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11  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / The newest jack-o-melon! on: October 25, 2011 05:48:44 PM
Long story short: it's spring here in Australia, pumpkins taste crap compared to watermelons, watermelons are way cheap, watermelons with candles inside look awesome thanks to the glowy red goodness innards.

So, this is what my boy and I can up with this year:

We carved a scary countenance, a spider in web (my favourite this year) and a dinosaur. Why? my son is four, that is all. LOL  Cheesy

We had a absolute blast carving this jack-o-melon. If you'd like to check out more on the origins of the jack-o-melons, have a look at this past Craftster post.

As always, extra info on my blog.

Thanks for looking!
12  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Imp captured! on: May 18, 2011 05:29:38 AM
This little guy was my contribution to the recent World of Warcraft OTT (one tiny thing) swap.

My partner's main character in the game is a warlock and uses an imp as an assistant during fights. Since I have been working on my sculpting of late I felt the need to craft another miniature, and I love the idea of putting things in jars (for visual appeal, storyline and safety).




Front of jar

Back of jar

The little blighter is polymer clay over a wire armature, painted in acrylics. The fur is remnants of faux fur fabric, with colouring altered by marker. Wire for earrings, wood panel for the base, acrylics and coloured cotton for the fire effect at his feet. You can see his size in the last pic, in the jar the total piece comes in at a touch over 4 inches.

C & C always welcome  Cheesy
13  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / How to turn cheap imitation leather shoes into purple skully flats. Tute on: February 14, 2010 05:08:29 AM

I found these cheap white Kmart shoes for $6.00 a pair. They are totally comfy but I wanted purple, NOONE has purple! Then, either by some covert Australian conspiracy or crafty fate I couldn't find purple shoe dye anywhere, *sob*.

I wanted my purple shoes dammit! And then, pondering the possibilities and reaching the conclusion that all rockin purple flats should be emblazoned by skulls, I figure I could jump in the craft cupboard and use some existing materials to reach my dream.

Acrylic paint is actually really great for faux leather and I have used it many times to antique book covers and the like. The trick is to not 'paint' but rub the colour into the fabric so it absorbs as much as possible.

I masked off some hand drawn skull pictures on each shoe and after the masking fluid had dried I mixed up some acrylic paint. One tip is to mix a colour a little darker than you want, since the white will show through a little unless you really paint it on and that leaves the shoes open to cracking and peeling. Dab on the paint with a soft cloth, covering the shoe completely and then dab off the excess with a clean cloth. You want the material to absorb the pigment and then remove the excess. It will take a couple of coats but each coat should be so thin that by the time you have finished a coat on one shoe, the second shoe will be ready for another coat.

Each coat should dry to a mild tacky finish before adding another coat. If you want a pastel colour, dampen your cloth and dab into your paint. Rub the paint into the shoe and buff off, leaving a light coloured dye.

When the shoes are completely dry, remove the masking fluid. If you are careful, you could use a sticker in place of the masking fluid.

I finished these shoes off by painting the rear seams and where the shoe meets the sole with a fine paintbrush and then touched up the skulls with a white paint pen around the edges and added my final details with a fine point permanent marker. I buffed them with a beeswax furniture polish to seal them and add a little moisture back into the fabric.

Cool huh? And reeeaaaly comfortable.

14  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Paper Waratah flower earrings TUTORIAL on: January 25, 2010 04:01:25 AM
Here is my very first Australia Day tutorial and my first project posted especially for my new blog. An achievement!

These are small Waratah flowers made from ordinary copy paper and attached to earring findings.

They are so easy to make and the two earrings should take you less than a hour. As a bonus, you probably already have all the supplies!

Full step by step pictures and the pattern pieces are available as a totally free tutorial right here.

The flowers can also be made as upright flowers, to give to a special someone.


1 piece of office paper in your chosen colour, or 1 piece of decorative scrapbook paper cut to size (I used a plain piece of red copy paper. Dress up plain paper with a stamp or draw some squiggles)
2 x 5cm (1 inch) head pins, any metal
A pinch of seed beads to complement your paper colour ( I chose red)
2 x sequins, any colour you like (mine are pearl white)
earring findings of your choice - these earrings can also be attached to plain sleepers instead of earring hooks or studs


craft knife, or scissors if you prefer
round nosed pliers to close the loops
desktop printer

1. Cut out each piece and stack according to size. For each flower there will be 4 x extra large pieces, 2 x large pieces, 2 x medium pieces, 2 x small pieces and 2 x base pieces.
2. Pierce a small hole in the centre of each piece using a craft knife or thumbtack.
3. Fold the flower petals up into a soft cone.
4. Gently curl the points towards the centre.
5. Mould the base pieces into shallow bowls and curl the petals back. I used a half-sphere measuring spoon for this but your fingers will do fine.
6. Thread a sequin onto the head pin. Add a base piece, followed by a seed bead.
7. Add the next base piece followed by a seed bead.
8. Thread on one of the extra large petals, followed by a seed bead.
9. Repeat this process, progressing down through the petal sizes.
10. Thread the final small petal and follow with a seed bead.
11. Push the flower gently to the base of the head pin. Grasp the petals, not the base pieces, and firmly mould the flower into a cone shape. Don't be shy here.
12. Using an index finger, hold against the side of the flower and press downwards. This flares the base a little and makes for a fat-bottomed flower. Repeat all around the flower until it is even.
13. Use your pliers and make an eye in the headpin. Secure to your earring findings.

Full step by step pictures and the pattern pieces are available as a totally free tutorial right here.

Also, I do apologise for the copyrights on the pictures and the disclaimer on the pattern. I really do not mean to be rude or distrustful, but being the internet you never know when someone will swipe your tutorial and claim it as their own. This is purely to discourage unsavoury characters and to hopefully prevent others from profiting from my hard work without my permission.

Comments and questions welcome, let me know if I don't make sense Cheesy
15  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 46 ENTRIES / EE's secret toadstool gingerbread house with snails! on: January 01, 2010 07:50:07 PM
Ok, so when I first saw this challenge advertised I had two questions.

1. What type of house could I make that is out of the ordinary (kinda like me)?
2. How the hell do you make a gingerbread house?? Cheesy

This is my first ever gingerbread anything, except for cookies. I have not even tried a kit, so if I broke any cardinal rules of gingerbread house making, I apologise.

I made sure to fit the bill for this challenge: the walls, ceiling and toadstool roof are all gingerbread, as is the little second storey toadstool. The snails are gingerbread and the garden is royal icing, Smarties, Jubes jellies, Roll-up flowers and pretzel fence.

The highest point is about 22cm (9 inches) so it is a little small.

Toadstool-y goodness

Left side (note the adorable raspberry mushroom candies! DH's lucky find for me.)

Right side

Snails with cachous eyes

Proof of gingerbread innards  Wink

Gratuitous artsy shot.

Just to defend myself, it IS supposed to be slanted, just like a real toadstool  Grin.

Since I was a gingerbread novice I treated this like a sculpture/cake decorating project. I found a good gingerbread recipe online and started by using some dishes and alfoil as moulds to put the gingerbread on. The house body, flat ceiling, toadstool dome and little toadstool body and dome are all results of moulding gingerbread dough around various objects for baking. Secured together with the traditional royal icing I think it fits the bill pretty well.

Some of the pieces

Royal icing-coated toadstool body.

Thanks for looking! C & C welcome.

Have a great 2010.
16  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Beware! Voidwalkers! on: December 26, 2009 06:01:44 AM
Hi All  Cheesy

Here was my last-minute crafted gift for my brother. A fellow World of Warcraft player, he has an 80 Paladin, Rogue and Warlock. So close to Christmas there was noooo way I was attempting to sculpt one of his toons so I went for a Warlock pet instead.

"A voidwalker!" I think to myself, "that should be easy". Famous last words...

Sadly my local craft stores only stock Sculpey III. Seriously inept for proper sculpting but I am rather used to it by now.

So, meet my voidwalker. Foil, wire and bamboo armature with Sculpey III and acrylic highlights. Yes, the clay was blue/purple, I just gave him depth with acrylics.

(crop for better front-page view  Wink)

Base is clay and cotton wool painted with acrylics and permanent marker.

In-game image

Tag is a Photoshop creation.

He resides in a recycled glass jam jar, he does need the occasional breather but only with proper supervision since the cheeky buggers have a knack for disappearing into the shadows.

C & C welcome  Wink
17  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Beware the angry druid on: November 21, 2009 05:53:00 AM
Hi everyone.

It has been a while since I got my paints out, after doing alot of digital art and graphic design I have been itching to get into the physical artiness of painting again.

I have been meaning to do this painting for a while now, a representation of my husbands World of Warcraft character, a night elf druid. I am really pleased with the way it turned out, especially the background effect which is becoming a token style for me of late.

The first image is the closest to the actual piece but the other two show the depth of colour in the background and the face details.

Acrylic and marker on mounted canvas 60x85 cm (24x33.5 inches).

Comments and critique always welcome. For anyone interested I have just begun a portfolio via Deviant art. Once again, comments, critique and any notes on useability appreciated.
18  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Aaaaargh! Me capt'n and me in piratey attire on: November 06, 2009 04:30:29 AM
Hullo all!

Here is my humble submission to the costume show, my husband and I in marvelous pirate attire for a suitably swashbuckling affair.

Now when I get invited to a pirate party that says 'costumes encouraged' I tend to get a little overenthusiastic. After scouring the web for pirate costumes I decided I would much rather make something custom for the two of us.

Made from scratch

Purple cotton blouse
Recon leather corset vest
Gold brocade gathered skirt with bustle
Vinyl boot-tops
weapons and accessories belt

Darling husband:
Cheesecloth lace-front shirt
Denim pirate coat with sword holsters

Complete with hand-stamped polymer clay pirate coin buttons...

Then I also whipped up my Mum's costume:
Blue paisley blouse
waist cincher
gathered skirt
eyelet underskirt
boot tops
accessories belt

I used a very heavily altered pattern for the coat, partly because the sleeves were just awful and partly because I wanted it to be wearable for regular use. The vest was another very heavily altered pattern, until it became a custom design. Skirts, bustle, waist cincher and boot-toppers were all made up on the spot.

We had such a fantastic night and I was so thrilled that nearly everyone dressed up, but NOONE had the same ebay-costumes as us!  Grin

Thanks for looking!
19  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 38 ENTRIES / Who on earth is in my egg?? on: May 02, 2009 04:57:54 PM
Here is a teaser pic so it will show on the main page Tongue For size reference, the egg was a tiny one so Griff is tiny too.

It was a cold and rainy Easter morning, not the best weather for egg hunting but I figured I would try my luck anyway. I rushed outside to see if I could catch the East Bunny in the act when lo and behold, I found a stash of goodies under a tree.

Some of the eggs had hatched, leaving behind some bewildered chicks who were curiously approaching a strangely coloured egg. Instead of a bright colour, it was mottled brown and white with blue veins running through it.

I was just about to pick it up and give it a rattle when it started to hatch. I was expecting another chick, maybe even an overly ambitious chocolate egg. I did not expect to be faced with a small brown face hiding behind a wing.

Apparently the East Bunny had been on quite a bender the night before, and after winning a mint from The Stork, he accidently handed out Storks offerings instead of pawning the loot like he intended. So now Griff (until he decides on a name for himself) is staying with me. You will be happy to know that little Griffs wings are getting stronger by the day and he has a hearty appetite. The chicks have taken quite a liking to him so they all sleep together in a big puppy pile.

Seeing the other amazing offerrings on this board I feel kinda bad that I only upcycled one egg. In my defence though, all the rest of my eggs are safely tucked away for next year!

I got to try out crackle medium for the first time which was great fun and use my new sculpting tools. The egg was sanded to give a key for the paint, then painted blue over the primer, crackled medium and then a mottled white and brown. Griff is hand made from polymer clay and painted with acrylics. His wings are felt and fully poseable with wire.

Comments, questions and criticisms always welcome, thanks for looking.
20  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Rebatch commercial soaps? Or Australian suppliers questions on: November 15, 2008 12:55:12 AM
Hello lovely Craftsters, I want to put together some pamper packs for Christmas (like heaps of others Tongue). I am not equipped or inclined to go all out and make my own soaps nor can I find m&p unless it is online, so my question is can you melt any commercial soap brands (something plain) and then add a few drops of scent or botanicals and remould them?

I am also on the search for plain old castile soap in a bar to rebatch and make into liquid soap and a vegetable butter and beeswax, but for some reason no local places sell it and I am using online stores as my last resort. If anyone knows of a flesh and blood store in the Gold Coast/Brisbane area of Queensland I would appreciate the name.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give.
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