Face to face again

Last two Xmas blocks and the last of experimenting with faces for a while. The face on the toy soldier is made of polymer clay and sculpted freehand. Kinda rustic but VERY small (less than 1/2") . I am getting better at the tiny faces and will try some more later.

I thought about doing a sugar plum fairy but opted just for a plump little fairy. The face on the plump fairy is painted on a MOP button with a 10/0 liner brush which is one of my very favorite brushes for minature painting.
I must remind anyone trying to paint on MOP buttons (or any buttons) that the secret to success is PREP!! You must, must, must sand the surface of the button and put down a thin base coat....... and then use thinned paints.. If you don't sand and don't thin, the paint will puddle and glob on the button..... This is the voice of experience speaking......hark!!!!.


Here's Annie

My Xmas block #2

All the gorgeous seam work on this block was done by Maire. Her work is so delicate and perfect.

She hadn't the booklet with instructions to add toys so I added Annie and a wagon for her...

Raggedy Ann Ornament

Elements needed:

1 plain button (I used 1")
Felt - square with circle on top
2 pieces of  black cording with knots (for legs and feet)
red yarn or thread
rectangle of tiny calico with lace
tubing of calico
1 loving heart

Step 1:
SAND button lightly!!!
Use pens to do face
glue face to circle

Step 2:
Trim legs to fit and attach to rectangle
Sew on yarn for hair

Step 3
Trim dress material to desired length and gather at top
Pull gather and tie around neck

Step 4: Glue or tack calico tubing to center of back.

Glue hanger to back of head
Gather tubing around front and trim to desired length.
Tack together so arms form a pocket
Insert and glue very loving heart!!!
All the dimensions are dependent on what size button you use so adjust accordingly....

Merry Xmas from Gerry and Fritz and all the sheep!


My Xmas block #1 - Jack!

The face for the Jack-in-the-box was made with an old sculpy mold (before I got my new smaller molds) and I made it at the same time I made the molded face for Cobi's tree. For my liking it is too large for the small block. I did modifly the mouth with a pin to make a grin before I baked it and wish I had added bead eyes ..I do like beady eyes. Oh well!!! Then I painted it with acryllic paint and put an antique glaze on it because I wanted it to look like an old-time toy... Clowns face is just thread and felt...


Face to face

First of all I am NOT a fan of polymer clay and much prefer paperclay. But since my paperclay is all dried up I used some old polymer. This is a mold I just purchased on e-bay and the finished face will be only 1" tall which is the size I was looking for. The sculpy molds are much too large for my liking. Now onward.....

1. When I push the clay into the mold I leave that big glob at the top. It serves as a handle to pull the clay out of the mold without distorting the image and is easily trimmed off. I discovered if I put it on something flat like a button it is far easier to work with...

2. This is the clay exactly as it came out of the mold. It is sorta a run of the mill goddess image ..but small in size.

3. Using ONLY a needle (I have no polymer clay tools) I made a very slight slit in the lips to give her a mouth... Then I poked in 2 nostrils. Then I made 2 holes in the eye area with my needle and inserted 2 green #11 glass beads. I made two tinnnnny worms of clay and laid them over the top of the beads for eyelids. The needle is not going to work for smoothing it out so it still is rough but I will have to wait until I can do the whole process again in paperclay.

4. This is my first attempt and it is ghastly. (maybe a witch or tree face) I did the same steps but held the head in my fingers and it was impossible to keep it was distorting as I worked on it. This is the very reason I prefer paperclay. You can let the piece partically dry and become firm and then wet the surface with a small damp brush to smooth and shape it.

I am very happy with the size as it will fit in nicely even on 6" blocks.... This one was called "small and sweet doll face polymer push mold." on Mister Boo's Warehouse on e-bay. Can you imagine #3 beaded?????


Ice skating polar bear

I had the opportunity to do an extra block for Debbie Smith's DYB xmas blocks. As a companion to the "brrrrrrrr" snowman (see below) I chose to do an ice skating polar bear... These whimsical xmas blocks have been a nice break from the usual fare but I'm ready to get back down to basics again.

I did try my hand at a beaded ribbon for the northern lights and Cobi was right... it is fun and I'm anxious to try it again.

Madison's Bench

Years ago I had an onsite nursery. After one season I discovered people bought plants, walked around the garden and left. But if I had benches they bought plants, walked around the garden, rested on a bench and ..."bought more plants" So I started building benches during the winter months...all from recycled lumber and odd bits. I made this bench for my princess granddaughter, Madison, for a summer visit from Alaska... The "jewels" were odd bits of stained glass.

This bench was by far the most popular with customers as a photo opt. It easily sat two people and there must be hundreds of photos floating around my area of gardeners seated on this bench holding a hoe or rake as a royal staff. I devised a plan using NO nails and just a recipitcating saw, lag screws, and a socket wrench that would allow anyone at any skill level to build a bench. Years ago I actually wrote a book but never tried to get it published....maybe next winter.. but will share from time to time some of my garden benches with "personality.....
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