Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Steampunk Piece – The Outside, Part 1

These next few posts show the evolution of the Steampunk piece I created for the science fiction gallery at the Philadelphia Show. I will begin with photos of the transformation of the outside of the piece. I began with an unfinished box similar to this one. I removed all the hardware including the latches and the hinges so that I had two separate sides of the box.


I added a texture pattern of gears which I really love doing. It immediately alters the appearance of the box.

Then I began painting it; first with a dark brown

followed by a antique gold/brass color.

A few highlights of bright gold

And then several more colors – brick/clay, patina, moss and teal.

If you recall in this post, I showed how I created this chipboard panel.

The first step was to choose a typeface for the title and cut it from poster board. I love this font.

I had to decide how to arrange the elements that would adorn its surface. This involved a lot of hemming and hawing.

Once I decided how it was going to be, I had to glue most of the various parts in place. Some had to be added later because of crevices that would be easier to paint in a separate session.

I painted the entire thing with gesso but I probably could have skipped this step

because I ended up making the base coat black.

Next I began layering the paint similarly to what I had done before with slightly different colors to contrast with already painted box exterior. It might be hard to tell, but this is a metallic brick color.

And more paint to create the illusion of metal.

Here’s the front of the box finished.


A view from the side


and the back.


Part 2 will follow next.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Progression Photos – Finale

Today I present the rest of the progression photos from my gallery piece for the Philadelphia show. It is called “The Winter Forest”.  The name is taken from an anonymous poem that reads: 

Deep within the winter forest
among the snowdrift wide
You can find a magic place
where all the fairies hide.

If you recall, in this post I showed a photo of some wings I had in progress. The instructions for making them came straight from the Internet. It was a very exacting process but I am very pleased with the results. I intend to make these again – perhaps introducing some color next time. Here are some additional photos of the wings in process and the finish.

The iridescent film isn’t easy to photograph.  Sometimes it appears blue in the photos and sometimes it appears pink.  Maybe it is magic.

This substance is liquid Fimo.  This is the first time I have used it.

In this photo, the wings appear more clear – perhaps the angle of the photo made the difference.

I added some glass glitter to give the feeling of ice crystals.

I got completely caught up in the process and then so excited to add them to the fairy bear that I never photographed them by themselves.  This is as close as I got.

Next we pick up where we left off on the scene. (Click here for a refresher).

In this photo, several layers of snow have been added.

These are ice laden branches for the ‘forest’.

A snapshot of the piece before it was finished – the sunlight hitting it on my kitchen table.

Here is the completed piece with the wood slice steps, jingle bell snow dusted tulip flowers, the frosty pond, rusty snow dusted fences and the snow fairy queen.  But it has one more feature not shown in this photo.  You’ll have to scroll down for that.

Here’s the Snow Fairy Queen


in her softly lit magical winter forest kingdom.

There are many details but I think my favorite are the bits where the snow gently rests atop the flowers and the rusty hooks, and how the glow from the lights is softened by the snow.


Welcome to the snow fairy forest!

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sometimes I feel like a very small bear.

Hi ho. Sebastian here. I’m back in my own bed now but I have some terrific memories of my first trip to Key West, Florida. The following photos could easily be part of my favorite game “Guess Where I Am”. They also remind me that while I sometimes feel like a very small bear, I am also a very lucky bear. There was not one place where I was not allowed to go. Yes, sometimes I was in a pocket or a purse, but I never had to walk so I’m very thankful. Anyways, I hope you enjoy these photos – and if you want, go ahead and see if you can guess where I am!


This is me sitting on a butterfly bench in the Butterfly Conservatory.  The interesting thing I learned is that these are made just about 30 miles down the road from us here in North Carolina.  We found quite a few things in Key West that were made here.  It made us all very proud of the artisans that live here.


I’m not a smoker but I have a weakness for any oversized sculpture so when I learned that the largest cigar was two blocks from our hotel I insisted that I must have my photo made with it.



This statue at the Southernmost point memorializes a fellow who welcomed all visitors to the island with a toot on a conch shell. 


This one is pretty easy, don’t you think?  I’ve never, ever been this close to a butterfly!



Here I am at the Southernmost Point of the USA.  We were there right after the sun rose.  It was one of the few times when there wasn’t a line to have your photo made!  Can you see me?



This was a pretty place – Islamorada.  We stopped here on our way back to the airport.  The water was just beeeee-u-tiful!


love & hugs,


Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Hello from Sunny Key West

Sebastian was right. Key West is lovely. And sunny and warm and sometimes breezy. Laid back. Delightful. Colorful. Casual. Tropical. Friendly. Here are some of photos of our adventure so far.

Island transportation.

Oh no!

Smathers Beach

Pepe’s CafĂ© – since 1909 – Great food!

The Key West Lighthouse

One of many Key West roosters.

Entertainment just before Sunset at Mallory Square.

A butterfly at the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory


And flamingos too.


Flowers – big and colorful.

Palm trees.

More later,


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