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21  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Jackalope on: August 30, 2012 05:40:16 PM
About 3 years ago, my husband and I were in Colorado and we stopped at a pub that had a jackalope on the wall.  I pointed towards it, and my husband looked up at it and said: "Wow... I've never seen one of those before!"   After the requisite amount of teasing, I explained to him that it wasn't real.  It has been a running joke between us ever since.
Hence, we needed a jackalope trophy of our own!

The armature were papier mache (I found out they were actually filled with foam and not hollow) lemon and pear that I got for 50c at Michael's.  Used some floral wire for the antlers. I took advantage of the fact that they were actually foam and carved them up a bit.

I used air dry clay to sculpt and added the furry texture with wood filler.  This is about half way through painting, I used a dry-brush technique I learned from a lady who paints ceramic nic-nacs. (It's glued to a scrap block of wood to hold it while I sculpted/ painted)

After it was painted and sealed, I removed it from the scrap block of wood and glued it to a wooden oval plaque-thingy I scored at the thrift store.

Finally we have a trophy for all the jackalope hunting we did in the rocky mountains!

22  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Monster LOVE gift basket on: June 02, 2011 12:41:57 PM
I made this stuff to donate to the "Relay for Life" silent auction fundraiser.  It's been so humid, my air dry clay was taking forever to dry and the resin on the eyeballs was still tacky when I dropped them off.  (My car also smells like epoxy, but all for a great cause!)

Here's a poorly-lit shot of the entire basket:

And the monsterrific items inside include:
switch plate cover and magnets (constructed of polymer clay, then painted and resined)

a very goofy monster pin / brooch (also polymer clay)

perhaps my favourite, a poly-clay nightlight (wish I got a pic of him lit up, but light shines through his eyes and mouth and from behind his head.)

And a mixed-media hanging wall sculpture.  (This is the air-dry clay that was giving me so much trouble.)

Hopefully some quirky person will bid on these guys (and raise lots of money for cancer research!)

23  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Spring! Finding craft materials in nature on: March 07, 2011 10:40:55 AM
I hereby suggest a craft challenge for Spring (which is -hopefully- coming soon to the Northern Hemisphere).
Perfect for Spring would be a craft challenge that stipulates that you must focus on gathering craft supplies from nature.  So many crafts can be made from twigs, bark, leaves, dried grass and flowers, stones, shells, etc, etc.  This would be a wonderful challenge to inspire people to get outside for spring and look for free craft materials in the natural spaces around them.  Hourrah!
24  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Rotton Zombie vs Fresh Zombie Tic Tac Toe on: February 02, 2011 09:53:17 AM
I got this idea to make a crazy zombie tic tac toe game.  Instead of Xs and Os, its fresh zombies and rotten zombies.  I mixed some transparent and fleshy polymer clay together with a touch of green to give that rotted flesh look.  I black-washed after backing, then used resin to make the eyes and guts all wet and freshly rotted looking.  One of my pet peves with display board games is that one bump of the table, and the pieces are all over. So put magnets in the bottom of each zombie, and metal tacks on the game board so that the pieces stay put.

25  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Goofy, silly, toothy little monsters on: February 02, 2011 09:36:18 AM
I've been working like a mad-woman the past few weeks mass producing monsters.  I don't usually mass produce things, but I'm on maternity leave right now, and hoped I might sell a few crafts to make some petty cash.

Like many folks on Craftster, I fancy myself a Jill-of-All-Trades - so it was hard to think of one specific thing (or specific category of things) to make for sale.  I did a lot of research, and came to the conclusion that I needed to find something to make that would meet the requirements:
1) be something that I could make better than other people (since things often get replicated if they sell well)
2) be something that I could make in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable cost of supplies
3) be something so unique that people would have to get it from me

I tried a few ideas, but nothing really clicked until I was talking to my Grandma.  She said; "Remember when you used to make those weird things and sell them to your teachers?" -Ah, yes Grandma!

The "weird things" she was referring to were these goofy monster brooches I used to make in grade-8.  Admittedly, they are maybe not Grandma-friendly, but they seemed to be just the right idea!

So I made a bunch of brooches (30 in total, I think), then started thinking of other things that I could stick monsters to.  These are the results of these adventures....

a couple more brooches

Tic Tac Toe!

This one might be my fav... a monster night light to scare away the monster under your bed!

Magnets (okay... this idea isn't such a leap from the brooches, but I still like them)

...and a switch plate cover.

I black-washed each monster after baking.  I also put resin on the eyes and mouths to make them look wet and alive.  Ahhhh!

26  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Reading Glasses Hanger - Owl and Monster 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.

27  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Super-Easy Paper Mache Monster Puppet 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!

28  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / My Daughter's Forest Nursery 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.

29  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Cloth "rag" Dolls - Anne and Dianna - mini wig tut and links to free patterns 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.

30  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Peg Hanger - Raccoons 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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