Thursday, November 26, 2009

American Thanksgiving

Tom turkey, punkin pie, football and reving up for "black Friday"shopping!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Chris from Canada wrote:
I live near a 4-way stop where drivers unfamiliar with the street frequently miss the stop signs so there always seems to be bits of shatterproof glass and plastic signal cover laying around.
I fell in love with a lovely RL planter-bench combo last December at a hotel in Cuba, made using broken pieces of glass, mirror, rigid plastic and ceramic tile, all embedded in mortar to form a mosaic pattern over an old concrete bench and a piece of cement sewer pipe.
I now collect these treasures when I find them and after washing, they go into a biscuit tin. So far I have only used them for a 1:12 planter made from a hairspray top I covered in paperclay, but it was so easy to do that I want to try it for a bench and maybe even as a surface on a walkway for a garden set in the tropics.

Wooden Plugs

Marjorie Wannamaker wrote:
Wooden plugs are used by carpenters to cover the head of screws in furniture items. They are inserted into the hole where the screw went in and you only see wood. They can be stained to the correct color of the wood, or painted.
These little wooden plugs come in a variety of sizes; I used the small ones, about 1/4 inch diameter, in two ways.
  • In qtr scale, set the plug on the flat side (the side that would fit into the hole) and use it as a wooden oak barrel planter. I like to stain them, draw with perm pen the "metal" bands and then either drill into them to set a plant or just cover the top with landscaping material. I've made some adorable geraniums in oak barrels for one of my qtr scale houses.
  • Set the flat side on a platter, ice them and use them as large cupcakes.
Fun and easy.

Crooked House

Sue wrote:
I've been working on the garden for my Crooked House and here are the updated photos:

The base was covered with 1" deep insulation foam so I could dig down for the pond. The first three photos show the pond that has been made with paperclay, the hard standing for the greenhouse and the stepping stones. Then I covered all the soil area with staysoft and then glued on the brown railway gravel I use for soil.

I then spent probably about four days making the crooked greenhouse. I so need to get a life LOL. As you can see from later photos, the roof lifts off. It's all very fragile and you look at it and a bit pops off, so I needed to be able to get to the inside without having to reach in the doorway, plus the roof needed a bit more support, so I attached it to the central colum. It's made from twigs glued straight onto the perpex and fixed onto a plywood base. Of the ten windows no two are the same. And I've grunged up the windows too.

The fence panels are temporarily wired on for now, I'm can be clumsy and I wanted to be able to remove them when I plant anything.

All the plants I've made from cold porcelain using Diane Harfield's cutters.

All the birds I bought from and these and the plant pots are the only things I didn't make myself.

So you can see I still have a bit of work to do ;0). The next thing will be to paint my fishes and make the bulrushes and water iris so that I can put the water in the pond.

Then I'm going to have to make a few plants, a bird table and a few other bits and bobs.

Oh, and sculpt my witch :0).

Sue from Garstang, UK

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Trashy Vanity Set

The vanity is made from mounting board from a friends framing shop, while the base (covered) is made from foam from my new toaster. The chair is made from a formula bottle top from my grandson, an old file and covered in material from a previous quilting project. The candle stick is an old bead with a painted toothpick and the feathers on the hat came from a friend's bird. About the only thing I bought was the trim around the vanity and chair!
Beth (inspecting trash in Cleveland)

Purses from Binder Clips

Materials needed for the little purses:
  • Binder clips – Teeny, medium and large ones for luggage!
  • Fabric, silks, leather etc. Your choice
  • Glue
  • Cuticle nail stick or a round small dowel – 1/8” diameter works well
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon, trims, bunka, etc. Flowers, feathers, beads for decorating
  • Chain or leather for handles
Take the fabric that you are using and make sure it is long enough to cover the clip all around also making sure that you have enough of the fabric on the ends of the clip to fold and push in each side, so make it a little longer to the sides and also to fold in the raw edges in front and back of the purse.

Cut out your fabric, fold in the raw edge and add a bit of glue to hold fold in place , now put a tiny bit of glue to
one side of the bag leaving the opening clips on so you can cover the metal parts on top if you like and also add your handles in later. Most of the time what I do is to attach the handles first by opening the clip and pushing glue into the areas and then pushing either a chain or leather handle into place then closing the clip and removing the “handles” of the clip. Then I sometimes paint the area of the clip that will show….they look like clasps or trim that way.

If you are leaving the metal top part of the clip exposed then just fold an edge on the fabric and push it up under the parts hanging town from the top, tacking it in place with a bit of glue and bring the fabric as close to the edge as possible , you might have to push it up a little to cover this part of the clip using a stick of some sort, ( a nail cuticle stick is what I use for mine) and glue in place.

Do this to the other side as well.

Once you have both sides down (front and back) go to the sides of the purse. The sides are the open parts of the clip.

I put glue onto the fabric and push the bottom part of the fabric in first, and then I fold the sides in pushing some of it inside the opening making sure you have nice folds on both sides. Do the same to the other side. The sides will look sort of like an upside down V as
the top part of the clip is smaller and the bottom is wider.

If you did not put your handle in at the beginning as I do, then once you have all the sides glued down you can add your handle of choice, then you can remove the clips. Removing the clips is simple. Fold them down toward the bottom of the clip and squeeze the “handles” together and just pull out.

Now it's time to trim and decorate your purses.

Take the ribbon or trim you are going to use and with a bit of glue put it in place close to the rim all around the purse.

Add your decoration, whether it is a feather a flower, bead etc. and that is all there is to it! Your purse is done!

If you want your purse to have a softer feel just add a tiny bit of thin batting to it using a bit of glue before you glue your fabric in place. You can put glue directly on the sides of the binder clips…and it stays put!

WARNING: These are addictive! Office supplies will not be safe!
Have fun creating!

Gina Gagnon http://www.lonewolf

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mini Gifts for Non-Miniaturists

Marjorie Wannamaker wrote:

I would like to share with you two of the three hutches I made as gifts for my quilting buddies. They know I make miniatures and I decided for our Christmas exchange gifts that I would share my love of minis with them tying in quilting with the accessories put into the hutches.
I started with the wooden $1 hutches that Michaels sells. I stained them instead of painting to save time. I wondered if the glue spots would show up but not many did.
As you can see, I did each hutch a little differently, trying to match personalities and likes to each one. Different colors, themes, etc. I made the iron and scissors pink in honor of one of the gals who fought breast cancer last year and won.

The Christmas plates are Chrysnbon with paper printies glued on and then sprayed with gloss sealer. The Candle is a large white straw glued to a bell-shaped base, some Grrrrip glue dabbed in the top and a piece of black thread stuck into glue for wick. I also dribbled a little glue down over the side to look like melted wax. Doesn't show up in pic, but it's there. The Sleigh card holder I made using index card and wire. The cards in the sleigh are printies.

The Basket of quilting notions I made using perforated paper, a small square of used hankie for the drape and misc paper, index card, and printies to make the accessories. The little Christmas trees are tiny sissal trees from Michaels covered with beads and fly tying tinsel. They were too tall so I cut off the round wooden bases, shortened the trunk and glued the bottom of the tree to a round of index card for stability and ease in gluing in place.

The Christmas Stocking was a picture from a magazine printed onto fabric using my ink jet printer and one of the commercial fabric printable sheets. I spaced them far enough apart so that I could fold them in half on the fabric after printing and glue the edges together so that Santa can deposit his gifts. Then I put tiny lace around the tops with two holly leaves and a few red "berries" using no-hole beads.
For the Bolts of fabric I folded a piece of fabric wrong sides together and wrapped it around a piece of index card. The Batting is made from some heavy flannel, with a printie label I made wrapped inside a clear baggie (light weight sandwich type). Tacky or Grrrip glue will adhere the plastic - just be patient for it to dry.

The poinsettia plants were made using a pattern from a Nutshell News magazine from the 1980's. I had forgotten how long it takes to cut out 42 petals and six leaves per plant. LOL To say nothing of putting the flower together. Again, patience for glue to dry.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hairy Kiwi!

Chris in Canada wrote:
This is not my idea, but was shared with a local mini-group (now sadly defunct) by a talented group member.
Next time you are about to cut into a Kiwi fruit, gently shave the "hair" off onto a small plate using a disposable razor. Air dry for a few hours then store in a pill bottle or baggie. This makes great mini hair for a beauty parlour or dog groomer's floor, a bed or a couch etc... to give that little extra touch of realism. Not that any of MY cats or dogs ever get up on the furniture or sleep on my bed at night. Yeah, right! It also can be used as you would flocking for furring a mini pet, and although I haven't tried colouring it first with watered down paint, I don't see why it wouldn't work, as long as the hairs are dried and fluffed up before they are glued on the animal.
Happy Shaving!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spanish Miniature Theme Park

Miniature Catalonia Park
"Catalunya en Miniatura" or Miniature Catalonia is the biggest miniature theme park in the world, and the only one in Spain. The location is just 30 minutes drive from the centre of Barcelona.
The Miniature Catalonia park is 30 minutes by car from Barcelona in Torelles de Llobregat and maybe an hour by train, but it's well worth the trip if you like something a little different.
The park has an amazing collection of miniature models of buildings and landmarks both from Barcelona and Catalonia. From churchs to models of factories and ports. You can see the whole of Catalonia in one fun afternoon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Where Do You Put Your Minis?

I have tree stumps in the bedroom, a bordello in the hall,
Box rooms, varied sizes, hang in rows upon the wall.
A dollshouse in the bedroom, and another by the door.
A castle, jail and baby shop, a wishing well and more.

You're not like other mothers, my despairing family cry,
You're living in another world, you're nuts! I hear them sigh.
Other peoples' mothers, they say in stern reproof,
Use irons for their clothing, not shingles on the roof.

Or making little flowers of puff paint blue and red,
Other peoples' mothers don't get sawdust in the bread.
Other peoples' mothers bake wondrous cakes and pies,
Not creatures out of fimo with bewitching little eyes.

Other peoples' mothers (I can't believe it's true)
Keep spotless tidy kitchens, not paint and wood and glue.
Other peoples' mothers clean their kitchen floor,
They don't cut up the budgie cage to make a jailhouse door,

Or interupt the bidding at bridge to say " three spades
And can I have your shirt to make an outfit for my maid?"
Other peoples' mothers must have a boring life.
How tedious to be a perfect housekeeper and wife.

No Polystyrene sandwiches, no fairies on the shelf
No dreaming of another world you created by yourself.
Other peoples' mothers have got their lives all wrong,
They have their Christmas once a year,
We have it all year long.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Winebottles and Platters

Chris in Canada wrote:
Here's something to look out for if you haven't found them yet. Inside the push button of the smaller size non-aerosol spray bottles there is often a wonderful semi-opaque 'wine bottle'. Trim 1/16-1/8" off the bottom, give it one coat of red glass stain part-way up the sides to represent wine, and finally cover the whole bottle with one coat of green or brown glass paint. The red will show through the green or brown but as the colours are transparent, it really looks like a glass bottle with contents. BTW, don't forget to salvage the washer, spring and clear tube for other uses.
Karen B replied:
Look for different shaped tabs on juice containers. Tropicana has an oval one.