Friday, November 30, 2012

On the First Day of Christmas ~ With Tutorial

 On the First Day of Christmas my true love gave to me a
Partridge in a Pear Tree
How could I resist when Alpha stamps said,
"This year in December we are doing the 12 Days of Christmas." 
To me this is the ultimate holiday song and perfect for all types of art.  So please enjoy Straight No Chaser's rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas as you view my offering.
But what the heck is a Partridge anyway?
Those are Grey Partridges, and let me tell you they are hard to find in the art world.  So I took some liberties.
 This is my tree, you might have seen something similar on Pinterest by Pikadilly Charm, they created a fall tree. 
I wanted mine to look covered in snow so I spray painted it with a glossy white.  I also wanted it to be more controllable so I wound wire in with my limbs, 28 guage craft wire
 To create the base of my piece I used
2 of the small (3-1/2" diameter and 2" tall)
Layer cake paper mache boxes
I painted them using the
 Gold and Silver Paint Dabbers
and then crackled then with Kroma Crackle
Since I knew a Partridge would not be making an appearance in my piece, he is off checking out all the of the other days, I made him a nest to come home to after his long travels. The nest is made of Silver craft wire I used some beads from the Cream Pearl Mix in a Tin for the eggs. 
 The nest was made possible by another fabulous Tutorial I discovered on Pinterest by Just Something I Made. 

A quick side note: I never take credit for someone else's work or ideas.  I strive to make it mine.  I did a tutorial on just this a few months ago, please take inspiration from all the artists out there and make it yours.  You can view my Making It Yours Tutorial HERE
 Check it out, do you see that color??? 
Yep you guessed it my lantern lights up! 

I drilled into the Pagoda Hanging Lantern and inserted the LED light.  The wires run down the lantern poll and the battery pack is inside the box, it takes 4 AAA batteries.
 Unlit, pretty but not as much fun.

On top of the LED with battery pack that I used, the tree is filled with Fairy Lights - Fiber Optic Cables.  So when the Partridge comes home he can snuggle in his nest surrounded by hundreds of miniature warm lights.

I wrapped the post in 2 mm silk ribbon in Oyster
and added Diamond Stickles. Actually I put Diamond Stickles everywhere.
Some other supplies that I used are:
Pear Shaped Window Beads

Now onto the fun part, see those pears, they are Creative Paperclay!

How to Gold Leaf Paper Clay

Adhesive Size
paper clay items
 I choose to start this tutorial once my paper clay pieces were done Laura at Artfully Musing has a wonderful tutorial on how to create molds and use paper clay.  My video also has more details.
 Follow the directions on your gold leaf, some gold leafing does not need adhesive size. 
 If it calls for it, shake the bottle and paint it on where you want the gold leaf to stick. 
Cover your paper clay piece with gold leaf.  Use a brush to gently get the leafing into all the crevices and to wipe away any excess.
Don't throw away the left over gold leaf.  Put it back into the package (or into a box/bag) you can use the smaller pieces to fill in holes that sometimes occur.
 To finish off the pears I used a paint that has a fabulous shimmer for the stems.
All done!  You'd never know they are paper clay.
The video below has more details and more instructions. 
Hope you learned something, thanks for stopping by!
One the Second day of Christmas...
You will just have to wait and see!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the 1902 stage play and the well-known adaptation 1939 film version, starring Judy Garland. The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a tornado. Thanks in part to the 1939 MGM movie, it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the popular 1902 Broadway musical which Baum adapted from his original story, led to Baum's writing thirteen more Oz books. The original book has been in the public domain in the US since 1956.
When I started to write this review I had a terrible time finding a description of the book, you know just the simple book flap explanation of what awaited one inside the pages.  Hence the rather historical explanation provided.
Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are of my parents reading to me.  So of course I want to continue that tradition.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the first chapter book that I have read to my girls. 
What I found most interesting was how difficult a concept of a movie verses a book was to my five year old.  Every time something was different in the book she would say "that's a lie."  With little concept of time to begin with explaining that the book was first and the movie was based on the book was practically rocket science.
To combat this I am now reading Rise of the Guardian, the Movie Novelization.  When we are done (and it will be soon she is loving it) I will take her to see the movie. 

I had never read The Wizard of Oz, to be honest it isn't even that high on my list of favorite movies but I want to introduce my daughters to strong female characters.  What I found most interesting about the book were the differences between it and the movie (which I must say I am way to familiar with,my little sister must have watched it a million times).  One of the major differences is that Dorothy's shoes are silver in the book!
Overall I would say the book is much better than the movie.  The characters have more depth and the message Frank wrote into the book is much clearer.  I was a bit sad when I realized that Dorothy wasn't the strong female character I expected.  But then again, she wasn't my daughters favorite character anyway, Kayde loved the Cowardly Lion, who was not cowardly at all. 
I created a Pinterest Board to share all the wonderful images both movie and book inspired that I have found. Just click on the above image to head over.
A wonderful read that my children enjoyed and I am glad to say that I have now read.  I think next I will read one of the following to the girls.
 I know and love quite a few of them, the hard part will be deciding to read something I haven't read or reading them one I love.

Linking up with the wonderful Ricki Jill at Art @ Home

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Creative Wings Kit of the Month

It's here, it's here, it's here!
Creative Wings very first (of many to come) Kit of the Month and wow oh wow is it a fabulous one.
This Kit includes...
*An authentic charlotte head from Germany*
*A bleached small bottle brush tree*
*A vintage spice bottle*
*Vintage gold mercury glass beads*
*A vintage tree reflector*
*one yard tinsel trim*
*Vintage sheet music paper*
*German glass glitter*
*Cream adhesive back pearls for crown*
I've got mine...what about you? 
Head over to her blog and get one before they are all gone

Retro Poinsettia altered matchbox ornament

 It's beginning to look a lot like...oh wait, no it's not, at least not here. 
Yes the leaves are falling and it's gotten colder but there isn't any snow.  And besides the fact that stores pulled out all their holiday paraphernalia in September this year it just doesn't quite feel like Christmas yet. 
 But I am determined to make a go at it. 
November is the last month that the Circle of Friends Swaps for the year and I am the hostess.  I selected matchbox ornaments as the theme and this is the one that I created. 
I love bright retro looking ornaments so I tried to reproduce one.  The flower on the front is a Poinsettia, I got the idea from a photo I saw on Pinterest
Vintiquities Workshop
Bloomingdale's Paper Poinsettias Ornament 9x9x3

Didn't Thespoena do a great job!  Her tutorial is fabulous. 
 I had to change mine a bit to make it work for my much smaller matchbox and I'm not 100% pleased with the fullness of my poinsettia but life goes on.  
 To finish off my ornaments I added bells to the hanging seam binding and added a silver pipe cleaner to hang it from. 
I made a few extras, they would be great to hide some money in, a key, some jewelry, a yummy bit of candy, the list goes on and on.  You can find them in my store.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chipboard Potions Bottles Swap

Today was the receive by date for Alpha Stamps Chipboard Potions Bottles Swap
 This is the last of the bottles I made.  It is two sided, I used an ice resin technique that I will be sharing with you all in the future,
 I have a box full of swap pieces and I can't wait to tear into all of them and see everyone gorgeous work. 
If you haven't taken part in an Alpha Stamps swap you are missing out.  Right now the Winter Wonderland Swap is taking sign ups so come on over to Alpha Stamps Yahoo Group and join the fun.  You won't be sorry, and you won't need any Laudanum drops to help you deal with it :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Poe Inspired Journal

 I signed up for a Poe Inspired Journal swap, I love Poe and the darkness that has been surrounding him in the art world. 
 I've done countless pieces based on The Raven, so I wanted to branch out and try something new.  A wonderful friend of mine told me about her favorite piece by Poe, The Masque of the Red Death, a short story.
 I read it and loved it, there is so much in the short story to inspire an artist.  So I got to work, well, long story short what i created did not scream "Poe Inspired" it wasn't dark at all (I was inspired by all the colors in the story). 
 Totally at a loss as to how to fix it I let it sit for a bit, because I had to, medical stuff.  Well, that's all I needed, some time.  I took the thing outside and spray painted it flat black and I was on my way.
 I did add the black branch, white feather and crow after I spray painted and then bound my book but what a difference removing color made!
I finished it off with an image of Poe.  I do hope my partner likes it, I was very pleased when I finished.  I can't wait to share with you what I received, it is out of this world!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gearing Up....What about you???

 It's going to be very hard to tell from this post that I actually do not like Thanksgiving and even harder to believe that I don't like it because of the food.
 When I was little my parents made the same thing every year.
Sweet Potatoes
Asparagus Casserole
Well, out of the things listed above, the only one I like is the Turkey. 
Ever since I was born I disliked sweet potatoes, still kind of do.  I've grown to love asparagus but I am still not a fan of dressing, its soggy bread. 
 This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving twice, once as a small intimate family and then again on Friday with everyone all together.  Well what does that mean, a lot of cooking for me but I am looking forward to what I am making.
Thursday's Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Apple
Smoked Turkey
Green Been Casserole
Onion Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Caramel Cake
 On Friday I am taking
Caramelized Carrots
Smors Cupcakes
 So today I prepped and prepped and prepped.
Made homemade chicken broth for the soup, roasted the pumpkin for the pumpkin puree in the dinner rolls, made the cake and the cupcakes (but not the frosting or filling)
So I still have a lot to do tomorrow but I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and since I love cooking this has been an enjoyable day and I am looking forward to Thanksgiving for the first time in many years.
Hope you have a great one!