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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bushel Basket #1

Be sure to watch the Bushel Basket #1video!

This week I thought I would show you how to make the first of the containers that I will be using in my produce stand. This one is loosely based on a bushel basket and in a while I will show you another version that flares out a bit at the top. 

I had the idea of what I wanted to do for this and I spent a day working out how to get a basket the way I wanted. I was so happy, then I found I couldn't create another one that looked like it matched it. I could get close but not the same. Although in my project I will be using several types of containers I want all of each to look the same. I want them to look like the owner bought these somewhere. So it was back to the drawing board. I decided that what I needed was a form of some kind to make the baskets on. That actually explains why I have two versions of the bushel basket. In playing with the my ideas for forms I came up with 2 different basket shapes both based on the bushel basket. I decided to make both and although they are very similar I will do separate videos for each too. (watch for that one later in the spring/summer)

In the end for today's basket I used a 1” dowel, it was easy to hold onto (a little hard to film but it worked) and was able to make several baskets in a short period of time. For the video I only make one basket but while I was actually making baskets I made them 6 at a time and it worked out beautifully. So if you want to make just one or a bunch of these I think you will find this to be an easy and fun project.

When I have time I am going to try this same basket in bright colors too, I think for a kid's room they would be super cute. I think for those I would coat them with something to make them have a satin finish to look like the plastic ones you can buy at those huge stores.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mini Asparagus

Be sure to check out the Mini Asparagus video if you haven't already.

This is a vegetable that looks a lot harder to make than it really is. If you have at least some experience working with clay I think you will be very successful with it. Just take your time and be patient. It is really fun once you get started.

In this video I also introduce you to the Skinner Method of blending clay. This is such a fun way to blend clay and resulting graduated blend is so pretty. It is almost like magic and as many times as I have done it I still am in awe every time. I love to watch the blend happen before my eyes. It is almost addictive really and you may find yourself blending random colors of clay just to see what happens. LOL We will be using this technique many times in the future too.

Now when you look at that box of mini asparagus you may think I totally lost my mind. That box looks full and that must have taken forever to make that many pieces of mini asparagus. Before you try to have me locked up let me assure you I didn't fill the box all the way with asparagus. I actually used the leftover blended cane of asparagus clay to make “filler” snakes for the bottom of the box. 


To make these I simply rolled larger snakes than I had done for the actual asparagus and after coating the bottom of the box with liquid sculpy I laid them all in the box and baked it off. Now when I am ready I can simply glue the completed asparagus to the top to finish the box.

Be sure to request your favorite fruit or vegetable to have me do a tutorial on. You can either post here, on the youtube video comments or on the Facebook page. I am writing down all the requests I am getting and will do as many as I can.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shopping Time

Where I live we have a very limited number of craft stores, there's not a Hobby Lobby close enough to shop at (next time I am in Seattle I will be going to the new one there) so mostly our choices are Micheal's, the big Joann Fabrics and my favorite Craft Warehouse. While these are not large stores they are what we ahve and most of the time I can do okay. I do love to go to Craft Warehouse the most and tend to get a lot more items I need there. I do know they are only in Oregon, Washington and Idaho so if you are near one and haven't checked them out be sure to stop by.

Last night I was going through my email and found an announcement for the Craft Warehouse annual warehouse sale. It started today and will run through the weekend. I got myself out the door early so I could get there by a little after 9 and spent over an hour shopping. I found some treasures so I thought I would share them here. They prices were fantastic, as they usually are at warehouse sales.

So here is what I found:

First stop the aisle with the scrap booking supplies. I found these packages of card-stock, the sign stated the packages were 10 pounds of paper, I grabbed 2 of them at $8 each.

As you can see there is a bunch of paper in each (the label says 300 sheets) and a rainbow of colors. I have been low on some colors lately so this should solve that problem.

On the same aisle  they had a bin with paper punches, all Christmas designs. I found 3 that were small enough to use in minis, they were only $.25 each.

On the next aisle there was a box with paint, all green but I found 3 different types and got one of each at $.25 each. I may already have the light green one but I wasn't sure and at that price I didn't really care if it was a repeat. LOL
Next to the cash-register were the beads and I found a bin of seed beads priced at $1.50 each so I got 4 of them. I don't use beads that size often but they should be handy at some point. 
Then after carrying my  purchases to my truck I want across the parking lot to the other building where the sale was also being held. That building was mostly larger garden stuff but I did get a few things. 

I got 2 bags if stones, one in red and one in green. I have no idea where they will go but they are good size for minis and at only $1 per bag I grabbed them.

The only other purchase in the second building was a plastic lime, odd I know but, it was only $.10 and I was intrigued by the texture. It is going to go into my box of clay texturing  tools. 

So those are my treasures, remember to sign up for those emails notices of sales from your favorite craft stores and maybe you can find a warehouse sale near you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baskets and Boxes

I have spent the last week or so working on making baskets and boxes for the produce that I will be making for the farm-stand project. I think I have them figured out and I will do a couple of videos on the how-to of making them in a few weeks. My trash can is overflowing with the failures but, I am happy with the ones that did work out. One of the main problems was getting a system down for each one that would allow me to make consistent looking containers. Since these will what is holding the produce in the market I wanted them to look like they were something the owners had purchased so they had to the same. If I was just using one or two that wouldn't have been a problem but I am going to need dozens of these. I finally worked out "jigs" for all but the wooden boxes and they all now go together quickly, easily and most important turn out the same almost every time.

I may still come up with more variety of shapes but for now I have 4 container types as you can see in the picture below.

On the picnic table I have the round "bushel" basket that I used in last week's video to show off the mushrooms when they were done. There were the ones I got the way I wanted them to be first. Also on the table are some smaller square baskets, I think I will call them "berry baskets" at least for right now. I am not sure what types of produce will end up in them but they are about a 1/2" square and about 1/4" tall so probably berries.

On the floor next to the table are some slightly larger than bushel baskets, I'm thinking potatoes and such will go in them. And with them are the boxes for the some of the tree fruits and such.

So now off to make things to fill these all up.

I am really wanting to get started on the building too but right now I have to get my work space cleared up enough to fit the project on there. I have so many ideas for what I want to do and what I want to show you all. I still haven't decided if I am going to put electricity in this building. I am leaning towards either skipping it altogether or trying out round wire since I have never used it. I do need to decide really soon so I can get started (and give myself time order supplies)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Progress comes in tiny bits sometimes

Yesterday I had decided that I wanted to get started on the storage containers for the Farmstand project that I am getting ready to do. I had a picture in mind of exactly what I wanted to make; a basic bushel style basket that I could make lots of to display some of the types of produce in.

 I think part of the problem was that I knew exactly what I wanted and because of that I wasn't satisfied with my attempts. Finally after working on these off and on all day (12 trial baskets in all) I got just about what I wanted. It is close enough to use and I am sure I will improve the results as I go.

One of my challenges was that I wanted to make this a very easy project so that I can make a short video on the baskets at some point this spring or summer. I think the basket I came up with will be an easy and fun project that can be used in many different projects, not just for produce.

What do you think?

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Building Project Coming Up

Has anyone checked out this year's Spring Fling contest building from the nice people at Greenleaf? I love this one and mine is on its way to me right now. It might even be at the post office already since I haven't made a trip to the post office yet today. I am so excited about this kit. Be sure to stop by their website to look at it. (Spring Fling)

I will be doing videos along the way as I build it, just like last year with the toy store project. This one is destined to become a produce store. I have so many ideas for this one. The project will also give me the opportunity to show you all how to make several types of fruits and veggies too! I have been wanting to do a bunch of those for a while and just hadn't gotten to them yet. Now I will have a purpose for them so I think I will be motivated to do them.

I also have some different ideas for the finishing of the building and for the furnishings to go inside it too. I hope you all enjoy this one too.

If you have any requests for items you want to see, especially different fruits and veggies let me know. I would love to include your favorites too.