Miniature Pies and a Poppy Necklace

The last couple days I took a much needed break from festival preparation. July 16 was my sister Bethanne's birthday, so I put aside my decor projects and began work on a poppy necklace. And then for the special day I made miniature wild blackberry pies - no not polymer! Real pies - real pies made small, or as my brother Michael calls them - blackberry pielets.

The pielets and the poppy necklace.

Nine blackberry pielets - wild blackberries with sugar over a French vanilla cream, piled high into homemade pastries and topped with brown sugar sprinkled cookies. Do you want one? They're gone - every single one!

Here are a few photos of the necklace. I sculpted it using a brown clay and then added a bit of paint and a wash - just enough to highlight the details. It hangs from multiple strands of forest green thread (which I thought added a nice natural grassy look) and closes with an antiqued brass clasp.

With all the preparation for the Lazy Daze Festival I haven't had any time for jewelry, so making this gift was a lot of fun for me - and Bethanne really enjoyed it - after all, poppies are one of her favorite flowers.

As usual I took some photos of the process:

I started with a flat oval, slightly doomed in the center. Then I added snakes for the stem and leaves. I lightly press the leaf snakes down and they're ready for the feathers.

Here I've added feathers to the leaves. I do this by pushing my upholstery needle down through the edges just far enough to reach the background.

Making the petals. I form a flattened round and add grooves on both sides - carefully on the reverse side so not to smash the front.

Adding the petals.

Making the stamens. They were a bit tricky to get into the poppy - I used my upholstery needle to nudge them into place. (I think it must be my most used tool - it's just the right size for nearly everything and it's great because it doesn't have a long handle so I don't have to worry about dropping it on my projects and smashing something I just spent hours making.)

I add a bit of texture - bumps and holes - and it's off to the oven.

…My break is over and I'm back to work today making more clay pictures. My Country Sunrise just came out of the oven and I'm off to make a tree blooming with bleeding hearts and then I'll be making a strawberry patch for another clay picture. I'll post photos shortly…

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