It seems that Spring is in full swing and Summer is hot on its heels. Here in Okinawa, that means we are in rainy season as well as the early part of typhoon season. It's been rather dreary lately so I needed a burst of "Spring Meets Summer" sunshine in my life. Cue my "Springy Summer" Santos doll complete with an ATC birdcage bottom.
She is just so peaceful and serene. Just looking at her makes me smile and just savor the moment.
Her not-so-gilded cage holds what I think to be hope for a bright and full bloom sunshiny season.
And because I'm a sucker for details, we can't leave out her vivid body and it's adornments.
How did I put her together? It's actually quite easy and I use techniques and products you probably already have in your stash!
Step 1: Find some lush paper you just can't get enough of. Trace the outline of her rather svelte torso. Cut and adhere using gel medium. Don't have gel medium? No problemo! Bust out that glue stick or tape runner and get to stickin'.
Tip: If you use a digital collage like I used from Tumble Fish Studio and printed it out using an inkjet printer, spray a fixative over the top before applying the gel.
Step 2: Grab yourself the beautiful "Wings" collage sheet from Retro Cafe Art. Adjust the size of the wings using editing software. Simply cut, paste and apply some sparkly goodness to make them shine. I used some Stickles on mine.
Step 3: Let's give this li'l mama a face! I find the best mould for these types of faces is by Sculpey. It's the "Art Doll" mould. Squish some polymer clay into the mould and pop it out once you're satisfied with the shape. Bake your clay castings on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper in a preheated oven at 275*F. Typical baking time is 15 minutes per 1/4" thickness. Once your clay has cooled completely, mix together some acrylic paint to achieve your desired flesh tone. Set aside to dry completely.
Tip: No parchment paper? No problem! Just cover your cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Also, her headpiece in the finished photo is cut from the "Valentine's Day Patterns" collage sheet.
Step 4: Let's get busy on this cage! Dig through your stash and pull out those ancient embossing powders because they are going to get a workout today! I used powders by Piccolo because I love the depth of color they have but you can use whatever your heart desires. Apply and emboss just like you used to do back when heat embossing was cool.
Step 5: Once your pieces have cooled, glue the doll to the top of the cage and attach the hanging chain for the flower piece using hot glue. Cut a piece from the Black Scroll dresden trim. Remove any undesired pieces so that your scrolly piece fits nicely at the doll's waist.
While you're at it, spray some of the Mini Scalloped dresden trim bright yellow. Let it dry to the touch and glue it onto the top of the cage. You can glue it all the way around if you choose but it might make assembly of the cage a little difficult. For this step, I only glued the front border.
Step 6: Now it's time to work some magic. Grab the pieces of the cage and apply Verday paint according to the instructions on the paint. Since I wanted a two-tone look on the door of the cage, I taped off the center design so that it wouldn't be affected by the iron paint. Once the iron paint had oxidized, I went ahead and used brass on the inside.
Tip: I tried a little experiment to see if the oxidation process would be affected if I used a heat gun. The answer to that is a resound, "YES!" It not only hampers the process; it completely nullifies it. Let the patina spray do its magic, which means you have to have some patience and about 4 hours of time. Since I did a two-step process, total curing time was about 8 hours.
Step 7: Just look at all of that patina goodness! Patience really does pay off when using this paint. Now it's time to glue together the pieces of the cage. For this step, you want to use a really strong adhesive. I busted out my "mama means business" glue, E6000.
Step 8: I hope you left your glue gun plugged in. To apply the mossy floor, just squirt that glue all over the bottom and press the moss directly into it. Remove any glue strings and watch your fingers.
Tip: When gluing the moss, be mindful of the cage door that needs to close. Don't apply the moss all the way to the front edge of the cage. I'm not saying that *I* made that mistake, though there is a very strong possibility I *might* have. ::sheepish grin::
Step 9: Dig through your stash or just go ahead and pull the trigger on the "Flora" Relics & Artfacts® set you've had in your Retro Cafe Art cart for ages now. Lay down a coat of gesso and let it dry. Once it's dry, apply a coat of whatever color you choose. I went for a tone on tone look to get some depth on the flower. That Royal Red metallique paint looks simply lush against red acrylic paint. Just sayin'.
Tip: Use Inka Gold paint in Lava Red for added pop on the edges of the flower.
Step 10: Attache a good sized jump ring and hang your flower from the chain. Glue butterfly to the flower if you decided to add one like I did in the finished photos.
Step 11: Doodle away! I doodled on the door of the cage, the scrolly piece on the doll's waist, and the doll's wings.
And there you have it! It seemed complicated right? But it's not. It's mostly a lot of "paint drying" time but the patience totally pays off in the end.
Supply List: 3-D Articulated Birdcage Doll ATC Shrine Kit "Wings" Digital Collage Sheet "Valentine's Day Patterns" ATC Backgrounds Collage Sheet "Art Doll" Faces Sculpey Push Mold Sculpey III Polymer Clay Black Scroll Decorations Dresden Trim White Mini Scallops Dresden Trim VerDay Paint & Patina Set "Flora" Relics & Artifacts® "Royal Red" Metallique Paint
Other Supplies: "Cut ApART" digital kit "Mossy Glen" Piccolo embossing powder "Lemon Zest" Dylusions Spray "Butter" Heidi Swapp Color Shine White Signo pen E6000 Glue Moss Acrylic Paint Hot Glue