Monday, November 18, 2013

Autumn Moves Swiftly...

And pretty soon, the winter holidays will be here!  Only a few weeks ago, our State Fair was ramping up and Halloween was quickly approaching!

Before starting my normal entries for the state fair, I had to finish up a request from a friend for a Witchy Cthulhu!  She had seen my versions at the PPD fair and asked if I could make her one.  I decided to go a bit further with this little fellow and not only give him a cauldron, but also a broom!

I entered five entries for the state fair.  With so many things going on, I entered pieces that I had made in the last few months, such as Easter Cthulhu, orca scrimshaw inspired magnet and my mini peacocks.  

I also wanted to enter the two egg has to be based on the theme of the state fair, the other is open to any style.

For the open category, I made another peacock, this time, sitting on a painted, hollowed egg that is intertwined with ivy.

The theme for this year was "Homecoming."  I thought on this idea for weeks...started a few projects and then quickly dismissed them.  I even went so far as cutting up an egg and baking, but I set it aside for a Military Homecoming Theme.

It is supposed to be representative of the tradition of tying a yellow ribbon "around the old oak tree."  I remember during the first Gulf War, how popular of a sign this was in many yards.

The only entry that won a ribbon was my mini peacock sculpture.  Not only did it win First Place in the Miniatures Division, but it also won Best in Show!!! I was so shocked and thrilled.

The State Fair is one of my favorite events in the fall.  It's a great time to get outside, enjoy the cool weather and see some wonderful exhibits.  We don't ride the rides nor do we eat much of the fair food, but we love to people watch and play horrible carnival games!  To be able to walk around and see so many talented artists and crafters is such a thrill.  I'm already making plans for next year's fair.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My First Show!

My first craft show was a couple of weeks ago at Central NC Pagan Pride Days  and it was a success!  It was also a huge learning experience! Thankfully, Yarn Twisters and I had completed a dry run of booth set-up, table arrangement, decorations, etc. about a month we were able to get everything up in about two hours on Friday evening.

On Saturday morning, we were up early (or myself, very late, running on less than three hours of sleep).  We had two hours to raise the tent, arrange everything we had left overnight, unpack our cars and get all of our items set up and arranged.  We took every bit of that time!  But, it came together very nicely!

And in perfect time, because we were very busy all day on Saturday!  We had so many visitors come through our booth and it was so wonderful to meet such sweet and wonderful people!

When we had a small break, I ran outside of the booth and sketched some tentacles on both of our display boards, highlighting our unique items!  I had Cthulhu sculptures, pendants and earrings to offer our customers, while Yarn Twisters had Cthulhu hats, dice bags and tarot/cell phone bags!  As you can tell, we created a "Cthulhu Alley" of tentacle goodness.

I had the right side of the booth to display my sculptures, magnets and jewelry on.  We also shared the rack in the back corner and mingled a bunch of items, including some of my larger sculptures and a friend's awesome bookmarks!

I missed out on grabbing an early picture before I sold two of my Cthulhus.  I also had a slideshow going on my tablet, showing previous work.

Notice the tentacle boxes, also created by me. ;)

We had inclement weather moving in, so Yarn Twisters and I had to scramble on Saturday afternoon when a brief shower moved through, protecting everything we had on display.  It cooled off nicely, though, and people lingered around after the rain passed through.  We did have to batten down the hatches on Saturday, since more storms were moving in that evening after the show.  Everything was packed into our vehicles, with the exception of the tent & tables.  I think we were all a bit apprehensive to what we would find upon our return on Sunday morning.

Thankfully, everything of ours still stood when we arrived on Sunday.  It didn't take us nearly as long to setup, since we knew where we wanted everything.  Having straw tossed down to help with any mud, it was amazing at how quickly it dried out and we had a gorgeous day!  It was cool, breezy and the sun was shining.  Surprisingly, there weren't as many visitors on Sunday, so I had time to work on some sculptures and pendants, finishing four of them before leaving that afternoon.

We had some great visitors on Sunday as the American Wildlife Refuge brought some feathery friends around to visit and educate the public.

Finally, I was informed that you haven't truly experienced Pagan Pride Day until you have consumed a Cthulhu Cake or Cake Pop.  Well, I couldn't resist bringing both home to share with my boyfriend, who was an amazing supporter through this entire journey. *heart*  

My parents were my biggest fans and I sent them pictures constantly from the craft fair!  Dad had given me the tropical fish clips that are holding down my tablecloth (there are also dolphins and orcas scattered around our tent, holding down essential items).  They worked better than any professional clips!  Mom was constantly listening to my ideas, concerns and offering constructive suggestions from her years of experience in craft fairs. Without my amazing support group, I would have never had the courage to attempt something like this. :)

Yarn Twisters and I have already reserved our booth space for next year.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

March of the Earrings

Here are some of the earrings that I finished over the weekend.

This first group includes a snazzy pair of pumpkins with green Swarovski crystals, two festival red holiday light bulbs and a dashing pair of golden witch's hats with fire opal Swarovski crystals to set them off.

This group has a pair of jet black raven feathers, hand sculpted and adorned with denim blue Swarovski crystals.  A pair of evil Cthulhu post earrings are next, along with a pair of dove feathers with blue undertones and light blue miniature Swarovski crystals.

A pair of gray earrings, featuring a heart sunburst in the center.  Two Death Star pendants sit in the middle, both featuring a tigereye polished bead.  The final piece is a pair of hair barrettes, featuring a rainforest tree frog sitting amongst colorful foliage.  The perfect accessory!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Busy Busy Busy!

Another weekend has finally come to a close and I have been frantically working on several projects, both for the Central NC Pagan Pride Days Festival, as well as for home and work!

One of the projects that I worked on this weekend was a large assortment of magnets.  I had a lot of fun creating these and will probably try my hand at a few more before the end of the week.

Butterflies, dragons and unicorns, oh my!

Celtic crosses

My pumpkin Cthulhu was also finished this weekend.  All he needs is a pumpkin chai latte and he would be the perfect fall accessory! 

Check back later this week to see more of my creations, specifically some earrings that I finished or you can follow me on Facebook to see more of my WIP (work-in-progress) pictures and sneak peeks at finished projects.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Double, double toil and trouble..

I have been working diligently on several projects, because I am getting ready for my first ever festival!  I would be more nervous, but I'm running around in circles so much, that I really have not had the time to worry about anything but my next project.

Speaking of, here are some of my finished pieces.

Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

These little witchy Cthulhus don't seem to be getting into any mischief, do they?  Nah, I didn't think so either...though, maybe I shouldn't leave them together to plot in the darkness of night.

The top fellow there, with the bubbling caldron and purple hat...will be donated as a raffle item at the Central North Carolina Pagan Pride Days Festival.  If you are in the area, come check out some of the amazing vendors and folks that will be participating at this weekend event!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Painting of All Types

I showed you one of my works in progress earlier this week.  Well, these peacocks have received their colors, like their larger cousins, now living in their new home with the happy couple married today!

That is not the only painting that I've been doing recently.  If you follow my Facebook page, you will see earlier today, I finished painting one of my displays for the upcoming craft fair.  What do you think?  A little while ago, I busted out laughing as I realized that I was looking at a very warped version of Hollywood Squares, featuring the multiple personalities of Cthulhu!

I need sleep. I realize this too.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mini Peacocks

Have I bored you enough with peacocks yet?  Well, that's too bad, because I have another peacock project to share with you.

Here are some mini peacocks that I made the other day. They were just baked tonight and will be painted tomorrow.  They can sit on the end of your finger!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The final touches...

And here, the peacocks begin getting their final touches...layering of paint to bring details to life.  The tails and back of the body were first...using a beautiful green-gold metallic paint to bring forward all of the detail work.

The front and heads were painted with a glorious sapphire blue, which I stole off of my boyfriend's miniatures work table.

I finished the details off with pearl white and a metallic black, enhancing the face along the way and adding definition.

The wings were painted white, then washed over with a thin metallic black to make the details really pop, while allowing the natural blue to shine through as well.

The final touch for the tails included placing Swarovski crystals in the eyespots of the final row of tail feathers.  This really added an extra dimension and I'll give credit where credit is was entirely my boyfriend's idea and suggestion.  He was right, it really gave the sculpture that extra pop of color.

Their large base was covered with clay, baked and then painted in a mixtures of browns, greens and taupe. This cannot be seen, but I know it is there and it added depth to the ballast, which was added next. Following the addition of the ballast was green moss and grass, carefully glued into place to create a natural scene for the peacocks to roost.

Here they are at the wedding shower. :)  They do not look as brilliant of a blue under the natural light, but I will share my friend's photo once more, which really captured the colors nicely.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Finally Looking Like Peacocks...

After getting the texturing in the tail feathers down and the basic shape of the wings and back feathers, the next day, I started the task of filling in all of the details.  Each tail took me a little over an hour to complete all of the feathering detail.  Thankfully, the bodies and wings did not take as long...I think I averaged about forty minutes per sculpture.

I really had fun creating these was tedious, but very rewarding as I saw an abstract design become more and more refined with each detail that was added.

Standing side-by-side, these peacocks are finally looking like they should.  If you've noticed, they were promoted to a bigger base.  The one I started with was about half this size and could not accommodate both birds and their gorgeous fan tails, so I had to find one that would work properly.  

A close-up of the wings and body detail.

The final step for these guys was to make their head feathers and bake them all together.  Here's a closeup of the head after baking.

Come back soon to see the painting that went into these fellows, along with the details in the base.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Peacocks Continue to Flourish...

When we last left off, the peacocks were just starting to plump up.  They had grown wings, a tail and were definitely starting to look more like birds and less like scarecrows.

I took nearly two weeks away from the peacocks, debating on what I would do next with them.  When I started to work on them some more, their tails developed nicely...well, except for the one on the left.

Oh, how I disliked that first tail.  I looked at the pictures again and again after I went to bed, nearly going back downstairs at 4am to work on it some more.  I forced myself to take a break from it, though...and tackle it again the next day.

This definitely worked to my advantage.  Had I gone with my first inclination, I might have redone the entire tail, but I figured out how to trim off the bottom layer and re-shape it to my liking.  Then, the real fun began!

Here, you can see the tail on the right has been textured with feather detail.  The one on the left, having been reshaped, is untextured, besides having the 'eyes' of the feathers put into place.

Both tails are now fully textured, as are the bodies of the peacocks, if you look closely.  If you do not look so closely, you will see my poor Cthulhus, lying painted and abandoned, ready to be given toys to play with. Soon, my little ones, soon.

In this image, (ignoring the glare of the Cthulhu), you can see the wing and body details that have started to develop on both birds.  Check back as these peacocks gain all of their feathers and their head feathers too!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Latest Project

For those of you following my Facebook page, you'll have seen the finished design of my latest project.

I created these peacocks for a friend's upcoming wedding.  Their colors are blue and green, with touches of peacock feathers used for decoration. I could not resist trying my hand at these colorful and elegant birds. My friend, Mike, also took a much better picture of the final product than I was able to, so I am borrowing his photo with his permission.  You should also check out his baking blog,  He has wonderful recipes!

But, these peacocks all started nearly a month ago now...when my muse, the perverted thing, came to me in the shower.  I was tossing ideas around, trying to figure out what to work on next and what would a nice sculpture be as a wedding gift.  Then these came to the first thing I did (after drying off, of course) was to rush downstairs and start working on the shapes.

Doesn't look like much, does it?  Armatures never really do...they just provide the skeleton to hold the clay together and provide it with strength and integrity.  I do have to admit, I was giggling maniacally while I was shaping the postures and heads.  (Forgive all of the photos that you will see over the next few days...they are WIP photos, thus not pretty and touched up). :)

The next day, the peacocks got their base coat of clay.  They look a bit better now, right?  Not so crane looking and more peacock-y.  

A couple of days later, they started to get even more definition.  Their tails grew, as did their wings and feet.

In the next post, I'll show you how frustrated I was at one of the peacock tails, as well as the detail work that began to include all of the feathers.  So, check back soon!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Work In Progress...

Despite a two day migraine, I managed to get a few things done late this afternoon and evening as the vertigo and pain subsided to a dull ache.  I wanted to share this pendant prototype of Cthulhu.

He is the second prototype that I have made so far.  After some final touches, he will be given a test run. He's very solid, but anytime I make jewelry, I like to test it out and make sure that the design is successful.