Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mobile for our new grandson

Here is an update on the mobile that I have been making for our little Swiss grandson, but first I should introduce you to...


 Aaron.


I showed this picture a while back at the end of this post. The stars and the arms were made as well as a bunch of the props were chosen.


The stars were gessoed and then painted with silver acrylic paint.

On one of my trips to Salvation Army I picked up some bronzing powders. Once the acrylic was dry but still tacky I dipped my finger tip in the powder and rubbed it on various areas of the star points. I have a silver, a gold, a spring green, and a dark green so I varied each star.


The faces were painted minus the pupils, they will be added once the star has the little nursery rhyme character in it's arms, and silver tinsel was added around the face.


Here are four of the stars almost finished.

The top star on the left is "Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat Where Have You Been?"

The star with the Teddy Bear is not a nursery rhyme but a poem about a Teddy Bear, "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around".

On the bottom there is "Hey Diddle Diddle" and "Jack Be Nimble".


This post about the Sidney thrift shops revealed this wondrous brassiere. My daughter-in-law said that I should have gone to a craft store for the diamonds. I never or should say very seldom go to craft stores for supplies so this never even occurred to me! The hunt for the elusive diamonds was fun as well as being very funny once I did come across them!

The plastic diamonds have been removed and the bra is in the garbage.


Meet "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". Originally he was going to hold a star but the idea of a constellation was so much fun and hopefully will lead to star gazing when he is a little older.

My post about the lounge that went wrong, "It's time to call it quits" was originally meant to give you a somewhat humorous inside look at the disasters that occur in the studio. I think that I may have failed at the light hearted approach and given the wrong impression, sorry about that!

 I have been mulling that dastardly divan over in my mind and I may have come up with a way of getting the look that I am after.

That is all that I have to share at the moment so off to the studio.

Monday, June 10, 2013

It is time to call it quits!

I bet that little title caught your eye! I suppose I could have called this post "The best laid plans of mice and men" or even "OH POOP!" I thought that I would share the amount of work that has gone into creating or I should say hopefully was going to create a lounge to be used in a sculpture for a levitating lady illusion.

Originally I was going to show this wonderful little lounge but things didn't work out that way. This seldom happens to me so sit back and vicariously follow me down the rabbit hole of wonder only to be vomited out again.

As I was working on this settee I kept thinking that it was taking to long and should be aborted; obsessive compulsive, anal retentive, never say die, who knows what to call it but one or all may apply to me.

I like detail.

"#@*^!+%$," is about how I feel about detail at the moment.


This antique brass lamp base was the starting point for a sculpture of the levitating lady illusion. I started with an image in my mind of a tufted Victorian lounge with no head rest, more like a large settee.


This sofa is an example of the tufting that I had in mind. I pulled the image from the internet and I'm sorry but I don't have the source. If you know the source let me know and I will add it in or delete it if it is yours and you do not wish me to post it in this blog.


I cut a piece of very heavy card and inserted it into the inside of the frame.


The bottom shows the wire on the brass arms to hold the card in place and also the wire around the tabs  near the foot. This wire will follow the curve of the foot and then be attached to the stage floor securing it in place.


 I have been figuring out the tufting in my mind for a week or more, did I want it square or in diamonds. Either design had to fit into the shape of the frame.

I very seldom draw the item that I am making, most of the time I figure it out in my mind and then make it. This is more precise so I used graph paper to plot it all out, a good 3 or 4 hours of figuring the size, the shape, and the direction of the square or diamond tufting.

I taped it onto the heavy card top and used my Dremel drill to make all of those #@*^!+%$ holes that took me about 4 hours to figure where they were supposed to go so that I would have this wonderful small prop for this amazing sculpture of the levitating lady illusion!!!!!

I am breathing more steadily now...


I cut the side pieces and glued them in place. Oh by the way, all of the drawing on the top of the card was pre-graph paper designs. There were 4 or more attempts and each one erased so that I wouldn't get mixed up with lines from an old design.


Here is the finished card shape nestled in the brass frame that will support the padded fabric tufting.


I also spent time figuring out how thick the padding should be. I settled on a layer of cotton batting, a layer of polyester batting as it wouldn't become compacted, and another layer of cotton batting. The padding needed to be thick but yielding so that it would have a nice finished fullness. Once finished it would be about half the height of the cushion that you see.

You can see the wire twisted and tucked out the way that holds card onto the base.


I first glued a layer of cotton batting to the top of the heavy card. I next placed about 1/2" of polyester batting on top of the cotton batting and then finally another layer of cotton batting. This last layer was glued around the edges to hold it in place. The fabric was then taped in place so that it wouldn't move while I was stitching through the holes of the card.

I stitched one set of holes to make a square shape on the top of the settee. It looked terrible! I realized that the amount of time doing the tufting alone was ridiculous. 


I have salvaged the cotton batting, the polyester batting, and realized that the card support was a total write off, such is life.

As I said in the beginning, this never happens to me. Life keeps you humble doesn't it!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday street sale, Sidney thrift shops, plus one.

I have been working in the studio. I'll show you some progress on a few of the items in my next post.

A week ago last Saturday morning our son phoned to tell me that they were going to a street sale and to meet them there if I liked.

I liked!

I went!


There was not a lot of interesting stuff to consider buying. I did buy this 4 foot length of 8 inch bullion fringe and this long length of cording; all for $3. The only other item that I bought was a silver teaspoon and that is pictured in the next photograph.

The last garage sale had 2 vendors with some great stuff but unless I can use it or it is something that is an absolute must have I have trained myself to say, "Someone else can have it." Mind you if I can talk the person down I will buy the item/s. The prices were firm and they were reasonable so I saved myself some money.


Here is the silver spoon that I bought at the street sale for a whopping 20 cents!

I had planned on going out to Sidney that day, there is usually some great stuff at reasonable prices out there in the thrift shops. I wasn't disappointed. This set of 3 brass pots will come in handy, possibly for the flying carpet. The rosewood pot stand I am thinking of turning into a cushioned platform for a variation on the levitating lady illusion.


These 2 brass candle sticks were $1.00 each and unlike most brass candle sicks are very light so a figure can hold it without the arm drooping from the weight. I do like the shapes of them as well.

The brass and wood candle snuffer comes apart so the size will work for a figure putting out a candle.

The brass frame looks like a large watch. The embroidery was in the frame it may be used to upholster something or it may be donated back to Salvation Army, we'll see.

If I come across the candle wreaths that were popular about 10 years ago I sometimes buy them, rip them apart and use them for accents in bouquets, as "cake" decorations or anything else that I think of.


This embossed metal plaque is about 11" across. I liked the bold design and figured that It would make an interesting 3D portrait frame


The ceramic tile came out fairly easy. I have been thinking of having a table top jutting out with something on it... we shall see.


I have been looking for some "diamonds" to use in a mobile for our new Swiss grandson. The few that I found were not that nice or were very heavy. I was in the St. Vincent de Paul in Sidney and happened to see this bejewelled black bra and started to laugh, I wasn't expecting to find a diamond encrusted brassiere! It cost me a whopping 50 cents.


Another second hand shop had a few vintage magic tricks. This particular one was complete and in good shape so I bought it. I can now change a stack of nickels into a stack of dimes!


Some more goodies that I have purchased in the last little while. The playing cards are some of the smallest that I have seen at around 1 1/2" high. Those "Chinese coins" are small enough to use with an oriental figure. More jewelry to take apart and use as belts, sashes, or necklaces. The ceramic bowl is from the base of a vintage glass plant from China. I will be using the glass leaves and glass flower petals at some point when I get enough to create a lampshade for our home.

There we go, more goodies to work with. I have been working in the studio not just buying stuff. I'll give you a behind the scenes look in my next post.
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