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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Tomato Slices

I do want to preface this blog post by telling you that if you also follow my 18” doll channel/blog I am doing the same project over there this week. In fact some of the video will be the exact same footage, but then will cut to scale specific to finish the project.

This week I decided to tackle a cane that I have wanted to do for a couple of years. I have just been to chicken to try it. I have looked at several of my resource books at directions and the tomato cane just looked so complicated that I was a bit scared to try it. But I really wanted to make this so I made the decision that this was a good time to just jump in and do it already! So here you are, tomato canes.

I am really happy to tell you that it really wasn't as hard as I feared it would be. Just go step by step and take it slow, it really isn't any harder than some of the other canes I have demonstrated on this channel in the past.

I did manage to make this entirely out of Sculpey III and Premo clays this time too. I know that some of you have a lot of trouble both getting Fimo and using it once you do find it.

Here are the colors I used today:

Sculpey III Lemonade (a light yellow)
Premo Spanish Olive (a dark green)
Premo Translucent
Sculpey III Beige (a pinky flesh color)
Premo Pomegranate (an orange red)

I have put a description of sorts after the colors to help you find other colors in your collection that might work. The only ones I didn't do this for is the translucent because other than Cernit I don't think any of the other translucent clays will be translucent enough for this project.

When you reduce your cane you want to go down to around ¼” in diameter. I say around because tomatoes come in a lot of different sizes in real life so you can make yours the size you are comfortable with.

After making your cane and reducing it to size be sure to freeze it for about 10 minutes so it will be firm enough to cut.

Slice the cane as thinly as you can without distorting the cane shape. I like to use a pointy tool to give some texture to the area around the seeds but that is optional. I do like how it turned out though.

Since I am using Sculpey and Premo clays I am baking at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. For this scale they only need about 10 minutes.

Then after cooling you make the area around those seeds look more like liquid by adding some kind of a gloss coat to just that part.

There you now have tomato slices that your dolls can enjoy! I hope you enjoyed the process and be sure to share photos with me if you make these or any of my projects.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Tool Box

I realized two things last night. One that Father's Day is coming next weekend. And second that I very seldom do project that are for the guys that live in our dollhouses. So I decided in honor of Father's Day and all the dads in our lives that I would come with special project.

One of the first ideas I had was to make a tool box, I thought it would be a fun and easy project. I was careful to keep this one simple and only used things that are easy to find.

We start out by making holes in each end of a regular size craft stick for the handle to eventually go through. I just used a drill bit to make the hole. On the little tiny ones like this I find I don't really need any tools other than the drill bit. I will warn you though it is a bit hard on the fingers.

The tool box on the video was actually the second attempt, on the first one I discovered that making the bottom two layers thick makes it much easier to construct the box.

I cut the base 1 ½” long (make 2) and glued/clamped them together. This gives us an edge that we can glue the next pieces to.

The ends are cut 1” and glued to each end of our base.

Sides are make of the jumbo (wide) craft sticks and cut at about 1 7/8”, I find it is easier to sand them to size than to cut them exactly to fit and then get them lined up. With regular wood it is much easier but the craft sticks tend to warp.

The handle is just a toothpick, wait until the glue dries to cut the excess off the ends.

This tool box is super simple to make and goes together fairly quickly. Really most of the time is spent waiting for the glue to dry.

Painting is optional, I like the blue color I picked out for mine.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Breads

First I am so sorry about the noises my fan caused throughout the video. We are under a heat advisory this weekend and I needed the fan in order to function. Hopefully in the future I can position it so it causes less noise.

So this week I had planned to attempt to make a tomato cane. I had all of the clay I needed except for translucent. So I went to Jo-Ann's yesterday to pick up the clay and some things I needed for a sewing project. I know I had the clay in my basket. I am really sure I put it on the counter with my other purchases. However, it was no where to be found when I got home. At least a quick check of my receipt showed that I wasn't charged for the clay. I am not sure if it got lost between the time I picked it up or if the cashier put it to the side and missed it. Whatever the case I don't have enough translucent clay to make the tomatoes so they will have to wait.

That of course meant I had to find something else to show you today. I did a quick look through my collection of mini resource books and came to an article on bread. I decided that it might be fun to give you all a basic tutorial on bread. This is more about the basic clay mix, how to texture it and how to change the color to make other breads than it is an in-depth tutorial on bread.

For the basic white bread I like to use mix of 2 parts white and 1 part tan/beige clays. This time it was Fimo white and Sculpey III Tan. The mixture is a bit darker than I normally go with but it is still in the ballpark for our project.

Next we need to talk about texturing our bread. I am going “old school” for this. Way back when I first started making clay foods I saw a lot more people using things like cornmeal to texture the clay to give the bread like texture. Now almost everyone uses a pointy tool to dig the crumb texture into the surface. Personally I like to use a combination of the two techniques.

You have several choices of materials to add to the clay and you should be able to find at least one of them in almost any kitchen. I used cornmeal today but you can also use: ground rice, semolina, or ground nutmeg to name a few. Now this does come with the risk of inviting critters into our miniature scenes to snack on our creations. I can say that I have been using these materials for over 20 years and haven't had a problem. I do know a few people that say they have had problems. I tell you this so you can decide for yourself if you want to take a chance on it.

One of the cool things about using the cornmeal is that it does expand just a bit in the clay during the baking off process. This creates a nice texture (more visible if you cut the bread after baking) I am not sure if you can see it in my project today.

What I want from today's project is for you to take this information and get creative. Find some pictures of some cool breads from bakeries and make something really cool for your dolls.