Fire In the Soul

Fire In the Soul
"Fire In the Soul" From the Merka series in The Elves of the Woodland Realm

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Little Golden Books

A few months ago, earlier in the summer, I was at Target looking for some inexpensive dresses for my almost 3 year old at the time. She LOVES dresses and was/is outgrowing them very quickly.

It just so happened that Target was putting out their new fall items. On one little display rack they had these Little Golden Book inspired dresses and coordinates for little girls. The collection was in purple, pink, ivory and gold. Super cute. I bought one of the dress, though I would have purchased more, but they were really more than I allotted for, for the dresses I had planned on purchasing. But one of the dresses I couldn't pass up. It had the little kitten from the book playing in flowers all around the hem of the dress.

I was telling a friend of mine about it and she suggested doing a photo shoot of my daughter in the dress while reading Little Golden Books. I thought it was a wonderful idea and would give me some more practice shooting with indoor lighting.

I couldn't decide between black and white or color.

I went with color.

You can find this pink and white fascinator and fairy wing set, and other wing sets in my Etsy shop here, Lily Mairi

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wood Nymph

I had an idea for a wood nymph. I wanted her to be somewhat like a protector. I wanted her fierce, but kind. I wanted autumn colors; browns, golds, dark olive greens, coppers and so on. 

I had a bunch of scrap fabrics, some salvage, so just left over from other projects, that I wanted to use. 1. I wanted to get them out of my stash of fabrics, and 2. I knew I only had enough to do one outfit in a smaller size. So, child size it was. 

I went shopping for a base dress that was well worn, as that was the look I was going for. I found a Justice dress in the size I needed for my model and went to work draping and pinning, hand stitching and gathering. 
This was the outcome of that idea.


I also wanted to not cover her hair completely in a head dress so I created these "hair extensions" but in lieu of hair it is moss and flowers. They have wig clips to hold them in place on the thinnest head of hair. 

 All in all I think it was a successful shoot. I even got my daughter to help me with reflectors. 

Original unedited image in the series, first images in this post.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Steampunk Refashion

Something that has been close to my heart for about... forever has been thrifting. I was married very young and we had to make do with what we had or make a trip to the second hand shop. 19 years later it is still the same. Only now, my refashioning/repurposing/upcycling skills have been refined a bit more.
Now the point is to not create more waste. Now I don't want anything to go to waste. At least as much as possible anyway.
Most of the items and fabrics used in my work and products are repurposed and salvaged. Everything from fabrics to beads to jewelry findings to entire pieces of clothing.

Take this for example. I was an artist in a RAW Artist- Atlanta show last month (I'll post on that later). I was told I could have a couple of models wearing my pieces to help draw people to my booth. I chose to go with steampunk and woodland, my two most popular generas. And I only had 2 models to work with.

After thinking about it for a long while I decided I did want them walking around in just whatever wearing my pieces, so I made outfits for each of them. The woodland character has been mulling around in my brain for a while. I've been wanting to do a photo shoot with this character for quite sometime. But more on that later.

With the steampunk, I wanted people to see everyday steampunk. Things one might wear for normal occasions and not just festivals, cons, or themed weddings.

I started out with this, a grey plaid a-line skirt and a sheer black blouse.

With the skirt, I added a corset/lace up back by sewing large jump rings to the skirt and lacing black satin ribbon through the rings. When tightened it gathers the skirt and acts almost like a small bustle.

In the front of the skirt I sewed 2 pick ups and placed black sating bows at each of the gathering spots. 

For the blouse, I cut off the sleeves and used the material, along with some chiffon ribbon to add to the ruffles around the neck. I also added some lace and rhinestones around the neck. I wanted it to look reminiscent of the collars seen in women's clothing during the Victorian era.

Here is how the outfit turned out. Unfortunately and fortunately both the blouse, corset and skirt sold right away so these are the only images I got of the entire outfit. Which was on the day and location of the RAW Artist Atlanta event. Next time I will be sure and do a full photo shoot before advertising the pieces.

 As of November 8th, 2015 the fasciantor and veil are still available. They can be purchased here in my Etsy shop.
Not bad for some second hand shop finds, eh?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

First Sculpture Ever

Now that things have sort of settled from the move. I am going to hopefully keep up with this blog thing.

I have been wanting to do a post about my first sculpture piece. many of you may know that I love the woods. I am a forest nymph at heart. I love moss and bark and twigs and the sort.
This piece, untitled as of yet, was inspired by a my love of the woodland things.

Here is some of the process. It took me a long time as I have had no formal training and I was just kind of winging it.

She is a paper mache, wood and L200 foam base frame, sculpted with air dry paper clay then painted with acrylic paint. I did not use any sort of mold for this sculpture. It is sculpted by hand.

I'll be posting some of my older work sometime. I have some 3D wall pieces and some mixed media wall pieces I'd like to share.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Artist Showcase

Things have really gotten away from me with the whirlwind of Halloween orders, making costumes for mu kids, finishing unpacking and other business happenings.
One of those happenings is Reformation Brewery's Artist Showcase.  You can red there more about what the showcase is. But for those that cannot attend here are some images and the story of my piece for you to enjoy.

When I heard about the artist showcase I knew right away what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do a mixed media sculpture. Sculpting is not a strong-suit for me as I have only sculpted a face one other time and I have had no training. I am completely self taught. With this piece I wanted to do a larger face and bust, then add some natural elements.

I started with a wreath table stand since it had a heavy base to hold the weight of the piece. I sprayed it black, as it was gold and gold wouldn't work.

I added a round floral foam ball so the piece wouldn't weigh so much and so the piece wasn't solid clay. Otherwise it would never dry since I am using natural stone, air dry clay.  I used heavy gauge wire and foil to form the framing for the shoulders and bust. I then sculpted the clay over the foam/wire/foil base. I did not use any molds, this is sculpted entirely by hand.

Then there was a little accident involving a 3 year old and the floor. Let's just say that those two things are not good for wet clay and I had to resculpt her face.

After many hours of work and a few tears, I was able to finish her on time for the installation.

I used as many natural items as possible. I used natural stone clay, natural tree bark collect from my back yard, natural sheet moss and reindeer moss, natural Spanish moss, natural preserved hops flowers, and preserved greens. I added some high quality silk greens and moss covered wire for filling in. I used acrylics and Faber-Castell gelatos to paint her face and bust.
The title of this piece is, Uncontrived


Natural preserved hops flowers

She's not perfect and I have a long way to go in refining my sculpting techniques and abilities, especially a face, but I love how she turned out. If you are local, come by Reformation Brewery's Keeping Room to view this piece and 16 other artists pieces November 6th through November 22nd 2015 at their artist showcase.