Buttons & Ladybugs, We are DONE!!!!!

20190324_170159 (2)All the pear snowmen have their buttons now and they are DONE!!!!! YEAH!!!! I’ll let them dry for several days, then I’ll wrap them carefully in tissue paper and put them away for Christmas.20190324_170234 (2)This paper-mache’ winter sweater is ready for it’s wire clothes hanger and then the varnish!20190324_170252 (2)The wood ladybugs are ready for varnish, and when it’s dry, I’ll glue on their magnets. I’ll be using the template that I used for the two with the big eyes when I do the feltie ladybug, so it will look similar to them.20190324_170311 (2)The rock M & M has it’s “M” and is ready for varnish. Sharky has his teeth now and looks properly menacing and he also is ready for varnish. The two rock zombies have their patches and stitches finished and they are ready to be varnished. Two Oxford Sandy & Black air dry clay pig ornaments (the brown ones with black spots) and a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig ornament (the white one with black spots) are ready to be varnished, YEAH!!!!20190324_170610 (3)These ladybug rocks are ready for varnish, YEAH!!!!20190324_170223 (2)Here they are again, lined up drying, so you can see their happy little smiles. The girly cat, behind them, is a permanent resident.

So, there you go! Some done objects, and a bunch of objects ready to be varnished, YEAH!!!! I will edit the Great Ladybug Challenge post to add how-to’s for the wood ladybug magnets and the ladybug rocks. And when I get the ladybug feltie and the cross stitch ladybug done I’ll add them to it also. So, I’m not the fastest crafter in the world, but slowly but surely, I do get things done. I hope you all have a GREAT rest of the weekend! And I hope your week to come is SUPER AWESOME!!!!! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!!! HAPPY LADYBUG MAKING!!!! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

The Pear Snowmen are up in arms!

20190312_021332 (2)These guys are now ready for their buttons! At long last, these guys are just about done. Through freezing rain, regular rain and even some actual snow, I have been working on these guys, bit by bit.20190312_021353 (2)Spider Girl has her first batch of spots, in interference metallic purple. I’m thinking of putting a contrasting color of spots between her purple ones. I also need to add her actual eye color around her pupils, probably pink to match Spider Boy’s eyes. And as you can see towards the left corner of the picture, I have got a paper-mache’ Easter egg in the works. This is just refurbishing a plastic egg from last year that got cracked. I repaired it and masking taped it, floral tape wrapped it, and got a first layer of paper-mache’ on it. 20190312_021407 (2)Spider Junior looks kind of like he is taking a selfie. He has his first batch of dots in metallic emerald green. I think I’ll either put purple dots between his green ones or metallic turquoise blue dots.  He also needs the color around the pupils of his eyes, his will probably also be pink so he looks like he is kind of related to Spider Boy and Spider Girl.20190312_021459 (2)And in this picture, there is all kinds of crafting action that has been going on. The wood ladybug bodies have been assembled, their wings are now ready to be glued to the body sections and have the dots painted on. Their “eyes” are now ready to be glued in place and have the pupils painted on, and then have the whole shebang glued to the magnets.  Moving along, counter-clock-wise in the picture, the rock M&M just needs the chocolate center to be touched up and have the “M” painted on and it will be ready for varnish. The future ladybug rocks are now finally ready to be embellished, as in, have their faces painted on and their black spots added to their backs. The rock zombies are ready for their “patches” and “stitches”. Behind the zombies, Ladybug Girl has had her shoes floral tape wrapped and glued on her legs. When the glue is dry, I’ll paper-mache’ her shoes. Still moving counter-clock-wise, Ladybug Boy is on his back cause his shoes have been paper-mache’ed  and their glue is drying. And, on the green winter sweater, I’ve repaired and finished the touch-up painting of the place where the repair was made, so it will blend in and not show where the handling stick was.

So, slowly but surely, things are getting done and closer to getting done. I hope you all have a SUPER GREAT DAY!!! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!! HAPPY LADYBUG CREATING!!! And HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

A Tutorial for the Paper-Mache’ Winter Sweaters…

20190226_130503 (3)This is the first one that I’m declaring finished. The sequins are shiny so the camera had trouble with the sparkly-ness.20190226_130407 (2)I’ve repaired the hole in the bottom edge of the white one where the handling stick was placed. The green one needs some more work, the hole on the bottom edge has to be repaired. I haven’t decided yet what else I might do to the green one, but it is very close to being done, plus I have to make a little wire clothes hanger for it with that red wire in the above picture. So, for these I used:

  • Elmer’s Foam Board  which is what I cut the shapes from, two pieces for each sweater. It comes in 20 x 30 x 3/16 inch pieces, in various colors and can usually be found in the office supply section of stores like Walmart, Target, Staples, etc. It is also available from Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, A.C.Moore, etc., and is usually near the poster board and the art paper section. I used white for this project.
  • Aleene’s Original Clear Gel Tacky Glue  which I used to glue the shapes together and also for attaching the sequins, beads, the gift images, and for attaching the wire clothes hanger.
  • Elmer’s Glue-All Multi-Purpose Glue Extra Strong Formula   which I used  thinned a little with water for the glue part of the paper mache’-ing.
  • Package insert tissue and phone book paper  torn into small pieces for the paper part of the paper-mache’-ing
  • Crayola Kids disposable paint brushes for adding the glue for the paper-mache’-ing and for smoothing the glue out with.
  • Liquitex Matte Medium Fluid Medium  which I used to seal the paper-mache’ after it was dry to protect it from the wetness of the gesso and paint I used on the sweaters to get them ready to be embellished.
  • Liquitex Acrylic Gesso  in white, to help smooth the surface of the sweaters and get them ready to be painted.
  • FolkArt Outdoor Acrylic Paint in : 6240E Cotton   which I used for the white sweater, for the prime coat and the base coat and the final coat.
  • Apple Barrel Matte Acrylic Paint in : 21479E New Shamrock  which I used for the prime coat, the base coat and the final coat on the green sweater.
  • Fashion Trim Snowflake Sequins in shades of blue and iridescent white, which I found at Michael’s.
  • Rocaille Seed Beads, size 11, in silver, from Create-A-Craft, which I found at Walmart, which I used to add a bit of shiny to the middle of the snowflake sequins I put on the white sweater.
  • To and from gift stickers from which I fussy cut those two wrapped gift images I glued on the green sweater. I found these stickers at Walmart.
  • Various colors of vinyl coated automotive wiring  which I found at Dollar Tree,  from which I made the wire clothes hanger bits I used for the hangers for the sweater ornaments
  • Odds and ends: Scissors, toothpicks, bamboo skewers, small round nose pliers with side wire cutter, X-acto craft knife extra sharp and extra blades, cardboard for the templates, a self-healing cutting mat, a large bread board, a # 2 pencil, a small magnifying glass, masking tape, sponge brushes, a straight pin or a really thin,  small nail, an airtight container to hold the water thinned glue, tweezers to help with placing the beads on the sequins.
  • Krylon Colormaster Clear Satin Crystal Clear  Indoor/Outdoor Spray   as a Varnish/Sealer  several coats 20190224_193022 (2).jpg

Instruction how-to’s:

  1. Referring to my picture above, for the white and for the green sweater, I used the cardboard sweater template with the sleeves more close to the body. I sketched out the general sweater shape on the cardboard and then cut it out with scissors. From side to side across the bottom of the sweater is 2 3/4 inches wide. From the collar to the bottom hem of the sweater is 3 1/2 inches. From the collar to the end of the sleeve is 3 1/2 inches. At the widest point measured across from one sleeve edge across the body section and to the far edge of the other sleeve is 4 inches.
  2. I put my self-healing cutting mat on my kitchen floor with a large bread board under it for added protection for the floor. I then placed the template on the foam board, on top of the cutting mat. I then traced around the template, two sweater shapes for each sweater.
  3. With the first template I traced and cut out enough shapes for five sweaters, which adds up to ten shapes. And, as you can see in the above picture, I traced out and cut some shapes with the wider spread arm sweater template, I ended up cutting six of those shapes, enough for three sweaters. Now, a word about cutting foam board, I have a love/hate relationship with foam board, also called foam-core board. The love part: Foam board comes in a lot of colors, it is very light weight and is very inexpensive. For small-ish projects you can use it in place of wood, like in making small picture frames, doll houses, it lends itself very well to making fake gingerbread houses, etc. But, and this is a very important but, this is the hate part: foam board can be difficult to cut.20190224_200042 (2)That is a piece of the foam board in the bottom, of the above picture. See the edges, they are very rough and ragged. Even with a brand new cutting blade, it can be difficult to get a clean cut edge, and scissors just crush the foam board. With much experimentation, I have found that if you do a very light score cut, just barely cutting the surface of the board and then go back over that to make your final cut, you’ll get a much cleaner cut edge. It won’t be perfect looking, but it won’t be crushed and ragged to the max like scissors would do. You can tidy and clean the edges up with a good sharp craft knife.
  4. Referring to the above picture, in the top left corner area, I glued the sweater pieces together, two for each sweater shape, using the Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue and before the glue dried, I stuck a bamboo skewer between the two pieces to aid in handling the sweater shapes while I did various things to them. Then I set the shapes aside to let the glue dry.
  5. Moving down in an counter clock wise direction, in the picture above. I placed bits of masking tape in an even layer all over the sweater shapes to prepare the surface for the paper-mache’-ing process.
  6. Still going counter clock wise, in the above picture, moving to the next sweater shape. I’ve been gluing the tissue paper and the phone book paper all over the sweater shape. I used the tissue for the sleeves and the phone book pages for the body section. Then I set it aside to dry. I then, using sponge brushes, painted matte medium all over the dry sweater shape to seal the glue and protect it from the wet-ness of the gesso and paint, two coats  Then, once the matte medium is dry, I painted gesso all over the sweater shape to help cover surface imperfections and to smooth the surface more for the paint. (Not in the picture, but the sweater shapes look like the white sweater without it’s sequins, after they have been matte medium-ed and gesso-ed. They’ll look very white.) 20190224_193137 (2)
  7. Now, referring to the above picture, the green sweater shape. Using sponge brushes, it has been prime coated, base coated and final coated with Apple Barrel Matte Acrylic Paint in : 21479E New Shamrock. The white sweater shape has been prime coated, base coated and final coated with FolkArt Outdoor Acrylic Paint in : 6240E Cotton. I have removed the bamboo skewer handling sticks from these two because they can dry flat from now on. I’ve repaired the hole left by the skewer on the white sweater by gluing a bit of tissue paper over the hole and then when that was dry, I painted over it with the same paint I used for the over all color. I cut a bit of the green vinyl coated wire and started shaping it like the hanger part of a clothes hanger. I used a straight pin to make holes in the top of the white sweater shape and after slathering glue on the wire ends, I slide them in the holes to make the hook look like the top part of a clothes hanger.20190226_130503 (3)It turned out looking the way I was trying for. 20190226_130407 (3)
  8. Then I used the Clear Gel Tacky Glue to glue the snowflake sequins on the white sweater and then glued a silver rocaille bead in the center of each snowflake.20190226_130407 (4)
  9. Then, for the green sweater, I fussy cut the package images from the Christmas to and from sticky labels I had and glued them on with the Clear Gel Tacky Glue. I haven’t decided yet if I want to maybe use puffy paint to put maybe dots along the edge of the collar. I’ll make a sketch of it and decide on how it looks.
  10. When the sweater shapes are done with the embellishing process and dry, dry, dry, I’ll take them outside on a nice dry, not windy day and spray them with the Krylon Colormaster Clear Satin Crystal Clear Indoor/Outdoor spray Varnish/Sealer. At least three coats. Front, back and edges to seal them and protect the paint from nicks and scratches and moisture. And hopefully, the varnish will help keep my embellishments from falling off.

So, there you go! These sweaters are actually quite easy to do and you can decorate them in many, many ways. It just takes some explaining to …well… explain how I made them. I was inspired by looking at the feltie versions of Ugly Christmas Sweaters on Pinterest.com to try my hand at designing my version of what I’m calling “Paper-Mache’ Winter Sweater Ornaments”. I was trying for cute not ugly. If, you want to be kind of amazed and dazzled, go on Pinterest.com  and type in Ugly Christmas Sweaters in the search bar. You will see all kinds of sweaters that people have really put some major effort into, to try to make them look… I don’t want to say ugly cause a lot of them aren’t ugly, but are… I’ll say… really interesting and unique looking sweater creations. And there are hoards of cute feltie Christmas Sweater Ornament pictures and how-to’s on Pinterest to look at and be inspired by. You don’t have to use the exact products I used to make these, you could make the sweater shapes from several pieces of watercolor paper glued together or several pieces of cardboard glued together. I used the foam board because I had some on hand and it is very light weight and relatively easy to use. Mainly, I use products that are easy for me to find, or I already have and number one: inexpensive. The big thing about making these is they take a lot of drying time, if you rush the process and they aren’t completely dry, they can start to fall apart in some really spectacular ways, bits can literally shoot off across the room. So, allow for lots of drying time. Work on other projects while you are doing these that use the same general products, and that way something will always be ready to have something done to it.  And about the two sweater shapes that are glued together but I haven’t paper-mache’-ed them yet, they are going to morph into Hawaiian Shirt Ornaments. I’m going to trim the sleeves to give them short sleeves, then paper mache’ them and decorate them to look like Hawaiian Shirt Ornaments. I’ve seen those on Pinterest.com and really like them, too. I hope you all have a SUPER GREAT DAY!!!!! And a GREAT REST OF THIS WEEK!!!! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING and HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

The Glue Is Taking Forever To Dry! Some Works In Progress & UFOs!

20181230_023605 (2)Pictured are:  the last three pear snow person shapes I used in the how-to-do tutorial; Spider Girl, who needs another coat of the shiny black paint; what will be Spider Junior; and sweater shapes that were going to be Ugly Christmas Sweater Ornaments but the glue took forever to dry so they will now be Ugly Winter Sweater Ornaments. It has been raining and raining, so much so that I rarely have to water my garden. But all that humidity from all that rain is seriously slowing down the drying time for things I’ve been working on. The Ugly Sweater Ornaments were supposed to be a quick project to finish before Christmas, but the glue used to glue the shapes together took super long to dry, so they’ll be a project for January. They’ll look kind of like these, in the picture.18af30e080883678dbd394150d0d58a3

20181230_023539 (2)I started six more air dry clay pig ornaments and two kick fighter bear ornaments. I cut the shapes out this last Friday, so hopefully they will be dry by next weekend. One of the pigs will be an Oxford Sandy & Black pig for me and the other pig shapes will be painted like other breeds of pigs.

20181231_031833 (2)I’m a slow crocheter, so, slowly but surely the scarf I’ve been working on is getting longer. And Squirrel Boy has the beginnings of his eyes, nose and mouth!

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The white has to come up to more around the mouth area and he needs the shading for his nose and cheeks. He’s starting to look a little friendly. I’m using the picture below, “Squirrel Angel”, done by Vicki Sawyer, as the reference for the facial shading.0994ee8fb15f2069a32e78e59ade1c32Squirrel Boy won’t look exactly like the “Squirrel Angel”, I don’t want to copy, but I’ll try for similar facial-shading wise around the nose, mouth and eye area.

So, projects in the works for the new year! Coming along slowly but surely! I hope you all will be safe and warm for your official changing of the calendar and your New Year’s celebrations! Remember your pets and if you can’t refrain from shooting off fireworks, give your pets a safe and secure place to hide from all the noise! So, Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope yours’  is SUPER NICE! Happy Crafting!

The Wrapping Frenzy Is Getting Ready To Begin!

20181224_184934 (2)So, gearing up for wrapping the various things for the relatives. Lil’ Mo and B.B. Jo are auditioning some of the small bows. And to the left you can see I tried out a paint dribble ornament with FolkArt Interference paints in blue and two shades of purple, turned out pretty nice. It will just take a while to dry the paint inside.20181224_185301 (2)Here are the kitties with their ribbons on. I think I’ll put a spot of glue under the bows to help keep them from unwrapping themselves and to help hold them in place. 20181225_013757 (2)One more look at these guys before they are off to the relatives! All color coordinated and ready to go!

So, this is it! Christmas day is just a few hours away! Lil’ Mo, B.B. Jo and I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!!!! And for those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, we hope you have a very nice day! So Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!

The Air Dry Ornaments for the gifting have been varnished!

The original idea for these came from Imagine Blog’s “Make Gingerbread Ornaments with Clay and Memento Ink” article, which I re-blogged and it is in my November month archive, in which the colors were done with various colors of ink. I wanted to try doing my version with paint.

20181223_172424 (2)I varnished these this morning, the weather was cooperating for a change. So I set these guys on top of my storage unit on my patio and sprayed them with Krylon ColorMaster Clear Satin Crystal Clear Indoor/Outdoor spray varnish.The cats’ noses are done with FolkArt : 633 Baby Pink acrylic paint. Their eyes and mouth shapes are done with a Sakura Pigma Micron 005 pen in black.20181223_172418 (3)

The piggies’ spots and splotches are done with FolkArt : 938E Licorice acrylic paint.20181223_172424 (3)proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-pigs#1

The clay piggies are a little like the cuties in the wagon, color and pattern wise. I’m going to make another one of the clay piggies like these guys for me and some more colored like different breeds of pigs.

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The kick fighters are embellished with Puffy 3D Paint in White and various colors.

I’m going to do a bit of a review of the clay, the Puffy 3D Paint and probably the Micron pen when I get everybody finished. For now, let’s just say products didn’t preform as promised on the various labels.20181223_172723 (2)The bear, the stars and Squirrel Boy are still works in progress, but are further along than they where. I’ve been looking on Pinterest.com to see how other people have done their teddy bear cookies and star cookies to get ideas for my clay ones.

So, there you go! The ornaments for the gifting are ready for their hangers and ready to give to the relatives I made them for. I’ll keep working on the bear, the stars and Squirrel Boy, in between watching holiday movies and making the real gingerbread cookies version of the clay kick fighters on Christmas morning. Christmas is almost here! I hope you are having a SUPER NICE HOLIDAY time!!!!  HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

 

The Air Dry Ornaments so far & Squirrel Boy!

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I’ve got the base color on everybody and tomorrow I will do the fine details and embellishing. The cat shapes are based on this cat ornament, below,  which was posted on Pinterest by AnnsCrockteria, of New York in the U.S.A. My cat shapes are coated with FolkArt : 901E Wicker White. I’ll use Sharpie Ultra Fine point markers for the features on the cats.

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The running pig shapes are based on this pig ornament, below, which was posted on Pinterest by SnowBunnys, of Angelus Oaks, California, U.S.A.

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On my version of the pigs, I gave them two ears and all four of their legs and a tail. And for the color pattern, my husband wanted me to make the pigs look similar to one of these guys….proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-baby pig #4This is a baby version of an Oxford Sandy & Black. My husband’s uncle raised this breed of pig and even grown up these piggies are incredibly cute! I went over my gingerbread base color on the pig shapes with a real thin wash of Apple Barrel : 20764E Apricot acrylic paint to get that sort of sandy orange piggy fur color. For the black markings I’ll use FolkArt : 938E Licorice acrylic paint. I’ll use a black Ultra Fine point Sharpie for the eyes.

For the two ninja kick fighters, the two star shapes and my teddy bear shape, to get that gingerbread kind of color, I had to mix into a base of FolkArt 901E Wicker White :  FolkArt  939 Butter Pecan, DecoArt Americana Espresso, DecoArt Americana Burnt Sienna, and a small bit of Apple Barrel 20764E Apricot. My round shape ornament is being used to test how the various colors and washes look against each other, I’ll paint over it when I get everybody else done. I’m going to use various colors of the Puffy 3D Paint to embellish all these guys.

For long suffering Squirrel Boy, the light is now visible at the end of the tunnel. To get his all over base color I mixed into a base of FolkArt 939 Butter Pecan :  FolkArt 901E Wicker White, FolkArt Artist’s Pigment 462 Burnt Umber, DecoArt Americana Espresso and just a touch of FolkArt 938E Licorice. For his tummy I’ll mix a kind of soft cream color and I’ll probably use that color for the light rings around his eyes. His nose will be a soft brown…proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-Squirrel#4.jpg I’m trying to make Squirrel Boy look a little bit like this guy, above. Not exactly like him but at least recognizable as being a squirrel-like creature. And not a zombie, my husband made me promise to not make a zombie squirrel and not make any of these ornaments into zombies. Though I have more of the clay, different things will be made with that… Any way, all the paints I used are acrylics and I used FolkArt Floating Medium 898 for thinning the paints and for making color washes. So after the ornaments are embellished and dry, on Saturday I’ll varnish them and put their hangers on them.  So, it’s coming down to the wire now, Christmas is almost here! I hope you have a SUPER GREAT DAY and HAPPY CRAFTING!

 

 

A Pear Snowman Tutorial…

20181211_162400 (2)Been working on attaching hat pom-poms, chest buttons, and paper discs for them to sit on to help keep them from falling over. So, back to the beginning…20181101_183104 (2)I started out with the idea I had seen in a magazine several years ago to make snowmen from plastic pears. It took me several years to gather all the various do-dads to embellish these with and one of the places where I got a lot of the small buttons, tiny pom-poms, and the little Christmas light strand beads, Hancock Fabrics, has gone into bankrupt proceedings. You can probably find the buttons, pom-poms and the little light beads or ones similar to them at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or amazon.com. 20181105_200831 (2)It started out well enough, I had sealed these guys with matte medium, gessoed them and prime coated them, but then problems arose. Two of the pears I had  purchased from the dollar store started bleeding color up through the matte medium, the gesso and the prime coat of paint. So, to stop the color bleeding  I put two coats of varnish on the bleeders. Then proceeded to put two layers of paper mache on the bleeders to further seal them and halt or at least cover up their “bad complexions”, so to speak. But just in case they continued to go down hill, I made two replacement pear shapes from compressed aluminum foil. To make them…20181209_194037 (2)I started by mashing a clump of foil into a pear-like shape and then rolling it around on my drainboard to smooth the surface and I kept doing that and adding more foil till I got the size I wanted and the “pear” was rock hard. Then I put a layer of masking tape all over the pear to completely cover the foil. Then I wrapped the pear with floral tape which is self sealing and really helps to smooth out the lumps and bumps. Then I added the bamboo skewers to give me something to hold onto, which makes it easier to handle the shapes while working on them. Then I put a coat of matte medium on the pears to help keep the floral tape from unwrapping itself. Then I paper mache’ed the two replacement pears and let them dry. Then, I put a coat of matte medium on the two replacements and the original two bleeders to seal the paper mache’ and protect it from the wetness of the gesso and paints.20181111_182455 (3)

I used Elmer’s Glue-All, Multi-purpose Glue, the Extra Strong Formula and Aleen’s Original Tacky Glue and Aleen’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue, all slightly watered down, as the adhesive for the paper mache’. I used gift insert tissue paper for the paper. 20181111_182753 (3)

I used Liquitex Matte Medium, the fluid formula and Liquitex Basics Acrylic Gesso to prep the surface of the “pears” to get them ready for the paint I was going to use on them.20181209_194652 (5)I used Folkart Outdoor Acrylic Paint in: 6240E Cotton, as the prime coat, the base coat and the top coat of all the “pears”, and I used sponge brushes to apply the paint cause they don’t create as much streaking as normal paint brushes sometimes do. On the “eyes” and mouths I used Folkart Outdoor Acrylic Paint in: 1640 Licorice, which I applied with a nail art dotting tool. On the carrot noses, which are pieces of round bamboo skewers, I used Folkart Outdoor Acrylic Paint in: 1615 Pure Orange and I applied it with a Crayola Kid’s Disposable Craft Brush. You could also use pieces of orange chenille “pipe cleaners” for the noses. I got those cute little clamps, that I used to hold the small parts while I painted them, from Walmart. The paints came from Walmart too. The snow men’s “arms” are made from the branching bits left over from when I was cutting off silk fall leaves from silk leaf bunches for my Halloween display. I have a bunch of those and they looked kind of like arms and hands so I used wire cutters to trim them to the sizes I wanted. Then I put two coats of gesso on them and then I painted them with Folkart Outdoor Acrylic Paint in: 1617 Maple Syrup (it’s a color, not actual maple syrup) I used the disposable brushes for these too. For drilling the holes for attaching the noses and arms, I used a round mini diamond needle file, which I got from http://www.micromark.com , they sell all kinds of way cool small tools which are good for model making, small wood carving projects, jewelry making, doll house building, etc.20181209_194926 (3)For the “hats”, I used baby socks in the 0-6 months size, the pastel color ones I got from Walmart and the striped ones I got from amazon.com. To make the “hats”, I turned the socks inside out and then tied the sock off and knotted it tight, just before the heel area, with a piece of string. Then I cut the part above the knotted part off and turned the “hat” right side out and wiggled the hats into place on the snow people’s “heads”. 20181211_162319 (2)The tiny little buttons I’m using for the chest buttons came from Hancock Fabrics, and they come in lots of colors. I glued paper discs on the bottom of all the snow people to cover the holes left from the bamboo skewers and to help keep them from toppling over.20181211_162228 (2)

I used Crafter’s Pick, THE ULTIMATE! to glue all the various small parts to the snow people, it holds firm and dries clear.20181211_162400 (2)So, here they are again, I’m working on them assembly-line like. I glue bits on and let them dry and keep doing that till their done. These guys and gals actually aren’t very hard to do, they just had some fiddly problems I had to ponder on and overcome. The only hard bit was threading those “lights” on the wire “light strand” that the one snowman is holding. They are very fragile and kept breaking so I’m only doing one like that, those “lights” are actually little beads that can be used to embellish like Christmas cards and gift tags, etc., and they came from Hancock Fabrics. In a perfect world these guys would only take a few hours to do plus drying time for the paint and glue. But because I had to paper mache’ some of them it took quite a while longer, plus I was fitting in working on them around doing housework, doing laundry, cooking meals, dealing with hurricanes, tropical storms, etc., you know, fun stuff like that. My recommendation for doing these is that you make the pear shape from aluminum foil and paper mache’ it. That way you have less problems and you can make the bottom flat-ish so they stay upright without toppling over. So, I would place these as an intermediate skill level crafter’s project. They took some problem solving to do. And they need some adult supervision if kids are making these for using the wire cutters, craft knives and sharp scissors for cutting the different bits and pieces out, plus working with the special glue. So, it took a while to get these guys to this point, but I’m liking how they are turning out so far. I hope you find my tutorial helpful and you don’t have to use the exact products I did to do these. I use what is relatively inexpensive and what is easy for me to get locally. I used the Outdoor paints because they are self sealing and don’t absolutely have to be varnished. So there you go! If you make these I hope you like them. Christmas is coming soon and happy crafting!

 

 

 

Air-dry clay ornaments in the works…

20181209_193423 (2)I’m trying out this new to me: Model Air, Air Dry Modeling Clay, made by Polyform, the same people who make Sculpey polymer clay. When it is dry it can be sanded, drilled(very carefully) and painted. Now according to the website, http://www.sculpey.com , these ornaments I’m working on should have dried in about 24 hours. Well, in real life, in the real world, it has taken a little over a week, I started these last Saturday and they are now finally dry and ready to sand(the edges) and then paint. And as you can sort of see from the picture, they curved/cupped a little bit as they were drying, not a lot but they aren’t completely flat like they started out as. I kept flipping them over back and forth so they would dry evenly, and they still cupped. Just a minor thing. I used card board templates to trace and cut the shapes out from the clay, which I had first rolled out flat and even. I then cut the shapes with a sharp craft knife. I’m going to use Folkart acrylic paints and dimensional paints on them. There is a teddy bear, two stars, two cats, two running pigs, a round ball shape, and two ninja kick fighters. I got that other package you see perched there on the cookie pan and will make some more ornaments. These shapes were all made from a 2.2 lb (1 kg) package of white clay. When I finish painting them I will post another picture so you can see how they turned out.

So, there you go! These ornaments were not hard to make so far, just a little fiddley and took some extra drying time. Hopefully, they will turn out well, I made two of some of them so I can give the best looking versions as Christmas gifts. So, Christmas is coming fast! Have a great day and happy crafting!

A way to display ornaments or cards if you don’t have a lot of space…

20181209_193553 (2)I’ve seen versions of this thingy all over Pinterest.com, especially in the sections for Scandinavian Christmas decorating ideas. Some of these are made sized like a regular Christmas tree, clear up to six feet tall and would fit in a very narrow space, good for people with not a lot of room. I pulled together this one with help from my father-in-law, he drilled the holes for the cross pieces to fit through. I measured and cut the cross pieces and assembled and screwed on the base piece. The up-right piece is a 1″ round wood dowel which is 25″ tall. The base piece is a 8″ inch pine wood round, that I got from Hobby Lobby. The cross pieces, starting with the bottom one are: measuring up 7 1/2 ” from the base, a 3/8″ dowel, 14″ long. The next one, measuring up 8″ from the bottom cross piece, is 10 3/4″ long, also a 3/8″ dowel. And the top cross piece, measuring up 8″ from the middle one, is 8 1/2″ long and it also is a 3/8″ dowel. My measurements are give or take measuring, I was using a yard stick to measure the thingy before I took the picture. I base coated this whole thing with Folkart Outdoor paint in: 6240E Cotton. Then I used a sea sponge piece and sponge painted the whole thing with Folkart Outdoor paint in: Metallics 1654 Pure Gold, my camera didn’t pick up the shine very well. I was trying for a marbled look that I could use for holiday ornament display for different holidays, not just Christmas, a multi-holiday ornament or card display thingy. And I keep calling it a thingy because I’m not exactly sure what the proper name for it would be, I just know it’s Scandinavian.

So, there you go, an easy to make ornament/card display thingy that can be used in small narrow locations. And the Folkart Outdoor paints are self-sealing, so the thingy doesn’t have to be varnished, it just needs to “cure” for 72 hours and then it is ready to use. Though, I still might put some varnish on it to make it more shiny looking. So, Christmas is coming really soon! Have a great day and happy crafting!