Sculpya the ugly ballerina

hand-me-down jewelry box

The kids I babysit have wonderful things and every once in a while they hand-me-down them to Bug. We end up with all sorts of designer clothes, board games with missing pieces, half worked-through workbooks, knick knacks and odds and ends. It’s a nice perk.

Some of the things are junk like a plastic crown that says “Irish Princess” with tacky green clovers all over it. Bug wore that silly crown every day for a week until she finally broke it while trying to wear it on her leg for some reason. Another treasure is an old music box that is covered in stickers and the ballerina is missing from inside it. Normal people would probably drop these gently-worn gifts off at a thrift store but Bug fell in love with it and begged me to make a new ballerina for it.

I hemmed and hawed over how to make a tiny ballerina. I thought maybe a pipe-cleaner and some tulle would do the trick but I couldn’t quite work it out. Then I remembered this book we read a while back about a cat who wouldn’t come inside. I was quite inspired by the Super Sculpy figurines and at the back of the book the artist has a nice write up explaining how she created the scenes. It’s brilliant.

I thought I might try this with a ballerina!

Princess Sculpya

It was a little rough-going. Obviously I need to work on my fine-sculpting skills. But it was fun and delightfully easy to paint. Her face needs some lip reduction but Bug loves her.


And best of all, she twirls to the music when wound up. We haven’t quite figured out how to get the box to close without cracking her in half yet but we’re working on it. I’m thinking there might be a series of Sculpy ballerinas in my future.

Summer Citronella Candles!

citronella candle

I’m really proud of this craft. It turned out super sweet. But I have to admit I had a pretty big flop before I got it right.

I did not know that you can’t just walk down the craft store aisle and buy any old wax and and wicking to go with it. You NEED TO READ the package. Because candle-making is a science and not just any old wick goes with any old wax! Who knew! I did this whole candle-making batch, the colors were perfect, I was so excited that I had finally invented another craft of the snow globe soap magnitude and guess what….


place setting

The candles sputtered, sparked and went out cold. I fumed. They were so pretty and yet completely and utterly useless. I couldn’t even gift them. And it’s not like I can just put up the photos and hope people are not like me and do follow directions. I had to re-do it because what if no other wicks worked and it was all a complete flop?!! The last thing I need is a passel of angry crafters after me.

(wicks pictured here are the wrong kind, they stick up straight because they are waxed wire wicks, not the soft flat braided wicks)

Thankfully, praisethelordhallelujah, the new braided wicking worked just fine. The second batch, though not quite as red (don’t skimp on the red crayons!) and photogenic as the first batch, turned out perfectly and burned just fine. And that is how I bring to you my latest craft at Alpha+Mom.

patriotic pastels

Crafting: It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it.