Saturday, June 24, 2017

2017 - TBAI Gallery Piece – Installment 3

Actually this post could easily be called The Middle Hodgepodge Photos which would be entirely accurate. These work-in-progress photos show several different aspects of pulling this piece together little by little. Let’s start with the most mundane and work our way up from there. It’s the simple screw eye. I have them in several sizes and metal finishes but sometimes I just need them in a color that I haven’t located or taken the time to search for. So I go to my stash of spray paint and get to work.

I needed all those screw eyes for these bottles and

miscellaneous trinkets.  In fact, I only guessed how many screw eyes I would need and ended up with exactly one left over.

This shows the start of the maddening process of attaching all the pieces to the ceiling.


It is one of the reasons I didn’t have all the walls permanently secured.

I also worked on these lights/lanterns which needed to be variously painted,  drilled, wired, glued and assembled.

A piece of plastic to create a dragon egg incubator.

I made three of them.  Actually, I made four but one was a trial run which was a bust.

Here I am checking to see if I will be able to get the crystals arranged
in the incubators in a way that will work.

A different view.

More paint for the roof shingles.

A view of the top and back before the roof is attached.


I needed some grubby candles for some candle holders so I made them from polymer clay.  I’m glad they didn’t have to be neat & clean.  I didn’t have the patience!

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 TBAI Gallery Piece – CMMC

Here I am with another set of in-progress photos of my gallery piece for TBAI. Looking back through these photos I am reminded of how many little decisions I had to make in creating it. For each item that I included, there was never a straight forward “let’s add this”. It was more like this:

“I think these unfinished wood jar shapes would be useful.”
“How many should I use?”
“They will need to be painted.”
“Which color will be the base?”
“What color do I paint the top?”
“What color do I use for a wash?”
“How will they be suspended?”
“If they are hanging from a chain, how will it be attached?”
“If I use a screw eye, then it needs to be painted too.”

It’s called the crazy-making method of creation. CMMC for short.

On to the photos!

The building is on its side in the picture.  I must have been gluing the uprights in place.

Getting to the point of adding the paper to the sides was a morale booster.  A bit of pattern and color goes a long way in helping me believe progress is being made.

The back with the shelves secured and sides are in place.  Yippee!

In this photo, I am testing out the arrangement and placement of one of the lights I want to use.  The skeleton hand holding it is one of my favorite details.

The roof shingles needed to be lined up and glued in place.

Then it was time to paint them – several times.

These two tables also needed paint.
The round one is made from a small round box lid and a wooden spindle.

The round table is finished in the color and style I was after.
The rectangular table will be painted the same.

And yes, that is a hole in the round table.  Turns out you can put a hole all the way through a wood spindle if you are careful.

These are those wooden jars I mentioned earlier.  First coat.

And finished but without labels.  I also aged some silver bells

and carved a tiny pumpkin into a tiny jack-o’-lantern.

More to come.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

2017 Japan Teddy Bear Show & TBAI – Right Around the Corner

The title says it all actually. Two shows, The Japan Teddy Bear with Friends Show & Convention as well as TBAI, The Teddy Bear Artist Invitational in Syracuse, NY, are coming up pretty quickly. I have been sewing and sewing and along the way I managed to finish my piece for the TBAI gallery. The theme for TBAI is Dragons, Witches and Magical Myths. I am looking forward to seeing all the pieces that will be on display.

I have taken photos of the evolution of my piece and I thought I would share them here with a bit of commentary. There are quite a few photos so I will spread them out over several posts so your eyes won’t go square – an expression I learned from my British friend, Lex.

Here is the beginning.  I think if you create things, make things, paint things, write things – whatever, that first step of where to start is often the hardest.  At this point, I have thought about where I want to go with this project but the difficult part is committing - committing a pencil to a piece of foam core and a knife to the rule lines.

This is the beginning of my building – that can be either a noun or a verb.

It looks kind of strange and to be honest, I always have a few doubts as to whether it’s going to pan out in the end.

The basic structure can be seen below.  It’s held together with painters tape because in the process of adding the other parts, it will have to be deconstructed and reconstructed several times to make sure everything goes together in the correct order.

Each of these three gothic chipboard frames came in two pieces so you can add artwork in the middle of them.  I saw them and immediately thought they would make perfect shelves for this piece.  Easy peasy, right?  Oh, no, it’s never quite as easy as I think it will be.  The arches and the decorative edges gave me pause.

These frames had to go from being two dimensional to three dimensional and look as if they were intended to be that way.

And many moons and many little piece of chipboard later . . .

and foam core too . . .

I painted the edges black, because it is after all a witches and dragons theme.

I had chosen a decorative paper for the shelves and walls.  I loved this paper.  I will probably use it again somewhere else if I can part with it.  I covered all those chipboard and foam core pieces with it.

This photo shows the basic shelves right before final assembly.  I made three frame sandwiches consisting of the back piece, mirror, the shelves themselves and the front decorative frame.  That mirrored back is an idea I will hang onto for another project. Pretty cool!

Here’s a side view of the shelves.

Here’s a front view.  The mirrors haven’t been cleaned yet but you get the idea.

And that, my friends, concludes part one of this project.  Part 2 will follow shortly.

Thanks for reading!


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