Labels

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

A Christmas Story inspired ornaments

When I first watched "A Christmas Story", I always loved the image of Randy, all bundled up in winter clothes! That's how I always feel during winter. To share that memory and the fun of this beloved movie with you, I made Randy Christmas ornaments in the same outfit!

There are only three of these this year, each is individually made and all of them are unique and one of a kind. Check them out at my store.


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Halloween is Fast Approaching

We're coming on one of the most enjoyable holidays again... Halloween!!! If you need some creepy decor ideas, I have a great Pinterest board on uber creepy decor. Since it's my board, I have to say, I personally love this collection I've curated over the web.

Of course, if you need more ideas, come and check out my shop too, specially my signature creepylicious bottles. I also have other curio items that would be just as creepy! They are sure to add that extra kick to your Halloween decor this year! Check them out here. 


Monday, 29 January 2018

Cooking with a Palayok


This is something I've working on for some time now – Filipiniana themes for my Etsy shop and yes, they are now available. I have my illustrations on mugs, throw pillows, phone cases and tote bags. 

I took a video of the throw pillow and showed it on my IG, it's super fluffy and feels smooth to the touch, you can watch it here: Cooking with a Palayok Throw Pillow Video.

I drew this design reminiscing about my childhood. The first pot of rice I ever cooked was in a toy clay pot, or rather, a miniature clay pot. Miniature clay pots were popular when I was a kid and we mimicked how grown-ups would cook in my grandma's kitchen. So there we were pretending to cook using shredded leaves and water when my grandma's sister passed by. 

She said go and get the real thing so you can learn how to cook! And we did. The rice didn’t turn out  edible but I was a kid cooking with real rice with real fire for the first time, so much fun!

Throw pillows:

And Mom's the Best
My Wife's the Best Chef

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Welcome 2018

I look back at this blog and I realize the gap between my posts have been growing bigger and bigger. I have to admit, real life (read: not my creative life) has been disruptive to the creation process that I found myself creating with big time intervals too. 2018 for me feels like a more manageable time, a more predictable year. Some hate predictability but this year, this year, I am craving it!

I have tossed New Year's resolutions out the window since I was in my early 20s. Every now and then I'd make a vague list in my mind true, but I've never made fervent lists like I did in my youth (i.e. eat healthy, save, study more, etc). This year, I felt the need to make a To Do list.

I love To Do lists, they are clear on what needs to be achieved. Each one I cross off is a huge relief and a positive enforcement (I've been learning dog behavior training in 2017 so this is a big deal in my current life). I think and I do.

2018 To Do list:
1. Blog again - day 4 of 2018, check
2. Develop and make Filipiniana dolls - day 3 of 2018, started a new study
3. Make more art dolls
4. Make more creepylicious Halloween bottles and creepylicious items
5. Restock OrangeJar Art Etsy shop - day 3 of 2018, activated shop again after Vacation mode
6. Market my works
7. Take more free classes that will help me accomplish things in this list (Curious Mondo; Webinar Ninja; Coursera, etc.) - day 3 of 2018, signed up for more classes
8. Open a new Printful Shop (my designs on tshirts, bags and more)
9. Declutter
10. Streamline

Let's see... I think I am happy with my list of 10. Most of them are open-ended, especially the last two items. Most of them are a guide to what I need to continue doing, number nine is a life philosophy I want to live by and number 10, is another guide I have started to accomplish with the creation of this list, because this list focuses what I want to do for the year.

Yes, I am happy with this list. Everything else will be bonus for my creative life this year. I wish you luck on your goals. Onwards to 2018!


Sunday, 25 June 2017

How I make Fairy Doors



For the June Program of the Northwest Polymer Clay Guild, I was asked to present how I make fairy doors. This is still very much a sculpting program but canes can also be used to decorate each piece. If you are a caner, you can finish the door or the door frame (or both!) with canes.

There are probably many ways to make these tiny whimsical creations and what I have here, is what works for me. At the meeting I presented three styles: one closed door and two with working doors (you can open and close) using two types of hinges.


Closed door

1. Decide on a design. If you want your door to be symmetrical, I find it best to use a pattern. I included three sample patterns here that you can download for your own use. If you want it smaller, just reduce the size before you print it out.

2. Cut the door frame first, lay it flat on your conditioned polymer clay (three to four layers of conditioned polymer clay at your machine's thickest setting).


For the first sample, I am using this simple rectangular door design.


This is another frame design I love. 
If the overall shape is not to your liking, you can easily make your own pattern; simply fold the paper vertically and cut so it comes out symmetrically. Or if you don't want it symmetrical, like those cute weirdly-shaped doors, just cut the door shape you want then follow the cut you made to make a frame. If you want this to be a working door, one miniature hinge on the lower side would work. Pin type hinge will not work for this.



This is a simplified hobbit house door, patterned after Bilbo Baggin's house. After you print this and cut your clay, search for a picture of Bilbo Baggin's house to get the details right. For a working door, you can use a miniature hinge, not the pin-type hinge.


Hi-res door patterns (made for letter size paper). If you want the pattern smaller, reduce the size before you hit the print now button.


2. Condition the polymer clay of choice. I like to paint my doors because I like the effect – it seems to have more country charm. If I'm painting the piece, I will take this opportunity to clean up my workspace and gather all my scrap clay – it's a great way to use up those small leftover bits from previous projects.

That said, I also like to use colored clay; it saves a lot of time coloring and it also gives a cleaner, more polished look.



After conditioning, make four nice flat layers at your machine's thicket setting and lay the pattern flat. Cut the door frame first. For a closed door, you can use two or three layers for the door frame. Then just subtract one or two layers for the door (if you have a two layer door frame, then one layer for the door or three layers door frame then two or one layer for the door). By cutting them separately, I make sure that I have a thinner doorway, giving the finished piece depth. 

I'm using four layers here. I laid the door frame pattern flat before cutting it out.



If I'm making a fairy door that does not open, I'll make an extra layer of clay and roll out a piece big enough to use as backing to these two pieces (to cover both door frame and door) and give it extra support. This does not have to be thick, even the thinnest or second to the thinnest would do. Fit the door inside the frame. Push the edges of the doorframe towards the door carefully to connect them, careful not to distort the shape. When they are sticking together, put them on top of the backing. Check the edges and cut any excess.

3. Decorate. I love using pebbles or bricks for door frames for that old country-house fell. If I have more scraps of colored polymer clay, I would blend this in with a beige and gray carefully as not to mix it too much. I want specks of color to show up since natural pebbles have specks in them too. Then take small round pieces of different sizes and attach them all over the frame. For the door, use your tools to create wooden patterns.

Real pebbles versus my dirty clay pebbles used to decorate the door frame.




4. Add other features like a peephole (small cookie cutters work really great for this), door knocker, metal bars, nails, hinges, door knob, keyhole, etc. Depending on your design and theme, you can also add a lamp, a mailbox, flower pots, etc. when you create the floor or threshold.

5. Bake. Let it cool and paint. If using colored polymer clay, I would use the same steps except of course, instead of using scrap clay, condition the clay color of your choice. You can use skinner blend to give it depth and other effects without applying paint to it. You can also use polymer clay canes that has already been prepped (cut and flattened).



Samples of a closed door using polymer clay canes as decorative items. You can also use a layer of canes to decorate the the frame or the door itself. Here, I used colored polymer clay for the door with skinner blend.






Opening doors: Pin-type hinge (same style used for miniature wooden dollhouse doors)

1. Follow previous steps to create door frames and doors except, do not create an extra layer for flat backing. It will not be necessary since we want the door to open. Real doors usually open inwards but for our fairy doors, we will make them open outwards.

Because we need to add hinges to make them working doors, I would make both frame and door thicker like four layers and three respectively.

2. For the first opening door, I used a jewelry pin with a flat end. There will be two pins, one at the top and one at the bottom. At the top, the flat end will be embedded in the top door frame and at the bottom, the flat end will be embedded in the floor.

These are jewelry pins. They can be a bit soft and easy to bend. You can also use ordinary wires, just create a loop at the end to go inside the polymer clay so it is not very easy to pull out. 




3. Create a floor and decorate. I would use three to four layers at the thickest setting. Embed the flat end of the wire on the floor.



4. Bake frame and floor first. Measure your door and cut the clay. Adjust the door to fit the baked frame. Lay your door on a piece of paper with the edge folded to cover the right side. Carefully lay the fitted door flat and slide it from the bottom. The paper should help slide it in. The pin at the top will create a hole in unbaked door. Slide the floor from the bottom and the pin will also slide in the unbaked clay. If you have the edge of the paper hanging on the right side, you can pull this up and check that your door opens and closes. Decorate the door and bake.



The red door is a skinner blend of red and black, making the lower portion darker. I used a small butterfly cookie cutter to create the top hole. Using the same cookie cutter, I cut from a layer thinner of translucent polymer clay and fit it in the hole to create the small window.


5. Carefully slide the door in the frame, keeping the hinge holes aligned with the pins. Add polymer clay and liquid polymer clay to the bottom parts of the frame and then slide in the floor, sliding the pin inside the bottom hole. Bake. And there you have it, an opening fairy door!

This would make a great shadow box. Just add the walls and floor at the back, and then you have a fairy door shadow box which you can decorate with photos or floral polymer clay canes as a miniature garden. So many possibilities!



Opening doors 2: Miniature hinges


1. I bought miniature screws off Ebay and gave the attendees a pair of the butterfly ones. Making this door with real hinges is pretty much the same as the one using metal pins. Details like the screws are really awesome! 

Your door and frame should be fully decorated but unbaked before you apply the hinge. Do one side first, I opted for the door side first. Remember that your doors should open out, so test that the hinges open out. Carve out a little notch, big enough for the hinge. This will embed the hinge in the door (and later, the frame) so that it does not stick out. Put liquid polymer clay on the screws before you embed them to help keep them securely in place. 


2. The hinges were attached to the door then baked. In this photo, I slid the door in the unbaked frame to test the fit. I opened the door, which took some maneuvering because the hinges were a bit stiff. Adding a little oil to it helped a lot. Then the the other set of screws were embedded to the unbaked door frame side. I slid a plain piece of paper in between the door and the frame to avoid any possibility of touching while they were in the oven. I did not want to risk the two merging together even for small areas. After that's done, then the only thing left to do is to color it, unless you used colored clay, then in that case, you're done!

3. If you're making it into a shadow box, I would bake the shadow box portion separately. Assembly and bake it first then attached the finished box to the finished fairy door. 

Monday, 24 October 2016

My first wood signage

I am going to be selling my polymer clay creations at Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird for the first time on November 19-29, 2016 at Everett Community College, Everett, WA, so in between making things to offer, I was trying to come up with ways to stage my booth.

One of the things I definitely need is a signage. At first I thought I'd order one, get it all nice and professionally done but research told me that it could be pricey... and I did not really want to add more expenses to this venture. So my research turned into a how to make one.

We have some leftover wood from a previous project, so I gathered a few of those and started to gage how big I want the sign to be. I settled on two planks, about a half a foot long each in three layers. I was hesitant at first that mere wood glue would do the trick but good, ol' hubby assured me it was fine. So after choosing the sides with the grain I wanted to show, I started gluing in between the planks. After that, I took some shims and used those in pairs: one pair on the left, another pair on the middle and yet another on the right to be the backing, weighed them down with books and left them to dry till the next day. Hub sawed off the extras after they were all set.



There were so many color combinations to choose from. I could go with wood stain on white, wood stain on orange. White on black. Gray on white. Orange on Black. Orange on white. White on Orange. Black on Orange. 

So to check, I made a small color tests on a couple of shims. Hmmm... nope... I like it but not that much. I still prefer the natural wood look. 


So I decided to stain the wood. It's been rainy, and the big storm of the century was supposed to have whirled through that weekend, which, thankfully, it did not. So I left the stain to dry in front of the heater for a day. While waiting for it to dry, I looked up ways of aging the wood and I saw Reality Daydream's video (see it here). She colored the wood first then stained it. I really liked how it looked so I decided it's not too late, I can color over my stain and then stain it again. 


I chose blue, black, yellow and an off white color and just went randomly with it, no premixing or anything. 


After it dried, I sanded it by hand then applied another coat of stain. It was perfect! I love, love, love how it turned out! Look at those colors. And the second coat of stain just made it look darker and richer. 



With all the colors and that rich wood stain, I decided to just go classic white. So up next was painting the name on. Using a yellow pastel pencil, which was what I had on hand, I wrote OrangeJar.com in my loose, informal script. 


And here it is:


I am going to go over the text again, bulk it up in some areas and make some of those rounded areas more rounded. Also, I'm currently debating whether I want it to have a crackle paint effect but I'm not decided yet. Overall, I like how it looks. I think it's going to be a good first signage. What do you think?


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird November 19-20

Come November 19-20, 2016 I will be at the Everett Community College in Everett, WA for Oddmall: Holiday Emporium of the Weird! Come and check it out! I'm busy building stock now. If you need anything before then, please go to www.OrangeJar.com or directly to my Etsy Shop at www.etsy.com/shop/OrangeJarArt.


For directions to the Everett Community College, Everett, WA, pls click here.