My little brother is such a champ. He's 17 and has cerebral palsy, hypothyroid, and epilepsy. He is mentally and physically disabled, but he still gets through life with a huge smile on his face, and is quite the social butterfly. For a few years, he has been insisting that every time we are together, we create some kind of art together. Usually this involves painting or drawing Disney characters to the best of our abilities.
Earlier this month, he wanted to make something out of clay with me while visiting. I taught him how to pinch off pieces of polymer clay and roll balls and logs to make the bodies of the animals. He did this all with his one "good hand". I helped even and smooth out the shapes for him, but he assembled most of the pieces. Sometimes I just held his hand/finger out and sort of used his hand to do the smoothing just so he could have the experience. He was really excited about them. I'm pretty surprised how they came out actually. These were the only photos I got because the next morning, he took them with him back down to Florida, so the colors are bit off from limited lighting in our dining room. My brother insisted that the giraffe be sticking out his tongue, that the tongue be blue, and that the giraffe also have Elvis-style hair.
I made this for Cackle in the Whimsical Shrine Swap. It was a mash up of a few of her themes: "Artist's Choice," "Insects," and "Botanical". The base I started with was a black solar-powered lantern from Target. For some odd reason, I like putting little characters in my bigger shrines, so the main focus of this one was going to be a fairy. She is wingless though, so I guess she is more of a pixie. Her body and flower petal skirt are polymer clay, her hair is made of mohair locks, her hat is felt, and her shirt is scraps of fabric. Other elements of the shrine include a felt and button moth inspired by Mister Finch, teeny mushrooms made based on a tutorial by Knickertwist (with polymer clay instead of paperclay though), a miniature nature shrine on the back based on an altered matchbox by Rackycoo, and several other items I saw on Cackle's Pinterest.
And the painting on the back is based on two photos of birds I that I took in my backyard
And here are some of the components before putting them inside:
The moth with its wings open didn't fit, so I actually just gave it to Cackle out of the shrine
I built this toadhouse for Ludi in the Woodland Creature and Enchanted Forest Swap. I hope that one day a toad actually inhabits it If not a toad, than hopefully a fairy will find it cozy enough.
The house started out as a 2 liter Mountain Dew bottle. I glued small polished rocks to it with E6000 because hot glue would not hold the polished rocks on. After that I used sanded grout to fill in the gaps:
That was the only progress I photographed... Afterwards I used hot glue to secure smoker wood chips for the roof. In this case the E6000 didn't dry fast enough and I couldn't get the bottle at a good angle to keep the shingles from sliding while drying. I added moss, feathers, and little acorn lamps as additional details to finish it off. And a little birdy friend for the toad.
I also sent a fence and flower pot for the toad's "yard":
This was so much fun to make. There was just a ton of drying time between gluing on rocks and shingles and then grouting the rocks.
This little felting project was for Ludi in the Woodland Creature and Enchanted Forest Swap. She had a couple of neat wet-felted birdhouses on her Pinterest, and I haven't done much wet-felting, so I thought I would at least give it a try. This is the first time I have wet-felted anything other than little balls for felted acorns. The hollow base part was wet felted around a balloon based on several tutorials I read. The swirly pattern was needle-felted onto the base and the rest of the decorations on the base were sewn by hand. The petals are a combination of needle- and wet-felting, as is the "stem" for tying it off to a tree. I'm definitely interested in trying this again. It took me forever, but I think I started getting the hang of it.
I made this little shrine for the Shrine Swap last year and just never got around to posting it. The base is a circular candy tin from Trader Joe's that has a nifty little window in it. I thought it was the coolest ever because you can close the shrine and still peak in. The shrine itself was pretty simple because I spent most of my time on a larger one. See my other shrine from this swap way back here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=425051.msg5058856#msg5058856
I made this little guy for MissingWillow for the Altered Spool Swap. This was such a fun little swap to get me back into swapping online again, although for some reason I was a real slowpoke on getting it finished. She listed 10 themes, so I had a lot to choose from, but I noticed she had commented on her desire for a zombie-sheep combination in another swap, so two themes became one I found a wonderfully bright green spool at a antique shop by the flea market. After searching the flea market for a spool less than 6 inches big for a couple hours, I was pretty relieved to find this one.
The sheep parts are all needle-felted with the exception of the ears which are a wool-poly blend. One ear is a tad bit nibbled by fellow zombie sheep perhaps. His legs have decayed a little, but he still gets by. His zombie infection must have been transmitted through that nasty bite in his side from a fellow sheep.
The scroll represents the unwritten story of how the great Lizzy saved Missing Willow Farm. The sheep, zombie sheep, and Lizzy are hand embroidered onto fabric which was then attached to some more of that lovely wool-poly blend felt. His scroll ties closed to a little red button on his belly. (Belly button! )
After the official Tea Swap I did on Craftster, I did a follow up private swap with my fellow local crafter geekgirl1000100. I don't recall our point guideline, but this is one of the projects I made for her.
I could not for the life of me find an appropriately sized box for altering (until after I made this one), so I instead of altering a box, I built one. I started with a pine crate from Michael's which I stained to give an older weathered look. Then I found a frame that was as close as I could get to being the same size as the box, and that became the lid. There was a slight difference in width, so I added a decorative piece of wood to shim the latch up.
After making the box, I drew and colored the picture of the fairy to go in it. I had originally planned to do some kind of papercraft, but on a whim, I thought a fairy in her tea cup would be a nice addition. I used some fabric leftover from a private Christmas swap that I did with geekgirl to make her a set of placemats. This time around, the fabric made the outside of the fabric bins. I had ordered some pretty awesome tea-themed fabric that I didn't manage to use for the first tea swap we did, so I used that for the inside. That way when the box is closed, the fabric matches other decor in geekgirl's dining room, but when it is open, it is all fun and exciting!
Finally, I filled it to the brim with tea, cookies, and tea towels. So of course, she could not actually use it for it's original purpose by the time I gave it to her
One of my very best friends that I met after moving to North Carolina was assigned to be my partner in a local meetup group craft swap. I wanted to really spoil her, especially since she might not to do much crafting starting this summer (she got accepted into a graduate architectural program, and I may never see her again... for the next four years... or so ). Swapping with my local craft group has also been my reason for absence on Craftster for several months.
I removed about three of the zippered pockets that were in the pattern to save time. I also added piping to make it look a little more like the Amy Butler bag (and to add a nice pop of contrast). And finally, I used a heavier interfacing to make sure the bag maintained its shape.
With the left over fabric, I made a little accordion wallet to go with it. I should have used a thinner fabric for the sides so that it would fold up slimmer (lesson learned!). I also need to figure out a better way to put the zipper in next time so it doesn't get all puckered and weird.
This was my first finished project using a wood burner that I picked up at a thrift store ages ago. It was one of the items in the first package that I sent to deathbeforedishes in the Make-a-Friend Swap. I found the main image I used on dbd's Pinterest (not my design!). I also added the sonic screwdriver and an appropriate quote/reference from the 11th Doctor's first episode. This item represented my love of cooking, with the extra twist of having Doctor Who designs that appeal to both me and dbd.
I don't think I'll be doing much more wood burning with the tool I used. It took a lot longer than I thought it would because the wood was pretty dense and the burner didn't have any sort of temperature control. Now I need something different to do with the extra wood spoons I bought