28 November 2016

Arts & Crafts: White Elephant, 20% Cooler

As you may have figured out from the title, this post is about a gift that is twenty percent cooler. That's right, I said it.
My boyfriend and I are fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He especially likes Rainbow Dash, so for a white elephant party that we attended in 2013, I decided to include her in the gift wrapping for the present that he was contributing. (On a side note, I myself am partial to Applejack.) Barring the inclusion of Rainbow Dash, it was a pretty simple wrap job overall. Here's the gift from one angle.
And then here's the full gift from another angle. I'm pleased that the glittery red snowflake topping the Christmas tree shows up well in this one.
But of course the main attraction here was really Rainbow Dash herself. Since she's such a dynamic and gung-ho character, I thought it'd be nice to show her napping in this winter setting.
Rainbow Dash is made mostly from tissue paper. In fact, I was glad to have a reason to use the different scraps of tissue paper that I've saved up from various projects. For her eyes, wings, and cutie mark, I cut out bits of paper (to use as solid bases for drawing) and covered them in the same light blue tissue paper that I used for the rest of her body. Then I drew the finer details on the tissue paper itself. Here she is from the other side.
I'd love to do some more My Little Pony inspired gift wrapping in the future. In fact, I already have various ideas and references saved up and ready to be more thoroughly explored. I'd actually like to revisit this version of Rainbow Dash too, since the first time I made her I was under more of a time crunch than usual. It'd be nice to be able to spend more time on this type of project, but all the same, I thought this white elephant gift was still worth posting since we're creeping closer and closer to Christmas.

31 December 2012

Arts & Crafts: White Elephant Gift Wrapping 2012

I have some friends who throw an annual Christmas/White Elephant party. This year, I had the opportunity to wrap two gifts so I decided that having two boxes (meaning twelve sides) to work with presented a great chance for me to reinterpret "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, twelve drummers drumming...
 I'm a fan of taiko drumming so this one seemed pretty obvious to me.

Eleven pipers piping...
I'm also a fan of baking so clearly, I'm talking about a different kind of "piper" here. I doubt they're actually called that but let's think of cake decorating and go with it anyway.

Ten lords-a-leaping...
This is definitely not an original interpretation of "lords-a-leaping" but it's too good to pass up. There's really only one "Lord of the Dance" though, right?

Nine ladies dancing...
Can you tell what dance they're doing?

Eight maids-a-milking...
Okay, so I took great liberties with this one. There are no maids pictured at all. I was going to make them but then I thought it'd be more interesting to look up different animals that people actually milk and make them the stars of the show. The animals depicted from left to right are: a caribou, a sheep, a horse, a camel, a cow, a water buffalo, a yak, and a goat. I probably should have taken the time to do it but the animals are not done to scale.

Seven swans-a-swimming...
I like their little swim caps.

Six geese-a-laying...
Another interpretation I'm quite fond of. Come on, construction hats on geese?! And if you're still confused, please note the brick wall in the photograph.

Five golden rings...
There's only so much you can do with this one.

Four calling birds...
I went with "calling" instead of "colly" birds here because it was easier to work with. Behold, there are four different Twitter logos. Although I get that the mountain bird is streamlined and aesthetically pleasing, a part of me really misses "Larry the Bird."

Three French hens...
I actually modeled these hens after faverolles. They're quite pretty.

Two turtle doves...
I really, really wanted to make creatures that looked like a mash-up of a turtle and a dove. I enjoyed Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon series) and loved their creatures, like the platypus-bear. I wasn't at all surprised to find that other people had also created these kinds of "turtle doves." Here's the reference for my little guys: http://www.helloagaingirls.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/2-turtle-doves.jpg.

And a partridge in a pear tree.
Oh man, making the Partridge Family bus was awesome! In my hunt for photographs of the original Partridge Family bus, I learned that the bus itself used to be located near the University of Southern California, in a restaurant's parking lot, and that it has since been totally demolished. There are, apparently, a lot of different replicas or reinterpretations of the bus around though. Personally, I'm a fan of Piet Mondrian so while I've never actually seen an episode of The Partridge Family, I'm tickled by their bus.

I'll also add here that while I've always known that pears come in a variety of colors, actually looking at them in this light gave me a whole new appreciation for them. They could make quite pretty Christmas ornaments.

Hooray for art projects! Seriously, I really love such endeavors. 0=)

28 November 2012

Arts & Crafts: Stained Glass Finding Nemo Cookies

Okay, so this is an old project that I worked on/made for a friend but I've been holding onto the pictures all this time with the intention of one day posting them. My friend has a fondness for the Pixar film Finding Nemo so I decided to make her stained glass cookies of Nemo and Squirt. Here is the finished product:


Nemo and Squirt are made from piped cookie dough and crushed Life Savers (Jolly Ranchers or other translucent, hard candy of that sort would work just as well but if I remember correctly, I chose the Life Savers because they were easier for me to crush). The sea floor was made from melted chocolate and the ocean water was created with melted marshmallows (dyed blue with food coloring).

Here are pictures of Nemo and Squirt before they were baked:


You can see that I laid them out on aluminum foil from the get-go (remember the nonstick spray beforehand) and baked them that way. After they were baked, I carefully peeled them off the foil and placed them on the backdrop before the marshmallow had fully hardened so that they were anchored.

Of course, along with the cookies for show, I also baked her some proper stained glass cookies for eating!


I remember the first time I was introduced to the idea of making "stained glass" in the oven. I was in third grade and my teacher brought an amazing-looking gingerbread house, complete with stained glass windows, to school. I was definitely inspired!