Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Custom Trophy with Green Accents

Just a quick share...

copper steel custom trophy
This one stands 19 inches tall; welded steel base with accents of polished aluminum, copper & mirrored acrylic.  I love the contrast of the green.

metal trophy with green accents
After seeing the pics; the client decided to go ahead & order matching medals; hopefully we will have those done next week & can ship the whole lot out.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Brain Full of Tiny Gears Trophy Creation

A couple weeks back, we got a request to re-create a logo as an award.  The logo is a brain, full of little gears; a lot of little gears.

Here is the image they sent:

And here is the finished trophy
Custom made metal trophy with gears
I put together 2 of these today...even with the metal fabrication completely done, it took ALL day to sort, color, & mount all those itsy-bitsy gears.   I wonder if I will have nightmares plagued by little brightly colored gears, with little legs & matching colored swords...

And; the client might be ordering 20 more! 

 The finished design does look pretty cool, though: hope they like it!

I've got some pretty exciting stuff coming up: fun new projects including signs & decor for 2 new office spaces of old friends.  Might be another Refinerii Bridal Boutique shoot in the works, and some super-secret side projects.... 

But for the rest of the night; R & D with some gaming (it counts; we make gaming tournament trophies........sometimes).


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New Alternative Metal Wedding Bouquet Designs

Tonya has been busy coming up with lots of new metal wedding bouquet designs; today we did a quick photo-shoot with my lovely niece : )   I think we got some pretty good shots; this was the first time I have taken photos with a real model--it was a good time...there was champagne, strawberries, & lots of laughs...
These new bouquets that Tanya are making are beautiful!  I love that she is taking the original idea & running with it; she is combining flowers with the metal & crystals--I probably would never have tried that--but I love the look.

I absolutely love these long, trailing creations; this one is absolutely dripping in crystals; in person it sparkles with every move...
I even admit that I like the gilded bouquet--not something I would have ever tried ; )
 And the Goth designs; love!

Love the chains & the black roses!

And love the new copper creations!

So pretty; painted aluminum with crystals & real dehydrated roses.

Feathers with metal?  Yes!
 And; love the look of the pearls with copper : )  

There are more; I will share soon...these will be available on Etsy at: 
It was a fun day; the girls played dress-up & took pics, the boys went to the gym, chased the birds, & sat outside on lawn chairs until we were done : )  

More pics to come, along with some metal projects this week.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Couple New Wall Signs

Just wanted to share a couple new little steel wall signs : )

First: a copper plated steel Cthulhu with a rusted steel background--love the way this one came out : )

And; a Borderlands inspired piece; this is the logo from the game.  I  will be putting some others together with different colors as I have time : )  

Little side projects like this are fun & it's nice to keep updating my shop; these are both available on my Etsy: under RefineriiStudios.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Spring Chickens Update

So many babies!  We have little turkeys, ducks, & lots of chickies running a-muck : )  And more on the way; right now there are 2 more hens & 1 duck sitting on clutches!
Red Hen has 11 babies: about 6 days old---they have been out & about for the last couple days.  She is a pretty good first time Mom; except a couple times chickies got lost & I had to scoop them up & bring them back to the herd...I could hear them peeping even in the shop with headphones in, lol.

Black hen hatched out 8 a few days ago; this is day 3 for them; amazing that their little feathers are already coming in : )

That little red one is my new favorite; I can't wait to see how the colors come out as she (I hope it's a she) grows up--she has a very unique color that I've never seen in the babies we have hatched...

So tiny! And look at those feathery feet!

Grey Chicken has taken over being Mom for the teenage birds (she only hatched one).  They were all perched up on one of my supply racks: so funny ; )  I guess they like metal junk as much as I do...

Those 2 light colored birds are really pretty, but I think they might be roos.   Roosters have a good life around here, but short: we have learned over the years that more than one roo is not good: they fight & over-love the poor hens.  So: any roos will be separated as they grow up & will get their own mobile pen to range in until fall--then they go to freezer camp along with the turkeys.  Too bad for them; I'm really happy with our main roo & he will be the choice to stay.

Baby ducks got their first swim in the big pool.  We are down to 3 now--we lost quite a few the first week: maybe because this was the first time for mama ducky.  These 3 are growing like weeds, though & are strong & healthy : ) 
We have so been enjoying watching all the birds in the mornings & evenings: it's so funny to watch them all bounce around & interact.  Lots of squawking, peeping, & quacking...a maybe a few ruffled feathers : )  
And, as always: Gold Chicken demands her pets & treats; she is now the matriarch of the flock---her & Grey Chicken are the only originals we have now.  They are over 3 years old, but still vibrant & healthy---although Gold Chicken is getting a bit crotchety in her old age, lol

I'm hoping for a new hatch in the next couple days--and hopefully some more chicken colors : )  Hopefully we can increase our number of hens: we have been hovering around 10-12 for the last couple years: which is great for eggs for us, but I don't have any extra.  I would love to be able to have enough to make pickled eggs & give some away to friends & neighbors.  Crossing my fingers!


Friday, May 29, 2015

Hackathons featured in the New York Times: I can't believe we are a small part of this awesome movement!

Major League Hacking just posted a link on Facebook to an article that was featured in the New York Times--all about Hacking Tournaments.   It just so happens; we have the giant trophy that travels the US for Major League Hacking in the studio right now for some repairs & upgrades.  I really can't believe that in some small way, we are a part of such a innovative & amazing movement!
This is the original trophy we created; it stands over 3 feet tall complete with LED lights, polished aluminum, & colored steel accents.  It has traveled the US for the last year; taking airplanes from city to city to be present at college campuses for hacking tournaments (& photo ops :).  After this year's spring season, they shipped it back to us for some minor repairs & updates.
Hackathons typically take place on college campuses over the weekend: "hackers" can form teams of 2 to 5 people and the goal is to create a new piece of "tech"---including hardware, software, etc--maybe a new app, a drone that takes selfies, or new code. (this is not the movie hyped hacking into the banks or CIA)  These competitions have exploded over the last couple years; catching the eye of huge companies that are now sponsoring including Dell & Intel.  Here is the link to the article:

It's a great read; highly recommend if you are interested in learning more.  These "kids" are driving new technology & innovation: I think it's pretty amazing!  I'm grateful to be a tiny part of it: so glad Major League Hacking got in touch with me when they were just first starting : )
We have created 3 large trophies for them & medals that are given out at the tournaments.
It's inspiring to be asked to make something for innovators; sometimes I feel that I'm not worthy, lol!  Although, these types of projects keep me learning & pushing to do better: I have learned to wire lights myself; solder wires & make circuits!  For me, this is a huge breakthrough; as I do not have a tech-driven mind at all...   We are brainstorming now for ideas to make the trophy better/cooler/more awesome---if you have any ideas: send them my way!   We have until July to upgrade.
Anyway...digging into upgrading my blog at the moment & thinking of doing some sort of web-class for metal working: any suggestions would be welcome.  Also will be starting an email newsletter soon with info on new projects & maybe some content on how to get started as a metal artist & in public art..not sure if this is something that anyone would be interested in, but I'm toying with ideas.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Baby Ducks! Blue & Black Swedish Duckies

OMG: baby ducks!!  We have had a broody duck for weeks now, but had kinda given up hope that the eggs would hatch; as they were at least a week overdue; but tonight we looked in on her & found 8 little duckies with another just hatching out!
So adorable!  And she has another 4 eggs, AND: we have another broody hen sitting on at least 10 eggs; hoping for more little duckies!    These are a mix of black & blue Swedish; the hens are black; the drake blue; looks like we have about half black & half blue babies.  
They are cute, fluffy, & adorable; can't wait to see them out & about in the yard trailing after momma duck!  So cute!
In other bird herd news; we brought home 2 Guinea Hens; one of them has disappeared , but the other has stuck around for 3 days; so I think she is here to stay.  She is lonely though; loves to look at the mirror, as well as the front door or anything she can see her reflection in.  She has taken to hanging out with the male turkey...I think we may look for some more Guineas to raise from babies to keep her company; maybe in some different colors; she is really cute with her funny little peeps & clown makeup, lol : )    Guineas are supposed to be excellent bug eaters: even better than chickens: so we would love if she wants to stay here & patrol the garden : ) 
Happy Memorial Day Weekend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chicken Herd Update

A quick update on the baby chickens; everyone is doing well & growing fast!  We also have 2 more broody hens sitting on clutches; each one has about 10 eggs: so we are crossing our fingers for more chicken babies!

Bantam chicken rooster hen chicks
They are big enough now that they are out exploring all day with the moms; slowly integrating into the flock : )

The RooRoo keeps a close watch on everyone--we got him early last spring & he has grown into a great little roo; he takes his patrolling & strutting very seriously : )

Bantam hen with chick
Grey Chicken hatched out a single baby; her little mini-me.  I can't quite tell yet if the baby is going to be grey like her, or black--time will tell.

Bantam chicken hen rooster
 Everyone has been enjoying the spring rains; lots of worms to find!

bantam chicken hen house
And; as usual Gold Chicken makes herself right at home...

bantam hen chicken
She jumped up on the couch next to me & chatted about the drama of living with 13 other hens...

bantam chicken hen inside house
But as soon as she saw the fridge open; she hoped on the door & demanded her treat of shredded cheese.   Spoiled bird; good thing she's so cute.

In other bird-related news; the baby turkeys are doing fine with their ducky brother, lol.  And; tomorrow we are going to have 2 Guinea hens join the herd!  haha; I have never been around Guineas; so it should be interesting : )



Sunday, May 17, 2015

New Alternative Metal Wedding Bouquets

Soooo; Tanya was out today with some of her new creations; OMG-love!! Alternative Wedding Bouquets taken to the extreme.

She is taking the metal framework & running with it: adding flowers, crystals, pearls & more.... Beautiful creations combining traditional wedding decor/flowers with an alternative twist!
Loving the finished product:  alternative; but could fit into a traditional wedding as well...

  I love the crystals & sparkles: so pretty!

And: the Goth option; I also love!  Black with iridescent crystals to match anything...

So pretty: love the purple & blue tones of the crystals.

Check out the shop at :


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

SteamPunk Wings Trophies

A quick share of the latest trophies out the door; a pair of SteamPunk trophies  made from steel, copper & aluminum for a gaming tournament this fall.

metal custom trophy trophies steampunk steel copper rust award

The smaller will go to this year's victor; the larger will have plaques added to the base of the yearly winners.

steampunk wings metal copper steel trophies trophy custom award

Check out their event at:

Love these trophies!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bridal Bouquet--New Alternative Styles by Tonya

I wanted to share some sneak peeks at the new alternative bouquets that Tonya has been working on; she really has a flair for this & is adding in lots of Goth, Steampunk, & other options.

refinerii alternative metal bouquet goth black wedding roses perpetual
This is one of my favorites: love the Goth look--and the chains are perfect!

alternative bouquet bridal pearls metal rhinestones perpetual flowers
This one is very sweet; with pearls, & rhinestone brooches.  The metal is also painted a white pearl color. 
bouquet bridal metal alternative crystal pearl white wedding unique
Detail shot; love the crystals : )

copper bouquet wedding steampunk rhinestone alternative perpetual flowers offbeat-bride
And; the copper; perfect for a SteamPunk wedding.  Love the addition of the flowers; just enough to soften it a bit : )

alternative bouquet unique gold roses metal perpetual flowers offbeat bride Over-the-top-drama in pure gold... With trailing roses : ) 

There are more in the works & we will be photographing them soon (maybe even a full shoot with models on the horizon)   

All these bouquets are made with a base of metal wire, & adorned with flowers, paint, crystals, etc--we have even added little gears, nuts, & bolts to some...  Base metal of aluminum or copper.   A great alternative to the traditional flower bouquet: we have helped brides with all sorts of themes; from SteamPunk to Gamers, Dragon Flames & western--any bride who wants to make a statement. 

See them all at RefineriiBridalBoutique.  You can also request a custom set to suit your theme, colors, & personal preferences.  Matching boutonnieres for the guys are available, as well as pomanders/kiss balls for flower girls & more...

Please contact to discuss options : )


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Farm Update--Baby Chicks!

Our first babies of spring : )  So adorable!
chickens, chicks, backyard chickens, urban chickens, poultry
Gold Chicken II is proving to be a good mama-hen, although she did abandon the other eggs as soon as these 4 cuties hatched.  It's her first time, though, so it's OK---we moved the remaining eggs under another broody hen, so hopefully they will hatch too : )

chicken, chicks, poultry, urban chickens, backyard chickens, hen
It's been tough to get any work done when I want to just watch them all the time, lol.  They are about 5 days old now; so getting really active--they have been out exploring the yard & it's fun to follow them around & see mama chicken showing them where to scratch & dust bathe.

chickens, chicks, chooks, hatch, urban chickens
All four babies are different colors; & it looks like the smallest is going to be Gold Chicken III--hope so!   Gold Chicken the First is our favorite; she comes inside to visit all the time & loves to hang out & take naps on the couch : )

chickens, chicks, backyard poultry, urban hens, chooks
We also have 13 turkey eggs in the neighbor's incubator at the moment; they are due to hatch tomorrow.  And; after we removed the 13 from the nest, the turkey hen decided to lay 6 more & sit on them!  So: by next week, we are going to be over-run with baby turkeys, lol.   I am going to have to sell some of the poults; we don't have enough space for that many big birds: so far 4 are spoken for.  Hopefully I can get it down to just the 6 that the hen is sitting on: that's plenty turkey for the freezer, a few to sell for Thanksgiving & 2 to keep for breeding.
And now; back to work...I'm so glad my shop has big roll-up doors that I can open during the nice days to watch all the birds doing their thing in the yard : )