Thursday, March 31, 2011

Green Gem Potion Bottle

This potion bottle is one of my kids' favorites.  It features a green gem, created using my Faux Gemstone technique which is set into a large black blob-like medallion made from polymer clay.  The medallion features tentacles which wrap around the bottle somewhat.  Two of them have been extended and wrapped around the neck of the bottle.  A similar green gem was set atop the cork stopper.

Although polymer clay does not permanently adhere to glass, the clay here has not been glued to the glass because it is wrapped around the glass, keeping it in place. 

The contents of this bottle are simply green colored water and vegetable oil.  The oil seems to have taken on a greenish color since I filled the bottle several years ago.  The strange bubbles in the top layer of the contents are the result of my shaking the bottle prior to taking the picture.  I have glued the cork permanently in place, making this a display bottle only.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Building an Icosahedron (D20: 20-Sided Die)

Do you know how to build a 20-sided platonic solid?  It's not hard.
You need: 20 equilateral triangles cut out of paper or card stock and some tape.

First tape one edge of each of three triangles to the edges of another triangle to create a large triangle from three of the original pieces.  Repeat.

Next, tape a pair of triangles together, edge to edge.  Repeat five more times.
You should have 2 large triangles and 6 pairs of triangles.
* * * * *

Now, tape one pair of triangles edge-to-edge with the corresponding edge of each of the three single triangles you added in step one.  See diagram for an example.
* * * * *

Tape the edges of those triangle points to the closest edge.  Do this six times, three times on each configuration.  You'll end up with two domes that have staggered edges.
* * * * *
Finally, tape the dome-like sides together so that the points fall into the dips along the edges.

Tada!  You've done it!  Try it with paper mache, fabric, or whatever you'd like!  I plan to make an enormous throw pillow for one of my daughters who is a participant in two different D&D gaming groups.  Also, she likes squishy things.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Keep Calm and Tardis On

The Keep Calm Carry and Carry On poster was developed during WWII to boost the morale of the British people.  It featured a symbol of the crown to indicate that the king was asking for solidarity.  This poster was never distributed.  Most of them were destroyed.

A book seller from Barter Books found one of the surviving posters, had it framed, and put it up in his shop where customers admired it.

You can create your own version of the sign, as I have done here, by visiting the Keep Calm-O-Matic.

Potion Ingredient Jar Set

These old jars were purchased off ebay as they are, with distressed lids.  Because I don't know what these bottles originally held, they couldn't be used for any spices that might go into food so they can only be used as props.  I filled each with something that looked like an ingredient and printed up labels on sticker paper.  I used a font that I liked to print the name of the contents and went over this with a permanent brush-tipped marker to give them a hand-quilled look. A basic black border is all that these required.  Anything else would have seemed like too much.  The ingredients and their labels are as follows:
  • Dried Doxy Venom: turbinado sugar
  • Beetle Eyes: black dragees (bought in a cake/candy decorating shop)
  • Dessicated Rat Brains: bulk-purchased dried garbanzo beans
  • Bowtruckle Skin: thin bark stripped off fallen branches
  • Asphodel Leaf: tarragon
  • Knarl Quills: pine needles cut to roughly equal lengths

Monday, March 21, 2011

Knotwork Potion Bottle

The purple started out as an eight-sided spice jar.  I started out by covering it in a layer of polymer clay.  To accomplish this, I rolled out the clay and covered the jar with the single sheet.  Then I poked this layer with pins.  Using my hands, I pushed the clay up against the jar tight while excess air was pushed out through the holes.  Then I smoothed over the surface to hide the holes.

I stamped out the design on another piece of clay and attached it to the original piece before firing.  To do this, I rolled out the piece of clay and dusted the surface with cornstarch.  Then I dusted the surface of the stamp with more cornstarch and pressed it into the clay.  I blew off as much cornstarch as I could before adhering the stamped section using a little liquid polymer clay.  I smoothed down the edges of the added piece using my finger. 

The bottle was then baked and the stamped section was later highlighted by covering it in black acrylic paint thinned with a little water and cleaning it off the top surface before it dried.  The neck was wrapped in twine and the twine ends finished with beads.  A brown polymer clay "tag" is also hung from the neck.  I intend to replace this with a piece of wood labeled using a wood burner.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Erumpent Horn Bottle

This magical ingredient bottle looks like a stick of dynamite because it contains something just as destructive, an Erumpet Horn.  I started out by covering this tall bottle in cleaned egg shells.  Working in sections, I brushed some glue in a small area of the bottle and pressed down a large piece of eggshell.  Then, using a toothpick, I spread out the pieces on the sea of glue to create a sort of mosaic pattern with tiny gaps.  This process was repeated until the entire bottle was covered.  Once dry, I painted over the entire surface and then antiqued it using acrylic paints and glazes.

Then, I drilled a hole in the original screw-on lid and covered it in polymer clay (sans the hole) and baked it hard.  To create the fuse, I strung beads and pulled the strand through the hole, securing it from the inside by tying a knot around a bead inside the lid.  The label was made on my computer, printed onto ivory paper and the front side rubbed with a candle.  This gave it a protective coat and made it appear old.  The complete text says: 
Potentially Explosive!
Do not use around small children, farm animals, empty fields, shoes, acorns, wands, fires, cheese, owls, gold, silver, copper, glass, ceramics, iron, alcohol, toothpaste, certain species of rainforest toads, toenail clippings, or blood.
Purchaser takes this into custody at his or her own risk.
Have a pleasant day!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Home is Where the Hearthstone Is

I made this World of Warcraft hearthstone plaque for my husband.  It was a pretty simple project involving creating a one-time mold using modeling clay and hardware store plaster.  Once it was set, I used a blue fabric paint to color the jewel-tone engraving.  I plan to make more but each will be slightly different due to the modeling clay molding process.  Check out the instructions and make one of your very own!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Skiving Snackboxes

My family loves the idea of the Skiving Snackboxes created by the Weasley twins in the Harry Potter books.  So I set out to create muggle versions of the treats within.  Since I am a muggle and incapable of creating the magic effects of the candies, I instead created "taste effects" by pairing some unusual flavors in these two-part confections.  To find out how I made these, visit the the directions I posted on Instructables for each.
Fever Fudge (upper left) -- spicy hot / vanilla
Puking Pastilles (upper right) -- garlic and anise / mint
Fainting Fancies (lower left) -- carrot and cumin (unsweetened) / sour lemon
Nosebleed Nougat (lower right) -- tart strawberry and balsamic / banana

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More Pi Pies

Mini Pie Pi
I baked this Mini Pie Pi display for Pi Day.  The crust on them is really nice.  It's kind of like a cookie.  It holds up to being sealed in an air-tight container without turning soft or gooey.

I entered this and my Spherical Pie into the Instructables Pi Day Contest this year.  The entries include several displays of mini pies but mine was the original.  If you like these concepts, I could really use the votes!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gold Potion Bottle

This is the first in my series of potion bottles, created out of a variety of elements.  I use a lot of polymer clay but I've been known to use other substances including egg shells to create the look I'm after.

The base is a clear glass Christmas ornament.   I bought the cork at my local hardware store from the bulk bins.  The hardware store's bulk bins have inspired a number of projects of mine.  I covered the ornament in gold polymer clay by carefully pressing pieces of clay all over the surface and smoothing out the clay as I worked.  This was baked and other clay embellishments were added using liquid polymer clay to bond the baked and fresh pieces:

  • A twisted rope of clay formed into a circle allows it to stand up.  Another was added to the neck of the bottle.
  • A slightly different shade of gold polymer clay was rolled out, coated with cornstarch, stamped with a cornstarch dusted rubber stamp, and placed in the center before baking on the clay.  (Once baked, I was able to rinse off the cornstarch which worked as a mold release.) 
  • I added a silver-backed flat glass marble made using my Faux Gemstone technique. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pi Day - Spherical Pie

It's Pi Day!  Today we celebrate the most amazing mathematical constant ever discovered.  To properly enjoy Pi, one must have pie.  If a circle is symbolic of pi, then a sphere is the epitome of it.  So I created a spherical pie.

To see step-by-step details and pictures of my first spherical pie, go to my Instructable: Spherical Pie

To create it, I used a Wilton Sports Ball pan.  This pan has two half spheres and two ring stands.  It is intended to be used to bake a round cake but, instead, I formed a crust around it.  Once baked, I filled the crust and cemented it together with white chocolate.

The trick to to create a barrier on one side of the filled crust by either securing a disc of cooked crust with the same chocolate that will be securing the two pieces together, or by making a chocolate disc and securing it to the crust on the inside.  Allow the chocolate to solidify before continuing and assembling the sphere.

Then pipe a thick ring of melted chocolate, pick up the side with the barrier piece and place over it.  Cool so the chocolate equator sets and you're good to go!

To cut the pie, push a knife into the chocolate equator and twist to pop it apart.  Then start the cuts with kitchen scissors and push the knife through to divide the pieces.