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21  Dead Man's Chest from Pirates of the Caribbean in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by phoenixfiredesigns on: June 13, 2014 12:16:53 PM
I made this spikefan for the Movie/TV swap. It's inspired by the Dead Man's Chest belonging to Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

(You can see the key I purchased at the PotC attraction at Walt Disney World to go along with it.)

I was working off this pinned inspiration piece: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Dead-Man-s-Chest-FINAL-79994029

What I did was start with a plain, unfinished wooden box from Joann in a pirate chest style. I didn't want to use polymer clay because I didn't want to have to put a wooden box in the oven. (Seemed like a risky idea. Google said some people do it but there can be shrinkage and issues with water being released from the wood which can cause the polymer clay to come off.) I needed something air dry so I looked into options.

After some experimenting, I wound up with LaDoll Air Dry Stone Clay to add all the embellishments and details. I had never used it before but it was just like real clay and I was able to slightly wet it to blend, push and smooth it out as I sculpted it on the box.

I put it up on a shelf for about 4-5 days to cure. When it was done, it was hard and perfect. La Doll can be painted with just about anything, so I used several colors of regular acrylic paint to give it aging and weathering. Accents with a gold metallic Sharpie finished it off.

Even though I had never done anything like it before, it worked out really well. I quite liked the product and I was really pleased with how it turned out too!

Larger photos and more details can be seen here in my blog: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com/blog/2014/06/dead-mans-chest-from-pirates-of-the-caribbean/
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22  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 19- Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: June 11, 2014 03:43:35 PM
Piper came up with me to my Mom's today to help her clean. (I try to go up every week or so since she is disabled with RA and Lupus to do her floors for her.) Here you can see Piper trying to help push the steam cleaner but...she was a little too small. Grin

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23  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 19- Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: June 10, 2014 07:25:08 PM
The other day I had to run over to the mall (Yankee Candle semi-annual sale time!) and we walked by the famous indoor ice skating rink. Piper was fascinated that there was an ice rink inside a mall in Florida and asked for a picture. Grin

(click for larger)
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24  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 19- Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: June 05, 2014 08:26:32 PM
Last Sunday we went over to Busch Gardens for what was supposed to be a few hours. I wanted to try out the new lens I got for my birthday. But, as we got there and into the park, it got really dark really fast. And the skies opened up!


So we ran and took cover under this area with a wall of glass which normally looks into the hyena area. But, that day the lions were there and the male lion was also hiding from the rain and RIGHT NEXT to the glass!!

When there was a break in the rain we hurried out so we'll try again another day. But I doubt we'll ever get such a close meet with the lion again! Grin

Larger pics in the blog: http://piperinflorida.blogspot.com/2014/06/busch-gardens-tampa.html
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25  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 19- Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: May 29, 2014 12:38:23 PM
I'm a bit behind on posting pics. It's always easier to TAKE them than to download them off the memory card, edit them and upload them to the blog. Grin So here are some pics I took last week at a local park.

It's right on the edge of Tampa Bay so there's a lot of waterways that form an estuary. There's also some flat scrublands as well.

We climbed up the wood deck to the observation level. Piper was in a hurry and she ran up first. As you can also see, there are a lot of Southern Oaks covered in Spanish Moss. (It's very common down here.)

This is the view of some of the waterways:

And here is a very Florida thing: hurricane warnings! Because the park is directly on the edge of Tampa Bay, there are signs warning about how high water levels can get during a storm surge. This sign is a whopping 13 feet tall. Can you see tiny Piper at the base? Shocked

More/Larger pics in the blog: http://piperinflorida.blogspot.com/2014/05/natural-florida.html

More adventures to come!
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26  Rainbow Moonstone Faerie Dreamcatchers in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by phoenixfiredesigns on: May 28, 2014 02:32:21 PM
I got an email with a request for a custom piece for an author. In her book, a character has a pendant in silver with a rainbow moonstone that's transformed by fairy magic. She had a rough sketch for me to use as inspiration so I just grabbed some wire and set about to see what I could make.

I wound up making two versions for her; first one with a more dense web and the other a more open web. Both use a 10mm natural rainbow moonstone at the heart.

She loved them both and ultimately went with the more open weave version. She found me because of my rainbow moonstone tree of life pendant.

(click for larger)

I made these using the same wire wrapping techniques I use in my trees. I didn't have a pattern or a plan; I just sorta grabbed some wire and went where it took me. In honor of the source of inspiration, I'm calling them "Faerie Dreamcatchers" since they have a bit of Native American dreamcatcher style to them, but also a little bit of a fairy star/spiral as well.

This is an entirely new design for me and I like it! I think I'll try some more.

Which do you like better? The more densely woven one or the more open one? I'm torn so I wonder what the consensus would be! Cheesy
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27  Re: Movie/TV Show Swap - Signup 4/29/14 - 5/6/14, Sendout 6/10/14 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by phoenixfiredesigns on: May 27, 2014 12:03:36 PM
another item finished which I really love, I think I may be able to post out by the weekend

Eeeep, I feel so behind! Granted, I had to take the long weekend off from swap crafting (darn it!) but still, I don't have anything done. Lots of partially finished things, nothing completely finished.  I really need to learn to focu.... hey, look, a squirrel! Wink
Did you say squirrel?

(I took this shot at a local park because I was like, "SQUIRREL!")


Love had a fall while running Thursday, we spent all day Friday in the ER and the whole weekend, he was unable to use his left (and primary) arm. So...queue me not getting much of anything done because I've been the only able-bodied member of the household. So not as much progress as I'd hoped. He's going to try to go back to work tomorrow so we'll see if I can get some work done this week.
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28  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 19- Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: May 25, 2014 12:51:04 PM
It's been a crappy weekend here unfortunately. Love took a fall while jogging Thursday evening and by Friday couldn't move his arm. He came home from work, and we went first to the doctor and then to the ER for X-Rays. Good news, it's not broken or dislocated. Bad news, they didn't do an MRI so we don't know if it's a rotator cuff tear or not yet and we have to wait until the orthopedic surgeon's office opens back up Tuesday. Roll Eyes Angry

Yesterday, we stopped at Earl of Sandwich though for lunch to cheer us up:

And Love even let Piper ride in his sling:

Mainly, we've been watching a lot of tv since poor Love is on pain meds. Here you can see she was enjoying some popcorn:

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29  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 19- Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: May 21, 2014 07:47:45 PM
Finally had a chance to go through most of my Disney photos from my birthday last Friday. Not all the Epcot shots have been downloaded yet (those are on a different memory card) but all of the Magic Kingdom ones are!

HUGE entry here with all the pics and larger versions: http://piperinflorida.blogspot.com/2014/05/epic-birthday-at-disney.html

Here are some highlights!

Hanging with a viking in Norway in Epcot.

Cinderella Castle

The Rose Garden with Cinderella Castle in the background.

Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. (I literally just held my hand out and pressed the shutter. I'm amazed it came out at all! LOL)

Wishes fireworks!

Minnie waving to us during the Main Street Electrical Parade!

Such a fun time! Check out all the pics and larger versions in the blog: http://piperinflorida.blogspot.com/2014/05/epic-birthday-at-disney.html
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30  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 19- Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: May 17, 2014 10:35:06 AM
So I just realized I put these in the other thread. In my defense, it was 2:20am. LOL


Just got home - at 2am! - from celebrating my birthday at Walt Disney World! Piper came with me and had an excellent time too. Here are the cell phone pics I took but many, many more are on my memory cards for upload and edit later.

Click any pic for larger version!

On the tram in the Magic Kingdom Parking lot.

On the monorail arriving at Magic Kingdom!

Cinderella Castle!

I'm exhausted. We actually hit both Epcot AND Magic Kingdom today and then I drove the 1 hr 20 mins back home so time for bed! Grin
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