Category: Art

Octopus Sculpture

Octopus Sculpture
Since around 2003 I have been tinkering with copper sculpture. My brother introduced me to it and neither one of us has set it down since we started. I must say that, while I know my work is pretty cool, my brother’s is amazing. He is my biggest inspiration!

Ready for a challenge, I set out to create something outside of my comfort zone during the summer of 2013. So I thought, what about fluid-looking legs? That would be something. So this octopus crawled out of my imagination once I poked at it with a stick. I remember sitting on the lawn in the shade, cutting and twisting up wire and thin sheet copper next to the garden during the day. To form the head of the octopus I wrapped sheet copper around an apple that fell off the tree. Never underestimate the objects around you when creating art, I sure don’t! I was able to destroy the apple to get it out, then I pounded the hollow sphere into a more octopus-head-like shape and punctured it to create eyes. In the evening I took it inside the shop and soldered it together.

These are some copper supplies that I commonly work with… hollow copper tube, thin sheet copper and a thicker sheet copper, and various gagues of copper wire.
Copper

The octopus was made completely out of copper wire and the thin version of sheet copper that I have. It’s so thin that I need to solder it carefully because if I apply too much heat for too long it will burn through. The following photo was taken while I was making another copper product I love to create – copper orchid pots – and not the octopus.

Soldering Copper

It’s on my list to take more photos and video while I work on copper creations in the future. You bet that another octopus is on the list. I already have two heads started and I look forward to streamlining the process of creating the legs. Maybe I’ll change their look a bit. Who knows. I don’t even know, I just “shut up” and let my heart and hands do the work.

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Sure… “it’s what’s inside that counts”… especially when there is a wedding ring tucked inside a heart shaped cut out inside of a designer journal! This one of a kind custom creation just left my studio.

Kate Spade Journal Ring Book

It is a ring holder hollow book box that I created by hand using a blank Kate Spade journal. It was finished with black velvet, yellow ribbon and loose pages. The customer roamed the internet to find the journal and I did the rest.

The color and high quality feel of this ring holder book is my favorite part. Also, the fact that they can write their own love story in the loose pages!

Handmade Ring Holder Hollow Book Kate Spade Journal

Kate Spade Ring Book

Handmade Hollow Ring Books

Harry Potter Ring Holder Book With Purple Ribbon - Handmade

Over the past few years, I have been making a few hollow book boxes designed to hold wedding engagement rings but this year I really expanded my line. It all started with a green book titled “Circle Of The Day”, but now I’ve added many surrounding the topic of love. And a few cult classics in there!

Unbreakable Vow Harry Potter Ring Proposal Hollow Book Box With Ribbon

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – Cut to “The Unbreakable Vow” on Etsy

Making ring books is really fun because I get to search for interesting books to use and do a lot of custom orders. I love to focus on the fine details and deliver something that adds even more to an already astounding moment in other peoples lives. Check out some of my most popular ring holder hollow books, such as Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince which shows off the Unbreakable Vow chapter, or Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows that is cut to The Wedding chapter.

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows The Wedding Heart Cut Ring Holder Hollow Book - Handmade

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows The Wedding Heart Cut Ring Holder Hollow Book - Handmade     Harry Potter Deathly Hallows The Wedding Heart Cut Ring Holder Hollow Book - Handmade

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Cut to “The Wedding” on Etsy

The Book Of Love features my handmade heart shaped cut out that is very popular.

Heart Cut Out Hollow Book - Ring Holder for Engagement Proposal

Heart Cut Out Hollow Book - Ring Holder for Engagement Proposal

The Book Of Love With Heart Shape Cut Out on Etsy

All of my hollow books are handmade by me! I cut them by hand and then detail them until they are smooth, adding multiple layers of clear glue to the inside edge of the stash spot. A free-floating stash spot design is available for some books, otherwise I more often cut the back 1/2 inch or so of a book and glue that down, adding a decorative liner to the bottom of the stash spot. There are many custom options! Different books, cut shapes, loose pages or not left up front, stash spot liner papers, magnets added for secure closure, ribbons to tie rings to and many different colors to choose from.

Heart Cut Out Hollow Book - Ring Holder for Engagement Proposal

Custom Heart Cut Out Hollow Book

Can you tell I love making hollow ring books? ‘Cause…. I do.

Strawberry Brooch – Handmade Felted Wool Accessory Inspired by strawberry fields

Strawberry Brooch Wool Felt Handmade Needle and Wet Felting

The other year when I was out picking strawberries I got tremendously inspired to make wearable straweberries and vines. It has taken me awhile to get around to actually making any strawberry items, but I’m happy to show you one that I did complete…. a strawberry brooch!

Strawberry Brooch Wool Felt Handmade Needle and Wet Felting

I combined wet felting and needle felting techniques to create it. It is made up of 100% soft merino wool + the pin and some thread that I used to stitch it together. It’s 3D art that can be worn on clothing, on a bag or purse, etc. This item can be found here in my etsy shop.

Premium Hollow Book Boxes: Poe, Hobbit, Little Women, Ring Holders, Hearts, Two Book Stacks

Edgar Allen Poe Hollow Book Box – A great place to store secret treasures! This handmade box is made out of a real book.

Edgar Allen Poe Hollow Book Secret Booksafe Magnet ClosureEdgar Allen Poe Hollow Book Secret Booksafe Magnet Closure

“Edgar Allen Poe – Complete Tales and Poems” includes magnet closure so the book stays closed when upright! The dust jacket is on the book. It is a LARGE hollow book with the stash spot measuring 7.5 inches x 4.5 inches x 2.2 inches deep.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott Handmade Hollow Book Box! Bright purple and gold. This book is beautiful, compact yet can host a deep secret stash spot for hidden valuables.
Little Women Handmade Hollow Book Box

Little Women Handmade Hollow Book Box
Magnet closure is easy to install in this book – use this custom order listing to have me create one for you today!

The Hobbit – This classic in a large, beautiful print has been decked out with black velvet lining the stash spot.
The Hobbit Hollow Book Handmade Booksafe

Tomorrow Is Forever – Vintage black hollow book circle cut to hold a ring! Black textured paper lines the stash spot. Option left open to include ribbons to tie rings to.

Tomorrow is Forever Ring Proposal Hollow Book Box HandmadeTomorrow is Forever Ring Proposal Hollow Book Box Handmade

It’s such a neat title, isn’t it?

Harry Potter Half Blood Prince Hollow Book Ring Holder Proposal Box – Cut to the Unbreakable Vow chapter with a ribbon to hold rings.
Harry Potter Unbreakable Vow Engagement Ring Hollow Book

This is the inside of a recent custom order heart shape ring holder with ribbons. It turned out even better than imagined. The book was small and blue with gold detail.
Heart Cut Out - Custom Project
I want to cut more hearts!

Neverending Story Circle Cut Ring Holder Proposal Engagement Box with Ribbons – This beloved children’s classic The Neverending Story has been transformed into something new!

Neverending Story Hollow Book Ring BoxNeverending Story Hollow Book Ring Box

Finally, I’m happy to announce that I am making multiple stacked LARGE hollow books! Here is one of my favorites so far, made with two Harry Potter books. The Harry Potter Hollow Book Two Stack Large Secret Storage Box!

Harry Potter Double Stack Hollow BookHarry Potter Double Stack Hollow Book

Harry Potter Double Stack Hollow Book

This one is made with vintage books:
Two Book Hollow Book Box Handmade

This one is also made of vintage books – blue mystery ones!
The Secret Journal of Doctor Hudson

Double Stack Large Hollow BookDouble Stack Large Hollow Book

Making hollow book boxes (and seeing myself get better at it over time) is really enjoyable.

Spring Time Soap 2014

Soap Heart

Soapmaking is a blast! I really have come to enjoy it… the process of making the soap, smelling and admiring it, and of course using it myself. That’s the #1 reason why I love soapmaking so much – I use the product all over my home, especially in the shower. My favorite out of all of the batches of soap I experimented with this spring was a spearmint patchouli bar with spirulina algae powder in it which makes it look green, naturally. I used essential oils in all but one batch of my soap (that one was balsam fir scent and it was worth it, a favorite of the men who I’ve gifted it to) so they are super natural and healthy. My “Essential” batch includes tea tree, lavender, spearmint and eucalyptus essential oils – some of my all time favorites and common germ fighters. My scrub bars are so, so scrubby.. they are perfect for scrubbing dirt off after running around barefoot during the summer, and scrubbing bug spray and sunscreen off at the end of the day. I didn’t share many scrub bars this time around. I gifted out most of the soap I made this year because it was so fun to!

Here are a few of the soaps I photographed and listed in my shop. They will help fund the next batch! I keep getting better each time I make the soap so I’m definitely going to keep making it.

My soaps are available in my Etsy shop – in the Soap section!

Handmade Felt Soap
A handful of “felted” soaps. I wrap the bars with soft merino wool in bright colors, then rub it around under water which felts the wool around the bar, creating a washcloth-like effect right on the bar. It helps the bar keep longer and you use all of it up! They are super pretty to have around and make really unique gifts. I like to use them on my face!

Felted Soap
I made this new idea I had floating around for awhile… a felted “soap on a rope“. I made one for myself to try out too. Wrapped in the wool is the Spearmint Patchouli bar. Since it can be tied up it can dry out real well in between uses, prolonging its life. (Did you know that wool is naturally slightly antibacterial?)

Handmade Felt SoapFelted Soap

One other thing I experimented with was coffee. I ground up coffee beans and put the grounds in the soap. It works “ok” and doesn’t look all that pretty. I’m going to use it up myself and refine the recipe.

What would you like to see in a bar of soap?

Farm Felt Baash Needle Felting Retreat

Felted Flock

New Friends

I attended an artists’ retreat on Saturday (March 29, 2014) — the Farm Felt Baash in Kasson, MN. It was held at a beautiful farm owned by Amy of Needle & Felt.

Lamb Cuddling   Lamb and I

See this black lamb with white markings on his head that I am holding? Well, I won the opportunity to name him over on Amy’s blog. Although the lamb was really nice and calm in my arms I decided on the name Rebel. Winning the ability to name a lamb is one of the coolest things I’ve ever won! =)

The Farm Felt Baash was an event all about sheep and needle felting wool. There was a small group of 6 of us so we all got to chat a bit throughout the day and, I think, become friends. It was such a great feeling to be in a room full of needle felting enthusiasts.

I’ll show you around the farm and show off a few of the animals. The rustic red barn was so charming!
Sheep In Pasture   Barn

Amy decorated her home for us SO beautifully:
    Beautiful Decor   Beautiful Decor

Daffodils

The sheep have it made – a large pasture, a large indoor barn stall with lots of hay, other temporary stalls and obviously loving caretakers.

Lambs - Rebel

Sheep

Lamb

They share their home with a few goats as well. I learned that goats can be very lovable. While Amy and the other women who attended the retreat were standing out in the pasture one of the adult goats came up and was getting petting. He also came over to me and untied my boot laces! 😉
Goat   Goat Untying My Boot Laces

Baby goat… look at those ears!!
Baby Goat

Whenever I ask people the question, ‘So why do you have goats –what do you get out of it?’ they say how they would like to do this or that, but really…they just have goats. Their hearts are just won over by them.

After hugging on sheep and goats, we played around with a variety of fibers, felting needles and other tools. I decided that I would like to get some spiral felting needles!
Bright Wool Testing New Needles Felting Needles

We ended the afternoon by each creating a needle felted sheep (or whatever we wanted) and creating a temporary ‘flock’. The final photo is at the top of the page. Here is my sheep in the works:
Working On My Lamb For Our Flock Group Project

The event was from 10am – 5pm, which is quite awhile, but the time just flew by because I was having so much fun. I left Amy’s farm even more inspired to have sheep some day, more inspired about needle felting, more knowledgable about different fibers, and most importantly, feeling warm inside because it was time well spent with like-minded artists. I look forward to attending another retreat at Amy’s some day, and/or attending other similar artists’ retreats.
Fun fun fun!!

Holding Lambs (Me, Mary, Anna, Melanie)

Needle Felting Update (3+ Years!)

Needle felting is something I have enjoyed since I first picked it up well over 3 years ago. Over this time I have made many things! One of the first things I ever made was a rabbit with real cat hair on the outside, followed by owls. I am continuing to make owls, snowmen, woolly worms, bees, mushrooms, custom cats, mice and more. It is a goal of mine to make more new needle felted characters this year. This last year I did some really neat projects so I feel the need to keep the ball rolling. I want to share with you a couple of the new snowmen I felted this month, as well as some of my all-time favorites. (New owls at the top of the post!)

Snowmen – January 2014
Needle Felt Snowman
Needle Felt Snowman
Needle Felt Snowman

Custom creation – July 2013
Custom Needle Felted Character

Woolly Worms – Spring 2013
Needle Felted Woolly Worms

Mushroom Cluster – Spring 2012 * Favorite
Needle Felted Red Amanita Mushroom Cluster

Sammy Cat with Real Cat Hair – June 2012 * Favorite
Needle Felted Cat Figure with Real Cat Hair and Wool

Owls – December 2012 * Favorite
Needle Felt Owls

I do have a walrus started 😉

Oak Leaf Handmade Out Of Copper

Copper Oak Leaf Incense Cone Burner Decoration
Copper Oak Leaf Incense Cone Burner Decoration     Copper Oak Leaf Incense Cone Burner Decoration

This sculpture of an oak leaf is designed to be decorative as-is or used as an incense cone burner. I made it by hand by cutting an oak leaf shape out of sheet copper, carefully bending the leaf a bit and then I soldered on a wire stem. Each time I make one they get a little better. I am looking forward to making more!

Alice in Wonderland Hollow Book

Vintage Alice in Wonderland Hollow Book   Vintage Alice in Wonderland Hollow Book

Vintage Alice in Wonderland Hollow Book

This blue vintage copy of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll has been transformed into a hollow book box – a superior stash spot for things important enough to keep tucked away. If I could keep it myself, I would, but it’s my job to pass all of these awesome things on. I dearly love Alice in Wonderland. Did you know that it’s available to read for free online? This time around I added textured, decorative paper to the bottom of the stash spot that really accents the vintage blue cover of the book. It’s really been around, but hopefully soon it will find a new home with someone who will enjoy it as a box for a long time. View the listing for this in my Etsy shop.