Friday, August 27, 2010

What to do with a Toilet Paper Roll

Monday, August 23, 2010

Street of Houses

Quarter Scale Minis and Roomboxes -part 3

Fern Rouleau has come up with a wonderful way to display her 1:24 scale houses in her living room, behind the sofa, installing mirror tiles so they would reflect the inside of the homes. She and Bob plan to enclose the project in Plexiglass.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

Mary Kennerly writes in the Smallstuff digest:
I found some years-old dried material in the garage and took a picture, though it doesn't include all the species used for the flowers. I bought some of this stuff (most notably a thrift-store hearth-broom - it bleaches nicely and has lovely twisty stems), but generally I found raw materials from this time of year on into fall while dogwalking in vacant lots, along roadsides, and in neglected residential alleyways. The blossom shapes are mostly the calyxes that cupped the original flowers. The most delicate material was the awns of some cereal-type plant, plus some superthin stems of quaking-grass (the "flowers" are pale pink and stuck into one of those awns.

Those red tulips (for a change I tried to make tulipish leaves) came from a hairy, sticky, quite unlovable-looking weed. A more delicate species-tulip starts from another weed, nipplewort. And a head of garlic, or its ornamental garden allium cousins, is yet another source for deeply cupped shapes.

(Teazels are the armature for a couple of the standard plants, providing both the trunk and the head into which greenery is glued, instead of using a plastic ball. Globular seed-pods from the sweet-gum tree also have holes that can be used the same way.)

Once you have the dried stuff, making blossoms is pretty quick. Add stems; paint; and there you are. So very easy. I hope somebody is inspired to do a bit of neighborhood foraging.

In the snapshot of made-up flowers, on the left there's a bunch of orange-petaled flowers with dark-rimmed yellow centers. They're made from feverfew. But feverfew calyxes are even more realistic-looking with the stem clipped short and turned upside down. I seem not to have any on hand to photograph. Worth mentioning, I think, because feverfew, with its bright green foliage and its miniature daisy flowers, is nice to have in the real-life garden. One stem is like a whole bunch of flowers to tuck in a little pitcher.

Mary's album with more information:

Ed. Note - Look for Queen Anne's lace, put a bouquet in a jar with water and food colouring of your choice, and the blossom will pick up the colour.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chris from Canada wrote:
'Visine' brand eye drops now pack some of the varieties in individual size plastic mini-vials for your purse or pocket. The tube part is too big for a 1:12 container as is, but if you cut off the "wings" on either side, cut off the bottom just below where the wings used to end, and shorten the neck a bit, it becomes a bottomless frosted glass bottle. Cutting the bottle shorter makes a ketchup or salad dressing bottle or make it really stubby and you have a funnel.
Next, remove the black printing with a cotton bud dipped in either a spoonful of rubbing alcohol, or a shot of gin, whiskey or vodka. Beer and wine won't work, nor will liqueurs. DO NOT drink the rest quite yet as you'll need your hands steady for the next part.
To make the bottom, puddle some glue on a piece of plastic wrap, place the bottle neck into squeeze-opening tweezers or locking forceps, and sit the bottom of the bottle down evenly in the glue.
Push things around until there is glue everywhere the cut end touches the plastic wrap insde the bottle as well and extending a bit beyond the outside of the bottle's sides. Support the whole thing (I used tweezers and supported the tweezers on a rolled-up paper towel), and leave it until the glue is set and completely clear. OK, you can have that drink now, but one only. When the glue is dry, carefully peel the plastic wrap from the bottom of the bottle. Don't trim the extra off yet! Check the glue bottom and if there are any holes or gaps, fill them with more glue and allow to dry again. (You can have one more drink now, but just one, and you must eat something with it.)
When you have sobered up, if needed after all this time spent waiting for glue to dry, and are satisfied with the new bottom, carefully trim the excess glue around the bottle with small scissors. Remove any burrs and finally apply a thin layer of glue over the bottom and a hair above the bottom edge as insurance and let dry. (Yes, go ahead but save some for the time you make bottles.) :-D

Other uses for these containers:
1) The cap makes a great agitator for a top-loading washing machine, or painted brown could become the paddles in an antique wooden 'washing machine', the sort where you moved a handle bar on the lid back and forth to operate the paddles.
2) Make a toy spaceship: Trim the 'wings' on the cap to look like those found on a space shuttle, cover with metallic nail polish or craft paint, draw some windows or portholes with a fine point marker and add stripes, ID numbers or what-have-you for a child's toy spaceship.
3) Cut the wings completely off the cap, file or sand to remove about half of the protruding base, and you have a drinking glass with a thick glass base. If desired, coat everything with a sheer coloured glaze or fill part way with a drink (glass stain, resin, nail polish or glue will work), draw a simple design with fine point marker or apply a tiny decal.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Glenna is a Star!

Glenna was featured on the Greenleaf site as member of the month!
Here is a link to her albums