Beltane Antler Craft







Beltane Greetings!


This craft that I’m showing you, I completely made up as I am creating it. I wanted to make an antler headband, and then I wanted a spiderweb, and THEN I thought I would like to add in mushrooms and sparkles…..and moss. It’s a bit of whimsy and fun.

Okay, like I said I wanted to make an antler headband, but I’ve never made one. I didn’t want to use real antlers because they would have been too heavy, so I have once again turned to polymer clay. I, myself, semi-followed a tutorial for making the antlers. However, that tutorial was for paper mache and I am not a real big fan of paper mache. It’s messy. So, I looked at the general instructions and incorporated the design with the clay. I’ll put the link for the tutorial that I used for the antlers at the bottom of this, in case you would rather make yours with paper mache. The spider web that I have created, I absolutely had NO idea what I was doing and I just made it up as I went. I’m pretty happy with the end look, I think.

To start you will need some aluminum foil, floral tape, and original sculpey clay. Tear the aluminum into strips and shape into antlers.  Remember to narrow the aluminum going toward the points of the antlers.  You could also make them from just clay and they would be solid, but that would end up being heavy also. I made mine around 6 inches in height. 

 


When you have them all shaped, wrap with the floral tape. Bend them the way you want them to be shaped after you have wrapped the tape.
The reason why you wrap it with the tape is to make it smooth for the clay. Roll out your clay into a thin sheet and then put on the antlers in sections and smooth.


Make sure to make the base of the antlers a bit bigger and make it flat as well. You will be hot gluing these to the headband.

After you have the clay evenly distributed, make ridges on the antlers with your tool. They don't have to be perfect, you just want to give them some texture.

 

 

Now they are ready to bake. While they bake you can make the mushrooms. Pop the antlers in the oven at 275 degrees for 20 minutes.


Since I wasn't sure how large or how many of the mushrooms I wanted to put on my headband, I made several different sizes. I can always use the ones that I don't use for this for something else later. To make a simple mushroom, just make a few "bowls" and then roll out a small stem. Bake them at 275, and I baked mine for 15 minutes.

 

Okay, this is one of the ideas from the antler tutorial that I found. I really like the base of those antlers, so I added the hot glue as instructed. I really really need to buy myself a new glue gun. Mine works but it is big and bulky and the trigger no longer functions. To make the glue come out I have to push on the end of the glue stick, lol. I burn myself multiple times and it is really hard to control how much glue comes out. It just isn't one of those things that I think of when I go to the store. So, one day I'll have one.......when I think of it.





















By this time, your mushrooms should be finished baking and you can base coat everything. I just used the same color to base coat. I used a cream color for the basecoat for all of it. For the antlers main color I mixed cream, butter yellow, and a tan color.












I brushed the main color on, then I wiped it off the glue dots and I sponged it near the tips, leaving some of the cream showing.


Next, paint your mushrooms. I painted a variety of colors but ended up using two colors and smaller ones. I didn't want the bottom of the antlers completely hidden. I glued the stems after they were all painted.

The headband that I'm using is just one that I had lying around the house and never used. It's a wider band. I put it on and determined where on it I wanted my antlers placed. I cut a couple of slits in the fabric so the glue would be able to have a firm hold with the antlers. I used hot glue to hold them and it worked quite well.



Okay, now here is where it gets a bit tricky. For the web, you will need hot glue and fishing line. If you have some fine glitter you can use that to make the hot glue sparkle.  I needed to make a spider web base so I put intersecting string in first.

First, tie off the string around the bottom of one of the antlers and stretch it up diagonally to the top of the opposite antler and tie that off as well. Keep it taut. You don't want slack.


It's a little hard to see, but the string is going up diagonally to the opposite antler. Do that again with the opposite side. Start at the base and stretch across to the opposite antler so that you have two intersecting lines.
 

After I have stretched as many of the strings and tied them off, I knotted them in the middle with a short piece of line and cut off the excess string. I did this to keep them all intersecting in the middle. Put a dot of glue on this intersecting point. The drops of glue will look like dew drops on the web.




















To start making the webbing, you will need to start using your hot glue gun.  I just touched the first one and put a drop of glue. Immediately start blowing on it to make it dry. Before each drop of "dew" dries you can sprinkle with the fine glitter to give it a shimmer. As you go to each piece of base, glue it down. You can see what I mean in the pics. Continue around getting larger as you go.



Keep doing this process to make your web. 

 

 





When you are finished, add more glue drops here and there to make more dew.





When you are finished adding the dewdrops you can then put your moss around the base. Decide where you want to place it and glue down.



Do the same with the mushrooms and your whimsical head piece is finished!


 

 






As always, I hope you have enjoyed this craft and I have inspired you to make your own! Please share pics with me of your own.


And also, here's the link for the paper mache antlers. This will give you more ideas for making your own!

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=379187.0

Bright Blessings,
Saga





























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