Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Baby Giraffe, sneak peek!

There will be better pics to come, but I wanted to show you my current pride and joy, a baby giraffe sculpt! I had seen a photo of a baby giraffe on pinterest and just knew I had to sculpt my version of this adorable creature. Sculpting him brought back memories of a giraffe that my dad had once carved from a piece of wood. It was a miniature that had rhinestone eyes, a quirky embellishment that stands out in my mind. My sister is the lucky keeper and guardian of that treasure. So much of what I do was inspired by my dad. He used to draw cartoon characters for me at the breakfast table. I think he would have devoted more of his time to art had he not been working so hard to provide for us.

I feel that I captured the bewildered look of a baby giraffe as he takes his first looks at the world around him. Once again, I was drawn to a pitifully cute and innocent creature.

If I can let go of him, I will be listing him on Ebay this Sunday at approximately 8:00 pm EST for 7 days. Some sculptures have a special place in my heart and he is one of them. But, I do find joy in knowing that my work is in collectors' homes around the world. I feel like I will leave a bit of myself behind when I am no longer here. That is the most awesome reward of being an artist.

I will give you an update on this piece tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Norway" a baby white harp seal

Although I consider my work to be folk art, I do some research for each animal that I sculpt. For Norway, I looked to see how many digits there are on each harp seal flipper, and I studied several photos to sculpt a realistic nose for him. While looking for photos, my heart was saddened when pics of the clubbing of baby seals came up. I simply can't understand how a human being can do this to these sweet, darling baby animals. I won't dwell on that though, because I want my blog to be a happy place for you to visit.
This little shabby sweetie rests safely on his cute little altered box. Norway will never know anything but love!
His eyes are onyx and he wears a shabby little ice blue ruffle around his neck. There is a reprinted photo of an Arctic scene on the top of his box (thank you graphics fairy!).
Though a fairly simple sculpture, I wanted to get the right look on his face. He has to oversized eyes that a real harp seal pup has and a shiny black nose with little dots for whiskers.
He would look so cute in a white room with aqua accents!
Here is the link to his auction:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pearl, a baby orangutan

I have sculpted another white haired orangutan! This one is wearing pink and is in a different position than the first one, which makes her one of a kind too! This one does not sit. She can lie in her box, or in the palm of your hand (where she would really like to be!). I named her Pearl. It seemed a fitting name for this little girl.
Tomorrow, I am going to list something completely different from my past sculpts, so please check in. I spent today taking pics and formatting the listing. That, in itself, is quite a job.
I am working on a baby giraffe. I do folk art interpetations of most animals, so proportions are not as important to me as the overall look and expression.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

MIniature "White Chocolate" teddy bear

I love to make jointed teddy bears. I had some chocolate ephemera and wanted to use some of it for a chocolate bear, but a brown bear just didn't seem to go with the shabby cottage theme that I'm doing right now, so I thought "white chocolate!" He has a dark chocolate ruffle around his neck, and his paw pads are really cute! I used little ovals taken from an old ad that I got from the graphics fairy and reprinted them so that they fit perfectly on his paws and feet. He comes in a darling altered box that I made for him. You can see most of it in the photo. Each side of the box is different.
I used dual strength thread to joint this bear so it should last for years to come.

Off topic~ penny pinching tips

Occasionally, I like to pass on one of my lifestyle tips to you, so I hope you don't mind my going off topic every now and then.

I go through a lot of paper towels when I work at my sculpting desk. We also use a lot in the kitchen because we cook nearly all of our meals at home, so there are always spills on the counter or on the floor. Without thought, I would rip off a paper towel. We get our paper towels at CostCo and they are a much better value than at the grocery except for one thing, the sheets are way too big! So, I have started cutting them in two as soon as I open a roll. I can cut through several layers at a time. I set the stack on the kitchen counter and we are literally cutting our paper towel purchases in half!

Another tip:
We like the "homemade" bread at a local grocer because it has no preservatives in it. The bread gets stale within two days so I was always pitching bread! Now, I freeze 2 slices in a ziplock bag and freeze them for individual use. No, I'm not using a lot of bags because I stash them back in the freezer to reuse the next time I buy bread!

As an artist, I compare the cost of daily use products to the amount I get from my little sculptures. I spend hours on one piece, a piece of work that will last for years to come. Bread, paper towels, etc. are gone in a flash. I have become much more frugal about where I spend that money. Good for me and good for the environment!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Molly Mouse

I don't think that white mice have black eyes, but Molly Mouse does! She is my latest creation. I had to make sure that her thin long tail was strong, so I sculpted it over a heavy metal armature. This little girl was made from Fimo polymer clay. I have been using both Fimo and Premo clay for my shabby white pieces. I find that Premo has a smoother, more "rubbery" look and feel, while the Fimo is a little more matte. I like both of them....for different things. Premo gives my teddy bears a vintage leather look that I like.
Please look in on Molly's auction:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Myrtle the Turtle~altered art tip

My new shabby sweetie is Myrtle. She has vintage dictionary definitions on her shell! She comes in an box that I altered for her. It has various turtle ephemera on it as well as a pretty ocean blue rhinestone button and some lace.

I have been hanging on to all kinds of tidbits that I used to throw away. I cut the cotton twill ribbon handle off of an Anthropology shopping bag today and am using it on my next altered box. So before you throw anything away,consider how you might be able to use it to alter an object. Repurposing is what it's all about right now!

Here's the link to Myrtle's auction:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

OOAK baby orangutan, Twinkle

I love this baby orangutan that I just listed! I know baby orangutans have reddish brown hair, but this one is unique. She is a shabby white one! I am so in love with all that is white right now, so I just had to give her white fur. Her black bead eyes do have a twinkle in them, hence the name.

Some women like fast cars, expensive purses, shoes and jewelry. Me? I love the pitiful things. Someone has to love them, right?

Seriously, I do find my joy sitting and my desk and playing with my clay. When I can repurpose small items into my work or my house, that's even better! That hole in your soul cannot be filled by going shopping. Been there, done that. That's only a temporary fix. Find something that you love to do and you will find fulfillment and save a lot of money!

As a matter of fact, my husband asked me if I wanted to go out shopping today. I turned him down!

Here is the link to Twinkle's auction:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thread jointed fairy, Nella & a knot tying tip

I wanted to sculpt a simpler style fairy, one without as much realism as I try to put into my usual fairies. I came up with Nella. I used black onyx beads for her eyes rather than handpainted eyes and I like the look. I think they give her a "impish" look. I have really been enjoying tearing up old books and using the pages and covers for my sculptures. For this little girl, I pleated wings from paper from a vintage dictionary, one of those old kind with the real thin pages. For the bodice of her dress, I used some canvas from the cover of another old book. I cut out part of the definition of "fairy" from the old dictionary and used it to accent the bodice of her dress. Her wings are secured with a snippet of thick antique lace that I cut out of a doily.
I certainly think twice before throwing out any little piece of ribbon, lace, jewelry finding, or any other odds and ends because I love repurposing and using unexpected items for accents in my work! Even the tiniest little left over piece of antique doily gets put to use, eventually.

I received a question about how I keep my thread tight when I am thread jointing. So, here's a tip. After I pull the two threads together the first time, I put a bit of Fabritac on the thread before I finish the knot. I use double strength thread so there is no chance of breakage over the years.

Here is the link to Nella's auction:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A hand sculpted altered frog!

This is Marsha, a sweet little frog who lives in another time. Her froggie stripes have been made from old print from an antique book and from the linen of the same book. I reinforced her little toes with wire to make them stronger. She comes in really beautiful box that I altered for her. I used some of the same linen from the book cover, various frog ephemera, including definitions from old dictionaries. She can sit on top of her box, or you can display it behind her.
I really really like this piece! I love the texture of the tattered linen in contrast to the smooth printed words. The box can be turned in different directions for different looks.

Here is the link to her Ebay auction:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Find my sculpting tutorials more easily now!

I just added a search box on my site so that you can easily access my sculpting tips tutorials! I hope to post more for you in the coming months.