Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Tattoos, Lil Peep, and Homemade Gifts

Every year I make my kid at least one gift for Christmas. In the past I've made a needlefelted sasquatch, a miniature brick wall for graffiti, a needle point that read 'Liquor and Whores'... I try to make a little something that reflects something he's been interested in that particular year.

This year my son has been on and on about old school tattoo flash. I saw some super cool examples of wooden artist hand models that had been painted with tattoos and knew that was just the thing to make this year.

Then my kid shared his Spotify roundup and his top artist was Lil Peep. I actually painted a portrait of Lil Peep for his Christmas gift a couple of years ago so I knew that he's one of my sons favourite artists, and that he was heavily tattooed. I figured I'd include a nod to him too in my little piece. 

I dabbled with the idea of replicating Lil Peeps hands as they were covered in tattoos, but then the issue became displaying the hands. The model sits on a flat base, fingers pointing up. This would mean that any wording on the hands would be upside-down when displayed. Instead of being faithful to the inspiration, I made a mashup of old school flash and tattoos that adorned Lil Peep.

Many of the Lil Peep source photos I used showed his nails painted bright red, so I included that detail too.

I'm pretty happy with how this piece turned out and hope my kiddo loves it. Making people things that reflect their loves and likes is such fun :)

Hope you had/are having a lovely holiday, sweet friend. And now, I, for one, am going to have a much deserved nap on the couch.

P.S. You have no idea how many times I typed Lil Poop while writing this.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Victorian Inspired Gilded Walnuts

I've been feeling inspired lately and there were LOADS of holiday projects on my to-do list but the days are quickly running out. I've become rather partial to a slower pace, to investing time rather than running myself ragged, and so I'll cut my holiday list short and just post one last project.

But it's such a cute project.

I think you're going to like it :)

Can you even?! I cannot!

This isn't the first walnut project I've done, but I was inspired for a revisit after watching THIS youtube video from Serena Dyer that featured instructions for Victorian gilded walnuts. I ask you, who doesn't need something shiny and precious? How could I help myself?

I made some modifications from the inspiration video, and learned a few things along the way. I've made a video of my own process which you can find HERE but here are some of tips that you'll want to keep in mind if you want to make some of these beauties:

• I had the best results using a butter knife to split the shells

• Don't get hung up on how many shells don't split perfectly (I had about a 40% success rate) Buy extra nuts and don't worry about it.

• Keep your shell halves together so that you don't have to search for matching pairs later on

• Tape the halves together while your glue sets to keep everything in place

• Be careful when removing the tape! Pulling it off too fast can cause the two halves to twist slightly and put strain on the hinge 

• Consider using gilding paste, it makes a BIG difference when applying the gold leaf

And while I did make some of these lovely trinkets with a vintage Christmas feel, these don't have to be just for Yuletide. How lovely would these be to hide a love note? A birthday wish. Maybe a little something made for no reason at all.

Here is the supply list (exact products linked but feel free to substitute):
• walnuts
tiny hinges
gilding paste
gold leaf
• flat back nail rhinestones (I believe I used 1.5mm)
• ribbon (optional)
• miscellaneous items for filling: acorns, mini vintage images, faux greenery/plants, coins, love notes, rings, jewelry, moss, faux mushrooms, mini eggs, treats/candy, bells, mini vials, fake snow. charms

Now, off you pop! Go! Make some beautiful golden treasures :)

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Swooning Into the Woods


I've been watching the hell out of YouTube Christmas craft tutorials lately. My poor husband has been subjected to HOURS upon HOURS of them. Somewhere along my binge I saw a video of image transfers onto polymer clay.

Hold. The. Freaking. Boat.

IMMEDIATELY I tried my hand at them using the video instructions and the results were just sort of ok. I did a deeper dive and... I'm obsessed! I became so obsessed I created a new collage sheet specifically of images I wanted to slap on every bit of polymer clay in my stash!

You can find the sheet HERE in my etsy shop. I'm going to be super cheeky and say it's really lovely. It's filled with all sorts of things you'd find on a walk through the woods: hares, hedgehogs, frogs, acorns... it's packed with really sweet images. I think you'll love it. 

There are a few little wrinkles I want to iron out, so I'm not quite ready to share a tutorial yet. But you can jump right in by visiting the Sculpty website where they share image transfer techniques.

While these first samples are imperfect and wonky... I am so excited by the possibilities!

In addition to the image transfer, these pieces were antiqued with a bit of paint and have been gold leafed on the back, with a smattering of gold flakes on the front.

They're like beautiful old objects that have been worn by time and love.

Acorn caps and twine and ribbons <3

The only problem with these gorgeous wee trinkets is that I know they're going to distract me from my holiday making, which I am totally behind on.

Ah well, I'll just have to call in a favour from Father Christmas to pick up my slack. Hopefully the promise of his favourite cookies (ginger spice) and an Irish coffee will do the trick.