Welcome! Artfully Musing is a blog dedicated to sharing art and the techniques and products used. I'll be showcasing collage, altered and mixed media art. I have regular giveaways of my art and lots of free tutorials. I hope you'll check back often and are inspired. Thanks for visiting! Laura

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Circus Carousel & Circus Theaters - Tutorial

Step right up and checkout these two fun circus themed projects.  The first is a spinning carousel made from a Masonite kit which makes building a carousel easy. 
The second is Sells Flotos Circus made from chipboard theater boxes and lots of collage sheet images.

The carousel kit comes with all of the pieces you need to construct the carousel as well as assembly instructions.  Depending on how you want to decorate your carousel, you may need to make adjustments to the assembly order.

I started by spray painting the pieces gold.  Using spray paint made the job quick and easy.  In the picture below, you can see that I left one of the poll pieces unsprayed to show you the change in color.
Next, I covered the top of the base piece with wedges of paper from the Anthem 6x6 paper pad.  I used a template that divides the circle into 6 wedges (for each of the 6 horses).  I cut out the wedges and glued them to 6 different pieces of patterned paper.  Lastly, I cut out the paper wedges and glued them to the base using the pole holes as a guide.
Below you’ll find the template sized to fit the base piece.  The base is slightly larger than the top piece so you need a different template for each.  Further down in the tutorial is the template for the top piece.  To download the template, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.
Next, I reopened the holes for the posts using filing tools.  The tools are from Basic Grey’s Precision File Set which you can find online at Amazon and other stores.
I flipped the bottom over and glued the base panels in place.  These panels lift the base off of the surface.
In order to make my carousel spin, I added Lazy Susan hardware.  The hardware is inexpensive and can be found at hardware stores and online.  The one I used measures 3 inches square.
I added layers of foam core to the base to raise the Lazy Susan above the panels so it would spin.
Next, I cut a piece of paper tubing for a center column and covered it with paper.
I glued the tubing to the base.  Note, I also added Dresden in between each of the paper wedges.
I cover the posts with Dresden and wrapped them in red star tinsel.  Next, I glued the horses to the posts at different heights so that it would look like they were going up and down.  Horses – the kit comes with 6 horse images that I glued to one side of the Masonite horses.  So that the horses would look the same on both sides, I scanned the image, flipped it and printed it 6 times.  I cutout the images and glued them to the other side of the horses.  An alternative is to paint or paper the other side.
I covered the top of the top piece with paper wedges and Dresden just as I did with the bottom piece.  I reopened holes for the decorative panels and glued them in place.
Below you’ll find the template sized to fit the top piece.  The top is slightly smaller than the bottom so you need a different template for each.  To download the template, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.
On the top, I added a ping pong ball spray painted with the same gold paint I used for the other pieces.  It is attached to the top with a small wooden box foot.  The woman is from a set of mat board cut-out acrobats.  The set includes two of each piece.  I coated the pieces with glitter and glued them to each side of a flat toothpick.  I poked a hole in the ball with a pin and then glued the toothpick in the hole.  Lastly I wrapped the wooden piece and ball with a piece of gold star tinsel.
Around the edge of the top I added Dresden and stars that spell Circus.  To each of the horses I added clowns, cats and a ballerina.
Alpha Stamps Supplies Used to Construct the Carousel
Tiny Circus Collage Sheet – Clowns, Cats, Ballerina

This circus is made from chipboard theater boxes.  They come in a set of 3 boxes so I thought I would create a scene in each box and then combine the boxes.

Unlike most of my projects, this one includes very few embellishments.  The circus is created almost entirely with collage sheet images.
I first assembled the box leaving one side open.  I glued the scene in place (in the back) then glued the tab of the open side to the back of the box rather than inside the box.  I finished by covering the sides, top, bottom and backs with paper.  I did not color or paper the inside except for the background scene or curtains you see in the back of the boxes.  Once you have the facade in place you can't see the inside except for the back.

To create more dimension, I glued paper curtains to the inside front of the box.  On the outside front of the boxes, I glued various paper theater facades.
In addition to the paper theater facades, I added gold Dresden.  The characters in the boxes are attached with double stick foam tape at various distances from the back,making them appear 3-D.
The latter on the front of the center box is made from 2 wooden skewers and toothpicks.
Notice the clown at the top of the latter; he has a stick and I think he is trouble.
All of the images are backed with paper adding stiffness and providing more support.
The gold bangle is attached to a chain which I inserted into a hole on the top of the box and is held in place with a jump ring which is bigger than the hole.  The woman on the left is also attached with a chain going through the top of the box.

Notice how the one acrobat is extending outside of the box.  The same is true for the woman on the horse in the first box.  Having some of the characters coming out of the box added to the 3-D appearance.
Alpha Stamps Supplies Used to Construct Sells Floto Circus
By Theater
NOTE: There are overlaps in the supply list by box as I used some collage sheets on more than one box.
Right Box
Toy Paper Theatres Collage Sheet - Red Curtains on side panels
Paper Theater Cirque Collage Sheet - Background, Bottom Trim, Outside architecture, inside red curtains
Middle Box
Circus Clowns #1 Collage Sheet - Clowns on latter
Left Box
Circus Performers #2 Collage Sheet - The Fabulous Clodoche sign & Girl with skirt & Woman with umbrella
Aerialist Collage Sheet - Guy on bottles & guys hanging from sign
Circus Parade Collage Sheet  - Zebra/Woman on Horse

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Elegant Eggs Inspired by Faberge & Making Jeweled Buttons – New Collage Sheets & Video Tutorial

About 5 years ago I was looking for different ways to add moving parts to ATCs.  One of the ideas I came up with was to create an ATC that mimicked a Faberge Egg.  The idea was to have an elegant front presentation that would open and reveal a treasure inside.

In this tutorial I’ll cover how to make Faberge like eggs that open in various ways.  I’ll also demonstrate how to transform a paper mache egg into a lovely container for a removable perfume or altered bottle.

Most of the samples in the tutorial are made using my new Elegant Eggs collage sheet or Digital image set.  I’ve also created a new sheet titled “Bejeweled #2” which is a companion to the original “Bejeweled” collage sheet.  Both sheets are packed with vintage jewelry that add a touch of elegance to the eggs or other projects.  You can find all of my collage sheets at Alpha Stamps.

One type of embellishment I created for the eggs and for the bottles in the previous French Themed Altered Bottles tutorial, are jeweled elements that resemble buttons.  In the tutorial I’ll cover how I used filigree, pearls, rhinestones, jewels, crystals and bead caps to create jeweled buttons for both the eggs and the altered bottles.

The collage sheet contains 7 different eggs to choose from.  
The digital image set contains all of the images in the collage sheet plus a set of eggs without the hardware for a total of 14 images.  Along with more images, the digital image set gives you much more flexibility in printing just the images you want, and in resizing the images to your particular needs.
This sheet is packed with vintage jewelry and is a companion to the original “Bejeweled” collage sheet.


To download the egg template, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.

This clear plastic ATC stand is a great way to display the eggs as well as ATCs

Alpha Stamps Products Used on the this Egg
Alpha Stamps Products Used on the this Egg
Alpha Stamps Products Used on the this Egg
Making Jeweled Buttons