Monday, August 30, 2010

IYP Swap 2010 - Halloween Themed

Connie (MissingWillow) invited me to participate with her in the "Invite Your Partner" Swap on after seeing my boot from my first swap. She used to be in tribal bellydancing and sent me the coolest stuff (as you can see in the gallery) from a tribal tassel belt and candy corn pantaloons to neat halloween cookbooks. She sent really early in the swap. So, I wanted to thank her by trying my hardest to return the favor with some addtional items from her wist. Little did I know the whole family would get involved on this one! I'll break the items down in individual publishing this post to help separate pics and make pages load faster. Here's a pic of everything I sent.

Looks like a mess of chaos in the photo, huh?! Guess I'll show a pic of each item. Above was the customized Paper Mache Witch Boot. (Click the link to see more!)

Mom's awesome Miniature Witch Curio Cabinet. (Click the link to see more!)

The next item is my Spell Book. (Click the link to see more!)

She had also wisted some Halloween Wine Charms. (Click the link to see more!)

She had wisted a Gator Eye Ring that I thought was kinda neat to make and from the movie "Beetlejuice", a Beetlejuice Keychain. (Click the links to see more!)

Miniature Witch Curio Cabinet

I know this is supposed to be MY craft blog, but I just had to show what my mom contributed to the IYP Swap I just participated in. She made a miniature witch curio cabinet like some in my swap partners wist. I think Mom did a great job. She was inspired to try decorating one when she came across the cabinet at a thrift store. I guess it "spoke" to her. :)

She made most of the items while visiting my sister in Kansas. She made a few of the books and the witch hat herself from scratch. My sis also contributed one of her popular JOL pumpkins that she decorates her unique up-cycled jewelry boxes with. It's sitting in the second shelf on the left. My daughter also pitched in on a few items like the scroll in the cabinet just under the pumpkin and the label on the potion bottle.

Most of the potion bottles are made from glass beads and the doors are covered with painted tulle to resemble chicken wire.

Mom made the wand, leather spell book and hat on the lamb. I added the "Spells" title for her to match the large spell book I made for my swap partner.

She must really like making the miniature books. We're getting quite the wee-sized library over here! She's working on a couple more cabinets. One for my sis and the other for herself, I think. I'll get some pics when they are finished.

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Beetlejuice Keychain

My partner in the IYP Craft Swap mentioned liking the movie "Beetlejuice". I hadn't seen that movie in a very long time myself. Too long, in fact. So, we got the VHS tape out to watch it. In my mind, I kept coming back to the face that the husband makes to scare off the intruders. So, I attempted to make a charm of it out of polymer clay. Wound up a bit large, so it became a keychain.

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Spooky Halloween Wine Charms

For my 2010 IYP Swap, which was Halloween themed for me, my partner had wisted some wine charms and a really cool lampshade with charms all around it. I wanted to make some charms to help her get started on her own lampshade, but I winded up settling for these eight polymer clay wine charms after my recycled food container "shrinky dink" experiments weren't as fruitful as I had expected. :) You'll be glad to know, I'm not giving up on the shrinking plastic. I just need to hone my skills a bit.

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Wire-wrapped Adjustable "Eye" Ring

This project was more difficult than I had expected. I was inspired by a few wonderfully talented artists on like Twisted Sister Arts and Kim's Jewels and the wire wrapping techniques used by Passionate Jewelry Designs. Though I don't condone copying someone else's art, as a learning experience I wanted to figure out how they managed what the did. After three varying attempts, I realized I really need to practice working with the wire. :) I managed to come up with this one on my last attempt. :) I must say it takes a lot of skill and patience to create the piece they make. And, after attempting this, I have even more respect for their talents. I don't think you'll be seeing any wire wrapped items in my own etsy store. :)

For the eye, I use acrylic "cat" doll eyes that I had leftover after some projects. I achieved the mottled effect to look like a "gator" eye by scratching and poking the paint off the back of the eye with a pin and other sharp objects. Then, I painted over the scratches with assorted darker paints.

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Spell Book with Removable Recipe Pages

For the swap I just finished, I also made a spell book for my partner with removable pages. A few years ago I started a spell book called the "Witches' Enchanted Book of S.P.I.D.E.R.S. (Spells, Potions, Incantations, Divination, Enchantments, Rituals, and Superstitions)" for our family, collecting up all our favorite family and holiday recipes as well as poems, songs and useful info on assorted topics. When I mentioned the book off hand to Connie, she liked the idea. So, I decided to start her a condensed version for her. This was motivated mostly by a need to get our own family books more presentable. So I did some experiments with different techniques for aging paper and inking the illustrations, which were all printed on a b/w laser printer.

I used brown paper bags and Fabri-Tac glue to cover the layered cereal box cardboard cover before painting and staining it. I made the pages removable like a scrapbook so new recipes can be added easily. I used the same brown paper for the end pages just for consistency.

The pages of the book are inked with permanent marker, colored pencils and a white paint marker. I aged the pages before coloring them with watered down burnt and raw umber watercolor paints.

Many but not all of the poems and illustrations are my own creation. Some of my poems like the two included above are reworked nursery rhymes and folk tales. One of my aunts who passed away recently was a poet. Her passing really made an impact on me that influenced me to try my own hand at writing something. Though my rhymes pale in comparison to her clever word play, it does give a sense of satisfaction to complete one.

The page spread above is a sort of replica from wicked stepmother's spell book in the movie "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". But, I've added a recipe for baked apples where the sleeping potion would be.

As I mentioned before, the pages are removable in the same way many scrapbooks are constructed. The cover is in three pieces held together with the pages using a ribbon so she'll be able to add her own recipes and info.

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Papier Mache Halloween Witch Boot

Well, as you can see, I've made another paper mache witch boot. I have to say I think the shape of this boot is an improvement, and the best so far. I tried a few new things on this one. For one, it is two-toned green with orange. The addition of the buckle, which is new, was an annoyance to work around that kept getting in the way of my painting and the lacing. And, since the toe didn't curl around as much as my first one, my SO helped me with the suggestion of a swirl shape, which I made of beads on wire.

The scene on this boot was inspired by a story the new owner mentioned about how she named her farm. Her husband had bought her a 15ft willow tree as a gift, which disappeared shortly after it was planted. They thought it might have been stolen as a prank or something, but later found that a beaver had cut it down and dragged it off. How crazy is that?! She also raises her own sheep, goats and chickens, so I tried to include them in the scene, as well. Though, I think my sheep looks more like a small calf. :)

The evil beaver after the aftermath. :)

I added the initials "MW" in the center of the buckle for "Missing Willow". My daughter helped me make some more "fiendship pin" to hang on the laces.

I'm thinking of trying to make a few more boots to offer in my etsy store for those who want to purchase one. I'm having so much fun with these, I'd like to make some more of the mini-sized ones and perhaps some low-top shoes, as well. Wish me luck!

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