Sunday, June 18, 2023

Vintage Halloween Pails Class 2023

 Coming soon:

Vintage Halloween Pails class 

I will be teaching a class at the wonderfully amazing Fox Hollow Studio in Duncan, Oklahoma.

More info coming soon. Class size is limitied so Stay tuned.

Check out my YouTube channels.. 




I have long been fascinated with the idea of casting paper mache and creating Halloween buckets just like they did long ago. Antique Halloween Pails come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Many of us are drawn to their many whimsical and sometimes frightening expressions. Collecting the rare and elusive guardians of Halloween is a perilous endeavor and does not come without great cost. Many these days going for hundreds of dollars. With so many Halloween collectors out there, the truly vintage is often out of reach of those who adore it most. I am one of those collectors so I set out to create something that captured the essence of those cherished gems so that we can all enjoy a bit of Halloween magic. 

The Challenge of teaching myself the Art of casting paper mache took many months. Many techniques are heavily guarded trade secrets. And while there are many artists and craftsmen out there who share their time and knowledge, there weren't any crash courses on all the workings of this particular subject. A great deal of trial and many errors were the obstacles of my obsession. This class is the culmination of those efforts. I have done all the hard work for you so you can enjoy doing the fun part, personalizing and decorating the pails to suit your style. 

Each set of casts takes a day and half to create with 100% handmade paper mache clay placed in original handmade molds created from my original sculpts. A lot of time, effort, and love went into each step of the process to produce one of a kind molds that will be retired in 2023 making these items unique and limited edition. 

Each class will include a CLASS KIT with the following... 

100% handmade paper mache pail casts in vintage style

- 1 cat pail unfinished

- 1 jack-o-lantern pail unfinished

- wire handles

- templates for facial features 

- hat parts

- preconstructed star toppers

- gathered crepe paper strand

- a few extra goodies

What you should bring to class... 

1. A Fast drying glue of your choice

- Art Glitter glue, Fabritac, Aleenes Tacky etc. whatever you prefer

2. Acrylic paint for facial features

- black, white, orange, green (or any colors you choose.)

3. Small bottles of chalk paint (Walmart) 

- Orange, Black (you can use reg acrylic but it will take more coats, the chalk paint only takes one) 

4. Paint brushes 

5. Glitter for your star 

- silver or whatever color you choose. ( I love the look of glass glitter because it tarnishes over time and add to that spooky vintage look, you can use any type) 

OPTIONAL: trims, embellishments, scrapbook paper (to cover hat), pompoms, tools, glue gun, etc. (anything you want to use or add to your Pails to personalize them. 

NOTE: trim pictured on hats is "Beistle Tissue Festooning" and can be found on Amazon if that is the look you want. (I will include some gathered crepe strands in your class kit. It's a little different look but still a vintage style) 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Halloween Charm Swap 2018 & FREE class info!!!

Hey you guys! Been a long time since I checked in. Life takes you in crazy directions sometimes. 
Fall approcheth and I am so ready for Halloween. 
How about you guys?

So I haven't done one of these charm swaps in a few years and it was so much fun I want to do another one.

Here are the rules of this swap: Please read ALL

1. create vintage styled hand crafted charms no larger than 1 1/2 inches in length
5 each of 3 designs
(15 total charms)
Think aged, think sepia tones, think rotten curiosity cabinet lol
Please use premium materials such as metal, Ice Resin, glass, high quality stamps, wood, clay, glass beads instead of plastic ones, etc.
NO paper only charms-we want charms we can wear for years-paper should be glued to a heavier substrate and sealed with Ice Resin etc.
These should be artisan designed pcs (putting a plastic bead on a saftey pin is not what we are looking for, try combining techniques, stamping, paint, solder, sewing, distressing, clay molding, etc.

2. create a unique card or packaging for each charm,
Use stamping sewing painting aging distressing etc.

3. be sure to include your name on each charm
and info about your blog website etc
(to insure you don't get the same one back)

4. Place $5 in an envelope for return priority shipping
(please no money orders or checks, the process takes too long, the money will be just fine in your box)

5. send your creations to:
5130 Silent Grove Rd
Springdale AR 72762
along with your return shipping payment.
(I am not responsible for lost or late entries)

6. charms must be received by me no later than October 15th!!!!
late entries will be returned to sender

7. on October 20th all charms will have been swapped and shipped back out to you Priority mail.

Have fun with this, use your talents and creativity to create something really neat and let your Halloween spirit shine!

Please share this post or pin the image above so we can get lots of people signed up. 

Also a fun fact for all, my classes are now FREE to view on my YOUTUBE channel. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Inspired to create...a beautiful day

Those of you who are my blogger friends that I've known for so long know that I went through a rough time in life and lost my muse. I have done a few home projects and furniture pieces but I haven't created any mixed media artwork of any kind in a very long time. Today I found a spark, a glimmer of the creative spirit within me. I found inspiration! It's a joy to be alive and get paint on my hands again. Here is a simple example of "Found Poetry" that I've been wanting to try for a long time...
The highlighted words...

Birds In Summer
They delight And lovingly call
The merry dance.
How pleasant life must be
What joy to look on.
Skimming then wheeling away
By a strong, free wing
To meet face to face
When joyful fancy calls.
Then play as wild as a child.
What joy to flutter,
To soar, to see
And gladden.
How pleasant life must be!

Monday, February 29, 2016

DIY Deconstructed Style... Furniture Makeover

I found this wood chair frame on Craigslist for $5. It was partially painted with navy blue and purple spray paint. The wood was old and dry so the glossy spray paint had soaked into the wood in spots and sat on the surface in spots and it was just not a good thing. It was someone's project chair that didn't go quite how they had invisioned. But we've all been there right? Anyway I was happy to take on this abandoned project and make it my own....
I've been a fan of deconstructed furniture for a while now because I love the textures. So I've been searching for a piece of furniture I could try it on without breaking the bank in case it failed lol. 

 The little thing was a bit wobbly when I got her so I pulled out some of my favorite tools. Some L brackets and screws, some Gorilla Glue, and my Bosch rechargeable pocket driver. (this is not a sponsored post, I just LOVE this driver!)
I start by putting L brackets on the bottom attaching them to seat and legs. I don't put these under the chair arms or anywhere they are likely to be noticed. Since I will be painted this chair they will blend into the chair. Now I wouldn't use these on a nice chair but a nice chair isn't likely to need them and if it was I would spend the time to pull the chair apart and reglue all the connections.
I then added Gorilla Glue to the joints and any cracks in the wood. This glue expands and fills cracks and holes in the wood so a little goes a long way.

After making sure the  glue was dry and the chair was sturdy I mixed up some home made chalk paint using white latex paint and some nonsanded tile grout. I wanted the paint to be a little chunky since I was planning to added brown wax and wanted lots of texture to hold the wax. 
After the paint dried I sanded here and there to distress the finish.

 Next I started adding the wax. Brush on, wipe off, etc, etc.
I used Americana Decor Creme Wax in Deep Brown. I had never used their wax before but when I was at Home Depot looking for Ooops Paint I found a jar of that on the clearance rack because it had a cracked lid. There was no price so the guy at the paint counter told me $2. I grabbed it and then later saw it on the shelf at $19! WOW! Sweet! I took it home and put some plastic wrap under the cracked lid. its really easy to work with, very thin so its easy to brush on and wipe off and it gives good coverage. It's also easy to add layers to get darker areas using a dry brush paint technique.

The next step in this process was creating some upholstery that was rough around the edges, deconstructed style!~
 I worded a piece of muslin in behind the burlap strips and stapled it in place to cover the back of the chair.
 Next I layered natural quilt batting and then muslin and stapled them in place and trimmed off the excess fabric in the shape of the chair back. Deconstructed style is really easy because you can leave all your raw edges exposed.

The cushions...
 I gathered muslin, natural quilt batting (because I want it to show!) an old tea sack, stencils, and paint.
 I also picked up a couple fluffy pillows at the thrift store to make some cushions.
 I stenciled the word relax onto some textured cotton fabric and let it dry.
I tore a square from the old tea sack and layered it with the Relax painted piece torn from the cotton.

 Pin the pieces in place and then sew around the edges.
 Layer the top that you just created with natural quilt batting and sew around three edges. Slide the pillow inside and sew down the fourth side leaving all the raw edges exposed.
 I added some extra stitching here and there to add interest.

 And something I forgot to take a detail shot of but you can see here is the sewn strips of muslin and batting that I hot glued over the staples. It covers them in a nice way while keeping that raw edge deconstructed look.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Old Hofner Guitar...Need information...

So I found this beat up old guitar at a thrift store about 6 years ago for $2. I'm never one to turn down a fine musical instrument just cause it's got a little wear on it, and for $2 you just can't go wrong so I took it home and it's been in my closet ever since. We first did some investigating back when I found it, mainly looking into the metal tag at the top from a music store in Germany. The only thing we found out about that music store was that it is no longer open and that Elvis rented a piano from them when he was stationed in Germany. lol.
      Well we dug it out of the closet this week, dusted it off, oiled it because it was dry as a bone, pulled the old cartoon sticker off the back and took it up to the guitar shop to get the bridge fixed. The repair guy got excited and told us he didn't want to work on it right away that he would like us to try to find something out about it first so here we are. Trying to find something out about this old thing.
I have looked through thousands of images of Hofner guitars online, as one does when trying to identify them, and can't find any that are like mine. I've found some that are similar, but nothing the same. not one. It's frustrating to say the least.
I have taken photos of everything the best I can and I'm hoping that someone who has been at this longer than I have and has more knowledge about Hofner Guitars might have a clue or can point me in the right direction.
      The repair guy at the guitar shop thought it might be a World War II era parlor guitar. From the ones I've seen online I think I agree with that. 
      Mainly I haven't found one that has Hofner wood burned into the top. I always see decals. I thought that might help me identify the timeline but can't find that info either.
Anyway pictures are attached, hopefully someone can point us in the right direction.

Upcoming events...

I have some VERY Exciting news to share soon. Can't wait to spill the beans!