Thursday, December 17, 2009


it's dooooone

well okay, there are some bugs to fix on it. firstly, it's a bit too tight in some areas and I keep popping brass rings. first, I'm going to swap out all the 16 gauge rings for 14 gauge (eventually), and then I'm going to add more scales. where? I'm not entirely sure yet.

here's the finished collar!

I didn't get a chance to grab a photo of the completely finished shirt while it was on me... as I can no longer put the shirt on myself, I am now totally reliant on having someone else suit me up. blargh, how annoying. we'll see if I can't grab some good images tomorrow or something.

now it's on to the next step: bronze plate. I'll be taking a break for Christmas, and I'll only update the blog from now until January 11 if I did something in my spare time (or if I get good photos of the final product of the shirt).


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


my final final exam is tomorrow at noon.

I think I have a solid solution for the armpits.

and I have enough milk for a tea party.




I finished replacing the first half of the collar with the corrected piece of leather. it's so wonderful. however, I have exams to focus on tonight, so I'll save photos for later!


Sunday, December 13, 2009


ugh my main machine contracted a terrible virus. looks like that Windows 7 update was due to come earlier than expected... blargh. writing this post from the laptop!

anyway, after a good period of hacking away chunks of leather and lots of superglue, I got the first pieces of collar leather to the right shape and made a pattern for its replacement, as well as for the other half. I also got to install that second half today and it's PERFECT, let me tell you. ohhh it's so nice to have something work for a change!

it didn't come out as close to the neck as I'd have liked, but hey, I'm not complaining. I hope to have the collar completely finished tomorrow, and I might even take another stab at the underarms. I'm in the final stages, finally!


the drill press worked! I got all my holes done in record time.

however, the leather was the wrong shape. I'm trying to cut it up and superglue it in hopes not of salvaging the leather but of creating the correct shape for a pattern. eeeesh this is such a hassle. tomorrow, I will have the correct shape and I'll finish the collar and that's final.

>: O

Saturday, December 12, 2009


so I've spent the day adding the collar.

I had no idea how difficult it is to punch holes in heavy leather @_@ I broke my tool after 10 holes, and I have so many more to do! tomorrow, I'm going to try the drill press. if that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to find another tool. I'm running out of time!

well at least the scales on the collar are done, and I'm pretty sure the leather is the right shape this time. whew!

Friday, December 11, 2009



mostly, I went home and took a nap. however, I also cut up half a dozen sheets of paper trying to figure out the right shape for the underarm leather (since I already wasted some leather on it, it's very scary @_@). I decided I didn't like any of the shapes I came up with so I worked some on the collar scales.

I added two more rows to each half after I took this photo and I think I'm happy with this 3 inch height. I'm going to cut and grommet leather for underneath it tomorrow and put off the underarms another day.

the best kind of procrastination is the kind where you get other things done too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I got the scales under the arms done. now I have just the collar to finish and a few rows more to do on the bottom of the front! I estimate about 300 scales left. man that's not much!

all that work and I'm still having fun!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


so I think I've solved my underarms problem. I've scaled up the sides and removed the leather except for the part on the arm, which will connect with a sort of web shape to the body. this will allow it to fold lower down and wrinkle up less. woohoo! I'm almost done : D

I'm redoing the right underarm still, which is why it's not on my arm. the other one is good though!

wait, where did that come from?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I think I've figured out what to do about the armpit. it requires more scales and less leather. I may or may not have a photo tomorrow... so many things due in classes x_x

bloody hell! it's so frustrating to be so close to finishing and yet so very far away... but at least the cheese and broccoli soup was good. that helps : )

Monday, December 7, 2009



Sunday, December 6, 2009


wooo! scales are so close to being done... I estimate about 400 more to do (and I already have 120 waiting for acid). and on schedule, I did both underarms with leather. just the arm parts though, not the little bits that also run up the sides of the body! grommets total: 104. leather dimensions: 12" x 3" x 6" (there was a taper). they look pretty classy! now I've just got to figure out how I'm going to darken the grommets without ruining the leather...

leather, brass grommets, steel anvil. hah!

in celebration of being nearly done with scales, I made a paper mock-up of the pauldron/spaulders (which word is which, anyway?). dang I'm so excited I could just drop all my classes!


okay I promise I won't do that. but... it's tempting *_* 

Saturday, December 5, 2009


today, I wove 80 scales and scratched on 60. I'm thinking I'll need another batch or so to finish everything I want to on the scales. tomorrow, I'm going to start measuring for the leather. I spent the rest of the day finishing a paper, so I didn't have time to take any photos. tomorrow I'll make a point to!


Friday, December 4, 2009


once again, no pictures... I'm finishing up a paper that's due tomorrow, so I'm going to be boring and tell you I didn't do much more on the shirt besides rivet one of the zipper stops on (ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would and some of the cloth slipped out from between the plates of bronze so I'm mad at it). just a teeny tab of fabric slipped out. I got the other two rivets to pierce the fabric just fine but this one, the outside corner, decided that I didn't give it enough room on the edge and slipped right out.

now how am I supposed to fix that?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


hey! today was full of homework. however, I got about 50 more scales woven into one more row on the front and sides (but not the back) of the shirt, gaining another quarter of an inch. ideally, I'd add another inch, but we'll see how much time I have. I'm not going to add too much more under the arms, and come Saturday, I'll begin measuring for the leather. joy!


no work on the shirt today... I really had to take a break from yesterday @_@

however, I did do some stuff in Second Life. I've been creating several varieties of reef plants for the island-y ground level of my sim. so far I've made 4 different species of things.

here, a seadryke examines a colony of gill coral. prawnweed decorate the sandy floor.

Monday, November 30, 2009


yeesh, November is over! well at least I've made very good progress.

today, I wove about 35 scales and I designed, cut, etched, and treated a zipper stopper for the main zipper down the back. it was a lot of work and I ruined a shirt doing it all!

first, after I sawed out my shapes (which was very noisy in my room, since the desk seemed to amplify the sound of the blade against the metal), I painted them with asphaltum:

second, I used my needle tool to scratch away the design I had in my notebook:

and then I put the pieces into the ferric chloride. I waited 3 hours, and the etch was barely biting. I went to a 3 hour class and came back, and there was no difference. my ferric is just plain spent! also, it looks pretty nasty and has the look of a broken sludge ice flow and some curious orange lumps.


so I moved the pieces over to the metals shop to use their ferric for an hour. after cleaning and treatment, this is how they came out:

as you can see, all that moving around got the asphaltum loose and some of the acid got underneath it. that's okay! looks kinda cool that way.

after this, I finally got to treating the rest of the main zipper. however, because it was attached (at the top) to the rest of the shirt, it was rather messy! this was where I got ferric all over everything and frantically attempted to clean it off. I thought all that was left on it was water, which muddied the designs a little, but I wasn't too upset about it. however, when it dried, much to my surprise, the watered down ferric turned large portions of the shirt green.

well I freaked out a little! and then I decided I liked it!

it's as if I pulled it out from some sea foam : )

Sunday, November 29, 2009


okay, camera batteries went dead last night.

I got the front and back done, although I may add another inch or so to the front later. next step: filling in the sides. this is going to be tricky!

well, not as tricky as I thought, actually. however, now the mannequin doesn't hold the shirt very well... the curvature of the back (or lack thereof) makes it buckle up all funny. thankfully, it looks fine on me.

I expect to be ready for the leather next weekend.

and someday, it will all be done.

Friday, November 27, 2009


hey guys! happy thanksgiving!

over the last two days, I finished the back of the shirt. yesterday, I wove 200 of my huge pile of 800 ready scales, and today I wove probably around 150 or so. I ended up shortening the back by 2.5 inches so that the end of the zipper lined up with the end of the tail bone, and I've designed a 2 inch long bronze two-piece ending for the zipper. however, lacking a scanner, I cannot show you the sketches until I get back to my apartment on Sunday. pity!

tomorrow I'll take some shots of the finished back. right now, I'm just trying to avoid some people upstairs @_@

Thursday, November 26, 2009


today I wove 120 scales, but I didn't etch anything, because I'm sick of it. I did dip another 120 though, so it's not like it was a waste or anything @_@

I have some very thick leather I'm going to be using for the lining of the collar. I wanted to make sure the grommets would work, so I spent half an hour trying to put a hole in it with a test piece before applying the grommet, which BARELY fit. thank goodness!

oh wait, I guess I did treat all the scales I did yesterday and I etched the last 100. gosh, it seems like so long ago! well here's what 900 finished scales looks like (before I forget I did them again):


Wednesday, November 25, 2009


well! today was...


I got 330 scales dipped and scratched, with 100 scales waiting for the acid in the morning. the shop closes at 4:30, so I plan on getting up, putting those last 100 in acid for 2 hours, probably sleeping during that, and then taking 420 etched scales to the shop to treat with various chemicals. I also left my crock pot there on account of Turkey Day and swedish meatballs. hopefully I can grab that too! I have to stop leaving my cooking items everywhere...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009



scratched on 120 scales, dipped 120 scales, treated 210 scales. I'm trying to get another batch in by 4:30 on Wednesday before the shop closes. I think I'm in good shape!

also, I finished a concept for a new creature today, not that it has anything to do with the metalworking.

I think he's pretty cute : 3
the arms are legs, and the legs are arms (tucked underneath the chest).

Sunday, November 22, 2009


well, I scratched on my 30 scales for the day... today was too busy to do any extra, sadly. as promised, here's a shot of the two riveted rings on the zipper:

they were fun : )


why hello!

320 scales were treated with ferric chloride, 180 scales were dipped in asphaltum, and 160 were scratched on. I also completed a full batch of 210 scales for weaving, and wove 40 scales. I finished adding grommets and brass rings to the main zipper, which I will treat tomorrow. a very good day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


hey guyz

I dipped 120 scales and scratched on 90. that puts me at my week end 210 2 days early! I also wove 40 scales and finished adding grommets to the main zipper. tomorrow, I will cut more rings and hopefully finish treating the grommets and rings as well. I also plan to treat my batch for the week and scratch MORE scales. so fun.

that's me gettin' shtuff done!

hi mom!

Friday, November 20, 2009



I finally riveted the second rivet today. there were two attempts at using a center punch to make the holes in the rings that had failed before I finally decided to use the jewelry drill press.

the center punch squished the brass out from the center of the hole, and I had to keep trying to hammer from one side and then the other many times. these are the two rings to the left. they ended up rather mangled. the ring on the far right has the hole drilled with a tiny drill bit.

besides the riveted ring, I also dipped and scratched on 60 scales today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


hey guyz

that is all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


today I did my 30 scales and wove 20. I also went grocery shopping and had lots of classes! want to know what 310 treated scales look like?

bam! that's what!

also, I used some of my orange chicken today, which has been soaking overnight. here's how it looked:

it was rather tasty. forgot to add the cashews, I will for sure next time! om nom nom.

Monday, November 16, 2009


hey there. wove 80 scales on the back today, but not much else. just couldn't find the time to get that second riveted link together! oh well, there's always tomorrow : ) g'night!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


holy crap it worked. it took me 3 tries, but it worked.

for future reference, center punches do NOT work for teeny rivet holes in bitty rings. I used a tiny drill instead, and it worked! what a challenge! what fun!

okay the picture's not the greatest but I'll take more when I get the other one done.

dang I'm excited!  : D

I also dipped 120 scales, scratched 90, and treated 310, putting me a week ahead of schedule! hurrah! today was a very successful day indeed.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


today's the day my chicken expires, so I put it in the freezer. I will make something with it tomorrow!

I dipped 150 scales today and scratched on 90. I also put a half batch of 110 into the acid and will complete the second half tomorrow, and treat a full batch. no weaving today because I used up all my finished scales yesterday.

the heavy rings seem to be not heavy enough.

do you see that? the top right brass ring! the closure is slipping open! do you know what that means? I have a real excuse to do riveted rings, that's what it means! *cackle*


so! I treated 110 scales and wove 8x15 scales to *gasp* FINALLY fill in either side on the front! oh happy day! so now, each row on the front and the back are both 20 scales wide. well, alternating 20 and 21 on the front... or maybe it's 20 and 19...

man I just wish these photos would come out better. camera seems to do well with close-ups,  but I really need to get my hands on a proper tripod for the farther away ones.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


another day gone by...

I got my 30 scales finished for the day. tomorrow, I'll be treating another batch and working on a research paper or two. then, I'll weave some more scales and work on a poster project for one of my other classes. after that, I have to revise some of my other papers for another class. finally, I have a lot of reading to do. but I've got the weekend to do it, I guess.

anyway, here's a photo of the back of an arm where I had to add two expansions (I had to connect a row with 11 scales across to a row with 13 scales across).

pretty confusing, right? I don't know how many times I had to redo it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


whew, I did a lot of weaving today!

after I write this post, I'm going to scratch on 30 scales. I think I did 30 earlier today, too, but I can't remember anymore. most of my work on the shirt went into weaving though, and I can't remember how many I wove, either. oh well.

I have 104 scales left to fill in the sides of the front. this isn't the final length, though. I still have about six inches beyond the long sheet in the middle to fill in. I also put another half an inch onto the back, but it pretty much looks the same. I've decided to go ahead and finish the front and back, going straight down, before I fill in the sides. that way, I can keep laying it flat to work on it as long as possible! that also means that I'll have to wait to put in the leather armpits.

...I guess I can wait...


Tuesday, November 10, 2009



just been scratching on scales lately, but I grabbed a shot of the heavier rings I put in last night. they seem to hold really well, which is slightly disappointing, because I really wanted to rivet them. oh well.

hurrah! now I have to blacken them to match.


hey! I made some heavier rings for the zipper in the back out of 14 gauge brass. they hold much better! I still want to rivet them later, just for the sake of overkill.

just did 30 scales today, not much else to talk about. g'night!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


hey there!

I dipped and scratched on 60 more scales, completed treating the second half of the last batch of finished scales (100 scales), wove 40 scales onto the back, and added more grommets to the zipper. it won't be long until I can add the leather under the arms! doing some sketches to figure that bit out.

to bed on time! woohoo!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


hello there.

I finished the right arm last night. I also etched another 90 scales and treated 210 of my batch yesterday. today, I scratched on 30 more scales for the day and began adding contractions on the front of the shirt/jacket.

however, I've encountered some trouble! the brass rings connecting the zipper to the scale sheets have a tendency to pop open when bearing the weight of the suit.

I'll need to grab some (much) heavier wire and make some heavy-duty connectors. I've been flirting with the idea of flattening the ends and drilling tiny holes in them to rivet them, since the possibility of soldering is out of the question.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


remember, remember... today's the fifth!

I just finished assembling the left sleeve. oh happy day! I also got my new leather in today. it's about twice as thick as the first sheet I got, so I think it'll be good! this new leather will cover a significant section under the armpit and along the side of the shirt. I think I'm going to mock up the shape out of paper before I cut into any fabric or leather *_*

fun, huh?

the zipper ended up right under my elbow so I couldn't bend my arm at first. I removed a few connections from the zipper, and then it was fine. I'm going to add some extra heavy leather right at that elbow to make it a little more comfortable and durable. going to try to make the right arm match tomorrow : )

Wednesday, November 4, 2009



I was pretty far behind this morning, but I did a 180. literally! I dipped and scratched on 180 new scales in one day. that's 6 days' worth, and now I'm back to being ahead.

that's the sight of 300 scales. I actually did 30 more after I took this picture.

in the last few weeks, I've been taking scales out of one of two bags. one is full, and one always looks like it has about 200 scales in it. or does it? I keep removing scales from this bag and it just never seems to get any less full. it's an endless bag of scales!

doesn't that look like 200 scales? yeah, it looked like that 3 weeks ago, too.

also, here's the last of my butter chicken from the recent half batch:

om nom nom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I got 30 scales done today, and finished all my homework @_@ now that's a feat in itself! no pictures again this time, just didn't get to it today. g'night!

Monday, November 2, 2009


today was spent mainly doing class things. I've finally made some decent progress on a new website, which I'll link here (and link this blog on the website) when I'm done. as for scales, I've dipped and scratched on 60 of them. I figure you've seen enough of the black-clad little stacks so no pictures tonight!

woohoo getting to bed on time for once. : D

Sunday, November 1, 2009



I spent most of the morning adding grommets to the zipper on the back of the shirt. yesterday, I had only just started, so it was a lot of work today! I also ordered more black leather and I'm hoping it will be the correct thickness this time. the shirt is ever approaching accepting armpit leather : ) exciting! I went to the shop to blacken the grommets and brass rings that connect to the zipper and I wanted to buy more brass wire for the rings, but the cabinet was locked so I'll have to do that tomorrow. making rings is hard work!

that's that! g'night.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


happy halloween! guess what I did today?? hmmmm?


both the shoulders are now fixed and contain one contraction each. the contractions only helped a little bit, but they helped, so the taking apart and putting back together was worth it. I started putting the zipper on the back today. I'll treat it and take some photos of that part tomorrow. I also added an inch to each arm and half an inch to the front. and I scratched my 30 scales today, dipped 60 more in asphaltum. well, I guess I got a lot done today! too bad I can't say the same for my homework x_x

Friday, October 30, 2009


I have been making something in my kitchen.

I wonder what this could be? it's rather green. I hope it's not rancid.

finally, I've redone the shoulders. it took many hours of disassembling and redoing many scales. I ruined a lot of connecting rings. I even got black stuff all over my back because I had an itch. was it worth it? heck yes!

this picture only shows the one but I did both. it doesn't hang as well on the mannequin anymore, but that's okay, because I'm not making it for her anyway. imposter!

green cheesecake? hmmmm. I'll have to think about that.