Sep 032015
 

This week’s dragon began with a faux abalone tutorial I found online. I had decided this week to try covering a dragon with slices of the faux abalone. The tutorial involved using oil paint, and I felt it needed to dry for a little while, so while I let it dry I watched the latest class from Polymer Clay Adventure.

It was a class by Linda Hess on making an Under-the-Sea candle holder. It seemed to me that a faux abalone dragon would make the perfect sea dragon.

And so this week’s project began.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 1

This candle holder is built on a 5-inch round glass fish bowl that you can find at most craft stores.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 2

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 4

Many of the details are the same as Linda taught in the class, especially using the sheet of clay to cover the candle holder and cutting all the circle bubbles in it. I also adored her jellyfish and pretty much did mine the exact same way.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 3

I also loved her idea of using polymer clay molds but changing them and customizing them. I’ve avoided using clay molds because I wanted my sculptures to be my own design, but I really loved how she cut off tails and fins and replaced them with bits of cane which made them truly special. So it was a lot of fun to go through my drawer full of leftover canes and finding ones that would work.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 5

I changed her seaweed, making it thinner and giving a twist which I really like the look of; it’s so graceful.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 6

You may notice that there are two sea dragons on the sculpture. That’s because as we entered September I was reminded that this year Christmas is on a Thursday, as is New Year’s Eve, and I suspect in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s I may be short on time to make dragons. So I’m going to try to get ahead and avoid any last minute crunch. But I do still want to complete the challenge of 52 dragons in the year!

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 7

In order for the dragons to fit nicely on the bowl, I needed to do a bit of dragon surgery: slicing off a about a third of their sides. I wasn’t sure how much of their faces I’d be using, so I sculpted both sides, just in case.

When it turned out I didn’t need to remove any of the head, I decided to have them peeking through the bubbles into the inside. Kinda fun! :-)

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making a dragon every week in 2015.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 8

If you’ve been following my polymer clay dragons this year you may recognize many of the bits and pieces on this candle holder. For example, on the turtle are slices of the cane that I used in Ferdinand the Bull’s-Eye, the fins on the orange fish are from Marsali that I did a couple weeks ago. And the gold crackled turquoise clay is left over from the gold box that I made for Ciro in week 15.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 9

The mold I used for the fish, turtle, sea horse, sea scallops and starfish is the Sculpey Flexible Push Clay Mold, Sea Life, so cute.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 10

This is truly the kind of project I love, I could have gone on adding details for far longer, but it seems quite complete now. Another change I made was that Linda brought her clay all the way up to the top of the container and then made a border on the edge. The only problem with that is polymer clay lets off nasty smells when it burns so you have to use a teeny tiny candle in the holder. I chose to cut mine off further down on the container so I could use a larger candle.

dragon #35 & 36 Boann & Belisama 11

The faux abalone came out very realistic, it’s a great tutorial!

I know I’m going to enjoy having this sitting out and studying all the details. :-)

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Aug 132015
 

This week you get to meet Jinsèlóng (pronounced gin-seh-long.)

He’s another one from the Tigers Voyage book, and the fourth dragon they encounter on their trip.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

As you may have guessed from his appearance, he is a treasure dragon. As the story goes he’s responsible for the Bermuda triangle and often wrecks ships so he can take for himself the treasure they carry.

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.
Here’s how he’s described in the book:
  • treasure
  • gold
  • ginger eye
  • horned head
  • triangular mouth
  • sharp white teeth overlap bottom lip
  • scales of hard golden disks
  • variegated in color from bright bullion, Buddha gold, pirate doubloon to copper penny
  • light colors along belly & darker on its back
  • four long spikes protruding from back of head
  • smaller spikes starting at its nose & traveling along spine
  • long tail ends in a fin
  • webbing between claws
  • saffron glow

dragon #32 Jinselong 4

Whenever I read books I always picture his scales as having the appearance of coins so I tried to get that across.

dragon #32 Jinselong 5

This was another complex project involving multiple bakings and over 250 individually applied scales. For the scales I used an extruder to make discs that had a variety of metallic clays, including bronze, copper, 18kt gold and antique gold. Then I used a leather stamp on each one to make the impression that makes them look like coins.

dragon #32 Jinselong 6

It was fun picking out all of the items for his treasure mound. The little pagoda is a piece for fish tank and the mermaid was a figurine that came in a box of tea. She made me think of a statue Jinsèlóng was particularly fond of in the book so I included her.

A couple of quartz crystals and lots of glass glitter give his pile of goodies a decadent look. The final touches of gold on the dragon were done with Golden’s Interference Gold acrylic paint. I just became acquainted with the stuff and LOVE it.

To learn why I’ve challenged myself to make a dragon every week in 2015 check out this post on Errol, dragon #1.

Aug 062015
 

This week’s dragon is part of a scene I’ve had in mind for a long time. Actually this project is one of the reasons I started my weekly dragon challenge.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #31 Glynis 1

There were always so many ideas in my head but I never seemed to be able to find the time do them. This challenge has certainly taught me a lot about using my time well and just how much there IS time for.

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

dragon #31 Glynis 3

The lady is based on one of the projects in Dawn Schiller’s FaeMaker. I love that all of her clothes are the leftover pieces of fabric from clothing I have made for myself. Perhaps sort of a self-portrait? (Minus the pointy ears, haha.)

The heart brooch is actually an earring that was my grandmother’s. I used to wear them all the time until one got lost. This is a nice use for it. :-)

dragon #31 Glynis 2

The trunk is an inexpensive one I got a craft store and then painted with Swelligant paints and patinas. I love how it came out so old and crusty looking.

I also love how this piece tells a story. Or if not tells the story, at least makes you wonder.

dragon #31 Glynis 4

Who are these characters? Just what is in that bottle of glittery stuff? Is she going to heal the dragon’s tattered wing with it? What is their relationship?

I’ll leave it up to your imagination to fill in the details. Feel free to tell me in the comments what you think the story is.

Oh and here’s a little video I did, just showing it from a few angles.

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Jul 162015
 

dragon #28 Fergus 1

This week’s dragon is a little different than other dragons I’ve been making. He is a wall piece. I got the idea for making him in a more two-dimensional way from a class I took by Tammy Durham. She showed us how to make one of her polymer clay cards, and I thought it would be fun to try a dragon in a similar way.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #28 Fergus 2

I started out by finding several greens that were in my scrap pile that were blended together and made a sheet for the background. Then I got out my rubber stamps and began stamping away.

The jungly bits were fun as I already had most of the leaves and canes, including the little rolled up fern on the right, from when I had been working through Christi Friesen’s book, Flourish.

dragon #28 Fergus 3

I can hardly believe this is dragon #28, more than half-way through this year-long challenge! If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

I wanted to make the flowers the complementary colors of the dragon and the background. So, to figure out what exactly the compliments were I snapped a picture on my iPhone and then switched it to the negative.

It was kind of fun to see everything on my iPhone in inverted colors. :-) That’s where that red orange and dark purple come from.

Now to find a space on the wall to hang him. :-)

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

Jul 142015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 07 15 woyww soldering samples

On my work desk today you will see I have been having a lot of fun playing with soldering. As I’ve mentioned before, Kate Richbourg is an excellent teacher of metalsmithing. In her book, Simple Soldering, she has you make 1-inch square tiles of copper sheet on which you try different techniques. This is your metal “sampler,” so to speak.

2015 07 15 woyww copper samples

So I spent quite a bit of time learning soldering techniques as I worked through these tiles. You might recognize the flower as one from Tim Holtz’s Tattered Florals Die.

I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I softened the metal by heating it in the flame, cooled it and then ran it through my Big Shot die cutting machine. Surprisingly, the Big Shot was able to cut through the 24 gauge sheet. (I was really hoping it would not break my machine!)

2015 07 15 woyww balled headpins

It was also fun learning how easy it is to ball up fine silver wire and make my own head pins.

And now, in other news:

Just to let you know, this week is going to be the last time I participate in What’s on Your Work Desk Wednesday.

I’ve been working very hard the past few years to build my little crafting business and, praise the Lord,  I’ve finally found a measure of success.

However, with this success also comes a need to rearrange my priorities, and I found I needed to eliminate some things. Things that, although I enjoyed them, weren’t really adding to building my business.

I mentioned a while back that I stopped doing the Tim Holtz tag challenge. And sadly, now I really do need to stop the weekly WOYWW posts.

I will continue to follow many of your blogs and I hope to find time to check in occasionally.

If you’d like to keep up with my crafting crafty doings you can on:

I wish you all the best in your crafty endeavors, it’s been fun. Thanks so much to Julia for her wonderful shepherding of this fascinating endeavor.

P.S. Several of you expressed interest in my review of the bead spinner. Well, I now have two to review, and that will likely end up on my YouTube channel. Just so you know. :-)

Jul 092015
 

This week you get to meet a pair of dragon twins, Castor & Pollux.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #26 & #27 Castor & Pollux 1

Interestingly, when my husband looked at them he thought they were underwater dragons. What do you think?

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

dragon #26 & #27 Castor & Pollux 2

I decided to make two dragons because my plan for catching up on the one I was behind on from when I was sick wasn’t working. I had thought to make one quick dragon and then if I had time to make another one that same week, but that simply never happened.

So it seemed smarter to make two at the same time. Also, that worked out with this large column piece that I had in my stash. I’ve pulled it out to use several times, but it always seemed too big for any one dragon. It’s perfect for two dragons, though. :-)

By the way do you recognize where the that column is from? I found it at PetSmart in the fish aisle. It’s a piece of aquarium decoration!

dragon #26 & #27 Castor & Pollux 3

The clay mix that I used to cover the dragons is based on Suzanne Ivester’s Polymer Chef column in the July 2015 issue of Polymer Café magazine. She calls it “Harmony Grits.” Her idea was to mix colored grits in with translucent clay to make an interesting texture.

I decided I didn’t feel like buying an entire box of grits, which my family will never eat, just to use 2 teaspoons. So instead I ground up some rice in a spice grinder.

It’s an interesting effect but I think the starch in the rice dried out my clay as it made it quite stiff and crumbly. I did have fun adding the foils to the wings, which I think in part gives them sort of that underwatery look.

dragon #26 & #27 Castor & Pollux 4

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Jun 252015
 

This week’s dragon is Lüsèlóng (pronounced loose-a-long.) He’s another one from the Tigers Voyage book, and the third dragon they encounter on their trip.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #24 Luselong 1

I think I have I’ve had the most fun with this dragon so far adding all of the details that the author describes in the book.

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

dragon #24 Luselong 2

Here are some of the descriptions from the novel.

  • long sinuous body
  • bearded
  • long tongue
  • four short limbs with taloned feet
  • earth dragon
  • green
  • golden eye
  • camoflagued in trees
  • head is brown and knobby like old driftwood
  • snout is long like a crocodile with pointed teeth
  • large antlers on back of the head
  • moss hanging off the horns in sections
  • golden taloned feet
  • scales resemble green leaves layered over each other
  • brown beard & mane look like rich cocoa waves of corn silk
  • silky hair in a thin patch down its back like a horse’s mane endings in a long bushy tail

The branch that he’s sitting on is a bit of an oak tree that was taken down in our yard a few weeks ago. I think it suits him perfectly.

dragon #24 Luselong 3

He’s described as being a hunter and when the characters in the book first see him they actually can’t find him because he’s camouflaged in the trees. So I tried to make him look like he’s sitting there waiting to pounce on them.

This was a fun project, but all all those scales took a while to do. I do love how they came out though.

dragon #24 Luselong 4

I had to pre-bake him several times. First I baked the body without scales so that the shape would be set, then I added about half the scales and baked it again. That way I could hold onto the set scaled section while I added the remaining scales. All in all rather complex but I’m quite pleased with how he came out.

To learn why I’ve challenged myself to make a dragon every week in 2015 check out this post on Errol, dragon #1.

 

 

Jun 232015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 06 24 woyww rainbow hearts

On this week’s work desk you can see that I’m working on planning an upcoming jewelry making video for my YouTube channel. I was working on the next dragon, but that’s been shoved aside while the dragon is pre-baking in the oven.

That purple case on the left is my Swarovski crystal case, and I’ve pulled out a rainbow of heart crystals for my next jewelry tutorial.

You can see in the lower center front I’m also trying out different beads, crystals, pearls and even trying leather and silk to see which will work best with what for what I have in mind. Lately I’ve been about a month ahead with the jewelry videos, so if you want to see the final project, check back in four weeks. :-)

In the upper left is yet another kumihimo project. After doing the Kumihimo video series on my YouTube channel, I suddenly can’t stop making them! So far I’m up four bracelets and a necklace with more planned. I’ll post pics on my Instagram when this one is done.

That’s what’s happening this week. Wondering why I’m sharing a photo of my desk? It’s a fun blog hop game we play over at Julia’s called What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Join in, all are welcome!

Jun 182015
 

Meet this week’s newest dragon, Sashi.  Like last week’s project, Jaide, she’s sitting on a container for treasures.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #23 Sashi (1)

She is atop what is called an inro box. I made this when I took a class over at CraftArtEdu by Donna Kato. Inro boxes have an interesting history as they were used as pockets in Japan because kimono don’t have pockets. If you look up inro boxes on Pinterest you’ll find many beautiful traditional ones as well as many made out of polymer clay.

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

dragon #23 Sashi (2)

In the class Donna showed us how to make her wavy cane. I, of course, had to make it more complicated and do mine in two colors but I really like how the white pearl and green work together with the dark purple.

I didn’t intend for Sashi to be faux ivory but the translucent mixed with a little bit of pearl clay after being baked for a long time ended up looking like just that so I went with it. :-)

dragon #23 Sashi (3)

And here is how the box opens. The bead above slides on the cord and will keep it closed.

This was a fun project, not only learning a new technique, but also learning all about a traditional Japanese handcraft.

Check back next week for dragon #24!

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Jun 112015
 

Meet Jaide, Thursday’s Dragon #22.

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

dragon #22 Jaide 1

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

This week’s Dragon project was fun and went rather quickly because many of the components that I used were things that were left over from other projects. The stones were left over from a fairy garden house. The branch was left over from practicing a technique from Christi Friesen’s book, Flourish.  The brown wooden part on the bottom was left over from the castle tiles on Rosalita, Thursday’s Dragon #6.

dragon #22 Jaide 2

Jade’s body is made with translucent clay colored with alcohol inks.

dragon #22 Jaide 3

I love the glass-like, almost semiprecious stone look that I got, hence the name Jaide.

dragon #22 Jaide 5

Jaide has a little secret, though. She is built on a mini Altoids tin. Kinda fun!

dragon #22 Jaide 6

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.