Spring Goddess Ostara Emu Egg Craft

This wonderful craft is an entry for Imramma Magazine.






Blessed Ostara, everyone!

I have a delightful and fairly easy craft for you. A child would enjoy this one too, I think. You can make this as elaborate or easy as you would like. It takes minimal of clayworking skills. It does take a small amount of patience when painting your item. I don't generally use the colored clay because it isn't in the color that I want and I would have to paint it anyway. I also like to use Original Sculpey for my crafts.

This will make a lovely altar/home decoration when you are finished. You can use one of the crystal ball stands to set it in.

Emu eggs are a beautiful vibrant green color with a great shell texture. They look like they came from Emerald City. They can be pricey when looking for them. You want to be picky about them also because you don't want an extra large hole in the bottom of it. The smaller the better.


Items needed:

Emu egg
Original Sculpey Clay
Acrylic paints in your choice of colors
If you want you can use a face mold for her face and leaf molds for the vines.

Start with a clean, dry egg. Do not scrub your egg. The color of the egg will scratch off if treated harshly.

For this project I would like to convey the fertility and abundance of nature in spring, so I'm going to make a full-figured, lovely spring goddess in beautiful greens.

Here is my dog inspecting my eggs upon arrival. He confirms that they are good to use.

 



Roll out a ball of clay flat. I used a tool and just did a freehand of my goddess. If you need a template you could print out this pic and use that. But this goddess is fairly easy to draw out. There is just a simple line drawing. She is 3 1/2 inches long from the tippy top of her hands to the bottom of her legs. She is also 1 1/4 inches wide at her widest.

When you have traced your basic figure out with a sharp point, then you can cut all the way through the clay with the same tool and just transfer it onto the center of the front of the egg. Smooth her down and add clay to shape her breasts the way you want them. Also smooth her edges and lightly press her onto the egg.

 


For the vines, just roll out the clay. I would just lightly pinch and roll the ends together of each rolled out piece to make the vines all one continuing vine. Very lightly mash the to the egg. You don't want to flatten your vine, you just want it to adhere to the egg.

 

 

Go crazy with that vine, make it loop and turn directions. You can also roll out little springy looking new growths to go on the vines in different places. You can see one of those at the point of the goddess hands in this pic.



Next you want to make some flower shapes. I used the same pointy tool and just made a flower shape. Nothing elaborate, just 5 petals. 


To give the flower petals some definition, you could use an orange stick and mash down the length of each petal. 



Roll a small ball to put in the center of each flower. 




Place them where you would like a flower.


If you want leaves, you can either cut out a leaf shape and use your tool to make the veins OR you can use a mold. I don't usually use my molds, but I thought that I would for this. I only made 3 and placed them around the goddess on the front.

If you use a mold trim that excess clay off that is around the leaf.





If you want to give your goddess a face, you can
a) shape one yourself
or 
b) use a mold

I went with a mold


If you don't want to give her a face, just leave a blank, but build it up and smooth it like you did her breasts. If you use a mold for her face, when you lay it on the smooth head area, just take a wooden clay tool and smooth around the whole face, to make it look like one piece.


Next, give your goddess some free, wild hair. Her hair is going to grow and flow like the vines. So roll out some more, but make a small diameter than your vines. Lightly place and ever so lightly mash them to her head. They kind of look like dreads when you are finished. You can twist and turn them as well.

 

 She looks lovely and she is ready to pop in the oven and bake! Preheat your oven to 275 degrees (F). Lie her gently (egg and all) on a baking sheet and let bake for 20 minutes. Take out and let it cool completely. If you find that you have any loose pieces, you can use E-6000 craft glue OR shoe goo. I use shoe goo. It's the same thing but you get twice the amount for 1/2 the price.



Now she is ready to paint. I want to go with a variety of green to give her definition. I used a base color of  Plaid Acrylic in Pale Green. I defined her with Craft Smart Dark Green and Hunter Green and Green. I painted the vine in the Plaid Pale Green. The leaves were defined like the goddess. I decided to go with a popping DecoArt Red Wind for the flowers. I mixed it with a little Pearl Ex pigment for some shimmer. And then I used a purple to give the flowers some definition: Plaid Deep Purple.


As you can see, she has the base of pale green, with a dark green slightly defining her. If you get the paint on the egg, you can dip your brush in alcohol to remove it from the egg. 

I put a spiral on her stomach with the hunter green.


Then I went around inside the spiral with the pale green to make it more define. 




Keep defining and blending her with the darker colors.  And just make her your own.
 



I think that she turned out beautifully! A lovely spring decoration!



Brightest Blessings,
Saga












Hurry Spring!

Normally I'm all for snow. But, this year has pushed me to my limits. I haven't been able to move my car for two weeks. I suppose in a way it is good, I've gotten lots of art done.

Anyway, I want to help push us toward spring, so I created a coupon code.

It is good for 25% off your entire purchase in my etsy store, for all of March. There are some lovely spring goodies in my shop. You can use as many times as you like, but it is not good for custom orders. You also cannot combine it with other discounts.



As I said, I've been working hard and making some lovely items. Right now I'm making a custom order box and a plaque for my new grandson's nursery. 



This was a custom order, Storybook Unicorn











These are available in my shop:



 Greenman Emu egg, front 
Greenman Emu egg, back


 Spring bunny emu egg, BackSpring bunny, front


Goddess Emu Egg, front

Rest of Goddess Egg cover in vines.


Handpainted eggs


These are real blown and cleaned eggs that I have handpainted. 

Some new plaques


And a new pendant, featuring the mandrake




I hope you have bright blessing throughout your day, 
Saga






Imbolc Altar Craft

This wonderful craft is an entry for Imramma Magazine.




Blessed Imbolc  to everyone!

I really wanted to make an altar decoration for this craft. This is a larger piece and takes at least a week to make. The reason for this is paper mache. You have to allow drying times. However, you could always take the idea and make it your own way. Since Imbolc is celebrating the first signs of spring, I wanted to create a piece that incorporated Brigid’s fire and cauldron. In my mind I saw her fire inspiring nature to awaken from its slumber and that’s what I have created.

Brigid’s cauldron overturned with her fire spilling on the ground, as the fire moves along the spring flowers erupt from the ground. Behind the cauldron scene, frost and ice on the ground, representing the scene going from one season to the next. I chose the earliest spring flowers: snowdrops, crocuses, irises, hyacinths.  I used a battery operated set of small lights, attached underneath the base, to light the fire at night.

This craft has several steps and links to other tutorials that I used for all of the pieces. You will want to make or gather (if you choose to buy) all the items before assembly. Assembly takes 2-3 hours.

For a paper mache recipe you really just need flour, water, and salt. Torn newspaper is better, not cut. When you mix the flour and water together, you don’t want it real thick. Mix it to the consistency of a cream soup. Just dip the paper pieces and run between your fingers before applying to remove the excess.  I used the base of a pear shaped balloon for my cauldron. A more detailed paper mache cauldron tutorial can be found here: Paper Mache Bowl

The size of my balloon. I blew up the balloon and immediately tied a yarn string on it. I only put the paper mache on the bottom 1/3 of the balloon. I wanted more of a bowl than a full cauldron shape. I also did not put a handle or legs on mine.  I put 3 layers of paper mache on the balloon. I then hung it up to dry overnight.

After I finished applying the paper mache to my balloon, I then worked on the base. It will have to be finished in sections. I decided to use the lids from a few shoeboxes. They ended up being perfect. I taped two together like this to lengthen them. After I taped them together I put 3 layers of paper mache on the top. I let that dry overnight. The second pic is of a dry top. The next day I paper mached the underneath. That also had to dry overnight.




 These are my bowls when I popped the balloons. They turned out quite nicely. I tried to keep the edge as even as possible, even though I would be trimming it.
 This is my bowl after trimming.
 Now, I wanted to put a nice decoration on it, so I found a paper mache clay recipe on pinterest. I found this one:paper mache clay

I did have to add a cup more toilet paper than it called for. It just wasn't stiff enough without it.

 This is the thickness of the clay.
 I decided to put a triskele as the design with a nice edging on the bowl. This also had to dry overnight.


I wanted the cauldron to look as though it were made of copper. I base painted it brown and I highlighted the wrinkles on the mache in black.



 After covered the bowls in the brown, I let it dry a little and then I applied some Pearl Ex Pigment in super copper. This stuff is just awesome. It gives a great made-of-metal shine.




I also cover the base in same brown and blended in a couple of other browns. A light brown and a dark brown. I wanted to give it the look of dirt. Let dry.

Another thing is that you will also want to start making your flowers at this time. If you don't want to make them, you can buy a variety of fake spring flowers. The tutorials that I used for my flowers are at these links. The flowers are all made from crepe paper, tissue paper, floral tape, and floral wire.





After everything is dry, you can start assembling. The first thing is to add moss. I bought some sheet moss and added it first. I decided to add it to the ends, letting some of the brown show through the middle, like dirt. Then I glued it down and trimmed the edges.


I then added some moss pieces here and there to make it look like a woodland floor. 


Time to add the cauldron. Adding the cauldron and the lights takes quite a bit of work. First I glued it down to hold it in place where I needed it. I didn't feel like it was sturdy enough so I decided that I needed to do something to hold it better. I decided to go with a bolt, washer, and nut. I used a bigger screw to make the hole that I needed to go all the way through the layers. Don't press too hard, you don't want to tear your cauldron, it is just paper after all.




 This is the underneath of the base after I attached the cauldron.


This is a picture of the bolt that I put in the cauldron. After it was installed I painted it like I did the cauldron. Even though the fire that I am making will basically cover it up, I still wanted it to match. 

For the lights you will need a good, sharp tool or knife. I have an x-acto knife, but I decided to use my handy boning knife from the kitchen. The tip is a bit longer and will go through the layers nicely to make each little hole for each light. I begin by first installing the batteries and testing the lights. After that I will mount the battery pack underneath.
 

I mounted the pack underneath using hot glue. I put it all the way against the same end as the cauldron.

The extra wire between the pack and the lights isn't needed so I tied them up with a zip tie.
 To begin placing the lights, you will be able to use the nut on the bottom as a guideline for placement. The bolt is right where the fire in cauldron will be, so make holes all around it. Space them, but not widely. You will be make fire from tissue on each light.



Here is the first hole. I place it behind the bolt toward the back of the cauldron.


Here are several placed around the bolt.
Continue taking your lights out of the cauldron. Your fire will be going across the earth to awaken it. The lights are going to spiral around two groups of flowers. I counted the lights and was able to use 7 per spiral and that left 8 to put in the cauldron and bring onto the ground to the flower group.


Here is a shot of the light placement from underneath.
 When you get to the spot for your first flower grouping, you'll want to add those next. Instead of using the knife from the bottom, just make your holes on top, through the moss. You don't want very large holes, just enough for the stems to fit.






You can then place your lights in the first spiral around the flower grouping. Place your next group of flowers . I placed the second group toward the opposite end in the corner. Take your lights around that group. 


 


Now that the lights and flowers are attached you can make the fire! For the fire you need a variety of red, yellow, orange tissue paper.


Cut out squares for the cauldron fire a little larger than the ones for the spirals. Make the ones for the cauldron fire in 3x3 inch squares. You only need to cover each cauldron light with one piece of tissue. 

Just put a bit of hot glue in front of a light, let it cool just a bit. Crinkle a square of tissue, uncrinkle and put it on diagonally. Shape to look like a fire flame.

 

 


Since you have them grouped in front of each other you don't have to encase each light. The grouping helps to hide the lights. For the spirals, you will want to use to squares for each light. You will glue one in front, one behind, and then twist them to look like a flame together at the top.


Continue around all the lights. 



For the winter part of the craft, use pinecones. Place where you like them and then hot glue.




The edge of the base needs some moss added so that it all blends better. Glue sporadically around.


Put a bit more here and there to decorate the top around the flowers.


Keep going around the edge until you are satisfied with the look.


I had snow left over from Yule decorating and it is enough for my winter part.


Spray the pinecones and the moss behind the cauldron.



To give it an icy look I added a bit of DecoArt Twinkles on the end of the pinecones.





And with that your Imbolc piece is finished and ready for display!




Here is mine displayed in my home:



I thought that it would be fun to show you a couple of mistakes that I made while designing the project.



I ended up not being satisfied with the looks of these two things and changed them. I first had the fire going in a line right down the middle. 


While it did look really pretty lit up, it was not how I envisioned the flames going. I removed the flames, and put the lights into the spirals, and that made it look much better.

The other mistake that I made was the winter scene. I had these fake winter branches. They looked cheesy. I decided that pinecones would look better and I removed the ugly branches.


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the craft and that you are inspired to create one for your self. I made two and listed one for sale in my Etsy shop. 







Brightest Blessings,
Saga