First Customer Feature of 2014: Melstiel!!

Welcome to the first post of Down to the Wire for 2014 – whoo hoo!  

I wanted to kick it off with a great interview I did with a lovely lady who goes by the fabulous name Melstiel.  She and I met at TorCon this past October.

Melstiel is probably one of Castiel’s biggest fans and it looks like the feeling is mutual: Image

I’m happy to give her the floor for her to strut her stuff for us today!  Take it away Melstiel!

I am Melissa but I prefer to be called Mel. I am a bionic woman, with a cochlear implant to help me hear better. I identify as pansexual and polyamorous. I am in a family of five which includes my significant other Christopher, my hearing ear dog Rocky, and my two cats, Artemis and Satine.

I work in maintenance of recycled soft goods at a thrift store and take on research and program evaluation contracts from time to time. I have a graduate degree in forensic psychological research and I am taking courses in Case Management so I can get a certificate in that much more practical field. I love cats, ancient civilizations, video games, psychology, sexuality, and art. I am a devoted Superwholockian. 

As you can tell, I am completely enamored with Castiel and Misha Collins. Like Castiel, I am a socially awkward rebel who is fiercely loyal to their friends and feels guilty for mistakes made in life. Misha makes me happy and is just a beautiful human being with a dose of crazy. I did GISHWHES ’13 and look forward though fear doing GISHWHES ’14. Here’s an example of a GISHWHES ’13 item – the objective was to raise funds for the food bank by ‘panhandling’ as a dragon attack victim on a busy sidewalk Image

That was a challenging item for me because of my social anxiety but I persisted. I wish I knew of Misha when I was younger because I was not accepted due to being ‘eccentric’ and he would have been a wonderful role model.

I do mixed media and recycled art under the persona of Felivalkyria, concocted from “feline” and “valkyrie”. My art often has fantastical themes and includes portraiture of animals and people important in my life. I am part of Moods Expressed, a local working group for artists with mental health issues, and we have a website at http://www.moodsexpressed.com . Under Artists/Artisans, you can find me as Felivalkyria (Melissa Pagliaro) and view my art there. I do a few shows a year thanks to the help of Moods Expressed.

I used to write but I don’t so much anymore as visual art is more my discipline these days. I have been dabbling in making jewelry and recently made a Castiel necklace with pearls and cubic zirconia. I was lucky to find a tear drop bead dangle that is similar to the cubic zirconia I used and makes it looks like Castiel’s tie is dangling between his wings! Image.

I am very much someone who experiments with it all – recently, I got a new camera (Panasonic Lumix G6) and my favourite picture that I have taken so far is of my cat, Artemis Image.

I like cosplaying, especially as Cas, and I am always striving to improve my work Image.

 I appreciate handmade creations because they have much more love poured into them than storebought, factory manufactured items. Precious time is spent to create unique and one-of-a-kind items when they are handmade. I like supporting independent artists’ creations as opposed to big corporations which I feel are often detrimental to society. In fact, commissioning one artist’s work has become my yearly Christmas tradition.

 There is something truly attractive about the shiny! That is why I like to work with cubic zirconia. I also love materials with interesting textures like feathers, leather, fur, and velour. I work well with tactile sensations because my sense of smell is nil, having anosmia. I have a penchant for long dangling jewelry because I consider myself feminine.

 Eldwenne’s Fantasy actually stands out to me because Jodi is one of few independent vendors to display their work at Creation cons. 

Jodi here again – thank you so so much, Melstiel!  As some of you may know, my daughter, Raven also has cochlear implants, so both she and Melstiel have something in common – bionic women!

I have to say I love where you’re going with your jewelry – please keep going with it! And all of you really should check out Melstiel’s artwork at  http://www.moodsexpressed.com – use the dropdown menu to select  Felivalkyria (Melissa Pagliaro) and you will be giving yourself a major treat.  

Check out all of her artwork, but especially the Fantasy section – this woman knows how to mix her media and create atmospheres and new worlds.  There’s a piece I was particularly drawn to with two women lounging alongside an eagle.  Also looks like Artemis is making a cameo!  Bravo, Melstiel!!

Is anyone going to VegasCon?  I’ll be there with my Eldwenne’s Fantasy table selling my quality handmade jewelry, jewelry boxes, keychains, and whatever else I can think of between now and March!

Don’t forget to check out my shop at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com for TONS of new designs added daily including Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and Walking Dead!!

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                                                   Castiel’s Grace Necklace

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                  Watch Your Mouth Sunshine Daryl Dixon Quote Cuff Bracelet

February is going to be chock full of great posts including a great feature on my lovely customer Judy!

See ya’ll next week! (Yes, I’m practicing my Southern for my big move this spring!)

Jodi

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TorCon Preppin’, Off the Cuff, and Help!

I leave for Toronto this coming Thursday – I am STRESSED, lol!!

There are so many things I need to take care of before I go, including adding more new pieces.  I’ve got a-plenty new pieces that haven’t been seen yet, however, I NEED MORE!

I came up with a lot of new pieces that dared me to expand my horizons and experiment with materials I’ve never used before.  Like using ribbons:

Rich chocolate brown ribbon paired with waves of silver wrapped with goddess spirals, deep green and carnelian

Rich chocolate brown ribbon paired with waves of silver wrapped with goddess spirals, deep green and carnelian

I needed more supplies, so I went on a run for some.  And I fell in love.  With leather.  I saw it out of the corner of my eye.  It kind of crooked its finger at me, beckoning me to come forward.

I did.

It was a gorgeous leather strap that could be used to make a cuff bracelet.  Its skin was smooth, just begging to be stamped.  The potential it had – infinite.  Wire.  Cords.  Beads.  Plates.  It was too much, I had to touch it.

I picked it up and it said, “You like?”

“I like.”

“Take me home?”

I looked at the rack.  There were a ton more of them.  I scooped ALL of them into my basket.

I heard a muffled noise from the bottom of the basket – “Hey!  I thought we had something special!”

Now the guilt came crashing over me.  “It’s not metal.  It’s not wire.  It’s LEATHER.  HOW COULD I BETRAY MY PRECIOUS SILVER?!?”

Apologies ran through my brain on overdrive.

I went home and immediately set up to work.  I created a phenomenal “Hello Boys” stamped onto a silver plate and attached it to the band.

A bracelet even Crowley could love. Or spontaneously combust.

A bracelet even Crowley could love. Or spontaneously combust.

I then stamped the band with some gorgeous markings.  I LOVE the effect the stampings have on the leather!

I went on to create a bunch of new pieces, I hope I have the chance to show them to you in person at TorCon!!

Brotherly love, immortalized in leather and silver

Brotherly love, immortalized in leather and silver

TorCon is literally days away and I’m so super excited that I’ll be there to meet you in person!

I’m trying really hard to get out to the other conventions that are happening in December up through March 2014.  You can help me with my small business AND get some great perks out of the deal!

If you go to my Click Start Me campaign – http://tinycs.me/9T check out the great incentives I have for you!

If you donate, you get a gift certificate equal to your donation amount good at my shop:  www.eldwenne.etsy.com!

You think that’s good?  Well if you donate $25 or more – I will add an ADDITIONAL $25 to your gift certificate!

If you can’t donate but want to share my link and someone you share my link to donates – YOU BOTH WIN!  You will receive a gift certificate for $25 AND the donor will receive their gift certificate in the appropriate amount.

It’s a win/win, you’re supporting a small business, and helping me get on my feet.

I hope to see you at TorCon and if you are a blog reader of mine, mention that to me at the con – I have a special gift for you!!!

Thank you all!!