Sylwia's minis

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A little update on the tree

I don't have yet my leaves to add but I made some delicious golden apples and glued onto branches. I'm not sure about leaves if they can be on apple tree but in miniature world we can be creative and free. I also put some apples into the basket (I half filled it with Paperclay) and left two which will just lay under the tree.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


So, I set up to this task with some mixed feelings but it's starting to look great.
I started with bunch of thinn wires (each consrtucted from 8 thinner ones), covered half of their lenght with Paperclay modelling main trunk. When it dried, I separated wires, shaping a lot of branches. Some separated completely, some only partially and in different points, also added few more to create more branches. I covered some of the branches with a little more of Paperclay to get thicker branches.
Than came very time-consuming and patience-demanging part. I mixed glue with water (half-half). Cutting small scraps of crepe paper, I dipped each piece in the mixture and than put it on the tree, covering this way as well main trunk as all the branches. On some I put more to get more twisted look. It's very painstacking job but the final effect, old tree, is great.
I painted my tree using few shades of brown, some green and gray and glued on leaves. The only thing missing now is more leaves as 100 hundred punched leaves isn't enough. I guess I need about 4 times more so I ordered them from Abby as she has nice and nonexpensive paper punches. I orderd them in few shades of green to give my tree more real like look. When it will be done, i will post picture of final effect. Those leaves stuck perfectly easy to the branches, just small blob of glue on on end , put it on tree and done!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Outhouse almost done

  1. My outhouse is almost done, the only thing missing now are hinges, I just have to wait for my order to come along with Chrysnobon kit for belly stove, This will be my first adventure with Chrysnobon kits, I'm very curious how it'll go.

    I weathered outhouse a little using dark green and charcoal gray paints in two ways: first as a wash, than some storkes with "dry brush". It doesn't look like it's sitting there forever, just for some time already. I also weathered inside as the doors are often open so the inside would get its share too.

    I made my toilet bowl (reminder: this outhouse was build by Bob himself in his garden and he just thougth it will be more practical to put there toilet bowl with whole in the bottom instead of regular wooden bench (works the same). I saw it few times myself so it's nothing strange and anyway that's miniature world! Anyway the I modelled it from air drying clay (Paperclay), sanded a little but not too much as I didn't want to smooth all the cracks. It's painted with acrylic paints: white and gray, than finished with great thing I just bought. It's glaze in spray by Krylon intended to make whatever material You have like ceramic and I think it worked great.
    Desk on top is made from Polymer Clay, the funny color is just an accedential as I had not used ball of different colors (don't remember what it was intended for, hehe) but I liked it for this. I also made the top for the desk but it will be lying somewhere around as it got broken (purposefully) and is not used by Bob anymore.

    The rest of added accessories: two magazines from printies, touched up with gray paint for some dirt and crumpled them a little; three rolls of fresh toilet tissue on the shelf made from real tissue and pieces of straw (very easy and effective) plus one on wire (this one is smaller as it was already used) plus some dirt on the floor like ground and a piece of tissue. That would be it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Outhouse on the go

My next small project for big garden is the outhouse. I already build it. Now it needs just attaching doors by hinges (which I need to purchase as during moving lost all supply of small hinges and nails), dirt it a little, add some touches like a bunch of newspapers, toilet tissues and toilet bowl or bench ( I didn't decide yet on that) so it will rest a while before finishing.

I made it according to plans I found in magazine (can supply a copy if someone's interested0. It took me almost all day as there is a lot of small pieces: planks and supports, each cut separately, sanded a little, stained, thatn sanded to make some of them to look older and weathered). I used charry finish from MinWax for staining and it worked great as I wanted not even cooloration. This stain needs to be mixed very well before each use to give its perfect chocolate almost color but if You use for some pieces not perfectly mixed stain from bottom of can and for some the thinner liquid from the top, You will get different shades. I also didn't left them to dry, just paint with finish and blot any excess with clothe so the color is not too intensive.

The planks aren't perfectly even but I guess for outhouse it's even better as it is supposed to be roughly build, very often by people themselves woithouth any craftsman help.

Monday, September 11, 2006

First steps to new project

Every time I start new project I begin with small bits and pieces to ude into it, than make main structure and having dimensions and general idea, I can make more pieces.
So, this time, along with making small pieces from printies like books, packs of soil and etc (yeah! it will be a garden with trailer adapted to gardening shed), I made already three bigger things.

First, I made hydragenas from Polymer Clay and it was really chalenging. That was my first attempt to make so complicated plant from clay. I adapted project from booklet which was intended for bread dough but I feel more comfortable working with Polymer Clay. And it worked really nice.
I made half balls as bases for flowers, push into it green cloth covered wire (first a blob of liquid clay, in this case TLS). Also covered rounded side of base with TLS, cut small flowers from very thinn rolled clay with cutter, shape them a little to make them look more 3D by pushing the middle with ball tool and put them onto base, close one to the other as much as possible. Bake. From green clap, rolled thinn cut small leaves, make some veines with knife and bake. In order to glue leaves onto stems (that cloth covered wire attached to flowers), I cut in each leaf small traingle at the base, put some glue and puch wire into this whole, keep it a moment. By the way, it's best to have a piece of styrofoam or something similar, handy so You can put each flower into it for stability when gluing flowers and than leaves.

By the way, I learned one thing and hard way. In some projects You can read that it's good to put Your clay pieces on crumpled foil to avoid shiny sides from sticking to tile. Yep, but don't do it when using toaster oven. My yellow flowers got burned after just 4 minutes at 275F when normally it needs about 20 minutes to bake. Foil makes it bake so quickly! It's difficult to decide how long as it can burn in seconds. Luckily they were also baked already and I catch it up before they got burned completely so they just have some parts brownish. I solved it by painting whole flowers with another shade of yellow and than brushing it with a little of orange and final effect is quite nice. I used dry brushing also to add shades for another flowers.

I made two planters from terracotta colored clay by rolling it thinn (using pasta machine), cutting two circkles with round cutter, then long strips which I embossed with special embossing pin, than glued it around circkles using TLS and baked. I filled those planters as well as two ceramic ones painted with two shades of brown and crackling medium, with air drying clay (first put into them some glue to ensure the clay will not get loose after drying. On top I painted generous layer of glue mixed with brown paint, I sprinkled it with dried tea leaves. Than I pushed flowers into it before drying.

Than I made wishing well. It is supposed to be non-working anymore well so it's covered. But it will add a lot of interest to the garden. I cut cirkle from cardstock and glue on top of it piece of roll from inside of paper towells. When it dried, I build around it with Plaster of paris and as much stones as I could put there. When it dried I painted it with wash of gray paint, trying to avoid stones but some touched up to look like old. I made cover from scraps of balsawood, cut not perfectly even and stained them with Early American (it gives the wood very suitable color of old wood) and touched them with a little of gray wash (not too much, the best is to dry it with clothe after a moment so they don't turn gray, just a hint of dirt and weathering), sanded in places to make it looked aged. I glued together few planks, than glued on top two narrower strips, I painted with silver pen small nails. Glued the cover to the well.

The last of those projects and the most succesful in my eye, it's rabbit hutch. I made it using project from Dolls House and Miniature Scene, I had few problems with gluing it together as instructions weren't perfect but I managed it by trial and error method. All pieces were first cut and weathered the same method as cover for the well, than glued parts and fitted them together. I used piece of fabric canvas for mesh in the door. I made bed from short cut pieces of raffia. Added some slices of carrot (I had them at hand as I was making a lt of dishes with carrots lately) and of course rabbits. Water bottle is made from wooden milk bottle painted blue, adde wire loop, drinking stra from piece of cloth covered wire and glued into frame of door with straw pushed into canvas. Honestly it came out so cute I was suprised I made it myself! It took about 4,5 hours.

Added later: This afternoon I made adirondak chair for my gardener. I made it with a project from magazine and it came amazingly nice as I'm not great with wood. It took me about 3 hours to make it starting with cutting all the pieces, sanding and staining them (with Schellac, what a wonderful color it gives!) and assembling.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Front garden

Along with decorating surroundings of the house with plants and flowers I created small garden at the front. Name of the store is paintedon wooden plaque in shape of tea-pot. At the porch there is a dog waiting for one of the customers. Doors and shutters are decorated with rubb-on decalls and painted with laquer for preservation. there is short path leading to the steps (it's again sample from home decorating store, this time sample of roof covering material). I covered rest of the base with sheet of grass.

I used some plastic aquarium plants and silk flowers to create this garden. I also put here small pond made of fish-shaped ceramic dish filled with small stones from Polymer and some foliage and with scenic water. There is small bird sitting on the edge of the pond. There is also big orchidea at piece of wood which i bought and You can find small turtle near to it. I added some foliage in different shapes and shades. At the front there are two flower beads I made myself from airdrying clay covered with tea-leaves and decorated with some Polymer stones. I planted there carnation I made from crepe paper and paper covered wire plus some pastels, hair spray and pieces of floral tape. At the porch there are two hanging baskets made by me from bottle caps covered with canvas and painted, than attached to the wire and filled with some clay, than glued some lichen and paper punched flowers. those flowers I used also to make false flower boxes by gluing some foliage to the bottom window trimmings.
Making the base from thick styrofoam made easier attaching the plants, especially ones difficult to glue on, I just used some small nails.

Living room

This living room is not real living quater. Its purpose is mainly to be a place for meetings with some bussiness partners. So it's plain and elegant. But bertha sometimes stays here for night like when she has her bills to fill up. You can see here her love for cats as along with their bed she has also some plates decorated with cats on wall. Lamp is made from big, half marble and jewelry finding. Floor is covered with faux suede paper. There is just few accessories filling this room. Some vases and books at the cabinet, big flower, cat's (yes!) porcelain statue, On the table You can see some books and newspapers, candles and carafe with glasses on the tray (carafe needs to be filled after last visitor), basket (made from Polymer base, wires and embroidery floss to look like wicker, decorated with ribbon on top) filled with nice smelling soaps and seashells. ON the lkeather couch there are pillows and Bertha's handbag and hat. So, the place is elegant and simple. No mess really as she can expect someone every now and than.