Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Basic Bust Tutorial with STAEDTLER FIMO Air Basic

Here's a quick and dirty tutorial on how I made the bust of Mars.

Things you'll need:
Styrofoam block about an inch smaller than you want your finished piece
Plaster bandages. 1 or 2 rolls should do it.
1/2 inch dowel at least 2 ft long
5.5 x 5.5 x 7 inch block of wood for the base.
wood filler
cooking skewers
wood primer
black mat spray paint
silver acrylic paint

Black felt

1/2 inch wood drill
sandpaper rough, medium and fine grit
basic set of sculpting tools
craft knife
clay cutting wire or knife
paper towels
hot glue and gun
Spray adhesive
cling wrap
large flat soft paint brush

Start by filling any holes in your wood block. I dried my block out in the oven at 230 degrees for about 3 hours. It was in an outdoor wood pile before I found it and I needed it to be dry before I started finishing it. After the block filled with wood filler I sanded it with a rough sandpaper. I moved down to a medium and fine grit to finish the surface smoothly. I dusted the piece off and gave it a primer coat and let it dry. I roughly carved a head and shoulder bust shape from a hunk of Styrofoam using a craft knife. I paid attention to the recessed areas like the eyes and under the chin. I coated the foam bust with two layers of plaster bandage. I cut 2 inch lengths of the bandage and wet each one as I worked my way around the piece. I made sure to cover the whole piece except the area at the bottom where the dowel would be inserted. You can insert the dowel now but you might want to carve a point at the tip of the dowel to make it easier to insert it into the foam. Be careful not to come out the side of the neck. the armature had to cure so I set it aside for the evening.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lavender Biscuits

A few weeks back I scored some organic culinary lavender from the local spring garden show and I've been itching to make these shortbread biscuits ever since.

This is the pack from Steed & Co . The lavender I used in our flax seed pillows was theirs also.

Completed Mars Bust From FIMO Air Basic

I promised to post pictures of the finished bust and here they are. I LOVE FIMO Air Basic. I like that I could wrap the piece and leave it to work on the next day. I liked the way it felt in my fingers.

I got some pretty awesome tips from my friends on the interweb before I started working on this piece. I think the most valuable piece of advice was to use vinegar on the final smooth out on the wet piece. It apparently changes the clay chemically and allows for a virtually crack free dry. I had some superficial cracking and filled those by coating the crack with vinegar and smudging more clay into the crack. I finished by smoothing more vinegar over the area and letting it dry again.

It's been a blast to get my fingers mucky.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Flax Seed and Lavender Pillows

I promised Mr. Jimmy some extra firm pillows ages ago and have been driving around with 50 pounds of flax seed in my trunk. Today was the day to finally get to it.

Here's how it went.....

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Progress Mars with FIMO Air Basic

Right now on the work bench.

Deadline looming! I have to let him dry as is. I could spend another 15 hours on him easily.

The helmet is pleasing. Came together pretty quickly too. This is three pounds of FIMO Air Basic.

Still many hours of tweaking and smoothing and adding detail. I'm using FIMO Air Basic, and I'm loving it!

Here are some of the progress pics for your perusal.

Still need a helmet and a smock. 
I promise to post finished project pics as I get them.

Happy spring!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

More Squirrels (and other things)

The Fair Aisle Squirrel Vest is coming along swimmingly. Although I can only work on it for very brief bits of time between work and commissions, it's getting there. I have the pattern well worked out now and I think I'm pretty happy withe the results. Far Aisle knitting isn't for the instant gratification junkie in me, but I'm getting used to the slow progress and I'm beginning to love the workings of it.

Here's a bit of a sneaky peek of what's on my worktable right now. Getting very messy in the studio with some FIMO Air clay. This is my underlying structure. I can't wait to see if the picture in my head will make it out into the real world.

There's some very exciting news of the GIVEAWAY sort coming up in the not so distant future so if you're a doll maker (or a want to be doll maker), you might want to click on the "Join This Site" button at the bottom of the page to make sure you get all the Make It With Me notifications. You won't want to miss this next giveaway!
It's going to be a good one!
I'm excited!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

President's Choice Pasta Dinner

I guess it's not a secret that I'm a bit of a President's Choice product fan. Although we enjoy making our own fresh pasta from time to time, we also use many pre-made pasta and sauce combos for those days (or weeks!) when I have commissions due and little time to play in the kitchen. President's Choice is featuring their PC Fresh Pasta and jar PC Pasta Sauces right now and I wanted to see what all the hype was about.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Turk-ish Delight

I used this recipe from Betterrecipes.com to make a first attempt at my favorite candy. I LOVE Turkish delight and have always wanted to make some. This is my first attempt. (I write first attempt because I will make these again very soon) I was very silly and instead of using the pomegranate extract that the recipe called for, I used pom juice. It wasn't nearly flavorful enough or colourful enough, so I added some cherry extract and pink food colouring. They were tasty, but next time I'll keep it traditional and add a floral water.

The sugar, water, and cornstarch, cream of tarter mixtures took a fair bit of work to blend together. Next time I'll add smaller batches of the cornstarch mix to the sugar and blend thoroughly before adding a wee bit more. It thickened right up and was pretty clear too.

This is after adding the flavoring and colour. I used parchment and loads of coconut oil to make sure the sticky delight would pop out of the tray after it set.

I didn't have to grease the knife as the recipe suggested.I used a very thin boning knife to slice these yummy blocks.

Here are some all coated in their milk chocolate layer. It was a messy and very labor intensive recipe, but I sure will make these again! Next time, I'm using orange blossom water as the flavoring.