Sunday, February 26, 2017

Aldraths Academy

Goodmorrow my fellow crafters and miniaturists! Today I'm presenting to you something that I've been agonizing over for ages now because it is just so completely stuffed full of magical goodness, your eyes just won't know where to land, so let me ease you gently through the tour of the Headmasters very messy office in Aldraths Academy.

To begin, Aldraths Academy is not Hogwarts. It's not, but it totally is. But it's not. Except it is. Not.

As you know, I'm a big fan of roughing things up. I had this lovely pristine desk to work with and so of course, I had to take a nail file to it to make it look like it had been sitting in the Headmasters office for the last century or so. I hit every edge with the file I could.

I even did the drawers as you can see here. I found it really made the whole desk "pop" out from the background as well. Obviously if you're doing a desk scene, you don't have to do this. but I'm very fond of ruining nice and sparkly things as you may have noticed.

One of my main go-to craft supplies for this whole scene were some of the Tim Holtz alcohol inks (check out my materials list at the end of the post). On the eggs inside jars, I dripped the ink on and then painted on spots to create a more magical, otherworldly egg. However, I was much more blown away by the effect created by adding the alcohol ink to the tiny glass jars you'll see throughout the scenes. I'll point them out for you along the tour.

The Headmasters office in Aldraths Academy. How he actually gets to his chair, we'll never know.

I've recently become addicted to creating stacks of paper.

What good wizard would be without a stack of papers about Conjuration? All tied up and bound with a seal.

An illusion stack and hiding in the bottom an old cabinet photograph.

The old leather wingback chair of the Headmaster, piled with old scrolls and a map.

The messy desk.

This is actually my favourite part. The little vial comes clear, but after you drop a few droplets of red alcohol ink from Alpha Stamps on there and let it dry (it seriously only takes a minute or so), it looks like a healing potion - and it works so perfectly. You could have shelves filled with these and use different shades of alcohol inks to show different kinds of potions. I'm so in love with this and it's seriously the most simple thing in the universe. 

The Headmaster has some acceptance letters ready to be mailed out to prospective students sitting on his desk, along with his morning tea.

Framed portraits of teachers at Aldraths Academy.

School books for the various courses available at Aldraths Academy, along with some magical red eggs.

The shelf above the Headmasters desk, filled with special potion ingredients, scrolls and various other tidbits.

Newtonium Figmule eggs, which are normal brown and white kitchen eggs with blue alcohol ink droplets and some white dots added.

Posters of the 4 Houses.

The beautiful planter and blue plant next to his desk.

More shelf space, with the Headmasters picture in the shelf itself.

Hephaestus the Owl watches over the Headmasters office.

Alpha Stamps Materials

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Materials

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Library of Bartholomew Pendragon

Goodmorrow all! Today I bring you the Library of Bartholomew Pendragon, explorer of the unknown and adventurer in the lands of disbelief. Let me give you a tour:

The full Deep Open Front Box, containing the miniature scene.

Stacks of research Mister Bartholomew Pendragon has accumulated on various fantasy creatures.

Specifically, the "Pixie" stack of papers.

Mister Bartholomew Pendragon himself, framed atop his chair.

Scrolls hidden amongst the books.

The stairs leading up to the aging door. He's out exploring and finding new species of creatures he just can't be bothered to repaint the door.

His collection of exotic bats in shadow boxes.

He hopes to one day have a large stack of research on Dragons, as well. For now, this is all he's accumulated.

He's got a special interest in Nymphs. Some say, his wife was once a Nymph in the forests of Hanover, but this is just whispers amongst other explorers.

Ancient scrolls on learning to speak with various faerie species.

The pride of his collection will always be his books.

A closer view of the door.

Candles lead the way of the stairs. Worries of fire hazards tend to not bother him.

Here's a mini-tutorial on making the Shadow Box in the scene:

You're going to need the Shadow Box Bugs and Bats sheet from Alpha Stamps and use a sharp craft knife to cut out the size of bats you want for your scene (or whatever bugs or butterflies you choose from the sheet)

Once cut out you can leave as is, or colour the outside with a marker, stamp or anything of your choice to get rid of the hard white edge.

And then it's on to my (possibly) favourite go-to material, the dollar store  foam core. It's got to be the dollar store foam core, because the paper come off so easily. Otherwise, you've got to soak the paper off in water and it's a whole messy time consuming hassle. Just get the cheap stuff and you're good to go. Cut off a small piece and remove the paper.

Mark out around your bat how big you want your shadowbox to be, using a pen and ruler.

Cut using a sharp Xacto or craft knife. If it's not sharp, the foam will pill and it will frustrate you beyond belief.

Then use some wooden coffee stir sticks (which can also be purchased from the dollar store), cut them to size and paint them black.

Glue the stir sticks and bat in place - I am impatient and used a low-temp hot glue gun for this. And then you're finished. Easy peasy!

Thanks for joining me for this months miniature making - check back next month for more miniatures!

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Materials

Alpha Stamps Materials