Saturday, June 2, 2012

mini puppets/magnets - shakespeare abridged

Remember that play I had made all those props for?  Well, it was my brilliant idea to make each cast member and member of the crew a small  puppet that looked just like them.

My grand plan was to have the cast's puppets in their orignal costumes and then give them costume changes as well.  (In the play itself there were multiple costume and wig changes.)  Then I was determined to make little props for each puppet to hold.

Unfortunately, if I had only thought of this earlier in the run I could have done just that.  But my great gift idea didn't come to me until the show's opening night.  Which of course, then just gave me a week to crank out I think it was nineteen puppets.

I ended just making one per person.  No costume changes.  And ony a few puppets recived props.  But everyone loved them!  They were a hit!






I've been thinking of expanding these felt puppets/magnets into a series of TV/Movie/geek interest ones.  I foresee some Harry Potter, Dr. Who, Star Wars, Star Trek ones in the future . . maybe also even Shaun  of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Spaced puppets?

Who knows!

Friday, June 1, 2012

hunger games: mocking jay pin (1st try)

Yes, I can count the Hunger Games as a geeky pleasure, thanks to my friend Elaine who I went to the movie with.  And mind you I wasn't  as hooked as she was, proabably due to the fact that I hadn't read the books at the time.

But the film was very good, so Elaine lent me her books . . and the rest is history.

So here is my first attempt at making a mockingjay pin, which was a birthday present for Elaine.  It ended up a bit big - so in reality it was more of a mockingjay brooch.  Ha!

I tweaked this tutorial that I found on Pinterest.

Instead of using a photocopy of the mockingjay pin artwork from the book cover, I drew my own version of the pin by hand.


I then took tracing paper and traced each element of the pin separately ( the ring, the bird and the arrow) with a fine Sharpie marker.




I took some gold Sculpey Preemo! clay and rolled it out flat.  I then placed my tracing paper over the clay and took my stylus and traced over each pattern item into the clay.

I then took my clay sculpting tools and carefully cut the shapes out and put them aside.  I worked on smothing out all the rough edges of my cutouts with my styluses.  I also used them to carve out the detail on the mockingjay.

After assembling all of the pieces together, I baked it in the oven and then it came out looking like this.



I then painted the pin with some gold acryllic paint and a metalic brown paint.  I then topped it off with a couple of coats of  a Sculpey gloss glaze - but clear acryllic glaze would do if you had it at home.

Then I glued a pin to the back . .and . . . here is what it looked like.


I think when I give it a second go I'll reinforce the ring with some wire.  But other than that, not bad for a first go, I think.

tutorial: how to make a golden snitch





Here it is!  Feel free to leave any comments/questions if you have any!  

Please use this tutorial for your personal use, not to make items for sale.

Thanks!

 - Kimberly

********************************************************************

Supplies you will need:

Smoothfoam styrofoam ball – (1.5  inches / 3.8 centemeters in diameter)

Magikote

Darice Embossed Angel Wings-White Iridescent-4.75 inch

Gold acrylic paints (I used 3 different kinds)

Black acrylic paint

Embossing stylus  - I used a couple of sizes.

Pencil

Wooden dowel or whatever item fits into the small hole in the bottom of the ball.

Sandpaper
I used super fine or extra fine

Very thin/fine wire
I used a piece of scrap wire I found in my supplies, so I can’t begin to guess what gauge it should be.

Craft glue


Instructions:

Take your Styrofoam ball and gently use sandpaper to sand down the seam. You will see the ball comes with a pre-drilled hole on one side.  I decided to keep this hole as the bottom of my Golden Snitch.


Then use your pencil and sketch out the ridges and details on the golden snitch.  I am sorry I do not have a template for this.  If I can figure out how to make one in the future, I will post it.  I did it all free hand, using the following pictures.






Make sure not to put too much pressure on the ball as you draw.  I learned the hard way that you can puncture the surface if you are not careful.

After you are satisfied with your sketches, take one of the smallest styluses and go directly over all of the pencil lines you drew on the ball.

Then take the largest size of your embossing styluses and use it to apply light pressure in all of the negative space in your sketches.  Basically you are creating all of the raised details on the snitch my compressing the rest of the ball around the pencil drawings.    You will also find that the closer you get to your sketch lines, the smaller tip of stylus you may need.  A word of caution, be very aware of how much pressure you are putting onto the stylus and ball.  You can (as with the pencil) go through the surface easily.  I had a few mistakes like that on my Golden Snitch.  To fix them, I filled the crater holes with craft glue.


* Side note - I can’t get enough uses out of my styluses.  Not only can you use them for embossing paper crafts, but I’ve also used them for carving out details with clay and now carving out details in Styrofoam!  A great set of multi-use tools.








After you are done,  you can sand down any of the areas you feel might still need smoothing out.

Then take your wooden dowel, or any straight item and place it into the small hole in the ball.  This will make it holding the snitch while painting/drying much easier.


Give the snitch a couple of coats of MagicKote.  Let dry.



Then give the snitch a few coats of gold paint.  Let dry.


























Dry brush a little black paint onto the snitch, making sure to rub off the majority of it as soon as you paint it.  This will help create the shadows in the contours of your snitch.


Once dry, remove the snitch from the dowel. Fill the hole in the underside with craft glue and paint over it with gold paint and black paint as you did with the rest of the snitch.


Take the angel wings and cut them in half.  Take 2 very small lengths of your wire ( perhaps about an inch long each) and fold them in half – then open them till they each form  a letter “v” 


Take one piece of bent wire.  Gently try to work the opening of the "v" into the small gap on the cut side of the angel wing. Use a drop of craft glue inside the wing and hold it closed to secure the wire in there.


Repeat with the second wing.  Let both wings dry.


Take a straight pin and place a hole in each area of your snitch where the wings would be.  


Carefully bend the exposed part of the wire ( the bottom end of the "v") from each wing together into a point.


Work that now pointy end of each wire into the holes you created with the straight pin.  Make sure they are in up to the base of each wing.  Place a drop of craft glue on each to secure it.  Let dry.


You should be able to bend and reposition the wings a little bit so they can stay open at whatever width you prefer.







And tada!  

You have yourself a Golden Snitch any Harry Potter fan would love!

Make sure to post links to the Golden Snitches you make! 

I'd love to see them!




stage props

My lack of blogging recently has been due to a committment I had making props for a production of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).  At this time, the show has gone up and finished its run.  It was a hilarious show and I was very proud to be a part of it.

Some of the items I had to make  were a challenge - such as creating a puppet theatre that stood a little taller than me ( I'm 5'8) out of cardboard boxes and the sock puppets that needed to resemble two actors in their costumes, to making a severed head pie, a fake eyeball, a comedic severed head.  But here are some of the items I had the pleasure of creating for this fabulous production.

Some of the hand puppets I made - for the play with in the play bit in Hamlet





















The puppet theatre (constructed out of 3 coardboard boxes and some fabric.)



The severed head pie and fake eyeball for Titus Andronicus ( plain white mask, clay, felt, styrofoam ball and paint)






The laurel head wreath for Julius Caesar (fake floral leaves, wire, a head band and some floral tape)





The decapitated head for Macbeth

The pathetic tree branch/Birnam Wood - Macbeth



The sock ghost of Hamlet's father for Hamlet



Ophelia's dead body - Hamlet


A banner for the Hamlet encore








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