Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Tentacles Multiply

 As you saw in my last post, I started playing around with tentacles.  Of course, these squirmy extensions have to be attached to something.

My first idea was to build a base that would hold a vase or glass orb, with the tentacles reaching up and grasping it, pulling it down towards the base, which would be sculpted as a cephalopod's beak.  Sorry for the photos, these were work in progress pictures I quickly snapped for some friends with my phone camera, of all things.

The more I worked with the clay and the design, the more I realized that this might not work out for this project.  There are several reasons: I am attempting to use Super Sculpey for the first time to test it's integrity and strength in this type of a sculpture.  That being said, this nude/translucent color is not going to remain for this project.  I plan to paint the sculpture multiple times and really get some detail into the tentacles and suckers. That cannot happen with a vase in place.  The vase would need to be baked with the sculpture, then very meticulously painted around, if at all. 

Another issue is that SS gets very soft the longer you work with it.  My tentacles kept falling down or bending in directions that I did not want, despite the armature supports.  So, the vase did play an important role, holding the sculpture in place while I worked with it in stages.  This issue was quickly resolved when I baked it.

Check back to see it baked and painted!  And see what my next plans for this piece will be...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sneak Peek

So, I have been working on this project for the past couple of months.  It has evolved multiple times already and I still have not decided completely what direction it is going in.  

In the meantime, I will be posting status pictures as I work on this project..tonight: tentacles!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Shopping Trip!

So, I got one of those daily deal emails, offering $40 dollars of supplies at Jerry's Artarama, for only $19.  After much deliberation, I decided that it was a great deal and that it would be worth it.

I love Jerry's.  It's the only local place that I have been able to find large blocks of Premo, along with my very favorite mica powders.  They just expanded their collection of colors recently too, so I never know what I'm going to find when I go into the store!

On this trip, my boyfriend and I decided to split the cost of the daily deal. Out of pocket, we ended up spending only $22 total for the above items. 

I, of course, grabbed the 1lb block of white Premo clay.  I also was able to pickup some brand new Pearl-Ex mica powders.  I cannot wait to try these out, so please stay tuned for new pieces coming soon!

 My boyfriend paints miniatures, so he was able to pick up these beautiful liquid acrylics. (Shh, don't tell him, but I'm going to be snatching a bottle of this for one of my upcoming projects to see how it works) ;)

On the day we went, Jerry's was also running a 20% off on all of their open brushes and paints, so he was able to pick up the above brushes too.  He is very rough with his brushes, so it was a great deal for some really nice ones.

I'm always on the hunt for a good deal.  Locally, Jerry's has fabulous prices and the quality/variety of their products are amazing.  When a daily deal is thrown in, it was definitely the deal of this week!

Monday, February 20, 2012

He needs a name!

So, you saw one of my latest crabs in yesterday's post.  He doesn't have a name yet...but he has turned out very nicely.  I love working with natural shells and even when I'm sculpting a crab, often, he tells me what shell he prefers, rather than me choosing it for him. 

I love seeing the personality that comes out of these little guys when I work with them...this little guy will be ready for his forever home soon!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Verilux Lamp

Over the past several weeks, I have been battling my allergies.  At this point, I am on my second antibiotic, steroids and have been put on an inhaler.  If it gets worse, I'll be going in for asthma testing soon.

Obviously, this has not left me a lot of time to create, but I have picked up some neat items over the past week for some great deals.  I wanted to share some with you, along with some of the projects I have been working on for the past couple of months.

My find of the week: I actually came across last weekend at a shop called Tuesday Morning.  If you do not know of it, Tuesday Morning has fabulous deals on everything from linens, home decor, kitchen items, kids toys to even craft supplies.  While I was browsing through a brand new one that opened up a couple of miles away (this is very dangerous for me), my mom called me.  I told her where I was and she immediately was directing me to go to the craft area to look for a Verilux lamp.  I had bragged on her Verilux (also from Tuesday Morning) while home over Christmas that she uses to crochet beautiful purses and scarves.  She insisted that if I found one for a good price, it was going to be a gift.

Sure enough, I finally found a couple of boxes. The version that I picked up is the Original Full Spectrum Floor Lamp

At Tuesday Morning, the price was $49.99!  A great steal!  The only thing missing from my lamp, and I'm not sure if it was supposed to be with the box or not, is the diffuser that goes over the light bulb.  I haven't missed it a great deal and will probably pick it up separately from Verilux.  The other awesome thing about this lamp is you can buy some accessories for the stand, including a table and a stretchable magnifier for those detailed projects.

Okay, so it's a lamp, you are saying.  What's the big deal?  I have a hand held natural light that I got for on a great sale at a craft store last year. It's been nice for illuminating my work, but it has a clip on's impossible to position and my photos still don't pop with that device.  It also throws off a horrible glare that makes it hard for me to work long term with it.

This is one of my latest hermit crabs that I've been working on.  The two pictures on the left were taken with my portable natural light, balanced precariously above the subject.  The two pictures on the right are with the new Verilux lamp.  I am hoping this is going to improve my pictures a great deal, especially if I set up some reflectors around the edges.  These photos are not altered in any way, except for being grouped together in Picasa 3.

The Verilux, obviously being a floor lamp, is much easier to position, it doesn't throw so much glare to disturb other people in the room when I am working.  We can still watch television or work on a computer without it distracting us.  Also, it shows Amazing colors!  I can flip it on and instantly see where I need to make repairs or find out how a color combination is really going to look under natural light.

A picture of some daffodils I rescued before the freezing rain tonight, taken under the new lamp!

And finally, my mom did warn me that the cats love the Verilux lamp.  Bedlam proved this within a few minutes of me turning it on, he was sunning himself under it.