Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Evolution of the Witch's Cupboard!

In case anyone out there is actually reading this (I have no comments on recent posts to prove it but maybe you are?!). Anyway, pardon the self-promotion but I'm just so taken with my witch's cupboard. I love it! I got some witchcraft books from Dolly's Gallery on eBay so glued some of those in place on the shelf. That's all I have to post about today. Got to get crackin' around here at work!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Witchy Accessories, eBay Stuff

On our trip to Pigeon Forge for the quilt show this weekend, I searched for mini-scaled items. As big a tourist mecca as it has become in the course of my 44 years, you'd think there would be a dollhouse miniature shop up there but alas, no. So, I had to treat it like a scavenger hunt and find things that would work in scale. In the first photo, there is a dinosaur skull I bought in a toy shop. It was a key ring and I simply took out the ring part. (I have him pictured propped on a folded piece of cardboard). There is also a wall shelf I purchased at a local yard sale about a year or two ago that will go on the wall and hold more potions and bottles. The 'brooch' is some sort of print in a badly done frame. I bought it at a local antique shop for $5. I'll take off the pin back and hang it on the wall. There is a cool pedastal from Manor House Miniatures that was on sale (she has such good bargains). It will house a plant of some sort. The saw and hammer I bought from a seller on eBay and they were handmade. The witch has got to have some tools. She can't use her magic powers for just everything. The crystal ball is a marble I also bought from the same antique store in Campobello. I am still waiting for Jerry to get time to make my wooden box for making molds to create a stand from an Avon bottle base.

The Peruvian devil face is a bead from Vintage Treasures by Judy on eBay (I spend entirely too much time and $$ there, obviously). The Peruvian devil bead was $1.35 and the skull key chain was $1.50. I'll take the chain part off and what an evil, grumpy skull he will be, affronted and ticked off to have died in a motorcycle accident I think. After all, he was listed as a biker skull key chain so obviously he met his untimely demise on one of those things. They will kill you. I also bought from Judy a neat pewter dragon for $1.38

I actually got out alot of my furniture and accessories last night and arranged them in the house and I love it. It's shaping up pretty well. I still have the windows to tackle and would like to enhance them some but will have to wait until I have a spare minute in my jam-packed schedule. We go set up a Handi Quilter in a customer's home tonight; we have another quilt show this weekend where we will be vendors and tomorrow is not my Wednesday off. So, all in time I guess.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More Photos: See Post Below

See today's actual post below but this was the only way I could post more pix. The skeleton came from Pixi Gardens Dollhouse store on eBay--love him. The bed also came from an eBay seller who shall remain nameless. It arrived with two broken legs and musty, soiled bedding in a moldy box which he tried to say got that way in transit (!!) when I asked for a partial refund. Funny thing, the outer box was in pristine condition. He did grudgingly give me a partial refund when I pointed out that I had both boxes and could prove him wrong but when I ripped off the bedding and glued it back together, I think it will be perfect for the witch's bed. The next pix is of the table after I Stiffy-ed it and the last two are close-up's of the cupboard (see below). By the way, forgot to mention the bowls I poured and fired from an Iandola mold I've had forever. I just painted them with acrylic paints but when I get into this more, I intend to use ceramic glazes. Sorry they're blurry. Not my best camera and not my best glasses today.

Stonework, Amateur Style and Other Stuff

The first photo shows my first attempt at Paperclay stonework. Turns out my life's motto once again holds true, "Fools rush in where angels fear to trod." I was so excited about trying out this technique I sort of forgot that I needed to assemble the windows and glue them on before applying the paper clay. So I had to 'Dremel' out an opening for the bay window and will have to also sand away around the upper window to put it in. I guess I subscribe to Jerry's philosophy on the instruction sheets: It's the manufacturer's opinion of how a thing should be assembled.

The next photo is of the other side where I am going to put in a crooked chimney. I cut this out of 3/16" foam core board which is all Michael's had when I went in for more Paperclay the other day. I had to cut four layers to make it look large enough. They still have their rubber bands holding them together since I had to do some laundry and a small modicum of housecleaning on my rare day off and dye my hair back 'natural blonde' since my oldest daughter, Maggie and Jerry were pointing out that my roots were getting very gray (oh, the many minor plagues of the aging). And then I had a class to teach here at the shop last night. Anyway, I digress (and ramble--it's a habit). So, if I can figure out how to do these windows by actually referring to the instruction manual, I'll finish my Paperclay stonework on the outside as my harried schedule allows. Good thing I started this Halloween project in late winter.

The next photo is of the table I assembled and painted and it's first table cloth. I serged the edges with black thread and then used Stiffy fabric stiffener to try to get it to hang in a somewhat pleasing fashion. I've got black chiffon I intend to put on the top and gather in swags around the edge. This will be where the crystal ball, tarrot cards and like items will go. The lovely little pitcher I bought for $3 from 'beadcharmed' on Etsy and the gargoyle is my attempt to sculpt such a creature. I'm not completely happy with him but I'll try to tweek him a bit. And here, I need opionions. The perfume bottle I'm thinking of making into my Absinthe bottle. Is it too large for 1' to 1" scale? Anyone????

Another shot of the potions cupboard with more stuff added including a dish towel. I turned the edges under with glue, frayed the ends with a needle by pulling cross-woven threads and then used Stiffy to drape it over the edge. I also made Dead Man's Toes out of a mixture of purple, dark green and white Fimo rolled into a small log and cut and then indented with a sculpting tool for toenails. Unfortunately, you can't very well see these details but they are there as are the mouse bones in the Bones bottle which Joanna and I excavated from three owl pellets bought at Onlinesciencemall on eBay. I think I will take a few more pix to try to get better details and will post them if I can. These were all the shots Blogger would allow me per post. . . I think.

The last shot is of a fat quarter of Halloween batik I bought at a quilt show a few years ago. It may become the bedspread on my witch's bed--or curtains. I'll ponder this further.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Green Man, Absinthe, Creepy Things, and a Wart Hog's Head

In my obsession with the witch's cottage, I have found some really cool inspirations, printables, and downloads all over the World Wide Web! Including statuary of gargoyles and the green man, documents from the Salem Witch trials, great hairy wart hogs mounted in mid-squeal, old lithographs and prints of creepy crawly insects, arachnoids and flying things and beautiful labels from 'The Green Goddess' (or The Green Fairy or Green Death as it has been dubbed throughout its very colorful history), Absinthe. I've got this wonderful little perfume bottle that's a little large but, hey, every witch has to take a nip of Absinthe so I am debating whether to order the stuff that is supposed to be realistic looking water or if clear glue mixed with green food coloring is enough to look like Absinthe. If anyone out there knows, let me know!

I did get one side of the house paper-clayed and carved in stones with what I thought was pretty good success for an amateur. I'm no Toppdollar (aka Tracy) nor Rik Pierce but you've got to start somewhere. I'll post pix as soon as possible.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Walls are up and Witch's Cupboard Progress

Here are pix of the progress I made on the Orchid as my witch's cottage last week. The top photo is the walls and floors glued together with painter's tape. Luckily, when I pulled the tape off, it stayed together! The next photo is of the upper floor. I painted it first with two coats of Gesso sanding lightly in between, then black acrylic paint, then I sprayed it with the filament 'marbling' spray that creates a marbled effect and then I painted it with a wash of gel medium mixed with purple and silver metallic acrylic paint. Finally, I sprayed it with matte sealer and sprinkled the extra fine glitter on it.
The next photo is of the ceiling of the main floor. I Gesso-ed it, then painted it with a creamy tan and then held a lit candle underneath it to smoke it up. I was impatient to start seeing walls go up so haven't sealed it yet but I will.
The next photo is of the witch's cupboard with some of the potion bottles glued in place. I had entirely too much fun burning the edges of the labels with a wood burning tool and gluing them on. Not finished with this yet but I also glued the ghost on top and I think he adds a neat touch. Not bad for a $1 Michael's cupboard.
The last photo is of the little table I assembled from a piece of round, beveled wood I found in the wood crafting section at Hobby Lobby and a wooden turning that makes a perfect pedastal. I simply painted it with two coats of Gesso and two coats of black acrylic and sprayed it with matte sealer. I'm trying to make a table cloth out of this glitzy piece of dark red material with glitter flecks in it (after many, many attempts, I was finally able to manually thread my serger to serge the edges). I tried sewing a running thread through about an inch from the bottom to 'pleat' it and make it look as if it's hanging but there is some trick to that that has not been revealed to me in all of my hunting for tips, tutorials and techniques all over the world wide web! When Jerry gets around to making me a wooden box to use as a mold making box, I have an Avon plastic ginger jar base that I want to make a mold of in porcelain and a really large clear marble with a blue swirl through it that I will make into a crystal ball.
Also in the last photo is a pix of a terra cotta container of some kind I've had for centuries so can't remember where I got it that I painted with the same purple, gel medium and silver metallic to look like a large challis. The mirror frame made from the plastic belt buckle is also visible in the photo.
In the spirit of authenticity, I even ordered owl pellets from a company on eBay and Joanna and I sat at the kitchen table and sorted through those for bones and skulls. I'll put some of the bones in the challis with some ash and tiny eggs I also got from some unknown (or un-remembered source). If I weren't teaching a class tonight at the shop, I'd glue on the roof pieces but, alas, I'll probably come home and collapse. I may get to do that tomorrow at some point after cleaning my Dad's house and going to a funeral with him. Maybe.