Tiny Dryad Terrarium In Progress

I just posted on my new blog an in progress progression of this project. If you follow this blog, I invite you to pop on over to my new one and you can see on the right a place to follow my new blog. My wordpress served me well, but I have been on a quest to house my shop, blog, and website all under one roof!

http://www.elvenelysium.com/blog/december-29th-2014

tinyDryad

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Just a few days left to sprout wings and

Just a few days left to sprout wings and fly away…. http://ow.ly/i/7WEJq

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Free Fairy Wing Earrings Tutorial on my website blog

This blog will be fully migrated to my website 3/15.

Here is the tutorial:  Fairy Wing Earrings

EarwingsAd

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Blog Moving! and Free Kokeshi Doll Tutorial

HeaderI hope you will follow me over to my new virtual space. I’ll post to this blog but only to redirect to new posts on my home blog that I am self-hosting on my newly revamped website!

NEW BLOG HERE

I have some fun new things popping up over there! A FREE polymer clay kokeshi doll tutorial went up today!

Here is the tutorial

Categories: Harebrained Schemes and Useless Information, Tutorials | Leave a comment

Pixie Lantern Links to Sparkly Splendor!

A huge slobbery goblin thank you to all of the enthusiastic class members in my Light Up Pixie Lantern Class at FaerieCon.  You endured the scheduling dance with a stiff upper lip.  The resulting hyjinx and creativity of your lanterns was a wonder to behold.  It really was too bad we could not all depart for the Grey Havens in a solemn elvish procession together!  Maybe next year I’ll make that a required part of the class.

Regardless, to kick your creativity and the glitter factor into high gear, here are some ideas of different products you can use to make your lanterns be shiny enough to rival the grand disco ball of the Faerie Queen herself!

FANTASY FILM

Not only is it used by the fae to give their wings that iridescent pop, it shrinks around the glass lantern a LOT better than the usual more pedestrian varieties of shiny stuff from your favorite big box craft store.  It is made by Art Institute Glitter and you can find it here:  http://www.artglitter.com/retail/fantasyfilm.htm  

FANTASY FIBER

And if the pearly shine of this wasn’t enough, you can add layers of Fantasy fiber to your fantasy film!  This stuff is great, it fuses to the fantasy film, you can make some funky sheets of organic looking shimmering fabric.  http://www.artglitter.com/retail/fantasyfiber.htm

GLASS PAINT

Glass paints are a wonderful way to create some faux stained glass effects on your lanterns.  You don’t have to cure it with heat if you don’t want to.  Several days of drying time is all you’d need to “cure” it.  http://www.plaidonline.com/martha-stewart-glass/brand/detail.htm

So there you have it, a heap of fun ways to add some further dimensions to your Pixie Lanterns!  Stay tuned for a step by step tutorial on the Pixie Lantern project for those who were not able to go to FaerieCon!PixieLantern

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Writing My First DIY Polymer Clay Book

I was probably a little too excited last night when I finished the sculpting on the Bloduewedd trinket box. It is the third and final project in my first crafting book. This is the part of this process I am familiar with, the sculpting part. This evening when I return from my day job I’ll begin a process I am less familiar with. Actually writing a long craft book.

Three DIY Polymer Clay Projects you can make in my step by step book.  Out soon!

Three DIY Polymer Clay Projects you can make in my step by step book. Out soon!

I have written some smaller tutorials before, sure. But never a print and e-book sold by retailers. It feels like standing t the base of a really huge mountain looking up. All that trudging up an incline, cold snow, and clouds mean I can’t even see the top. This is when it becomes easier to sink down into the comfy couch and watch re-run after re-run. Don’t I have all the Walking Dead series to watch? It always seems easier than facing the anxiety that always comes with stepping into the unknown.

The enormity of the writing and formatting along with the Doubt Monster shouting that the project will be an utter waste of time is the gravitational force dragging my butt to the couch. I have a ready made excuse! I’m tired after a day of work, cooking dinner, cleaning. I’ve got no energy to trudge up a mountain, fighting a monster, for no good reason!

And so I have my workstation set up, ready to plop down and just start writing when I get home. Maybe that will add some energy so I can generate the escape velocity necessary to keep my butt off the couch.

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Make Your Own Polymer Clay Tools

When I first started sculpting, like most of you, I bought the $7 tool kit from the big box craft store. You know the one. It has a bunch of wooden tools, a couple metal bits, and a cheese cutter thingy. Those dreadful cheap tools made my sculpting learning curve nearly a flat line. Every time I tried to use the tools to smooth clay or blend two pieces together I got tears and even more areas to smooth. It was so frustrating I nearly quit.

I finally bought the detailing tool set from Sculpture House, but at $30 plus shipping it is not accessible for everyone. The Sculpture House Set blends like a dream. That tool set is made from much pricier hard wood which is highly polished. I have been using the same set for over 10 years.

I have the cheaper tools for students, but I improved upon them. With just a few dollars you can make those cheap tools actually work much better.

Make this cheap paddle tool useful with this quick tip!

Make this cheap paddle tool useful with this quick tip!

Using either Magic Glos UV resin or any 2 part resin, you can fix your tool! It will smooth clay much better than it did before. They sell the Magic Glos at Michael’s, and with your 40% off coupon you can get it for less than $5. You can use a ball of junk clay to hold the tool up while the resin sets. Just put the non-varnished end into the clay.

Happy sculpting!

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Upcoming Class Alert! Fairy Crow!

Polymer Clay Sculpting Class March 23, Palm, PA

Polymer Clay Sculpting Class March 23, Palm, PA

Want to have a fun and relaxing day learning new things with a group of wonderful people? You will just love this Fairy Crow sculpting class! You will explore your creativity by making this lovely fairy crow trinket box. The best part is that the box is an up-cycled Altoids tin! You will learn how to turn an everyday object into a wonderful little jewelry box. Extend the technique to old glass bottles, jars, and whatever else you can dream up.

Through the use of polymer clay and other media you will explore your creative side in a stress free exploratory style. This project is great for seasoned polymer clay sculptors or first timers. I will take you step by step through the project so that you will never be intimidated by the process. You will leave with a stunning box for all your treasures. And I’ll bet you’ll start eating a ton of Altoids. Not because they are curiously strong, but because the little tin is curiously versatile!

Walking Winds Website Click here.

Register at Walking Winds by sending a check to:
Walking Winds Holistic Center
1962 Tollgate RD.
Palm, PA 18070
No Refunds – See Our Policy

For book reviews, free exclusive tutorials, discounts, and artists reviews my mailing list is a hoot and a holler! Click here to join!

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Overcoming the Winter Blues and Creative Block.

Saturday January 11, 2014 1:24 PM

I am stuck. Stuck, stuck, stickedy stuck. Back in November I sculpted my heart out creating my initial and winter collections of my Will O’ Wisp light up necklaces. Just now I don’t want to make another one. I have been editing and laying out photos for my tutorial book and the thought of sitting in front of this computer clickety-clacking away makes me want to poke out my own eyes. And yet here I sit typing a blog entry probably procrastinating. It will be my fourth trip upstairs to stare uselessly at my art supplies for today alone, and I cant count the trips to the bookshelves leafing through volume after volume of picture book trying to think of something to do. I really feel like I am pacing in a cage!

I seem to be cornered into taking my own advice. I give it to clients all the time. “Don’t just sit there ruminating and pining away deciding what to do, take the Nike approach and ‘Just Do It'”. So here we go! Just for kicks and giggles, I dug down to the depths of that craft junk drawer we all have. You know the one. That bottom one where you chuck bits from projects that you weren’t sure what to do with, but that also weren’t trash. My hand came out with a very interesting coating of various colors of glitter, brown velvet flocking, and green faux moss, but I chose these three bits of wayward stuff. Just as soon as I wash my hands I’ll figure out what to do with the stuff.

From the depths of the art junk drawer.....

From the depths of the art junk drawer…..

So we have this collection of stuff. Maybe you have similar stuff and can use this as a sort of mini-tutorial. I am going to grab a bite and some clays and see what I can come up with.

Saturday January 11, 2014 3:01 PM

I decided I wanted to do a take on those beautiful framed pieces of miniature art my painter friends create. You know the ones with a filigree frame, a tiny 2 in by 3 inch painting with a glass cab glued over it. I’m no painter, but why not adapt the idea to a sculptural piece.

With some polymer clay and epoxy clay we have a start!

With some polymer clay and epoxy clay we have a start!

So it got complex already. I can never stick with simple….BORING! I have a polymer clay backing on there which I hope looks a bit like a daytime sky. Then I have used a 2 part epoxy clay to create a sort of shelf along the bottom of the metal frame piece. I used a needle tool and a ball stylus to create a woody texture, though really I thing it will be most entirely covered with polymer anyway.

Epoxy takes some time to set up so I need 2 hours rest before I can get back to work. I am going to go watch My Neighbor Totoro because it is raining and I haven’t seen it since 1991.

January 11, 2014 8:50 PM

Got down to the fun part! Creating a branch frame, sculpting mushrooms and tiny stumps. It goes in the oven now and will be painted and turned into a necklace in them morning. I think it is turning out well considering all the time I spent staring at craft materials this week!

WIndy branches and mini-mushrooms were a good way to spend the day!

WIndy branches and mini-mushrooms were a good way to spend the day!

Sunday January 12, 2014 1:38 PM.

After tinting areas with Pearl-ex, curing, the piece and letting it cool, I am ready to paint. Painting is simple. I use a dark black brown, and apply a wash. Basically mix 3 parts water to 1 part paint. Brush over a small area. The watery paint seeps into all the low spots in that detail you sculpted. with a bit of paper towel gently brush across the high spots leaving the paint only in the cracks and crannies. Let it dry and it really pops out the detail.

After baking the little scene, a bit of paint and glitter really makes it pop!

After baking the little scene, a bit of paint and glitter really makes it pop!

I used some bright green to dab on some more moss highlights along the epoxy. I painted over that in a nice brown. Then I added some white dots to make my little shrooms look like the Fly Agaric. The best part though is the glitter! I used a clear water based glaze, brushed that where I wanted glitter and sprinkled some glitter. Just a bit, didn’t want to end up with a woodsy disco ball.

Here it is all done. It had the desired effect. I have 4 more of those big metal filigree things, I can build on the 3-D mini scene idea and see where else it goes….

Tiny snail shells, mushrooms, and winding branches.  Boredom beaters every time!

Tiny snail shells, mushrooms, and winding branches. Boredom beaters every time!

Foresty.jpg

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Will O’ Wisp Lighted Crystal Necklaces

I never really stopped loving things that light up. It is a bit whimsical wearing something that glows in the dark. There is also something poetic about a point of light in a darkened room. For a long time I tried to find lighted jewelry that was beautiful and not a cheezy plastic thing that looks like you just went to the carnival. My search was fruitless and I began to look for ways to make my own. I tried many materials off and on for a couple of years. But I finally found the right mix of craft supplies to create beautiful pieces that combine sculpture, natural stone, and light!

Will O' Wisp Lighted Crystal (c) (tm)

Will O’ Wisp Lighted Crystal (c) ™

The story of the Will O’ Wisp was always a favorite of mine. I Hope that as you wear a Will O’ Wisp you’ll be drawn into mystery and transformation….or attract just what you need by your fantastic glow.

Will O'Wisp Lighted Crystal (c) (tm)

Will O’Wisp Lighted Crystal (c) ™

THE STORY OF THE WILL O’ WISP

Imagine it is 200 years ago in Ireland. You find yourself miles from home as the sun goes down. There are none of the ever present city lights that could guide you safely from the wild night landscape into the safe company of others. Even as it begins to pound faster and faster, your heart feels like it is clenched in a vice when you realize you are utterly and completely lost. Just as the last drops of hope drip from your mind a ting glowing light appears in front of you. A tiny point of comforting light in the thick darkness. Maybe it is a farmer with a lantern! You call out and are met with silence. The light begins to move off ahead of you. You call out again for the farmer to stop. No answer, and it continues to move further and further from you. Your mind races with possibility, is he just too far away to hear? What if I am seeing things. All the while that tiny sliver of radiant hope slips further and further from you. Fearing the dark you reluctantly begin to follow the light. With each step the grass crunches under your feet. The crunch-crunch of your step keeping time like a clock. With each passing second you recall more stories you heard in pubs and around campfires of the Good Neighbors who would sometimes rescue travelers by leading them home or to great riches. Crunch-crunch, and you recall other stories of the dreaded Puca carrying the Faerie Fire in his hand, leading those who are lost off cliffs and into bogs. Are you being led to safety? Riches? Death? Here in the pitch black countryside you can’t tell, you know only that great transformation in your life comes as you follow that tiny glow in the blackness of night.

WILL O’ WISP WINTER COLLECTION AVAILABLE ONLY THROUGH JANUARY 12, 2014

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