Saturday, November 07, 2020

The Longwinded Making of the Hagrid's Hut - The Exterior

Hey! You've found the first part of my Hagrid's Hut walk-through: The Exterior

The completed Hagrid's Hut can be found HERE

Because I added a number of elements to the Octagon Room Box used to make this project, I wanted to create a rundown of the basic construction. There's a lot to go through, so I've broken it up into three parts: The ExteriorThe Roof, and The Interior.

When making this project I alternated working on the inside/outside as glue/paint dried. So don't feel like you have to complete one area before moving on. 

Finally, I won't be going into fine details here, but I think these steps will be helpful if you want to create a similar project.

Now, on to the construction!

Start off by painting the base. You're going to be covering this up, but by preparing it now you're going prevent later issues and hide any flubs.

Once dry, cover the bottom of the base with some scrapbook paper. (top image) The reason I do this is because I'll be adding flooring later. I want the two sides of the chipboard to sort of have even 'coatings' or layers. In my experience this drastically reduces the chances of the chipboard warping later.

You also want to paint the funny looking frame that hold the walls in place and provides stability.

Slot your walls into the base and support them with the top funny looking bit. Add masking tape to each 'corner'. The masking tape helps to make the join where the walls meet more seamless when finishing.

Add masking tape to the inside joins too.

I know I want a fireplace inside my hut, so I'm making a chimney outside. I'm simply using layers of corrugated cardboard to create this. I tape the edges and add it to the side of my hut.

My exterior is going to have a stone finish, but I want to create interest by including another texture so I'm giving the chimney a plaster look. Using a pallet knife I smooth drywall compound over the surface. You could alternatively use grout, or acrylic latex caulk. Check out your local hardware store for ideas.

Take your time, and allow your compound to dry. You do not have to make it perfect all at once! Touch up the surface and add layers as you go along.

While Hagrid's Hut was wooden in the Potter books, I'm making a stone surface exterior. Tearing up egg cartons I create my stones. You'll likely want to prepare twice as much as you think you'll need. You can keep all the 'stones' evenly shaped/sized, or create patterns by mixing it up!

I begin adding my stones around the area that the door has been plotted. I'll frame in the door and then work outward applying horizontal lines of 'stonework' working from the bottom to the top. I try to keep things fairly straight as it's easy for things to start lining up wonky. Don't get too caught up in perfection though! A bit of wobble is a-ok.

Another layer on my chimney and the stones are looking dandy!

FYI, I use Aleene's Tacky Glue as it seems to keep things in place as I'm working. I don't have to worry about stones sliding all over the place as they dry.

Next, I take disposable piping bag, put some drywall compound inside, and cut the tiniest bit off the end. I'll use this to squiggle some 'mortar' between the stones. You need VERY LITTLE for this. In the above photo I've probably applied 2xs more than I should have.

With a wet finger, smooth out the plaster/mortar. If things get a bit messy, just use a damp cloth to remove the excess. Don't worry. It's going to look great!

A final coat on that chimney. See! It's coming along.

Once that dries you can try adding a bit more interest to your stonework. Remember that stones and rock have variation in their colouring. Consider trying chalk pastels, light washes of paint, ink, stain... heck, I even used a bit of eyeshadow (beware anything with shimmer) and coffee to stain mine. 

If you want to apply a topcoat to the surface, remember that this too might affect the colour. Try a little on some leftover carton to see how it dries before applying to the whole surface.

Now add your door into place. I've used the Rustic Door - 1:12. Rather than creating a door that opens and fiddling with cutting out the wall, I'm using two doors. One doors sits on the exterior wall, the other exactly opposite on the inside.

Now, let's pop over to making the roof to continue...


You can browse all of the sweet, sweet AlphaStamps items used in this project HERE 

Additional items used in it the construction:
• corrugated cardboard
• thin cardboard
• acrylic paint
• glue
• acrylic latex silicone
• drywall compound
• twigs and bark
• miscellaneous bits n' pieces

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Diviner's Table

It feels like an age since I posted a tutorial (probably because it has been). I thought that a Halloween surprise might be nice, so I created a little Diviner's Table and have a tutorial for the red pillar candles and incense.

While a tutorial is all about teaching others, I learned a lot myself while putting this wee table together. I learned more about Baphomet, the goat figure on the glass novena candles. Baphomet is actually a pretty complex character with an interesting history. I also experimented with resin. See those bubbles in the crystal ball? Pretty much drove me insane trying to minimize them.

There were some happy discoveries too, like this impossibly small smudge stick! We had been making regular size smudge sticks from white buffalo sage in the garden and when I spied the little leaves and bits leftover, drying on a table, I had a eureka moment. Why not make a wee one? And it's my new favourite thing. You can even burn them!!! (If you're very careful of course.)

If you'd like to see how this little piece came together, you can find the video HERE.

And if you're looking for a list of supplies, here are all the bits used in making this piece:
• 3" small wooden round (or other size you prefer)
• 3" unfinished wooden candlestick
• black acrylic paint
• glue white/wood glue, and instant/crazy glue
• crayons
• thin wire
• tooth picks
• bead and bead cap
• florist wire

Optional extras:
• resin or real crystal ball/marble/large glass bead
• tiny gem chips
• watch crystal (paint back black for scrying mirror)
• sage leaf and thread for smudge stick
Tiny Tarot (the set of 22 Major Arcana used here, but full deck is available)

Important note: If you can't find one of the products I used, please do improvise! Don't you dare overpay for materials. Those candlesticks shouldn't be more than a couple of dollars and I just spied them online at a ridiculously inflated price. You should be able to find them in most craft shops.

Also, while the crystal ball in the pic was a bit bubbly, I did end up finding a different resin that gave me much better results. I was super happy with Resinate UltraCast. No affiliate link, and they didn't provide me product, but I was pleased with my results and thought I'd share if anyone else is having resin struggles.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Art Walk 2021 Giveaway

I cannot believe it's been over a month, A MONTH!!! since my last post. Cross my heart I've been working away, playing with resin, fiddling about, canning and preserving the last of our garden spoils. I've also got a big fat glorious project I can't share just yet... but I promise you're going to love.

I've mentioned that I'll be teaching with Art Walk Alchemy 2021 - "Enigmas and Curiosities". Super excited about that and I hope you'll join me. Right now they're doing a giveaway for a free registration, so why not tip your hat into the ring.

For your chance to win:

• Go to Mystic Spring Studios’ Facebook page HERE

• Add a Halloween project that you have created and tag me.

• Share the giveaway

That's it!

To find out more about Art Walk Alchemy 2021, click HERE

The giveaway ends on October 30 and the winner will be announced on Halloween!

Best of luck to you!

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Bees bees bees

The garden is particularly abundant with blooms at the moment. It was tremendously dry last month and everything was crispy brown. I prefer the happy fuchsias and yellows. With those blooms comes bees and butterflies and hummingbirds. I just love watching them. Not so thrilled with the wasps who have also come out whom I swear a blue streak to when they near. Bumble and honeybees on the other hand are a delight.

All that babbling is to introduce this cute set of bumblebees that I made, inspired by my garden visitors. 

They're simply made of balls of paperclay, painted with acrylic. I've added beads added for eyes, and Printed Bee Wings on Transparency . Finally I pushed in a small loop/hook, and added string to give them flight.

I think they're stonkin' cute. How adorable would they bee as a mobile with paper flowers? Gah!

One of the chubby dudes did escape from my craft room, but he was soon discovered in the garden.

He was lured back inside with promises of warm, soft, ginger cookies and tea.

Hope you're dandy and healthy and safe.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Jane Austen, French Knots and Small Celebrating Small Successes

Wayyyy back in May, I received a copy of "Jane Austen Embroidery" by Jennie Batchelor and Alison Larkin. It's super pretty and I was totally enthusiastic about stitching my days away, dreaming of Mr. Darcy (or Colonel Brandon if you please *swoon*) but honestly... life got in the way and I drank too much gin that weekend.

I am not a sewist or embroiderer, or in any way skilled with a needle and thread, but I do love embroidery and keen to try my hand at most craft skills. I thought I'd start with a little snip from one of the designs to sort of warm up before committing to a big project.

Those of you with greater needlework skills are probably groaning at my wonky work, but I was really pleased with that tiny hoop (which is 3" across if you were wondering). It's given me the confidence and desire to create a larger project from the book. With this tiny hoop I tried a couple of new techniques, and while far from perfect, I think there's charm in that not-quite-right thread.

Now, a number of the designs in the book included french knots, which have always eluded me. Many attempts have been made over the years, and I have always failed. I decided to try again, adding them to my wee hoop, and this time I would create a french knot before bed or never sleep again. And you know what? I did it! 

Were those knots perfect or dainty? Not in the least... BUT I DID IT! Dainty perfection will come with time and practice.

Until perfection comes, I've celebrated my small victory by making a charm with a group of the biggest chonkiest french knots you ever did see. Made with the chunkiest wool, in the tiniest embroidery hoop. 

It might look like a mess of lumpy wool to others, but to me that's proof of one small success, of victory, of the baby steps it takes to move forward.

Remember to love all your chunky knots, my friends. Take pride in every milestone no matter how wonky, or wobbly they appear.

I think I'm ready for that bigger project and some Colonel Brandon day dreams.

If you're interested in purchasing "Jane Austen Embroidery" please consider supporting your local independent book seller. It can also be found here on Amazon (direct, non affiliate link).

Monday, August 10, 2020

Ontario Landscapes

My kiddo got pick-up truck not long ago and, dare I say, he is in love. 

It's bittersweet. I'm not a fan of the fact that he's home far less often. I am excited for his newly discovered freedom.

Last week, after a trip to the grocery store he took me on a detour and we spied some pretty views.

I snapped a few pics and then painted up some ATCs to commemorate this sweet little memory.

To mark the pretty blue summer skies.

To recall the beauty of our rural surroundings.

Most of all to keep the memory of time spent with my favourite person. To remember this time when he's both so young, and so grown up.

*le sigh* 

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Irish Landscape ATCs

I was going through old pics of my trip to England and Ireland from a couple of years ago. I was looking for lush green images of the English countryside... but instead, a handful of Irish landscapes jumped out at me.

While Ireland IS lush and green, it is also a wonder of grey and black.

It is blue grey water.

Mountains and hills and near black rocks.

It is rocky seasides and beaches.

And ragged brambles and jumbles of plants jetting out from stony roadsides.

While I was dreaming of green English countrysides... these Irish landscapes yelled "NO! Paint me!"

And so, I did.

Hope you're well and dandy! I'm having a huge issue with spam comments at the moment so comments are being moderated (boo!). I WILL see your comments, it's just going to take a longer than usual. If you have a pressing question please feel free to email me directly. Cheerio, lovelies!