Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I've Been Working On: Christmas Presents 2014

Wow! It's been a full year since I blogged last but I promise I have a good excuse.  Not long after my last post (the jellyroll heart tutorial) we found out I was pregnant with baby #8.  I have mentioned before that I have miserable pregnancies and this one was no exception.  In fact, it was the worst one yet.  Needless to say, I did very little claying and even less blogging.  But baby arrived safely on Halloween and is now almost 4 months old and I am finally getting back into doing the things I have missed for the last year.  It's kind of a bittersweet thing - I've loved holding my new baby almost constantly even though it meant things didn't get done. That stuff will always be there and baby most certainly won't.  But now she's not wanting to be held all of the time and so I get more time to do other things.

But I digress.

I did manage to carve out some time at Christmas to make presents for the extended family members and I wanted to share them with you.  I bought a bunch of big glass vases at the local thrift store and wanted to gussy them up with clay but I didn't want them to all be the same.  So I scoured the internet for inspiration and then turned off the computer (so the pictures would come out of my head and not from someone else) and started sketching.  I also decided, that since I had a ton of mud (clay scraps that have been mixed together to make one solid muddy color) that I would use that and then use pearl powder for the color.  I was going to do different colors but when I saw what the silver looked like on there, I decided to do them all the same color.  For the tree one and the one with the flowers and vines all over, I had to take the clay off the vase after it was baked and superglue it back on. (Oh, and forgive the lousy photos. I was trying to hurry and get pictures so I could deliver the gifts and I didn't get a chance to preview them.) So here goes:

I made this one for my husband's brother's widow.  It's got a tree on each side. 

The trees up close.

This one was for my mother- and father-in-law. There's a "rope" that goes around the neck of the vase.

The flowers up close.

I made this one for my husband's sister and her husband.  The main part was supposed to look like twine wrapped around the vase.  The leaf shapes were intended to look like large buttons.

"Buttons" up close.

(This was the worst picture.)  I made this one for my husband's brother and his wife.  I made the vines similar to the way I do the tree branches and then added the flowers.

Close-up of the flowers and vines. (Sorry for the blurriness.)

I made this one for my dad and step-mom.  I cut out shapes from the top part and then appliqued them on the bottom part.

Close-up of the cut-outs.

I did this one for my mom and step-dad.  I love how the roundness of the vines contrasts with the perfectly flat flower petals and leaves.

Flowers and vines up close.

This last one I made for my sister. I took a long, flat strip of clay and formed it into the bow shape.  There's also a ribbon that goes around the neck of the vase.  This was probably my favorite vase.

Close-up of the bow.  I gave it some texture to make it look a little like lace.

I loved making these and may do some smaller ones to add to my Artfire shop.  Either way, I'll be making at least one more as my oldest daughter has requested one with roses on it.