Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Plastic Pumpkin, Paper Mache Witch Hat, and German Glass Glitter

Just add a little glitter, she said.

It'll be quick, she said.....

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm never satisfied
with just whipping something up.

After glamming up the little black cauldron
I couldn't resist playing with a little pumpkin favor.

I never planned the outcome, and just had fun gluing away.

While I could've stopped with the jack-o-lantern,
I so badly wanted to add a witch hat.

I bought some paper-mache cones recently, 
and a witch hat was the first thing I thought of
when I saw them. I knew if I didn't use them all for Halloween,
I could make mini Christmas trees out of them.
As it turns out, I painted them all black,
but not before gluing hat rims to them.
Neatness wasn't really a necessity,
since I was adding paint and glitter.

I used a variety of Meyer Imports German glass glitters for this.
My new favorite glitter color is Black.
So much immediate impact.
I love it!

The hat is covered with 80-grit black glass glitter.
The band is 90-grit orange glass glitter.
The rim is black mica flakes. It almost looks satiny!

I first pulled out the plastic handle on the pumpkin.
It occurred to me that if I painted it black first,
it would accentuate the sections after embellishing,
if I left the crevices black. I was right!
(Since you're painting plastic, I recommend 
chalk or chalkboard paint, but some craft paints are also
available now for multi-surfaces.)

The pumpkin is covered with Autumn Hues Medley,
which is a multi-color glass glitter mix.
To really make the "carved" face stand out, 
I filled the areas with 90-grit Black glass glitter,
and framed them with metallic gold paint.

After putting the hat together with the jack-o-lantern,
it needed something more to balance it out,
so I decided a dazzling little circle as a base
would give it the final touch it needed.

I painted a chipboard disk black, drew a star pattern on it
then glued it to the base. I felt it would be easier
to glue it to the pumpkin first, then I wouldn't have to worry
about leaving enough bare chipboard to
glue the pumpkin to.
I filled in the star with more 90-grit orange glitter,
and filled in around it with 90-grit black glitter.

Finally, I wanted to keep the pumpkin favor functional.
After numerous ideas, I came up with a simple
hinge design. I hot glued a piece of black wire to
the inside of the hat, then threaded it through
the existing handle hole and curled it.
Works like a charm!
For the other handle hole, I glued
a curly wire in for a final zhoozh. :) 
It also works like a handle!

This is a very lightweight piece, so not for heavy duty use.
Regardless what you use it for, it's a good idea to seal the glitter 
with clear coat for minimal shedding.

Isn't it amazing what some glitter and chipboard can do!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It's time to play with German Glass Glitter for Halloween!

Oy! It's been too long since my last post!
Once again, I've been distracted.
Besides the fact that I'm pet-sitting with these little cuties.....

I was working on my first Halloween Putz house,
but then I received a fabulous shipment.....

of this!
A vast array of German Glass Glitter colors & grits to play with!

I was approached a few months ago by Meyer Imports
(North American importer of German Glass Glitter)
about teaming up with them, to craft with their awesome
products, and share my creations.
Since I discovered the merits of glass glitter years ago,
this was kind of a no-brainer for me.
(Some of this pictured is purchased, and some is complimentary.)

I am in the design phase of creations for 
Halloween and Christmas, so as I use Meyer's products, 
I will describe where I've used them.
They have so many products,
that my selection doesn't even scratch the surface!

This is the first Halloween item I applied their glitter to.

I found these darling little treat cauldrons at the thrift store,
but I'm sure there's a plethora of them in retail land.
Since there were raised flames on it already,
it made the design easy.

I used 80-grit Black glass glitter for the body,
and Pumpkin Spice Medley for the flames.
Just for fun, I used Black Mica for the rim
to give it an ashy appearance.

Finally, I pulled out the flimsy black handle
and added a black wire. 

Using this as a decoration,
it would be cute with a battery votive,
as if something was brewing inside,
or with a mini skeleton.
If used as a party favor,
you need to seal the glitter with glossy varnish.
You don't want any glitter to shed,
especially since it's glass.

I have to say, I've purchased German glass glitter from 
a lot of shops, and it is now apparent that I've been deprived of
the good stuff many times. It appears that some
merchants mix the pure silver-backed glitter with 
the sugary colored glitter, to fill the ounces
for less money. The brilliance of Meyer's glass glitter
is truly the best I've used, so needless to say,
I can now accept no substitutes.
Brilliance aside, since I like to be artistic with 
whatever medium I use, I LOVE the fact that 
I have so many grit sizes to choose from!

Next up, I'll be showing the 2 new Halloween creations 
I just completed, both with the German Glass Glitter.

Come Join Me on Instagram!

Thank you to Meyer Imports for complimentary product. 
All creations, words, opinions and photos are 100% my own.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Re-Visiting the Woodland Witch & Halloween Bowls

It's beginning to cool down and the light is changing.
So naturally Halloween is on my mind.
I thought it would be nice to re-post
one of my projects from last year
for all of you new to my blog.
A Wicked Witch bowl....

It is no secret, to anyone who knows me, that I have an unwavering love for all things Halloween.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I was a prop master in a previous life, because my holiday decorating usually morphs into “setting the stage”, creating a mood and view meant to transport me to another place, time, and story. But I digress......

A few years ago, I felt the need to create a Halloween candy bowl. I hand-painted a black bowl with a variety of eyes from the creature kingdom, and added glow-in-the-dark paint on them. It was quite pain-staking, and even though I sold it, will probably never create another one.

The following year, I painted a totally differently themed bowl, this time with an Old World gypsy witch in mind.

The year after that, I kept it more simplistic and understated, and let the number do the talking.

Last year, I created my glue-gun witchy potion bottles, which have certainly made the rounds on the internet. Since it is my belief that these were lightning in a bottle, I don't feel the need to out-do them. But as usual, my Halloween mood can't be silenced, and yesterday my imagination woke me up with an idea. Not to sell, but to inspire.

I thought it would be fun to have useful props that continued the theme of my potion bottles. So what else would this woodland witch have in her home?

How about a bowl for tossing her runes or greens in? But in your case, for handing out Halloween candy! How about party snacks! Or maybe just as props for setting that mood!

Part of the allure of the potion bottles was the upcycle virtue, but also the low cost of the project.
Although this isn't an upcycle, I did focus on keeping it on the cheap.

Here's what you need: a cheapo basket in the size you require. If you want it food-safe, line the basket with clear plastic bowls from the dollar store. (You won't need the liners for handing out candy, but you would for pretzels, hors d'oeuvres, etc.)

Plastic skeleton hands from Michael's. $1.99 per bag of 12.
Spanish Moss
Glue gun and thin wire

I hot-glued a thin layer of Spanish moss around the outside of the basket.  
If you're like me, you like to keep your holiday d├ęcor as temporary as possible, so you can dismantle the components to use for other projects throughout the year. 

In this case, I chose to wire the hands to the basket. Using very thin gray wire, thread the ends through the basketweave from inside to outside. Position the hand so you can twist the wire ends around a finger. Twist the wire so the hand doesn't move, snip the excess, then tuck the wire ends between the fingers out of sight. (This is the reason I used a basket rather than a bowl, so I'd have something to thread the wire through.)

After securing the hands, you can now add more moss, tucking it in around the hands to make them look more embedded. Add more moss to completely hide the basket, including the rim. Totally up to you whether you cover the underside or not.

As is typical of my M.O., I couldn't stop there. The bowl turned out so well, that it deserved to be elevated to centerpiece status. I collect shapely wooden candle holders, and I had the perfect one for this bowl. I painted it with black and brown chalk paint, then attached the basket to it.

Since the basket is thin and flimsy, it's very important to secure it properly. A screw alone would tear right through the weave, so you need to add a piece of wood or metal over the basket to secure it and give it stability. The wood doesn't need to be thick, just not flexible, and the closer it is to the full diameter of the basket, the better. A piece of a paint stir stick or wooden ruler would both work great. I had a tongue depressor, so I drilled a pilot hole through it and the center of the basket. (If you don't drill a pilot hole, you will most certainly split the basket material and the tongue depressor, since they are both thin.)

After drilling a hole into the center of the candle holder, 1 screw through the depressor, basket, and candleholder, and all was stable. I painted the tongue depressor black brown to match the basket, and now it's ready for use or display!

 Along with the basket, I made a point of buying the contents at the Dollar Tree also, just to show how inexpensive this creation can be, and how readily available the components are. If you choose to line the basket with a clear food-safe bowl for a buffet, you don't need to attach the bowl to the basket. When the snacks need refilling, just take the plastic bowl out for refilling, then insert it back into the display bowl. If you'd rather attach it to the basket, you have some options -- hot glue, strong double-stick mounting tape, or even velcro.

At this point, all that's left is what to put inside. I bought these “Bloody Bites” for the glow-in-the-dark fangs, but they also include red “oozing” candy blood bags.

Red hard candy, so they could be a blood red filler.

And plastic eyeballs. These were kind of boring, but they were good and cheap for a starting point. And since the glue gun was still on......

Using a permanent red marker, I drew lots of red veins all over the eyeballs, then hot-glued the main vein lines. (Another option would be to paint all the eyeballs with glow-in-the-dark paint.)

Using a red marker again, I colored each hot-glue vein, so they'd look like they were bulging red veins. After doing that, it occurred to me that there were probably red glue sticks, so I've ordered some off Ebay. Can't wait to try them.

And that's it! Let go of your grown-up inhibitions and let your imagination play!

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Hobbit-Inspired Fairy House Box with Paper Mache & Paperclay

 I've been wanting to create a Fairy house all year and finally got around to it. 
It's a good warm-up for getting back into the Putz house construction groove again.
So beginning with a round 3" paper mache box.......

Ta Da!

I wanted this creation to have the versatility of being either a trinket box or Fairy house,
thus the lidded box.

 I cut holes for windows so they could be illuminated with a battery tealight. The lid of this paper mache box has been properly camouflaged, and I added the fun feature of a "skylight" into it, so light will shine through it as well.

I just lined the interior with crisp moss green crepe paper,
so I think the vivid color will be a great contrasting
backdrop through the windows when lit up!

To add a little more whimsy, I used my brown German Glass Glitter for the soil around the base as well as lining the skylight hole. I'm hoping this will make the skylight twinkle when it's lit.

I made the door from the pulp seed starter
pictured at the top of the post.
After playing with its bark-like texture this Spring
for my Woodland Fairy basket & cup,
I knew it would be perfect for a house door.

Though these Paperclay stones are easier to shape than cutting real stone, not sure how ambitious I am to create this finish multiple times. I usually see this type of surface imprinted or drawn into a sheet of clay, but I formed itty bitty individual stones, then glued each one to the wall. I also mottled several different paint tints to each one. Oy!

I painted the styrofoam brown before gluing on the Reindeer moss,
since it represents the earth the moss is growing on.

Inspired by Hobbit houses, I gave this the look of being built up against a mossy hill. Now of course a true Hobbit house would be a lot more of a mound, with the unmistakable round door, but I think this could still find a place in Hobbiton. 

I could live here....;-)

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