It’s very cool to be my age and still be able to discover new things. I’m not talking about new technology or newly invented items. I’m talking about discovering something that’s new to me even though it’s been around for a long, long time. I love that about life!
I live in Colorado. We hunt here. We now have legal access to marijuana, cannabis, pot, weed, ganja. I just hope people aren’t so idiotic as to combine the two. But, that’s not the rabbit trail I’m on today. Today, I’m going to talk to you about ammo. Until a couple of weeks ago, I did not know that a discussion on gun ammunition would have any place whatsoever in the doll world of OSS. I’m sure a lot of you reading this are thinking I’ve gone off my rocker. But, hear me out please! I am not quite ready for that white jacket, although there are days. Believe me, there are days.
In our state, we have become more than a bit sensitive about guns and ammunition. With the horrific events of Columbine, the Aurora movie theater massacre, and the recent Arapahoe High School shooting, it’s understandable. I had no idea that you could purchase ammunition on the internet. I guess it makes sense. After all, you can buy ANYthing on the internet, but it wasn’t something I had thought about. I also never gave much thought to something else ammo-related that I would see occasionally written into story lines on television shows like CSI or Law and Order…people (usually the criminals) on these shows who “make” their own bullets/ammo. I just thought it was a “tv thing”. Au contraire! My husband launched into a lengthy “how to” that made my eyes roll back in my head. I didn’t really need to know most of what he had to say, but what intrigued me and made that dolly sized light bulb turn on was that empty shells, brass and otherwise, are readily available on the internet. Empty, and without the primer, these cleaned and polished and quite lovely metal cylinders are harmless and the perfect solution to my search for items that can be used for 1:6 scale flower vases!
After a lesson on what all the numbers mean (I never knew that the numbers had a direct correlation to the actual size/measurement of the shell.), I began my hunt on Etsy and Ebay for empty shells. There is a whole world of jewelry makers and more out there that uses these empty shells in some amazing creations! I knew what size I was looking for, but I also found that the readily available sizes fell on one side or the other of what I wanted. But, I was able to purchase several different calibers so that I could experiment, and it was so much fun! I do have to mention though that when I received one package and actually held one of the shells in my hand, I wanted to cry. I had never seen such a large shell in my life. I actually said to my husband, “What in the world would anyone shoot with one of these? Can you imagine what kind of damage it would do?” He just looked at me with a pained expression. Best not to dwell on that part of it. Let’s focus instead on the fact that we can make over something that is not meant to bring joy so that it DOES indeed bring joy and fun into a world in desperate need of those emotions. Let’s take those shiny, empty shells and arrange some miniature flowers in them! Since most are made of brass, they will, over time, develop a beautiful patina that will add to their attractiveness. I’m also toying with the idea of painting designs on a few, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. My husband used his handy-dandy pipe cutter to cut down those huge .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) shells so that the narrowed part could be discarded, and then I sanded the edges smooth. Once the primer hole is plugged, the shell can be filled with resin or silicone so that flowers can be arranged and will be held fast. As you can see in the photo, nickel plated brass shells can sometimes be found too, and this gives us a color option. Hooray! I wish I knew how to engrave on brass…I do know someone who is highly skilled at exactly that, but it’s not yours truly. Wouldn’t it be cool to have designs etched on these shells? I’m looking forward to doing some experimenting with embellishing these brass beauties, but that will have to wait. I’m about to go silent for awhile again as I have another time consuming commission to tackle that concerns Rapunzel-esque saran. Wish me luck!