Thursday, August 10, 2017


Hello lovelies and welcome to my blog! Some of you may know about my mini top hat obsession. I wanted to challenge myself even further and add a more prominent sculpt to a hat. I set about creating Octopoda! Hope you enjoy because this was by far the most fun I have had designing a top hat! When I make these hats I am a Mad Hattress Maven, hence the new copyright.
I started with the usual foam template and glued everything together. Then I set about using my new Finnabair Patina pastes! These pastes are awesome and dry super fast! Two of the paints have texture included in it. I just added color where I wanted it and the texture was an added bonus!

I used the brass color last instead of first like some people do. I always seem to do things backward. Haha! I added the pastes with my fingers and also with some different brushes. Then the pastes got a dusting of Artisan powder-La Chapelier. This added a nice grunge to the hat. 
I then grabbed some random metal pendants and pieces and coated those with the same pastes and powders. Everything looks like it goes together well but all were painted differently. Then I started on the sculpt of the octopus. I have never tried this before and was overwhelmed.. 
I ended up watching multiple YouTube videos about sculpting an octopus and came across a video by Stephanie Kilgast that helped immensely! I was then able to to begin my sculpt and just have a good play with the clay. The legs took forever because I kept breaking the darn things off! Oops. I realized I was making my legs way too small! Haha! The little suction cups took a lifetime to create, well it seemed like a lifetime and my fingers were sore. Next time I may try some beads instead. 
The octopus was painted with Finnabair Art Alchemy paints-Metallic Mermaid and Deep Water. I kept layering the colors until I was happy. I added some white dots around the head of the octopus because it looked good to me and helped define the head. 
Top of the hat
All of the trinkets and tid bits you see were altered (painted) with the patina pastes and artisan powders. The netting was leftover from a project I did about a year ago. The shells are real and are a gift from a friend of mine. I also added some "pearls' and blue "bubbles"
Side view of the hat
The pictures of this hat really don't capture the essence of the piece, but I am probably my own worst critic. Aren't we all? Every time I look at this design I am surprised to say that I MADE this piece! 
Back of the hat
The back of the hat shows more of the netting and adds a nice texture as well. I think the netting was what made me decide to create a sea themed design. 
The octopus
A closer look at the octopus. It was a doozy creating those legs but in the end, the effort was totally worth it and then some! Those little suctions are awesome sauce and little devils as well.
Side view of the octopus
Can you see the little white dots that help to define the head of this octopus? I also added some to his body as well and then painted a light coat of the Metallic Mermaid over the dots so it wasn't such a stark contrast.
Top side view of the octopus
Do enjoy the journey and stop to learn from different artists. I so enjoy seeing what others are making and different ways to incorporate new ideas into my designs! Hugz and Carpe Diem!

I would like to share this design with these challenges:

Mixed Media Place July Challenge-Moodboard
I was inspired by the ocean and the quote. 

I have been reading the Shade series (a total of 45 books) and they talk about these evil mermaids
that live in the sea and have sea pets. This octopus looks like one of their pets. 

I was inspired by the gears and overall Steampunk vibe of this board. 


  1. Gorgeous piece, love the colours, have fun! Hugs, Valerie

  2. Oh, my word, Punkin'! Where do I start with this?! What an amazing creation, and one that will be scooped up from your Etsy shop in minutes! That patina on your hat is gorgeous, and I never would have thought you had crafted that octopus by hand! It looks so life like (well, I guess; I've never actually seen one!) Bravo on sculpting that little guy! I could gush all day over this! Thank you so much for entering this into my 'Read Any Good Books Lately' challenge at Frilly and Funkie and for letting us know how it ties into the book theme. Sending great big hugs your way!

    1. Oh, I am SO excited to see your hat in our winner's spot at Frilly and Funkie! What creativity you have for making these fabulous hats! I can tell you have so much fun creating every one of them! Can't wait to see what you will make as our Guest Designer! Sending great big hugs!

  3. It's just incredible Niki! The colors are so rich and intriguing and that octopus is absolutely amazing! You are a marvelous hatmaker and I'm so excited about your new Etsy venture. Best wishes! Hugs, Autumn

    1. Niki, I am just so happy to see this fabulous creation as our winner at Frilly & Funkie! You are marvelously creative and I know you are right in your element making these hats, which shows clearly through the beauty and detail of each one. Have a great week my friend! Hugs, Autumn

  4. Wow, this is amazing, Niki!! I am in total awe!! The colors you created on the hat are stunning!! But oh my, the octopus is spectacular!! It was worth the time it took to create!! This is phenomenal, my friend and I know it will be snapped right up in your Etsy store!! Have a great weekend!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  5. Stunning! Just absolutely stunning! xx

  6. I just want to write the word WOW a hundred times Niki.... this is out of this world fabulous!!! I know what you mean about the octopus tentacles and suckers, I ended up using beads but your hand crafted ones are superb! The detail on your mini hat is incredible and you really are the 'Mad Hattress Maven' indeed. LOVE THIS creation!!!! Big hugs, Red xxx

  7. Fabulous and brilliant Nikki, your octopus is fantastic!!!
    Love your cool idea!! Many thanks for sharing with us at SanDee& Amelies Summer Special Steampunk Challenge!

  8. Punkalicious!! You make the most awesome top hats Niki! I totally love the name you gave this one - Octopoda!!! Brilliant! and what a fabulous blue octopus it is! Awesome project!! Thanks for sharing it with us at SASPC!! hugs, Maura

  9. Wow an amazing project, loving your octopus so cool.
    Julie x

  10. Simply incredible! Your sculpted octopus is a true work of art, and he looks magnificent perched on the fabulous topper. My nephew would go nuts for this - squid and octopuses are his favourite thing in the world. Genius!
    Alison x

  11. woha joliment habillé d'une belle pieuvre , belle inspiration
    merci de jouer pour Sandee & Amelie's , à bientôt NATE

  12. Wow wow wow I'm in love. A big thank you for always participating in the challenge of Mixed Media Place and mma

  13. This is one of your absolute best hats. The octopus is fantastic and I love how you have added netting and other sea-themed embellishments to go with him. Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie.

  14. WOWSERS . . . Fabulous project, full of detail, colour & texture. Many thanks for joining in with Love 2 Create Challenges 'Anything Goes' challenge. Lou (DT L2CC)

  15. WOW! Fantastic project!
    Thank You for joining us at Mixed Media & Art :-)

  16. Amazing project - BRAVO!
    Congrats for your WIN too
    We have an interesting topic - THE ABYSS
    I hope you make a new marine project and rejoice with it here -

  17. Oh, it's very cool! Thank you for playing with Mixed Media & Art!

  18. wowwww!
    such a creative project!
    thanks for playing with us at MMP!

  19. This is amazing project!
    Thank you for playing with Мастерская СКРАПШТАМПИНГ!

  20. What an amazing and great work. The hat is wonderful and has a very special fantastic ocean climate! The making of is fascinating :)!

    Regards - Senna