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As for the latest finished piece: Snake Lariat Necklace Commission.
$693,880.29.  This year.  Just this year.  I'm honored to have been a tiny part of it.  The AS IS TRADITION Bracelet went for $360, and Lucius and the DB10 Party Bus for $499, all for Child's Play.  Everyone directly involved has more than earned their rest.

And now I refuse to talk about next year.  Thank you.
With time to spare somehow.  Behold!  Tiny Shiny FFXV Beadwork Sprites.

Desert Bus for Hope 10 is on!





As for silent auctions!  You can snag the beadwoven “AS IS TRADITION” bracelet starting at 10:00AM PST, Nov 13th, and the chocobo-drawn carriage (with chocobo!) starting at 02:00PM PST, Nov 17th!  Both are one of a kind and support a great cause, so please sit back, relax, and enjoy the madness and the beauty that is Desert Bus for Hope.

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The Early Generic Winter Holiday Sale over at Shiny Things by Orin Drake is officially started - all ready-to-ship, completed items are 20% off from November 5 - November 19!


Everything pre-made and ready to ship at the Shiny Things Etsy shop will be 20% off from November 5 - November 19.  It’s the only sale I have for the entire year, so feel free to take full advantage, oh fans of shiny things.

So in preparing to redo my commission page, I decided to ignore all of the terror that came forth when I thought about actually timing a project.  I came to the conclusion that, after having done enough of the “tiny shiny” FFXV beaded sprites, I wanted to time Luna from start to finish.  Only active work.  No breaks, no distractions; just the time I took to get this project done.

Spoiler: this is one hour, 60 minutes, of only work:

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Let’s all join hands and explore the most boring parts of art: the bare basic, ground floor bit.

Yeah, okay, I was a little bit surprised by the result.  To get from the picture above, to the picture below:

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225 minutes.  Or, 3 hours and 45 minutes.  The beading process alone took just short of 3.5 hours.  The rest was the backing process.  It… didn’t seem worth adding ten seconds for the jump ring, honestly.  Nor would it have actually mattered.

Now if we take into account that I live in Massachusetts, and the minimum wage is $10 an hour, she’d be priced appropriately at $37.50, right?  Oh, but that’s time.  Let’s talk about materials.

Beads.  Tiny glass seed beads.  They can be really cheap, but I don’t use those.  Because those are crap, sharp-edged, too thin, and prone to shattering.  I use delicas.  And sure, you may say those are pretty decently inexpensive.  Especially with how few get used here… but I don’t buy beads by individual portions.  I buy them by the bag.  And there are 13 colors here.  So, tallying up the prices of all of these colors in the standard 5 gram bags, $33.39.  Meaning the average price for a bag is $2.57.  Not bad, ultimately… but all at once, that’s a chunk.

Yes, I am lucky that I already have 100+ bead colors, but those built up over years.  And while I obviously don’t need to buy new beads for every project for that reason, I have to replace beads when they get low, before the next project.  (And in cases where I’m being commissioned, I may need new colors.  Some of them get alarmingly pricey, and I’m not even talking about the gold-coated ones.)  This is a valid number to consider.

I use decent thread and needles, too.  I mean, a pack of 20 needles is only about $3.  The thread, actually about $6 a spool.  Not bad at all.  But still something to consider.

None of this even mentions the fact that I have been perfecting this process for about a decade.  Teaching myself, doing my own product testing, perfecting techniques that both look good and are suitably strong.  I deserve a raise for experience, hard work, and customer satisfaction, is what I’m saying.

Then there’s bee’s wax, support gloves and hand lotion, all necessary elements of the process, though I suppose I’m willing to let those slide for the moment.  Design fees and demos, I will not let slide, but those are discussed with commissioners on a case by case basis.


Now.  Now.  I certainly don’t expect to be charging an epic amount for tiny shiny Luna up there.  In fact, I’ve priced her at… $40.  Much, much less than I should.

Why?  Because I’m only taking into account time, barely taking into account materials, and not at all taking into account living.  This will pay for my time, partially replacing my materials, and nothing else.  I am a working artist.  This is not my own personal hobby.

And yet she sits there at $40.  And right now, I’m okay with that.  This time.  She’s my first run at this pattern.  Now I know what I’m doing.  But making another one on commission?  Yes, that will be more.  Not an insane amount more.  But all commissioned pieces will be priced higher to account for, as stated, time, materials, and experience.  And, perhaps increasingly, something like a living wage.

Bottom line: I still really want to be in reach of my fellow shiny-loving geeks… but not at my own expense.  Yeah?  Yeah.
I mean, I absolutely had to finish the Gunslinger Gear Choker/Double-Wrap Bracelet first.
When I collapse after showing off my finished Desert Bus for Hope donations.  Behold, AS IS TRADITION Bracelet and Lucius and the DB10 Party Bus.
Well it seems like it, anyway.  But when I get commissions like Custom Wedding Journey Cuff, I most certainly can't complain.
You know, like I get.  But since these are all finished now, behold FFXV Main Cast Pixel Pendants.
Lucius - 2016 Desert Bus for Hope Chocobo, to be precise.  Now I just... won't think about the rest that I have to do.
I liiiiive.  And I am actually finally approaching the end of this year's Desert Bus for Hope chocobo building!  ...Then there are the accessories but... well, let's not think about that right now, okay?  I'll probably take a beading break between the two, anyway.  (...Man, when beadwork seems like a break...)

Friendly reminder that Patreon patrons get weekly progress shots and sneak peeks at the things they actually enormously help me to buy for future insane projects.  I'm pretty sure they'll be able to tell you exactly how much insanity is going into the horsebird this year.
Since my current project is... going to take a while, how about some stuff I'm showing off a bit late? *cough*  All geeky goodness: Beadwoven SOLDIER Pendant, Double Sided Beadwoven Tiger and Bunny Panel, and Play Arts-Sized Dissidia Sephiroth Belt.
I have had these jewelry pliers for... close to a decade at least.  It's a wonder they still manage thick stainless steel jump rings.  In any case, here's Little Black Heart.
Desert Bus for Hope was, as per usual, astonishingly successful.  But wow I'm still recovering.  You can read my summary here.

As for what I finished during that time... well, meet Kaquel.

Festivities begin today, November 14th at 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST!

After you sign if for a donor’s account, here’s what I have to offer you lovely folks in the form of silent auctions:

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Linkbo and Zeldabo, complete with swap-able costumes and accessories!  These two fully poseable chocobos delight in cosplaying their favorite adventurers, and you can bid on them right on the Desert Bus web site starting on November 15th at 6:00 AM PST, 9:00 AM EST!

But that’s not all!

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This fancy, handmade, one of a kind switchable materia bracelet!  It’s not the height of fashion, it’s the height of function, complete with some materia to get you started and an easy swap mechanism to keep you going strong in battle.  You can bid on this all-important accessory starting on November 18th at 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST!

All donations benefit Child’s Play, which is of course enormously important!  But you also get to see hilarious people making idiots of themselves, and isn’t that what giving is all about?  …-Ish?

(The graphics issue on the materia bracelet page has been brought to the crew’s attention, not to worry.)


The Early Generic Winter Holiday Sale for Shiny Things by Orin Drake is on now!  20% off all pre-made, ready to ship items in the shop from November 7 - 21!
While I'm working on some wonderfully random free-form projects, a little reminder:


Starting on November 7 at (as close as possible to) 12:01 AM EST, all completed, ready to ship items from the Etsy shop will be 20% off until round-abouts November 20 (the end of Desert Bus for Hope).

Oh yeah, by the way, Happy Halloween!

Sterling silver wire-wrapped "materia" pendant fill over at the Etsy shop
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