Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sorry, it isn't a WIP!!

I know I told you I would post a WIP tomorrow, but I got my EHAG piece finished tonight and wanted to give you a sneak peek prior to the ebay posting.

The Eclectic Halloween Artist Group's (EHAG) creative art challenge this month is tricky treats and creepy confections with the ebay auctions to begin on October 3. Since I am participating in the challenge I had to come up with something and the figure below is the result of my interpretation of the challenge..."Sneak"--snatching a scary sucker from a sackful of squeamish sugary sweets. I have to thank my husband for the alliteration in the title of the work, he had too much fun with this one!!


"Sneak" is 13.5" high and is on a 2.5" x 2.5" base. He is made from Fastmache, wire, styrofoam and papier mache and painted with acrylic paints. He is full of detail and a little darker in feel than some of my other figures because of the frown seen in Sneak's brow.


Sneak is carrying an orange Trick or Treat bag with bats and the moon decorating the front and has as his night's take; a sugar skull, worms with white eyes, candied eyeballs, angry candy corn swinging from the handle, a snarling cupcake, a swirl sucker with a sinister grin and an orange striped candy cane.


"Sneak" snatched the mummy sucker from the bag because his sweet tooth started screaming for some treats and in the process of biting down on the sucker he lost his sweet tooth (hence, his missing tooth)...it saved the mummy sucker , but it explains Sneak's frown!! Now he is carrying his mummy sucker like a scepter on Halloween night and the sucker grins at unsuspecting trick or treaters.


If he rings my doorbell on Halloween night I might not open my door---pretty nasty looking little fellow!! HA!

Happy Creating!
Laurie

Small Santa WIP and this is the 90th Post!!!!

I just logged on today and looked at the posting number and realized this is the 90th post for this blog. Wow!!! This has been an amazing experience for me and I have been enjoying sharing my work and hearing from other bloggers. It's like having a second family of sorts that is made up of very talented, creative, funny and cleaver people with similar quirks to my own nature. I feel very much at home and probably share more than some of you really wish I would!!

Anyway, I have a lot of painting to do today so I need to move on to the figure below. I have some collectors that have asked for a set of three small Santa figures so I started working on small figures to get in the "groove". This is one of the small Santa figures I have sculpted and he still has that fuzzy look (I do a light sanding before painting to knock off the extra papier mache fluff). He is a squatty little fellow and carries a little bag full of Christmas goodies over his shoulder. Did you ever wonder as a child how Santa could carry all of the presents in such a small bag?


This is a side view of the figure with his bag and you can also see his little boots pushed down. This is because the boots were made for a long legged individual and this little Santa has such short legs he has to push them down to make them fit.

Back view of the Santa below...you can see some of the papier mache fluff off to the right of the bag and around the hat. I find that sanding is more critical with the figures made from Fastmache than celluclay or paperclay.

That's it for today. I have another Santa WIP for tomorrow!!
Happy creating!
Laurie

Monday, September 29, 2008

Halloween Decorations...Kitty Toys?!!

I leave some Halloween decorations up year round in our house, but I have also discovered the decorations can't be kept too low this year due to 2 naughty little creatures lovingly referred to as the "monkey-boys" by my husband. Yes, it would be Elwood and Jake, the two very spoiled "monkey-cats." The minute I started moving some of the figures off of the top of the china cabinet, Elwood was on the arm of the love seat and Jake was on Kelly's leather chair. I could see their little wheels turning trying to figure out what would fit in their little mouths they could run off with, what would fly to the floor with one good whack or how can I walk through all of this without knocking anything over and make Laurie crazy?!!...so, I took the photos and put everything back up!!! The good news is I know they will grow out of this as our other cats did, but I don't want to come home some afternoon and find a half chewed pumpkin like the Kachina Doll I discovered when Glycerin was a year old. I was ready to find her a new home I was so angry...and she had gotten it off of the top of the china cabinet where I just put....this will be short, I better go move some more small items off of the top of the china cabinet!!

Stacked pumpkins by Carol Rickenecher; pumpkin rabbit and pumpkin head on ear-of-corn body by Deb Schoch (HopHopJingleBoo), ghoul ornament by Dani Nelson (Ambitions Design). The rest are odds and ends from my inventory.


Need to go move a few things!! Happy creating!
New WIP tomorrow!!
Laurie

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Little Jacob

This is the new little work in progress I mentioned yesterday. His head is oversized compared to his body, but that is to hold his gigantic brain. This is the smartest little "punkin" head I have made. His base isn't completed yet...I'm waiting for it to dry so I can drill into it to mount this little guy because he is top heavy. I have high hopes for him so we will see what paint does to his appearance.



I have about 5 things going right now so that is it for today!!!
Hope you are all having a great weekend!!
Laurie

Friday, September 26, 2008

Snowman Work in Progress

New WIP for you to see today. This is the first snowman I've made with a human type face, similar to the pumpkin heads I make. I gave him skinny branch like arms and fingers, but with a little more flexibility in their appearance than an actual stick. I plan on playing with the paint on the arms to make them look more stick or branch like.

He has a tiny little top hat because the children got a bit overzealous in their snowball rolling and made him larger than the hat they had to place on his head, and he is running his fingers over his belly in disbelief at his size...but also it is done with a little pride that he holds so much snow. (Even a snowman can have a little vanity.) I've got plans for his attire so we will see how this all comes together.



He will be mounted on a 6.75" high base, shown above, that will have a painted winter scene on the front.


The head was dry so I put an initial coat of paint on the surface and then couldn't stand it...I had to rough paint his eyes to see what he was going to look like. I think he has potential!!!

Happy creating and look for another little WIP for tomorrow.
Laurie

Thursday, September 25, 2008

EHAG Work in Progress

EHAG (Eclectic Halloween Artist Group) has a creative challenge for the artists with "Creepy Confections" being the theme. I plan on putting my piece on ebay October 3, and I decided to show you my WIP of the work I will have finished for the challenge.


My characters face is even a little creepy, for me, and he is carrying a trick or treat bag containing worms, candied eyeballs, two suckers with painted surfaces I have in my sketchbook, a nasty faced cupcake and a swinging piece of candy corn as well as a sugar skull. So many sweets for such a tiny body.


I have another WIP for tomorrow! Back to the work table!!
Happy creating!
Laurie

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tagged a Few Days Ago

Okay, I was tagged a few days ago by Ginny and I am suppose to tell you 6 things about myself you may not know about me. Hard to believe since I ramble like I do that there are things you don't know, but here goes!!

1) I am a PBS Junky. From Masterpiece Theatre, Charlie Rose, American Experience, NOVA, Antiques Roadshow (both the BBC and American versions), History Detectives, Tavis Smiley, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Independent Lens, Frontline, P.O.V., American Masters to the Victory Garden. Love Ken Burns' work and other special programming as well.

2) I never owned a bicycle until I was in high school. The girls in the family shared a bike and when I was 10 I asked for a unicycle for Christmas and that was my "wheel"...only one wheel so can't say "wheels". I would ride it everywhere...the only drawback was you can't coast on them so it was constant peddling. When I got older the stares took me off of it, that and the liability issue when people would try to ride it--too many accidents!! Oh, and for those of you that don't like clowns...my mother "surprised" me with a clown costume to ride in the county parade the summer after I got the unicycle because the Sheriff had tracked me down and called her. She made the costume and unveiled it to me the day before the parade. That's all I have to say about that.

3) I get hot flashes every day...just checking to see if anyone really reads these.

4) I am a better baker than I am a cook and I make wicked pies. My favorite...hmmmm, probably coconut cream or hubby's favorite, rhubarb. Now don't make a face, you haven't eaten rhubarb pie until you have eaten mine, my mother's or my sister's. I like pie; Mom made it almost every Sunday and it was always a scratch pie and we always hoped for extra crust when the pies were made so she would make crispies (sugar and cinnamon on pie dough, rolled up and baked.) We had both a peach and apple tree in the yard and we raised rhubarb so we always had some type of fruit for Mom to use to bake pies with. I do not eat pies in restaurants or from a grocery freezer as a rule--Pie Snob!!

5) I never wanted cake for my birthday celebrations...I always requested apple dumplings because the Winesap and Jonathan apples always were available around my birthday, and Mom would make a big pan for the entire family. They are a lot like apple pie but more caramelized because they are baked with milk in a 9 x 13 pan and have more sugar and cinnamon. YUM!!!!!! Didn't have any yet this year because I haven't found Jonathan's in the store yet. Number 4 and number 5 seem to be running on a similar theme!!

6) I use to be a huge clothes-horse and would not leave the house without my hair and make-up done...not so true the past two years. Working at home I have actually still been in my pajamas at noon and showered at mid-day. The onset of this behavior was gradual, but I would get up and start on something and all of a sudden it was lunch time. Time really rolls by fast for me when I am working with my hands either in clay or paint, and the sculptures don't seem to mind how I look.

Okay, there you go!!!!

Need to really hit things hard again tomorrow. Deadlines are approaching!! HA!
Happy Creating!

Maybe a quick WIP tomorrow...I'll try!!

Laurie

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Challenger No. 3985 in Town Yesterday

You can't live in this area and not be a bit of a train buff. We live along the busiest train corridor in the world located between North Platte and Gibbon, Nebraska. Because of our location we are fortunate to see the Union Pacific steam engines pass through about once a year on their way east to Omaha, or in this case the Challenger No. 3985 is on it's way to St. Paul, Minnesota.

The little guy on his dad's shoulders, shown below, was taken by part of the crew up to the engine for an up close and personal look walking across the tracks up to this massive engine. I don't think he ever took his eyes off of this train as you can see in the next two photographs. I was so impressed with the crew for taking the time to let this little guy probably create one of his first great memories of his life.



Union Pacific Challenger No. 3985 was built in 1943 and is one of 105 Challengers built for Union Pacific, and is the only operating engine of its class in the world today - the largest and most powerful operating steam locomotive. It is HUGE and has a maximum speed of 70 miles per hour, and let me tell you, this can boogie down the tracks as we found out when we followed it east out of town. No. 3985 originally used coal but in 1990 they converted the big boy to use No. 5 oil. (can you imagine the expense of pulling this out of Cheyenne to go to Minnesota?!!!!



Challenger is getting ready to leave Kearney.



We love to hear the whistle (totally different sound than today's modern locomotives) and see the steam come out of this massive train engine.



Bye, bye!!



This is the the train leaving Kearney on it's way east.

video
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A short 15 sec. video of the Challenger leaving town can be accessed above...turn on your computer volume to hear the train whistle.
Need studio time!!!! BYE!

Laurie

Monday, September 22, 2008

Martha Stewart's Blog Contest

If you click on the post title it will take you to Martha Stewart's blog. Wow, Perez Hilton is shown on her posting and has he lost weight!!! Little cutie putootie he is, with a wicked flair for the dramatic regarding everything celebrity. I read both Perez's and Ross's (from the Tonight Show) blogs for fun. Ross is a kick! Anyway, I got off of the topic didn't I?!!

Martha is having a blog contest. If you leave a comment at the end of her post with your blog address, plus post about her blog you may become a winner. You have to go to her blog for the details...that's the tease to get you there to participate. It's a good thing!!

http://www.themarthablog.com/2008/09/how-to-create-your-own-blog-let-us-show-you.html

Since we were sadden at no special edition from Martha this year for Halloween maybe this will take part of the sting away.

Good luck everyone!!
Laurie

"Monkey-Cats' Street Halloween" Ornament

As many of you know I have two silly long tailed cats that joined our family just about this time last year. They helped ease us through the pain of losing our beloved Nitro, and quickly overtook our house and my studio. They steal my paint brushes, drink from my brush-cleaning water, nap on my work table, walk through wet paint, and ....well, they are pure and utter joy as well. When I started working on the second Halloween ornament I dedicated it to the nature of these two wild and crazy animals that entertain, infuriate and give pleasure to my spirit. This is the "Monkey-Cats' Street Halloween" ornament dedicated to all true Halloween cats.

The ornament is a 4" papier mache ball with a wire hanger painted with a spider web around the top, bordered in orange. The first view shows the lovely "Miss Moon" illuminating the night scene and smiling down on Monkey-Cats' Street. She measures 1/2" and why I decided to paint a face on her on an irregular surface is beyond me!! The houses under Miss Moon on Monkey-Cats' Street, are not framed like normal houses and angle oddly as though they could pull up from their foundations and join the nights festivities...I just know they could dance with those two crazy felines. I thought of Dr. Seuss as I worked around the ornament and wondered what he would think.


There are lots of stars and swirls in the sky, three trees in the border design, six houses and fences, pumpkins and a monster to greet you at the door of one home.


One of two trees is shown below.


The mansion in the neighborhood has stars flying out the chimney.


Pumpkins sit on the porches of many of the homes.


One home has a special greeter at the door...BOO!!


And Miss Moon has her close up!!!

Hope you like it!!!

Off to go see the steam engine which I will post tomorrow if we get good pictures!!

Laurie

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Skelly Bony Body"

I had a Skelly head I sculpted last month with a big smile, and decided he was such a nice guy he needed a body, so I painted the remainder of his skeleton form on the base his head is mounted on. The proportions are all wrong with his over sized head and hat, but that is part of the charm of this little character. Skelly is 10.5 " tall to the top of his tipped hat, with 6.5" of that being the collar, head and hat, which only leaves 4" for the base he is mounted on so his painted torso is just a little over 3" high. I'm not sure in the "real" world those tiny little bones would be capable of supporting that super-sized head, but I remind myself that Halloween isn't suppose to be the "real" world...or is it Halloween is the REAL world and what we live in isn't? Hmmmmmmm


This Skelly has a top hat with OCT. 31 in the linen colored oval to remind him not to forget that Halloween is only 42 days away. "Skelly Bony Body" can be a bonehead (that was really bad, wasn't it), so writing things down and putting them somewhere close is critical for him not to miss important dates ... oh, and Oct 31 is his birthday too. You have to remember, he is a skeleton...he has no soft tissue, therefore no brain to help him remember things. Poor, poor Skelly!!


"Skelly Bony Body's" base shows his torso along with a graveyard fence, bat and tree. Skelly is giving you a little wave so wave back!!! He may not have a brain, but he is a heck of a nice guy!


This Skelly is made of fastmache, wood, raffia, painted with acrylic paints and sealed with a matte varnish. He has a lovely full set of teeth.


Skelly may be taking a journey so he is waving good-bye!!!
Happy creating!!
Laurie

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Something New!!

I decided to make a Halloween ornament recently and just finished painting the little guy last night. It is topped with a spider web and 4 spiders, has a Halloween landscape just below the web and a black bottom with stars and swirls. Hope you like it!!

Close up of the top with the spider web and spiders

Close up of the landscape around the center of the ornament...you can also see part of the black glass ornament hanger that goes with the ornament.

Another close up of the landscape.

View of the large tree on the ornament and the black bottom with stars and swirls.

Final view with the black bottom and part of the landscape surrounding the ornament. Oh, I forgot to mention, it is a 4" ornament so it isn't itsy bitsy.

I've already decided to do another ornament, the reverse of this one with a black background instead of the linen color I used, but I need to finish another piece first so I better get in the studio and do a little sculpting and painting!!!

Have a great day...beautiful day here!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back to Work!!

Took a little hiatus for my birthday and now it is time to get back to work!!! I have a new snowman started and have new sketches done so I need to get in the studio. Commission work will occupy me for a few days, but I will be back with something new in the next few days ... hope it turns out!!! That's a teaser!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tick-tick-tick-tick

Time is quickly approaching for the STJ September preview!!!!!! Only 53 days until Halloween.... have you made a purchase of original art for this holiday season yet? It's time to find that special something to have for years to come that was lovingly made by one of the talented artists of SpookyTime Jingles marketplace. Don't wait, things move quickly!!!!!

Tick-tick-tick (and I don't mean the blood sucking insect!!), only 4+ days until the new items are revealed so put it on your calendar!!!!!

Laurie

Sunday, September 7, 2008

SpookyTime Jingles

Imagine, another update is coming at the end of the day on September 12, and ta-da, at 12:01 a.m., the SpookyTime Jingles marketplace updates the goodies available for the Halloween and Christmas season!!! WHOO HOO...I've had a chance to peek at some of the upcoming goodies and they are spooktacular-spectacular!!!!!

Here is a sneak peek of the upcoming Christmas offerings for September on my STJ page...but you don't get to see the whole pieces until September 13!!!!!!


Hope you had a great weekend and talk at you tomorrow!!!!

Laurie

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Throwing Snowballs!!!

Sylvester and Short-Stack are out for a day of frolicking in the snow and Short-Stack is learning how to throw snowballs. Sylvester has his hand up holding on to his top hat to make sure he doesn't lose it during his wind up and toss as Short-Stack looks on. This is my first snowman of the season and will be appearing at one minute after midnight in the wee beginning hours of September 13, on SpookyTime Jingles .

"Sylvester and Short-Stack" is made of FastMache, paperclay, wood, styrofoam, pinecones and artificial leaves/berries, wire and is painted in acrylic paints. Can't quite see Shortstack?...well, you will have to go to SpookyTime Jingles for a complete picture!!!! So many great artists and works for sale you don't want to miss this months updates!!! Coming SOON!

SpookyTime Jingles, where sweet and spooky commingle!!
Laurie

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sliver and Boo-loon

Sliver and Boo-loon are ready for the carnival. Because Sliver's Mom has been watching the political conventions she dressed her two youngest boys in vests with ties...Sliver's tie is definitely on the conservative side, but don't let his attire fool you!!! Sliver is, well,... Sliver is just naughty!! The single tooth missing in both Gourdon's and Slice's smiles is because of Sliver and his antics.


A little closer look at Sliver holding Boo-loon. Boo-loon is not a good influence on Sliver and smiles at the pranks and practical jokes Sliver plays on others while looking rather harmless himself.

Sliver's smile is flawless and he uses his handsome good looks to charm the unaware.

Sliver is also laughing at the witch joke the brothers had just been told and holds his belly to contain his laughter.

Sliver squints slightly when he laughs which makes him all the more adorable to the young pumpkin girls at the carnival.

A close up view of Boo-loon. He loves traveling with Sliver to be amused by his mischievous string holder's tricks.

Sliver's base also has a cemetary gate entrance painted on the front of his paper mache base. All three brothers are hand sculpted without the use of molds with FastMache sculpting material with wood dowel legs.

All three will be available SEPTEMBER 13, on SpookyTime Jingles marketplace. They each have a different look and personality so they can work well as a group or individually. Hope you like the boys!!!!!
Laurie

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oldest Lumina Brother,"Gourdon"

"Gourdon" is done and ready to join his brother "Slice" to complete 2 of the Lumina pumpkin family triumvirate!! Gourdon holds his pumpkin belly while he chuckles over a witch joke.


A closer look at Gourdon without his base shown below

A close up of Gourdon's face with a slight squint to the eyes because of his chuckling.


Gourdon's head and torso shown below.


Gourdon's striped stockings


Gourdon's base shown below with a painted cemetary entry on the front.

Hope you like him...on to Slice who is waiting for his face and body "make up"!!!
Have a great day!!
Laurie