Sunday, January 13, 2019

Mid-January ALREADY ?

My gosh....where has the time gone ?   I cannot believe it's the middle of January already !

I have been looking for the time and inspiration to re-visit this blog and , I'm getting there.
I was anxious to start it back before Christmas to share with your those Santa face instructions. I do hope they helped you.

I've been taking a little time off, as I always do this time of year.  I've been creating several new designs to sell in my Fine Farmhouse Etsy shop as well as new patterns for Cinnamon Creek.

I recently added some fun Valentine projects to the Cinnamon Creek Etsy shop, and just today, 2 new rabbit patterns.

So, I just wanted to pop in and say HELLO and I hope you are off to a great NEW YEAR too ! 
I shall return here very soon with something FuN ! 
Have a very lovely week my friends , 
Dru Ann

Friday, December 7, 2018

Painting Santa Faces

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get this posted for you . 
SO many distractions these days. 
Today, I am showing you how I paint my clay and chalkware faces.  As you have probably seen my last post on how to actually sculpt the clay faces. 
This is simple and basic, and quite honestly, I'm a little embarrassed, because, I don't feel that I do that good of a job. But, the end result looks pretty good, and they have been well received over the years.  

Start by base coating the face with flesh tone paint. Using about a 1'' paintbrush.  My preference is Ceramcoat AC Flesh Paint.  It's just a nice and light shade and not too pink.  You can find it at Hobby Lobby.

Here are all the colors needed,  They do not have to be these brands. 
Flesh, Off white , blue, black and brown for the eyes and a dark red for the cheeks. 
Any brand of dark antiquing wax looks good for the finish coat. 
You need a teeny tiny paint brush for the eye details. And, I"m sorry, I don't know why the sharpie marker is there. Ha ! 

After your flesh paint has dried, Paint the whites of the eyes.  Simply paint a little eye shape.  Heaven knows I have never perfected this.  

After the white has dried, paint the  blue iris.  Just circles in the middle of the white.

While the blue is drying, you can sponge on the red cheeks....

Simply use a piece of a sponge or cotton ball,  dab in a little dark red paint,  blot on paper a few times and then gently blot onto the cheeks. You might want to dab a little on the mouth too.   Not too much, but enough to show up under the brown antique wax. 
You don't need to do the pupil or outline of the eye until the entire face is antiqued. If you do, those tiny details may bet wiped away.
So, once the paint you have so far on the face is completely dry,  Wet your paintbrush with water ( about 1'' brush ) , and then dip the brush in the antique wax.  Coat the entire face with it, and then wipe off fairly quickly with a rag. Let Dry.

Once the antiquing wax is dry,  paint in some little black circles in the middle of the blue iris. 
Let Dry . 
Then, outline along the border of the eye, ever so faintly with brown paint.  More on the top than on the bottom.  You don't want it to look like eyeliner, but, just add a little definition. 

Perfectly imperfect ! 

Very last touch .... Add a little twinkle in his eyes by dotting a teeny white  speck to one side of the pupil .

All finished !  Now it is ready to attach to the body and add the beard ! 

Thank you all so much for all of your support !  
Have you gotten your Cinnamon Creek Santa Pattern yet ?  Have you started on it, or maybe even finished ?   I truly hope you are enjoying this Christmas season and having fun creating ! 

I think I am done offering Christmas patterns for the year. New things for the new year are dancing in my head !  I will be offering some finished goods ( Santas :)  in my Fine Farmhouse Etsy Shop sometime over this weekend.  So, keep your eye out. 
Happy Weekend ! 
Dru Ann

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Never, Ever enough Time ...

I am sure many of you feel the same way,  Never enough time in a day to do all we need and want to do.  Especially this time of year !    First, let me apologize for not keeping my word.   I mentioned in my last post that I would have some instructions on painting the clay Santa face on Sunday.  Heck, I'm not even sure if you need it, but, I do intend on having that no later than tomorrow. 

I had  a few technical difficulties when I started printing all those patterns that so many of you ordered.  THANK YOU SO, VERY MUCH !   I truly do appreciate all of the excitement over the latest Santa pattern.   It surprised me how many actual printed patterns I sold, and that took a great deal of time to get them printed and packaged.  Then, I had some personal things to tend to.  Including getting a little Christmas decorating started.   I always wait until the first of December to start my decorating.   To be honest, I never really decorate much for Christmas.   It's just the 2 of us, no kids, But, I'm feeling a little extra festive this year, so, I want to do more than my usual.  Even if it is just for Me and Jeff (  who really isn't Mr. Holly Jolly - but, not at all a scrooge :) 

Just a few greens here and there so far.  I am very happy with my Santa sitting upon my shelf.   Do you know that I have never, ever kept an Santa for myself ?  Nope...not a single one from all of these years that I have been making them. This one is staying home with me.  Oh, but, I must add some buttons or bells to his vest !

We did get our little tree up.  It's not fully decorated yet.  I hope to make myself some little felted ornaments to add to it over the next few weeks. 

I'll tell ya...  With all that I've been through health wise this past year, I have felt pretty darn good ! 
UNTIL, last month.  I was pretty down for a few weeks after starting a medication that is supposed to help keep cancer from coming back.  It took everything out of me, and I ended up with a bad reaction to it . My Doctor took me off if it and I have just started feeling myself again these past couple of weeks.  I want to do EVERYthing !   Live it up while I can !  Enjoy LIFE ! 
I am sure she (my Oncologist ) will suggest I start on something again, and I will do what she thinks is best, but, I do hope it can wait until after the holidays.  But, then again, the quicker I start fighting back, the quicker I will win...Right ? 
Okay,  I'm off to do some this and that and will get those painted face instructions posted on here tomorrow at the latest.  
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for taking time out of your day to stop and see what I have to show and tell.  I wouldn't be doing it if not for YOU ! 
Happy Day ! 
Dru Ann

Friday, November 30, 2018

Clay Santa Face Tutorial

Here is how I make my clay Santa face that I've been doing for, oh, so many years.  When working with clay, I've never been able to get the same exact face twice.   The faces that you see on all of my Santas through the years have all been either resin poured or chalkware.  But, they all began with an original clay face that we made molds from. 
This face is for a Santa that is anywhere from 16''- 20'' tall
Maybe next time, I can do a video. I'm just not set up for that now.  I hope that these step by step pictures and instructions will do the trick.
Here is what you need.    This "CREATIVE PAPERCLAY"  can be found at Hobby Lobby.   Now, maybe you are familiar with other clays, but this is all I've ever used.  It is great to work with. Soft and easy to shape and blend. 
You will also need a small paintbrush. with a smooth, rounded end.  That is your sculpting tool.  Perhaps you have something else similar that may work better.  You also need a little cup of water to keep your fingertips moist. An fat needle will be used to make some wrinkles on his forehead. 

Begin by breaking off a chunk of clay .  It will take about 1/4 of your block of clay. 
Roll it into a ball .  Your ball should be about 3'' maybe a little less.   Knead it and work with your hands to get any air out and smooth the cracks.   Keep your hands moist.   You want to keep it crack free.  Too much water, and it gets too messy.  
Flatten it out  a bit onto a hard surface.  
 It needs to be about 1/2'' thick , 3 - 31/4'' long and about 2 3/4'' wide
Make sure it is fairly smooth with no cracks.  If you have some cracks, rub over with dampened fingers until smooth. 
Keep the back of it flat.

Now, for the nose...  take a piece of clay about the size of a small grape.  Roll and knead to smooth and then roll in your palms...
You want the nose to be about 1 1/2'' long.
Set into place - going by the picture. 
Start pressing in on the sides.  First with your fingertips. ( I usually go at it with both index fingers on both sides at the same time, but, I needed one hand for the camera.  :) 
Once you have the sides smoothed down into the face, take your smoothing tool ( paintbrush end) and start kind of rolling it and sculpting.  Pressing down fairly firm to form it into the face. 
This is just something you will need to work with and take your time to sculpt and shape. It's fun , if you just let  yourself be a sculptor.  You'll want to taper the bridge of the nose down and thin it at the top.  Simply press and play with it every which way . It will take shape as you work with it. 
You see here, I am pinching the clay towards the bottom. That kind of squeezes out the nostril shape. 
Pressing that paintbrush end like this picture helps protrude that nose out. 
Continue working with it until you are happy with it.  Keeping those fingertips moist and smoothing it out. You can poke that brush end  on both sides under the nose to make the nostrils. 
Now that the nose is in fairly good shape, Start indenting the eye area...
Press in your brush end as shown and roll it  a bit.  Smoothing as you go. 
Looking at the pictures gives you the best idea of the shape you are going for. 
Take your time and work with it.  Pressing in and rolling the brush end around a bit until you have it the same on both sides.  Again... keep your fingertips moist and add smooth with your dampened fingers all along the way. .....
Keep smoothing and sculpting until you have it looking something like this .
Now,  he needs a bit more of a forehead.  We are doing this separately, as it just seems to work out better this way.  You will take a piece of clay from your block that is about 2 1/4'' long and 1/4'' thick.
Knead it a little, roll, press and smooth it until you get something like this. 
Then, gently  press it into the face above the eyes, being careful not to disturb what you've done so far.  Smooth those edges with your fingertips, fingernails and/or brush end tool until it is blended in .
This is what you should have at this point, or something similar. 
You actually don't want it too smooth, as the imperfections give it an older look. 
Add some chubby cheeks....  Take 2 pieces of clay - about the size of a small grape.  Knead and roll, then  smooth onto the sides of the face as shown with your dampened fingertips.
Use your brush end tool to sculpt it into the face further.  Too chubby ?  Press it on down into the face and simply work with it until it is how you desire it to be. 
It's taking shape ! 
Silly Ol' Santa Face !  
Take a little piece of clay ( about the size of a pea) .  Roll between your fingers a bit and set into place as shown. 
Press it into place , under the nose as shown, and sculpt and blend into a mouth shape.   
This mouth really won't be seen much under that wooly beard. It does not need to be perfect.  You just want a hint of lips showing through. , so they need to protrude out as shown. 
I hope you are having fun !   The first time I worked with clay, I was surprised how easy and fun it was.  Even though it took me a long time and some patience with myself to get it to where I was happy with it.  It simply takes time.
To add a little detail.... use a needle or a toothpick to create a few creases in his forehead.
Maybe a few little lines on the sides of his eyes...
Then , smooth them out with your dampened fingertips. 

Happy , Silly Santa Face !  
Your face should be dry in 2 - 3 days.  Keep in a warm , dry area.   It is possible to speed it up if you put in the oven at a very low temp. ( 200 degrees )  But, you must be careful of cracking.   Once it is fully dry, you  will not need to worry about it cracking.  It becomes very durable. 
2 different Santa Faces.   Each one as unique and original as you and me ! 


I hope that this has helped you.   If you feel that I have left something out, PLEASE feel free to let me know.  Sometimes, well... Lots of times I forget things.  I'm happy to help as much as I can. 
Best way to contact me is through Facebook messenger for the quickest reply.   Of course, I can't always answer instantly, but I'll do my best. 
Happy Santa Making ! 
Dru Ann
p.s. ----  Tomorrow ( Saturday, Dec. 1st ) I will share how to paint the face and apply the beard. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

It's finally happening !

Finally !  I am working on the Clay Face Santa Pattern that I've been promising you ! 
While I"m waiting for some arms and legs to dry, I thought I'd pop in and let you know to get ready ! 
This Santa Pattern is becoming very detailed and is taking me a great deal of time to put together for you.   I've been able to clear my head and am doing my best to make this the best pattern yet. 
I should say it is TWO patterns !  I am including instructions on how to do a standing AND sitting version !   Along with all the tips that I can think of to help you along the way. 
Yesterday, I started getting everything together and made a couple of bodies and clothing for the samples.   I've been drawing out the patterns and will begin typing everything up after lunch.
I think it will probably take the better part of the day tomorrow ( Thursday ) as well, to do the clay face tutorial.    
The reason I decided to post this today, is that I thought you might like a little info on what you will need to make these fine fellows.  You can have all your supplies gathered. for when the pattern is finally released, you will be ready to get going ! 
Of course you know the basics.... muslin or osnaburg for the bodies - that is great for a folky, skinny Santa ,but, I want to tell you that if you want a chubby , more robust Santa,  use plush felt for the body .    That stuff is great to form a nice , rounded body .  Yes, I'm talking about the same type of felt that I/we make our bears and rabbits from.  Any color will do.   I happen to have a lot of the black plush felt  and am making lots of Santa bodies from it.  You'll love it, I think . 
Also, decide what fabrics you will use to dress them.   Lately, I've had fun hunting for woolens and sweaters at our local thrifts.   Lots of fun and different doll clothing can be made from old clothes and sweaters. 
Now, for a Standing Santa, you will need 7/16'' dowel rod, a wood piece for the base ( 7'' x 4'' ) 
You will need stuffing and kitty litter if you want to make the sitting Santa. 
As for the face... I use CREATIVE PAPERCLAY   .  I find it at Hobby Lobby. 
here is a picture....... 

If you don't have any wool for the beard, get on Etsy and find some.    Just search natural sheep wool and you'll find lots. The pretty curly wool in this picture came from The Fiber Queen
You may also be able to find some at Hobby Lobby or other craft store. .  Check the Leather craft section.
The flesh tone that I like to use to paint the face is AC Flesh by Ceramcoat.  
You will also need some dark brown or black paint for the arms and legs. 
Now, I"m in a rush... I think my things are dry and I"m ready roll ! 
If I have left something out, leave a comment or contact me on FB and I'll do my best to answer as soon as I can. 
If all goes well , and I don't have too many interruptions, The pattern will be released on Friday.  Fingers crossed !
Thank you all SO very much for the love, support, patience , kindness and prayers .  You all mean so much to me ! 
Dru Ann

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sock Head Santa

Today I am showing you how I make those sock heads on "Old Tattered Santa" and "Good Night Santa"

You should use a cotton or cotton blend sock with a tight weave.  A ladies sock is best.   Cut it  in half, or, at the heal as shown.

Stuff fairly firmly with fiberfill.  I always use "Morning Glory" fiberfill. It stays where you put it and doesn't shift like that other slick brand.   It takes a couple of big handfuls for this head.  Shape it as you go and then tie off at the end with jute or any twine. 

With a long darning or embroidery needle and full strand of embroidery floss ( cream or light tan ), you will begin the nose.   Use the picture of a guide how to start towards the top , about a 1/2'' across, gathering some of that stuffing underneath. Pull that needle and thread through tightly.  Once you get your first stitch through, Run it back through, and back and forth, pulling tight. You may want to hold it with your fingers as you go along.

Keep doing that until the nose is about 1 1/4'' long.

At the bottom of the nose,hold your thread as shown, giving it a slight curve.  Pull your needle through , and pull up....

I honestly am having a hard time describing how to do this.  I  know a video may be best, but, not possible at this time.
Once you have the stitch in as in above picture, run your needle up to the forehead area as shown, pull tightly to give the bottom of the nose a somewhat rounded end.

Now you will begin indentions for the eyes and giving it somewhat of a forehead.....
Run your needle back and forth from that eye area ( see where I started... a tad bit away from the nose at the top)   Run that needle up , always through an amount of the stuffing underneath to give it some depth.   You are ending your needle up at the top of the head.  That will be covered up, so no need to worry about what it looks like up there. ..... 

Keep going until you get the look going on here in these pictures.    I really hope I''m helping... It may just take a little practice for you to get the feel of it.  Once you play with it a bit, I know you'll get it ! 

When you are all done running those stitches through on both sides.  End up at the top of the head and sew a tight knot to secure.

Look ... It is not perfect, and looks really silly at this point...but, trust me... It will be great when that beard gets on ! 

Now give him a little mouth, using the same method.  It doesn't need to look like much,  You just want  the hint of  a mouth once the mustache and beard goes on.

Now, it's time to paint the head.   My all time favorite paint for Santa Faces is this Ceramcoat AC Flesh.

Just apply a nice even coat of paint all over face and even the back of the head/neck area.

Once your flesh color is dry, paint eyes on as shown.  I'm sorry these next few pictures are a little out of order.  I'm still learning how to set this up.  See below for paint color. You should use a soft white shade of craft paint.  
Simply use a tiny liner brush and paint an shape of an eyeball . As you see, I cannot do perfect shapes.  It is impossible for me.  However,  these are primitive Santas.  Have fun , and do the best you can and it will be wonderful !   

I have had a few requests for a diagram for eyes and features.   I think these pictures will help.  I get the feeling that some of you are scared and uptight about doing faces.  You may want to practice and play a little with it all.  I want you to have fun with it !  

I like blue eyed Santas. You could do brown if you like.  With  a tiny brush,  paint the iris of the eye. Just little circles as shown. 

Outline the eyes with  brown paint.   I know...this really does not look that good, but, when you get the final aging coat on , it will all blend in ! 

Add black pupils with black paint or a sharpie marker as shown.  You may also wish to add a teensy white dot in each pupil to add a little gleam to his eye. 

For the cheeks... use a piece of foam or sponge, dab into a little  dark red paint. Dab on paper to  remove excess and then,  blush his cheeks and his lips. 

It looks so silly !   Dude looks like a lady at this point !   Smiles !
Let this all dry really well, and then we will age it !  

Okay... so now, you need to brush water or light coffee stain over the entire painted area.  While wet, brush on a light, dirty brown paint over it all.  Wipe any access off immediately.  You just want to tone that face down so it isn't so bright.  Remember , you can always refer to my tips and techniques page in my patterns for further aging ideas. 

Once the the head is dry and ready,  add your beard and mustache.   I prefer to stitch mine on, however, sometimes hot glue is best ( as much as I hate to use a glue gun )  it comes in handy for applying the eyebrows and getting that wool just where you need it. 

I truly hope that this has helped you.  I look at this picture and see that, as with all of my Santa faces.  It definitely is not perfect.   The eyes are not set just right, but, I can re-adjust that by shifting the nose.  I'm leaving it as it is on here for a few show you that it's okay, and it will all work out in the end, you just need to re-adjust things as you go along.  PLUS,  I am simply not feeling well today and I'm doing the best I can.  I promised I'd get this to you guys ! 

I do look forward to fixing up the blog better and better and it will be fun to start doing weekly posts, more tutorials and fun things along the way. 
Thank you ALL so much for your support and enthusiasm for what I do !   
Happy Creating ! Have fun ! AND Be as original as you can.... You can always use these guidelines, but, I love seeing others do things their way and doing it better than Me ! 

Dru Ann
ps..... If you feel that I've left something out, and want more information, I'll do my best to help you. You can leave a comment to let me know.