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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dollhouse Miniature Beef Roast

This week I am showing you how to make a mini beef roast for the dolls in your dollhouse out of polymer clay. I prefer to use Fimo for this project because the both the colors and the texture work out better. Today I had to substitute Premo for one of the colors and that make the clay mixture much softer and more difficult to work with.

The colors I used today were:

raw meat mixture:
Fimo white (1 part)
Fimo translucent (1 part)
Fimo red (1 part)
Premo Sienna (almost 1 part, just enough to make the correct color, I prefer to use Fimo Terracotta)

Fat mixture
Fimo White (1 part)
Fimo Translucent (3 parts)

If my clay had been firmer it would have been much easier to split the cane to add the layer of fat running through the roast. The idea is to just start the cut with your knife and then tear the clay apart. You want this cut to rough and natural looking not a straight cut like it was made with a knife.

If you are going to display your roast on/in a specific pan or board make the roast to fit. That way it will look right when you are done. I just wanted to display mine on the foam tray with the plastic wrapping but you can display yours in so many ways.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dollhouse Miniature Art Glass

The Facebook fans voted for the first installment of Trash to Treasure Thursday, out of the first 5 videos I have ready this is the one they wanted to see first!

Watch  the video here.

This week's Trash to Treasure project is some art glass. This idea was discussed on a couple of the online mini groups I belong to a few years ago and it is so much fun to do. Since we are working with an open flame this is definitly not a project for the kids to do unsupervised but with proper supervision I think it should be fine. That is for a responsible adult to decide.

The art glass we are trying to replicate is like the stuff you might see in a museum or in the lobby of a nice hotel. Here is a link to some online examples of this type of art glass.

Since the city of Seattle is home to one of the best (at least I think he is) artists in this field we see lots of this type of art glass when we visit the Seattle area. There are pieces for sale in lots of places and some are priced so that a normal tourist or collector could bring an example home with them. This makes this project a fun one in miniature because you can display your finished creation either in your dollhouse or make a mini museum or art fair for it to be on display. Now that I think about it an art fair might me a fun mini project for my “someday” list..... (Just what I need, more projects on that list LOL)

The plastic used in this project is the stuff that so many things we eat seem to be packaged in lately. I got both grapes and cherry tomatoes in this packaging on a recent trip to the store. It is also common in the deli department. We need the clear stuff that is fairly sturdy. I have found the part of the container that has ridges on it gives some fun results, so use all parts you can.

I always use the Sharpie brand pens for this project, I have no idea what other pen types would do. I love Sharpie pens anyway they are handy to have around the craft room and come in so many wonderful colors anymore. You can buy them individually and get just the colors you want or what I do is watch for the big sets of them to come on sale. The color will be intensified by the heating/melting process so even the colors that barely show when you put them on the plastic will show up nicely on the finished piece.

I always work with a small bowl of water on my work surface when doing this project. First the plastic does catch fire pretty easily and a quick dunk in the water will put it out. Sometimes you can even use the piece if you dunk it fast enough. Also I like to cool the pieces immediately so I drop them into the water to do this quickly. I find they hold their shape better and don't droop while cooling this way. I have also gotten some really neat textural effects by re-heating the wet pieces, the water and ink sometimes work together and bubble a bit. It doesn't always happen but when it does it can be very pretty.

After I finished filming I experimented with cutting some pieces into different shapes and you can see the results in the photos at the end of this post.

Just have fun with this project and let the plastic and heat work their magic to create some really pretty minis. 


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dollhouse Miniature Moses Basket

Watch  the video here.

I love making these little baby baskets, they are pretty easy and are just so darn cute when you get them done. By using the mono weave needlepoint canvas it looks like you have gone to a bunch of work and no one needs to know how easy the project is. 

If you are not familiar with what these look like go to your favorite search engine and look up some images of the real thing.  Before my oldest son was born I wanted one of these baskets so badly. I told every one that I wanted one but not a single person bought me one. So now I like to make them in miniature so all the mini new  moms will have one. LOL

If you have a baby doll measure the doll against the bottle you want to use as a form. I find that a shampoo bottle usually about the correct size.

I know some of the directions I have seen in the past for these baskets just wet the canvas and form them over the mold. I have tried them that way and I really wasn’t happy with the results. First they really don’t hold up very well, they seem to loose their shape in wet weather. Also the glue mixture seals the canvas so you don’t have to worry about the canvas unraveling (and this stuff really likes to unravel)

Sometimes I can get the braid to go onto the top edge of the basket but some days it just won’t cooperate. The day I made the video was one of the not cooperating days. LOL It really doesn’t matter and the braid looks just as well going around the top outside edge as it does on the very top.

Do have something on hand to clamp the edge while it dries and to clamp the handles when the time comes to glue them on.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Trash to Treasure Thursdays

I am really excited to announce a new feature on this site. I have been collecting ideas and making projects up to bring you Trash to Treasure Thursdays. From now on (at least until I run out of ideas so keep them coming) I will be posting a video and blog featuring a trash to treasure project every Thursday morning.

What is a trash to treasure (T2T) project you ask? Well, the way I am defining it for this feature it is a project that uses an item or items that would normally be thrown away to create a simple item to use in our dollhouse. Or sometimes just a tiny bit of a craft item, maybe something that is leftover from another project. I am going to stick to really easy projects for the Thursday video/ blog so they will be shorter videos than I normally present on Sunday mornings. I will save the more complicated T2T projects for Sundays just like always.

There are several things about these projects that I love. First off they are wonderful for beginners to work on. Also they are minimal cost, I will do my best to stick with craft items that are fairly common so hopefully most of us will have what we need to make the project immediately. Most of these will be projects that kids can do. Although some will require more supervision than others but all will be really simple.

So if you have some T2T projects that you would like to suggest let me know. If you have an item that you have saved and can't figure out what to do with it, let me know that too and I will do my best to make something out of it.

See you on Thursday!!!

Coming up next- Dollhouse Miniature Moses Basket

Be sure  to check out the video and blog posts on Sunday for this cute little Moses Basket for the baby in your dollhouse.

Scheduled to post at 6 AM west coast (USA) time.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Trash to Treasure Project- Dollhouse Nightstand

This week I show you how to turn a common household recyclable item into a fun piece of furniture for you dollhouse.

This project about because one of the people that has liked the Facebook page (Abbie Wilson) sent me a question asking about projects she could make with items around the house. I wrote back to her with a list of ideas and that action made me realize I had been saving a small stack of match boxes for just such a project.

The match boxes I am using are the kind that hold 32 matches. I think I usually get these bundled together so I get about 10 or so boxes at a time. So they should be easy to get if you don't already have some.

I got to thinking of all the different projects that could be made using this technique. We obviously have the nightstand like in the video. If you have a few more boxes on hand you could make a dresser. I think a cute bathroom or kitchen cabinet might be possible too. Also with a two stacks and some basswood I think a very cute desk would be an easy project. All of these would be very similar to the nightstand in construction.

I do love that a such a simple project gives us the possibility of so many variations and all with working drawers.

How many of you noticed the hole I had to punch in the paper on the back of my nightstand? That happened because my drawers were too tight to get pulled out. That is why I show you how to trim them with scissors. In retrospect I think if I was doing this again I would leave off the paper on the back to give full access to the back of the drawers. Oh well, live and learn I guess. I think if I had used thinner paper they would have slid out just fine though. My paper was fairly heavy but it is what I had on hand.

Now if you make this project I want to hear from you! Send me a message, comment on the blog or better yet post a picture on the Facebook wall.

Do you have any requests for projects? Be sure to let me know. I love making what you want to see.

Also as I am learning my new editing software I am learning to do many new things. This week I experimented with using 2 cameras to film and integrating them into a single video. It is obvious to me that I need to position the second camera in a different place next time but other than that any feedback? I am striving to make the videos the best I can so you can get the most out of them. I am learning all I can about the video editing end of this to accomplish just that. So feedback on that is also welcome. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Up Next- Trash to Treasure Project- Dollhouse Nightstand

Be sure to tune in Sunday morning for the next video. I show you a simple Trash to Treasure project.

Video is already scheduled to go live at 6AM Pacific Coast time on Sunday morning.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dollhouse Miniature Stepping Stones

Before we talk about today's project I wanted to let everyone know that I will be getting back to the building project soon. I ran out of the Basswood strips and haven't been able to get enough to move forward. As soon as I can get some I will continue with the project.

This week I decided to make some mini stepping stones for the dollhouse yards. I do need to get the landscaping board started for my Harrison one of these days. I know I have been saying that for at least 2 years but I really do want to get started. I think the fact that it is going to be a huge project is what holds me back from beginning it. Also that I have way more ideas that I will be able to use so I have to decide what I am going to include and what will need to be left off.

I got the inspiration for this project because my daughter and one of her friends spent a day making real stepping stones awhile back. They made some really pretty ones and I know her friend is going to enjoy them for many years. I had used this technique for making mosaic many times for different projects and decided it would work really well for mini size stepping stones.

I used the little 1” round wood shapes for this, they are really inexpensive and fairly easy to come by. In real life most of the stepping stones I've come across seem to be about 12” so the size is perfect too.

I gave the wooden circles a base coat of craft paint that matched my embossing powder, in my case white. I found if I skipped this step I could easily see the wood through the embossing powder after I used the heat gun to melt the embossing powder.

To adhere everything together I used a product that I got in the card making section of a local craft store. It is called Terrifically Tacky Tape and you can find out more about it here. I have the 1” wide version and I find it works for all the applications I use it for. If you do have to lay down more than one strip be sure to overlap where it meets. I find that it tends to pull away a tiny bit if I don't, I think it may be shrinking a tiny bit when it gets heated but I am not sure.

After covering the surface you are going to put your mosiac on you need to decide what you are going to use to replicate the tiles used in real life. I like to use the paint sample strips from the hardware store. They come in an entire rainbow of colors, they have a nice satin finish surface and they are free.

I used some hole punches this time to cut up the little pieces but you could do this project entirely by just cutting tiny bits with your scissors. If you need inspiration just take a look online at real mosaic work, some of it is pretty incredible.

After I applied the tiny bits to my design I coated the exposed tape with the embossing powder and then used my heat gun to melt the embossing powder. This is a fun process but do be careful. I overheated one of my stepping stones and it was ruined. I'll post a picture of the over heated one at the end of this blog post so you can see what you don't want to do.

I was thinking these stepping stones would be really cute on a seasonal landscape since there are so many cute little hole punches that are holiday themed. I can just picture a yard all decorated for Halloween or Christmas with stepping stones to match the holiday theme.

this is what happens when you use too much heat on your stepping stone

Friday, April 5, 2013

Up Next- Dollhouse Miniature Stepping Stones

Sunday morning blog and video will show you how to make these cute stepping stones for your dollhouse landscape.