Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Posting Day!

Halloween and pumpkin time is fast approaching! Have you gotten out all of your orange and black yarn yet???

I have a marvelous treat -- two crochet hooks made especially for the season! Check them out on eBay! (Plus three more and several brand new nostepindes and hair sticks!)

The first hook above combines one of my favorite natural colors of wood with a marvelous acrylic, I call the piece "Ectoplasmic!"

The second piece is a special one -- the idea was floating around in my head for weeks. Initially, I was going to make two separate hooks -- one featuring each character. However, because of time restraints, I thought that making one with two faces might be even more interesting.

The hat was accomplished with segmentation, combining a piece of "Charcoal" Dyed Hardwood to the green "Jadewood." (All of my segmentation is done with secure, proper joinery techniques such as are used in the cabinetmaking industry).

I carved the textures for the hair, eyes, and mouth, then painted them in metallic acrylics. I like to layer the paints so that they have a more jewel-like effect when viewed. For Zelda the witch, I used copper, bronze, orange, and red paints for her hair, then painted her lips in two shades of red. Frankie has lovely zig-zag hair painted in purple with silvery specks.

The hook came out to be completely and adorably cute! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Posting Day!

Hooray, it's Posting Day! Ahh yes, but a Posting Day with a difference! Today I am offering a brand new Squid Crochet Hook! (And not just any ordinary squid... one with an Opal eye!)

Check out my new squid hook as well as four other lovelies on eBay!

And here she is:

This is my third hook in the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea series... something so fascinating about creatures so different to humans. Alien, yet prolific. I can only wonder what I could do with all those arms!!! (I might could work four or five lathes at the same time! hee hee!)

I really enjoyed making this hook -- it was quite time-consuming, but well worth the effort. I knew that I wanted to make a squid hook and so started out by turning an appropriate shape -- three "bubbles" rising from the deep, culminating in the shape of a squid.

It may sound odd, but I actually inlaid the eye first, before even defining the carved and painted form of the squid. I chose a Blue Opal that seemed to be the right shape and coloration. I then hand-carved a recess for the stone to sit in, and then inlaid the stone. (Indeed, this is a real opal, not an imitation). After seating the stone in the wood, I then carved all the offending surfaces so that the opal would be flush with the curve of the wood.

After this, I finished the rest of the hook, (sanded and polished), before beginning the carving. After making a suitably textured "skin" for this brand new squid, I then painted it in metallic acrylics. I've been fascinated watching documentary footage of the incredible undulating patterns that squids produce under the water -- for communication and other purposes. I tried to capture this by applying multiple layers of color, culminating in golden-colored dots, which add to the jewel-like appearance of the piece.

I think the opal is a perfect choice for an eye -- it reflects the natural state of squiddy affairs -- they do seem to have "watery" eyes. This particular stone has a stunning green flash when you turn it in the light! (The perfect "glint of intelligence" from our undersea friend!)

Anyway, I enjoyed making this piece very much -- please check her out!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Posting Day!

Hooray, another posting day has arrived! As Autumn has come knocking at my door, I'm definitely in a fall mood. I've posted SIX more hooks on eBay today, including several thematically related to the season. Check them out!

Yes, I couldn't resist delving into the traditional fall colors: oranges, red, golds, and bronzes. My thoughts are of pumpkins and harvests, leaves changing, and finally getting to wear sweaters and warm windbreakers that have been hibernating in the closets all summer long.

Of course, the absolute star of today's posting is my new "Autumn's Daughter" hook. I turned this hook almost two weeks ago, and I couldn't figure out how to decorate it. I knew she needed something, but I had no idea of what to do. Finally, the thought came: I should do LEAVES -- autumn leaves, swirling, dancing in the breezes.

After I carved this free-hand design, I then painted it in metallic acrylics, adding reds, bronzes, golds, and even a touch of greens, layering the colors to intensify the effect. I eagerly awaited the moment that the paint would be dry so I could inset a 3mm Peridot gemstone set in Sterling Silver.

The green of the Peridot adds something special to this hook -- brings it more liveliness, rather like the last green leaf on an Aspen turned golden. Like finding the proverbial "needle in the haystack" -- it's a little surprise!

Must say, I'm definitely enjoying the season!