Monday, July 18, 2016

How to Make Paper Mâché Corsets

At last! The Mermaid Room is open for corset tutorial enrollment! Paper Corsets part I and II are available for purchase in my Le Charmed Life Etsy shop.  These two videos go over what you will need to make the basic corset in any size or shape you want. It also includes a template file for use as a guide to help you get the corset shape perfectly sized or you can modify it to reflect your own personal style and character.

This tutorial includes parts I and II video instruction along with an instantly downloadable PDF file containing a dress form guide and supply list. Price of this tutorial is only $15.00. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What Would you do for Change?

What are your most wild imaginings? What ideas inspire you most? What would you tell yourself that would most nurture your spirit? I've created a set of 6 new journal cards to help inspire and remind you to be good to yourself.
printable journal cards for creating the life of your dreams
Adhere these into your personal day planner for an extra boost of positive energy throughout the day. Be sure to visit Le Charmed Life on Etsy to see the entire collection.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Step by Step Paper Mâché Corsets Coming Up!

You asked for it and now I'm ready to show you step by step how to make those glorious, paper mâché corsets you've all repeatedly asked me about. Some things I think will make this tutorial series stand out is that the instructions will allow you to easily make whatever size or shape of corset suits your fancy, plus we are going to create a display setting for your finished piece.

mermaid corset inspiration from FractalWings on Etsy 
perfectly tattered and absolutely stunning!
So here's the skinny. Since we are quickly cruising into the summer season, I thought it might be fun to make something with a cottage chic, beach theme mostly because I haven't done anything like that yet. I'm thinking coastal hues like tranquil turquoise, blue-greens, soft whites and sandy neutrals, mermaids, and patina painted wire. What do you think?

image courtesy Vibeke of Vibeke Design
I expect to have the series finished by 4th of July weekend so y'all have something creative to do over the long holiday. (*snicker* As if!) During the next 4 weeks I'll post some sneak peaks and teasers to whet your creative appetite. Feel free to add your comments about what you might like me to cover. Other than that, let's get this party started!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy 2016! 

What will you do to make your dreams come true this year?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Kell Belle Studio wishes you a safe and peaceful holiday.

Monday, December 7, 2015

New Project? Link Jointed Dolls

Okay, time to get back into the swing of things and do some creating again. While I really enjoyed the paper corset and dress projects, I'm ready to take those concepts to the next level by playing around with some jointed dolls.
elongated torso for bust doll
I would really like to move into something on the whimsical side, something with an elongated torso, a pretty but more primitively sculpted face, wire link joints and a head that twists. Oddly enough I found little to no information about wire link joints or even how to make them.

whimsical girl sketch
You would think that the images I was able to find would be self explanatory enough to help me figure it out and mostly they are but in my opinion they still fell just slightly short of the mark. What about the head? How does that get attached and how do I make it twist?
wire jointed doll armature
The first step will be figuring out the mechanics of it all. Since other artists appear to be unwilling to part with their carefully guarded secrets (and I don't fault them one bit) I'll have to figure this out by trial and error. Maybe I'll even put together a tutorial so that others don't have to guess.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day America!

What would the 4th of July be without indulging in a little strawberry shortcake? Below are some fun facts about strawberries you may not have known.

  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside

  • The average strawberry has 200 seeds

  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring

  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family

  • Folk lore states that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with the opposite sex, you'll soon fall in love

  • A strawberry will not ripen once it is picked

  • Fresh strawberries were once used as a toothpaste, as the juice cleaned discolored teeth
Enjoy your holiday and be safe out there, especially those who are experiencing HOT weather.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Naked Truth About Mermaids

Do not be fooled by myths about mermaids for they have a tendency to take on the qualities of your own beliefs. See only the good and the positive and that is what a mermaid will reflect back at you.
see the Merman on Etsy
Mermaids are magical and can help you make your dreams come true if you believe. Take care though as they are selective about whom they let into their circle.
mermaid digital collages on kraft envelopes
Mermaids can be playful or spiteful. Be nice to them and they will return the favor 3 times over. I really enjoyed the creation of these mermaid collage kraft envelopes. I hope you enjoy their gorgeous, vibrant colors and the stories they have to tell as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

meet more mermaids on Etsy
Visit Le Charmed Life on Etsy to view the entire collection. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Hair Brained Idea Could Make You a Winner

I've been roused by the semi-recently certified aromatherapist in me to begin creating body products for enhancing well-being. The question I asked myself in January was how seriously did I want to take the nagging whisper inspiring me forward and what would it take for me to create an income stream from it?
Option A
The answer prompted me to start doing some reading about how to create a business plan which prompted further questions about such things as giving myself a name, figuring out how to narrow the focus of what I will offer and what will make me stand out from the sea of other manufacturers of handmade body products?

Option B
Kell Belle Studio is known for paper art so how do I go from blogging about paper to blogging about foot soak and sugar scrubs? The obvious answer: I don't, at least not on this blog. I realized that my paper art and digital design need to be kept separate from anything related to the development of body products, my interest in healing touch therapy and all things divinatory. See?! My focus is getting better already.
Option C
I gave a lot of thought to the naming of this new venture. It had to be broad enough to cover those related interests mentioned above yet still leave room for the business to grown and evolve. Even my color choices had to be significant in some way.
Option D
Yesterday I posted some samples of the new logo on the Kell Belle Studio Facebook fanpage and asked fans to vote for the one they liked the best with the promise that those who voted would be entered into a drawing to win one of my soap samples. You can still get in on the action. Cast your vote by leaving a comment. Drawing will be held next Saturday, March 7th.

Note: There an extra sample in this post, one of these is also the final and none of these is in the same order they appeared on Facebook. See if you can figure out which one is which. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Paper Heart Book Page Ornament

Now that the Christmas decorations have been tucked away, what's next? Would you believe Valentine's Day is only six short weeks away? My book page pumpkins were such a favorite with Etsy buyers and treasury makers that I expanded the idea into a heart ornament.

paper heart book page ornament - Le Charmed Life
I hear that those who are reluctant to say good bye to the yuletide holiday can now reduced their wait time between seasons from 12 months to 10 by transitioning the tree from Christmas to the Valentine's Day tree. I haven't quite embraced that concept but I do like the idea of ornaments so here's a little something I made that can be used as stand alone ornaments or made into a garland.

Check out Le Charmed Life on Etsy for other photos

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Leonardo, Kell Belle and a Magical Imaginarium

After spending nearly every free moment of the past year engaged almost exclusively in online shopping, I find myself ready to contemplate the next chapter of my life and what that will look like. With so many varied interests to pursue, I find the voice of social conformity screaming inside my head that it would be career suicide to appear too unfocused. How do I select and commit to just one? Thankfully, the answer is simple. I don't have to.

A Google search turned up an article written by Steve Pavlina titled "What If You Have Many Different Interests and Cannot Commit to Any of Them?"  Keeping my options open will not only make me smarter but it puts me in the same company as Leonardo Da Vinci, an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, military-engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer, and a shining example of someone who excelled in a variety of areas simultaneously.

I call BS on any rule or limiting belief that says I have to be a genius to pursue multiple interests at once especially if being engaged in those interests makes me feel more deliriously happy than having the life sucked out of me day after day in an over illuminated office surrounded by cement colored panels and living like an industrial worker drone.

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Da Vinci - Wikipedia
That said, I made one tiny adjustment to my blog header this past year to include the term "Imaginarium." This word beautifully encompasses all of my most cherished, creative endeavors leaving room for new additions while allowing for the falling away of those that no longer interest or serve me.

In addition to paper crafts, expect to see more posts on such topics (in no particular order) as natural beauty products, craft fairs, herbalism, essential oils, tarot, dolls, painting, mixed media art and digital design. This sounds like the most creatively fulfilling life I can imagine so I'm anxious to see how my transition to gypsy life takes shape this year.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Kell Belle Studio wishes you and yours a safe and happy new year!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Peppermint oil and the Bath; What you Should Know

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub. Sounds positively decadent, doesn't it? The product photo makes this sugar scrub look even sweeter than it sounds and what a tempting holiday idea too. I love everything about this . . . except (you knew that was coming) there are a few things you should know about using products in the bath that are made with peppermint essential oil.

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub Recipe
Firstly, not all essential oils are created equally so when someone claims to be using an essential oil like peppermint in their bath products, I would definitely raise a skeptical eyebrow. Peppermint oil in its pure, unadulterated form can be very skin irritating. Couple that with warm water and you've got a recipe for redness and burning that can quickly turn your bath or shower from a relaxing and therapeutic experience to one of downright misery.

Secondly, there are generally two types of oils used in handmade beauty products. The first is a fragrance oil, which may or may not cause skin irritation in the shower but it contains artificial and a potentially lethal cocktail of carcinogenic ingredients. The second is a pure essential oil and anyone versed in the responsible and therapeutic use of essential oils would never include peppermint as an ingredient in a bath product, period.

That said, how does your seller stack up? I guess you have to ask yourself if peppermint is worth what you might sacrifice in the way of comfort and health or whether or not you are willing to risk the chance that your seller understands the difference. For this reason, this certified aromatherapist says to just say no to peppermint in the bath.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Whipped Facial Butter Experience

Well, I did it. I made the most heavenly facial butter that mirrors the qualities of butter in nearly every way except the edible one. It's got a whipped frosting like consistency and literally melts the second it comes in contact with my fingers. The carrier oils used are very light, non greasy and absorb into the skin ever so nicely. If I do say so myself, this cream is nothing short of luxurious.

whipped facial butter wrinkle cream for mature skin
I learned a few things along the way. I only had about 75% of the shea butter needed to meet the requirements of my recipe so I substituted cocoa butter to make up the difference. My essential oil blend contains sweet orange and with the addition of the cocoa butter this cream smells like orange chocolate. The geranium essential oil gives this blend some slightly rosy undertones too. So pretty!

I used 4 ounces of carrier oils but after all the whipping and beating that went on, the recipe swelled up to yield about 6 ounces of cream, by volume of course. I will try this recipe again making sure I have enough of the ingredients first. Overall, I think this cream is a raging success. This is truly the most decadent body butter I've ever used and it doesn't contain all the chemicals found in commercially made products.

The next thing I'll do is test out my recipe to see how well it works. Reputable sources say not to expect noticeable results for at least 30 days. I'll take a before picture so I can see where I've come from in comparison to how I look at the end of 30 days. The facial butter wrinkle cream will be offered for sale in my Etsy shop.