on their hat, or wear out socializing. Medallions that they wouldn’t be scared about dinging up, and that were at a price that wouldn’t sting if they lost it.

I listened, and I debuted them at the Donnan Party this past weekend. They’re $20, come in two styles, and are available in either brass or copper. So far I have Pelican, Laurel, and Aethelmearc Populace badges. I plan on adding more awards and kingdoms to the list in the future. Click Here to see them.

If you’re dying for a specific badge, let me know and I’ll bump it to the top of the list!

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Upcoming Events for the Summer!

Our summer is shaping up to be a busy one! We’ve got a bunch of events added to the Calendar.

April: Blackstone Raid and Steel City Con! Steel City is just books.

May: AEthelmearc War Practice

June: We have a few events pending, so we’ll see what happens.

July: PENNSIC!

August: MORE PENNSIC!

So, yeah – Lots going on so far, with the potential for way more, because we have other events pending.

So – Will we see you at any? Are you looking for anything in particular that you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments!

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I Made It! Mine Happening Next Month

Whether you’re into Valentine’s Day or not, it’s coming, and there’s more to look forward to than day-after discount chocolate.

On February 4th, 10 days before, you can join us and a bunch of other local artists and makers to shop!

So, if you’re looking for something for your sweetheart or you’re single and want to show yourself some love, you should come to SouthSide Works and see what’s in store. Carrie and the I Made It! crew always put on a great show!

Here’s the link to the event on Facebook: I Made It! Mine on FB

I’d post an event link to their website, but they’re in the middle of a redesign right now. It’ll be up soon, though!

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Happy 2017!

It’s 2017! I hope you had a great holiday. Ours was… A little crazy, but we’re fine. Any by crazy, I mean four days of over a hundred mile car rides and the power steering giving out on McKnight, but I digress. We’re fine, and we had fun seeing our families and going to the little one’s first violin recital. It was adorable.

But what’s in store for 2017? Well, aside from planning for our future brick-and-mortar, we’re confirmed for Gulf Wars, a massive SCA event down South in mid-March. We also have an event coming up this weekend, the Winter Food Truck-a-Paloosa!

It’s indoors on the 7th at the Monroeville Convention Center, so you don’t have to worry about crappy weather ruining your food. There’s also going to be music, kids’ activities, and a craft market set up, which we will be a part of! I’m really excited, because this means delicious food trucks that I normally can’t get to at outdoor shows. I’m either stuck alone in the tent and can smell them, whch is torture, or they’re so far away I have no idea what’s there and I don’t know if I can eat it or not, so I usually don’t bother.*

Mac & Gold truck, I got you in my sights. Same to you, Oh My Grille. I’ve not seen Billu’s Indian Grille, but if it’s got chicken vindaloo in it, it’s got my money already.

So, hungry yet? Join us this weekend at the Food Truck-a-Paloosa for some delicious local food! Tickets are only $10, and the proceeds benefit Monroeville Volunteer Fire Department #6.

*Fun Bran Fact – I have an intolerance to mammal meat. I react just like someone with lactose intolerance. It sucks, but I deal. Just gotta watch what I eat. Luckily, there’s PLENTY I can eat on Saturday.
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Lessons From Leo

Last night, Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY won an Oscar, and made an awesome speech. Huzzah!

While I feel happy for him, an artist that’s been given recognition for his skill and talent, it also brought up questions of success, failure and how different people react to it. Many entrepreneurs know the phrase, “Fail your way to the top,” and it would seem as though that’s exactly what he’s done.

Most of us are conditioned to believe that failure is bad, and that we should avoid failure at all costs. If I’ve learned anything from my many artistic endeavors and the Mythbusters, it’s that failure is always an option, and you always learn something from it when you do. What did Leo learn when he didn’t win? His first nomiation was at 20. Maybe he thought he needed more experience, or more training. Is this what spurred him on to greater cinematic challenges?

Most likely, yes. There are two ways to look at failure, and Leo failed multiple times in a very public forum. I’m sure some actors in the past saw their nomination and subsequent loss as a death knell, thinking, “Well, if I can’t win with that, I never will! That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done!” They take easier, smaller roles and slowly fade away. Others, like Leo, look at it and go, “Well, I didn’t win with that, and that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done! Time to tell my agent to ramp things up.”

On the flip side, what if he had won when he was 20? Would he have starred in The Revenant? Would Inception have had as much impact? How many people, upon winning high accolades early on in their careers, use that momentum to just coast along through the rest of their work? They’ve checked the achievement box, but they’re living a One-Hit-Wonder life.

To me, Leo’s Oscar win is what happens when you don’t let failure stand in your way, no matter how many people are watching. So go out there, try to do the thing, and fail until you win. When you do, party, take a moment to thank those that helped you, then scope out your next challenge.

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Old Techniques Meet Our New Tech

Just because we make jewelry inspired by museum pieces doesn’t mean we do everything old-fashioned. Brian wouldn’t want to polish stones by rubbing them against another rock, and you can have my jeweler’s saw when you can pry it from my cold, dead fingers. On that note, we recently acquired a piece of modern equipment that will help us take our jewelry to the next level!

A LASER PRINTER!

“Are you serious?!” you may be asking, “How can a laser printer help you make jewelry?”

Well, now I can transfer my hand drawings to metal. That means I can engrave, saw and even do acid etching a million times faster than before. But the big kicker is that now I can easily add enamels to my work in ways that won’t make your wallet cry. You get really authentic, REAL glass enameled jewelry, just like what your persona would have worn, and I get to feed the Little One and have electricity and make more beautiful things.

It’s a win-win!

Here’s my first test piece, along with a little pendant I made to go with it. It was inspired by this brooch from Roman Britain.

Look for some gorgeous antiqued and enamelled pieces in the shop soon!

So – What would You like to see Enameled? Celtic Knotwork? Medieval Monograms? Let me know in the Comme

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