Category Archives: chainmail

Why might one be addicted to weird mathematical ways to fasten little metal rings together? I dunno, man, but I’m it.

Fast, like a fart on linoleum

(Bonus points if you get the reference, of course.)

So, thing one — the problem with buying riotmod’s songs appears to be fixed, so if you were considering spending two bucks for three songs that are so very edgy that probably nobody you know has ever heard of them (ooOOooh, right?), then take your awesome self to this page and have at thee!

Thing two:  THANK YOU to everyone who’s bought one of my keychains so far!  All the ones currently on order will be mailed tomorrow (I had some "stock" left over from "stocking" the "stockings", you might say, and people have been asking for all the right colors, woot!).  But please don’t worry about overloading me — I need the money, so if you want me to sit up all night metalknitting you a mountain of keychains, you just go right over here and ask, and ye shall etcetera.  Don’t hesitate to ask about other jewelry, either; my prices are highly reasonable and I can make plenty of things that I haven’t had the time to photograph one of yet.

My, I’m in a punchy mood tonight.  Forgive me; I got fed highly reactive Grandma-food. 

Too much tradition makes me tweak out sometimes.  ;)



New and Exciting Stuff!

Hey, world!  Looking for something fun and artistic and useful that you can buy online for under $10 while helping out an unemployed kungfu-philosopher nerd and her awesome family?

Look no further!  Not one, but two such items have been magicked into availability, just for you.  

The first is a bit of handmade chainmail from yours truly:  Attractive keychains in many colors, lovingly handcrafted while I watch old kungfu movies in the evenings.  ;)  They're just $5, and you can read everything about them and painlessly buy them right at this page here.  Also, here's a picture: 

Neat, huh?


The other thing is even cheaper, and arguably even cooler:  My husband riotmod, ridiculously-talented musician, is selling his first singles, before the album is even done, through me only!  So you can download his (high-quality, completely-DRM-free) MP3's for only a dollar each — buy two and he'll throw in a bonus track for free! [EDIT: I've been made aware that the PayPal button on the page for riotmod's songs isn't working; it's not my fault and hopefully they can fix it soon...the one for the Chainmail Keychains is working fine, though.  I'll let everyone know when they fix the songs one, and really sorry for any inconvenience! EDIT AGAIN: Fixed!  ;)]

So, one song for a dollar, or three for two dollars — and they're good songs, I promise.  (They're not my very very favorite ones of his; those are still in production.  But Warren Ellis liked one of these enough to play it on his podcast!)

So if you have a few dollars and you, or someone you like, would dig some chainmail or music, please hop over to the relevant page…and thank you for helping us out!


(Both pages also have a permanent link on the right-hand side of my website, now, too, in case you need to find them later.  ;)

The Haul! (Massive Squee-ing and lots of pictures)

So, it’s not technically an Xmas present or a birthday present, but as it falls directly in-between the two and has now made me squeal for almost a week (and will probably continue to induce shriekage for some time), I’m going to call it, simply, The Haul.

The Haul comes from my friend and official Chainmail Patron, who, in spite of living an arseload of a ways away, has religiously kept up his routine of feeding my chainmail addiction (which addiction is sort of his fault to begin with, not that I’d ever blame The Great And Honorable Patron for anything, much less that).  For his part, he’s an incredibly skilled craftsman and tool-head, and while we’re a bit different in our applications of the art (mine is mostly tangly math and fiddly jewelry-like bits; his is larger pieces and seriously impressive pieces of “look what I made this steel do!”), we certainly share the strange addiction that probably only other addicts can really identify with me about.

It’s an odd disease, chainmail.  One minute you’re thinking how pretty a simple 4-in-1 chain is; next minute you’re wondering how much argon you’d need to weld your own silver, and who you’d have to rob to buy the equipment to build the rig.  And if the person you robbed might know how, because you’ve never even seen such a thing before.

So.  All this is to explain why a few months ago I started making pretty jewelry and this Xmas I begged for, and got, my very own drill press.   Because yes, one can buy the rings, but something about it seems dirty, and winding the wire by hand and clipping them one at a time is massively annoying (to me, anyway; some people seem to like it).  I don’t have a picture of my drill press yet, which in a way is kind of comforting.  “See?  SEE?  I didn’t photograph the drill press!  I’m salvageable!”

But the Chainmail Patron, upon hearing of the drill press, put together this amazing box of stuff (that he claims to have just had laying around his shop, and though it’s flattering to think that that’s a lie, having seen his shop I believe it), and I did take pictures of all the goodies it contained.  Squirm under the cut to get to ‘em, and if you do, may heaven have mercy on your nerdtastic soul.  ;)

(And whether or not you do, be thankful with me for a moment that the world has such a thing as Patrons, and awesome friends too.)

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A Lack of a Fear of Failure

Hey yo.  Sorry about the intermittent postings; things are markedly crazy here.  My house is being worked on (largely by me), we’re adding another person to the household mix (for awesome and exciting reasons), and the clock is ticking on the countdown to Starting Me Own Business.  (Once that’s happened, I can legitimately put spots on my daily schedule for "Minding Me Own Business", yeah?)

And, oh, lots of stuff.  I got my first commissions for chainmail work, so the picky little hobby has the added flavor of (minimal but actual) cash; and I’m trying to study up on math — not physics, which I like, but arithmetic and algebra, which I don’t — so that I don’t fail the test I need to take to get into grad school.  Oo, and I got my diploma…and before I had it a day, spilled a whole monsoon of coffee on it.  I was upset at first, but then I thought about it, and coffee-stains are so appropriate for a philosophy degree, especially this one.  So I’ve decided that it has character now.  (Anyway, my awesome husband washed it, and now you can barely tell.)

And while I’m on about fearlessly leaping into doctoral education and small business administration like they’re so many happy lukewarm mud-puddles, I’ve been sort of fearless about my sleep-schedule lately too. 

(This part is going behind a cut, because it contains conclusions that strongly depend on having done a polyphasic schedule for over two years now, and if you’re just starting out with, or contemplating, polyphasic sleep, this isn’t necessarily good information for you to have right now.  It’s also massively theoretical, being that I’m the only person I know about (besides Dr. Fuller) to do this this long — so if you do read further, please keep in mind that this is my experience and *only* mine.)

(But yeah, I’m getting pretty fast and loose with this…)

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Moar Chainmail!

Because half of you are here about sleep and half are here about foreclosures, I present to you…a crapload of pictures of chainmail jewelry!

(You know, when unexpected things happen, you form new neural connections, which has been linked conclusively to preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia.  I only do it because I care.)

"Black Rubber Folded Japanese" is really fun to say.  Which is the basic theory behind all my names, really.  …Oops, did I say too much?


Hit the cut for the rest.  Viva las neurons!!

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Google Books: My Hero

Okay, I’ve never used Google Books before — because face it, I have plenty of books to read here; I sometimes find myself wishing for a hospital visit or something so I can get to some of them — but today it absolutely made my day.

Why?  Because one of the papers I’m holed up writing this weekend* is about David Hume, and I don’t own a copy of his mega-master-work, A Treatise on Human Understanding.  But I need it as a primary source.  So I put the phrase in, hoping Google-fu will unearth some exerpts or something with enough veracity to quote as a primary source…and what do you think I find?

The entire text.  Indexed, searchable, and, in spite of being an image, copyable with the copy/paste command, for easy quoting.

Brilliant, brilliant, OMG BRILLIANT.

So, that’s the good news. 

The bad news?  Is how many things I want to do this weekend, and probably can’t because it’s imperative that I finish both these papers.  Because I can’t do them, I guess I’ll console myself by making a list of them:

*  Set up new drum kit!  (Will probably, to be fair, do this one anyway…come on, I have a drum kit!!  It’s awesome!!!)
*  Go to taiji (will definitely do this anyway, because otherwise I’ll be so sore from being behind the computer all weekend…ugh)
*  Go to open-skate charity event at Anime to Skateboards…I love the owners of that shop, and that they’ll set up all kinds of equipment in their parking lot and let people come skate on it on a Saturday, raffle stuff off and give the proceeds to Gleaners…I’d have to make stupid hot progress today in order to be able to swing this tomorrow…but, um…I really want to!
*  Work on basement…lord, that’s getting desperate…but I probably just can’t
*  Ditto I just can’t do any painting in the kitchen, though geez, I’ve had that paint for months now
*  Photograph and post new chainmail, heh yeah right
*  Make tutorial for "my" chainmail weave, Asian Bicycles…again, haha yeah right
*  Buy new printer…might end up having to do this, since mine is taking a crap and well, paper-writing means printing some things now and again…though who knows, Google Books might save me from that too…
*  Buy new underwear…shut up, I need it!
*  Donate the metric shit-ton of accumulated clothing, and pick up some new work pants while I’m there…yeah, probably not…
*  Do a ton of laundry (will do this, because it provides good repetitive-stress breaks)
*  Read this week’s comics (Immortal Iron Fist!  Jack of Fables!  Thor!  Awesome haul this week) and watch the new Dr Who and anime I’ve got…yeah…maybe, if my brain fries hard enough, but I hope it doesn’t because I can’t miss any more work for this, and it’s gotta get done…
*  Call contractor & mechanics (they’ll just have to call me, probably)
*  Not go crazy (very unlikely that I’ll get around to that one; it’s too much work!)
*  Finalize Ubersleep! …MAN it’s irritating me to have it so close and not be able to work on it!  Just gotta hold out until next week, though…
*  File the piles of paperwork from April (not that I’ve ever managed to do that right at the end of the month, like I should)

And, you know, other crap.  At least it’s there, though, so maybe my brain can just get used to the idea that there’s a huge list of crap we’re not going to get to do this weekend, and get over itself.  You thing?  …Yeah, me neither.  If my brain could get over itself, I’d be Buddha or something by now.

Speaking of, I’m having a great email conversation that I plan to post bits of soon…you ever correspond with someone and think, "If they ever collect my "correspondence" when I die, this is going to be some of the best of it"?  Well, I have.  I know some awesome people, digitally and otherwise.




*Look, I’m not procrastinating; I’m killing time while I update OpenOffice because that italics bug in 2.3 is killing me, okay?

Bet you didn’t see this one coming…

Ever had a hobby wrap you lovingly around its fork and eat you in one gulp? Well, I have, but this is even particularly voracious for a hobby of mine. Maybe there’s something metaphorical about it…you know, making chains… Anyway, here, for the viewing pleasure you probably didn’t know you had (and, um, my storage and reference), are the first run of pictures of my first pieces. That’s right, my first pictures, marking the first time using the first lightbox I’ve ever made (first time using a lightbox, period), of my very first chainmail pieces. …What I’m trying to say here is, don’t be surprised at a little amateurism, eh? But still, look and enjoy, if you dig this sort of thing. ;)

This here is a choker necklace I finished recently…it’s my first Oriental weave piece, and it’s purpler than the crappy lighting makes it look.  (Look, I just made the first lightbox I’ve ever seen in my life and used it for the first time to take these pictures.  Don’t expect Ansel Adams.)

Here it is in close-up:

purplicious closeup

(More after the cut!)




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Does Color Mean We’re Gods?

Yesterday my package finally arrived!  YAY YAY YAY and more silliness — I’d been hawking the mail for that thing for over a week. 

And now, with suppliez, my new obsession can become really dangerous.  Good thing the pliers are small; if I really lose it, the most damage I can do is cause a blood-blister or two.

So, all I did last night was put away all my new rings, but in the course of this, something struck me.  I was sitting there, lovingly squishing the little bags with the colored aluminum rings, not really thinking anything about how weird this was:  I’ve come to accept that I’m a chainmail addict now, and there’s just nothing to be done for it but stick rings together until I die, or am cured by a traveling mage.  But then I noticed that other people were also fascinated by the colored aluminum.  Like animals, we all felt drawn to the shineys, compulsed to play and poke and pat them.  But I had plain silver, "bright aluminum" rings too, and those didn’t get nearly as much attention as the colored ones, even though they’re arguably shinier.

It also just so happens that I’m reading Locke this week for one of my classes, and as some of you will know, John Locke famously categorized color as a "secondary quality" — something that exists, not in an object itself, but rather as an object’s ability to cause a certain idea in our minds.  This is how he explained the fact that some qualities of things, like their size and number, are not affected by our subjective experiences (two things is two things, no matter who you are); and some, like color, are. 

Obviously, in Locke’s time, there wasn’t the science to know that things like color do come from an object, and that the color (in the sense of the specific wavelengths of light reflected) is actually as knowable objectively as size and weight — just not very accurately by our senses.  (Thinking about it, without any tools at hand, you and I probably couldn’t agree completely on the weight or size of something, either — our senses would provide estimates, just as they do with color.  We would agree that this is redder than that, and this is heavier than the other, but what you think is one pound I might think is two, and what you call red I may say is more purple.)

But, even if they’re not distinct from the normal properties of an object, colors are still special somehow — they draw us, they have mental and emotional connotations for us; they inspire like and dislike.  (I’m certainly no exception — while I love my new colorful metal bits, I can’t generally bear to wear colors that are too bright or too far from neutral.  Couldn’t tell you why for the life of me.)  Not to mention, color is a typical correspondence used in all types of magick, ancient and modern, serious and hogwash.  Different colors have been shown to affect us differently — stick someone in a red room and someone in a blue room, and you can see a psychological effect.  Give one guy a pound of butter and another guy two pounds, and, well, you get the point. 

Is it because they’re experienced more subjectively, because we feel like we have a hand in "creating" them, that we tend to get so involved with color?  Or maybe the explanation is more physical — maybe the parts of the brain that interpret color sit next to some other parts that cause an emotional reaction when they’re stimulated.  You never know, with brains.  Brains are tricky. 

And so, it would appear, are colors.  For while a wavelength is subject to the exactitude of physics, a color, specifically, isn’t.  Color is like sound, in that it doesn’t actually exist without our input — if there were no eyes on the planet which could see color, would there be colors?  (This is exactly the same question as "If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no-one to hear it, does it make a sound?"  …The answer to both is no.  Light would still exist, and waves of vibration would still exist, but with no eyes or ears, there’s no color, and no sound.) 

So maybe Locke had a point, drawing that distinction…unless…would there be size or weight, without someone to measure or notice it?  Would there only be Mass, and what’s the difference?  Are primary qualities (size, weight, number, etc.) actually completely independent from our senses, or only more resistant to them?  …Well, regardless, we know that what Locke called "secondary qualities" are definitely more dependent on our senses, to the point where, arguably, they don’t exist without us.

I don’t know about you guys, but thinking about that gives me the shivers.  Man is creating the world, on a second-by-second basis.  Thinking of ourselves as "part God" is no longer just a pretty phrase, or a safe one — if we’ve been creating such huge things as color and sound (and time and fear and hope and come on, think of some more) all this time, what else might we be creating, or capable of creating?

Maybe heaven is as close as figuring out how to work our minds properly.

Maybe hell is as close as failing to.

…It’s amazing what you can learn from color.  Or, to look at it another way, from little metal rings and their emminent squishability in a plastic bag.  ;)