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Please visit and see what's happening behind the scenes at Lilly Bug Studio.

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And please remember to visit the Lilly Bug Studio website and the Lilly Bug Boutique Etsy store.

Thank you for visiting! :-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Buzzing Behind the Scenes, Part 3

Buster the Bee painted

You've read, you've waited and now it's finally here, my Buster the Bee sculpture in living color.

Buster the Bumble Bee flying

I tried to take photos from every imaginable angle. Someday I'd like to make a Buster the Bee video to post on youtube. Right now I don't know enough about how to make a video and where to find copyright free music. I'm thinking the song "Flight of the Bumblebee" would be a good song for my Buster buzzing over the field of flowers.

Buster sculpture

Buster being busy as a...you got it...busy as bee.

front view of Buster

Uh-oh, what happened to his picnic basket and tea set?

Buster flying over flowers

Buster decided to do a practice flight without the basket and tea set.

Buster flying away

He wanted to make sure he timed his flight correctly to Toby's shell for the surprise party.

Buster flying

There he goes buzz, buzz, buzzing away!

Buster delivering tea

And here he is ready for the party!

My Buster the Bee sculpture measures approximately 23" wide by 16" high by 15" deep. It's kinda difficult to measure a sculpture with flowers poking out in all directions. So how do you like my Buster piece? It's one of my favorites, especially because I love flowers and there is a whole field of flowers to see even in the dead of a Wisconsin winter. My next post will feature pics of Buster in the great outdoors.

Missed any of my Buster series?

Buzzing Behind the Scenes, part 1 (features the beginning stages of the Buster sculpture)

Buzzing Behind the Scenes, part 2 (features some of the details of how I made the picnic basket and tea set)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Buzzing Behind the Scenes, part 2

It's "tea time"! My last blog post featured the beginning stages of my Buster the Bee sculpture. Today, I'm showing how I made Buster's picnic basket and tea set that he's carrying to Toby's shell. Plus, I have a few close-ups of the final wing set for Buster along with a couple of flower shots.

picnic basket & tea set

The photo above shows the beginning stages of the picnic basket and tea set. Can you guess, what's what in the photo? The long strip under the teacup is how I made the teacup. I cut it out like that with wire and masking tape and then formed it into the cup with a wire handle shown above. Those two tab things with a hole in each are for the teapot. This is where the wire for the teapot handle will be inserted.

picnic basket and tea set

And ta-da! Here's the tea set ready to be painted. It took a long time to get from the first photo to the second. My Dremel tool came in very handy to clean up the surfaces of the tea set, especially for the teacups. I wanted to get the teapot and cups as smooth as I could.

picnic basket

And here's the picnic basket all painted and ready for Buster to fill with all the fixin's for tea time.

finished picnic basket and tea set

And here's the completed tea set and basket. I was very happy with how the teapot, teacups and picnic basket turned out. I wanted the tea set to look like a real little set of cups with matching teapot. I was anxiously awaiting for the time when I could attach the handle to the teapot to finish it off. I also waited in anticipation for the glaze to go on to make it look shiny.

Buster's wings

And can you guess what these are? Yes, Buster's wings that took blood, sweat and tears to make. Okay, not quite, but they were one of the most challenging pieces to make.

Buster's wings

I could not wait until I could attach this set of wings to Buster, but I had to wait until Buster was all painted before attaching them. And, yes you will have to wait too...until my next post when I feature the finished Buster piece all painted and put together. I had so much fun making this piece and it was challenging and exciting to wait and see how it all came together. Before I end today's post, I'd like to share with you a couple of close-up shots of a couple of flowers from my Buster sculpture.

ladybug & coneflower

This little ladybug was visiting one of the coneflowers for the Buster sculpture. It was real late at nite and when I walked into my work room to turn off the lamp and check on my work, here was this lil' beetle walking along the petals. Oh my, could that be the real life Lilly the Ladybug visiting one of Buster's flowers? Needless to say I had to capture this Lilly moment on film, um...digital film.

inside of poppy flower

And here's the inside of one of the Poppy flowers for the piece. I am a fan of Poppy flowers so I had to include some of them on this piece. Well, that's all for now. Keep your eyes open for my next post that will be bursting with colorful flowers and Buster toting his teaset and basket to the party.

Visit my website Lilly Bug Studio, to find out more about Lilly the Ladybug and her friends!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Buzzing Behind the Scenes, part 1

Lilly Bug Boutique

I've wanted to blog about my Buster the Bee watercolor and sculpture for quite some time. And here it is! My Buster pieces have been one of my favorites in my storybook line.

Buster the Bee watercolor

This is my watercolor with Buster the Bee delivering some honey tea with Oliver the Ant guiding him to Toby's turtle shell. Ever since I started making my storybook sculptures, I've wanted to make this watercolor into a sculpture. Last year I had a small art exhibit at a gallary inside of a local public library. I wanted to make this piece for last year's show. With lots of patience and determination, I got this piece done for the show. There are a lot of parts to this sculpture, so this will be the first installment in a four part series.

Buster the Bee sculpture

Here is my sculpture about midway into sculpting it. I love flowers and I was excited to make a field of flowers for Buster to buzz over. I got some books about flowers from the library to find a variety of flowers to sculpt.

leaves and flowers

The photo above shows some of the leaves and flowers for my piece.

Buster's wings

And here are the meticulous wings for Buster. I painstakingly glued each piece of wire to form the wings. And needless to say it was with much trial and error. The following photo attests to the fact, that these wings were not made in a day or two.

Buster's wings

A selection of trial and error wings, which I will not depart with. These wings are part of my "mistake/reject" collection. Am I a pack rat? Keeping my mistake pieces can be a helpful guide for the future. Although, if I'd make another bee sculpture, I would try to find a new way to make the wings. They were one of the hardest parts to make along with being the most delicate to handle.

Buster the Bee sculpture pre-paint

And here's the final photo for part one. Buster is already flying (albeit wingless) amongst the flowers waiting to be painted. The next part of this series will feature some of the smaller details of my piece, such as the picinic basket and tea pot, Buster will be carrying to Toby's shell. Stay tuned, for part 2 of Buzzing Behind the Scenes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Sound of Music - Do Re Mi performance!

Watch this, it will give you goosebumps! Last night on Facebook a friend posted this awesome video. I watched it a few times. It's awesome. Enjoy! :-)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wild roses!

wild rose

Today I've been working on organizing my photos and I came across these pics of wild rose flowers blooming on the nature trail in June. They are so pretty. I'd like to make some of them into prints and use some of them for images in my glass tile pendants, a fun craft I recently discovered.

wild rose

I couldn't decide on posting only one wild rose photo so I settled on six pics.

wild rose

Which one is your favorite?

wild rose

Awhile back I posted a photo that I took on the nature trail in the Springtime and one of my blog readers asked if I sold any of my photos as prints. I'd like to sell some of my photos as prints. One place I was thinking of ordering prints from is iPrintfromHome.com. I've never ordered from them before, but after reading about them on the Etsy forums and from one of my favorite bloggers, they sound like a good place to order from. It sounds like you can print cards and giclee prints at their site too.

wild rose

I hope you enjoyed the wild roses! :-)

wild rose

Friday, July 17, 2009


Katrina and Sugar the Bunny

My niece Katrina was promised a bunny for a pet when she turned 10. This summer her promise was fulfilled. And instead of only one bunny they got two bunnies. Sugar, is Katrina's bunny and Honey, is being shared by Kristin and Jordan.

bunny on a leash

During the last two years of waiting for her wish to have a bunny, Katrina got an assortment of bunny books from the library so she would know how to take care of her bunny. While reading about bunnies she found out that you can get a leash for your bunny. In the photo above, Sugar is wearing the bunny leash. And getting a collar/leash on a bunny who isn't used to being held is quite a chore. My niece Kristin managed to get the leash on but it didn't stay on for too long since the leash size is a little large for the bunnies right now.

Sugar and Honey the bunnies

Here, the bunny sisters are in their cage eating at their dish.

Sugar and Honey the bunnies

Aren't they cute?

the bunny hutch

And here's the nice bunny hutch that my sister found offered for free on Craig's list.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A visit with Bob

Me, Bob and Deanna

Today we visited Marlene's husband, Bob, at Bethel Home. We hadn't seen him since last September at Marlene's funeral. It was so good to see him.

Who's Marlene? She was a dear friend and co-worker I've had the privelege of knowing for seven years. During the time I've known them, Bob would drive Marlene to work each day and wait in the parking lot an hour or longer to pick her up from work. Sometimes he'd be waiting in the hot sunny parking lot so I'd bring some soda or water out to him and to say, "hi." He would tell me, "I still likes 'ya." and "Behave yourself and if you don't behave don't tell me about it."

Last year I was fortunate enough to have gone out to eat with Marlene and Bob after work, especially after some of our stressful days. After all that has happened during the last year, those visits with them are all the more precious to me. They were the sweetest couple I've ever met. Marlene's funeral was on the exact day of their 56th Wedding Anniversary in the same church where they were married. Their son told us that they started their lives together on the same day the ended their lives together.

Bob's memory has been fading, but he still remembers his sweet wife. He told us about when they first were married and when they had their kids. There's a song by Mark Schultz called, "Walking Her Home" and it reminds me of Marlene and Bob's relationship. It is a real tear-jerker.

I don't know if Bob remembered exactly who we were, but it was so nice to visit him. His sense of humor is sharp as a tack. While we visited he was quick to have something funny to say right after we said something. He had us laughing and he told us many times how much he loved us. He is such a sweet person that I'm so glad to have met. We are planning on visiting him again now that we know where he is living. I hope that we brought him as much love and joy as he has brought to us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Glass tile pendant starter kit - yay! :-)

glass pendant kit

For quite some time I've wanted to try to make my own glass tile pendants. The other week I found this great Etsy store, Candy Tiles 2, where there is a nice assortment of materials needed to make glass pendants. Candy Tiles 2 offers these wonderful starter kits, the one I ordered is pictured above. In the kit I received: five Square Glass Tiles, five small Sterling Silver Plated Aanraku Bails, two Diamond Glaze Samples, one tube of Super Glue, six assorted sheets of Chiyogami (Premium Japanese Paper) & Graphic Designed Paper cut to size. Included with the kit are step by step instructions on how to make glass tiles pendants and instructions on how to make Scrabble tile pendants. The instructions were sent to my e-mail addy in PDF format. This starter kit came nicely packaged within the decorated box shown in the photo.

glass pendant kit

As it says in the item description, ordering the starter kit is a nice way to try out making pendants instead investing a lot of money in materials. This starter kit is a wonderful way to give it a try and I think they'd make a nice gift for anyone who has a passion for crafting.

glass pendant kit

I didn't use the paper provided in the kit because I have loads of photos I wanted to use for the pendants. Last night I found a couple handfuls of pics in my photo archives and opened them in Photoshop and cropped each of them down to 7/8" sqaure. I printed them off on a sheet of 4 x 6 photo paper. Today I made my first glass tile pendant with a photo of some lilacs.

lilac glass pendant

I love how the photo looks under the glass.

glass pendant photos

The photo above shows some of my favorite pics from flowers to my kitty Tiggy to my nieces' new bunnies. I also have a few of my watercolors I'd like to make into pendants. One product I need to order from Candy Tiles 2, is this material called "microglaze" to protect ink jet printed materials. After I made the lilac tile, I tried one of my cat and of the pink water lilly and the images looked a bit blurred. Using the "microglaze" is supposed to prevent smudging, so if you're going to use ink jet printed images for your pendants, this product sounds like a great thing to have while making your pendants. After I made my first pendant, I was hooked. Stop by the Candy Tiles 2 Etsy store if you want to discover a fun way to make jewelry.

Polymer Clay gossip blog

Last week I blogged about my hand-made polymer clay buttons and I've gotten a positive response from my Blogger post and my By Hand blog post. In fact, someone left a comment at By Hand to let me know I was "gossiped" about and she left a link with her comment. Today I went to check it out. Julie wrote a nice post about my hand-made buttons at her Polymer Clay blog.

Please stop by Julie's Polymer Clay gossip blog.

Click here to see my blog post about my buttons.

Friday, July 10, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

one lovely blog

Yay! I got my second lovely blog award from Sunday of Hazelnut Cove! Thanks, Sunday! She gives an excellent explanation about how the lovely blog award is set up. I was not aware of what I needed to do after I received my first award.

If you're interested in reading about how the award works just click here, to visit Sunday's lovely blog.

Hazelnut Cove Blog

And here are my votes for a lovely blog award, please don't hesitate to stop by any of the following blogs. You will not be disappointed. Just click on their blog banners to visit their respective blogs.

Structured Chaos blog

Cherry Tart blog

Cindy and Mindy blog

Elegant Bloggery

Pickles on Pizza blog

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hand-made Buttons!

polymer clay buttons

I'm a lover and collector of buttons. Recently I made my very own buttons with polymer clay. The first day I started to make them I was hooked on creating them. The pic above shows some of the buttons I have made. I'd like to hand-paint some of them to highlight some of the details. Also, I would like to put a shiny gloss-like glaze on them to highlight the details and to make them look finished. Today I've been trying to research a little on what type of glaze to use on Polymer clay. Yikes, there is way too much info to read and then there are always links to other links and then I get side-tracked from my original plan of finding out about glazes. Ever happen to you? I really need to force myself to stay focused on the task on hand. Speaking of "focus"! I'd like to make some of my hand-made buttons into pendants for necklaces and maybe make some of them into brooches and magnets.

Here are links to some of the poly clay sites I came across, if you're interested in visiting them.

Glass Attic - "The Polymer Clay Encyclopedia"

Sky Grazer Designs - Polymer Clay Link Index

Desiree's Desired Creations - How to Make a Better Buffing Wheel

Poly Clay - Varathane Diamond Polyurethane

Caution! Tons of info on polymer clay. Thanks to the forums at Etsy, I was able to find the sites listed above along with other polymer clay info. Another site I came across was, Sunni's Online Sales Links, and it gave a list of links for online sellers. I just skimmed it over. There is a link to a page all about improving your page rank for your site. I clicked on the link and there is a lot of info to take in. One of these days I hope to improve my page rank, which ultimately means working on my site to improve it. There never seems to be enough time to get all of this done. Ugh!

Okay, I better stop my rambling on. Talk to you later. :-)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My nephew Andrew is in the "hood"!

Andrew in his hood

Yes, I am one of those proud aunts who love to share pics and stories about her nieces and nephews. This last week I spent some time with my nephew, Andrew. He is one of the happiest babies you could ever meet.

Andrew in backyard

One day I spent some time with Andrew in the backyard. He was touching a planter base with dried dirt on it. Whenever he touched it, I would say, "dirrrty, that's dirrrty!" and he would smile and laugh like in the photo above.

Andrew gardening

Then it was off to do some gardening in my niece Kristin's pumpkin patch.

Andrew at picnic table

He loves to play with water, so I filled a couple of bottles from the table with water. He was fascinated with it. I enjoyed sitting there watching my nephew explore and play.

Andrew at picnic table

My nephew looked so cute and tiny sitting at the picnic table.

Andrew behind railing

Here's Andrew behind the railing on the kids' fort.

The other day I was feeding Andrew some lunch after I took him for a walk in his stroller. As he was eating he started to fall asleep. He had a mouthful of rice with his eyes closed, so I was going to stop feeding him. Then he kinda woke up and said, "Mo, mo," Andrew speak for "more." I gave him some small pieces of chicken and he started to put them in his mouth with his eyes closed. I walked away from his high chair and by the time I walked back, he was sleeping leaning against the side of his high chair. He looked so cute, I almost took a picture but decided not to so I could get him down for his afternoon nap ASAP. Later, he woke up from his nap all smiles and he was trying to play peek-a-boo with his blankie while in his crib. Too bad my sis and the kids didn't live closer. Then I could have more of these priceless moments with Andrew before he's older. And of course I could have more time to spend with my other nephew and two nieces as well.