Sunday, April 12, 2015

Crochet Colonel Chestbridge

A friend of mine introduced me to Danger 5 last weekend and I immediately fell in love with the show.  I grew up watching reruns of the 60's Batman show and Green Hornet so this show was hitting all of my nostalgia buttons.

Inspired by the show, I decided to crochet Colonel Chestbridge.  Since they creators talk in interviews about how they had no money for the first season, I gave myself an extra challenge: I could only use materials that I already had.  Thankfully, I have a ton of odds and ends, some 17-year old Sculpey that worked for the Sit Down Gun, and yarn and felt in all the right colors.

I'm pretty happy with the result, especially since it forced me to design an eagle head and beak.  I'm happiest with the handmade bias tape I hand stitched to the felt jacket.  Chestbridge is a dapper colonel.

Vanessa Walilko
Handmade chainmail jewelry
Chainmail jewelry supplies

Friday, April 3, 2015

Belly dance

I recently started taking belly dancing classes at Arabesque Dance & Fitness in Chicago.  After a long, cold winter, I wanted to start moving again.  After seeing a friend perform at one of their haflas, I decided to sign up.

I absolutely love the classes so far, so much so that I decided to design a chainmail belly dance belt.  I had disks, rings, and chain, and when I got an idea, I quickly doodled it on a scrap of paper.

I started working obsessively on it immediately.  I finished it last night, and I'm so thrilled with how it turned out.

Now that it's done, I guess I'll go back to knitting that sweater I started a couple weeks ago.  If I finish it soon, I might be able to wear it once before it gets too warm.

Aluminum chainmail jewelry
Handmade jewelry

Friday, March 6, 2015

That Beaded Dragon and renewing creativity

Madeleine L'Engle wrote about how she played the piano when she felt creatively stuck.  For me, working on my stuffed dragon helped get me out of a creative slump.  I love it, although it will be a terribly heavy neck pillow when all is said and done.

Here are some shots of my progress:

Close-up of progress after day 2.
 My dragon just chills out on the couch between beading sessions.
Progress after day 3.  I love adding those gemstones down the back.

Stay tuned for more photos of the dragon in progress!

Vanessa Walilko

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dragon plush necklace

There are few things more satisfying than working on a project that's been sitting in a box untouched for a few years.  I got it in my head the other day that I really should finish this dragon soft sculpture necklace/fancy neck pillow.

Some ideas pop into my head and I make them immediately, some need to percolate a bit.  This originally started out as a big sculpture that would wind around my body, but I settled on something bold but still wearable.

Now I just need to start working on the bead embroidery, which will take another few years, probably.  But the body is finally done, which makes me very happy.

Personalized jewelry
Anodized aluminum jewelry

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Night at the Musem 3 chainmail

Last year around this time, a friend and colleague contacted me about doing a huge commission on a really tight deadline.  As soon as he said it was for Night at the Museum 3, well, I was in.

The next thing I knew, I was getting an overnight delivery for 20 pounds of rings that I had to link together and then overnight to Hollywood in a week.  I had some help, thankfully, or it wouldn't have gotten done.

Did I mention that this happened right before the One of a Kind show last year?  I still can't believe I got it all done while making inventory for the show.

Anyway, despite the rush, I had sense enough to take some photos.  They aren't the best quality, but I'm publishing them for posterity.

I wish I had taken a photo of the two HUGE bags of rings I received in the mail.  We all have regrets.  However, I did take pictures of the rectangles.  Here's the first one.

Then I took photos as I made more strips that I linked together into rectangles:

Finally, I had to get everything in the mail the same day I was setting up my booth for the One of a Kind show.  So I took a blurry photo at the book showing all of the pieces.

The most fun part of the whole experience was taking the package downstairs to FedEx.  When the guy at the counter saw that it was addressed to "Night at the Museum 3 - Costume Department" he asked, "Really?"  When I said yes, he then called over the other staff members and we all had a fun chat about chainmail and costumes.

So, go see Night at the Museum 3 and tell your friends you know who made some of the chainmail for the movie.

Vanessa Walilko
Aluminum chainmail jewelry
Aluminum costumes for stage and screen

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bernat Blanket Yarn Sweater

Super bulky yarn is the trick to making big, cozy sweaters in just a couple of evenings.  I've made this awesome piece out of Bernat Blanket Yarn.  I finished this with just two skeins and I couldn't be happier. 

Vanessa Walilko
Aluminum chainmail jewelry

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dragon crochet hat

It's winter.  Time to avoid the outside and crochet up a storm.  Pattern purchased on Etsy here.

Vanessa Walilko
Aluminum chainmail jewelry