Gift for a grungy goth: Wise old tree oil burner

I wasn’t going to make a post about this, but I’m really proud of how it turned out and I haven’t posted anything on this site in ages. This post won’t be that detailed, though, so if you’re interested in a full how-to guide please leave a comment below! I made this to practice certain paper mache techniques so I can make a series of gifts for my friend Sophie (who’s designing a logo for my shop). The brief was “I want an incense burner, you know my aesthetic”. I decided to go with a woodland gothic theme, and always liked the idea of a tree with a face being used as a candle holder. I was really proud of it because it came out right the first time and there were only a few minor (and fairly rectifiable) mistakes. I hope it brings Sophie as much joy as it’s brought me!

Volunteering: Newbury Festival of Light

Introduction

In mid-2018 I went to the library to scan a page from my notebook for another post on this site. On my way out I saw a leaflet from the Newbury Corn Exchange with a rather charming picture of a giant glowing squid; I grabbed it and started reading through it once I’d got in the car. I was instantly interested in the Lantern Making for the Brave and booked it for me, and my parents! This involved making a lantern while being instructed and assisted by experts, then marching in the street with it accompanied by others during an event.

This post describes the work that was involved in making our lantern, as well as the main event.

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Experimenting with UV mediums: An illuminated night sky picture

Introduction

I’ve been wanting to create an illuminated picture for a while now, but I didn’t want to do the usual trick of running a fairy light under a board. I wanted something three dimensional and interesting at its very core; I always wanted to make it 3D, as I think that items which combine 3D and 2D are unnerving in a very interesting way. I decided in the end to use UV reactive mediums. I was originally going to go with something much more elaborate, using invisible paints that fluoresce to give an effect of transitioning from a night sky to daytime; it was found to be too complicated, so I put it aside for a future project. I came up with this in the end:

The UV light from the LED strip appears to have washed out the top half of the image. This doesn’t happen when viewing with the naked eye and probably only arises because the CCD in the camera can detect near-UV.

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Failed Christmas Project: Making a snow globe and the many challenges that came with it

Introduction:

I sometimes buy things not knowing what I’ll do with them. Case in point: An empty snow globe I bought at Hobbycraft a week before Halloween. I decided to leave it off to one side until I figure out what to do with it. Half a month later I was tidying up my shelves and figured I’d put it on my desk and see what I’d do with it. I’d been learning electronics for about a month and wanted to see what I could do with what I’d learned, so I went with a classic: A Christmas tree covered in snow, which flashes when I shake it. In the end the project failed, but as I always say: The cookie dough always tastes better than the cookie! So without further ado, the failed snow globe!

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LARP: Torches

Introduction

A couple of months ago I saw this post by the legendary crafter MagpieB0nes. I didn’t think much of it, in fact looking at the method I figured the light would be rather static and dull (although the overall aesthetic was amazing)! Fast-forward about a month and I’m discussing with the manager of a certain LARP what props I could make to make his quests more interesting. One thing that was brought up was the lack of safety involved in fighting around real fires. I instantly knew what could be done!

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Belated Birthday Blunder: A straw hut for my dad

I’m not particularly proud of this one (not because it’s tacky, although it is), since this comes as the result of missing my dads birthday. I wanted to get him a really special gift so I decided to make him a model with what (at the time) little model building experience I had.

I made the hut using half a plastic Easter egg covered in coconut strands. I made the camp fire out of charred pieces of twig with shiny red and gold foil inside (I realize now that I should have done the red at the bottom and the gold at the top). The tree trunk and branches was made from coiled wire covered in paper, covered in latex that had been roughed up with a wire brush.The canopy was made from several fluffed up layers of scouring pads, covered in yellow foam powder. The grass was made using a static flock applicator with longer strands inserted manually (their tips were glued and dipped into brown foam powder). The ground was made from wet-painted SculptaMold then sprinkled with the dust from coconut husks to give the effect of fallen leaves. Finally the spade was made from a matchstick and lollipop stick painted brown and grey respectively, the edges of the head dry-brushed with terracotta paint giving a rusted effect.

Suffice to say I never forgot my dads birthday again. Happy Birthday Papa 🙂 ?

Extreme Makeover: Birdhouse Edition

This is one of my earlier projects I did when I was bored. It was a snap decision and I had to learn to utilize what materials I had. I didn’t draw out a design, nor did I expressly plan anything. I just let the mood take me. I’m rather proud of the results. Click “Continue Reading” to see how I made it and what I could have improved.

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