Today, a project in progress, it’s going to be a pirate mirror for Young Master Bertie’s bedroom, hopefully for Christmas, if I can find a few more of the sort of embellishments I have in mind.
The wooden framed mirror measures 56cmx x 36cms and was a charity shop find for just £2.70, well, it would have been rude not to buy it!
All I have done so far is cover the frame with plastic pirate coins, the design on them is different on each side, so add a bit of extra interest as well as texture. I used E6000 to glue them on with for an extra strong bond, I don’t want to risk anything coming off. I used four bags of coins found in The Range (£1.25 each) and have set a few aside to add at a later stage if needed.
The compasses came in a pack of six from Poundland, I cut the top loop off each one as they didn’t really serve any purpose on this project. I am also not too keen on the plain black sides showing, so I think they may be embellished by winding a little “rope” round them. If I could take out the plastic fronts and then put them back (I need to play with one first) I would like to add a few jewels to the insides, but I am not sure that would be possible.
The pirate figure came from a charity shop too for 50p and is just perfect. The wooden parrot came from The Range (£1). As the overall effect of the mirror is going to be pretty bling and shiny, I am planning on giving him a makeover with a coating of Ranger Glossy Accents and a googly eye.
Before I can now go any further I need to collect some more pirate accruements, which may take a little time as I want them to be of a similar proportion to the coins and compasses, perhaps an eye patch or two, a telescope, some pirate flags, a couple of small swords, a palm tree (?) and a few shells I am also thinking that I could make a pirate map or two by rolling out piece of fimo and then drawing on it with a Sharpie pen after it’s been baked. I have some small bottles that can also be filled with jewels and/or scrolls. With the large pieces in place, I can then go overboard, filling the gaps with jewels, chains and shells etc. What I would really like to find is a small, toy plastic pirate boat for the top right hand corner ………. but I think that’s a bit of a tall order, but you never know!
Marc gave me two packs of white air drying clay quite a while ago, but after being inspired by tags I have seen on Pinterest I thought it was about time I got a pack out and played.I am so chuffed with the results and could kick myself for not “playing” earlier!
The clay didn’t seem to need much working, unlike Fimo. I simply took a small piece, worked it just a little into a smooth shape, flattened it over the snowman image on my Sledding with Snowman Cuttlebug Embossing Folder and rolled over it with a small rolling pin.
When happy with the impression I trimmed the sides down smoothing them over with a damp finger and then added a hole for a thread/string tie.
The packet said that the clay should dry in approximately 24 hours, but my tags took little longer, this was because I kept them for a little while under a couple of books to make sure they didn’t warp as they dried, but I was also mindful that the image didn’t flatten too.
When completely dry, I began to have a conundrum about what to do with them, my intention, when I started the project, was to just add a tie/hanging thread, and keep everything very simple, clean and natural.
But then I wondered if possibly they needed something else, perhaps a little colour, so I accentuated the eyes, nose and arms with pencil, (the clay absorbed almost all the ink from any fine pen nib I tried). I wasn’t sure about the result, for some reason, doing this seemed to make them need more, if you know what I mean……..?????
They seemed to demand glitter, which I really didn’t want to do ……. but I felt I had to just try it on one ……..
……. but where to put the glitter, in the background …….
……. or on the snowman?
During all this experimenting, a small star managed to find it’s way onto an awaiting tag …… I quite liked the look of that, but I seemed to be getting further and further away from my original idea.
The only thing that really didn’t work, I don’t think, was colouring in the background to give a blue sky, adding stars and then a light covering of Ranger Glossy Accents for good measure!!
It was all very confusing!
In the end, I think that the plain and simple unadorned version worked best, clay is what it is …… it becomes something else when “over” embellished. So I am just putting red or blue butchers twine on all but six of the ones I have made. The remaining six will then have the coloured features, glittery white background and star treatment, as a limited extra option should I have a stall at a Christmas Fare this year, as Marc is always telling me not to always make things to my own taste because it may not be what other people want, which makes sense …… but what a palaver this endeavour was!!!
I seem to be a glutton for punishment as far as making myself crossed eyed is concerned! This is an idea I found on Pinterest, I did do something similar, but smaller, in bottle caps a couple of years back so I already had an idea how to make the figures.
I started off by making said figures in Fimo and then popped them in the oven giving them a little extra time to what the instructions said, to make doubly sure they were really “cooked”.
I baked them with their halos (silver jump rings) and shepherds crooks (bent jewellery copper wire) in place, however they didn’t stick, quelle surprise, so I used tiny amounts of E6000 to set them when the figures had gone cold.
While the figures were in the oven I split the walnuts as carefully as I could, but some did go by the wayside. I then put a little yellow/gold fimo at the wider end of the walnut and then baked them too. I wasn’t sure if the fimo would stay in place, but fortunately it did. This then gave me a base on which to stand the figures. Looking at the finished results now, I think that when I make some more (when I can find some more walnuts) I can get away with using a lot less fimo in perhaps a subtler shade of light brown.
I drilled a hole at the pointed end of the walnut for an eye screw hook to hang the finished decoration from, using a little E6000 again for a really secure bond.
I made around fifteen sets of figures, the sizes differ to account for the varying sizes of the walnuts which I married to the figures accordingly.
I now have to wait for walnuts to hit the shops before I can continue with a few more of the ideas I have ……….. lesson learned from last year, always buy a few more of anything that you think you might need, especially if you plan to start your festive crafting in the summer!
In the same vain as yesterday, when I looked again at these little wooden house tree decorations I made a while ago using a craft inspired charity shop find, they didn’t look quite right…….. not really Christmassy enough.
…so I thought, why not try the Ranger Enamel Accents touch on them too …
It worked! It was fiddly, as the houses are quite small and I have sausage fingers, and I found that too much enamel in one go could lead to a few drips which then had to be carefully removed ………….. but even just the tiniest touch around the bottom just gave the houses that Christmassy finish they were so lacking.
So far I have resisted the urge to give the newly added snow a dusting of translucent glitter, I think that could be glitter overkill ……. ……. but I did decide to add a snowflake charm and red bead to the hanging thread, which I think is probably enough.
I thought I ought to explain why I am not making as many cards as I used to at the moment, to be honest I just don’t need to make the quantities I used to now I am not at work. If I do eventually have a small craft stall in the run up to Christmas there are an awful lot of people who also make them so I could find myself up against competition. There is also the matter of “sensible” pricing with shops now selling cards at £1 or less, the work in a handcrafted card to sell, in time and materials just can’t compete. Making tags and charms is a little bit different and I hope that in making them in more substantial materials like wood, metal or plastic they can offer a longer life and perhaps a lasting memory if they are then used as a Christmas Tree ornament, well that’s my reasoning anyway.
My plan, if I do have a stall, is to wrap up a few small boxes in plain paper, most likely to be in brown, white or red to show the potential of the tags and charms with a little ribbon or string etc.
However, as Christmas nears I expect I will be featuring a few cards, I already have a some ideas, but I won’t be making more than two or three of each design, a hard habit to break I know. I will make enough for a blog post and then perhaps one or two extra to make up a box for Iris for Nursery, and Tom and Laura, and Lucy to send to help save them a bit of money during what is an expensive time.
There’s not an awful lot to these reindeer parcel charms/tags/tree decorations
They came about after I found an unused box of about 20 metal Christmas cookie cutters in a charity shop for just £2.49. I did hesitate and put them back once, but then I got to thinking that I have spent £1+ on cookie cutters in the past so they were a bit of a bargain, it was also the “potential” of reindeer head that did it for me.
I started them off at Marc’s, as he had some spare brown fimo …….
It was also Marc’s idea to roll the noses in ultra fine glitter before baking, I was dubious, but it worked, the glitter did stick . I put a hole in the top of each head before baking so that I could add a hanging/tyingthread later. It doesn’t show up very well in the pictures, but there are two shades of reindeers, a chocolate brown and a slightly lighter brown.
When I got home all I had to do was add the googly eyes, noses, holly confetti and tiny red flat backed pearls, plus a few white dots, using a white gel pen, which seemed to lift/brighten the reindeer faces.
I did try adding a bell and bead to the hanging/tying thread, but it didn’t really work as they proved to be a distraction that wasn’t needed.
However I intend to order some more brown fimo, as I think there is still some more mileage in the idea ….. for one I think I could put holes in each of the antlers and then add a small, dangling jingle bells to them with a jump ring. Without the holes they could also be added to craft stick or domino tags, so watch this space.
Please forgive me, but I think my Frankenstein's have turned out with an ever so slightly camp look about them!
The idea came about after Marc gave me one of his spare silicone moulds after I remarked that it’s high forehead might make quite a good Frankenstein if cast in green ………
Well, after a remark like that it would have been rude not to give it a try, and several heads were duly moulded and baked!
When cooled I used a black Sharpie pen to accentuate and add features, but it’s the lips that just don’t quite cut it. I also think I need to invest in an extra fine permanent black marker, if there is such a thing, for similar projects.
I used children’s wooden picture dominoes for the tag base, covered with scraps of a manuscript patterned paper, coloured over in shades of murky green and brown Promarker, and then heavily outlined round the edges.
I made life difficult for myself in having the jacket made in three separate pieces, but I thought it might add a little extra dimension, rather than just drawing on the lapels.
I used E6000 to glue on the rather dreamy, romantic looking Frankenstein, at least no one can accuse me of frightening young children!
I used an old fashioned, must be a hundred years old by now, Dynamo label maker to add the Trick or Treat wording, plus a little extra doodling in the background using a black fine liner pen, and the bolts in Frankenstein's neck are tiny metal eyelets.
I was going to leave it at that, but then in true fiddle fart tradition I wondered how the tags would look with a layer of Ranger Glossy Accents, I think it worked.
The finishing touches were made by adding an orange hanging thread with a black and green wooden bead for extra interest and detail.
Perhaps more punk rocker than Frankenstein, but I know Marc for one will appreciate one at Halloween with his bag of sweets!
After a long weekend with Marc, where on earth do you start with a head banging full of ideas and inspiration?
In the end I decided to go for using the 1” diameter metal charms Marc bought me for just 20p, as I already had a pretty good idea what I could do with them, nothing taxing, just something very simple.
I had a pack of skull cabochons from The Works and some keying fittings that I think Marc also gave me at the start of our friendship, all was going as planned until I started fiddle farting.
The charms, cabochons, fixed with E6000 and key rings when put together were fine as they were, then I thought I could add a couple of other small charms, hence the silver keys and bead drops taken from a disassembled necklace.
Jump rings are my nemesis, Marc makes it look so easy, and he says I make it look soooooo difficult, but I persevered and in turn I am really chuffed with the results, which will probably end up in someone’s cracker this Christmas.