Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve, and a swap package.

Okay so it's almost the new year but I'd like to post some photos of things I've worked on during the holidays. I just decided to start early while I had the motivation time. This will be a photo heavy post.

This is the package I sent for the Yule swap over at Craftster. The main item is a Moon Goddess shrine. When I asked how my partner how she envisioned the goddess she said as a moon goddess so I kinda ran with that theme.

The background is old book pages over a box built from thin wood and watercolor paper for the sides (so as not to ripple when many layers of paint were added). I then used acrylic paints to build up the background color. The moon is from a science book from the 1960s and the goddess is a vintage image I found online. I printed her out in black and white and painted her with watered down acrylics and glitter paint. The pressed flowers in the background are from my yard (periwinkle and silver maple). The stars in the background are iridescent sequins with paint in the center.

I also made a Pagan rosary. Instead of using a charm for the end I decided to use a small glass vial instead. You can put a small gemstone or even herbs within it. I attached that pretty little topper to the plain cork myself to jazz it up. I originally attached a small bail to the cork on the vial but I didn't want the cork to pop out if she chose to wear it, so I had to devise something pretty but appropriate to hold the vial. I wrapped a thin piece of jewelry wire around the small neck of the vial and created two loops to attach jump rings and therefore the silver chain. Ta-da.

There are 9 beads around the actual circumference of the necklace, 9 being a sacred number to the Goddess. There are three spiral beads surrounded by marcasite, each spiral representing the three aspects of the Goddess (maid, mother, crone). Along the hanging part above the vial is one spiral bead, several marcasite beads and 4 small glass seed beads representing the elements. Each of the colored glass beads represents her children and one for herself.

I hand carved a pine box so she could store her tarot cards in. It's painted with acrylics. I lined the inside with purple felt and the inside of the top with another vintage book page.

This is a Yule ornament I made using one of those blank glass ornaments. The little goddess is carved out of wood. The gold spiral is painted on the inside. I won't even tell you how hard that was.

Here's a few goodies I included with the package. A few drawstring bags and incense and gemstones.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

I'm too busy right now to keep up here, so I'll start blogging again in the new year when I'll have time to post all my holiday projects and gifts. Stay safe, everyone! See you in 2009.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Women's health, My beautiful Cervix

If you ladies out there have not visited My Beautiful Cervix yet, you really should. It chronicles a 25 year old student midwife and the changes in her cervix during her cycle through photography; one photo for each day of her cycle. Having never seen my cervix, this website was wonderful, empowering, and informative. And incredibly interesting. I love learning how different parts work and look and this site is right up my alley. Also being the daughter of a very healthy nurse makes me appreciate this website and the impact is has for women's health and fertility awareness.

Take a minute. Take a look.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Brain fuzz ground fluff

Snapped a quick blurry picture of some left over snow on the deck. It was the first snow of the season. You can see a small paw print in the upper left from my sister's Chihuahua. I'm mad at it right now since it barked from 8:30 this morning until 3pm at nothing. Or it could have very well been barking at ghosts. Either way it was difficult to ignore and has left me slightly cranky.

As you can see I changed the layout of the blog. It's marking the transition of the Holly Kings reign into the Oak Kings reign. I'm literally going cross eyed from sitting in front of the computer for so many consecutive days. Still chugging away at my holiday crafts and I really wish I could get a break. You should see my apron. It's covered in paint and three types of glue. I've also hit a creative block. It usually doesn't take me any time at all to redo a web layout but it took me 2 days. My brain is tapped out. My brain needs a break. Can't even type a cohesive entry. What are you doing to fight the crafting block blues?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Mini shrine, The Gloaming of the Forest Floor

So this is my new deal. Wanted to try something new but didn't want to buy anything new since money is tight. I recently gutted a few old books from the 60's while making stash book boxes and wanted to use the pages for something fun. Anyway, I call this one The Gloaming of the Forest Floor. The little lady is supposed to be a dryad or a little woodsy person with roots for feet. I know they look like tentacles :D. I wish I had a camera that could pick up all the details.

I cranked this out last night in about 3 hours or so. They go quickly when you get inspired.
I built the box out of a small piece of wood for the back and watercolor paper for the sides since I would be adding lots of paint and glue I didn't want it to ripple or warp. The box is 5.5in x 3.75in and .75in deep. I then built up the insides with ripped book pages. I added acrylic paint in many layers and then pasted on pressed leaves from my backyard (dandelion, silver maple, clover). Then I added all the dimensional parts like the moss and the trees. The tree leaves are leaves from black fake flowers. I cut and shaped a few of them. The little lady is a vintage photo I printed out and pasted on card stock. I then used thin acrylic paint to color her.

Holly King scarf

So here is my finished scarf. Worked on it maniacally while watching movies at the boyfriend's house a few days ago. I call it the Holly King scarf because of the colors and the season. I used 2 worsted weight yarns, Lambs Pride (85% wool 15% mohair) in Aubergene and some Peruvian brand called Chaco (100% Virgin wool) that I got at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival several years ago. This scarf is soft and squishy and feels great. What do you think? (ignore hair and face please, it's been a long day)

It feels good to have finally finished something while all these half finished projects lay in pieces around me. My room is a disaster because of all the craft supplies. I could make a nest with them. I have been trying to put away and organize things as I go, but it's been tough with all the different projects I've been working on. Yesterday I managed to fold a bunch of fabric and organize it by color, hang up clothes and sort out all the dresses and skirts I need to hem and alter once my machine gets out of the shop (hopefully by next Thursday), and organize some beads and ephemera. I still need to go and buy more of those plastic bead cases and some boxes for scrapbook papers but my car is also in the shop until at least next week. So I'm stranded at home with my crafts. They're holding me hostage. Save meee!!!

Last week I also took a quick sewing gig making a few children's capes for a local dinner theater's winter production of A Christmas Carol. One of my friends is an actor and they had a costumer quit suddenly on them so he called and asked if I'd break out the sewing machine. I had to use my backup which I nearly ended up destroying out of anger. They also gave me a pattern with missing pieces so I had to improvise. It didn't earn me anywhere near the amount I expected, but it was money none the less. It will at least pay for shipping for my holiday stuff.

Once I finish all these projects I might start gearing up to do some more swapping and maybe an Etsy shop?? I know, I'm dreaming, but it would be nice since I have so many supplies already. The better question would be is it worth it or would people buy my stuff. I can't wait to show you some of the stuff I've been making but I don't want to ruin any surprises for my swap partner :). I've been getting into collage stuff lately which is super fun. Ya know, shrines and all that. It's a hoot.

Okay, enough talking, back to the grind.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter crafts.

I'm back from my Thanksgiving getaway. It was enjoyable but stressful and tense. One member of my extended family is less than good and a terrible host who goes out of their way to make my family and I feel unwanted and uncomfortable. Beyond that I ate great food and spent time with my Yaya who is a wonderful and caring woman and a hoot to talk to. But after a few days being on a different schedule and doing lots of family things I feel the need to relax and chill for another week! Heh, I wish. I have a 9am Drawing class that I need to be bright and chipper for. I also never said what I was thankful for so I suppose I should say. Mostly, I'm thankful for my friends, my great family, and my boyfriend who loves me more than he probably should. Also the friends I've made on here who keep me wanting to craft every day. I'm also thankful for sleep which I am looking forward to my own soft bed after sleeping on a blow up mattress for several nights.

On a separate and slightly scatterbrained moment, I also quit smoking. It's been close to a month and I've been doing well with it although sometimes I get antsy for the slight escape of a cigarette. Most of my friends smoke but thankfully my boyfriend does not and never has smoked so at least I can feel good being smoke free around him. I smoked for 8 years so I figure it's a good change. I can smell things much better now and I don't smell like smoke all the time and use less perfume. And I save money!! Which is truly wonderful.

Been working on a few things craft wise, including a scarf I've been knitting for myself for what seems like ages now and several Yule ornaments. Whenever I knit anything for myself it takes forever because I feel no sense of urgency like I would if I was crafting for someone else. I also started a new miniature, a 1:12 scale enchanted garden. It will be the craft I work on between other crafts if I ever get any time. I just redid my seasonal altar this evening so I'll have to take pictures of that. I used some holly I gathered from the large 25 foot holly tree in my Yaya's side yard which is included in the picture above. I also am involved in a Yule card swap so I'm working on those too plus the rest of the Yule craft swap stuff. I need to get the sewing machine up and working again so I can stitch up a few more dresses that are more winter appropriate (my tush is freezing in the thin dresses I've been wearing!!) plus sew a few things for the Yule swap. It's getting stressful to say the least but I'm glad to be kept busy.

How are you handling your holiday craft crunch??

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey and such

Quick post: For those in the USA celebrating Thanksgiving, have a safe and wonderful holiday. For the international, be safe and wonderful anyway! I'll be off stuffing my face full of tasty Greek food.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Interior witchy "craft" area miniature

I didn't post this originally but I finished it in the early to middle of October. Working on some other miniatures right now and just thought I'd share this older one with you.

I was inspired to start work on the interior of the space with my other miniature potion shop door as inspiration. I really wanted to stay with the natural feel of things and keep it looking rustic so I utilized as many natural materials as possible, keeping the construction of the furniture to found twigs (mostly Pine and Silver Maple found on the ground). The first interior piece I created was a large witch's workbench with ample shelving above it for bottles and herbs and plants. This is a space I would die for! There's tons of room for crafty spell working and storage. What a clever and small witch must live here. I also added some more whimsical potion ingredients in there, such as "Moondust", "Golden Sunshine", "Mermaid's breath", "Worms" and "Dragon's blood"....

Everything is sculpted using polymer clay and the only premade miniatures were the glass bottles. I guess I didn't make the beads either, but I glued them together with suuuuch finesse :P . The beads are a mix of glass, shell, and plastic. I made more things for this setup such as a small grimoire but I didn't want it to be too crazy, plus I can use them for other miniatures. Also, I'm terribly exhausted. If I miss anything, let me know! Apologies for the lackluster photos.

Starting from the left side of the crafty work space... There is a small broom made with raffia and a Silver Maple twig wrapped with black wire. The shelf below holds a pitcher and two copper pots, one containing a ladle and the other a wooden spoon. A small handwoven basket made from scrapbook paper filled with small eggs sits on the upper shelf. There are several real candles in the picture, hand dipped by me, as well as some potted plants. The top left plant is pieces yanked from silk flowers, then to the right of that is actual Rosemary in the small pot, and to the right of that is Lavender. The rest of the plants are silk. There's also small muslin bags full of herbs as well. And a dinky seashell. There's a basket filled with mushrooms and another filled with bones.

In the center... There are more bottles filled with oils and herbs and other goodies. You also get a better view of the basket of mushrooms and bowl of bones. On this little witches desk space there is a mortar and pestle filled with Lavender flowers. The copper colored bowl is filled with Frankinsense resin, the bowl above it with the more brown herb is filled with Witch Hazel. The red contents of the bowl next to it is Red Sandalwood and the small bowl below it is filled with Spearmint. There's an open bottle of "golden sunshine" and more mushrooms as well as a candlestick. You can also see the bitsy skull in these pictures.
Oh! I nearly forgot about her little teacup! I imagine it's filled with Jasmine tea being that I'm quite partial to it myself ;)

And the far right... top shelf bottles are Lavender and "Dragon's Blood" as well as a grassy type plant. The second shelf has "Moondust", three lovely jars filled with assorted things, and a glass bottle filled with "Mermaid's Breath". There is also a crystal ball and another lovely green bottle.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sewing machine mayhem

My sewing machine just crapped out. I'm really frustrated about it! I think it needs oil but I have none. It's a problem with the upper mechanism that I can't seem to figure out. I do have two sewing machines but the working one has a tension issue that I've never been able to fix. This means my projects are going to take twice as long now. Sigh. It's been a bad a day all around.

I think I'm just going to work on some miniatures until I work up the energy to begin sewing again with the crappy machine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Concept art, or what I do sometimes for money

So this is what I do to make money. At least right now. I thought I'd share one of the concept sketches I did for a project I was involved in. See? I also do normal art. I've done tattoo design, children's book illustrations, color work and line art. In my heart I suppose I'm an illustrator but really I just adore the creation of the character no matter the medium. I create characters constantly, make little costumes and stories, and think deeply how a character acts and behaves. Sometimes doing concept art for other people is a little daunting and difficult to chug through since there can be restrictions put on the product.

Don't really know why I felt like sharing, I just did. In a crummy mood but needed to do a post. Heh.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Apothecary Label

So I got my partner for the swap I'm involved in over at Then I realized that when I need to send things in plastic bags, I wanted a label to go on top of them. Using some wonderful vintage graphics from The Graphics Fairy(check that website out!! I was drooling over all the images) and various fonts from Dafont I Photoshopped together a 3.5 inch wide label for small plastic bags.

I was definitely going for a vintage apothecary label sort of look. I plan on writing in the item on the line using my ink and quill pen so that way I can just print out a whole page of these blank labels to save paper. I suppose these would come in handy if I ever decide to open a shop... hah!

Other than that I've decided to start wearing skirts and dresses more often. Before I would wear a pair of torn up jeans and an old band t-shirt with a smart looking cardigan. I always buy clothing at the thrift store and make something frilly and girly and never end up wearing it. I've decided to start, it's a waste otherwise. For the past 3 days I've worn 2 dresses and a skirt and I don't plan on stopping. I even picked up a vintage sleeveless plaid dress at the thrift store today. It needs to be taken in, but I'm excited about it.

You are The Magician

Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.

Eleoquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing,
you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.

The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Also, don't steal the label. Or I'll hex you!! :)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Antiquita, dust fae

So here is my new little lady. I was definitely inspired by my Halloween costume since I was cleaning up most of the little white bits of lace and such yesterday. I absolutely adore her little face. I named her Antiquita (an-ti-kwi-tuh) because I imagine her playing in the dust around old books and dusty china. Her hair is yarn that I unraveled in two colors, a dusty pink and a white with iridescent bits in it. To make her hair have so much volume, I glued some polyfill to her head first and then bunched the yarn around it. Her little face is hand painted and I was going for more of a kabuki type look here so she's not so Froud-y.
Her outfit is made of vintage and scrap lace, tulle, and fake flowers. I wanted to incorporate more of a nature feel into this one which is why there are so many layers to her little skirt. I do need to find a less clunky way of doing shoes, though because these look like paper sacks tied to her feet, haha.

New Layout

I'm sick again and I felt restless today so I did a new banner and background for the the blog. Wanted to do a colder sort of layout for the approaching dark months. Also I organized the cabinet under my bathroom sink, shuffled some things around on my work desk to give me more space to craft, and organized some of the fabric and ribbon scraps I had lying around from my Halloween costume. Seeing all the white and antique-y lace lying around inspired me to craft another little fairy doll. All I have to do is put wings on her but this WIP picture shows her naked and headless. Slightly horrifying, eh?

I should finish her and post pictures tomorrow while it's still light outside. I never end up getting out there while the sun is still out and it's changing my mood. Plus I keep getting sick which always destroys the energy I have to do anything. Oh well. Tomorrow, then.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Witch hazel doll finished

I finished up that doll I was working on. I decided to name her Witch Hazel since I always associate it with little warm creatures like this. I made her wings from some craft wire and tulle and I'm totally doing it differently next time because they were such a pain! I gave her shoes from felt as well. I really want to make more of these and even my mother was excited about them. Like I said before she was made from scrap fabric and lace. Her body is made from floral wire covered in felt. Her face is hand painted and her hair is made from unraveled yarn. Her little pentacle pendant was made using a jewelry closure and some jewelry wire. It was so overcast today I was surprised I could take photos at all. It's been raining the past few days so I had been waiting to go outside and photograph this little lady. I think my favorite part is her head. I love her crazy hair and sly little face, you know she's probably scheming about something by just looking at her :)

I know I made her a pentacle but what I find funny is I rarely wear one myself. I do own several pentacle pendants, a pewter one and a copper one, but I don't really identify with them as much as I suppose other witches do. I respect the symbol greatly and use it when need it, but I don't really like to wear it. I prefer Celtic knots, the Witch's Sign or the elemental Earth symbol or any jewelry with leaves or elegant flowers I find really symbolic to me. I know, it's a little strange, but I follow my feelings and instincts when it comes to symbols.

Other than crafting little fairy friends I'm very excited because I'm signing up for my first craft swap!! I'm too excited about it. It's a Witch/Wiccan/Pagan swap that should be sent out before Yule. I've already started gathering items and poking through my stash to figure out what I have and what I need to get and this is even before I've got my partner assigned to me. Haha, I'm such a sucker for crafting :)

I also can't believe Yule is fast approaching. I would love to make all the gifts I give but not all my friends are so receptive to crafting. But the ones that matter appreciate it I guess. Worse comes to worse if they don't like what I make I can keep it for myself :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

More Oils and clothing rant

Yesterday I decided to strain and bottle one of the oils I had made. It was the "earthy feminine" one and I was head over heels excited. I did end up putting too much clove in it so that scent is the most powerful but it still smells nice and would be great for a winter scent. I don't like to make my oils in too large of a batch since they keep better otherwise. If I sold the oils then maybe, but until then I like the small batches. Also I know I should keep oils in amber bottles, but I ran out! I have to order more but until then this will be fine since I keep my oils in a dark box. The labels are just sticky labels that I write on using my quill pen and ink I've mixed myself. Yes, that is my kooky handwriting :) I always write the given name of the mix and then the contents as a quick reference on the large bottles. On the drams I just give the names. I always record the amounts and ingredients in a separate notebook (which actually right now is a beat to crap composition book so I need a new one) just in case I want to make more later.

As you can see I put my terrarium behind my new bottled oil, which is doing quite well. It has even sprouted a few new mossy sprouts which are too cute for words. I'm quite thrilled.

On another note, I went clothes shopping today which is always a mixed experience. I don't think they make clothes for women who have breasts. Everything is strangely shapeless which on my body would make me look pregnant. I'm no twig, I wear a size 12 pants which to me is what a typical woman's shape is. But even for me I can never find anything that is flattering unless I modify it or take it in or let it out. Personally, I don't feel like paying $25 for a shirt that I'm going to have to take in myself. I've tried shopping at plus-sized stores but everything there is a little big for me. I'm stuck in this clothing size limbo. This is why I usually go to thrift stores and work from that since if you can shop right you can find some swanky stuff at second-hand and thrift stores.

On a different note, I did get some cute new boots today. I stole the picture below from the website of the store I purchased them from. Aren't they cute? They have a wingtip style and they're really comfy. So I guess my shopping today wasn't a total bust :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Impish Dolls and shoes.

Hello there. I do hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Halloween/Samhain. My day went well, and the party I attended was a hoot. My costume turned out wonderfully and I received many compliments. I wish I had a full shot of me right now, but I don't. I'm waiting for my friend to post the pictures she took and then I will promptly steal them from her :).

On a side note, here are the before and after of the shoes I wore with my costume. I found them at the thrift store for $6. They're patent leather which is pretty awesome.

The downside is I ended up injuring myself while walking in them. I don't quite remember how but I'm sure these shoes were the culprit. I've had knee problems for about 8 years now so my knees have been aching for the last few weeks due to the change in weather. But this time my knee pain has increased and I now have numbness in my toes on my right foot. So I'm in a good amount of pain. I've been doing a little bit of crafting to help me feel better, so here's some WIP's.

I was inspired by a combination of Brian Froud and the wonderful stuff created by Liselotte Eriksson who is a multi-talented fantasy artist from Sweden. I made an armature with floral wire and covered her body in felt and fabric scraps so she is poseable. Her face is a wooden bead that I painted, and her hair is yarn that I unraveled and glued onto her head. I still need to put wings and shoes on her but I'm excited about the prospect of making more of these. They require such a small amount of materials so I get to use up all the little scraps I have collecting around my work area :) I already have a few ideas for more of these little impish ladies. The cool thing is she is also the perfect size for my miniatures.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween Costume, wigs and masks

So I've been spending time on my costume for Halloween/Samhain. My friend and I are being porcelain dolls, but with a slight French Victorian feel. Her costume is completely black, whereas mine is all white. I've had to purchase few things for my costume and the most expensive item I had to purchase was a white Marie Antionette wig. My friend is wearing a wavy black wig and a top hat. For her I made an all black fascinator that gets attached to her top hat using purchased and thrifted materials.

I used vintage buttons from my stash, black flowers from the craft store, some thrifted black lace and satin ribbon, large feathers, and marcasite beads.

We are also both wearing masks but since I don't have a hat to get in the way, I decorated the mask to my liking :) I didn't have to purchase anything to make this other than a small fabric mask for $.99 at the costume store. I could have made a mask from scrap using paper mache or something, but I wanted something flexible. As far as the base goes, I altered the shape of the eyes and the outside edge to give it a more feminine shape and allow me to see much better.

I used thrifted lace (one color was tea dyed), pearls, large feathers, silk flowers, pine branches that have been stripped of their bark then sanded and brushed with a little white acrylic paint, hemp string, vintage buttons, and some remnant trim for the edge.

For my costume I chose to wear a large wig instead of having a top hat. Since my wig is a Marie Antoinette styled wig I decided I needed to swank it up a bit.

I purchased the wig at the local costume store. I didn't have to purchase anything new, I already had all the materials which are similar to the ones I used on the mask. There's orchids and roses, pearls, large white feathers, satin ribbon, and a small mushroom bird.

I still have to complete the rest of the costume, I can't wait!