Fire In the Soul

Fire In the Soul
"Fire In the Soul" From the Merka series in The Elves of the Woodland Realm

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Here We Are In Peoria, IL

It has been very slow going with the unpacking from the move, hence my absence from blogging. But, I have been busy. Busy mostly with getting settled into our new house, new state, new school, new job, new people, new everything. We are literally starting over. That has been a little bit tough on all of us. We moved from right outside the city of Atlanta, GA to Peoria, Illinois. And yes, parts of it really are just miles of corn fields. Closer to the river in the historic part of town it is much more green and lush. Eventually I will start scouting soon for photo shoot locations since my matchbox size, cookie cutter backyard isn't going to cut it.

Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios FL
In the mean time, let me get you up to speed.
Since all of my kids have their birthdays in July and we didn't have a house, we decided to take them to Universal Studios Florida for their birthdays. We made lots of wonderful memories. We also had a little party for them at SkyZone in Kennesaw, GA before we moved. I think their daddy had more fun than they did.

SkyZone in Kennesaw, GA

Then there are all the new items to make and photograph for the shop.

Several custom orders for birthdays and weddings

Then there are the seasonal items that are pretty popular, like mini top hats for women and children.

I am possibly going to be published in a book, that's very encouraging for me. Fox Publishing wants to publish some of my photos and products in their winter book coming out, Ice Princess Crafts or something of that nature.

 I was then contacted by a school in Ontario, Canada about replicating the icicles in the Snow Queen crown, on a large scale. As in 5 feet long large scale. That is what I am working on right now, while still unpacking the rest of our personal belongings.

My goal it to have us pretty much settled by then end of September so I can get back into my photography. We will see...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Working on Tirith

I have at the least 2 more session to complete my Elves of the Woodland Realm series. Right now I am working on Tirith. He is a guardian of the Wood, an archer.

I am using L200 foam for his armor. This is the first time I have worked with it and I LOVE it!

First I made patters for the pieces I wanted with thin kraft paper.

Then I cut the pieces out and drew out the lines where I wanted the "metal" to look engraved and added the brads as little studs to the "metal". L200 foam, when heated keeps what ever form you shape it in. So I heated each piece with my heat gun and shaped all of the pieces.

I then attached all of the pieces how I wanted them and painted a coat of watered down craft glue on it so the paint would not get absorbed into the foam and it would have a smoother finish. 

Now it's time for a few coats of gold spray paint. I wanted bronze, but couldn't find it and didn't have time to order it online. I am in a bit of a time crunch to get this done before we move so my back ground is the same as it is in the other sessions.

The finished piece is amazing. I aged the piece and added leather straps so it would stay on the shoulder even when running and using a bow and arrow.

His entire costume was designed and sewn by me. It will be available in my store Late August, early September.
I also used the foam for Verda's shoulder armor as well. This is an image of one of the shoulder pieces in process. I will post on her costume and photo shoot later in October.

Visit for some of the final images from the Tirith series and follow my blog, like my Facebook page, bookmark my website, follow me on Instagram @LilyMairi and Pinterest to keep up with the news on my photo book publishing, Elves of the Woodland Realm. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Let Them Eat Cake!

As a hobby and just because I like cake, I have over the years tried my hand at various cake and cupcake artistry. I've had no formal training, but any opportunity I get to try something new or perfect a technique I go for it.

Here are some things I have tried.
R2D2 cake for my kid'd Star Wars birthday party 2009
Little Mermaid birthday party 2008
Strawberry themed 1st birthday party 2009
Candy themed birthday party 2010
A beer and donut birthday cake for my husband 2010
Some homemade, hand picked apple pies just for the heck of it. 2010
Traditional primary color birthday cake 2011
Gluten free individual cheese cake for a vintage
Alice In Wonderland birthday party 2012
Tiny regular cheese cakes for party guests
Butterfinger Cupcakes 2013
Butter cake filled with homemade caramel, frosted with vanilla buttercream, and garnished with a mini Butterfinger candy bar and Butterfinger crumbles, drizzled with homemade caramel sauce. One of my most popular flavors.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Seeing Something Beautiful In the Not So Beautiful

I have always been one to use what I have. Mostly due to budget. I also like the challenge of it. "How can I make this Early American Ugly couch look like something I actually want to sit on?"

I also like to see how things works, how I can accomplish the same "look" on a piece of furniture, how can I create the same effect and so on. WIth this in mind I had a cheap, not necessarily ugly piece of furniture that I wanted to make into something that I could actually use and was strong and substantial. I also wanted to try Amy Howard One Step paint that can be purchased locally at Woodstock Antiques and Consignment

So with my pile of pallet wood in hand I got to work, on a few pieces actually...

Here the before of the piece I had wanted to do. It was one of those cheap press board bookshelf things. This image is actually nicer than the one I had, I had forgotten to take a before of it. But you get the idea. 
After 2 coats of the One Step paint (no prepping needed at all!), and a light distressing. Then added some pallet wood trim and some old fence finials that have been hanging around my project bin for YEARS. 

Since we are moving, I'm not really going to be able to use it right away, but you get the idea. I LOVE it and it will work well to organize my finished products for my products in my online shop. The paint itself is wonderful. I believe it is my fave for non-porous surfaces. The texture of the paint is silky and divine. As it sits open it gets thicker. It cover extremely well. 
Here are a few other projects I worked on. I used Them Two Birds milk paint, Amy Howard One Step and regular acrylic on these based on the colors I needed/wanted.

                   Before                                                  After

These are glass and resin and the paint stuck like I was painting raw wood! 
                  Before                                                  After

What I did with one of the candle sticks.

I have 3 more pieces of furniture I finished and a few other projects, I just haven't phoyographed them yet. I will update later on with those images. 

There is something beautiful inside everything. It just take a little TLC sometimes. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Life Right Now

It has been a few weeks since I have posted. Things have been a little hectic around here with the house being on the market...

Picnics in Greenville, SC...

Trips to Six Flags over Georgia...

Furniture redesigns and upcycles...

New jewelry designs...

More photo shoots...

And job interviews...

Plus the everyday keeping the house up, the kids entertained, calming the parents about leaving the state, and keeping myself sane. I do have posts about the latest photo session coming up. I am wanting to finish it before we move. So, check back in for fab furniture redo's, elven armor how to, and wonderful dinning and B&B's in Greenville.