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Topic: Fantastical Nature Shrine (pic heavy)  (Read 3479 times)
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« on: May 31, 2013 12:45:36 PM »

My wonderful partner in the Shrine Swap, woobie, listed nature and fantasy as themes on her questionnaire.  I wanted to combine them into something cool and immediately decided to make a tree.


I had no idea what I was doing, but I remembered all of the neat projects around here using paperclay, so I decided to give it a try.  For the base I used a small (roughly 2.5 x 3.5) candy box I had saved and pipe cleaners (only because I had a ton of them).  Protip:  Dont use pipe cleaners!  It worked out in the end, but was a bit of a nightmare processfuzz and clay dont mix.  Grin  I adjusted and removed branches and roots as needed as I added the clay.

I wanted the tree to have a really organic but fantastical type look, so for some of the branches and roots I twisted the clay as I wrapped it around my armature.  I left the natural bumps and dents that formed while I was modeling it, and carved in a few shallow lines for a bark effect.  I didn't get a clay drying phase shot, but you can see what Im talking about pretty well in these photos.

After a few days of drying I did some clay touch ups, and then after a few more days of drying finally got to paint it! 

I used acrylics and went in layers, starting with the darkest color as a base.  Id never painted anything even remotely like this before, so Im pretty happy with the end results. 

After I finished the main layers I went back and tried to give it a little extra texture and depth by highlighting the natural dents and bumps with thin, watery layers of black paint.  Once dry, I finished the tree using Hard Coat Mod Podge.

I went through my stash to find a good focal point for the shrine.  I decided to use a butterfly brad and metal frame normally for paper crafting.  I embellished it some more with pretty green beads.

I surrounded it with a string of seed beads and some large plastic flower ones I found in my bead soup.  I finished off the area with some paper flowers and a plastic flourish.

The little beetle/lady bug crawling over the roots is a thumbtack I've had for at least 15 years!  Im glad he has a home again outside of my stash containers.  I added in some other bugs, an acorn, and a white rabbit for a properly fantastic experience.


I crafted the bird on some chipboard type paper using a Martha Stewart glitter transfer kit.  I made the nest out of floral wire and some flat back beads. 

I didn't want to do traditional leaves or flowers on the tree, because it is a fantastical tree after all, so I decided to make something that could drape over the branches.  I combined a bunch of different cords, ribbon, and twine to make a thick rope-y yarn.  I strung some teeny tiny leaf beads in there, and added some metal flower decorations to the ends.

This project really took on a life of its own, but it came together in the end.  Thanks for inspiring this project, and for swapping with me, woobie!  Smiley


« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2013 02:49:33 PM »

Love it!  It looks great!!!   I think many of your ideas can be adapted to something fairy-house type.  The tutorial is very helpful,  Thank you!

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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2013 08:48:13 PM »

Very cool.

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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013 07:51:50 AM »

I can't believe this started out as pipe cleaners and a candy box!  You nailed the construction, the paint job, and the embellishment!

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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013 09:11:24 AM »

Wow, this tree is so cool!  I love all the interesting embellishments.

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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013 11:43:32 PM »

Wow! I love this! Its so interesting and inspiring!!!!

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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013 04:10:21 AM »

wow, that is really awesome!
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2013 04:57:39 PM »

That is all kinds of amazing! I really love the transformation it went through, especially the painting job you did.

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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013 08:13:08 PM »

The whole thing is fantastic but they way you did the tree is extra extra amazing!! So neat!

« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013 08:44:45 PM »

That is amazing!!   Love it!!

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