Monthly Archives: August 2013

Show and Tell: WIP Mermaid and Dragon Cake Topper and A Little Happy Hour Tutorial

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Firs toff, let me just say I am very sorry about not posting for a while. Between a weekend with my husband camping and my favorite Aunt coming into town, I have had a lot to keep me busy.
Which also meant that a project I had started a while back has been neglected. A cake topper that will feature a little chibi mermaid cradling the head of of her sweet dragon friend.
Yay for me, I finally got the mermaid part done. Sorry I won’t be able to show you the dragon, but I was rather excited to finally get something posted after so long.
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The foil in the back will serve as her support until she is baked. Why you ask? Because I was a super genius and forgot to add a bit of wire for support.
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Before I bake her, i will need to do some lint clean up, but in this picture you can get a better look at her little tail.
I’m left stumped on the dragon. He needs to be more of a sea serpent, but what color would he be? Would he match his mermaid friend? Or would he be something different all together?

For this mermaid though, I kept the hair short, the eyes open, and decided to step away from the usual raven haired ladies that I normally end up making. She remind me of a snowflake, with the while hair and fluffy-ish tail, so I’ve decided to name her Eis (German word for Ice).
I’m excited to get to work on the dragon, but I will need to sleep on it. In the mean time…I will live you with a bit of happy hour from our camping trip (warning, the pictures are dark and blury. All I had on hand was a camera phone and it was already night time by the time we pulled out the alcohol):
Smore’s shots for your adult camp-out.

What you will need:
Chocolate flavored liquor (I’m using Hiram Walker’s Creme De Cacao)
Bailey’s Irish Creme (my God, is there anything this stuff CAN’T be mixed with?)
Marshmallow Flavored Liquor (I have Smirnoff’s Marshmallow Vodka…I have no clue if anyone else makes this kind of flavor, but if you can find, hey, go for it)
‘Double Shot’ show glass (those are the taller shot glasses)
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I started with the chocolate:
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Sorry about the awful picture. We had to use one of those propane lamps for light. Ignore the Kool-Aid in the back, my Husband is still a kid at heart…-_____-

Nest is the Bailey’s. I like adding this one next because it will give support to the next liquor, that way you can keep your drinks separated more easily. You don’t HAVE to do this, I just think it looks prettier.
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Finally, top it off with your marshmallow. I learned after the first shot that you should use less Bailey’s than the other two liquors. Why? Because Bailey’s has a very overpowering flavor. You want just a tad to give it that graham cracker taste.
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Isn’t that so pretty?

The Hubs seems to enjoy it anyway. 😉Image

Have fun, remember to drink responsibly, and if you are underage…I do not by any means promote under age drinking. I am more than certain you can make this shot a virgin one, so get creative. Perhaps some chocolate syrup, a little bit of heavy cream, and a splash of melted marshmallow fluff? Yes…I think so.
And if you really want to pretty up your shots, you should rim the glasses with some graham cracker crumbs and a roasted marshmallow. Yum yum!

I’ll be back with more later!

The Ugly World of Trying New Things: Part Two

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So, I stuck with my little head sculpture, changed her, molded her more, and added pieces. I think she is slowly becoming a little less ugly. I’ve already decided to make her a little elf. Her is just too cartoon-y, too oddly made to be considered human. Ha.
But all in all, I am starting to become very attached to this little creation.
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I feel like she is my first real step into making the ball jointed dolls that I have always wanted to make. I have so many artists that I admire and that inspire me to better myself as a clay artist. One day I hope to rank up with them, but that will be a very long time from now. 🙂

Into The Ugly World of Trying New Things

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Today I attempted, for the very first time, to sculpt a more realistic head. How did it turn out? Well…prepare yourself for possibly the ugliest, most hideous, most alien like ‘human head’ you will ever see. Dun dun dun….XD
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Oo Ee Oo

Certainly nothing to call home about, but you have to start somewhere, right? Practice! Practice! Practice!
One day I hope to make a beautiful ball jointed doll for myself, one that I would be proud to pass along to my eldest daughter. For now, I just need to keep practicing.

Just Little Tips

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I know I have had a lot of people in the past ask me about how I make my clay projects. Some questions are a lot more difficult to answer, while others are just basic tips that can be easily passed along.

So, I thought tonight I would share with you some things that I do in my clay making process:

Tip 1: Make sure you have a good, non-stick surface to work on.
When I was first starting out, I went out and bought that expensive clay mat from the craft store, and quickly learned it did not suit my purposes at all. Number one reason being that you can’t cut on it and still expect it to work right…and if I can’t keep my clay on it when I cut, it really was useless to me. So, what do I use??? A simple ceramic tile that my husband picked up for me from Home Depot for $1.98. I think they might have been on sale at the time, but it serves me very well. It is about 12 by 12, non-stick, super easy to clean, and because it is ceramic, I can even bake my creations in the oven directly on it.

Tip 2: Keep a clean space.
This is soooo much easier said than done. Normally, when I work with light colored clays, I keep plastic wrap handy, wear latex (or latex free if you are allergic) gloves, and always make sure to finish up what I am doing with them first before moving on to another color. Clay picks up dust so easily, and it can be difficult to keep it all out.

Tip 3: Prepare for lint!
Like I mentioned above, clay picks up dust and lint very easily, so, even when you take all the necessary precautions and you still find lint in your master pieces, you can still save it! Keep scotch tape nearby. When you see lint on your project, gently place the tape over it and peel it off. If you find lint to be further down, you may need to use a needle tool or a tooth pick. Already baked it? Then pull out that sandpaper! Which brings me to…

Tip 4: Sanding
Have you noticed that no matter what, you still have lint in your project? Or maybe you got some finger prints in it? Well, it always helps to give that smooth, professional finish to sand after your project has finished baking and is completely cooled. You can buff your project afterward with a pure cotton cloth. Also…

Tip 5: Finger prints
Watch out, your clay is soft, and it is easy to put deep, rigid prints in your beautiful creations. No matter what, you will probably leave behind a few, but you can avoid the deepest ones by holding your clay softly and choosing a thicker, higher quality clay over a cheap and all too soft clay. Remember though, even when you have some left behind, you can sand them out.

Tip 6: Practice
I know, this one seems like a duh, but even with the lower level I am at, I had to practice to even get this far. Every day I try to get better, and it takes a lot of practice. My chibis started out as balls on top of oblong chunks of clay. I used to paint all my details rather than working with small bits of clay. It isn’t easy, but it is very rewarding. And if this is something you love to do, you won’t even notice the time pass as you put some extra work into a special piece.

Tip 7: Be patient
My last tip is practicing patience with your work, your projects, and yourself. It is easy to get frustrated when something just doesn’t turn out the way you want it to, and so many times you will be tempted to give up. But know that you CAN do it, you will just need to give yourself. Not everyone can start out making beautiful life-like dolls like some of my favorite artists that I aspire to be like. I have my own goals, and one day I hope that I can make such lovely art dolls as I have seen, but right now? I know I need to be patient with myself and love what I do. Give yourself that same kind of care and time.

Well, I hope these few tips will be of some help to you! Hopefully I will have a new tutorial for you soon.