I’ve been busy making mixed media hearts and flowers designs for my online shop. Although I myself am not much for hearts and flowers – unless you count my appreciation for wildflowers growing untamed – I do recognize they are popular. Especially at certain times of year. You know what I’m talking about. Valentine’s Day.
That’s right, I said it. I know what you’re thinking. “Too soon! It’s too soon for another commercialized holiday.” Some of you may have just finished putting away your twinkle lights and bows of holly. Or you’re at least seriously contemplating the need to do so. But here’s the harsh reality, the biggest jewelry, hearts, flowers, and candy-giving event of the year is mere weeks away.
With shipping deadlines, that means there’s no rest for those of us in the business of selling these things. So, I fired up the studio, rolled up my sleeves, and made with the hearts and flowers. Lots and lots of hearts and flowers.
Mixed Media Keepsake Boxes
It’s been over a year since I last made any polymer clay covered keepsake boxes, a.k.a. trinket boxes, memory boxes, jewelry boxes, etc. I more or less remembered how I’ve done it in the past. Even so, it took me the first two or three boxes to get back into the groove. I was focused on hearts and flowers. Which sort of slowed me down creatively speaking. I wasn’t feeling terribly inspired by the first few.
Over the course of two weekends I managed to finish seven heart-themed boxes. I started with a little pink one, and went a little overboard with the roses. I found some rose-restraint for the second box – a brushed silver heart with three lavender roses. Up next was a single red rose: but it was a very big one, overshadowing the gold heart.
Then I got dark, making a distressed textured black heart and covering it with deep burgundy blooms. The last of the roses was a demure little off-white bloom with hints of pink on an heirloom gold box. Just to switch it up, I put a heart on a heart for the next one, using a faux dichroic glass tutorial I tested earlier this year. And finally, a frosty blue heart with a snowflake. Because it’s winter. And also, because you know what Disney movie based on a fairy tale is still all the rage, right?
That seemed like a good number of keepsake boxes to restock that section of my Etsy shop. Thanks to my friend Molly’s box fetish, I have a difficult time keeping that section stocked. In fact, it has sat empty since she bought me out last Christmas. Molly, if you’re reading this: you do not need any more boxes. But feel feee to tell your friends about these.
Oh, wait. I forget to mention where the mixed media part came into this. Okay, the boxes are paper mache. I covered them in polymer clay. Some of the clay got enhanced with mica powders, chalk pastels, or acrylic paint. The insides of the boxes are decorated with acrylic paint too. And some are sealed with gloss or matte polyurethane. And that folk art heart? There’s some resin on there. So, there you go. Mixed media keepsake boxes. In the shape of hearts. Covered with flowers. Mostly.
Mixed Media Brooches
I also decided to re-stock the brooch section of my shop in preparation for the impending jewelry gift-giving occasion. There are a handful of items in that section, but none of them scream “Be My Valentine!” (Which, come to think of it, would be creepy, if anyone actually did that.) Time for more hearts and flowers.
For these mixed-media brooches (or pins, if you prefer) I started with silicone molds I made. I use a mold primarily because my carving and sculpting skills are sadly lacking. (I blame my underdeveloped hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills on spending my youth buried in books rather than playing sports or video games. And I don’t regret a single page.)
The polymer clay is shaped by the mold and then the resulting rose petals and heart depressions are colored using shimmery mica powders. After baking, the high points on the heart and rose shapes were outlined with acrylic paint. And finally, the depressions were filled in with resin. Oh, and there’s a locking metal pin back on each of them, of course.
I may make a few more rose or heart brooches next weekend. I have a slightly different mold shape to play with. And a box of assorted colors of mica powders too. Or, more likely, this will be it for me and the hearts and roses for a while. I am on sweet and cute overload. In fact, before I put away my mixed media and cleaned up the studio (a.k.a. my kitchen counters) I made some grungy rustic beads and things. But you’ll have to come back another day to see those.
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