Saturday, April 5, 2014

Playful Dragons





Recently I decided I wanted try to sculpt something new that I could make and reproduce in a few variations to sell on my Etsy.  My hubby suggested small dragons in cat-like poses, which is adorable, so I gave it a try. We both loved "How to Train Your Dragon."  and own two cats, so the idea of dragons acting like giant house cats greatly amuses me.


Here are the head and body still in early formation





I really like using the glass beads for eyes. It adds a sense of realism.  You can still sculpt the eye shape, give it ridges, brows and plenty of character, but you don't have to worry about sculpting pupils and little finicky bits or having to paint intricate eye details later. (My hand sculpted eyeballs still end up a bit cartoony.)







The idea was for these to be small, but of course the first one turned out larger than anticipated. Getting small takes work and experience!




Here he is all done!






Afterwards I tried to make a second one, to see if I could accurately repeat the style and get it more into the size range that I wanted. The results were this pretty girl below. I have to admit it was hard to list her on my Etsy, but I can't keep them all. I hope she will go to a good home. She is actually significantly smaller, only about 2 inches high!






I will be making new poses and colors to add to my Etsy soon, as well as (hopefully) a few goblins. It's going to be a busy month! Check out all the new stuff on my Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/shroudedgrove and  Thanks for reading!

By GoblinGal





#Dragon #FantasyArt #PolymerClay #PolymerClayDragon # Etsy #Shroudedgrove #HowtoTrainYourDragon #DragonCat #DragonYarn

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sluggish and Stressed

Today I am feeling a little downtrodden, tired and stressed. There are too many deadlines and not enough time. At this rate I’m going to need April to last twice it’s normal length. I have three deadlines coming up between May 1st and 3rd and only one of them is close to being done. On top of that the last week has been riddled with health issues for both me and my husband, which also prevented working on the house and working on that blasted bathroom.

We had a plan of attack for tiling the shower upstairs, but then I had a lovely cold the first half of last week, (co-worker came in sick) which I then passed to my husband the second half of the week.  So much for productive time. On Sunday, as I went out to shoot archery as I normally do, my brain took one look at the bright sun above, shouted “MIGRAINE!!” and took me out. I stumbled awkwardly through part of a lunch with friends, but had to cut it short to retreat to my cave and sleep it off.  It was my first heavy hitting migraine in a really long time, so today I am still dealing with the “postdrome” effects, which for me include mental sluggishness, exhaustion, and the potential for several “aftershock” headaches. (Which means I may not be able to count on any productive hours after work tonight.)

On the crafting front I am starting to stress about my upcoming craft fair. It is my first one, so basically, all my numbers are theoretical.  I just don’t have the experience to know how much stock to bring, what kind of money I can spend etc, and I’m stressing about actually producing that much goods by then.  I can’t just sit there with an empty table!

Then there is the paper mache art for submission into a book. One: I need to make a bunch of pieces by May 1st TWO: I have absolutely zero muse for this. 3: AGH TOO MANY DEADLINES IN MAY!! 4) I haven’t worked in paper is a long time.

I am trying to organize my time as efficiently as possible, but it has become challenging to divide my time between my 9-5 job, the crafting and the home renos. (Plus add in normal home maintenance and the SCA)  
 My head, at the moment, is a mass of thoughts, random colors, ideas and stress, swirling in a maddeningly sluggish vortex of a post-migraine brain.

This too, shall pass. I know.  I’ll get it all worked out, but boy, it’s going to be one hell of a ride until then.

Thanks for reading, see you next time.
~ By GoblinGal


#Migraine #Postdrome #Deadlines #CraftFairs #Stressed

Collegium Caidis Wrap-Up

Once a year the SCA Kingdom I live in has a weekend event called Collegium. It is essentially a weekend workshop with varying classes. The classes are taught by volunteers from within the society and run the gamut from martial skill classes to various crafting classes. It is a great opportunity to learn a new skill and get your feet wet, or even to learn and advanced technique for a topic in which you may not normally have access to a teacher.

I enjoy collegium because you can really see a lot of cool things you might not normally see. This collegium was really the first one in which had a “major” so to speak, so I tried to focus on weaving classes. (Plus the two performance classes I wanted to take were both cancelled. Boo. )
It was pretty eventful. I went to a card weaving class and an advanced Viking wire weave class, as well as learned to play some medieval board games.

The wire weave class was great, I learned how to do double and triple weave, and well as learning some fantastic tricks for the overall process.  The handout was amazing, and it came with a chart that indicates how much a piece will stretch as it is drawn through the board, which will save me a ton of time deriving my own.

The picture below is of some single weave bracelets I made recently to give you a general idea of what some wire weave looks like.







The card weaving class was a bit beyond me, but I got some good basic concepts down and went home that night later to figure it out. My husband is like my silent weaving partner.  He has no interest in the act of weaving but loves the set up. Strange boy. He finds the patterning, math and way the string moves to be fascinating, like a puzzle.  So as we went home, and I tried to explain to him what I had been doing he grew interested and wanted to help me figure it out. Lol. We spent that night watching videos and discussing everything to break it down. I’ll be warping up my first double face pattern soon, and will let everyone know how it goes.

The games were fun. I went with my hubby and a couple friends. I beat my husband at Nine Man Morris, and then he absolutely destroyed me at Pachisi.

The other eventful thing that happened was that I finally submitted my arms for registration. I should have done it a couple years ago when I got my AoA, (Award of Arms) but there were complications last time I tried.  Here is what it looks like. I am not very knowledgeable in heraldry, I just made the picture, but I think the blazon is going to be something like 

“Per chevron vert & purpure , two trees displayed argent, and a wolf rampant to sinister argent.” 

I think. I'll know for sure when I get my paperwork back. 




This will be my personal my coat of arms.  If it passes through the system, it will be registered exclusively to me, so that wherever I go in the society (even overseas) if you see this you will know it is me. Neat! Now comes the paperwork part and the waiting. It’s going to basically go through a lot of checks, to make sure it’s different enough from anything previously registered. I’ll hear back official word in a few months. 

All in all it was a pretty fun weekend, I learned a lot and I have a lot of new goals and projects planned out for the future. Thanks for reading


~ By Goblin Gal

#SCA #wireweaving #Viking #cardweaving #Collegium #CAID





Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Faery Garden Accessories


I am really enjoying getting into polymer clays and bringing more of the fantasy aspect to Shrouded Grove.  While I work on making more goblins and bigger fantasy creatures and projects, I wanted to be able experiment and have fun doing some smaller, simpler projects.

As an avid Halloween village collector (Mostly Lemax) I am enthralled by the current trend of faery gardens, which are essentially the same idea as a holiday village, only faery themed an outdoors, (which is awesome!)  Now that I have a front “lawn” so to speak, I am free to fill it with faerie art to my heart’s content. (The house and owl in this picture are starter pieces I bought over at Jo-ann, which is partially what inspired me to start making my own pieces.)




They are quick and fun and allow me to experiment with different sculpting and painting techniques. It’s great, I can let my mind run wild with ideas, and because they are relatively quick and easy to make, so I can actually get to a lot of them. These are a few of my first pieces I made. I tried to start out with some basic stuff, mushrooms, snails and the like.






The sign here was a little tricky, because it was my first time trying to carve actual words in. A learning experience was had.  (This was also the piece which during painting my cat saw fit to express his discontent by running through my green paint and across my table. *sigh*)













My little purple snail! I love this little guy.









This here is my “biggest” piece, a fairy circle with some fun funky mushrooms.



I've been having a blast making these!

You can buy them on my Etsy! https://www.etsy.com/shop/shroudedgrove
More shall be added soon, as well as hopefully some bigger projects as well.


~ By GoblinGal

#fairy #faery #fairygarden #gardening #fantasyart


Monday, March 10, 2014

Mortal Kombat Sub-Zero Hat




This piece is a copy of the head piece of the character Sub-Zero from the Mortal Kombat series, adapted into a usable winter hat. It was a special order item for a friend of mine who is living out in the Midwest, where the temperatures have been sub-zero quite literally . He wanted a new winter hat, and what better to keep you warm than full ninja hood?

It started as a picture posted on Facebook and a “If you can make that I will give you money.” followed by an over-confident me going “Pssh of course, it’s just a hat, I know how to make a hat shape.”

Have I ever actually made a hat? No.  (Though I do not a basic cap shape.) True to reality, and not the over confident visions swirling about it my head, it took a few trials a bit of experimentation, and way more yarn than I anticipated.  I went through a couple different yarn types and pattern types before I finally figured out what worked best, what allowed the hat to stretch, how to actually get it the right dimensions etc.


After a few revisions and fun with masks, here it is, all finished, and modeled by my lovely husband, who looks much better in this hat than I.



My head, fondly known as "Pin Head" at fighter practice 
looked a bit silly in a men's sized hat.


Thanks for reading! Until next time! Say Goodbye, Subzero!

He's so bashful!



~ By GoblinGal





#MortalKombat #Hat #SubZero

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Productive Day


So one of the fun parts of home ownership, random bills! Yippee! We came home to a surprise supplemental property tax bill. Youch. Things are a little tight at the moment, what with all our new and exciting bills, so instead of going to fighter practice, L I decided to stay home after and craft. With the house reno finally settling down, I’m trying to focus on re-launching my Etsy. I also took time to hammer out some of my friend and family back-orders.   

On the back-order front I finished one of them and made significant progress on two others. I mapped out the pattern for a crochet piece that has been driving me nuts, and built an armature for a goblin.
On the “new stuff” front I made three pieces of fairy garden accessories. I love the idea of faerie gardens. Think Christmas village, but fairy themed and outside in your garden. They are vastly popular right now, and I thought it would be fun to try my hand at making a few little accessories.  I will post about them a little later, when I've had time to do better quality photos. They are simple, cute, and should be pretty affordable for everyone, so I hope people will enjoy them.  (My husband is giving rave reviews, but that’s kinda his job. J)

I did all that and still managed to go to work, make dinner, feed the cats and sweep the floors. I’m feeling so productive!

By GoblinGal



#yaybills #fairy #fairygarden #productivity

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Moving

This Saturday is finally move in day. I am excited, and also nervous, but mostly relieved. This process has just been so long for me. 

I get that it seems obnoxious for me to be complaining over something great, like buying a condo, but at this point, mentally and physically I am just exhausted. Physically, endurance has never been my thing, and I have pushed myself well beyond anything I’ve ever done before.  (Yay! And uuuaarrrggghh!)

10 months of putting in offers and getting rejected or losing to flippers, while also working two jobs and overtime hours to keep our loan up, followed by all the drama it took to get our loan people to do their job when we actually GOT an accepted offer, followed by 4 months of hard reno that we ourselves have done all by hand. Phew.  I never so much as touched a saw before this adventure, and now I can sit at a tile saw cutting like a pro.

It’s all so worth it, and honestly something that needed to happen for my husband and I to move on into the future, but now I want to take a nap. More like a hibernation.  Maybe two weeks of sleep or so in a nice comfy cave? My everything is tired, my muscles ache, my eyes try to close anytime I sit still for a few minutes. I’m sure my job has noticed my zombie like state lately, I really dread getting in trouble, because I know I’m not functioning at as high of a level as I was before.

By GoblinGal

#moving