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!!!!!

Works-in-progress are coming along…and two of the ladybug figures…And Spring?!

20190208_182946 (2)Another paper-mache’ winter sweater is ready to embellish! The last three pear-snowmen are finally painted, dry and off their handling sticks. Next for them will be their hats, which will help to determine where their facial features will be and help to line up for their arms and the buttons down their fronts. The wooden ladybug parts are all carved out and ready for some sanding, the paint and then to be glued together. I haven’t decided yet if it will have legs, but it will have some antennas. And my little paper-mache’ ladybug person has been wrapped with the floral tape and the first bits of paper and glue have been applied to help keep the tape from unwrapping itself.  His/her “eyes” have the first coat of paint on them and I’ve got some “arms” ready, I think to maybe be wrapped with some of the floral tape. The big challenge will be seeing if I can get his/her hand shapes and little shoes wrapped with the floral tape to help make their surfaces smoother. I might have to split the tape to make it narrower for the wrapping around the hand/fingers and shoe shapes.

So, that’s what is going on so far with these projects so far. I’ve been taking pictures of the various stages of progress for these critters and things so I can use them for the how-to-do’s.

And would you believe it got up to 82 degrees in my yard today?! We had a warming front go through, and then tomorrow night it will be back down in the 30 degree range. The weather here is flip-flopping temperature-wise just like it’s Spring. My rosemary has some more flowers on it. Dandelions are blooming out in the lawn and a flock of robins has been hanging out in the yard looking for earthworms. And the resident mole has started tunneling up and down the yard, along the side of the apartment…Go Mole Boy! eat all those grubs and slugs!  I’m starting to think it’s not just my rosemary that is confused about what time of the year it is…it still is February, but you’d never know that looking out at what the plants and the critters in the yard are doing! So, stay warm or cool depending on what your weather is doing! HAPPY LADYBUG CREATING 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!

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!

 

 

 

The Pear Snow People so far…

20181129_091239 (2)This is what they look like so far. The one with the blue hat is going to have buttons that match his hat, but he is the most farthest along of all the snow people. And he might be the only one holding the string of lights cause the little bulbs keep breaking, they are so fragile! And the one on the far right, with the hat made of pom poms, is going to loose the pom pom hat, I like the baby crew sock hats better. I’ve got ones of these guys in various stages so I can take pictures for a tutorial. As long as they aren’t bleeding color the pears are relatively easy to work with. I used a thin needle file to drill the holes for the noses and the arms. The string of lights blue hat guy is holding is green craft wire with tiny light bulb ornaments strung on it. I used Folkart Outdoor Paint, which is self sealing, on these guys, so they won’t need to be varnished. Yeah! That’s a good thing cause the weather has been really crappy here, front after front just keep rolling through. It’s like it went from hot summer to nasty cold winter with not much moderate fall weather. Bleah! I’m going to see if I can find some more baby crew socks in actual holiday colors, so far our Walmarts are not keeping the baby sock section very well stocked, Target is even worse. I think it is because of the hurricane, the stores still haven’t really restocked yet after having to throw away so much damaged merchandise. Hopefully, as it gets closer to Christmas, the baby clothes sections at the local stores will get better stocked up on colorful baby crew socks I can use for hats. So, this is what’s going on so far with the pear snow people! Christmas is coming soon! Happy Crafting!

Finally, Squirrel Boy is ready for matte medium and then the gesso! YEAH!!!

20181121_045612 (3)I’ve done a lot of work on Squirrel Boy, learning what I can and can’t do with the floral tape wrap method along the way. I made his arms and legs longer to help balance his longer tail. And I’ve done some major work on his ears, sculpting them some and making them look much more like squirrel ears. I’m getting his eyes ready. And, as you can see behind Squirrel Boy, Spider Girl and the pear snow people shapes have been gessoed and are ready for the prime coat of paint. YEAH!!! So, that’s what’s happening so far with these guys and gals, things are finally progressing to the stage where the embellishing process can get in the works, YEAH!!! So, I hope you all have a SUPER GREAT DAY!!! HAPPY CRAFTING!!! HAPPY NOVEMBER!!!

An update on Squirrel Boy & the pear snowmen, trying a new technique in papier-mache, & a bat that didn’t get into the Halloween display

20181114_051634 (2)Poor Squirrel Boy! I’m trying the floral tape wrap on him to give him a smoother surface. I made his tail a bit longer, his back legs a little longer for better balance, made his arms a little longer, and extended his muzzle a little bit to give him a more egg shaped head like actual squirrels have. When he has a full layer of the tissue paper glued on him, I’ll open his eye sockets back up. Up in the top of the picture is what will be Spider Girl. I’m starting her now cause my paint I want to use on her might not be usable when it gets close to next Halloween, a use it or loose it thing. She will look similar to Spider Boy but have a more extensive dot pattern and maybe a bow on her head. So, the floral tape wrapping thing is the new, to me, papier-mache technique and it really does help to create a smoother surface, it worked real well on the pear snow men shapes I made. When you are using the tape you pull on it as you wrap it around your shape and it sort of sticks in place and self seals itself. 20181114_051510 (2)The pear snowmen shapes are now ready for the gesso, again. The bleeders and the two I made have two layers of varnish, two layers of tissue paper and two layers of acrylic matte medium on them. The other pears that didn’t do strangeness have two more layers of the matte medium, just to make sure they can handle the wetness from the gesso and the paint. Wish me luck! Hopefully, there won’t be any more weird things happening with the prep for these guys.20181114_052143 (2)This is Bat Boy and I’m not tormenting him with those pins!  I made him so he could hang suspended in the air between like my two cupboards like he’s flying. The pins have thread attached to them for the hanging part. He was hiding on my desk and I didn’t find him till after Halloween. I saw him in Woman’s Day magazine several years ago and worked up a pattern for him. That was the easy part. The sewing part was the tricky part.20181114_051945 (2)He is made out of black fleece for his body and black felt for his wings and outer ear shapes. His inner ear shapes are pink felt and his little feet are brown felt. His muzzle is a pink pompom with a black felt dot for his nose. His eyes are two neon green beads with the pupils marked on with a black Sharpie. He is stuffed with polyester Poly-fil. All his parts except for the black dot for his nose and the pink inner ears are sewn in place during his assembly, even his pink muzzle. His black nose, which is glued on with fabric glue, hides the knot that holds the muzzle on. The pink part of his ears is glued onto the black outer part with fabric glue. All his parts had to be carefully folded inward while sewing him together and then very carefully pulled through the tiny opening when I turned him right side out before I stuffed him and sewed him shut. His body is a three inch circle and his wings when fully open extend out to sixteen inches. The black part of his ears is two inches tall and an inch wide and the pink part is an inch tall and 5/8ths of an inch wide. Each of his feet is an inch wide from outer toe to outer toe. I used a 1/4 of an inch seam allowance for his body section and for attaching his wings , ears and feet. I wouldn’t recommend him for a beginning sewer but he isn’t super hard to make. Just kind of fiddley cause trying not to accidentally over-sew his wings or ears or feet while sewing his body up and then trying to not pull him to pieces turning him right-side out. I sewed his eyes and muzzle in place before I sewed him completely shut so the knots are on the inside for those. I think Bat Boy would be considered a softie cause he’s not all felt and he is soft and kind of furry from the fleece in his body section.

So, there you go! A Squirrel Boy update, the beginning of Spider Girl, a pear snowmen update, a little info about the floral tape wrap method and Bat Boy! I hope you all have a SUPER GREAT DAY! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!

A drying day

20181105_200831 (2)I’ve added two layers of varnish and a layer of papier-mache’ to the two bleeders,(hopefully this will stabilize them) and the two pears I made. I’ll probably add at least one more layer of the papier-mache’ before I gesso them again and start the painting process. Hopefully, they will be ready to be ‘snowmanafied’ soon. I’m thinking of using the ankle part of some baby crew socks I have to make the hats for these guys. And the pointy ends of some bamboo skewers, painted orange, for the carrot noses. Now, if the pears will just cooperate and stop doing strange things, I can get this snowman project properly going and out of the prep stage. I’m glad I didn’t wait till the week before Christmas to start this! Log this under crap happens!   Happy November!   Christmas is coming soon!   Happy crafting!