Friday, February 28, 2014

Here Comes Peter Cottontail!!

I am so-o-o-o ready for spring!! Even though we still have snow on the ground, in my studio, I'm thinkin' spring and Easter. This isn't too terribly difficult—just several drying stages—so it would be great for an older child artist who won't get frustrated with the drying times.

  • Creative Paperclay®
  • smooth Styrofoam ball
  • two brads
  • one heart-shaped rhinestone
  • bottle cap ~1" in diameter
  • ribbon
  • pink mica powder
  • Easter grass
  • vintage tart mold
  • E-6000 adhesive
  • artist brushed
I began by piercing a hole in the bottom of the Styrofoam ball with a small dowel. I'll use the dowel to support the rabbit's head while it's drying, so there won't be any flat spots. I remove the dowel when covering the ball with clay. 

Next, I rolled out a piece of clay about 1/8" thick and covering the Styrofoam ball. I find that it's easier to start with a larger piece of clay than I'm actually going to need, and gradually remove excess. Shape the clay around the ball, smoothing and blending to eliminate seams and overlaps. Reinsert the dowel and set it aside to dry.

For the bunny ears, I rolled out a ball of clay about 3/16" thick, drew the ears freehand on the clay surface, and used a sharp craft knife to cut them out. This is the same technique that I used for these leaves, just rounded the tops for bunny ears :) I smoothed the edges of the ears a bit by hand so I wouldn't have so much sanding to do :) I draped one ear over the handle of a craft knife to give it dimension.

When the ears and ball were dry, I added the ears using more clay and slip. Then, I covered the entire piece with a coating of slip. I just painted it one with a soft artist brush. I wanted a slightly irregular finish, and the slip was perfect. I layered three coats of slip, letting each dry complete before applying the next. [Note: this is the wait time that could frustrate a younger artist.]

Next, was giving my rabbit a face. I began by dusting the inner ears with dry mica powder. I removed the legs from two brads for his eyes and I used a heart-shaped rhinestone for his nose, which are glued on with E-6000. I painted his mouth with acrylic paint, but a permanent marker would work just as well. I tied a bow around the bottle cap for his neck. 

To finish the assemble:
  1. Glue the Easter grass to the tart mold.
  2. Glue the neck to the rabbit's head. I glued the head to the open end of the bottle cap.
  3. Glue the rabbit to the grass-covered tart mold.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Larry the Lobster: Failure or Success?

Hi there! It's Susan from with some deep thoughts for this month's project. I hope you're ready for some serious reflection!

Sometimes, I have ideas. Crazy, hair-brained, no way that will work ideas. One of the things that I think really opened up my creative abilities is letting go of the fear of failure and trying those crazy ideas. Quickest way to get over the fear? Redefine failure.

Susan's definition of failure: not trying or trying and not critically examining the results.

Now that's out of the way, let's take a look at my February project, Larry the Lobster.

Larry is no where near what I expected when I started. Then again, I didn't really know what I was going to get! I started work with one of those wooden puzzles you see at craft stores, usually around $1 or $2. Here's Larry:
I had a suspicion that this type of puzzle would make a great armature for a clay project. I've had this one for a few years and thought it was time to get to work with it! I put it together and used hot glue to stabilize the pieces. Once it was nice and sturdy, I filled in the empty spaces with foil and covered him clay.

So far so good! If I'm using my non-failure critical eye - this is the point I should have stopped, sanded him and started decorating! Instead, I jumped right into hair-brained idea #2, beaded Spackle! I loaded up some Creative Paperclay Modeling Material, a ton of seed beads, and a little paint. I mixed them all together until I had a nice paste thick mess of clay and beads (totally the funnest part!)

After it was all mixed it, I grabbed Larry and spread it around. I knew I was in trouble pretty quick. Larry has lots of tiny little spaces that are difficult to get to with paint - even harder with bead spackle! I was not deterred, this was a learning project after all!

I didn't want a pink lobster, so I painted him a nice bright red.

Here's where I expected the magic! After he was nice and dry, I wanted to sand him down to expose the beads and leave the red clay in the recesses like mortar. As you can see - not the results I wanted.

 So, the ultimate question - Success or failure?
  • I don't like the finished project.
  • I learned a few things! 
  • bead spackle is still a good idea, just not for a project this intricate. (There may be other ways to make it work too)
  • The wooden puzzle does make a interesting armature. It is difficult to know where the challenging spots are before starting- note to self - two puzzles is a good plan.
  • I tried three tips that the design team has posted over the last six months. They work great!
  • I'm motivated to try again with the new experience under my belt.
The ultimate answer - SUCCESS!
Seriously, every project doesn't have to be a winner. I'm sucking it up and showing you my less than successful attempt so you know we all go through growing pains even though we don't always show it or talk about it. I just so happen to have a second Larry the Lobster puzzle and I'm quite looking forward to Version2.

What would you like to see for Larry2? 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Glow Mushroom Nightlight with Creative Paperclay by Gloriann Irizarry

Glow Mushroom Nightlight with Creative Paperclay 
by Gloriann Irizarry

Hi my dear friends. It is Gloriann Irizarry  once more with a new idea for a very unique project.
In this article I will show you detailed step by step  instructions how to create a very cute 
and whimsical magic mushroom lamp to illuminate you. 
This idea has been on my sketch book for a while, but wanted to constructed in a easy manner so after some thinking I finally figure it out. All I need it was to find  the smallest battery operated lights and glass to reflect them out.  

I love to hunt for materials so I visited all my favorite crafting store to get the best items for this project.

Now here is what I made with what I found on my quest. 

Glow Mushroom and Night Time

Glow Mushroom at day time 

Materials need it for this project are:

One pack of Creative Paperclay ®
Your favorite palette of acrylic paints
Paint brushes
Tooth brush
Styrofoam ball
Empty toilet paper roll
Mosaic glass beads
Tacky Glue Fast Grab
AA Battery operate LED lights or similar.
Plastic Sheets
Clay roller 
Spray water bottle
Clay tools

I cut the Styrofoam ball in half and I start by arranging the glass bead to 
achieve the pretty glow effect I was looking for.

Press the empty toilet paper roll to the Styrofoam ball.

I cover the whole armature in clear plastic sheet so I'm able to clean the final piece.
I use the plastic roller and start rolling my Creative Paperclay into a 1/4 inch thickness.

I use my clay sheet and began to cover the entire armature. 
Little by little  and use the scissors to cut any excess to shape. 

Make sure the entire piece is fully cover with the 1/4 thick Creative Paperclay.

Use the spray water bottle to moist the paperclay and seal the seems 
by smoothing them with your clay tool or finger.

I used my clay tool to give the mushroom the natural look underneath the head.


To attach the glass beads to the Mushroom press it lightly and remove it. 

Now use the indentation has a pattern to be cut the 1/4 Creative Paper clay sheet away. 

Once the beads are in add more clay to cover the bead all the way to the seems.

Follow the same procedure to do the trunk of the Mushroom.
Now set to dry. It might take long to dry depending on the weather.

Once is fully dry take all the inner core out.
Start by removing the toilet paper roll and scoop out the Styrofoam armature.

Lets talk LED Lights options:

You can find these LED light mostly located at the floral section of the your favorite craft store.
Available in so many styles, sizes  and colors to choose from you can have much fun choosing your favorite.
I decided to choose the clear light and AA Batteries operated. This will facilitate me the quest of finding and replace them so much easier . Why? Well I knew this light would be a total hit with my 6 yrs and I can guarantee I will be replacing them very often. She has baptized this mushroom has the Boogie man repellent mushroom. I cant disagree with her.   :)

To create the base. I grab some Creative paper clay and cover the Battery case.

I used an old Styrofoam to give the texture to the base.
Make sure you leave the on and off button open to operate the lamp lights.

Dry test. I place the lights inside the now dry mushroom and the base to make sure everything works.
I love it!

Since dry test past feel free to add fresh Creative Paperclay to the already base.
Now attached the mushroom to the base and let it dry.

Make sure the on and off button is not covered on clay. Cut off any excess if need to .

Here you can see the battery are free to be replace if need it.

Now I water down some acrylic pearls green paint for the entire base.

For the mushroom head I used for base a watered down of pearl Inca Gold.

and for the trunk I used a water down copper acrylic paint.

I wanted to give the piece a natural but at the same time magical effect.
 I watered down more Copper and renaissance brown. 

Grab the toothbrush and covered with the watered acrylic paint.
Use your thumb and add spots to the mushroom by rubbing your thumb away from the piece.
I used this color only on the head part.

Mix some black and silver and watered down.

Repeat the same tooth brush technique has before this new color mix will be
 used on the head and truck of the mushroom. 

Here are all the spotted head and trunk mushroom. 

Do not forget to spot underneath the mushroom head.

Now for the base I now added some black to the green and mix then watered down 
is tooth brushed to the base only.

Now I wanted a highlight effect for the piece so I used for the head a watered down 
Quarry Pebble acrylic paint and spotted the top only.

And a mix of yellow to the watered down green to spot the base only.
Let paint to dry.
 Once is dry I grab a old towel. Moist a corner of the towel and clean very carefully each glass bead. 

I made some flower out of the Creative Paperclay using the same technique has my Owl 3D Art Wall Art here . Find a placement for the flowers.

Use the Tacky Glue and attach them to the base of the piece.
Wait for the glue to dry and  use a good clear sealer of your choice from many like these to choose from Glossy, Mate, Satin or Frost finish to seal the entire piece. 

If it is going to be displayed on a flower bed or garden make sure you choose a outside lighting options and triple coat completely the mushroom.
 Is not recommend for outside weather but if coated properly it will made it last a little longer if done right.

Once the sealer dry clean the sealer off the glass beads if you prefer a mosaic glass look to the piece.
After cleaning is done you are now ready to enjoy your little one of a kind magical lamp.

I love this project so much I could see a big wings fairy doll sitting on top of this magical mushroom in the near future. It would be priceless to show case at night!

So here are some photos of the final project . Have Fun! 

Daylight View 

Lights on Nighttime  View 

Easy to replace the Batteries located under the piece.

Accented with Creative Paperclay flowers.

I know this little Magic Glow Mushroom will illuminate your darkest night. 
I'm so happy this project turned out just the way I had imagined. 
I looks so beautiful at night. My girls cant stop staring at it at night .
The LED lights are so beautiful and  bright .
The glass  mosaic beads do capture the glow in a fantastic and amazing way.

Now I hope you enjoy this tutorial and feel free to email me any question or place a comment below.

Have a bless day and happy crafting to everyone.