Monday, December 5, 2011

More Christmas decorations from clay!

An idea last night led to a hasty attempt to make some new decorations from clay.  I wondered if I couldn't roll out a ribbon from clay, long and thin, and twirl it around a pen to create a sort of ringlet shape.  I added a hole to thread some festive twine through, for hanging, and I'm leaving them to dry at the moment.  When they're done, I'll paint them up and add some glitter.  Hopefully, I'll have an interesting tree decoration for very little effort!

I'll take some pics - of the before and after, of course - when the battery in my camera gets recharged.:)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A cute kitty candle holder

After making a couple of clay models based on the cats my sister and I used to own, I began to wonder if I couldn't include something like them on a candle holder.  (I'll upload the pics of the original models later;)) With our birthday being just around the corner, I wanted to make her something really nice, but something practical, too.  Hence the candle holder.

The first design that came to mind was a fireplace.  A cat (the cat my sister used to own), stretched out in front of the fireplace, with a candle forming the fire in the hearth.  Making it was more difficult than I thought, but it was worth it!

I rolled out clay to make a base, some walls to keep the candle sand in (and also form the back of the fireplace), and the surround for the fireplace, and shaped some clay to make the cat figure.  I also strained my eyes to make some tiny decorations for the mantelpiece, like a vase and a photo frame, and made a small clock for the lower part of the chimney breast.  When it was dry, I hit upon another problem - how to keep the candle sand from spilling out through the front of the fireplace.  The answer came from an unusual source, but I'm glad it did!

My Dad is as craft-oriented as I am, although on a different scale.  00 scale, to be precise.  His interest is in model railways, and makes the majority of the scenery he uses around the tracks himself.  He gave me the idea of loosely mixing glue with the sand to make it solid - to give it a shape that looked like coal, built up in the fireplace.  He uses the same mixture to add ballast to his railway tracks.:)

So that's what I did.  I added a low base, and then built up the 'pile' around an empty tea light case.  I used a bit of plastic to keep the shape when I removed the spent candle, and when it dried, it was as if it had been moulded to the candle.  It was perfect!  All it needed next was paint.

And this is what the finished result looks like!





The pics were taken before I could varnish it, as I was a bit pressed for time, but I did varnish it before I gave it to my sister.  She loved it.:)

It's been a while - part two!

I've been a bit busy lately, and therefore haven't really been blogging at all, really.  Still, it's nice to post every once in a while, and share the things I've been making.

I've been working on a project for Christmas, as a gift for someone, so I'll be able to post that after Christmas - I don't want to give the surprise away!  Otherwise, I've been keeping myself busy with other crafty things, like Hallow'een decorations for my sister's workplace.  Who knew that by carefully cutting around the big bubbles on bubble wrap, you could make something like fake frogspawn - especially if you draw a dot on them with an indelible marker pen!  Using a pumpkin and bat template on black and orange crepe paper works well, too, as a paper chain of sorts.:)

Note to self - I must keep my blog updated more frequently!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photography - a new direction for me?

For a while now, I've been taking part in a photo competition on http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/, and last month I actually won one of the challenges.  I was so pleased!

The theme was personification, and the photos I entered seemed more like art and crafts rather than straight photography, but they seemed to go down well.  For one entry, I took some runner beans and put them in front of a blue and green background, made up to look like a road and rolling countryside, against a blue sky.  I gave them little arms and legs made of black paper, and set it up to look as though they were running - or chasing - each other.  Hence, runner beans.:)

The second was definitely more arty.  I wanted to try and make the personification of Autumn, which is also a variation of my online name on said forum, so I went out and collected a lot of leaves.  A lot of leaves, and in all colours, too.  I arranged them to form a face and hair, with every feature depicted in either leaves or seeds.

As the winner, I got to choose the next month's theme, so I picked the rather easy topic of red.  We'll have to see who wins that one, but I'm looking forward to seeing the other entries!

I haven't been totally idle - honest!

Looks like I haven't posted to my blog for a while!  In any case, I haven't been loafing - I've still been crafting away, and coming up with some nice things.

I've been working on a cat candle holder, as well as a couple of cat models that will sit on my keyboard.  I don't usually make things like that, but they worked out so well for the candle holder that I wanted to make a slightly bigger version.  I'll post pics of them when they're done.

I've also been making some more fridge magnets, although these are to be a surprise for someone.  Don't want to spoil the secret!

I've been knitting, too.  From a lovely, soft wool, I've knitted a throw, which I can use as a blanket.  Not bad for only £1 for 4 balls.  A very good bargain.

In terms of paper craft, I've made a lovely little display box, and I'll be working on some faux packaging for another secret project in a bit.  I just need to get the materials.

So I haven't been idle.  I just haven't blogged about it yet.;)

I promise I'll try and blog more!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A new commission!

My friend from SFFChronicles has asked me to make another candle holder for him - this time, a floral one, with white roses on it - for a friend.  I said I'd be delighted, so I'll be updating the progress here.:)

I made a start this afternoon, and I was surprised at how well things went.  So far, I've been able to make the dish and plate, the leaves, and the buds, in one go.  Now I just need to let them dry, and I can begin the rest - in this case, the petals for the roses, and then start smoothing everything down with sandpaper, paint them up, and varnish them.

I've never made one with white roses before, and I'm looking forward to it.:)

Here's what I've got so far:


It'll look a lot better once it's all shaped up and smoothed down, I promise!



Ok - it's just about finished.  I'm testing it at the moment, but here are the completed pics.  I went for a darker green on the leaves, to compliment the whiteness of the roses a bit more, but I can lighten them if you want.  If everything's ok, I'll get it in the post as soon as I can.:)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Still Crafting!

It's been a busy month, but I've still been crafting - I just haven't had the time to blog about it yet.  Since my last blogpost, I've made a lovely trinket pot from clay, in the shape of a chocolate box, started a knitting project to create a cushion cover from scratch (and make a cushion for it, too), and completed a LOT of folder art.  I'm still in the middle of one such project right now!  I've also been distracted by a couple of writing competitions on my home away from home, SFFChronicles.

I hope to get back to crafting in clay soon, and back to drawing/inking, too.  I'll be sure to add the pictures here, too!