Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Next time, I'll just use a regular four-corner sandwich bag. Anyway. "Place the oil on high heat until hot, then turn heat back to medium." On my stove, after turning it down to medium, I turned it back up to medium-hot. My first two fingers burned because the oil was so hot, but when it got down to medium they took a long time to turn golden-brown. Somewhere in between worked nicely.
I dumped the syrup because I couldn't stomach it, and since I was out of honey, I dusted mine with powdered sugar and at them like carnival funnel cakes. They were delicious! You can even throw some maple syrup on them. The taste is reminiscent of a crisp Belgian waffle. And the nice thing is that even though they're fried, they're fried in oil, not fat, so it's not as...fattening.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Step Three: add clay. Work the clay in your hands until it's nice and soft, then roll into small sheets with the dowel rod, or any smooth cylindrical object. Cover your skeleton with the sheets and smooth creases by blending with your thumb and forefinger. Remember to keep the clay thinner than 1/2 inch. To make rolls, like I've used on the doors and the balcony, roll a chunk of clay out with your two forefingers, rolling on the fatter parts to even them out. For the cones, roll out as circular a sheet as possible, then pinch the center between thumb and forefinger and twist the remaining clay around. To make the ramparts, roll out a circular sheet and roll the edges up, then depress at intervals with a toothpick.
Step Four: bake the clay. Follow the instructions on your clay packaging. The Sculpey clay requires 15 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1/4 inch of thickness. Even if your clay's a little thicker in some places, I would start at 15 minutes and check on it then. Allow to cool completely, ideally overnight to let it set.
This was a lot of fun! I hope to be able to play with the clay a little more, next time using a much more dense foil skeleton. I think that will help add a more authentic, solid look. I'm also going to play around with texturizing options. I used a toothpick to try and add some stone detail, but it would have been painstaking to go over the whole thing that way, so next time I will make use of a stamp or something similar. The coolest thing was the moss. Especially in the last picture, it really gives it an earthy feel, which is nice. Really completes the picture.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
So today, continuing my preparations for the Game of Thrones costume party, I decided to make my own circlet. A circlet is a crown that sits down on the forehead rather than on top of the head; you’ve seen them in Lord of the Rings, etc. They are extremely popular for the ladies, but as Hugo Weaving showed, men can rock them too. They can be very simple, or very ornate. Arwen’s circlet at the end of Return of the King, for example, had a huge gemstone butterfly in the back, and beads and chains hanging from it.
Mine, obviously, is much more basic. I picked up thick beading wire from Wal*Mart (5 ft for $1!). It took me one 5 ft roll to make my circlet, so for something more decorative, I’d buy two or three. I’d also recommend getting some kind of mannequin head, probably the foam kind for latex face building or wig holding. It’ll be easier to round the wire on that than on your own head, trust me.
I started with a very long strand that wrapped completely around my head. I borrowed my roommate’s pliers to get a nice downward point in the middle.
Now, even this single piece looked lovely on and definitely would have sufficed, but I decided to keep going. I cut a shorter piece of wire and made a second arc with a shallower point. I curled the ends by wrapping them around a pencil.
Easy enough, right? I was super pumped. Then came the absurd part. I decided to glue the pieces together with this Elmer’s Krazy Glue pen that I had. Here we ran into some trouble. The glue is just as crazy sticky as advertised, but it was more interested in sticking to my fingers than to the wire. Another problem is simply holding the wire together. With a mannequin head some of this problem would be eliminated, but I did not have one, and I certainly wasn’t going to try and glue them together ON my head. I put on a yellow dish glove and tried to glue and pinch them together that way. No dice. Sans mannequin head, this is a two person job!
Finally I decided to just bind them together with more wire. I cut another piece of wire and wrapped it around the spot where the two pieces joined, using the pliers to clamp down and secure it. I then took the extra wire and weaved it between the two pieces. When I reached the other side I wrapped and clamped like before.
I then had to re-shape the circlet almost completely. The wire is easy to manipulate, which is nice when you’re initially shaping it, but not so nice when you try to work with other parts of it. This wire is also hard to smooth with your hands, so it retains a lot of little bumps even after you’ve unbent them. BUT in the end I triumphed.
I had bought a little charm at the Wal*Mart, which I contemplated adding, but then I remembered a silver maple leaf pin my grandmother had given me. I love it, but I don’t wear it anywhere because people don’t really wear pins anymore. It was the perfect size, however, to fit on the front of my circlet. Cue another ridiculous fight with the Krazy Glue.
In the end, I succeeded. If you try something like this, let it sit. Seriously, don’t touch it. You will have to glue it again. And again. Just squeeze out a ton of glue and DON’T TOUCH IT.
Okay, now you can touch it.
I did a little bit of reshaping (it's still pretty rough). I curved the sides up and then down to a point in the back and added another piece to balance out the weight a little bit. And, voila!This was fun, although the trouble with the wire and the glue was unanticipated. I'm going to investigate other ways of making them short of forging them out of steel or some such, and try again! I may make another one, since I bought a second spool of wire, so we'll see what happens! All in all though, the wire only works for really simple, single-piece circlets. Trying to attach more wire is more bother than anything else.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
But the reason most people start blogging is because they have something to say that they think other people, more people than they know in real life, should hear. This is my third blog. The first is defunct; it was started after I watched Julie and Julia, and I just wanted to blog about anything--but I didn't really cook, didn't really travel, etc. So I blogged every day about something beautiful that I saw in the world or in myself. Nice concept, but not interesting to many people.