Friday, November 30, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: DIY Gift Ideas for the Holiday!

Hello, lovely readers! I am sorry for my absence! I have recently started a new job, and it has been keeping me very, very busy so I have not had much time in the way of crafting/designing/blogging.

I didn't want to leave you hanging two weeks in a row though---how rude of me!

(Or has it been three weeks...oh my.)

This week's article prompt was do it yourself gifts, which was just in time for the Christmas season! Which I thought was lovely, since I keep a little folder on my computer for things/tutorials I want to make or try out!

 Week 10: DIY Gifts/Tutorials 

♡ A Light Up Stuffed Animal Fox Lamp! 
Credits: Matsutake Blog

A Book Purse, how cute!
Credit: Innocent World

Credit: MNN

Give Em Plush!!

Credit: Bora @ Spoonflower

Frilly DIYLolita!
Credits: Quaintrelle Life/ Vivien Hoffpauir of Vivcore (I actually remember reading this article when it first came out in Shoujo Beat Magazine many, many years back. I've always wanted to try it!)

Credits: Quaintrelle Life/ Vivien Hoffpauir of Vivcore

A Pop Princess Tutorial!

♡ So now it's your turn, readers! Inspire me this holiday season and show me your favorite tutorials for a DIY Christmas! ^-^ 

Need More Ideas? Read On from others of Lolita Blog Carnival! ♥

Monday, November 19, 2012

Coloring Clay for Sugary Sweet Desserts: A Tutorial for Miuko!

Last month, darling reader Miuko, commented on the post Playing in the Bakery and wanted to know how it was that I colored my clay with pastel shavings! I really must apologize for taking soooo long to do and write up this tutorial! : o

Things have been very hectic this month, as I've been trying to get some seasonal/part time work at local places here in my hometown, which has been very stressful and taking up a lot of my time. (So if I disappear for a good part of the holiday month, this is me saying sorry ahead of time! You know, have to pay those student loans and all. >.<)

[Update: Got a part time job! Hooray! <3 Extra busy!]

On to the tutorial, let's see how messy I can make my camera! ^o^

Things You'll Need: 
-Clay: White and/or Ecru
-X-acto knife
-Paint Brush
-Old/Unused Tooth Brush
-Colored Glue Sticks
-Glue Gun
-Wax Paper/Flat Surface like a Mat Board

✩ Before We Begin... Prep Work!:

As you can see, we have all of the things we need (well most of them) laid out on our work space! I am going to show you how to color your clay with pastel shavings. This is not necessarily a tried and true way, everyone has a different way! I just like this one because it gives my hands a work out. (Plus, have you ever seen me use pastels for an art medium? Trust me, this is more useful. Haha.)

Look! I even have a kitty and a computer!
1. Take a piece of your white clay, and a piece of your ecru colored clay, and start mixing them together, kneading them like you would a pizza dough! Smash it up with your hands, squish it back and forth, until the two colors are blended completely. This gives you the base color needed for your cookie.
Oh, inadvertent product placement...
(In the "Bakery" post I only had white at the time, so you cannot imagine how long it took to get the color just right that way for a cookie!!! Plus, if you only use white clay, you end up having to color it separately to get your base shade with the pastels and the clay dries out, and you have to re-wet it, and continue to color---what a mess!)

Once you've rolled into a little ball, all nice and cute, you're going to flatten it like a pancake! You can use anything cylindrical, like a marker, like a tiny rolling pin and smoosh it. Remember not to flatten it too much---if it gets too thin your cookie will look silly! 

1.1. Now, I just cut my shape out with my knife, since it's what I had handy. So I made this little heart! When you cut with a knife (or even the cookie cutters) the edges/shape of your clay is going to look really, really rough and uneven. So with my fingertips, I go ahead and smooth out all that roughness till it looks nice. And since we're texturing it anyway it doesn't need to be perfect.

If you have extra clay after cutting out your cookie, roll it up nice and tight and stick it in a plastic zip lock with your other clay, this will keep it nice and fresh to use next time. 

2. With your X-acto knife (or since I couldn't find mine... the box cutter. Hm.) you're going to shave off parts of your pastels and keep them in little piles. You can see I've used a light brown, a darker brown, a mixture of the two, and a touch of flesh tone pink. If you run out, don't worry, you can always shave off more!

3. Using the paint brush, I'm going to start "coloring" my cookie almost like I would do when I paint (which I also don't do well >o<) or think about how you might shade in an illustration. I'm going to use the lighter shades for the center of the cookie, dabbing on layer by layer, creating more shades and tones as I reach its corners. This gives the cookie more depth by adding the darker colors at the edges. I just keep blending and dabbing with my brush till I'm happy how it looks. I include the pinky flesh tone because it adds just a hint of warmth. Make sure you "paint" the sides of your cookie too, otherwise it's going to look very, very strange. 

4. Doesn't look like much does it? When I first tried this, I said to myself, "YIKES! This looks horrible! I'm no good at this at all!! Eeeeee!" and ran to rock back and forth in a corner saddened deeply by my lack of faux cookie baking talent. Just kidding! ^-^ But I really was horrified... D :

4.1.  Next, we are going to take our toothbrush and have a bit of fun! This is going to create that "just baked, cookie crumble" texture that happens in real, delicious cookies. (Is anyone else getting hungry?) Lightly, tap the tooth brush against the edges of your cookie, and across it, and around it, harder and softer in different areas for a more pronounced texture. This will round out your cookie, but also make it look more realistic AND blend your pastels together even further. Don't forget about texturing the sides too!

If you're not satisfied with the color, remember you can always lighten it with a bit of white if it's gotten too dark, or add more color and re-texturize the cookie with tooth brush!

5. Uh-huh, looks better, right? Right? Now, you're probably thinking.... uh, Annika... there is clearly a back side to this cookie and it looks terrible? Am I doomed? Should I start over? No, silly goose. Honestly, don't worry about the back. You can try to color it if you really want to but then you'll just end up smooshing all that hard work you put in to the front.

6. Go bake that cookie on tin foil on top of a cookie sheet according to your clay's instruction. Let it cool down andddd time for that sauce.

Once your cookie has cooled, it's time to apply a top coat. With the tooth brush and the baking, I've found that the pastel stays really well and doesn't come off, but to be safe I always use a thin layer of clear nail polish. (If you want to apply "sugar" now would be the time while the nail polish is tacky and drying.)
7. I actually read a fantastic article on how to make your own sauce here out of pastel shavings and epoxy, which I really want to try one day, given I have the money to buy the epoxy and of course appropriate ventilation. You can buy the deco sauces that special decoden stores carry in the little tubes, but to be honest I prefer the colored glue stick kind! (Which I buy from Kawaii Supply, but can also be found on Etsy!)

And Miuko, you thought the sauces would be tough, didn't you? :3 Sorry, I tricked you! <3 If I ever try the Epoxy one, I'll let you know! I hope this was helpful, and you liked the tutorial.

Here we are, all done! I made this one into a little ring and dripped the sauce as an experiment... this is a lot harder than I thought it would be hmmmmm. : o Silly me!

I still need to trim up the strings!

Here's how the final ones turned out from the "Bakery" feature too:

Mmmm, cookie jewelry set!

In other news: POP PRINCESS GIVEAWAY/Secret Coupon Code/Sale!

I am getting so excited to see so many people following my blog! :waves: Hi, new readers! And also sooo happy to see so many fans/hearts/views on my Etsy store, especially given that it's only a year old. There are so many numbers almost starting with 5, that I think we're going to celebrate with a future giveaway and coupon code, just for you, dear readers!

We have on Etsy...
452 admirers/hearts
473 shop admirers
44 sales
39, 415 views for ALL time!!!

AND as of today on the blog...
4995 page views (Wow! Does this mean you like me?)
34 followers! <3

If we can get one, or all of the following: 48 more admirers/hearts, 27 more shop admirers, 5 more blog page views, and/or 16 more blog readers before December, then I am going to list up a special coupon code for the Pop Princess shop for the month of December to ensure you get all your Christmas goodies, but just for you readers!! <3

And as a special thank you, I want to do a special Pop Princess giveaway after the holidays! So start scheming, and writing those wish lists to Santa. ; ) And I'll think about what special goodies I can make for the give away!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: My Cute Loli Playlist!

Oh Pusheen, I do love you so.


 Week 6: Your Lolita Playlist

This week's topic was refreshingly open ended, and not too complicated, which is a nice change of pace given the hectic weather related incidents we've all been having because of the hurricane! Almost all of Northern Ohio along the lake coast has no power/heat/anything because of the power outages caused by the plant going kaboom on Tuesday night. Hopefully I get this published in the few minutes I do have internet! We had no heat/hot water/electricity for two days and it was absolutely miserable. We couldn't take it anymore, so we drove an hour west and luckily there is some power here. I can't imagine what it's like for the coast line.

Before I continue, to everyone on the east coast who is without power because of the hurricane, my thoughts and heart are with you. I keep watching the news/photos roll through of the devastation Sandy caused, and I can only hope that you are safe and warm. Please keep your chins up, and let's hope everything gets fixed soon!

Enjoy my Lolita playlist of songs that either remind me of frilly cuteness or things I listen to while dressing up in frilly-ness!

Kyary Kyary Pamyu (All of her songs are cute!)

Hatsune Miku/ Vocaloid

These are just a few things I like! So what music/songs do you like to listen to while dressing up in your ribbons and pearls? Or what music reminds you of Lolita? ^-^ 

Find out what other lolis jam to from the Lolita Blog Carnival! ♥

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