Tuesday, April 28, 2009

International Charm Day - a Tutorial ... I hope

Many of you already know that I have a thing for paper cranes, so in honor of

International Charm Day
(click above to be directed to the event blog)

I give you my step-by-step on taking a paper crane from ... paper to charm.

(fingers crossed)

Materials: Assorted Origami Papers
Petal Porcelain (or other preferred setting agent)
Paint Brush
Wax Paper
Needle (or straight pin)
Head Pins
Various small beads

Step 1: Select your paper.

I highly recommend using thin paper (thinner than copy paper, but that can still hold an edge - tissue paper is out). The sheets below are 6"X6" origami papers.

Step 2: Cut your papers into 1" or 1-1/4" squares:

Side note: The smaller your squares, the more difficult they will be to fold, but practice - I promise it's worth the effort.

(I used the 1-1/4" squares for the photo's below)

I like to cut up a bunch of squares in one sitting, so I'll have a nice stack to work with:

Step 3: Put on some favorite crafting music or pop in a movie
(preferably one that doesn't require your full attention and is good for a giggle)

Step 4: Fold yourself some little paper cranes - I usually fold at least a dozen at a sitting.
(more is better as I almost always have a few casualties in the dipping process)

Another Note: If you don't know how to fold a paper crane, I recommend CLICKING HERE. (There's even a printable PDF link on the page - don't be daunted by the instructions; they look more difficult than they actually are. Also, practice a few on larger 6"x6" squares first.)

The picture below shows a nutshell progress of the folds:

Step 5: Once you have your flock, take a photograph of them!

Sorry about the bad photo - happens when you wait till after dark to take pictures.

Step 6: Dip each crane in The Setting Agent.
(I generally dip them twice - one time I hold the crane by the tail and the other time by the head)

**** Sorry - I don't have pictures for Step 6 Through Step 14 ****

Step 7: Brush off the excess Setting Agent and allow it to dry completely.
(at this step, it is common for the beak and wings to want to turn up - try to push them down gently with the paintbrush as you are removing the excess Setting Agent - also, if you are really careful, you can sometimes "reshape" them once they are completely dry from the first dipping.)

Step 8: Repeat Step 6

Step 9: Repeat Step 7

Step 10: Carefully poke a hole through the bottom of the crane
(if you brushed the excess Setting Agent off, there will still be a hole in the bottom - you'll see)

up through the center of the back
(as close as possible - it's fairly easy to find the center as you will be able to see where you folded the paper)

Step 11: Feed a head pin through the hole, add a bead (or beads).

Step 12: Trim any excess length off the head pin.
(keeping in mind that you will finish the head pin off by making the end into a loop for hanging)

Step 13: Can you guess?!? Yep, finish the end of the head pin by turning it into a loop for hanging.

Step 14: Add a coat of clear varnish for shine
(optional ... you might choose to paint your cranes prior to adding the varnish if you used a solid color paper)


Yes, I know, this isn't a crane from this batch - the first flock is still drying. Thank goodness I save ALL my photo's.

As an added bonus, I'm offering sets of six dipped cranes to two people. If you'd like to be included in the drawing, please leave a comment on this post by midnight EST time on Thursday, April 30th. I'll let Sadie draw two names from the hat (or bowl, or bag ... ) on Friday, May 1st

BONUS that'll be May Day ... the first day of my birthday month!

Have fun visiting all the participants from the first ever

International Charm Day!

(click above to be transported to the event link)

Thank you, Amber Dawn, for hosting such a FUN event!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

Stephanie from Rodrigvitz Style posted two stunning photo's HERE and included a link to a pretty cool project - Earth Mosaic.

I wanted to participate, but didn't know if I'd get a chance to take a photo ... well, work lasted longer than expected and first trip out (when the light was near about as perfect as I would get) I realized the memory card was not in the camera ... UG! Raced home to grab it and headed back out to the original spot ... sun setting ... boo ... snapped quick shots in hopes of capturing something ... *sighs* ... settled on uploading these

I was really hoping that I would capture some vast and beautiful water shot. Unfortunately, I missed that "good sky" window. Since I missed it, I did a complete 180 and focused on what was at my feet.

Would you believe me if I told you the shot above reminds me of the Earth? I know ... it's not round. The continental look of the algae that got me.

The one below is a shot of some exposed root system. If I had been less rushed I am sure that I would have taken a number of macro shots of this one as the wood grain is pretty amazing and there's tons of debris (in the form of sand, shells & other random bits) filling all the crevices.

Neither shot is what I had anticipated uploading, but honestly, I am pleased that I was able to contribute.

I know that many of you had your camera's out today in celebration of Earth Day ... The site is open to upload pictures until April 30th (only those taken within the 24 hour period that is April 22, 2009). If you are interested in participating, just go HERE to upload your Earth Day photo(s).

on that note, I leave you with these:

"Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling."
~ Henry David Thoreau

"Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand."
~ Henry David Thoreau

"Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Charming Day, A Swap & A-Dressing the Situation

Amber Dawn has come up with a great idea, but before you click the image below for the details, go visit Terisa at Running With Scissors to read her charming post - it's a lovely tribute to Amber and the perfect lead in to:

Love the idea ... if you do too, make sure to leave a comment on Amber's post.

Perhaps you've already seen this one:

... maybe you're even signed up for it ... well, I've thrown caution to the wind and me, TOO! At this point I have no idea if I'll be trying to create an actual doll or a softie sort of creature ... thanks goodness there's some time ... if you haven't already signed up, click the image above for the whole scoop

Finally, please visit this post:

It was Monica and her Pink Artist Project that inspired me to not only participate in my very first call-to-artist charity event, but to actually start my blog ... I will forever be grateful to her. So, even though I know zero about making a dress, you can bet I am going to learn. Either click on the image above or HERE for her unique request.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Prize and Surprise

Do you remember this?

If not, I ended up winning 3rd Place and today my prize arrived.

Check it out:

Who doesn't need their very own enchanted bandages ... I'm tempted to cut myself (ok, I'll be honest, not really ... but I am considering breaking a nail) just to have an excuse to put one on! The art postcards were just a super duper surprise bonus.

You can visit Nancy at her website or her blog, but be prepared ... you'll want to stay a while.

How about this one:

Did you ever notice this little cutie on my sidebar?!? If not, click it ... I don't know if the free poppets are still being offered, but it's worth a look (though don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to purchase one of your very own) ... I received mine today:

Now that I have this little charmer, I just know I'm going to have to get him a leetle friend ... or ten! He's about two inches tall, but packs a LOT of charm into his tiny frame.


Go HERE to see more poppets (and additional links, too)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

how bout three more?

Sometimes I get into these manic making fests ... I learn something new and do - do - do until I am so burnt out I don't wanna do those things again for a long time ... for some reason, I'd doing the do thing, but haven't gotten burnt out ... yet.


Here are three more goddess doll attempts ... I really wanted the hands up over the head in a celebratory manner .... dig the first one in the middle ... can anyone say block head?!? lol ... I'm amused. The two on the outside came after I made an attempt at getting the heads smaller and, well, more round!

hmmm ... do they look a bit hippier, too? And do they look like they are celebrating or getting held up for all their money and jewels?!?

Now ... all I need to do is convince myself to EMBELLISH ... yep. That'll happen. Eventually.

Smile a lot ... makes everyone wonder what you're up to!

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

3 Goddesses

Many of you know that I am soooo not a seamstress and actually struggle in my attempts at making plushies /doll forms... anyone out there recall a tale of lopsided drunken critters? hehe ... anyway, I am determined to get better, so must practice, practice, practice.

I have been wanting to make some Goddess dolls for a while - the shape appeals to me. I found some great free patterns from Ronda Kivett a long, long while back (I've since looked and the free patterns are nowhere to be found). Her patterns were a great starting point, but I wanted bigger hips and rounder heads, so have been playing with the original pattern a little. Here are my first three attempts:

They make me smile.

All are about six inches tall and were hand sewn. The cotton fabric (two on the outside) is much easier to work with than the silky stuff (center - though that fabric really appeals to me as it is shiny and has sparklies). The corners (under and over the arms) seem a little wrong as the form sort of pulls in the bust area (not bad, just doesn't seem right to me) and I still don't get how to close the opening (once stuffed) to maintain the correct shape ... take a look - each one looks like it's sunken in or swaying just a little ... hmm ... let's just say they're dancing!

Anyway, I'm definitely open to comments, tricks, recommended reading and/or suggestions.

thank you & g'nite!