Thursday, December 19, 2013


One word can summon up this year for me. “Change.” Tons of if. Tidal waves of it. So much that I feared that insanity would take over, and I would give in and let the waves carry me away. Everything changed. Many of the changes were good. Most of them were stressful. In 2013 I traveled overseas for the first time, conquered my fear and got my driver's license, bought a car, bought my first house, quit the job I had had for six years, got a new one, started sculpting. Yeah, I've been a little busy. Almost every major aspect of the average person's life that could change did. Travel, home, job, car, aspirations. (Okay there IS one more, but we are sooo not going there. Not yet, despite what DH may desire. :p)

And all of this in the wake of my father's passing. I spent a lot of the year feeling like I had dual personalities. One “me” embraced all the change, as a way to distance myself, as a way to prove that good things could still happen to me. The other me wanted to hide, wanted to hide away and curl up in grief. To be honest, that part of me won, a lot. I needed it, I know, but it's an odd feeling. It's almost as if I woke up in October and went,

“Huh, what? Where am I? What just happened?”

As I face the end of the year I feel myself standing on the edge of a cliff. I can see in the distance who I want to be. What I need to be happy. It's so close, but I'm not there yet. All the pieces are there, now I just have to grab those ends and tie them altogether.

The condo is a huge victory. Having our own space is such a positive change, one I am so grateful for. The husband and I will finally be able to be free to be ourselves. “Ourselves” are creative, messy, and often highly inappropriate people, haha. We have been cramped, both physically and emotionally living with the in-laws. And I'm sure that I will be totally happy.... once I am through the exhaustion and stress of renovation. (Surely the anger and desire to smash things into oblivion with a sledgehammer will fade, no?)

It's a difficult thing to “wake up” a year and a half later and not quite know how to process everything, and not quite know who or what you are anymore. It's something I am still working through. It's not necessarily bad, it's just that you can't go through all that without coming out the other side a little different than you were. Thank the gods for my husband, because he has been my rock, and without him I'm not sure I would have made it out in one piece.

In just a few days I will be going home. I think I really need this trip right now. I think it will ground and center me. The last year and 9 months have been absolutely earth shattering for me. Literally from the lowest low, to some pretty high highs. Everything changed, and it's not done with me yet.

Freezing my ass off (while I am mocked for my "thinned blood" with family and friends will remind me of the things that will never change, and I so need that right now. I am so lucky to have so many anchors in my life. To have people that been there during both my happiest and saddest times is a blessing. (Like physically, if I need them, they are there, which I find amazing, considering I now live in a different state, and only see them once a year or so.)

So I don't know what 2014 will bring, who does? More change? Probably. But with the help of all those anchors, I think I will make it through.

By GoblinGal

#change #newyear

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

To Make a Goblin (aka Yule Terror.)

So while I am on this Yuletide goblin kick I thought I'd show you my latest goblin but also how I made her. Curious how a goblin starts out? Well, it looks something like this.

Isn't she lovely? So shiny, so blue..

These here are the pieces of armature (like a skeleton,) that I build the goblin off of. Because it is a pretty small piece I am able to get away with a small, fairly crude armature. Her insides are in fact, aluminum foil and painter's tape. (I usually prefer masking tape, but couldn't find mine atm.) In larger sculptures or dolls, more elaborate armatures with bases and wire are required.

The armature allows you to have basic, solid shape to work off of, rather than clay throughout. You don't want to use all clay because 1)  It's too thick, and  your clay will not bake right. (Think of brownies that are burnt on the outside, but still dough inside.) 2) It wastes clay! Think of all that beautiful clay and the cool faces and outsidey-parts it could be, rather than being buried somewhere in a goblin stomach. (With a number of other unsavory objects, I would imagine.)  

So then I put my lovely armature together.

If this was a post about drawing the pictures wouldn't 
progress, any farther than this. Stick figures, that's all I got.

Yay! That is looking vaguely humanoid! At this point I give the whole thing a covering in goblin-skin tone clay. I could, like many doll makers, use a wire and cloth armature, and sculpt only the head, arms, legs, etc, but at this size, I find that a waste of time. She's quite little so it's just easier, for me anyway, to make her a full sculpture piece.

I get the armature layered in a base coat of clay, adding extra material to the head, since the face will be the most manipulated. Then I positioned her on the ornament to get the pose right. The hands were done first, to get them out of the way, because who likes doing hands? Actually, they aren't as bad as they seem. Take an oval shaped ball, flatten it slightly and then just cut slashes into it to make each finger. Then you use a small brush and clay softener to smooth out the ridges, press the very tip of a knife barely in each finger at the end to make a nail, and "draw" in some knuckles with a pointy clay tool or knife.

The face took me some time. Since the eyes are glass beads, I start working with the eyes first, embedding them and getting eyelids, sockets etc done first.  I wanted a softer look than the first one. So next, I added a triangular chin,  thinking it would look "elegant." The face came out very "grey alien" so I ended up squishing the who face in and making it rounder. I chose a smaller cuter goblin nose, and the ears, well the ears are just fun. 

So this is her finished and baked but before paint or clothes. Paint for a skin tone is added almost like a stain, brown slightly watered down paint is spread on then wiped off with a paper towel.  The clothes are tricky, I'm still getting the hang of them. Mostly I am making them up as I go, but I figure that's probably pretty close to how goblins pick their clothes anyway.

So here she is painted clothed and finished.

Here she is on the tree

Thanks so much for all the love for the new goblins! I am so excited to finally get started in this genre of art and so excited to make more little goblins to terrorize the neighborhood.

~ By Goblin Gal

#Christmas #elf #Goblin #Sculpting Goblins

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Mischief

Recently I set out to stop procrastinating and start sculpting! I am very good with coming up with ideas and not so great at actually getting around to them. I've made a few fae creatures, but I am still very very new to polymer clay, and even sculpting in general. But hey, this blog needs more Goblins! So I made it my mission to actually start and finish a piece. (With a house that needs renovating, and Christmas around the corner, that is actually quite a feat.) With Christmas creeping ever closer, I wanted to make something a little festive. When I thought of what mischievous thing little Goblins would get up to for the yuletide I immediately thought of the Christmas tree. Goblins, much like cats are irresistibly attracted to shiny objects. It didn't take very long for this little guy to pop into my head.

Notice the traditional cat-like pose of  "Ooo shiny!"

Here he is gleefully climbing and playing on this lovely red ornament. I know I still have a lot to learn, but for only my third or so polymer sculpture, I'm quite pleased with how he turned out. He is also the first I used glass eyes for, which made a huge difference in his realism compared to my first two. This was also the first time using a paint wash to get a more complex skin tone.

Here is a shot of him off the tree. (The glue is still drying though.)

I greatly enjoyed making him, and I'm sure more of his friends are on the way very soon. I am very excited to continue sculpting and improve with each try. Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Yule!

~By GoblinGal

#Christmas #elf #christmasgoblin #goblinornament #goblin #polymerclay #fantasyart #souglyitscute

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Matter of Millennials.

And now for a brief angry rant-like detour away from the world of geeks and crafts.

 "A matter of Millennials." written by Goblin Gal (psssst... she's a "millennial.") 

Okay guys, seriously the anti-millennial's getting old. Even though I know this will surely only get me lectured... I was born in 1986. I am the dreaded millennial..*le gasp* I have had a job since I was 15. Today, I have a great office job, a condo and a car which I pay for all by myself. I am married. By every nuclear 1950's definition of "THIS IS HOW EXACTLY HOW EVERYONE'S LIFE SHOULD BE." I am completely normal.

I put myself through school. My parents DID make me work for things. And no, I am not "the exception." And I am getting really...really tired of this anti millennial trend. Every day I log onto FB my wall is filled with my older friends posting about how terrible we are, how sheltered, how incompetent, how spoiled, how lazy, how immature we are.

", that's not what we are saying" they say in response, after getting repeatedly called "lazy" ruffles my feathers and I finally post back. Or better yet "It's not your fault, it's the way your parent's raised you." As if that makes insulting me better? 

All of my friends my age have jobs, are competent, and mostly well adjusted people who take care of themselves. Some of them are already taking care of themselves AND their baby boomer parents. Do some of us do still live in our parents basement? Yes. Do you know why? Because the three jobs we are holding down at once, still can't pay the rent and current cost of living unless you have 5 roommates. (lazy, lazy me living with the in-laws while I worked 12-14 hour days.) Also, because our college degrees, which we are now in MASSIVE debt for, and which we were promised would land us jobs, are not actually getting us those jobs. Do we whine and cry and sit around jobless as you all seem to think? No..we are out there working anything we can get. And guess what? You are right about one thing. We didn't build that economy. Our parents did. 

I still maintain that this is just the same harrumphing that every generation does about the next. It's new, it's different than yours, and you are likely only to see the bad. Every single generation thinks the next is lazy, less intelligent, more's just how it is. It's just that thanks to the advent of the internet, I have to see it everyday.

Now get off my lawn.

~ By GoblinGal

#Millennial #generation #millennialgeneration