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21  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Elves Behaving Badly on: December 18, 2012 02:44:21 PM
While chatting with my swap partner in a recent swap she mentioned that she thinks elves do most of the work at Christmas, even down to helping deliver presents. Which got me wondering, what if some of those elves occasionally get up to some mischief? After a long night of hauling presents perhaps
they want a little break.

This particular guy just couldn't resist shucking his clothes and taking a dip in a cup of Christmas tea the lady of the house left out. You just never know what those naughty elves get up to!

The main figure is polymer clay over a wire and foil armature. The elf hat & boxers were hand-sewn. I painted the decorations on a plain teacup and designed the teabag label in Photoshop. The faux teabag I created is wedged under the elf's knees as a bit of a cushion - he shifted while he was baking unfortunately and left a tiny gap between the edge of the teacup and his legs. This was my solution. The 'tea' is tinted resin. I forgot to get a picture with a ruler to show his size but this is a fairly large piece.

Here's the armature before it was covered in clay:

My naughty elf is now in his new home with my swap partner and hopefully behaving himself for once.
22  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Altered Christmas Tin - When You Stop Believing In Santa on: December 18, 2012 11:30:47 AM
I created this tin for a recent swap, inspired by my partner's theme "elves." I love, love, love this Christmas quote and couldn't resist creating a little altered tin featuring it: "When you stop believing in Santa you get underwear." As my swap partner is British I switched the word "underwear" for "knickers."

The elf is inspired by vintage elf images from the 50s. I drew him on watercolor paper, painted him with watercolors and then cut out the underwear from some holiday scrapbook paper. The top of the underwear is a bit of ribbon painted gold. The back of the tin is lined with scrapbook paper and the edges were finished with miniature red tinsel. The feet of the tin are little wooden beads I painted and the outside of the tin is covered with green velvet scrapbook paper.
23  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Pressed Christmas Elf Ornament & Tutorial on: December 18, 2012 11:23:35 AM
For a recent swap my partner wanted elf themed things and I hit on the idea of creating an elf smashed between two panes of glass. The idea was inspired by the fabulous Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Cottingtons-Pressed-Fairy-Book/dp/1862057001/.

What can I say, my sense of humor is a bit warped. Now I can tell  my kids "Of COURSE Santa exists. See, mommy caught one of his elves and hung him on the tree." I'm sure the mental scars will fade eventually. The elf was hand drawn and painted with watercolors before being scanned into my computer and printed in a smaller size.

Unfortunately I don't have any process pics but here's a written tutorial.

Supply List
Drawing of an elf
Watercolors or art pens
Glitter tape
3.5 x 5" pane of glass (I got mine for $.80 in a hideous little frame from Goodwill)
Transparency film/sheets (The one I used is for an inkjet printer to create transparencies for overhead projectors to be used during presentations)
Clear Glue (I used Aileen's 3-in-1 clear glue)

1. Color an appropriately sized drawing with watercolors, art pens of whatever medium you like. If the image is too large and you have access to an art program such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements you can shrink it to the right size later.
2. Scan the image into your computer using a scanner.
3. Trim the image in Photoshop to clean it up, adjust colors etc. Make a copy of your image and flip it horizontally putting the two images side by side.
4. Print out the final image on nice card stock.
5. Cut out the two images and glue them back to back so you have one piece with your colored drawing on both sides.
6. Use a tiny bit of clear glue to secure the edges of your image to the glass.
7. Cut a section of transparency sheet the same size as your glass. Lay it over the glass with your colored drawing sandwiched between.
8. Secure/seal the edges of the glass and transparency by wrapping them with glitter tape.
9. On the back of the ornament glue the ends of a ribbon strip to each side to act as a hanger. Allow glue to dry for at least 24 hours.
10. Enjoy your new pressed image and go hang it on the Christmas tree.
24  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Llama Llama Red Pajama on: November 04, 2012 10:48:36 AM
My son loves the Llama Llama Red Pajama kids books so we decided to make that his costume for this year.

I started with a sheep costume, that I thought would work well. It's definitely not something I'd normally dress my son in.

First the gigantic bow had to go. Then I dyed the heck out of the costume. Three times before it finally took and stayed the right shade of light brown. Next I whip stitched the blue collar down and the little ears up. Then it was on to the pajamas.

I found a good simplicity pattern that would work well and cut out and stitched the pajamas, making sure to leave a hole in the tush for Josh's tail. That tail is my favorite part of the costume because it bobs a bit as he walks, so cute and funny.

Here's a picture of the Llama Llama book cover for those not familiar with the story. My son has the stuffed llama as well and carried it around with him Halloween night.

Josh loved his costume and couldn't wait to get dressed up.
25  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Harry Potter Collage Pins on: October 12, 2012 11:13:22 AM
I ended up with a HUGE sack of promo buttons from a convention I attended. While I liked the convention I really don't need 50 buttons with the logo. So I decided to breakout an old damaged Harry Potter book, my stamps and have a bit of fun with collage. I cut up pages from the first Harry Potter book (it was in very, very bad shape) and glued them onto the pins after adding a layer of gold paint. Next I used some of the official HP stamps (made prior to the movies) and my colored pencils, cut up some text and added some more gold paint. I love how the pins came out.

26  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Sneetches on the Beaches on: October 12, 2012 11:07:07 AM
Just a little 8x8 canvas I made this week. I love, love, love Dr. Seuss and the Sneetches is one of my favorite stories. I might make some Zax next Tongue

Acrylic on canvas

27  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Duckie Dreaming Kid's Wall Art - recycled book page on: October 08, 2012 03:40:11 AM
My son is two. He tears things up. This upsets me when it's books and especially when it's really cute kids' books. Rather than throwing out the book, however, I decided to try recycling some of the pages into craft projects. Here's my first one:

I've called it Duckie Dreams. First I glued an image from one of the book pages onto some scrapbook paper. Next I stitched around it a few times to add emphasis and then torn the edges around the stitching. I wanted to try out some texture with the canvas background so after a base layer of blue I added some crepe paper and then a couple more layers of paint with a bit of blending. It gives a really fun text that just begs to be touched. Next came the main image and then some silver, glittery stars cut from ore scrapbook paper before a final layer of Modge Podge to seal the whole thing. I really like the overall effect.

The color blending in the corner looks off in the pictures but it's really quite smooth and pretty in person. My fancy camera does weird things sometimes when it takes pics. Here are some more detail pics so you can see the dimensionality and texture better:

28  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Felt Applique Ornaments on: October 04, 2012 11:03:30 AM
Here are a couple felt ornaments from last year. I have a whole new batch planned for this year.

Every year each member of my family picks a special ornament to represent that year. My son was 1 last Christmas and his favorite book was "That's Not My Monster" so I made him a little ornament of the monster featured on the cover.

That's Not My Monster


29  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Pygmy Puffs on: October 04, 2012 10:57:01 AM
Sorry for the sudden message spam! I've been busy this summer and just now getting around to sharing pics of my favorites projects.

I'm a HUGE Harry Potter fan so naturally I had to try my hand at making some Pygmy Puffs. These little guys look a bit like colorful Pomeranians, lol, but I still love them. Some have open mouths, some little tongues sticking out and some have itty bitty fangs. I love the ones with itty bitty fangs best Tongue

I even attached clips to a few Puffs so they can be worn on your shoulder. Hee! I wore this little guy to an HP convention and he got lots of attention.
30  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Baby Dragons in Crates on: October 04, 2012 10:46:13 AM
I found some awesome tiny shipping crates earlier this summer and couldn't resist picking up a few. I knew JUST want I wanted to make for them: BABY DRAGONS! Obvious, right?

I've been playing around with different colors and plan on making some more. They're fun little things to make. I designed the tiny stickers for the crates, drilled air holes and added a bit of straw so my babies will stay comfy.

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