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31  Reading Glasses Hanger - Owl and Monster in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: November 19, 2010 06:21:52 PM
I've been wanting to make these for some time...
Basically - you pin them to your shirt, then put the arm of your reading glasses through the metal loop.  These are both for a friend of my mom's who just had eye surgery and likes weird things - such as monsters.  The owl is for when she's feeling less kooky.

A couple pics of them in action on my hubby's shirt.

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32  Re: Toybox Tuesday - 10/26/10 in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: October 26, 2010 11:16:01 AM
I made my friend's girls stuffed donkeys!  They just bought a hobby farm that comes complete with two (real life) donkeys, so I thought this would get them excited to move.  I used a pattern from a Japanese craft book.
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33  Super-Easy Paper Mache Monster Puppet in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: August 07, 2010 12:44:37 PM
Nothing says summer project to me more than papier mach.  I remember making lots of papier mach projects in the summers when I was a kid.  School is out, the sun is shining and you can craft outside and make as much of a mess as you want.  Yup, papier mache is fun, messy, cheap, and the PERFECT summer project.  It also uses lots of recycled materials. Heres a tutorial for an awesome papier mach monster puppet that can be made by kid and grown-up crafters alike!

You will need:

Cardboard (like from an old cereal or cracker box)
All-purpose white flour, warm water, a mixing bowl
Masking tape
Air-dry or oven-bake modeling clay
Paper towel

One infant shirt (the one I used is sized 6-9 months).  Find one at a thrift store, garage sale, or take one off a baby while nobody is looking.

2 gloves.  I used two latex gloves (available in the first-aid section at the drug store).

Glue gun
3 sticks (I used dowel, but sturdy sticks from the backyard or park will work just fine).

White glue
Acrylic or latex paint, brushes

Step 1: Make a head. Ball up a piece of newspaper, then wrap additional sheets of paper around the ball until it is the size you want.  Use lots of masking tape wrapped around the head to hold. The head doesnt need to be round. It can also have lots of lumps and bumps (this is a monster, after all). Mine is oblong with a protruding chin.

Step 2: Roll/ twist  finger sized sausages out of newspaper. Shove them into the fingers of the gloves.  Make a palm-sized wad (a flattened ball) and shove it into the palm of the glove.  Tie the ends of the gloves like you would balloons.

Step 3: Mix up some glue.  Start with about half a cup of warm water (warm only because youre putting your hands in it).  Add the FLOUR to the WATER small amounts at a time, whisking with a fork (or a whisk) as you go. (Adding water to flour gives a lumpy paste. Lumpy paste is gross, slower to dry, and more likely to go moldy).  The final consistency should be that of a good creamy soup. I used a half cup of water and a generous cup of flour.

Step 4: Rip the newspaper into squares or short strips.  Dip your hands into the paste (get messy!) and rub some glue on the squares.  Slap the squares onto the head.  Use firm hands, stick the squares down well.  Cover the whole head-ball and the glove-hands with about 2-3 layers of paper in this way.  

Step 5: Make a small, nose-shaped ball. Cut some ears out of cardboard.

Step 6: Crunch-up your cardboard ears to give them a bit of dimension.  Dip your hands in the paste and lightly wet a paper towel.  Twist the paper towel into a loose sausage.  Stick the sausage around the edge of your ear shape to give the ear some dimension. Cover the ears and nose ball in 2-3 layers of paper.

Step 7: Using the clay, make some eyeballs (two, or one, or five remember, this is a monster).  Eyeballs should be partially flattened balls of clay. Make some teeth too.  When youre making teeth, remember that part of the teeth (the root?) will be hidden by the lips.  Thus, your teeth should be shaped more like a stick of trident gum than a chicklet.  Teeth can be flat, pointy, or both.  Make some fingernails or claws if you want.  Air-dry or bake the clay.

Step 8: Shove one stick into the head-ball (where the neck would be).  Shove the other two sticks into each of the hands (where the wrists would come out).  Glue gun and/or masking tape the sticks in place.  

Step 9: Draw a big wide smiley mouth on the front of your head.  Use a glue gun to glue a row of bottom teeth and top teeth, using your smiley mouth as a guide.  Reinforce with tape.

Step 10: Glue on your nose and eyeballs.  Glue the ears to the side of the head.  Glue fingernails or claws (if you made some) to the fingers. Reinforce with tape where necessary.

Step 11: Make some more paste. Its time to give your monster two big juicy lips. With paste-dampened hands, twist a paper towel into a loose sausage.  Lay the sausage diagonally across another piece of paper towel.  Fold the towel around the sausage and dampen with paste-hands.  Stick the lip onto the face, letting the teeth show a little.  Make a top lip and stick it down in the same manner.

Step 12: With smaller pieces of paper towel make two more lips.  Wrap one around the bottom of the eye, wrap the other around the top. Now you have some great monster eyelids.  Repeat for the other eye (or eyes, if youve got a  many-eyed monster).

Step 13: Use squares and strips of paper towel to blend all the parts of the face together.  Cover the nose, cover the ears meh, just cover everything. Make some wrinkles and warts.

Step 14: With small pieces of paper towel, make more lips and wrap them around the fingernails or claws.  Now it really looks like the fingernails are growing out of your monster hands!  Cover the hands with a layer pf paper towel. Let everything dry.

Step 15: Now its time to paint!  I use a dry-brush technique to paint the monsters.  Its super-easy and looks really great.
Start with some black paint mixed with an equal amount of white glue.  Paint the entire monster with two heavy coats of black glue-paint.  (The glue added to the paint makes the monster extra-strong.)

Step 16: Load your brush with a medium colour of paint.  Dab most of the paint off on a paper towel or old phone book.  Lightly brush the medium colour onto the raised areas of the monster. Leave some black showing.  Let dry.

Step 17: Load your brush with a light colour of paint.  Dab most of the paint off again.  Brush the light colour onto your monster leaving some black and medium colour showing.

Step 18: Slap some white paint on your monsters eyes and teeth (Dont worry about getting everything painted perfectly.  Some black around the edges will look great).  Paint some wonky irises and pupils.  Give your monster a manicure, if you desire.

Step 19: Up until now, youve just had a head and two hands on a stick.  Now its time to pull out that infant shirt.  Thread the head-stick in the neck-hole and one hand-stick into each arm-hole. Secure with pins, glue-gun, or whatever.

Step 20: Your monster puppet is done! Hold the head stick in one hand and both hand sticks in the other hand (or whatever works). Go ahead and put on a great puppet show!

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34  My Daughter's Forest Nursery in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: July 08, 2010 07:44:17 PM
My hubby and I welcomed our first baby girl about two-and-a-half months ago.  I spent hours and hours working on her nursery before she arrived.  I'm really proud of how it turned out.  I've posted a few projects on other boards, but I wanted to honour her room with one big post.

Here's her tree.  I stenciled this onto the wall using a giant freezer paper stencil.

Another shot of the tree with the window. I made the curtains by sewing together the three colours of fabric, then appliqueing all the leaves on.

A close-up of the appliqued leaves:

Here's her crib corner, I sewed the quilt hanging above.  It fits her crib, but we thought we'd hang it on the wall for now because it's summer time and she's too little for a big quilt anyhow.

A close up of the quilt.  I designed everything.  All those animals took about a month to hand-stich on there... I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out.  This was my first applique quilt.

This wall is a bit boring.  I did sew the crib sheets and the blanky though.  I also designed and made the raccoon peg-hanger.

Here's a close-up of the raccoons:

We put a single bed in her room.  In the beginning I slept in her room - it made it super-easy for nursing in the middle of the night. I designed and made the pillow sham.  Luckily I was able to machine applique the animals.

Close-up of pillow:

My last little project before she was born was to paint this little night stand.  I used paint leftover from the tree.  I bought the lamp online, and it matches everything perfectly.

Updated Jul 23, 2010 **** Thanks for all the positive feedback.  We were going for a gender-neutral nursery (this is our first and we're hoping to have more).  Here's links to individual posts
for the stencil tree: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=338804.0
for the raccoon peg hanger: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=339143.0

Also, here's pics of the mobile I made.  The animals are the same pattern that I used for my nephew's finger puppets here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=332097.0

And a picture of the painting I did to hang on the wall beside the single bed in there.  I think the painting might be a bit too finicky... but I didn't want everything to be too matchy-matchy, so I tried to paint in a different style from everything else.  (Admittedly, I'm my own toughest critic). My husband likes it, so it stays.

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35  Cloth "rag" Dolls - Anne and Dianna - mini wig tut and links to free patterns in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: March 03, 2010 07:02:04 PM
I made these dolls for my best friend's daughter.  It's PEI's famous red-head Anne "of Green Gables" Shirley and her "bosom friend" Dianna Barry.  I love how they turned out - it was hard to give them away  (but not that hard since I love my best friend's little girls). 

I used this pattern, but drew thumbs on the arms:

And used this post by the same lady for sewing instructions and a rough idea of a dress pattern that I changed a bit.



Best friends! (Don't worry, I didn't leave them in the snow for too long!)

I know that little girls like to play with their doll's hair, so I wanted to make sure there were no bald spots when the girls decide to take out the dolls' hair elastics.  I made the wigs similar to ghilie's tutorial here:  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=262441.0
with a few differences.

Here's what I did in a nutshell:

Crochet a foundation for the wig and sew it directly to the doll's head.  Wrap yarn around a book to make hairs of equal length (I wrapped 200 times to make 200 hairs).  Measure the distance around the circumference and across the diameter of the foundation.  Make a weft of hair equal to that length by lining up a single layer of hairs sandwiched between freezer paper (which you then iron) or masking tape (which you remove some of the stickyness from by sticking to your pants or a blanket before sticking yarn on).  Sew the weff down the middle.  Cut the weft into two pieces (a short one equal to the diameter of the foundation, the larger one should be the distance around the circumference).  Rip the masking tape/ freezer paper off the top side of the long piece.  Fold in half and sew a few milimeters in from the fold.

You'll now have a long weft (one sided) and a short weft (two sided) and a bunch of left over loose hairs.  Rip all the paper off the wefts.
Pin the short weft where you want the part in the hair to be (this doll has a center part).  Hand sew to the foundation.  Pin the long weft around the circumference of the foundation and hand stitich.  Using a crochet hook or latch hook (see ghilie's method), latch the leftover loose hairs into the leftover unhairy spots.

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36  Peg Hanger - Raccoons in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Artisan82 on: February 22, 2010 07:32:23 PM
I'm decorating a forest-themed nursery, so I made this little peg-hanger as an accessory.

I sketched out some cartoonish raccoons, then enlarged them up to the size I wanted on a photocopier.  I had a piece of pine left over from some shelves I built in my basement, so I chose a piece with a great natural knot in it and traced my drawing.  (I spaced the raccoons farther from each other than in my original sketch to maximize the hanging space.  That's why the drawing is cut in two pieces in the picture.)

After laboriously cutting the thing out with my scroll saw, I painted/stained it with some watered-down acrylics (I wanted the wood grain to show through).  I installed the peg hangers, then sprayed with clear-coat.  The eyes are black acrylic doll-eyes.  I used them instead of painted eyes to give the raccoon a bit of dimensions.  I just drilled holes big enough for the eye posts and glued them in with wood glue.

Here it is on the wall ready for little coats and sweaters:

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37  Really BIG freezer-paper stencil of a tree in Stenciling: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: February 19, 2010 08:35:31 PM

I saw these vinyl sticker wall transfer things on etsy, and loved the look, but hated the price tag.  Plus, I didn't really like the idea of sticking vinyl to my walls...

So, I found a picture of one I liked from this shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PopWall, divided the image into squares and blew each square up with a photocopier.  I then reassembled the squares like such:

I then put freezer paper on top and traced my assembled-square image (the image was very pixelated from enlarging, so I drew the cut-lines with a crayon to make sure everything was smooth and pretty).  Next I used a pen knife to cut out the stencil

I ironed the stencil to the wall in three big pieces.  I used masking tape to smooth the stencil pieces together wherever my stencil cuts didn't match perfectly at the seams.  I also used masking tape to help hold the stencil up while I painted (I wasn't sure if the freezer-paper would have enough stick to support its own weight.

... a couple coats of paint...

... and tear that stencil down!

Unfortunately I had a bit of stencil-bleed which I'll have to fix with a brush, but all-in-all I'm very proud of how it turned out!

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38  Sign with Polymer Clay Bears - Tutorial with Oodles of Pics in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: December 31, 2009 10:45:52 PM
My parents just built a new house.  My dad wants to build a bar in his basement rec-room and call it the "Bear-Foot Bar".  For Christmas, I made him this sign out of some wood I pulled out of the lake and super sculpey.  I'm not sure what posessed me to take so many progress pics... but here's my first really detailed, long-winded tutorial on how I made these bears:

Choose a piece of wood for your sign as I mentioned, I used a piece of inch-thick old wood I found in the lake.

Cut a semi-circle of inch-thick wood as the base of the bear.  I traced a CD, cut out the entire circle with a scroll saw, and then used a miter saw to cut the circle in half.  (Actually, I used a little less than half of a circle for each bear to get the look I wanted.)

Cover the up-side of the base with polymer clay.  My sign will hang on a wall, so I only covered the parts that would show.

If youre patient enough, its good to leave the project for an hour or two at this point.  Because youve softened the clay when spreading it on the wood, it is sensitive to stretching.  Walking away from the project base to give the clay some time to cool off makes it easier to build upon.

Start adding detail to the bear by making the back leg.  Make a big sausage for the hind half of the bear (left).  This sausage will be the bum and the leg of the bear.  Smooth the sausage into the base of the sculpture (right).

Make another, longer sausage for the shoulder and front leg of the bear (left).  Smooth the sausage around onto the side of the base (right).  This provides some continuity and a look of strength to the bears shoulders.  Smooth the piece into the base of the bear maintaining the definition of the shoulder (see later pictures).

Ive added a can to my bears hand here (see bottom of post for what that's all about). Roll a ball of clay for the bears head (left).  Push your thumbs into the ball (right).

Pinch in the sides of the head to narrow the forehead (left).  Use your fingers to smooth and round the head.  Round out the snout and smooth down the forehead

Using the side of a sculpting tool or a wooden skewer, press channels into the clay under the snout (left).  Use your fingers to define the underside of the snout and the cheekbones (right).

Use a sculpting tool or a knife, press the outline of the nose into the clay (left).  The nose should be rather large, a third of the snout should be nose.  Use a sculpting tool or toothpick to smooth out the lines into a more organic looking nose (right).

Heres a large picture of the head after smoothing.

Push down a depression in the shoulder for the head to fit (left).  Place the head in the depression, and gently smooth down the joint (right).

Use small bits of clay to add brows and ears to the head (left). Smooth the additions into the head (right).

Add eyes to the bear.  I used 4.5 mm doll-maker eyes.  Although these cant be baked, it is helpful to position the eyes at this point, as the character of your bear is starting to come forth (left).  Using a needle sculpting tool (or a pin, needle, toothpick), score short fur lines into the body of the bear (right).

Leave most of the face (except eyebrows) and paws without scoring.

The last step before baking is to smooth out the score marks and remove the crumbs of clay.  Use a q-tip soaked in nail-polish remover to gently smooth out the lines (left). The nail-polish remover must contain acetone for this to work.  Make sure not to soak the piece.  Remove the plastic eyes before baking.
Bake the bear together with the board at 275F for 20 minutes. If you are using pine, some sap may leach out the board when it is heated.  I recommend using a scrap piece of wood in this case.  After baking, leave the piece to cool completely.  Using a boring tool, clean out the eye holes, as they may have collapsed during baking.

Here are the two baked bears that I made, dry-fit to the sign before painting.  The eyes are just put in place to test the fit.  Remove before painting.

The bear is painted using a dry-brush technique.  Black, dark brown, and light brown paint are required.  Use a mix of the dark and light browns to make an intermediate brown.
First, paint the entire bear black and let dry.  Make sure that all creases are covered with the black paint (left most bear).  Using the darkest brown, load the paint brush, and then remove most of the paint by dabbing on a paper towel.  Dry-brush the dark brown onto the bear using short firm strokes, building up the colour slowly (second from left).  Dry-brush the intermediate brown in the same manner, using slightly lighter strokes, some black and dark-brown should be left showing (right most bear). Finally, using the lightest brown, dry-brush highlights on  the highest parts of the sculpture with light, short brush strokes (second from right).  The dry brush technique give lots of depth and complexity to the colour of your final sculpture.  Using a wet brush, paint the nose black.

Spray the entire sign with several coats of clear-coat varnish.  Glue the eyes into place with super-glue or your favourite alternative.  Use the glue gun liberally to stick the bears to the wood.  I finished the back of the sign with black felt to provide a nice clean finish, and to prevent the sign from scratching the wall. 

Side Tutorial:
I wanted my bear to be holding a bear can.  I thought it would be cool to duplicate a real beer can

First, make an empty beer can.  Do this by purchasing a full beer can, then drink the contents (ha ha).  After rinsing the can with water, use tin snips to carefully cut the top and bottom off the can so youre left with a tube.  Make a vertical cut down the tube and flatten the can.  Put the flattened can on your scanner, and scan it in colour.
Shrink the scanned image.  (I knew I wanted the can to be 3 cm high. I inserted the picture into MS Word, and formatted the picture such that the vertical dimension was 3 cm high.)
Print out your smaller label and cut out.
Roll a big fat sausage of polymer clay.  Roll the sausage just thin enough that the label will just fit around it.  Cut a section of the sausage equal to the height of the label and smooth the cut ends.  Make a dimple in the clay for the can opening. Sculpt a tiny pop-tab, stick it to the top of the can, and then bake.

That's the end! I hope somebody find this useful.  My dad loved his Christmas gift. Cheesy

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39  Felt Forest Animals - Pillow with Finger Puppets in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: December 27, 2009 08:49:50 PM
Hello Craftsters!
This is the pillow/ felt animals/ finger puppet set that I made for my nephew for Christmas.   I made a pillow case for a 21" square pillow form with 9 pockets.  Each pocket holds a different forest animal made of felt.  I designed all the patterns in AutoCAD myself, so I'm pretty proud of how they turned out.
Here's the pillow with all the animals.  If I did it again, I'd make the pockets lower on the pillow - the animals stick out too much on the top row of pockets.

Fawn and Bunny:

Skunk and Beaver:

Owl and Frog:

Bear and Butterfly:

Moose (this one might be my favourite):

It was my husband's idea to make them all into finger-puppets, so I sewed a little bit of coordinating felt on the back of each of them to make them all into finger puppets.

My nephew liked the pillow part, he might be a little young for the puppets yet, but my bro and sis in law seemed to really appreciate the gift and the fact that it was home-made, so that was pretty rewarding.  Grin  I feel really lucky to have two little nephews to make things for.

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40  Mercanized Cotton Fox in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: November 11, 2009 05:02:06 PM
This fox came about because I wanted to crochet something that looked like it was sewed.  I started in the craft store trying to purchase real wool yarn that I could crochet and felt.  I couldn't find ANY natural fibre yarn except for a giant ball of "fisherman sock yarn".  So, I thought I might try really thin yarn and a really tiny hook so I'd end up with super-small stitches.  I ended up with mercanized cotton and a 2.7mm (Size 00) hook. There was no orange mercanized cotton, so I died two white balls orange.  I really like how it ended up turning out.  The eyes are 21 mm diameter

Many, many stiches later, here's my fox. 

I had to include a close-up of my tiny stiches.   Cheesy

I'm not sure I was successful in making something that doesn't look crocheted, but I think that it is a nice alternative look to crocheting with heavier yarn.
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