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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / The Pathos of Things - Spring (Mini) on: February 25, 2019 04:51:16 PM
I've been working on this second piece in my collection, The Pathos of Things, for a while. I'm really happy that I managed to finish it, and with plenty of them before the deadline for the exhibition I want to enter. Smiley I might even try for a a few more finished pieces.

This piece features an iridescent blue butterfly and branch of cherry blossoms. The hairpin slides into the canvas so it can be displayed when not being worn.

Cherry blossoms are always a favorite motif, but it was a little odd to work on it when it's so cold out. It's -40C today! I'm looking forward to spring.

My Mom collects butterflies, so I always think about her when I do butterflies. But, she asked me a few years ago to do a koifish painting for her. I'm not much of a painter, but I'm making a koi fish tsumami craft canvas next. It's also being entered in an international competition, so if it wins then I'll have to make another one for her.

Here's a few progress pictures as well.

2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / The Pathos of Things - Autumn (Mini) on: January 27, 2019 02:45:30 PM
I wanted to challenge myself this year by completing a collection of canvas and kanzashi pieces that fit together, and see if I could enter some local exhibitions. I call the collection The Pathos of Things, which is the literal translation of the Japanese concept Mono No Aware. The collection is going to follow the themes of seasonal change and the impermanence of life. This is my first finished piece for the collection, and it turned out pretty much exactly how I pictured it in my mind.

Kanzashi isn't really well known in my area, and part of my personal art mission is to try and spread awareness of the art form. :3

This is the kanzashi by itself, which features a cicada. The body shape on the cicada isn't perfect, but I think the body does have the segmented look I was going for. I had to do a few experiments to figure out the wings; I was going to put the holo film on then dip them in clear resin, but it didn't go well. So, I just applied the holo film then coated it with clear varnish instead.

And here is the canvas by itself. It's been painted to look like a piece of lacquer ware. I think it looks pretty close! It has tsumami craft flowers applied directly to the canvas, and the hole where the pin slides in is right along the edge of the large flower. The canvas is 5"x7" and gallery wrapped, so it has the lacquer ware design on the sides as well. It doesn't require a frame.

And here they are together. Smiley Overall super pleased with the results. I have to finish one more for the exhibition, which gets juried in April.
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Kitchen Island Revamp on: January 19, 2019 05:27:10 PM
This was actually one of the first projects I started after we bought our new house, but I only just now put the finishing touches on it.

I'm still in the process of painting our kitchen cabinets (followed by doing the backsplash) but I'm hoping in the next month I might have a kitchen that's actually usable. XD But, the island on its own ended up being a big job, because I realized it needed to have a lot of organization packed in, since our kitchen is small and has limited cabinet space.

I started with this. A warm-tone white melamine. I repainted it a very pale blue-white using a rustoleum cabinet repainting kit, which has served us pretty well. I did buy a different sealer because the sealer that came with my kit was contaminated with black dust. Rustoleum was kind enough to refund us the cost of the kit because of this, which was great.

After painting the cabinet frame and doors, I applied this floral contact paper to the sides and backs of the drawers, and the interior back panel of the cabinet.

Then we added these cute ceramic drawer pulls with brace backings. The old ones were worn looking rubbed bronze ones.

The 3d wallpaper that I had applied and painted started peeling off. I was trying to use the water activated paste it came with, and I'd never done wallpaper before. I was disappointed, but starting over ended up giving me a much better, cleaner result. After the wallpapering, we had our countertops installed professionally, and I was able to finish the trim on the back of the island and concentrate on organizational elements.

Unfortunately, the edge banding on the counters wasn't done perfectly and we had a bit of a chip and some sections are coming off; eventually I'm just going to reglue it myself with contact cement.

And here's a few more finished photos Smiley

The ceramic apple canisters I've had since university. The apple fruit basket was a gift from my mother-in-law, and the marble baking board and roller were my Mom's, which she gave to me when I moved, since I love baking. The baking board was a mini project of its own. Two of the feet fell off, and we had to remove the two remaining feet and add new ones.

Organization started with a simple cutlery organizer. We also have a separate clear acrylic container for some small utensils (pastry brushes, can opener, etc).

The inside has a hook on the door for hanging my cutting board, vertical dividers for our cookie/sheet pans, and a slider for our pots and pans (and one pyrex pie dish). The bottom shelf has a stoneware dutch oven and an ceramic apple serving dish. :3

We also installed this bar which is currently holding pot lids. Eventually we're going to buy a slider (like the one for the pots and pans) for the lids, and install a second bar for all our kitchen towels.
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Resin Peony & Cherry Blossoms Kanzashi on: January 12, 2019 12:36:41 PM
A few months ago I agreed to an art trade with a friend from University. I wanted to try out my new resin material, and my friend was happy to let me make my own design choices. The only guideline was that she wanted it to match the kimono that she recently brought home from Japan.

Here's the finished kanzashi. But, it didn't start out that way. I started with wire frames for the resin flowers. This was before I added the middle wires:

I used a crafting resin called Dip It Fantasy Film to coat the wire frames with resin. The wire frame gets dipped into the resin, then slowly pulled out. It creates a coating, like a bubble, but doesn't dissipate or pop.

I also made some silk tsumami craft cherry blossoms and added silver leafing to the resin petals before coating them with clear varnish to seal it. The middle is a grouping of pearly white stamens.

I also made some tsumami craft leaves to balance all the flowers out.

Here's the finished piece again:

Here's the reference picture of the kimono:

I think it ended up matching pretty well! Cheesy This piece is flying off to its new home on Monday.
5  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Nine-Tailed Kitsune & Kit Sculpture on: January 09, 2019 07:29:22 AM
This sculpture has basically been three years in the making - a piece for my very patient cousin.

I actually don't like sculpting very much. I've never considered myself particularly skilled at sculpting, but if a close family member asks I can't seem to say no. XD; Working on this piece didn't really change my feelings about sculpting in general, as it took a header off my desk after I finished the original sculpt and had to be repaired (ugh), but my cousin is happy with it. One of the tails also developed a crack during shipping, despite my best efforts to prevent damage from happening. I embedded the sculpture base into a piece of styrofoam, taped the sculpture base to the foam, and taped the foam to the box. Then, filled the empty space with packing peanuts. I assume the crack is due to the cold and the aforementioned fall off my desk, but I'm supposed to visit next year so I can probably repair it them. Smiley

My cousin saw a nine-tailed fox I made for my husband, and asked if I could do a painted snow-themed one for her, with a kit that represents her son, who was born in winter.

Here are a few WIP pictures:

I started with a wire armature, and stuffed the larger sections with tin foil. Polymer clay shrinks, so you can save yourself material and trouble by filling out sections with foil.

I made general shapes and smoothed them out before adding details, like fur and facial features.

And some finished pictures:

The white base paint is a spray paint. Yes, I know, no spray painting polymer clay. Generally, you can't use spray paint on polymer clay because it either doesn't dry or stays tacky forever. I got away with it because I primed the sculpture with white acrylic first. Once the white was done, I detailed the sculpture with blue and purple acrylic, then sealed with a clear spray sealer to give it the shiney appearance.

My cousin requested snow and amethysts on the base. I took a hammer to some amethyst crystals to get smaller pieces and glued them to the base with E6000.

The snow is a mix of white glitter and faux modeling snow (for miniatures).

I am pretty happy with how the sculpture turned out, but I'm not sure I'll be doing another one any time soon. Or, maybe I'll do something simpler/smaller/with less tails involved. The tails were the worst. XD
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Bridal Kanzashi Set on: January 08, 2019 07:40:35 AM
I made this kanzashi set for a bride and flower girl. I dyed the cobalt blue and two-tone blue/white silk myself.

I actually made the silver glitter stamens myself too, using flour, PVA glue, and silver glitter. I also used leftover stiffened thread from millinery stamens I'd already used/cut short; waste not, eh? Now any time I need a specific color or style I know I can do it myself. Smiley

Here's one close-up of the big one while it was still in progress.

Really pleased with how it turned out. Cheesy
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / The Refurbishing of the Light Fixtures on: August 28, 2018 12:04:19 PM
Husband and I just bought our first home, and we're doing all kinds of projects in it (or at least, I am telling him we're doing all kinds of things, and he's going along with it out of love). This is my first ~finished~ project, refurbishing our kitchen & dining space light fixtures.

Originally our dining space chandelier had an amber yellow glass bowl shade that made everything a sickly shade of yellow when you turned it on, and the flush mount light had a grey marbling in its glass bowl that made it look like there was dirt and dust (and maybe dead bugs?) trapped inside it.

I managed to save us having to replace the fixtures by stripping the paint from the glass bowls with a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. Then, at husband's suggestion, I repainted the fixtures from a dark bronzy brown to antique green with gold detail - which will match with our kitchen island, backsplash, and wall paint.

I did a longer write up on my blog, which you can find here: http://www.appledainty.com/projects-by-discipline/refinishing/the-refurbishing-of-the-light-fixtures/

But that's the jist of it. Cheesy Here are some photos:

In the midst of removing the dingy yellow paint.

The white alabaster bowl underneath shines through!

Before painting

During painting


And the finished overhead light as well.
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Floral Monogram Bridal Handkerchief on: August 13, 2018 11:37:42 AM
My brother-in-law is finally marrying his fiance this summer, and I wanted to make something special for her bridal shower. We are planning to give them a gift for the wedding, of course, (or maybe just cash)  so I thought I'd do something more personal for the shower.

I wanted something pretty, but still useful, and eventually landed on a handkerchief. I also figured I'd be able to use some of my enormous stash of embroidery floss (I was gifted the remaining inventory from a craft store that closed) for the design. I'm really into Elizabetta Sforza's floral embroidered monograms, but unfortunately didn't have the time to get her book (which I will definitely do one day). Luckily, I'm not too bad at drawing, so I designed my own monogram with peonies & monk's hook - the bride's favorite - along with canola and Saskatoon berries to represent where we live (our province is famous for growing canola and wheat, and we live in Saskatoon).

Here's some progress photos:

And here's the finished handkerchief:

I always like seeing the back of projects, so here's the back side too:

And, if you were curious, this is the penny pocket I made:

My Mom told me that in filipino culture (I'm hapa) you're supposed to keep a container of rice and money in the corner of your house so that you never run out of money or food. The bride's maiden name is Penny, and I thought it would be cute to put a small pocket with a single grain of rice and a penny. It's held in place with a couple stitches so that the penny and rice can be removed if the handkerchief needs to be washed.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / The Voice of the Tempest Reliquary on: May 25, 2018 05:52:51 PM
Deeeeeep breath, ya'll. I finally finished my first Vox Machina reliquary project - The Voice of the Tempest Reliquary. Cheesy

I'm a huge fan of Critical Role, so after campaign one ended I decided that I would make reliquaries for each member of the party. I started with Keyleth, ie The Voice of the Tempest.

I knew I wanted to feature tsumami craft (of course?) and do a portrait of each character with their relic, but it kind of grew into needing a case for transport, and then a scroll of authenticity. I'm going to start with the kanzashi comb.

With kanzashi projects, I occasionally do sketches to flesh out an idea - but more often than not I will make a kanzashi without any concrete concept. I pick a flower or theme and start making. I just take breaks and pick at things until it feels whole. While I did have a few sketches for this project to start with, they were more for the portrait than the kanzashi.

This portrait also took on a bit of a life of its own. I consider myself to be a much stronger with black and white than with color, so working in my comfort zone of crowquill with deleter black #3 ink was an easy choice. But, I went through several concept sketches before settling on this one. I joke that it looks more like The Raven ft. The Voice of the Tempest than a portrait of Keyleth, but I pumped Keyleth up a little with spot colors before giving the portrait and all its accoutrements to Matt Mercer at Otafest last weekend.

I also made a case for the comb so that it could be safely transported.

The case started life as a rather cheap balsa wood and plexiglass buy from Michaels, and after several hours of carefully scraping away excess glue, sanding, and staining it ended up not looking terrible. I also lined the back panel with vintage silk velvet, and added an embroidered strap to hold the comb upright. The embroidery is snow drops and an air symbol (center) from Avatar the Last Airbender, which inspired Keyleth's back story.

The back of the box features a goldfish and the phrase "It's fine, we're gods" which Keyleth uttered just before swan diving off a very high cliff, realizing she was going to land on rocks, and morphing into a goldfish instead of...something that can fly? Her friends brought her back, of course, but RIP goldfish.

I drew the goldfish as well, then cut it with my Curio from gold foil vinyl sticker sheet. I think it turned out well. Smiley

The last part is the Scroll of Authenticity. I aged a piece of deckle edged calligraphy parchment with coffee and salt, wrote out a letter with a crowquill pen (traced using my lightbox because my hand's not the steadiest at fancy calligraphy), and added a Seamstresses' Guild logo (aye, a Terry Pratchett reference) and wax seal that represents my personal D&D Character, Ellie Moon (it's a moon with the initials EM).

I also made a simple care card that explains how to keep the kanzashi safe and sound, but didn't photograph it. It's just text on card stock.

And I wrote an even longer (and possibly more boring) blog post about this project and all its details, which can be found here: http://www.appledainty.com/projects-by-discipline/tsumami-zaiku/the-voice-of-the-tempest-reliquary/

As a little bonus, here's a progress shot from the portrait:
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / The Cobalt Reserve Reliquary on: April 06, 2018 09:16:15 AM
If you've been following the Nerd Games, you may have seen some of this already. Smiley I've been posting progress photos on the discussion thread. If not, thanks for taking a look!

I started this project as a gift for Matt Mercer who is visiting Calgary for Otafest next month. I made a gift for his wife, Marisha Ray, and thought it would be a real dick move if I didn't make something for him too. My husband and I are Critical Role fans, so these are Critical Role themed gifts.

I started with the brooch, which uses a bookplate as its frame. Here are a few progress pictures.

And a few more of the finished piece:

And once the brooch was done, I needed a case for it. So, I made a book-shaped box. Here's some progress photos:

And a montage of the finished box:

I also made some book plates. I wanted to have a bookplate for the inside cover of the book, but the etched metal ones ended up being too big. If I etch them smaller they lose too much detail. I might print some small ones or make sticker versions. Still undecided.

And that's the whole set. XD I also wrote a really long, possibly boring, explanation of this project on my blog. The specific blog entry can be found here: http://www.appledainty.com/projects-by-discipline/tsumami-zaiku/cobalt-reserve-reliquary/

And I linked back to Craftster on the post as well, since I only post weekly on my blog whereas I post progress on here as I go. Smiley Love this place, and the Nerd Games!
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