Friday, December 9, 2011

Snowy Owl pillowcases

It is an irruption for snowy owls this year; a favorite biological phenomenon our household. When winter food supplies are low these arctic birds travel south in search of food and show up in unexpected places like Hawaii. To commemorate it I made Snowy Owl pillowcases.
Read more about irruptions and snowy owls here

Bonus picture: Photo editing FAIL or WIN?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Darwin Glass Facebook Contest

Today is Darwin Day, the day that we celebrate the man who gave us "On the Origin of Species" and also a good opportunity to celebrate and promote science in general.

In honor of the 202nd birthday of Charles Darwin. I made a set of hand-painted drinking glasses, two pint glasses and two shot glasses, depicting various iconic images from the Voyage of the Beagle. First up is a large glass depicting Charles Darwin himself:

Next up is one of Darwin's Finches, that group of related birds showing a variety of interesting adaptations to widely divergent lifestyles that played such an important part in the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.

This is the Large Ground Finch (Geospiza magnirostris), the largest of the finches, a bird primarily adapted to a terrestrial lifestyle with a very large bill for cracking the hard shells of the seeds that it feeds on.

Here is another species, the Warbler Finch (Certhidea olivacea) which is the most un-finch-like of all the Darwin's Finches, having adaptations similar to a warbler. It has a small warbler-like bill, and not only does it feed almost entirely on insects, but it is even capable of taking insects on the wing in the manner of a warbler (something unknown among other finches).

Finally, a more abstract figure, this is Page from one of Darwin's notebooks around July 1837 showing his first ever sketch of an evolutionary tree.

Here are some more shots of the set:

The exciting thing is that I'm offering these glasses in a contest on my facebook page - look up "Nikki Skeleton" on Facebook. My goal is to have 125 friends of Nikki Skeleton. So go to my facebook page and check the glasses out, friend me, and then invite all your friends, neighbors or strangers to friend my page. Then they need to write on the wall saying who sent them. The person who sent the most people when we reach 125 wins! The prize is a Darwin themed drinking set. Hand painted by me. We are starting today because it is Darwin’s Birthday (Well it is in England by now, we’re a bit early here.) So Happy Birthday Darwin! Let the contest began.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Copper Jewelry

I've been very productive lately making new copper pendants and earrings. Each piece that I make is etched copper that is then oxidized to highlight its beauty or left to its unaltered perfection. I design each etched image; these are not stamps or decal images. Each is an individual and can never be reproduced in the same way twice due to the etching process. All items are sealed, on both sides, to protect the wearer’s clothes and to prevent future oxidation. All items are beta tested before I sell them for appearance and wear-ability.

I start with copper sheets and then hand-cut each shape and acid-etch each image. After etching is complete, assorted finishes are applied and then each piece is sealed to protect the wearer’s clothing. Each piece is unique due to the chemistry of the air during the process. The back of each piece is an unaltered chemical finger print of the process often with beautiful greens or blacks.

All items are available at my etsy shop:

Twilight Bats

Relaxing in the cool night watching bats emerge and cross the moon is a captivating experience. Whether you are up late watching bats or up late being up to no good, the charming a casual pendant is an excellent accompaniment for your late night capers. Etched and oxidized copper round pendant 1.38 inches (3.5 cm) with 24 inches (60 cm) standard weight black rat-tail with lobster clasp and jump ring terminal.

Spiral the Sun Lizard

Reminiscent of petroglyphs found in the southwest, this sun scorched pendant gives a bold and contrasting complement to casual adventures. Etched and oxidized copper round pendant 1 ¼ inches (3.2 cm) with 24 inches (60 cm) standard weight black rat-tail with adjustable Lover Knots terminal.

Geometric Burst Earring and Pendant Set

An explosion of geometery, this pendant and earring set is reminiscent of star quilt patterns. Etched and oxidized copper round earrings (3.2 cm) 1 ¼ inches with copper ear wires. Etched and oxidized copper round pendant 1 ¼ inches (3.2 cm) with 24 inches (60 cm) standard weight black rat-tail with adjustable Lover Knots terminal.

Narwhals, Narwhals!

Narwhal Halloween Costumes

So basically these costumes are pillows shaped like fins and safety pinned to our coats. This is a good costume method if you don’t know how cold it is going to be beforehand, and need to travel in it. The horns are made of rolled card stock cones with muslin glue over it and held on with an elastic and stapled head band. Cheap and comfortable. We wore them to the zoo for halloween pumpkin enrichment.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Crafts

It's Halloween time again, so I thought I'd share a few Halloween-themed copper crafts that I've made Here are two different designs for witch-themed pendants. This first one one is a witch with a cat and broom flying against the moon. It's an etched and oxidized copper pendant 2.20 x 2.13 inches (5.6 x 5.4 cm) with 17 inches (43.18 cm) antique fine copper chain with lobster clasp and jump ring terminal.

The next design here is "Spiral Witch Flying Against the Moon". It's an etched and oxidized copper pendant 2.9 x 2.9 inches (5.3 x 5.3 cm) with 17 inches (43.18 cm) antique fine copper chain with lobster clasp and jump ring terminal.

And here are a couple of Halloweenish etched and oxidized copper cuff bracelets, one feeaturing a horde of bats and another featuring the Nikki Skeleton logo design.

Friday, September 24, 2010

DeWitt 4th Annual Harvest Festival

This weekend I will be selling at the 4th Annual Harvest Festival in Riverside Park, downtown DeWitt Michigan. The festival will be held on September 25th, 2010, from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm. In addition to the arts and crafts, there will be a talent contest, carnival games, pumpkin decorating, an apple pie baking contest, and food concessions.

So if you're in the area, please come out to the festival and look for the Nikki Skeleton table. I will have a selection of metal and clay jewelry.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Go Team Venture!

We've finally come to a new season of the Venture Brothers, the best animated series, if not the best series period, on television today. To mark the occasion, I present some Venture Bros themed crafts that I made some time ago as a special birthday gift. These are tile coasters, each depicting a favorite scene from the series with images and quotes. As you can see, they are fully functional for coasting drinks. Go Team Venture!