Hi crafty friends! Late March and early April were a bit quiet on my blog and YouTube channel – I had so much to do that I simply needed a creative break. There were a few projects that sucked up all my creative juices at that time.
One reason was that … oh gosh, I’m not allowed to say, but believe me, it’s an awesome thing that happened and I hope I can share it with you soon. But it took a few days of my creative time that I couldn’t spend on other projects that I could share with you.
This is a picture heavy post
Furthermore, one of my colleagues got married the Thursday before the easter weekend. Now, I work for a tiny company, we are just eleven people (I’m the only girl) and we are a great team. I love all of my colleagues and we were delighted when we were invited to the wedding. Naturally, I ended up with the task of creating a wedding gift. We gave money, since the honeymoon will be a one year trip around the globe, but we still needed to present it right. (And apart from that, since we only had a warning of about six weeks, I also needed to shop for a dress, shoes, clutch…you get it.)
That’s what I started out with. In total, I did about 10 hours of research, trying to figure out which materials would work best (I had never done anything of this kind before), spent a total of 10 hours running to different shops across three cities to get all the supplies, and then another 6 hours creating the actual present.
I bought a pan from IKEA (cheapest and most stable container in the right size) and started out with creating a clay ground. It helped me shape the ground on which everything else would be built. While the clay was still moist, I pushed in some blue decorative stones where the “ocean” would be and some regular decorative stones where the “beach” would be. Since they would be partly inside of the drying clay, they wouldn’t move and help me get a better foundation. I also grabbed two fake plants from IKEA and cut them apart and pushed them into the clay to create faux vegetation.
All of that dried over night, with the pan sitting on a radiator in a room to which my cat wouldn’t have access. Don’t even want to think about what she would have done to it 😉
The next morning, I used blue acrylic paint to paint over the part of the landscape that would be “water”. The brown clay was peeking through the blue stones too much for my liking (and just as I had expected), but the acrylic paint worked perfectly. While the paint was still wet, I also used some blue glitter and sprinkled that on top of the paint so it would shimmer through later.
That was put back on the radiator to dry for another few hours. Once my fingers weren’t blue anymore when I dipped them in the “ocean”, I could proceed to the next step: I poured liquid(ish) crystal clear glue on top of the dried acrylic paint. I got the glue from the home depot store (try explaining to them what you want it for!). I put down about 1 inch on the water and only a very thin coat on the beach.
On the water, I made sure to put my bottle (Message in a bottle, anyone?) in the ocean first to make sure it would stay in place. On the beach, I added stones on top of the thin layer of glue to cover it up and make sure my pebbles would stay where they are supposed to be. I also glued a tiny treasure chest in place. I added more blue deko stones on the water layer and then poured another inch of the glue on top of that and used an old spoon to create some waves.
That took about 1.5 days to dry halfway; it was thoroughly dry after about 3 days. Of course, with all these things, the entire present now weighs about a gazillion tons – good thing I have a few strong men to help me carry it. No, I’m not being a sissy. The wedding was in another city, and I left for home the day after, going straight to the airport, so I had my backpack, a huge suitcase, a clothesbag with my dress, and a bag with the present that needed to stay horizontal at all costs. sigh
Anyhow, the last bit was adding a ton of money into the bottle (hence the “Message in a bottle” theme), and that required me not only sweet talking the guy at the bank to give me only certain bills but rolling up each bill individually, then threading thread through them all to make it easier for the couple to get them out again ; )
Whew, that was quit a project. Not something I want to do again anytime soon, but at least now I know how to simulate clear water 😉
What do you think? Too much? Cheesy? Just right? Have you ever done something like this or do you stick to your stamps and paper? Let me know in the comments! If you have ever ventured into any other crafty experiments, link me to your blog posts, I’d love to have a peek.