The art and jewelry by Japanese born Shinji Nakaba makes me weep with its pure perfection... Using a variety of materials including classic gold, silver and gemstones but also beer cans and plastic water bottles, Shinji's pieces appear to be plucked from an otherworldly garden of delights! Pure Perfection and Total Wonder!!! Be sure and check out his Blog HERE for more wonderful images of his work, his inspiration and his process.
A lovely album preserving ten delicate and meticulously prepared cut paper flowers. The album is inscribed on the front fly leaf "Souvenir à Mlle. Heloise Bigaud / Hector de D. Juin 1848" and was almost certainly specially prepared as a gift of friendship (or courtship). The front cover displays the gilt initials "H. B." in gothic letters framed within a decorative gilt border. The flowers themselves are cut from various multi-colored papers. The minute detail and perfect composition of several of these flower "collages" make these exceptional examples of this popular genre.
I absolutely adore the folk-art style painting of English artist Anna Pugh! Her attention to details, love of nature and ability to tell stories within a frame are amazing! Her enchanting artwork mesmerizes and demands a second look. ENJOY!
Where does the time go??? I've been overwhelmed with classes, events and projects, and seem to have neglected my blog. I'm so sorry! I promise to catch you all up as soon as I get some more rest. Yesterday and last night was the CASTLE'S Christmas Transformation . I was the first to arrive at 9:30 am, but not the last to leave! At 11:30 pm, 14 hours later for me, I had to head home, and leave the rest of the Castle Christmas Magic up to the remaining elves... Do come and visit soon!!!
As I alluded to in my LAST POST, making these tiny little miniature 'Winter Wonderland' scenes is truly addicting and wonderfully fun! They are easy to create and make me want to do a whole table-scape full of little mountains!!!
Heres what you will need:
Foil, Cotton Batting, Scissors, Moss and natural bits, DAS paper clay (for little houses), Fabric Stiffener (I used Aleene's), Stiffen Quik (Aleene's), Spray on Snow, Glitter and Mica and Hot Glue Gun.
Step one is to decide how big you want your scene to be. We were limited to the inner circumference of our glass domes, (about 3 inches) but you can use any size you'd like. Take a length of heavy duty foil ( about 2 feet or so) and crumple up a preliminary shape to work with. Pinch out peeks, and pay attention to height.
Step two: Cut a piece of creamy white cotton batting big enough that it will cover you foil on all sides when it drapes over. Lay your batting flat on the table and pour some 'Fabric Stiffener' onto the batting and work into the batting with your fingers. You want the batting to be moist and tacky on both sides, but not 'drippy'! Drape batting over your foil, and begin forming it. Use your fingers to create peaks, and let the batting drape dramatically to form mountain ridges along the sides. Press the batting flat to the table along the outside edges. Have fun with this part! When happy with the mountains, set aside to dry.
Step Three: While your mountains are drying you can make some tiny houses out of paper clay or even cut pieces of foam core. I made mine of DAS paper clay, and then painted them different shades of red and pink and glued cotton batting onto the roof tops to give a snow topped roof effect. When your mountains are fairly dry you can cut the edges of the cotton batting to fit what ever size and shape you are aiming for.
Step four: Make trees and bushes from tiny pieces of moss. I cut triangular shapes from pieces of thick moss to simulate conifer trees. Trees often grow in clusters, and even up on the hillsides, but rarely on mountain peeks. Use your imagination... Hot glue trees, and houses in place as desired.
Step five: The Snow! First I sprayed a light dusting of 'Spray Snow'. Be sure to test this before you spray your piece, as a little goes a long way. A heavy spray of snow gives a very different but equally lovely effect as a light spraying. If you wish, you can add a sprinkle of glitter on top of the Spray Snow now. Or you can wait for the snow to dry. Once dry, use the 'Stiffen Quik' as a spray glue, and lightly spray again applying glitter or mica where desired. I found that a small sprinkling of Mica on the peeks gave the impression of 'sunlight on the mountains, and a dusting of finer glitter over the countryside made the lower areas look as if a light snow had just happened. If you can't find a 'Spray Snow', I suggest using the Stiffen Quik and sprinkling on 'fake snow' or glitter.
A couple of my students in the Mother Winter Workshop added crystals and other miniatures with great effect! The skies the limit here, just keep scale in mind when you add things. We also thought about how fun it would be to add mini lights onto our hills. I hope someone will take this project and really go wild with it!!! I know I will be making more of these little worlds soon and hope you will too. ENJOY!!!
Last weekend 5 lovely women joined me in creating their own personal versions of MOTHER WINTER at the CASTLE! Not only was this my last class of the season for the Castle, but I think it was one of my absolute favorite classes! Using glass domes as a 'skirt' and wonderful papers, fabrics. glitters and natural materials - true fantasy versions of Ms. Winter appeared! Inspiration came from Pagan Myths, Marie Antoinette and even the Aura Borealis! My personal favorite part of this project was creating the miniature 'Winter Wonderland' scenes that fits under the glass domes. Teeny Tiny little trees and houses clinging to snow encrusted hillsides - one is truly transported!
Its been a while since I did this post on Papier Mache Botanical Models. I still love these wonderful scientific and didactic yet fanciful models! These images, also from Staetshuys Antiquairs are just as inspiring and wonderful...!
Like stepping into a fairyland, this 'Antique Victorian Papier Mache Desk Blotter' is truly dreamy! Intricate Mother of Pearl flowers and delicate enamel and gilt flourishes make one think of dancing under diamond stars...
Following a week filled with wonderful teaching experiences and celebration, I am feeling completely exhausted and spent. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to teach, but it can drain me to the bone... I have many beautiful things to share, and will try to be prompt about it. But today? Today I will sleep - head first on my pillow... Image via Moonwomb.
Chateau Sonoma is my absolute favorite shop North of the Bay Area! So I am thrilled to be offering it as a new teaching venue. This past Sunday 8 wonderful women joined me in a 'Reliquary Class' held at the home of Sarah Anderson, owner of Chateau Sonoma. We felt as if we had been transported to Provence, nestled in the dining room of her truly stunning home! Surrounded by French antiques, beautiful views and good company, amazing art was created by all!
Sarah is in the process of creating a 'classroom' at her shop, where I hope to offer many more classes in the near future. Stay tuned for more wonderful classes to take place at Chateau Sonoma HERE! as well as on the sidebar of my blog.
The Castle's own wonderful Daniel and a delightful Mother and Daughter team joined me on Friday to round off this years Halloween and Day of The Dead classes! As much as I love full classes, there is something really special about spending the day with 3 wonderful people like these!