Saturday, November 4, 2017

A 2017 Christmas Piece – Final Photos

I am excited to share the final photos of my 2017 Christmas piece. It challenged me in so many ways. I wanted to bring together my love of steampunk and my love of Christmas. It goes without saying that a bear is always part of the plan (most of the time!).

Here’s the front with its two ornament windows and unique interlocking gear closure.


A close-up of what you see peering out of one of the windows.


With the French door style front panels open, the inside is revealed. There’s a little steampunk toy soldier bear next to the steampunk Christmas tree.


A side view of the bear with his wind-up key.


The Christmas tree.


Details of one of the sides. In this photo, you get a glimpse of the holly garland with the gear berries.


More details.


It’s hard to choose a favorite bit because I invest so much in each part. I admit that this whole idea revolves around the toy soldier bear.


His leather look jacket and top hat with gear and cog trims took nearly two days but oh so worth it.


I’ll be bringing this piece with me to the Hunt Valley Holiday Show and Sale on Sunday, November 12th. Come out and say hello if you are in the area!


Thursday, November 2, 2017

A 2017 Christmas Piece – Part 2

Taking up where I left off. I began the interior details by working on this cone – or tree. As you can see, this is the same photo from my last post.

For the next stage I added some card stock sections for some texture and detail.

I covered the entire cone.

The next bit was the tricky part. I wanted to add gears, but the ones I had were not flexible at all, so I had to create some. My first attempt with paper clay you see here.

While they were okay, I then experimented with a particular kind of polymer clay and after seeing the much improved results, I started over. The same way. New cone, new card stock. Different approach. I definitely appreciate learning from my mistakes.

I added more gears and more baubles similar to what I had used on the front panels.


Then it was back to black. You know the process.

And adding color. This first stage: green.

By now, you must have guessed I am making a steampunk inspired Christmas piece. It was interesting merging snowflakes and gears.

I added a few other elements including these banners.

Then I decided to make a few more snowflakes from some bits I had on hand.


My next post I will share photos of the completed piece.

As always, thanks for reading!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A 2017 Christmas Piece

I’ve been working on this piece for what seems like forever. Not that is has taken me as long as all that but I had a lot of stops and starts and also one or two redo’s. More on that as we go along. This is how I began this piece.

The two large gears have the most critical position in my design and I had to play around with the others to get an arrangement that I liked. This is a very, very early incarnation.

This is the front of the box. If you gathered that there is some correlation between the two big holes and the previous large gears, you would be correct.

I was simultaneously working on this that I intended to go inside.

In these next two photos I am honing in on the arrangement of the elements. I often use a photo to get a different perspective on things. Since a color photo can be confusing and distracting, I sometimes take a black and white one so I can get a better sense of how it looks.

After a little bit of tweaking, I added texture and details

a painted both panels black.

In this close-up view, the details really come through. Gears, snowflakes, baubles and buttons.

The first stage of several adding color to the panels.

Then there was red

and silver.

In my next post, I will return to the chipboard cone and the ups and downs of what that entailed.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sebastian’s Eclipse Envy

Let’s just call is S.E.E. for short, shall we? At least that’s what Sebastian thinks S.E.E. stands for anyway. Why not go with it?

It actually stands for Solar Eclipse Experience.  I don’t know if you saw the newsworthy full solar eclipse here in the USA but I did not.  I wasn’t able to travel to the path of the eclipse where I could watch it. Not only that, I waited too long to get the special glasses needed.

Let me tell you, Sebastian was miffed. He was even more miffed when he found out a couple of his brothers and a good friend of his were able to enjoy it. Thankfully, he was somewhat appeased when they sent the following photos.

This is the lucky trio of teds who went on the eclipse adventure to Tennessee.  Left to right, Marco, Ashton and Tewes.  Ashton is the lucky one who had custom made solar eclipse glasses.  I think he might have shared them with his buddies.  When I showed this photo to Sebastian he just shook his head.  I know he was wondering why I wasn’t clever enough to make him a pair.

Here is the fabulous logo for the event – I mean, check out the bear with glasses.  This was where Sebastian wanted to be.


Here’s Ashton in a souvenir photo.  He knew Sebastian would be able to appreciate this one.

If you look real close, you can just make out the eclipse under way.

And, if you are like me and Sebastian who didn’t see it, you can appreciate this fabulous  photo of the eclipse sent to us by Ashton.  Marco and Tewes also say hello.

Thankfully, Sebastian is no longer miffed.  He is currently turning his attention to packing for his next adventure.  He sends you big hugs.

Until next time,

signature&  sebastiansigns

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Our First Trip to Tokyo – Part 2

These next photos of Tokyo completely skip over the two days we spent at Disney. That would be DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland. They each deserve their own post - probably more than that even but I am focusing on what we saw in our city explorations. I might post some Disney photos later. Sebastian is in quite a few of those.

Anywho . . .

This is a view of the breakfast buffet in our hotel.  Loads of fresh fruit was how I began each day.  And Jay would kindly make some toast for me.  There were also Japanese options if you preferred that to the Western breakfast.


I snapped this photo in the subway on our way to visit the Sensoji Shrine.


We passed through this shopping arcade on the way too.  Looking back at these photos there is so much I would go back and do more thoroughly.  Time is always a constraint!


Sebastian wanted to pose with this menacing looking fellow.  I heard a few people giggling when he did so.  So funny!


I loved these colorful decorations lining this street – also on the way to Sensoji.


Here’s a photo of Sensoji Temple.  Loads of tourists here.


And a couple of close-ups of details –including the fountain where you could sip water for blessings.

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This pair of Buddha was impressive.  The one on the right is said to bring mercy.  The one on the left is said to bring wisdom.


We thoroughly enjoyed walking through the streets of Tokyo on the way to visit the Skytree.  Here’s a view of it from a distance.


And closer up.  Way up!!!


Just one of many photos I took from the tower.  Tokyo is a massive city.


I took these last three  photos on our last day.  We walked all over the place and came across this street on our way to somewhere.  It was raining on and off so we purchased an umbrella for ¥300.  It looks like a lot of money but actually equates to about $3.00.


It stopped raining long enough for Sebastian to have his photo made with this polar bear.  He was happy to get out of the backpack.


This is the famous Hattori clock tower.  It sits atop the Wako Department Store.  Another place to check out next time.


What a terrific city!  The people are lovely.  I can’t wait to visit again.  I’m sure my list will be even longer next time now that I know a little bit more than I did.  If you have been and have suggestions, please leave a comment.  We appreciate all the advice we were given before!

Thanks for reading!


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