Sunday, 2 September 2012

Gesso, Franken-Barbie and the Best Bargain Evah!

Hi all, hope you've enjoyed your week?

I have been gagging for the kids to go back to school and that golden moment is soon upon me, although let's not forget that my youngest is not in school full-time for another 12 months!  Ermaghad!

Anyway.....I'm preparing, or battening down, or something.  But most of all I'm trying things out.

First up, some microscope slide thingies I finally got around to having a go at.  here are the front sides:

And here are the backs:

I used some frames from Ranger that I got really cheaply on Ebay but it still feels a bit cheaty so I think I need to get the soldering iron out and do a proper job with copper foil tape and solder and all that mularky.....

Next up, a decorated journal cover:

I know it looks rubbish but I can assure you it looks pretty fab in real life - I made a silk rose and stuff since and as yet none of these pics have been adjusted to take into account being shot in a dark dark house in end of summer UK (which means no sun....) so you can't see the nuances and you definitely can't see the vintage image that I printed onto printable shrink plastic and edged in gold Krylon.....better pics are my mission on this one.....

Oooh, here comes those jewellery mannequins you can get.  They are always kind of short and I like to make long necklaces and earrings so I wandered around Internet land and found a tutorial that wanted me to pay to find out how to make my own.  Uh uh.  No way, there'll be something free out there.  And so I found a couple of posts that suggested hacking a Barbie into bits and using her torso.  Excellent!

Here's my version.  Get yourself an unwanted, unloved and matty-haired Barbie, a cheap candlestick, a hot-glue gun and plenty of glue sticks, duct tape and some wire coat-hangers (I know, who has those anymore?  I bought mine on Ebay) and some good wire cutters.  If you don't have everything you need at this point go and buy them from Ebay (or 99p stores cos that's where I got my candle-stick and duct tape).  

 Hack off Barbie's head, arms and legs.  Get your hot-glue gun good an' hot and pump about three sticks of hot glue into the candle holding bit and add a bit more for luck and then jam the Barbie torso into the top - it may or may not fit well.  Mine didn't fit well so I put more hot glue around the area where I wanted to join them and smeared it around with my asbestos fingers.  (Yes, I have green glitter hot glue - and yes it was a design choice, I thought the glitter might help the adhesion process).

Those bits that are sticking out are her "hip bones".  I know.  Grue.  I decided to use my 99p Store duct tape to cover them up:

So, whilst the glue cooled down and set I started to cut up my wire-hangers.   14 gauge steel with nowt but a pair of pliers I nicked from my ex when I moved out plus a tea-towel made these awesome curved armature thingies.  I added a strip of duct tape wound around the wires and then onto the body to sort of secure the wires and then I pumped in a bit more hot glue.  There's too much empty body at this stage to the tape really helped:

I added more badly curved steel.  If you look carefully you can see the teddy with a hanging-off leg I was trying to ignore who had mysteriously found his way onto the bread-board....sometimes my kids seem to think that if I'm being creative I am also in the mood to mend stuff....

Cos her neck was all broken some duct tape got wound around it after I added more badly bent coat-hanger steel.....

And then I decided to completely duct tape her up:

At this stage I'm going to finish this off by decoupaging her with some tissue paper I shall print with an antique letter printed on it and if she's lucky she might get some tulle for a skirt or a piece of awesome fabric for a dress.....

And then, today (cos she was constructed yesterday) as I was adding some gesso to something else I decided that she needed a layer of gesso to add some bite for the tissue paper/Mod Podge frenzy that will occur in the next couple of days....

Now she looks like Franken-Barbie.  And I will be digging through the bin to retrieve the arms and legs so that I can saw her hands and feet off and drill through them to make something gruesome.  Just because I can...

I can't leave without mentioning the other thing that I was gesso-ing.....

So for ages I have been coveting a print-tray.  On Ebay those things are going for £20+ and shipping.  Today I want to a local car-boot sale and saw a print tray.  I asked the seller how much she wanted and she said...20 pence!!  I gave her 50p.  I know, I'm a big spender.

Here it is:

I want it to be cream coloured or white for my up-coming craft fairs (I shall use it to prettily house some of my wares) so here it is covered in one layer of gesso:

And that's about it for me this week - unless you know where I can source 1.6mm annealed dark steel wire?  (I'll save that post for later in the week).

If you're not all crafted out, please go visit Handmade Monday, they are all much more sane than I am.....


  1. I am wondering what your children made of your destruction of Barbie? Maybe they were attempting to have a go with their teddy? I am looking forward to seeing it finished! I love a great bargain!

  2. Well, my daughter, who the Barbie originally belonged to, was quite happy for her to be pulled apart. Teddy in the meantime was falling apart due to overlove. I'm not sure the kids really get what's going on when mummy says, "But it's work!!"n However, in my favour I am able to make a Dalek from a piece of marble run plasticary, plus a weird funnel with holes thing and a Lego flag with holder thingy.....I have no pic of that 'cos it's life and not work.....(I must rethink that ethos.....)

  3. How could you destroy Barbie, let me at her I would rip her head off. I was a Sindy girl myself, now that dates me.

    I love the glass slides, have a set but done nothing as need to get to grips with soldering.

  4. Just imagine what you can do if the kids are in school! Love the slides. I am going to try to learn the soldering. I've got myself a tutorial! Yours are fab! Love the journal cover so much and if I had to create something using the barbie torso, I know exactly what it would be...A lovely french mannequin! Love all your work, this is what inspired me to follow you! xoxoxo's Pam

  5. I love how kids (and many adults too!) think mending is much the same as crafting and we know they are worlds apart. Love how your cooker top became your crafting space!

  6. Your mind works in weird ways - but i love it!

  7. I love your print tray. Just thinking about all the pretty things that could live in all the spaces. Joanna x

  8. It's bondage Barbie! She looks a wee bit kinky in all that duct tape! Look forward to seeing her in all her glory. The slides are lovely.

  9. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. best Forstner bits


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