Archive for the ‘Creations’ Category

A Crown and a Throne

April 7, 2011

it has been quite a while since i blogged last, and a lot has happened in that time, but most recently, on April 5th which also is Calle’s birthday, i got a package from Canada in the mail.
it was something that had been coveted by Iðunn and i for a long time.

if you would like to experience a little box opening, you can do so by following this link to my flickr:

when Iðunn first arrived to me from her previous owner, there was a print of the costumed doll Agnetha included with her, this one:

and when i took her first pictures, she seemed to suddenly align herself to be crowned:

ever since then i dreamed of really crowning her, and now this dream has come true.
Marina has made the beautiful Banshee crown in bronze for me.

an arrival ♥

Iðunn is crowned ♥

Iðunn is crowned ♥

it is even more amazing than i could have imagined and i am so happy that i went with my initial plan of bronze. i was considering gold plated but now i am so happy that i went with bronze because it is such an amazing colour and it looks so beautiful on Iðunn. she looks like out of an old fairy tale, the crown looks so precious and ancient, i just can’t even describe how much i love it.
i want to start saying “my prrrrecioussssss”. :)

thank you dear Marina for making that dream come true and making my dear Iðunn a crowned doll!

and so the time came to also show something else that i have had since a while.
this wonderful Throne in Enchanted Doll size that Calle made for me as a christmas gift.

Iðunn is crowned and enthroned ♥

Iðunn is crowned and enthroned ♥

Iðunn is crowned and enthroned ♥

around christmas time last year i went to my home country switzerland for 2 weeks to visit my family there, and while i was gone Calle kept telling me how his arms and fingers were hurting from making my christmas gift. he kept taunting me and i was so eager to find out what in the world he was doing, i just couldn’t imagine what it could be.
and so when i came home and we exchanged gifts, mine was this magnificent throne made from high quality oak wood by Calle himself. it is just so thoughtful and i love it so much! :D
he designed it himself being inspired by nordic and european history and he got input and assistance from his father Lasse.

both these creations are so precious to me and i am so happy to be able to share them with you now.
if you would like to see more, there are many more photos on my flickr if you follow this link:


In a Nutshell

March 25, 2010

I thought long and hard what I could make Marina of Enchanted Doll as a gift for her birthday contest, I wanted it to be something that expressed my feelings for what she gave me by creating her dolls. My mind was blank when I tried thinking of something most of the time, the ideas I had either didn’t fit what I wanted to say with it or they just seemed “not good enough” to enter.
If you know me you’ll know that I love tiny stuff and magical stuff, and have always loved such since I was little. I decided that I wanted my entry to be small to fit in your hand, and be magical.
Then one day, I can’t even really remember how, but the whole idea just appeared in my head, that I want to empty a walnut shell, line it with red velvet, make it hinged in some way and make that be a case for a tiny golden key, like something one might find in a magical world. This would be a symbol to thank Marina for the world she created with her dolls.

I then carried this idea around with me for ages, I think at least a month, but never seemed to be able to actually make it. I mentioned several times on the ED forum that I was composting my idea, and that’s what it felt like, it needed time to be made.

I didn’t have so many weeks left until the deadline of the contest and so I went on Etsy to look for tiny golden keys and red velvet. I initially meant to buy a tiny key charm like this which I also did but I wasn’t really satisfied with the look, not intricate enough. I bought a piece of beautiful looking red velvet also. Then being restless I kept looking through pages and pages of golden keys on Etsy, being kind of underwhelmed with what I found, when I came across this very beautiful like out of a fairytale tiny golden key, I nearly jumped in my seat of joy because it was the prettiest golden key I ever saw, and looking at it it screamed Enchanted Doll. I felt it looked so ED-esque, it fit right in with the Enchanted Doll world. I actually thought it was so pretty that I decided to buy it for myself and made a deal with myself that “in case” it fits in a walnut, it would be the one I’d use for my entry.
I don’t normally click on the buy button just after finding something online, I usually sleep over the decision, but this key magically bought itself, like lightning!

Some days later Calle and me went grocery shopping and the store had loose walnuts. They don’t normally have any but they did then and I took it as a sign that I had to make my idea. I bought 5 walnuts as they were quite expensive and we don’t normally buy expensive stuff, are very budget-conscious when we shop. The number 5 is my favourite, I hadn’t exactly counted the nuts but just grabbed a handful and at home I noticed I bought 5. :)

I then waited for the ordered things and they all arrived spread over a week. I grabbed one of the Walnuts to check if the special golden key would fit in it, and sure enough, it was the perfect size. I was a little sad at first because I woudln’t get to keep it, but very happy at the same time because it was perfect for my idea, much better than the much smaller key charms I intended to use at first.

When I did the actual work the whole thing was trial and error and learning from it, the whole time my approach was, I would try and do my best, but it might not work out like in my head.
I took a sharp knife and attempted to open up one walnut after the other, without breaking the two halves of the shell. I got two that broke and three that actually worked. I didn’t actually yet know how I would line those shells with the velvet, I had never lined anything. But first I had to figure out a way to make these shells hinged. In my head I had imagined tiny home made metal hinges but I realized that it was too andvanced for me to be able to make. I sat down with all the shells, the red velvet and golden key nearby and tried stuff on the failed nut shells. Until I had the idea to use red ribbon to hinge the shells with and also as a closure. I did a trial version on one of the three perfect nuts, the one that was the least pretty. everything seemed to work as I meant it to but after telling Calle my boyfriend a very complicated way of glueing ribbons inside the nut, making slots for them and then binding them to close the shell, he had the great idea to drill tiny holes in each shell so I could then glue a piece of ribbon to the inside of each shell and let it travel through the hole so I could use them to bind and thereby close the shell. (this is really hard to describe right now and I wish I had taken in progress shots but I was so involved in the process I completely forgot to take pics at any stage except the finish)

Either way, I picked the shells that were the best fit for the key and we went to the garage where Calles father Lasse has a workbench with tools and all kinds of stuff. (We live in the house next door from Calle’s parents)
All this was in the middle of the night and we were not sure exactly where the extra drills for the power drill are kept, but finally we found them and sure enough there even was a tiny drill with 1mm diameter, perfect size to fit my 3mm ribbon through without making it too tight.
Dear Calle fastened each shell half and drilled a hole in them very carefully while I was urging him to “not destroy it, don’t do to this side too much, these are the perfect shells, the only ones, etc.”.
It worked perfectly as if by magic and the holes had exactly the right angle *phew*.

I went back to my worktable and then remembered again that each nut had a big red stamp on the outside to mark them where they came from. I hoped it would come off with some water, but of course it was waterproof. I then tried on a failed shell to sand it off with sandpaper, but this didn’t work without leaving a mark. It occured to me to leave the stamp there, but I decided that I wanted it gone. I scoured the place for something sharp to scratch the stamp off the nutshell, and finally did the job with something similar to a surgical blade. It worked perfectly, one could only see something was removed there if one knew. Only it was very time consuming to scratch the colour out of all the tiny nooks and crannies of the outer shell, it took me about two hours. But finally that problem was out of the way.
I then glued the ribbon for the hinge, and the ones for the closure into the shells. Then I tried different ways of lining the shells, until I realized the best way would be to make tiny red velvet pillows in just the right thickness to fill out the shell. I finshed everything and put the golden key in the nut, carefully closed it and bound the ribbon in a nice knot, when I realized that this won’t work. The whole time I hadn’t considered that the ribbon-hinge was loose and that when I bound the ribbon-closure on the other side, the loose hinge would make the two shell halves just hang there open.
I couldn’t believe that I did the whole thing and never thought one moment of that. It was very late and I was very tired and I decided I should go to bed and look at it again the next day.

After a nights sleep I had an idea, I ripped the velvet pillows out of the shells and ripped the old ribbon-hinge out aswell, with a kitchen knife and a tiny file I created slots that would leave just enough space to glue the ribbon into creating a hinge that would close as tightly as possible. In this way I was able to do it, metal hinges would have been better but I was satisfied enough that I had made it work, and I needed to ship it off to Marina that day so it would comfortably make it in time for the deadline.

When I finished this little thing I was in love with it and felt so accomplished. I felt very happy that I was now able to gift it to Marina and let her know through this symbol what her dolls mean to me.
I never made anything resembling this before but I fell in love with working with tiny wooden shells, and it inspires me to do more cute little wood work, because I do love wooden things.

Here is the accompanying description of my gift:

In a Nutshell

Mixed media, Annina Born 2010
Materials: walnut shell, satin ribbon, velvet lining, cotton padding, golden key.

When I first saw Enchanted Dolls it was as if seeing the little elves and magical beings I have been dreaming about ever since I was little. In a nutshell, by creating them you gave me back the key to their magical world and now I want to hand it to you as a small “thank you”!
The walnut case can be opened and closed and the key can be removed. When putting it back, slide it between the protruding wood and the velvet lining of the left shell.

and here are my rushed photos I took of it right before packing it up and shipping it off:

here are the photos on my flickr, click each one to see them (once looking at a photo click “all sizes” to see the big version).

Even though I didn’t win anything I am happy to have been able to give a small token to Marina and it was a lot of fun to create something that I made up in my head and actually follow through!
A little while ago the gallery with all entries went up, and you can see my entry here aswell.
Also check out the complete gallery, I love the variety and creativity of all the entries and want to congratulate everyone who took part, I’m loving this gallery and find it very inspiring! ♥