one woman's view into a world of creativity

Archive for the ‘3-Dimensional’ Category

Clay Owls

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a member of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma.  This brings with it an instant love of owls, keys, and fleur-de-lis.  Our chapter also happens to be pretty crafty.  We like to have craft nights where some of the girls get together and do craft projects.

Our most recent craft project was making miniature owls out of baking clay.  We were inspired by a picture of clay owls based on the owls of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.  I’m not sure who created the owls in the picture which originally inspired us, so I’m hesitant to post the picture without giving credit.  I can however direct you to similar clay owls I’ve found on Etsy (two shops).

Here are some owls by GryphOriginals of Etsy.

Then there are clay owls by Calicoowls of Etsy.

We figured these looked like they would be pretty easy to make.  They were so adorable we couldn’t resist.  So I bought some plain white Sculpey baking clay.  We shaped the clay into little balls and added some details with our fingernails and the back tips of paintbrushes.  Then we baked them and painted them with acrylic paint.  The end result is pretty adorable.  I’ll share some pictures, but I didn’t get pictures of everyone’s work, and not everyone painted their owlies.

The owls my sisters and I made.


Fusions Glass Studio

business cardOn January 6th I had the unexpected pleasure of visiting Fusions Glass Studio in Eagle, Idaho.  Because it was the first Friday of the month, I also was able to experience what they call “First Friday.”  The first Friday of the month they are open for extended hours and open up their studio to crafters of all experience levels.  Their tools and materials are available for use, and knowledgeable studio helpers are on hand to help out.  The best part is all visitors are welcomed to make a free glass pendant during their visit on First Friday.  Other projects are available of course, for varying fees.

Three pendants for $15 + First Friday free pendant

I greatly enjoyed my experience at Fusions.  The staff was very helpful, including the owner’s very knowledgable daughter.  She was so friendly, enthusiastic, and professional, for a ten-year old (I think that’s what they said her age was)!  The helpers were very attentive, and the atmosphere was great.  A lot of people, like myself, chose to make pendants.  After agonizing over my design for what seemed like forever, I made my first pendant.  Then, because I had so many other ideas, I chose to make three more for $15.

Aside from the pendant project, they also offer a variety of other walk-in projects on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays:

  • $15 – 3 jewelry pendants or magnets or 3×4 suncatcher
  • $25 – picture frame
  • $25 – night light
  • $25 – 7×7 sun catcher
  • $25 – 4 drawer pulls
  • $25 – 3 wire wrapped Christmas trees
  • $30 – draped votive holder
  • $35 – 6×6 dish
  • $35 – Name Sign
  • $35 – Pencil holder or treasure box (NEW)

They also offer Technique Tuesdays, open studio, and classes.  Check out their website for more information, including specific days and hours.  If you’re interested, also follow their facebook page.

If this post wasn’t clear enough, I really enjoyed my experience at Fusions and I recommend them to you.  I hope I’ll be able to return and experience more of what they have to offer.

Wedding Spheres

One of the reasons I created pitifully few blog posts this summer was because of my preoccupation with a certain wedding decoration.  I discovered this do-it-yourself project (thank you Stumbleupon) just in time to suggest it to my cousin, who was to be married on 9-10-11.  She instantly loved it, so my mom and I took it upon ourselves to contribute a bazillion of these things for her wedding.  We followed the very basic instructions, which turned out to be not as easy as they sound:


1.  Inflate the balloon to a medium size so the shape is a little rounder.
2. If you’re looking to make a lampshade out of the string chandelier, use a sharpie to mark around the knot on the balloon.
3. Before you start working, we recommend using a tarp.  Mix corn starch, glue and warm water together until it has a smooth texture.
5. Smear the vaseline all over your balloon until it is completely coated so th twine wet with glue won’t stick on the balloon after dry.
6. You can start a little assembly line with friends by one of you feeding the yarn through the glue mix and giving to another person to wrap it around the balloon.
7. Start wrapping the balloon vertically, slowly changing to wrapping. For a seamless look, tuck the ends of the twine under one of the wrapped strings.
8. Wait 24 hours until the balloon has completely dried before popping the balloon.
9. Spray the string chandeliers with clear fast drying spray paint et voila!

#6 turned out to be one of the most important steps.  My cousin and I realized it was much easier to make these spheres with the help of a buddy.  We also tried skipping the vaseline, but decided in the end it’s very important to use the nasty stuff.  We used a mixture of yarn and embroidery thread, which gave us a variety of thread weights in our selected colors (green, purple, and white).

We also decided to take the spheres a step further in two crucial ways:

#1  We glittered the spheres after they were dry with coordinating colors of glitter, adhering the lovely sparkles with heavy coats of clear lacquer.  The glitter really added beauty when the spheres caught the light of the setting sun or the glow of the twinkle lights after dark.

#2  We had the bride order little battery lights, the waterproof kind you see in floral arrangements.  These we turned on (with a simple twist) and popped between the threads the day of the wedding, illuminating them from within.  It was really magical when dozens of spheres glowed in the air after dark.

As implied on our source blog, we hung the spheres in the air with fishing line, so as to create the illusion of them floating. The day of the wedding we hung the orbs from the branches above the dancefloor. The finished product was truly fantastic, as if from a fairytale.

This project was really fun to do (albeit a little tedious), and I think all our hard work paid off for that extra magical touch the orbs added to a truly beautiful wedding.  I’ll conclude with a picture of the bride and groom’s first dance beneath the softly glowing spheres, and then a slideshow of what can only be conveyed with pictures.

First Dance

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Upcycled Purse

A while back I bought some new bed sheets, and they came wrapped in a matching fabric bag with snaps.  This was a perfectly good bag that might otherwise be discarded as “packaging.”  But it called to me to make something useful out of it.  So why not add to what was already there and make a purse?  It took me a while to get around to it, but I finally finished this upcycled purse.

  1. Here is the fabric bag the sheets came in, complete with a snap cover.
  2. With the help of my mother, who has a gromet tool, we added metal gromets, one on each side, near the seams.  These provide a sturdy, no-fray opening for the strap.
  3. Then choose a material for the strap.  I thought about braiding yarn or ribbon, or stringing beads together.  I settled on an old necklace from a yard sale, one that had been sitting in my craft stash waiting for a purpose.  It was sort of like a mardi-gras necklace, so you could use one of those instead.  I then pulled the necklace apart where the two ends had been stuck together with a small wire.  Alternatively you could cut it with scissors.
  4. String one end through a gromet hole, then pull it around to form a loop.  Then use jewelry wires to wrap around the necklace string, between beads, and twist the wire to secure your loop.  Repeat with the other side.
  5. Voila!  A completed upcycled purse.  This project could be enhanced with a fancier, or sturdier, purse strap as well as a liner for the purse bag itself.  Pins, stencil prints or other adornments could be used to make the bag more interesting.


Between the Folds: Exploring Origami , (2008) directed by Vanessa Gould, 56 minutes

I watched this documentary on origami today, and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in the origami craft or you enjoyed my paper crane post.  The documentary does a good job of exploring the science behind the folds, real life application, and the evolving techniques of the origami world.  It also balances these aspects with focuses on creativity, emotion, and simplicity.  It’s available on Netflix instant streaming and DVD if you’re interested.

Senbazuru Origami Cranes

Wow, spring break is finally here, and I consider myself lucky to be writing this post.  This has got to be the hardest semester I’ve experienced yet, and we’re not even finished yet.  But we’re halfway done with spring 2011 term, and I get a week’s break to rest up.  What do I plan to do?  Lots and lots of art.  So expect some fresh posts to arrive soon.  But first, I’d like to write a little bit about recent events and how I managed to finish mid-terms.

As I’m sure you all know by now, the catastrophe in Japan has spurred outpourings of help from around the world.  Here at C of I we helped out with creating a senbazuru: the folding of 1,000 paper cranes for luck,  healing, peace, and granted wishes.  Each crane was sponsored by a $1 donation and matched by Chevron:

“Members of The College of Idaho community participated in a Senbazuru fundraiser for the American Red Cross on March 18, 2011, to help citizens of Japan affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami. Students, faculty and staff folded paper cranes, a tradition known as the Senbazuru, which comes from an ancient Japanese legend that says a wish will be granted to anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes. Hundreds of C of I students, faculty and staff combined to fold 1,000 cranes and raise $1,086.58 for the American Red Cross, which will be matched by Chevron.”

A table was set up in the student union building, and I was able to help out a little bit with folding the cranes.  I know (or knew) nothing about how to do origami, so it took some friendly coaching to do all the right steps.  But by my second crane I pretty much had it down, and with several more cranes I committed it to memory.  Boy was I excited.

It may sound strange, but I feel like I was rewarded for helping Japan out in this small way.  During the rest of the week, whenever I was feeling particularly stressed and anxious about tests and papers, I took breaks and made paper cranes.  It only takes a minute or two to make them, and focusing on each step of folding the paper crisply and precisely calmed my mind and distracted me from the panic.  Making cranes became therapeutic for me.  The little paper cranes gave me hope that I could indeed survive the challenging days of academic torture.

A set of cranes I made during midterm week, ranging in size from traditional to penny-sized.

I really admire origami for several reasons.  One reason is for the skill it takes to make multiple complex folds without getting confused or lost.  Another is the ability to rotate the image within the mind three dimensionally and see how it will work from several different angles.  (There’s a specific term for this skill, I think, help me remember if you know it.)  I have the greatest respect for people who don’t need step-by-step instructions to create incredible paper masterpieces, but instead create their own designs from scratch!  I had to start with instructions on paper plus a personal coach to finally learn how to make a paper crane.  But somebody before me (probably years and years ago) had to come up with the first design for turning a flat square of paper into a three-dimension figure resembling a bird!  I’ll try to update this post with website links to some original origami masters, but for now I’ll leave you with a tutorial for how to make the basic origami crane.  I hope creating them soothe you as much as they did me.

Mini Paper Mache Dragons

A very dear friend recently viewed my paper mache dragons post and wanted one really bad.  These dragons are extremely time intensive, but for this particular friend I consented, but only if I did a mini version.  She wanted one like the peacock dragon, but with more green.  With some unexpected delays by illness and video games, I estimate the dragon probably took me a week and a half to two weeks.  Creating on a much smaller scale cut down the work hours considerably.  Here’s the finished product in a much cuter style, with pair photos at the end of the larger inspiration dragon:

Step 5: Feathers and finish

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