Mixed Media & Clay Jungle Frame

I wanted to get back into my clay work for a while and have a lot of ideas scribbled in my notebook. I had a few deep box frames since last year that I had been meaning to create something with, similar to my sea themed box.

To get back into using polymer clay I started with a mini frame and used scrap bits of clay to make a little frog. I definitely felt rusty as I made the foliage to go round the frog and the clay was super hard – it took ages to soften it.

I added some beads on a wire to give the piece some texture and added different Perfect Pearl Shimmers, beads and then some resin to the baked piece. I couldn’t fit the glass frame back onto the box as the frog was a little bit too big, although I quite like it without.

I decided to continue with the jungle theme on a bigger frame, this time with a tropical bird as my focal point.

I used scraps of blue and purple clays to make a background to build my image from. I then added different layers of leaves and two large branches across the piece. I decided to make another frog and used a skinner blend of peach and a translucent yellow. Looking at it now I think he was a bit too big, although I was try to create perspective.

I loved looking up different leaves for reference and trying to capture the shape and colours in clay.

One thing I find most enjoyable about working on a project like this is building the image by adding layers. I built the toucan up with black clay and had fun creating his colourful beak. I used a variety of tools to smooth the clay into the background, and textured the feathers to make him look less solid.

When I felt I had enough foliage in the piece I made some beaded wires as vines and placed them in over the leaves. I added some smaller leaves to hid where the wires started.

I made a little beaded spider from a tutorial I found on YouTube and decided to add him into the frame. I also added a few metal leaves, beads and a mixture of shimmer powders to add more bling.

Once I baked him, I added some resin sparingly to look like rain and spray painted the front of the frame with blue and splatters of gold. I varnished the rest of the piece without resin and added a few gems – because he wasn’t bling enough!

With this being my first clay piece in a long time I am happy with how he turned out. One major problem though, was that he isn’t secured to the back piece of wood. He feels quite solid with the frame in place, but next time I will try Sculpey Back and Bond to secure him.

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He is now on the wall in our living room. I’ve also been making a lot of beaded spiders which I will put up in another post and am planning another one of these mixed media clay frames. Possibly a desert for my next theme 🙂

Textiles, Sculpting & My Birthday!

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So this is just an April post update on things I’ve been up to plus it was my birthday, hurray! 33 baby! I had a lovely chilled day with my sweet boyfriend; went looking round shops I like, got this cute tattoo of a vintage medical drawing of teeth (I just like teeth, what can I say?!) went to Richmond’s tea room in Manchester where it is themed like Alice in Wonderland and ate cake, then later we went to see Ghost in the Shell.

I bought this lovely glass terrarium and add two of my smaller cactuses; I made this crazy chocolate swirl cake and decorated it with m&ms; I also got my hair cut quite dramatically!

I’ve been working on some new embroidery projects and continuing with the sweet theme, did an ice cream cone. I’m also working on a new banner for this blog which is coming along very slowly!

I recently got a commission to do a small penguin sculpture; he was to be wearing a little jumper and bow tie! Well I do like a challenge and this is how he came out. I really liked this project and am planning to do some more bird sculptures.

I still feel like I’m working on making my craft area the best possible place to work in. I’m going to be making a little shelf unit for all my knickknacks that I put on the window; I also want to re-pot more cactus friends!

Recent Things in March

So the craziness of last month has definitely started to settle down and my new craft space is looking good. I have my favourite things on the window sill and my inspiration around me that make me so happy and fulfilled while I’m creating things or in need of ideas.

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Since moving into the flat with my lovely boyfriend, I have been exploring my new love of baking (especially decorating!) and also want to make the place cosy and a space to feel relaxed and content. I recently bought a magazine on up cycling and am planning to make a headboard for our bed and re-purpose an old lamp. Also my obsession with cacti has exploded!

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I have been getting back into embroidery recently, partly because our spare room wasn’t finished yet and I wanted something creative to do while sitting in the living room.

I started with a smaller hoop as a practise then planned out a bird silhouette filled with flowers. I forgot how much I enjoy creating with stitches. Colour, shape and movement are all my favourite elements in my work and feel I have captured that in this project. I’m planning to add some seed beads to this and also thinking about spray painting the frame. I’m thinking this would make a lovely Mother’s Day gift for my Mum as well.

Another one of my mini projects for my art area is a copper wire letter S I got from Hobbycraft which I thought would make an interesting addition to my wall art. I’m thinking of covering it with wire and beads and just generally experiment.

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Chaos and Creativity

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‘I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value’ – Hermann Hesse

It’s been about two months since my last post and probably the longest gap since I started writing my blog. Life suddenly got very chaotic and I found myself unable to anything art or craft related. I was poorly then I had to move house as my landlord was selling. I was also learning to drive and doing some volunteering at an art gallery. Looking back now it was a massive upheaval and I felt stressed and overwhelmed.

Gradually things began to level out and my boyfriend and I moved into a flat together. We now have a spare room for arts, crafts and magic (he is an actual magician!) but this is yet to be fully sorted and is currently a myriad of boxes and degu cage – they are cute though so they can get away with it for now.

Between moving house I did some art journal pages and made my friend a mixed media birthday card. I’ve also been teaching myself Illustrator so I can create a website layout for my boyfriend – magic is a great topic! It is a new way of approaching art and I am finding it a real challenge. I’ve always liked design and illustration and scrapbook interesting packaging, so learning how to create vector art on a computer is another step towards that kind of artwork. I have to admit that spending a lot of time on the computer is hard. I work in an office during the day and being able to make things with clay, paints, sewing is my way of escaping technology and feeling more connected by using the materials with my hands. Maybe once I get more to grips with the software I will find a balance between both.

Below are a few pictures from the last month. Now my life is calming down a bit more I have plenty of creative projects bubbling in my mind.

Polymer Clay rocket tin

Space Things & Galaxy Octodudes

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I think after making my large scale shark coral reef, I felt a little bit of a lull with my ideas. Although I had some vague thoughts on new clay projects, I couldn’t seem to get started. I looked at Pinterest (go to place for inspiration!) and started thinking of a space theme for an Altoid tin. I drew round a tin I had in my drawer at work and did a mini sketch of a 1950’s style rocket. I liked where this was going!

Working with Altoid tins in the past, I found that putting clay over the entire thing doesn’t always work and wanted to try spray painting them. I learned pretty quickly that you should invest in some metal primer if you don’t want the paint to scratch off.

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I decided to used my rocket drawing as the basis for my tin lid. I mixed together Fimo clay in black, purple, translucent, green and stardust to get a blend similar to a galaxy. I rolled it through the pasta machine to stretch the colours out rather than completely mix them and placed this on the lid. Next I cut out some basic shapes in silver clay for my rocket, using a deep blue and aqua to define parts of the rocket ship. I used a pointed tool to make some indents and added some small gold pieces for detail. I used a fluorescent clay to make the stars which I thought would be add dimension.

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Ready to bake

After baking and leaving the tin to cool, I sprayed it with metal primer and left it for a few hours. I then did several coats of black spray paint before deciding what to do with my tin.

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Farewell 2015!

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It’s been a while since my last blog post and what better time to reflect on this year than New Year’s Eve?

Looking over all my projects and posts, it surprised me just how much I’ve made this year. The biggest thing was my new found love of polymer clay. I moved house in January to a nicer house and bigger room. I was still focusing on embroidery around the beginning of the year and set myself the project of my large Toucan on a hoop. A daunting task as it was so big!

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After spending a lot of hours on embroidery I wanted to try something new and tried shrink plastic. This was a lot of fun but felt the possibilities of it were a bit limited.

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Art Blogs

Just made a poll to find out what you guys are interested in when it comes to art blogs in general 🙂

Polymer Clay Creatures & Charms

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Wow, it is September already?! OMG!

Autumn is probably my favourite season. It reminds me of starting a new term at uni, getting new books, stationary, the trees changing colour and snuggling up in a scarf and hat when out. It is also the time for hot chocolates, getting cosy in bed with films while it is cold and raining outside and Halloween!

This post is on the polymer clay things I have been making recently (partly while I was off work poorly) and I love trying new techniques and adapting my ideas. I made two smaller Fizzling creatures and have been wanting to try bright colours on a black body. I love it! Black Fimo does have the tendency to stain though so I had to make sure my working area and hands were cleaned frequently with baby wipes. This meant I could add colour clay without mixing it together and getting it muddy. I also use clingfilm on my Fimo clay when I’m not working on a project to protect it from lint. I find this works well.

I wanted to make a pair of Fizzlings and had quite a lot of scales left so made a second one with a purple body. They look so cute together! I can see some flaws in them but I like the shape and design.

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Inspirations & Sweet Things

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I’ve been quite unwell recently with a sinus infection. Mostly been sleeping, feeling sorry for myself and watching a lot of nature programmes! I’ve also been doing a lot of art journaling and over the last few months I’ve found a lot of inspiration online through other artists work. I am obsessed with Pinterest!

This made me think of doing a series of blog posts on inspiration once a month. I am definitely a person who goes through phases of struggling with a creative block. It is almost like I have either too many ideas or none at all. So I am going to put up some themes and tips about this in the next few months.

Here are a few things I purchased and have felt inspired by over July and August:Art Books

My interest in Gothic art has been growing and bought Weirdo Noir which is a beautiful and informative book on contemporary pop Gothic art. It features lots of contemporary artists doing work in comics, illustration and is a refreshing change to all the shit candy pop stuff you see in mainstream day to day life. As I am also exploring sculpture, I am fascinated with art dolls and bought The Doll Scene which is full of gorgeous handmade dolls by interesting mixed media artists across the world. I love art books in general but thought I needed something a bit different to inspire me to go in a new direction.

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Hearts & Badges

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I love trying new things to make. And once I get an idea in my brain it doesn’t really leave. So I bought a Badge It machine because I really wanted to make my own badges – and ‘professional’ ones are like £200! OMG it is so much fun. I’ve only done some of the ones that came with the kit but learning some of the design software at work means I will soon make my own cute badges! Woooo!

I am also obsessing over hearts at the moment and found this cute bundle of fabrics. I am using this for my next embroidery project. It is horrible, rainy and dark outside now so that means more time indoors making stuff!

Some Recent Arty Things…

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This week I have been thinking of exploring more textiles and sewing for my creative projects so picked up two magazines for inspiration. I also decided to buy a new Dylusions art journal because my old one is now so fat it is really difficult to do two pages! I’m completely obsessed with the newness of journals and notebooks – so many possibilities!

This book box from Graphic 45 is just too cute for words and includes 3 tags inside – excited to start thinking of a theme for it. And I’ve been exploring and enjoying my doodle art journaling in my smaller journal, although I use my Posca pens so much I’m starting to run out.

Hope everyone gets to do something creative this week 🙂