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21  Ivy Leaves in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: September 01, 2013 07:16:14 PM
I  pulled some leaves from My English Ivy vines & pressed them into fresh clay. Then  I fashioned a vine & attached them.  Since my clay instructor was afraid the result was too fragile to put into the Kiln, I even made a separate tray to put it on for the first firing.  Wanting something more unusual, I used a golden color rather than a green.  The result is.....different.  It can be set on a table or hung by the loop in the stem.

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22  Woven Clay Bowl in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: August 31, 2013 11:08:16 PM
Just trying something different at clay class.  I cut strips in varying widths (some curved), wove them & shaped them over a mold.  Thought I might use it as a bread basket or fruit bowl---Then I gave it away.

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23  Rally Photo Boxes in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Jenxx on: August 08, 2013 09:56:33 PM
Ive come to appreciate the Craftster community because it offers a place to showcase my creative efforts, & also allows me to post tutorials for some of my original creations.  Its a heady feeling knowing youve designed something that someone else would want to copy.  Its even better when you can show them how.   

I volunteered to teach craft seminars at a motor home rally earlier this month.  Coming up with suitable craft ideas that meet all of the criteria isn't easy.  They must be:

Doable within 2 hours or so.
Easy enough so even a non-crafty person can do it well.
Look fantastic when it's finished.

In this case, I offered a seminar on decorating the tops of 8 square or round photo boxes.  The technique itself is a simple one Ive used for years with several variations for numerous projects.  The smaller box in the photo was just one I made while testing the technique.

Tutorial for a rally Photo Box
Any size/type of 2 piece box works as long as it's sturdy.  I purchased paper mache boxes at Michaels but recycled candy boxes work great.

It takes:
Paper mache box
Woodsies (thin wooden shapes available at craft stores)
Tissue paper---the gift wrap type.  Save your used paper for this.
Paint in chosen colors including an accent (gold, silver, etc.)
White glue or Mod Podge.
Acrylic spray.
A stiff 1 paint brush
Hair dryer to speed drying

Paint the bottom of the box inside & out.  It will take at least 2 coats.  When it's dry, spray with a protective acrylic coat.

Arrange the Woodsies on the box top in a pleasing design & glue them in place with a dab of glue.  If you're making flowers, you may want to use the twine to make vines & stems.  Just put down a line of glue where you want the stem & lay the twine on top. 

When it's dry, mix white glue or Mod Podge about half & half with water.
Crush a piece of tissue paper into a loose ball & gently smooth it out again, leaving plenty of wrinkles in it.

Paint a large spot of the thinned glue onto the center area of the box top & lay the tissue over it.  Working from the middle to the outer edges, use the brush to gently tamp the tissue down onto the top, pushing the tissue in around the edges of the Woodsies.  If the tissue tears, just repair it with a small piece over the hole.  Don't brush out too many of the wrinkles.  Brush on more glue as needed & continue over the edges to cover the sides of the box top.  Don't cover the inside of the lid.  Cut the tissue even with the bottom of the lid & tamp the ends of the tissue to the lid.

Allow the lid to dry & paint it inside & out---at least 2 coats of paint.

Dry brush a bit of the accent color over the top to highlight the texture & finish with an acrylic spray coat.

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24  Seafoam (copycat) in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: June 23, 2013 12:31:14 PM
I can't take full credit for my latest clay creation because inspiration came from a piece I saw sitting on a table in the ladies restroom at the Garden Cafe in Sebring FL.  I know nothing about it's creator but fell in love with it instantly.  Fortunately, I take clay classes & was able to  create my own similar piece rather than be tempted to theft.  Honest, all I took was a photo!

I wasn't wanting an exact copy so mine is very different from the original; slightly smaller at 6 inches tall & 9 inches wide.  I'm quite pleased with my version & wish I could personally thank the original artist for the inspiration. 

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25  Wentworth in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: June 19, 2013 02:10:24 PM
Wentworth, is a recent product of my clay classes.  I actually intended the shell to be a complete piece on it's own but decided later to make it a home for Wentworth.  Sizewise, he's about 8 inches, nose to tail tip, & nearly 4 inches tall.  I think his camel color goes well with his speckled green shell & the lavender lining offers a pleasing contrast.  He fits together amazingly well considering I made him as 2 individual pieces.  The fit is snug enough that I don't feel I'll have to glue him together.

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26  My second Carousel Horse in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Jenxx on: June 15, 2013 12:47:14 AM
I finally finished my second Carousel Horse.  I wasn't able to complete him before I went South for the winter so he stood in my dining room for 6 months.  I'm pleased with him & think he was worth the wait.

With Hubby's help, I removed the framework from a child's bouncing horse toy.  I capped the holes by snapping in plastic disks I purchased from the home improvement center.  They're the ones used for covering holes left when blowing insulation into homes---perfect fit!

 We then drilled holes in the top & bottom so he would slide down onto the stand.   The stand was a brass colored floor lamp that had quit working.  Hubby stripped it of the wiring, shade, etc.  I slid a glass garden globe into the top of the pole for a finial but hope to find something that matches a bit better.

I was then able to begin painting.  The saddle is the most difficult part because of the intricacies in the carving.  After the flowers, I added gold paint to the mane, tail & hooves.  From his nose to tail tip, he's about 36", larger than my first which is posted elsewhere on the Craftster Boards.

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27  Here Fishy, Fishy in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: June 14, 2013 11:54:53 PM
I formed my fish from terra cotta clay around a wad of newspaper.  I then cut the mouth & added the fins & tail.  The 2 pieces of seaweed (one is on the backside) were modeled separately & all were glued to a scrap piece of marble. I wasn't striving for "realistic" so I'm pleased with him except for his color.  I find it difficult to work with the dark clay because I can't get the colors right---I don't think I applied them thickly enough.  He was supposed to be blue & yellow with purple lips but I won't disown him because something so trivial.

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28  "Clay Photo" in CHALLENGE 87 ENTRIES by Jenxx on: June 05, 2013 09:12:02 PM
I've chosen the rectangle as a shape for my entry in the "Shape it Up" challenge.  Since I've been working a lot with clay recently, I decided to make a stylized clay version of a photograph.  

While awaiting the Valparetta (Water Taxi) in Venice, Italy, I snapped a photo of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore situated across the water.   I love the way the silhouette of the  boat docks in the foreground, contrast with the outline of the church against the sky to give the appearance of 3 distinct layers.  With this in mind, I sized & printed several copies of the photo.  I cut each copy into a differrent layer---editing out some of the details.  Using the paper patterns as a guide, I cut each layer from fresh clay with a utility knife.  I stacked & adhered them before firing & glazing.  I use a brass easel for displaying my "Clay Photo".  

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29  Flowered Disk in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: June 03, 2013 08:21:10 PM
I consider this clay piece OK but not one of my favorites.  I pressed a crocheted doily into the fresh clay & cut around it before removing the doily.  I modeled the flowers & vines & attached them before firing.   

I could glue a hanger to the back but have been displaying it on a small brass easel.

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30  Eldred (formerly Elsie) in Winter Holidays by Jenxx on: May 27, 2013 06:26:05 PM
Elsie Ostrich is my latest feltie creation.  She's handsewn from felt squares & stuffed with polyfil.  While she's not as steady on her feet as I'd hoped, she'll be hanging on the Christmas tree, so I guess it will be OK.   She's about 8 inches high with bamboo skewers in her neck & legs to keep them firm.  I've used real feathers for her tail, collar & wing tips.   the legs & wings are sewn separately & tacked into place.

Err... emm... I really like it, you did a great job - but you ARE aware you made yourself a MALE ostrich? The hens are a plain dirty brown without the fluffy feathers.
So, now do I say I like HIM or do I say I like HER crossdressing?


Oops!  I didn't give that part a thought when I chose a name.  I'll re-christan him Eldred so he'll feel better.  Thanks for calling it to my attention.
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