Sunday, October 14, 2018

NEW Antique Dolls - Doll making Tutorial - instant download

NEW Antique Dolls  - Doll making Tutorial

Welcome to my world of fantasy artwork! I love designing, creating, sculpting, painting, sewing and decorating. It is so much fun to make something with your own hands, so satisfying!
I am excited to share with you my techniques I have developed for over 10 years of making art dolls and over thirty years of creating artwork. Whether you are using a sculpting method to create your art figures or sewing them, don’t you just feel the need once in a while just to play with beads, lace, buttons and ribbons? Admit it, we artists, love this stuff! What about tiny little flowers, rhinestones and lace? Did I mention experimenting with paints and antiquing the surface? Not on the box or another prop, but right on the doll! We will even patina some silver!
I have to confess: I absolutely love taking something new and “aging” it! It is so much fun to see it “grow old” in front of your eyes.
Maybe you can make your own fun memories by creating a doll of your childhood, something that you used to have a long time ago and forgot all about?
I will be using paperclay for this project, but please, don’t let it stop you, if you prefer polymer clay. The techniques I use will surely work on it as well!
As a little girl I never had lots of dolls. My favorite doll was the one I once found in a sandbox outside my house.
I can’t wait for you to join me on this heart warming project – making something for yourself. This project is a blank canvas, just play along and fill it with things that matter only TO YOU. ELENA

Here are more pages from the this ebook:

Elena’s Ultimate Sculpting Tool Set

Elena’s Ultimate Sculpting Tool Set

I have collected all the tools necessary to make the sculpting process more fun and enjoyable into this Ultimate sculpting tool set that I recommend using with art doll making. It applies to working with both Polymer clays and Air dry clays.

It contains 18 pieces plus 1 x wire armature, ready to a 7 inch figure.

The tools used in this set are:

1. Elena’s ultimate sculpting tool. I have searched and searched and finally I designed myself a double spoon tool made with wood. It has two curved shapes in a form of a smooth spoon, one on each end. This helps sculpting figures different sizes. That’s why I included two tools to cover a variety of sizes for your convenience.
2. Metal spoon tool. For those who love working with metal tools more than with wood once, this tool is an excellent help for shaping stubborn clay pieces. Although I myself mostly use wooden tools for my main sculpting, I still use this beautiful tool for certain tasks quite often. Because of its smooth surface, it is great for smoothing large areas very efficiently.
3. Wire armature, designed to serve as a skeleton for a 7-inch figure. All ready to go.
4. Extra fine painting brushes. Excellent to get those tiny details on the face and nails just right.
5. One of the most versatile combinations – Ball stylus tools in a variety of sizes (5 pieces) on one end and a soft Rubber Tip on the other.
6. Mini clay roller, indispensable when getting the thickness of the clay right size.
7. Sculpting brushes. At point in your work, especially at the end, you realize that you are ready to bring the features to a nice and smooth end, right before baking or letting your creation dry. This is where these angular synthetic brushes come in. They will help to get into fine lines and hard to reach areas.
8. Mini callipers. You know how important it is to keep the proportions right. Because you are working in 3D, you keep checking for symmetry constantly and this little gadget is very useful for this type of measuring, considering that it is also very compact and will fit into your tool set pouch.
9. Cute pouch that keeps all of your tools together. (Sweets designs on the pouch might vary).

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

MINECRAFT Theme Birthday Cake for my son

This year my son requested a custom cake, MINECRAFT.

I wasn't going to make such an elaborate cake, just a scaled down version of it, but a couple of my good friends volunteered to help me, so I decided to make the one with actual figures. I am so grateful for the help, because if I had to do it all by myself, it would have taken me a week to do. With the help of other two people, so total 3 helping to pre-make the decorated parts, it took me 3 days in total.

So, here how it began.


After I mixed the colors needed for the cake (that's a night's work of 2-3 hours, of course after the kids went to sleep). The next day we started rolling our panels for the cake. There is no way I would have put every single square on the cake after it is baked and frosted. My friend had a great suggestion to make the panels first, and then decorate them and only then put them on the cake. Thank goodness, I listened to her, LOL!

So, the first thing to do was to roll the panels in  dark green color (or something that would not stand out too much and goes with overall color scheme), and lay them flat to dry. The panels were rolled out around 0.25 inch thick or slightly thinner. The problem with panels is that they do warp slightly as they dry. SO they need to be turned on the opposite side. But that's later. For now, they are laying flat and drying a bit. Did I mentioned that all of the work on the cake was done using Fondant. No gum paste was used.

Here's the TIP on how to make your fondant a bit stiffer (especially if is is fresh, like mine). Use a bit of Tylose Powder to work into the the fondant. Averagely, 1-2 teaspoons per 1/4 lb of fondant. I only did that much Tylose powder because my fondant was extremely soft and very stretchy, super fresh. We also worked in a very humid environment in the middle of the summer. So tylose really helped.
You can also mix a bit of gum paste (if you have that handy) in to your Fondant and that will help things a bit.

So, to continue, while the panels (all 5 of them) were drying, we were busy rolling other colors for the cube - dark brown, med brown, beige-brown, dark green, med green and light green. We had to use a lot of cookie trays to lay down that rolled fondant that will be cut later into pixels or squares. I used my beloved PASTA MACHINE for this job, one of the thinnest settings. You need just a millimetre thickness for the pixels/squares.


That started right after the fondant was drying and waiting to firm up slightly.

My son requested 3 figures for the cake: The Zombi, The Creeper and the Skeleton. Mostly all body elements were held by toothpicks. Although we originally used spaghetti to hold the head and hands. But, as later time shows, spaghetti wasn't strong enough, so I recommend toothpicks. Just make sure you let the kids or other people at the party know that there are toothpicks inside the figure, since, as you know, kids love to eat everything.

So, all of the pieces had to be made and placed on the tray covered with wax paper and let firm up. That took at least 24 hours. After that, they were ready to be assembled. I used a sugar glue I make myself with Tylose powder. Here' the recipe:

SUGAR or EDIBLE GLUE (for cake making):

1/2 tsp of Tylose powder
Mix with 1-2 table spoons of hot water (boiled, not tap)
Place in a small jar (plastic or glass) and let sit overnight. 

he mixture will have clumps which are impossible to dilute at first. Just let it sit in the fridge overnight and all the clumps will magically disappear and the glue will become as clear as water. Check the consistency, if it is too thick, just add more warm boiled water and let sit for another 30 min. It should feel like medium thickness  consistency. Not too thick, not too thin.


Now, that the fondant panels firmed up slightly (1-2 hours later), I started working on one panel at a time. My friends were helping by cutting little squares with a plastic square plunger cutter and AGAIN!, laying them flat dry. Fondant at this stage was still pretty soft.

I started laying green colored squares on the first half of the panel. Then, slowly continued with mixing green and brown squares until all the squares were placed. This needed to be repeated for all 5 panels. Except for the top panel that needed only green color squares on it. These panels were drying flat for a few days. Every day I had to check on them and carefully flip them over onto the opposite side. I had a lot of humidity in my environment so some of the panels warped slightly from absorbed moisture. But that was expected, I guess. Things happen and there is nothing you can do about it. Just keep going.

So the day came to bake the cake.


I made a chocolate cake with vanilla French Buttercream. The boys selected aqua blue and green colors for the frosting.

Here's the photo of the cake being frosted. It is not easy since it is a square shape. I had to use my ruler to continually measure the size of the cake.

After first crumb coat, I put the cake in the fridge for 1/2 hour and then continued frosting until it was done. Back to the fridge for another 1/2 hour. Then decorating began. Did I mention that the time was 11 pm at night? In total I finished the cake at 3 am (as usual). Well, 4 hours straight decorating.

So here it is:

Oh, yes, don't forget to cover the board with fondant before you place the cake on it. The boys did a bit of rock sculpting for me and later I added some grass. I did the name in MINECRAFT style by drawing it on the piece of paper and tracing the letters first in dark brown and then light gray on the fondant with a xacto knife. I then drew the cracks with a black edible marker. The letters like everything else made with thin flat pieces of fondant needed time to firm up.

So, overall, it worked out fine, my son loved it and was very excited about the figures. I learned a few things along the way. For example, ONE: start early and pre-mix your colors gradually, not to overwork your hands.  THE SAME THING CAN BE SAID ABOUT THE CLAY. I always mention in my tutorials to prepare your color mixes ahead of time. TWO: Let things firm up! Fondant is pretty soft, especially when your room is warm. I ad AC cranked up the whole time. Luckily, I had at least 1.5 weeks before the actual birthday, so there was plenty of time for the figures and the panels to dry.

Until next birthday!