Thursday, October 20

an artful thursday with netties gnomes....

today my darling friend renette barnett was hosting her annual witches ball. i stopped by to leave a few things to sell and took some photos of her wonderful witches. she has been making these gorgeous dolls for as long as i have known her, her studio is amazing! it is so fun to go to her house when it is all decorated for the holidays. her website is netties gnomes where you can see more of her work.

i love the painting she has done in her home!

the glass coffin on her piano with a skeleton inside....

a sweet little baby in a basket. love the fur lining and branch of blossoms....

love this great green witch, and how cool to have a moon hanging in your living room!

i made some of these stuffed cats to sell, this is coraline. the little vintage pumpkin cupcake topper in her hand just makes me smile. the tiny half sized cats turned out just darling.

gave this one to my art friend lorraine for her birthday at our witches night out and kept the other one to keep dolores company :)

happy halloween, julie

what happens when you leave all your paints out....

so i left all my paints out on the kitchen table for another day and my family couldn't resist joining me. we stayed up til past midnight all together painting...
it was even a school night! i just couldn't make everyone go to was too much fun. here is what everyone made~
i made the little owl above. it is hard to see the crackle finish on the darker colors, but i love the eyes.

my husband walked past the table several times before we just handed him a brush and he made this amazing harlequin.

olivia 9~ made this little cat and witch. she can't wait to make some more...

my high school daughter painted the creepy skeleton, isn't it fabulous!

i painted this green man also, love his striped nose.

we weren't ready to quit but i ran out of little pots to dip.
hope you are enjoying a lovely fall evening.

Thursday, October 13

artful thursdays # 28....halloween treat container tutorial

i finally just set up shop on the kitchen table today while the kids were at school to finish these halloween treat containers. you need a big space to get messy and really experiment so i rolled out some paper and turned on the tunes. after the first hour i had a painting emergency and had to call my daughter in north carolina for advice, then went to get a coke. worked like a charm....

it was a blast, haven't had this much fun creating in forever! i am so happy with the results and with every project/mess/experiment i learned a lot. this is a multi day process so get ready.

step 1. plaster dip.
mix up a thin slurry of plaster in a disposable container at least 4 inches deep. (don't even think about washing anything down your sink!) i followed the directions on the box and then thinned with water until i had a nice dipping consistency. dip your peat pots in the plaster and roll around to coat the inside and out. lift out with a wooden chopstick and tip up on wax paper to dry without touching the pot at all. leave these to dry overnight. plan on making a batch at a time, so you can use up your plaster mix.

step 2. paper clay faces.
set up a paper clay working station with a cup of water, a paintbrush,some paper clay, and your dry plaster pots. paint some water on the front of the pot with the paintbrush and start shaping your face. i started with the nose, then added eyes and the mouth last. mold the features with your hands, dip in water constantly to smooth. you don't want to sand much later so use your paintbrush dipped in water to wear down any edges and blend the clay into the plaster so it looks seamless.
let dry over night. your faces can be creepy or fun, think pumpkins, cats, witches, monsters, owls, skeletons, and clowns. the round one is a plastic pumpkin i tried dipping. cool shape but the plaster cracks off really easily :(

you can see from these faces the pots have irregularities, bubbles, weird glops and stuff that dried from the dipping process. just go with it and don't fuss, its a great texture after you add the paint.
step 3. gesso pots.
now you have a collection of little pots with faces just waiting to be painted. get out your acrylic paints, paintbrushes, big nail file, water pot, and dry rag. first take your big nail file (the fake nail ones from the beauty supply work great)and smooth off the rim and any other bad spots. i started by coating the pots inside and out with gesso, black gesso inside and white gesso outside. let dry completely. the paint soaks into the plaster and clay differently that you may expect. it is good to work in stages here so you can gesso all the pots at once and then begin painting.

step 4. paint the little faces.
i squirted out a fun halloween pallet of colors to get started. paint the outside of the pot your main color--i didn't paint the eyes or the mouth. start adding washes of thinned acrylic paint to layer your color. next paint the eyes and mouth. the last thing i did was add the detail to the nose and add the teeth.

step 5. crackle finish.
i decided to crackle finish the outside of my pots. paint a thin layer over the whole thing and let dry. when dry smear a bit of brown acrylic over the finish with your finger and wipe off with a damp cloth. (click on the photo for a close-up of the crackle finish.)

step 6. drill holes and finish.
use a dremmel drill on the slowest setting and drill two holes in either side of your pot for a handle. thread a wired tinsel handle through both sides and crimp on the inside.

pumpkin jack got a crepe paper fringe puff tied on with black and white string.
fill with little halloween treats and goodies and enjoy!
happy halloween wishes,

Thursday, October 6

spooky halloween wishes....

we go straight from summer weather to fall in one day here, it dropped 20 degrees last night. definitely feeling like fall around here with a wet snow coming down outside!
i am so excited about october and halloween. i made this little spooky card today to send with my halloween packages. the old owl is a vintage dennison seal i found.
i have started a messy project/experiment that i hope to finish this week. i bought these great paper mache halloween treat containers and wanted to try making a smaller version.

i started with small peat pot containers i had left over and dipped them in a thin plaster mixture. here they are drying and waiting for a coat of paint.
i think i will add some paper clay to the faces to add some noses and other features.

i had in mind to use this copper and black wired tinsel for the handles.

if all goes well i will post a tutorial how to make your own.
happy fall day, julie
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