Some pictures I took earlier today while it was warm and sunny. Summer is here in the UK!
This is my recent project of love and hate! it took me two weeks to make this thing!
After watching Little Shop of Horrors recently the idea of having my own Audrey 2 lodged in my brain. I’d been messing around with polymer clays for a few weeks I thought ‘yeah, this will be a great project, making my own plant!’ – Not realising the amount of time, materials and effort it would actually take to make it!
However, when I obsess over a new project I tend to jump in and I started my research by looking for some pictures of Audrey 2 and making a list of materials I would need to make him.
As I mulled over how I was going to make this plant, I did some pretty basic sketches of the parts to make, but because I seem to like making things hard for myself, I decided my plant would have its mouth open! Mainly because I liked the teeth and thought they would be cool to make.
I watched some videos on YouTube about modelling using Super Sculpey and armatures and bought a new book on polymer clay called Polymer Clay Master Class, while also going out and gathering my materials.
The Pod Head
I started by making an oval shape in tin foil, covered this with masking tape and then used the Super Sculpey in sheets over the top. I used my pasta machine to get even thickness for the clay and this was one of the best things I have bought for my clay – and at £10 it was a bargain!
When I was happy with the shape I scored a line around the oval so it would be easier to cut out once I baked it. I also made a small hole through the back part so I could fix it to a piece of wire once it was baked and keep the mouth open.
I used a lot of Sculpey Bake and Bond making this project! Once I had the two pieces for a mouth I built them up with more clay and then covered them with a blend of different Fimo blues for the gums and inside the mouth. My favourite part was then making the teeth from a mixture of white and fluorescent Fimo, which I molded into small cones and then twisted for a gnarly effect. I still love the teeth the most!
I made a tongue piece and fixed it to a piece of wire, covering that in the same blue Fimo, baked it and then attached it in-between the two mouth pieces. That was tricky! I had to use extra wire around the head so it would be secure and then I added more Super Sculpey to hide the wire. It was taking on a very strange shape by this point and I was starting to stress about how it looked NOTHING like Audrey 2! It was also very top heavy even when I started building up the stem around the wire and foil. Nuts!
In the same way I made the gums, I also used a mixture of green Fimo for the plant.
Plaster of Paris
Working on the head was proving difficult without it being supported as I kept marking the surfaces each time I turned it over. I used some cylindrical dry foam normally used in flower arranging, glued that to my tin (which used to have fruit inside) and added plaster of Paris around the plant as the plant head was supported by a plastic box (this got messy!)
While I left this part to dry out I started on the foliage that surrounds the plant’s head and used wire mesh cut in a circular shape to fit around the pod. This stuff is sharper than you might think! I used plaster of Paris gauze over the mesh and once it was semi-dried I fixed it around the pod head and plastered more gauze to secure it in place.
Leaving the plant for about a day meant I could then paint the foliage and I used loads of acrylic for this to hide the gaps in the plaster gauze. Probably about 6 coats in total. However, because the plant was still top heavy one day it decided to topple off my desk and landed on the floor. Thankfully he only came out of the pot and didn’t smash anything but I realised the tin was too small for the size this beast had become!
Constructing the Plant
Putting this plant together was a challenge that meant I had to engage my brain! I made two leave ‘arms’ using the wire mesh, wire for a stem and covered it in a sheet of foil. I then added Super Sculpey in thin strips, blended the seams together and twisted them slightly before baking.
Audrey has a much larger leave behind the head which I decided to make with the remaining plaster gauze. Using a piece of wire I twisted that into a vague leave shape and covered with a piece of foil. I then cut the gauze into thin strips and smoothed it round the leave, adding two layers so it would hold upright and be quite solid.
I decided to put the head piece in a big plant pot and packed it with some more dry foam cut into pieces to give it some stability. I then added more plaster of Paris in stages and added the big leave pieces.
I added clear resin in drips onto the teeth and mouth to give the plant the feeling of being alive, which I think looks really good!
I made two smaller Fimo leaves on stalks to stick out of the pot but felt that he was missing more detail, so I made about 15 varying sized leaves and glued them around the plaster foliage near the head. I added some reindeer moss in-between the gaps for more texture.I finished off the plant by painting the plaster of Paris in the pot with a brown acrylic paint.
My evil plant was finished! And looks more evil than the original Audrey 2!
This is what I have been doing recently. Playing with polymer clay and resin. I saw a cute tutorial on YouTube showing how to make a koi pond in a tin using Fimo and resin and this is my first attempt. I found some moss after I did this one so will make another one soon.
I have also been using moulds for my resin, using it in tiny jars and bottles and recently making these monsters using a foil armature inside, I currently have this week off so am starting a new clay project which I hope turns out well! Check it out here soon :)
I was 28 when I started this blog. It was quite basic in the beginning as I only put up photos of things I had been making. I’m now 31 and a lot has happened in three years. I’ve moved house five times, waited two years for my job to become permanent and had more than my share of personal struggles to overcome.
I’ve also become more confident, happier in myself with a better understanding of what I want. My perception of art, creativity and my life has gradually changed. Writing a blog allowed me to reflect on just how much I did change, and sometimes I am surprised with the things I have done. I developed a quiet self-assurance in my ability to learn and not be afraid to make mistakes. This allowed me to open up to new creative challenges and try new things for the pleasure and curiosity, as well as pushing myself to grow. As I did this the deeper and more fascinating different craft projects became. I also cared less about other people’s thoughts.
I began to see that perfection wasn’t the purpose for art, at least for me. I embraced my mistakes, documented them and used them as a measurement of how far I could go. This is something I did in all areas of my life not just my art. I started learning more technical things around my job and teaching myself how to develop, layout and write a website. I read books about photography, blogging, and social media and went to talks about the future of technology. I became interested in design and started learning how to use InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. These skills fed back into my blog as it went through many looks.
During my early 20s after finishing my studies I struggled finding a job. In-between the drudgery of job hunting I started looking into new crafts. I experimented with mosaics which I liked although I shredded my fingers cutting the tiles and made a mess in my room! When I moved back to Cambridge I got a sewing machine and taught myself how to sew. I had a bit more space then and made my sister a school bag, made some fluffy critters and tried making clothes. I also experimented with polymer clay.
When I was 27 I moved to Manchester and this was a dark time in my life. I found solace in my art. I remember at one point I had no money, my computer had broken, I had no TV and my phone had been cut off. I was disconnected from the world! But I knew the one thing I could still do was create, so that is what I did. I made books into altered art pieces and experimented with paper crafts.
Since starting Cherryblossom Tears I went from mostly sketching and painting with oils to trying altered arts, die cutting, paper crafts, collage, decopatch, art journaling, shadow boxes, jewellery making, photography, video tutorials, embroidery, felting, stamp carving, fabric pens, polymer clay and resin. I found my niche in mixed media and a love of creating projects to work on. I enjoy sharing my work, writing tutorials and finding new ways to convey my ideas. I believe that everyone has the ability to be creative; some just need encouragement and guidance to start. Who knows what you could craft if you allowed yourself.
While the evil old creative rut crept up on me I decided to get a few items and start a new shadow box, as it had been quite a long time since my last one and I was falling out of love with my embroidery a bit.
Some things I used to make this box include:
- Tim Holtz heart charms
- Tim Holtz arrows adornments
- Tom Hotltz foundation feet & decorative corners
- Mini bottles
- fimo clay
- found items including metal charms, buttons and wooden adornments
- papers and die cut pieces
- fabric flowers and little mushroom bird
This was my first time using resin as I wanted the bottles to look like they were full of liquid. I loved making them, I filled one with tiny fimo bugs! My next project will be something with resin.
Here are few pictures as I made the box, it measures 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches which is super cute!
I seem to love butterflies! One thing I love about making things like this is gathering my different items and finding a way to combine them with my theme. Nature is a strong theme in my work now and I wanted the box to be quite light and uplifting. The items inside are also symbolic in a similar way to dreams, such as the key and the different bottles. The box came with a plastic front piece which I used, as dust getting in pieces like these is annoying and impossible to clean!
To see some of my daily art updates just check out my social media links :)
Just a few things I’ve been making recently. The Little stumpy fellows have helped me get out of a creative rut as I made them without much thought, just playing around with clay and some found items. I adore Kawaii things too so just had to try making some cupcakes, a raindrop, some apples and lemons. And the little creature who is last was made from some gold and translucent clay I had left.
Having felt a lack of motivation recently and a general malaise in my art, I decided to a.) watch Heroes as a break from all my embroidery and b.) try a new approach. I’ve made things with Fimo Clay before and had a lot of things left over, as I like to keep all my different creative projects and supplies. I started making little charms in 2010 before I moved to Manchester. This post is what I’ve been doing recently, starting with something super easy – snails! These are cute and make nice little gifts for people. I then got a few new colours and started making cute monsters, with the idea to turn them into key rings. It’s much easier to bake with this kind of medium now I live in a better house! Here are a few things I made last week
I found a tutorial on the jellyfish which I thought was so cute, so made two of them. I also wanted to try making some bugs. These are quite small but I think they are good for a first try, I can see how to improve them and that is when I know my creative rut is lifting.
This is an excellent question right now! Because while I’m not in a block as such, I feel like I’m disengaged with my projects. It could be some apathy I’ve been feeling from other things – work, health, personal dramas – and this is bleeding into my art. Or maybe I am just run down and need a break longer than a few days.
I was feeling a little stagnated with my projects recently, like I was falling into a rut and this always deeply frustrates me. To beat this feeling I decided to mix up my artwork and pick some fun things to play around with. I started with this book box and three tags I had planned to do last year and am slowly making into a altered art piece with a Romantic theme.
I also did a bit of Fimo baking and made some snails and funny little monsters. I decided to make them into keyrings. I’ve bought some Milliput which I am going to try soon, this dries in the air after a few hours so will need a different approach.
It’s been beautiful weather recently and the flowers near my work and home are blooming. Soon I won’t even need to wear a coat outside!
I’ve also been doodling a little bit in my sketchbook, mainly for ideas and to get out of this annoying rut thing. Going to post about shrink plastic again soon and share some tips on making this keyring :)
While I have been busy the last few weeks, and I started trying my hand at shrink plastics, I’m still doing my embroidery and my recent project over the last two months has been beetles and bugs. I also did a bee! I got the idea after seeing some mini hoops in a craft shop and thought having them laid out like a curios cabinet would look cool!