Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dream a Little Bigger...

Just a bit of inspiration for the weekend...  I've been making & sharing these images on Instagram: not sure why I have not shared here, but I'm starting with this one & will add in more periodically : )  Hope you are having a great weekend!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Alternative Wedding Bouquets; made from metals, crystals, & occasionally flowers

We did another little photo shoot today for some new bouquets for Refinerii Bridal; these will be available soon on the Etsy shop, but I wanted to share a sneak peek : )  Tonya is really stepping it up with some unique ideas!  

purple flower crystal metal bouquet

Love the purple!  That color really pops against the aluminum & the hint of sparkles is just perfect!  I can totally see this one for a spring wedding; but really it would work for any time of the year...can you imagine it with a long, trailing deep purple dress?  So fun & flirty, but with a bit of alternative edge as well: I could see this one working with so many different wedding styles/themes.

alternative bouquet in puple

trailing couture bridal bouquet

And then, there is this amazing trailing couture piece; it has crystals, brooches, & soooooo much sparkle!  I have never seen anything like it.  I could see this with a traditional dress or something very off-beat & unique; either way it will make a statement for sure!

trailing alternative metal wedding bouquet

Gold wedding bouquet with brooches

And finally; the golden bouquet with amber colored crystals; so pretty!  Perfect for a cream colored dress or fall wedding or even a steampunk theme : )

If you are interested in seeing more; check out the Bridal Boutique on Etsy.  And if you are interested in a custom piece for your wedding; please email Tonya.  She can create something completely custom to match your them & colors, & even make pieces for the guys & flower-girls & brides-maids. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Custom Trophy & Matching Medals Made From Steel & Mixed Metals

Just finished this set up today; steel trophy with accents of polished aluminum, copper & mirrored acrylic along with matching medals.
Custom award trophy & medallions made from mixed metals.
I love the 3-D base that Josh came up with; very unique!  And I'm loving using pops of color against the metal; I think the green contrasts really nicely with the copper. 

The medals are about 3.5 inches in diameter & we included all the metals from the trophy along with the green.  This might be my favorite medal design so far...

Custom medals made from mixed metals by Refinerii Studios
This set was a custom request through Etsy; the client provided us with the logo & pretty much let us have free-reign on the design : ) 

We are gearing up to be seriously busy next month: a few big orders in the works, BBQ awards, film festival trophies (2 different festivals!) some Mad Max style awards for a drag race, & lots more!
Plus more updates on little duckies & chickens & turkey-birds ; )

Have a great week.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Baby Ducks & Turkeys!

So....about a week ago, we had a baby duck show up: it was injured & none of the broody mama ducks seemed to want to claim it; so we put it in a brooder & hoped for the best.

baby turkeys and duck

Later the same day; we discovered that some baby turkeys had hatched out: so we gathered them up & put them in the brooder with baby ducky.  (Turkey Mama is wild & hops the fence: we lost all but one of her last brood)  They immediately became fast friends; whenever I took ducky out for a swim, the turkeys were peeping their heads off wondering where brother ducky : )

Fast forward another 2 days; OMG! One of the broody ducks finally hatched out babies!!  She had about 16: lost a few: & we took 12 & added them to the brooder.  The little rescue ducky was now the big brother, showing everyone the food & water: so cute!  We left 2 babies with the Mama duck hoping for the best.

duckies in the pool
Here is the whole herd for their first swim in the big pool; the one to the left is the original; he is bigger than the rest & shows everyone what to do : )

baby ducks in the pool
They loved the pool party: lots of splashing & zooming about...  

baby ducks first swim in the big pool
It's been really hot here this week, so they were fine playing in the water (under supervision).  Baby ducks can actually drown or die of cold if they get wet: their baby fluff does not shed water yet: so they have to be monitored to make sure they are not too cold & that they can get out of the water.  Fortunately, it's been really warm; the water was about bath temperature & after their swim they got to dry off in the sun.  

Tonight, we added the remaining 2 duckies to the herd: unfortunately Moma duck is not doing a very good job.  She runs off & leaves them & I don't think she is letting them eat enough: they are noticeably smaller than the other ducks that have had full access to chick starter & water.    Poor Moma duck was a bit freaked out, but got over it in about 15 minutes, lol.  Bird brains...

Baby ducks first swim in the pink pool
It's a bit more work, taking care of them instead of having the momy birds do it, but this way we will end up with much calmer birds that know where home is.  They are locked up in the brooder in the shop at night & during the day get to zoom around in the run outside on the grass.  So far, everyone is doing great: the original duck seems to have healed up just fine--he still has a funny spot on his eye, but seems to be able to see out of it.  

The turkeys get along just fine with the duckies: although they are a lot more dopy, lol : )  They are like baby chicks, but high on pot or something: there is a lot of blank's hilarious : )  We got 3 that are white, & 2 that will be more brown like the moma turkey.  Hoping that one of the white ones is a hen so we can keep her to breed with our white/black male.  He is a Royal Palm turkey; a heritage breed, & I would love to keep the line going.  

Along with the ducks & turkeys; we have tons on new chickens: holy cows we have had a lot of broody hens this year!  But, so far we have more new hens than roos & some good color, which makes me happy.   

This fall, all the extra roos & any hens that are too aggressive, along with the extra turkeys will go to freezer camp to make Thanksgiving dinner & chicken soup for the winter.  The male ducks will probably just be sold: neither of us really car for duck meat...although if they don't sell, they will end up in the freezer too & I will be researching duck recipes...  I know it seems harsh, but we have learned: too many roos & they fight with each other, ducks are even worse...  And: selling free-range thanksgiving turkeys helps pay for feed for everyone.  Plus; we get a supply of free-range chicken that we know exactly how they were fed & how they lived; very healthy protein : )  (tasty too)

I love keeping chickens & ducks & turkeys; we have a nice large lot out of town, so we can let them free range all day, everyday: I love seeing them out in the yard everyday.  They can be a bit pesty: they love to roost on the steel rack & try to sneak in the shop whenever the door is open, but mostly their antics are just funny & cute.  They also keep the bug population under control & "fertilize" wherever they go: once in awhile they do want to dig where they shouldn't, but it's a small price to pay for all their entertainment & fresh eggs.  

Looking forward to seeing this new little herd of fluffballs grow up; they are so tiny & adorable right now! Hoping for mostly girls, but we shall see...  I will update in a week or so : )  If anyone out there in blog-land has any questions about keeping chickens/ducks/turkeys/geese: please email me; would love to answer any questions or concerns : )


Monday, July 20, 2015

Quake III Sign in Metals

I had to share this one: it turned out pretty bad-ass in my (not so) humble opinion...

custom metal sign Quake III with mirror accent

This was a custom request from a couple in Germany for their gym: they have been so cool to work with & I LOVE the way the sign came out!  The logo is from Quake III (a game); and I absolutely am enamored with it!  For the red piece: I polished the steel, then painted it with a candy-apple finish.  In the light, you can still see the polish through the paint.

The background is mirror, with steel & aluminum gears.  All metal was cut by water-jet for maximum precision: a must on a design like this!  Thanks to Robo-Jet for the help on this one : ) 
Tomorrow, the sign will be making it's long journey to it's permanent home in Germany: how cool is that??  It's so fun doing projects for people on the other side of the world: I never would have thought we would be shipping things ; ) 
We have a busy week lined up: I will be updating as we go---we have new baby ducks & turkeys, as well as lots of projects in the works: stay tuned!


Friday, July 10, 2015

HearthStone Medals made of Copper & Brass

Just a quick share of the latest project we sent out--medals for a HearthStone tournament.
I love they way they turned out!
custom medals made for a HearthStone tournament
The blue really sets off the brass & copper.   We created the blue from mirrored acrylic that I painted with a transparent paint: it's pretty close to how it looks in the game: just in our style : )
Anyway; I really liked how they came out: I hope they are happy with them!

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!

custom metal trophy gears
 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...
copper steampunk alternative bridal bouquet
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.

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

black gothic wedding bouquet
Love the chains & the black roses!

copper steampunk alternative wedding bouquet
And love the new copper creations!

trailing metal bouquet white goth
So pretty; painted aluminum with crystals & real dehydrated roses.

Feathers with metal?  Yes!
copper bouquet pearl unique
 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 : )