Monday, January 18, 2016

The Fae Ring

This morning while putting a post together for the Facebook page I wrote a poem.

I gazed with longing at the ring,
I knew if I stepped inside my heart would sing.
Don't look that way, grandmother warned.
Tread lightly and not inside,
you'll catch the fire of the faery wrath;
it is theirs and not your path.
I turned my eyes and looked away, wishing that I could stay.
I knew if I could just step inside,
the language would be a familiar sound,
in that ring that formed so round.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Fun Fairytale Moon Book Box Craft

Today we will be making a fun fairytale book box!

I know from looking at the finished pic that it looks like something that would be super hard, but I am going to take you through all of the steps to make your very own moon spell book. It's a very simple craft that looks wonderful when it is finished.

Craft supply list:
Paper Mache Book Box
Mod Podge
Hot glue or craft glue
Variety of acrylic paints (in your choice of colors)
Original Sculpey Clay

This is what the paper mache book box starts out as:

First, take your book box and lay a piece of cheesecloth and cut a piece that is just a bit bigger than the book cover. You want to be able to make wrinkles in it. This will give the outside of the book a wrinkled leather look.  Apply a thin coat of mod podge on the front cover.

Lay the cheesecloth on top and make wrinkles in it. Gather all the overhanging cheesecloth as wrinkles on your books. Try to line up the edges with the edges of the book as much as you can.

When you have finished wrinkling your cheesecloth, put another layer of mod podge on top.  This is what it will look like when you have added your wrinkles. Now let this dry. While it is drying, you will make your moon for the front.

First roll out your piece of clay. I just went with what size of circle would fit within the sides of the front cover. My Shakespeare Insults coffee mug was the perfect size circle, so I used it to make the circle indention for the base.

After I cut out the circle, I make a cross-hair on the circle to line up where to put the nose and the eyes. It isn't exact, but faces usually aren't either.

To make the nose and brows I throw a glob of clay and begin shaping the nose and the bridge of the nose, using the end of a pencil to jab into the ends to make the nostrils. I then roll out a 1/2 inch diameter worm for the brow. I position it above the bridge and begin shaping it to the horizontal line ends. It looks like this in the end. As you can see, my nose isn't perfect and that's okay. I never go for extreme perfection.

Next step will be the eyes. I made flattened balls around 1 inch in size. Position on each side of the nose on the horizontal line.

For the lids of the eyes (upper and lower) make 4 half moons. Big enough to cover a bit of the top and bottom of each eye. Blend the clay edges into the existing clay.

Next you want to shape out your cheeks. We are going for a comical puffed round cheek look, since this is the moon. Roll out a large ball and just blend it down to the existing clay like so.  I have blended the one on the left. The ball size is golf ball size. The second pic has both cheeks blended.

The chin is made next. I roll out a 1/2 inch diameter worm and place it at the bottom of the circle, just blending it in around the edges. You want it to stick up in the air like the puffed cheeks.

Roll out some large worms for the upper and lower lips. The bottom lip worm will be slightly smaller.

They are quite comical at first (pic on first), but you want to have enough clay to blend under the nose and up into the cheeks and down into the chin (middle pic). When you are finished blending your lips, take a knife point or clay tool and gently run it between the two lips, making a distinctive separation of the lips. Also, if you want the vertical groove (the philtrum) below the nose, on the top lip to be bigger, you can add a bit of clay and shape it (second pic)

It's okay if you don't get everything perfectly smooth it's okay, this is the moon after all. For character add some craters by taking different size paintbrushes and pushing the non-bristle end into the clay.

When you are all finished shaping your moon put it in the oven and bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.

While Mr. Moon is baking add some more detail to the covers of the book. You now want to add the cheesecloth to the back and to the outer edge. Let dry while the moon is baking.

When the book has fully dried, attach your moon to the front of the book. I hot glued mine.

Next we will paint the moon. You can do this in whichever colors you like. I almost went with a blue moon. However, I went with the yellow/gold moon with blue eyes.

I began with a white center blending into daisy yellow and finally blending that into king's gold.

Now we want the book to look as if the moon face is coming out of the leather. So we will be using the cheesecloth and the mod podge once again.
Apply the mod podge around the moon and up onto the outer edge of the moon. Like so:


Begin wrapping the cheesecloth around the outer edge of the moon. Apply the mod podge over it as you go. Cutting off excess cheesecloth as you go.
Cover with a layer of modpodge and let dry for about an hour.

When the moon is dry start painting with your choice of color. I'm going to go with a brown leather look. You want to make sure that you put the paint on thick to hide the cheesecloth. Cover all the cheesecloth. Let the front dry, then paint the back.

To give your book an old look, you are going to wash black over the edges and wrinkles. Water down some black paint and go around the edges of the book, lightly brushing the paint on.
Continue with the back and side. Let dry.

Now your moon looks as if it is encased in a leather book. To give your book gilded pages, just brush a light coat of black over the "pages". When that dries, lightly brush the gold, leaving some black showing. If you need to you can lightly brush black back over that.

If you would like to highlight the binding, give them a coat of gold also.

If you would like to title your spell-book, you can stencil some lettering or freehand. I also gave my book an author, with a nod to the wolf name Moon Moon.
For finishing touches, you want to paint the inside of your box.
And there it is, your very own magical spell-book. Mine is now happily sitting on a bookshelf.



Antler Headwear Craft

This is perfect for renwear, or a fairy ball, or even as part of a costume for Halloween.

I wanted to make an antler headband, and then I wanted a spiderweb, and THEN I thought I would like to add in mushrooms and sparkles…..and moss. It’s a bit of whimsy and fun.

I didn’t want to use real antlers because they would have been too heavy, so I have once again turned to polymer clay. I, myself, semi-followed a tutorial for making the antlers. However, that tutorial was for paper mache and I am not a real big fan of paper mache. It’s messy. So, I looked at the general instructions and incorporated the design with the clay. The spider web that I have created, I absolutely had NO idea what I was doing and I just made it up as I went. I’m pretty happy with the end look, I think.

To start you will need some aluminum foil, floral tape, and original sculpey clay. Tear the aluminum into strips and shape into antlers.  Remember to narrow the aluminum going toward the points of the antlers.  You could also make them from just clay and they would be solid, but that would end up being heavy also. I made mine around 6 inches in height.

When you have them all shaped, wrap with the floral tape. Bend them the way you want them to be shaped after you have wrapped the tape.
The reason why you wrap it with the tape is to make it smooth for the clay. Roll out your clay into a thin sheet and then put on the antlers in sections and smooth.

Make sure to make the base of the antlers a bit bigger and make it flat as well. You will be hot gluing these to the headband.

After you have the clay evenly distributed, make ridges on the antlers with your tool. They don't have to be perfect, you just want to give them some texture.

Now they are ready to bake. While they bake you can make the mushrooms. Pop the antlers in the oven at 275 degrees for 20 minutes.

Since I wasn't sure how large or how many of the mushrooms I wanted to put on my headband, I made several different sizes. I can always use the ones that I don't use for this for something else later. To make a simple mushroom, just make a few "bowls" and then roll out a small stem. Bake them at 275, and I baked mine for 15 minutes.


To get the knotty look at the base of the antler, use your glue gun.

By this time, your mushrooms should be finished baking and you can base coat everything. I just used the same color to base coat. I used a cream color for the basecoat for all of it. For the antlers main color I mixed cream, butter yellow, and a tan color.

I brushed the main color on, then I wiped it off the glue dots and I sponged it near the tips, leaving some of the cream showing.

Next, paint your mushrooms. I painted a variety of colors but ended up using two colors and smaller ones. I didn't want the bottom of the antlers completely hidden. I glued the stems after they were all painted.

The headband that I'm using is just one that I had lying around the house and never used. It's a wider band. I put it on and determined where on it I wanted my antlers placed. I cut a couple of slits in the fabric so the glue would be able to have a firm hold with the antlers. I used hot glue to hold them and it worked quite well.

Okay, now here is where it gets a bit tricky. For the web, you will need hot glue and fishing line. If you have some fine glitter you can use that to make the hot glue sparkle.  I needed to make a spider web base so I put intersecting string in first.

First, tie off the string around the bottom of one of the antlers and stretch it up diagonally to the top of the opposite antler and tie that off as well. Keep it taut. You don't want slack.
It's a little hard to see, but the string is going up diagonally to the opposite antler. Do that again with the opposite side. Start at the base and stretch across to the opposite antler so that you have two intersecting lines.

After I have stretched as many of the strings and tied them off, I knotted them in the middle with a short piece of line and cut off the excess string. I did this to keep them all intersecting in the middle. Put a dot of glue on this intersecting point. The drops of glue will look like dew drops on the web.

To start making the webbing, you will need to start using your hot glue gun.  I just touched the first one and put a drop of glue. Immediately start blowing on it to make it dry. Before each drop of "dew" dries you can sprinkle with the fine glitter to give it a shimmer. As you go to each piece of base, glue it down. You can see what I mean in the pics. Continue around getting larger as you go.
Keep doing this process to make your web.

When you are finished, add more glue drops here and there to make more dew.
When you are finished adding the dewdrops you can then put your moss around the base. Decide where you want to place it and glue down.
Do the same with the mushrooms and your whimsical head piece is finished!


I hope you have enjoyed this craft and I have inspired you to make your own! Please share pics with me of your own.