29 September 2014

Inspiration from U.S. World War II

Polymer clay and world wars are not something I usually think about together, but that changed as I was cruising an online auction. The listing was for a WWII military uniform. The highlight photo (shown top left) tag said "patch unknown." 

My first thought was how it resembled a scout patch I had earned as a youth; my second thought was that it would make a good cane design. 

So, I went to work researching the patch. It took just minutes to learn that it belonged to the 7th Army who were the first to see combat in World War II. It was activated at sea when the 1st  Armored Corps, under the command of Lt. General George Patton, was redesignated on July 10th, 1943. The shoulder patch for the Seventh Army was approved on June 23, 1943. The letter "A" (for "Army") is formed by seven steps indicating the numerical designation of the unit. The colors suggest the three basic combat branches which make up a field army - blue for Infantry, red for Artillery, and yellow for Armor (Cavalry). Veterans of the Seventh Army wore a tab reading "Seven Steps to Hell" under the patch, but this tab was never officially authorized.

Next, I played around with the design to come up with the cane I envisioned (shown top right). The steps are shown in the five-part chart above. Step 1: Find a good copy of the patch online. Copy and save it. Step 2: Flip the image to make a mirror of the patch. Step 3: Crop both images to eliminate any white space between them. Step 4: Look at the combined image and dream of the cane it will make. Step 5: Rotate the image to observe the design possibilities.

Fortunately, as my research informed me, military patches of this sort, though approved by the U. S. Army, are considered non-official and can be copied with no rights violated.

Thank you to all the brave men and women who served not only in the second world war, but in all the conflicts that threaten our security. Thank you for keeping us safe. You inspire us in ways you might never know.
* Most  of the information in the third paragraph is culled from Wikipedia (primarily), and several miscellaneous websites featuring military patches.

23 September 2014

Swarovski Crystal-Encrusted Mercedes: Bling On Steroids

Daria Radionova needs no outside inspiration when driving around London in this Swarovski crystal-encrusted Mercedes CLS 350. The 21-year-old Russian business student bedazzled her ride in more than one million crystals. Radionova says the job took workers "two months of 12-hour days" to complete. 

A close-up of the Mercedes-Benz insignia shows detail of a small portion of the trunk. Does this inspire you to add bling to your polymer clay projects? (Read the original story at http://tinyurl.com/l32usas).

Photo Credits: Alex Penfold, SWNS.com