Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More updates as of September 22nd

Witch shop:

All that's left is the broom rack

Zombie boy in 1/12 scale:

He's 3 1/4 inches tall

Halloween soaps :)

Ok all done guys!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Sold Witch Shop Updates

A little more full, been busy with family visiting from afar :)  I also have little black witch boots made but I'm putting them into a little paper box like they would be at a store.  They will go on the middle bottom shelf in between the flowers and living death draught.  This is still far from done, even the shelves that look done are not because they'll be a little mossy or I'll add scrolls around stuff.  I did get the display table done though.  A new book was added, a witchy flower arrangement in a skull vase, some bottles, and a detailed little wand with a feather decoration hanging from it.  I also finished the joke witch death warrants barrel as well.  Sometimes a witch just needs to play a practical joke on a friend you know :)  I plan on darkening this thing up a little with some more sinister-looking potion bottles and accessories.  Still aways to go on it before I'm happy with  it.  But I'll get there, hopefully I can work on it tonight some.  I'll keep posting as I go along.   

Friday, September 17, 2010


My witch shop was not even close to being done but is now officially off the market for future purchase.  One of my customers contacted me and made an offer I couldn't refuse even though it wasn't done yet.  Thanks Zepha!  I know you'll enjoy the "One Stop Witch Shop" and make a fine Halloween display of it in your home!  I'm kind of sad to see it go, but happy for her.  I was loving the witch shop :) 

I will continue to post pictures as I finish it up (stalled right now because I have family coming in from across the country but I'll work on it after they get here) so stay tuned to see how it ends up!  I know it'll be fabulous in the end :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More progress on the One Stop Witch Shop :)

A little more progess, I'm trying to crack on it and get it done.  I'm hoping to get it over and listed for sale so I can start my graveyard for Halloween.

The witch will NOT be for sale, that is my own private commission from Mrs. Tigglewinkle.  Her shop can be found here at: should you like to order your own custom doll.  I just thought I'd throw her in there because let's face it, she looks great with it!
Here's some potions I added in and a holder I made for them to stand as upright in the cabinet as they can.  I think it looks good like that :)  You can see the picture of the little girl on lone bottle in there?  It happens to be Veruca Salt from Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.  She graces the front label of the potions ingredient "Essence of Spoiled Brat", hehe.
You can see here the poisoned apple barrel is done.  I made the little cauldron of magical Halloween Potion last night.  It turned out really cute I think.  I made the pumpkin cookie and candy stick as well inside it :)  Proud!

Here's a leather spell book I also made today. 

I'll post further updates as I make my way through this rather large project.  I still have to make more potions bottles, scrolls, a wand, the broom rack, etc.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Updates on the "One Stop Witch Shop"

What do broom racks, black cat "familiars" and crusty old potions display cabinets have in common?
They all belong in my One Stop Witch Shop!  I have no pictures yet but I did manage to get out into my own shop tonight (I've been busy painting a friend's house and having family over) and got a little work in on my witch shop display.  I have really worked on turning out a wickedly awful display cabinet.  I wanted this thing to look a million years old, wonky, and worn.  I've given it a paint treatment like none other:  layers of two different colors of wood stain, streaky orange paint, more stain over the top of that, and next may be wood burning to make it look even older.  I had a metal plate with stars cut out of it and I blackened it and added it to the open door of the cabinet.  I bought decorative metal cabinet door knobs that are also blackened to put in place of cheap wooden ones that were on there.  After I get a little more done to it I'll add a picture to this post.  I took a section out of the bottom of the cabinet to make room for a cage, for the "witch familiars" who will be available for purchase to whatever witch might need one.  I will be building completely from scratch a broom rack with a variety of different brooms I'll be making later on.  I've been thinking long and hard on potions names in either serious or funny themes to fill the cabinet with.  I know for sure I'll be making these:  Broom Hilda's Famous Minion Maker, Ruined Crop Drops, Love Potion #1 (we got it right the 1st time!), Essence of Spoiled Brat, Crows Feet (get that lovely wrinkled look in minutes!) and my personal favorite- Damn "IT" Cream :) :) :)    There's sure to be unhappy endings no matter what in this shop!  I'll post updates as soon as I feel I'm at a point where it's worth a look :)  See you sooner than last time!

Ok, so I got a little further but am FAR away from it being what I want it to be.  There will be hat stands with witch hats on them, bottles and bottles of interesting potions, the broom rack I haven't started yet, all kinds of things.  It took me forever to get the worn, distressed look I was after for the cabinet.  It had to be grungy, primitive for the look I was after.  Think late 1600's.  My pictures are always ten times worse than my things actually look in person, thanks to my awesome camera.  But you'll get the idea anyway.  I'm started, anyway.  I'm hoping at some point today to get a bottle or two done but I have a family thing (yet again) tonight that may interfere just like it did yesterday.  Now I love my family, I just don't think getting together constantly is good for my work schedule :)  They keep this up I may run away from home :)  Anywho, here's a dreadful pic I shot this morning in bad light.  I love that!  But it may be the only time I have today so here goes:
wish you could see the cats in the cage but you really can't

Ok so now I'm making poisoned apples for an apple barrel that goes with this (Just what an evil queen or witch needs to get her point across :) Is it too much to ask, to be the fairest in the land? I don't think so! These happen to be for sale, $5 an apple for the witch too busy to concoct her own living death potion. Look out Snow White! Your title is about to be taken :)  I made one before and here it is:
but this one will be a tad bit different.  The idea is pretty much the same though.  I've also been busy tonight (after my family cookout) sculpting tiny cursed foe toes for one of my bottles and tiny little crow's feet for another bottle.  I think I may start the next monster book of monsters for my new dear buddy Kate.  I've promised her a monster book and I never break a promise if I can help it.  So I have my clay and eyes on the table to start that as well :)  

Oh oh, I almost forgot, I sculpted a witch hat for the hat stand that goes up on top of the cabinet next to the shop sign too.  I'll need to cover it with fabric and decorate it before I can stick it up there though.  But I have to keep it simple and rather traditional because a fancy one would look silly on this very prim cabinet with the rustic paint/stain job.  Very old Salem, Mass if you know what I mean.  I have to keep within that style range on everything or risk ruining the old look I was going for.  



Here's some potion and ingredient bottles I just made for this set, still working on it when I can but I've had some custom orders to fill first.  Plus I have to work around my kids and housework/cooking schedule.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Now I know that I'm supposed to be making minis and that's what this blog is about but I'm sidetracked and thought I'd blab about what exactly has sidelined me at the moment :)  I make my own laundry detergent and we really love it and so too does our friends and family.  There for awhile I was making enough soap to run three different houses and finally I decided to stop being the "supplier" of my soap junkie friends and family.  Instead, I gave them my recipe which is tweaked a little different than most online recipes for this product.  I have improved it :)  It's not the same texture as store bought soap and its different in almost every way.  But guess what?  It cleans every bit as good, works just fine in high efficiency washers (that's exactly what I have) and it smells SO much better.  Let's put it this way, my son came home sweaty and gross from school and he really wasn't all that appealing to sniff.  I said, "Go take a shower, street urchin!"  He declined my command and ran outside and romped with the dog instead for several more hours.  By the time he came in, I cannot express how bad he smelled and how dirty his clothes were.  I actually thought of throwing them away.  The thought of putting them into my nice new washer was less than thrilling for me.  But I did, and used this soap.  They came out perfectly clean, except for one grass stain that I didn't see or pre-treat.  So yay, this works!  Here's the recipe, and it's so easy my kids fight over who gets to do which part of the making.  So easy a kid can do it!

                                                           Tara's Laundry Detergent

 4 cups boiling water

1 bar fels naptha laundry bar soap (you can use plain white Ivory bath soap but it turns out far worse and seperation happens-just shake it up if it does or reheat it in a pan on the stove if it bothers you)  It still cleans fine and it'll do in a pinch if you can't find Fels Naptha (which is far superior and made for this purpose)

2 cups arm and hammer washing soda

2 cups borax

5 gallon bucket with a lid for mixing and keeping it in

3 gallons lukewarm water

up to 1 ounce of essential oils or fragrance oil

Follow the instructions in order or it will mess up your batch

Sit the bucket in the kitchen sink and fill it with 3 gallons of lukewarm water (empty milk jug works great). Leave it there.

On a paper plate grate the bar of soap (with a cheese grater) or cut it into small chunks and toss into a food processor little by little until it's finely grated (much easier).

In a medium-sized sauce pan, put your 4 cups of water on the stove to boil. After it's boiling, slowly mix in your ground soap and stir it as you pour. Get it melted down and then pour it into your bucket with the other lukewarm water.

Slowly add in both the washing soda and borax, mixing all the time. It will be runny at this point, it won't set up for 24 hours so it's not wise to use it until then.

Add in your essential oils if you want it to smell like something and mix it all in well.

This is the website where I ordered a large variety of fragrance oils:

but you can get them on ebay:

or even just use essential oils like a combo of lavender and vanilla.

The soap will be thicker and slightly chunky but smells better than store bought and cleans just as well if not better in my opinion. It costs about 2 cents per load compared to 35 cents depending on the store brand you buy. We love it. I used to have to buy a jug every week and now we never buy it. The borax and washing soda boxes last forever and you just need to stock up on Fels Naptha. The gallons of soap you end up with last a long time between batches.

I should mention the original recipe only used half the washing soda and borax and half the bar soap for the same amount of water. I found the batch to be too weak and changed it to double everything but water for my own piece of mind. I think it turned out much better my way. It's stronger and washes better. But it did thicken it alot. The other way was really runny and thin.

Well, there you go :) It's not like store bought in texture, keep that in mind but it works fine and is much cheaper. I can just imagine what we save per year this way.

Ok then.  I had to make more of that.  Then I decided I wanted to make some Glycerin Bar Soap for us and some friends.  I have some fancy soap molds (wish I had some goth ones for the upcoming Halloween season :(    Here they are :

3-D bunch of grapes soap mold-sucky night time pictures though

3-D Irises soap mold

I'm going to be trying to make these tonight, I hope they turn out ok!  I'll post pictures tomorrow if they do.  Heck I'll post pictures if they come out like lumps of crap!  I want to layer them in two different colors and use some shimmery mica powder I have for effect.  I haven't tried to do a detailed mold like this before so it could be scary!

Here's what I ended up with, not bad for a first try!  And I love how they smell.  I used Pear Vanilla fragrance oil :)
And these aren't small either.  Around 4.5 ounces each

Ok so it occurred to me that I have a giant brain mold in the cupboard used for jello making (that was a BIG hit with the boy scouts in my son's troup during Halloween time) and so I thought to myself, why wouldn't that work for soap too?  So I tried it.  I figured my son and his friend would think that was pretty cool :)  So I whipped up a batch and scented it with "man" scented stuff and poured it into the mold.  Then I took a sponge (cut in two halves) and ran a rope through it and dunked it into the soap.  Here's what it turned out like: