Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Dice Cups, Overhaul

The laser cutter opens up a lot of possibilities I didn't have previously.  The engraving function precisely burns down the leather to create more depth than simply darkening or burnishing the leather and the scoring is far more accurate than the old ink transfers.  While I was at it I drummed up an all new Monster Manual dice cup and broke out the DMG and Githyanki dice cups as separate designs.

This is my best selling design so I didn't want to change very much.  Engraving the shadow behind the statue gives it a heckuva lot more depth and makes the staining that much simpler.

The old Keymaster's been in need of an overhaul for awhile.  I processed original cover into an engraving to capture all the shadows between the doors and overlaid my original design (with some cleaning up) over the top of that.  The lid's virtually unchanged except for a gradient around the demon's head.

Trying to find a good beholder image to start with was a bit of a challenge.  Technically that particular image came out of a dragon magazine (as near as I can tell) but it's from the same era as 1E AD&D.  The dragon of course comes right off the cover of the original Monster Manual, carved and stained to match the original covering.

Ehlonna hasn't changed too much.  The tree is an engraving now and I might start using a stronger gold for it in the near future.  Scoring the unicorn helped capture a lot more of the detail in the hair.

Engraving the hills behind the githyanki saves a lot of time and stain.  I think I'm still working out the best way to stain the githyanki since there's a lot of colors involved (they are pretty garish after all).

St. Cuthbert
If I know anything about St. Cuthbert it's that he loves his circles.  Now I can score them so they cut super cleanly and engraving the area inside the circle makes it even better.  I might experiment with a mottled gradient on the lid down the road but this is pretty good for now.

Winged D20
This was the first design I drew back when I was still figuring out how dice cups should work.  I used to barground the wings and while that looked great it took a pretty good while and inevitably got a little messy.  Engraving the wings gives them more depth and makes them nice and clean too.  I debated scaling the wings down so the design could fit a keeper but ultimately decided it was worth not having a handle to have the wings wrap around the whole cup.  Rather happy with how this one came out.

I adapted this from an old design to experiment with different styles of engraving.  The N7 logo is itself engraved (and then painted over) while the System Alliance logo (on the lid) has the border engraved and the interior painted.  Unfortunately the painting wasn't clean enough for me to be comfortable putting this up in the store just yet.  If I ever have reason to make another of these I'd like to the N7 logo as an underlay and maybe, just maybe, make an overlay of the Alliance logo.  That should be pretty cool and clean.

Wonder Woman
All the little details of the shield on the lid are waaaaaaaaaaay easier and more precise now that they can be scored before carving them.  I'm not sure the difference photographs well but I'm really happy with it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Shop Update: February

Got a few updates for February:

  • New Listing: Adventure Maps!
    I've been working on these since the laser cutter came in and I'm excited to finally add them to the shop.  I've always wanted to provide maps that could be used as tabletop props and these are proving perfect for that!
  • Dice Cup Updates
    • A bunch of the classic dice cups have new images now that their designs have been updated
    • I've added a Monster Manual dice cup with some of the art from the 1E era
    • The old DMG design has been reworked to be a straight Githyanki design
Meanwhile, I'm actively working on some new updates for March.  I have new status tokens and a DM Screen in active development and new dice cup designs that should be hitting the shop in the next couple months.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Apothecary Satchel

The client was looking for a way to carry 20-30 bottles conveniently and securely.  We went through a few different concepts before settling on a roll that hangs from a shoulder strap.  Inside the roll are 24 "holsters" sized to just fit the bottles in question with keepers to keep them from falling out.

I didn't have access to any of the bottles so I made a lot of use of a few jigs that should match the bottle's dimensions.  Those turned out to be critical though they'd've been heck to produce without the laser.  We used a half stitch to stay within the client's budget.  That probably cut the production time in half without compromising much of the durability.  I'm not sure if I like the look of a half stitch as much as a good saddle stitch but it's certainly viable option.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Prototype: Adventure Map

This was just a simple prototype for our current campaign but it's been a great proof of concept.  I drew up the design on the computer then used the laser (of course) to burn it onto the leather and gave it a bit of color with the stain.  So far it's been working pretty great.  It gets tossed around the table just about every week and I haven't seen any signs of smearing or smudging.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Dog Collar, Jade

Back in 2017 I made a collar for a lovely pooch named Radric.

The client liked it so much that now that they have another young puppy they reached out to get another collar for her.  We had to wait a few months for Radric's sister to get big enough that she could be sized for a collar.  The client wanted to embed 8 malachite stones in the collar and by the time Jade was old enough to be sized I thought I'd figured out a good way to do that.  Then I got to actually producing the collar and realized there was a much better way of going about the whole thing.

I'd originally planned to laminate the stones between two strips of leather and cut little windows in the top layer so they could be seen.  That's ancient solution for this sort of thing but it leaves a lot of the stone covered up and with enough time and jostling the stones can potentially work loose.  But as it happens the stones were basically beads, with little holes drilled through each one.  So I cut the windows to the exact size of the stones and ran a bit of jeweler's line through each stone on the interior of the collar.  Between each stone the line is secured around a rivet so it's not working loose anytime soon.  This way the stones are essentially sitting inside the top layer of the collar.  And between the leather and line they aren't going to fall out anytime soon. =)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Testimonial: Farrenmore Map

I just heard back on the Farrenmore map!

FALLON, you absolutely outdid yourself! I received the Farrenmore piece in the mail today and I am still in awe. I knew I was excited before and I had high expectations but my gosh you have set a bar higher than I ever imagined. It's absolutely GORGEOUS and perfection at its finest.

I had W open the box and it was such an emotional unveiling. Like, think about those viral videos of when a dad is gifted his favourite car from the 40's kind-of emotions. We both cried. I just need you to realize your work has the power to bring these emotions out of people and its a beautiful gift. Thanks so much for sharing your gift with us. This is something we will hold close to our hearts for forever more.

A million thanks,
F and W

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Shop Update: Coins Overhaul

I've been meaning to do this for months so during a recent review of my Etsy policies I broke out the coins as separate listings.  This means buyers can assemble their own allotments of 5e currency without going through me to ring up a custom order.  And it's been working pretty swell so far!  I'm going to have the printer churning out coins well into April at this rate. ^_^


At the same time I've been working on updating all my listings to make sure the thumbnails are consistent.  I've got a long docket of designs and patterns to overhaul to make good use of the laser so with any luck I'll have another big update in Feb.