Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween- Eye Candy

Halloween Food table made with Dollar tree items and things around the house.  NO FIMO.  Fun and easy.  I will post the How To on another day.  The picture editing and blog take about a day to get published.  I thought I would post the pictures while still Halloween so if you wanted to rush out to Dollar Tree for some of these items  they will be half off tomorrow.

Back side of table.  Top of table is a lid from Coffin  treat boxes at Dollar Tree.  Skeleton is from  Dollar Tree  

Dollar Tree pencil erasers for yellow, while, and orange cheese on tray.  Cookies in the front are cut from a very large rainbow eraser from Dollar Tree.  The lunch meat in orange and pink are erasers, the turkey cuts are from small corks from Dollar Tree.  These were the Halloween pencils and have about 4 colors in each pack.  Don't throw the metal eraser holder away, we will use them for worm cans.  

Close up of top of table.  The coffin shaped dish on the bottom is from grease paint for Halloween makeup.  Found at a discount store with about 8 of these in different sizes.  Makes great food containers.  This has Po-ta-TOE salad in it.  Cumin seeds are the toes.
This was the greatest find at Dollar Tree.  I did not notice them for weeks.  A small Bag marked Zombie on it interspersed in with the children's costume items.  14 plastic Zombies that could be painted.  Very detailed.  I like the grave stones and animal skeletons.   Each figure is about 2 inches high.

The Dollar Tree items in this Fall picture are the slotted metal around the round tea light container that the pumpkins are setting in.  The handles are from plastic Baby carriages in the baby aisle.  Raffia ribbon are what the corn stalks are made of.

This is the best Dollar Tree find.  She has been redressed with a sheer piece of material and sealed with bunka.  I wigged her and repainted her buckle and her facial features..  The material is shear enough that the motion sensor still works.  There are batteries in side and she shrieks with motion and lights flash.

These are  Dollar Tree handles  from a pumpkin carving kit.  Repainted and decorated for porch ornaments. 
I will in the next few days give the How- to's for all the above items.  I enjoyed coming up with all the ideas, the time just got away from me as I was working on other projects and realized today was Halloween.

One of my other projects  for my Daughter was a little time consuming but lots of fun.  A paper mache bowl was made over a large exercise ball.  Painted and a small table was put in the inside.  The colorful circles are pool noodles  used in the swimming pool sliced in circles to look like ceral.  Fruit loops I believe. A large cardboard spoon covered in foil is in the back.  A set of straps goes over the shoulders and dressed in white she is a bowl of cereal.  To seal off the top edges I cut circles from scrap book paper and glued to seal off.  I tried ribbon but it needed to be cut on the bias so it had to be small enough paper circles to conform to the curve.

This is the first coat of paint on my Grand pups paintings that I am painting in the Vermeer style.  I choose an old Dictionary from 1942 with the pages already aged.  On each page that was  glued onto the board has their name on it somewhere.    The brown edging is Alcohol ink pads in vintage picture by Tim Holtz.  Before they are done there will be about 9 applications of paint and resin clear coat applied before they look like a photo graph.  This is a very slow process to paint a picture, using very thin coats of paint.  There is no texture to the painting.  When these are done I want to start experimenting with tiny Primitive portraits for miniature scences.  One of the most exciting things I learned in this process is how to draw a picture to look just like another existing picture by using a grid transfer. It looks just like the original.  Never knew how to do that.  I think it was well worth my time and money for this one. Old dogs can still learn new tricks!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Log Cabin Redo and other interesting tidbits



Remake of log cabin birdhouse  before pictures below
Side of Cabin remake  with added cedar singles borrowed from a doll house kit still waiting to be assembled

Back side of Cabin .  This cabin size is about 12" high and 8" wide.  The front porch was made of large Popsicle sticks that were aged, scraped with  a wire brush and then antiqued with watered down paint.  When dry an emery board was used to sand and wear off the edges.  

Paper clay is what was used to fill in the cracks.  This is smooth clay and ready to go.  It takes very little and a wire brush was used to give the look of cement for texture.  It drys very fast so small amounts at a time out of the pack and the rest in a plastic bag or container.  Dries overnight and the color is a white color.  Can be painted when dry with acrylic paints.

Here is the before picture with the porch removed.  It fell off actually.  I scraped off some of the bark that was falling off, filled with Paper clay and when dry used Mod-Podge matte all over.  It brought the wood back to life.

The roof detail before shingles.  It was fortunate that the wood was very close together. Glue was inserted  in each groove before putting the paper clay into the grooves.  Then was stomped with my texture tool.  Before it was dry a wet sponge was used to  remove any clay that got onto the logs.

Here is another log cabin found at the Goodwill pound store.  These are popping up all over the place  Now that I know what can be done with them, I will continue to adopt them.  This one the grooves are a little bigger between each other and the roof is crossed at the top plus coming down over the door.  These will go  on my mantle piece over the fire place

My 4th great Grandfather was the first settler in this township and he built a log cabin probably  just as crude as the one above.  Before 1803 when Ohio became a state.
What do these 3 things have in common?  The baby buggy gave birth to 3 other Tutorials in the making.

I needed a set of industrial wheels.  I cut the wheels off the baby buggy and glued a long heavy cardboard sticker cut to size around the wheel.  It sticks out about 1/8" on either side.  Painted black it looks industrial.  


This future planter tutorial needed handles on the sides.  After bending wire of all kinds and trying to get that to stick, the baby buggy had just the right handle for this project.  I needed to destroy 2 buggy's for this one.  Dollar tree has them in packs of 4 now.  Used to be 6 to a pack.  The basket portion will be used in another tutorial.

This is the final week for my painting class at the Art Museum.  Six weeks I have been working on this egg in the Flemish technique.   Too bad my picture isn't as good as it is in real life.  It looks like a piece of glass is on it already due to the Resin medium used to paint with.    Vermeer is one of the artists in the 16th century.  He is famous for the Girl with the Pearl earring.  I enjoyed this technique very much and is quite different from any oil technique  learned so far in my art education.  This picture is 5"x7" in size




Thursday, October 19, 2017

Crooked Stick Lane 1/4" scale house-I am not imtimidated anymore!

A kit in 1/4" scale from Suzanne and Andrew's Miniatures

I picked this one up at the Seattle NAME Convention in 2010 or 2011 and hand carried back on the plane only to put it in the closet and never look at it again.  This scale intimidated me greatly but I wanted to try it.  The fear made me put it off until just last week.  I felt fearless and still quite upset about the pain in my right side.  I needed a diversion to immerse myself in to take my mind off the pain.  It took a lot of chocolate, coffee, and more than a few rides on the bike,  but it finally is finished after a week.  This class was a 3 day class, and I could see it would be quite intense to finish it all in that time.  I did not take the class at the convention but purchased the kit.

Back side of Crooked-Stick Lane house  Upon completion of this kit, I discovered it was not all that different than putting a furniture kit together in 1/12" scale.  In fact the house was bigger than a furniture kit.  It went along quite swimmingly, I am not intimidated by 1/4" anymore.  Next will be the landscaping and furniture but that's perhaps next month. 

This is the front page of the instruction booklet
www.andrewsmini.com   I am a learn by doing type person so the instuction booklet was quite intimidating.  I have to admit reading and understanding are separate things.  I read and reread and after making  what was a mistake, disassembling and cleaning the glue off, going back and rereading the instructions it then made sense to me.
Check out the above website, they have some wonderful kits and smaller scales.  They are usually at the major miniature shows.  They also have an old Women Shoe kit, dicovered that in the closet too.  I don't know where I purchased that one.

Something new I have never used was Paperclay.  I like this stuff.  It was used in the chimney and around the porch on the sole of the shoe.  It is soft and pliable but dries very quickly.  I used the balance of the open package on a log cabin that I will be blogging about soon.

 The two metal sheets in the back with the blue ends I found at Harbor Freight.  There are 4 different sizes in this and I found these to be very valuable in my construction of this kit.  Magnets bond to the metal and sections could be constructed and then moved to the side to start on another part.  I used these to roll out the clay and with the aid of one of the smaller ones scooped up the items off the sheet.  There is also a straight edge on the blue side with a lip that is useful for butting glued items against and securing with a magnet.

I found this item at the thrift store.  It is used for play dough from a generic play set.  It is no bigger than my hand, even the handle has mold impressions on both sides.  This will be used  for Fimo molds for cakes.  They are so tiny.  It doesn't take much  for me to get excited and overjoyed about something.  No finer gift for myself.  

I picked this book up at the library.  Another time I  picked up one by this author about moss gardening in mini terrariums, but cannot verify for sure.  The author is Terutoshi Iwai.  Miniature Bonsai-The complete guide to super mini Bonsai.  This is inspiration just to peruse this book.  As you see from the pots being held up on the cover, all are fingertip size,  thimbles are used as well as other small pots.  This would be a good use for all the  Barbie items that could be used as pots.  I will have to get to my potters wheel and spin a few small ones to make a few Bonsai containers. This has always  intrigued me on how this is done.  Excellent book and guide for anyone interested.  I have picked up over the years containers that look like green houses at thrift shops, hoping to make them in miniature greenhouses.  The only thing holding me back is the amount of time and how many mini plants I would have to make out of paper.  This might be the solution.

The Mermaid Chair  by Sue Monk Kidd.  This author also wrote the  Secret  Life of Bees. This one was on the shelf from a bag sale and decided to read it.  All I can say is I could not put it down.  I started reading at 4 and finished it by 8.  It has a lot of twists and turns and thoroughly enjoyed this one.   I promised myself not to give the plot away.  This one should be made into a movie!  Although I am sure there are reasons it will never be.  

If you like Halloween here is a  site to share on You Tube.  This project is miniature but the rest of his ideas are not.  This guy is really into Halloween and I enjoyed watching all his videos for inspiration and ideas.  The one to look for is the Mummified fairy and sprite specimen using Dollar Tree skeletons and plastic wrap shrunk with heat gun.  Fantastic.  Go to search on You Tube and type in Monster tutorials.  


Another You Tube that has a lot of ideas for miniatures made from practically nothing.  Junk to Fun. There about 20 videos total.   The one I really liked was the Green house made out of stir sticks and Popsicle sticks and clear packing material.

Wishing Well Workshop   You Tube    Fimo vintage looking pumpkins and plastic canes.  She also makes stained glass using alcohol inks on shrink plastic.  Very informative and maybe a mini tutorial will come from that inspiration.

After a week of darkness and rain, the sun has finally came back out.  The temp is quite chilly and the first frost was last week.  I listened to my intuition telling me to get those plants inside the house on the very day of the night we got a heavy frost.  Some times it pays to pay attention to the one that counts -Yourself.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Halloween- How to Dollar Tree and Michael's finds and gumball machine dogs in disquise

Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil altered skeletons can now Live, Love and Laugh on bases found at my local Dollar Tree in the candle area.  The skeletons were a tutorial at the end of September 2017

This is what they look like with the flowers on them which got removed right away by pliers.

These are made of resin and about 2 inches high.

I first painted them all black using acrylic paint

I used the darker patio paint by DecoArt first and dry brushed over the top of black.  Dry brushing for you that might not know is done by putting the paint on your brush and then wiping the majority of it off and applying the color to enhance the black underneath.  After I used a lighter patio paint color and dry brushed in spots here and there on the bases.  The final dry brush was done in white just in the areas that rain and weather would hit the most.  That's it.  I then hot glued the skeletons on top using a half round of a mini Styrofoam ball first and then the hip bones had something to stick on to.

This little wood treasure  was found at Michael's in the bins by the door.  It is just the right size for a pirates chest or a travel chest.  $1.00.  They had several other styles but this is the only one that would be miniature.  They also had lots of styles of wood coffins in the bins at $1.00 that would fit into 1/12" scale Halloween theme.  I plan on making the indents with wood stripes or leather with lots of metal brick brack and fancy embossed scrap book paper.  That will be another tutorial another day.


This was found at Michael's also in bins at the scrapbook area.  $1.00 marked down from $2.00.  The Round colored stickers are sturdy and have several sheets in them.  Paper plates?  The round and triangular tags in the back are heavy card stock and have galvanized tin look to them.  This will make buckets, kitchenware, lots of possibilities.

Dollar Tree  9 piece carving set.  Look at the handles of the knife and scoop


Cut the handles off and you have stacked pumpkins for the door.  I will finish these off in a future blog.


Michael's the best find ever.  These are legs in the Wilton area and are used for Candy apples as sticks.  The lines in the stockings do not show but they are striped.  12 to a package and just right for mini decorating like the legs in the black kettle in the back.  I will finish these off as well in a future  blog.  Found my red glittered nail polish and will make The witch from Oz legs for in the kettle or under the bushes in a mini scene.  They also have a set of bones stacked one on top of each other and a long twig with bark like wood indented into them.  They could be used for brooms or canes.
This is the best find ever.  I got these in the outside lobby of Dollar Tree in a gum ball machine.  Dogs in Disguise they are called and there are 18 possible ones to get.  Cute and nicely painted.  I repeat Dollar tree was not selling these but in the lobby outside in a gumball machine.  Just the right size for 1/12" decorating and just in time for Halloween.  .75 cents a pop plus the plastic container that makes great hair dryer hoods.  The round container is the hood and the lid is the base of the seat on the dryer.  

This is the greatest thrift shop find ever.  .75 cents for the two combined.  The broach will go into my Daisy hill remake and the clock is mini and will go on a mantle.  Works with tiny round battery.

Yesterday was just a beautiful fall day outside and I decided to take a road trip.  A local church was  having a rummage sale and it was on the way out.  Wow!  Boxes and boxes of lace and material, books,  craft supplies, vintage clothes which I got just for the materials in them.  I found  a large shabby Chic shelve for behind the toilet with legs that I am going to remake in miniature using bead board just like on the large size.  There was all kinds of kid leather gloves and wallets for .25 cents each for use in  miniature luggage.  All total  I spent  8.00 and got a ton of stuff.  I did not see the 3 crock pots in one long container for $1.00.  Would have come in handy  and only needed  one plug in for it.  Someone was carrying it out.  

After wards I went to the pound store and the most exciting thing happened.  I was looking at a box of brand new patterns and the 18" doll patterns kept showing up.  I was so excited about that and a woman was ready to leave and decided she was going to go thru her cart and downsize its contents.  She chose to do that right next to me.  Guess what she got rid of?  Doll furniture in bags.  What?  I grabbed them as fast as she threw them out while saying are you sure you want to get rid of these.  One bag held the original 1970's Horschman rubber play dolls that I once had a set off.  The rest of the furniture was Shack man, early 1970's as well. 

The best things other than the furniture and patterns were a string of clear Crystal beads on a wire as a Christmas tree  garland. Torn apart I can make miniature perfume bottles.  A bag of glass bowls in every color just right for miniatures.  I think these are for the neck of wine bottles or perhaps wine glasses.  A very large piece of elegant bridal white embroidered cloth, 2 like new American Girl Dolls and a complete set of American country books printed by Time life.  Each of these was .25 cents each.  Look for these at your local library or resale shop.  Even though these are large size topics they are  wonderful reference books for miniatures.  Each book is a different topic.  Pottery, County style, County kitchens, Country Gardens , primitives, quilts.  I think 12 in total, I have a few others in my library already about 1990 is the print date.  Lots of pictures in color and lots of inspiration.  I will put these away until the long evenings of fall and winter and peruse them in detail.

My grand total was $8.00 there as well.  I got some fall items for decorating.  Its sad to think that this stuff is getting thrown away if it does not sell.  

On the way home I happened to go by the house that I got the Daisy hill remake Dollhouse.  It was originally painted blue and white with a blue roof just like the doll house.  The large house had been for sale for a very long time and someone bought it and flipped it and now its is for sale again.   They painted it in the same colors that the dollhouse was repainted as.  Now that's incredible, and a wise choice if I must say so myself.  I promise I will return to the house and the Shabby Chic furniture as soon as I get rid of  the Halloween decoration bug.  If you click on my archives for each year about September and October you will find many other Halloween projects and printables for Halloween.

I have only one recommendation for you today.  My daughter and I could not believe how good this recipe is.  On Pinterest , search for black bean muffins.  No sugar, no gluten flour, just black beans, honey, oatmeal, eggs, chocolate powder  and chocolate chips.

They are even better the next day and freeze quite well if you can get them there.   Not a vegetable lover, I could eat these every day for breakfast.  I threw everything into the blender, except for the chocolate chips .  These are better than any chocolate cupcakes.  I threw in a scoop of chocolate protein powder just to be extra healthy.  I will be making these again.

Also we tried the cloud bread, gluten free made with eggs high in protein.  Excellent and toasts well.  I decided to get out of my comfort zone on food and I am glad I did.