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Archive for the ‘Miniatures’ Category

Flowers for a friend

There’s a strange satisfaction in getting a task completed. This one has been hanging over my head for a long time, and I’m thrilled to bits that I’ve finally been able to get it done. All the months I was unable to work – first due to the show, then the stupid Compartment Syndrome – I kept looking at the tray on my table and thinking “I have to get these done!” The hanging baskets are for my friend Barbara’s dollshouse – which is looking positively stunning! I’m envious. Mine hasn’t progressed at all!

For the first time I took note of just what is needed to make one of these little hanging baskets. Barbara made the fuchias in a guild workshop – so I didn’t have to make those (I thought! LOL). Five sprays per basket – 4 baskets = 20 sprays. OOPS! Not enough! Hence the “I thought!” Unfortunately I don’t have the same punches so I had to improvise. Didn’t have the same paper, so I had to get as close as possible. All this for 1 spray of fuchias – so I made 5! Theory – they will be used somewhere and I don’t make one of anything! LOL Got pretty close. Barbara’s theory is “if you stand back and blurr your eyes no one’s really going to notice”. Mine is “hang it with that spray facing backwards and no one will even see it!” ROFL

Each basket took 11 sprays of leaves which was 200 leaves per basket, along with around 20 sprays of impatiens – that was around 150 little flowers per basket. As usual, I wasn’t certain exactly how the colour combinations would work out, so I made plenty of extra sprays. A grand total of 1200 flowers later, I have a few sprays left. Enough to make some little pots of impatiens – some double, some single – all in shades of pink and white.Pretty. I’ll just have to do more leaf sprays.

All the time I was making the leaf sprays, I was looking at the little branches and thinking – “This would work to make a tiny lemon tree potted in a little wooden barrel.” Which lead to “what would I use to form the barrel?” and then “How would I do the lemons? Polymer clay with thin wire inserted and then wire to the branches before adding leaves? Could work…” What am I? A glutton for punishment or just certifiable? Don’t answer that!

It took between 2 and 3 days per hanging basket – and that was without me having to make the baskets, or the fuchias – which is why I’m not in a hurry to do another one. I will – just not now.

Main thing tho’ is that Barbara is ecstatic about the baskets. I can’t wait to see them in place and I’m hoping to persuade her to send me a photo of them on their little pillars. I’m thrilled with the way they turned out and hubby (who is totally prejudiced anyway!) thinks they’re the best miniature plants I’ve made so far. I’ll be handing the baskets over to Barbara tonight. Can’t wait to see her face!

I need to do some running repairs to my strawberry pot. It seems to have lost some leaves and a few of the strawberrys look as if they’ve been attacked by snails. Maybe I should do what Pam Jones does to her diseased plants and add a snail on the side of the pot? Nah – way too small. And I might just pot those remaining impatiens – add to the growing stock of minis!

It’s raining again! Hard!!

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Strawberry Madness

I decided this morning that as the definition of the word NORMAL goes, miniaturists are definitely NOT normal. Well…. I’m not anyway. LOL

Half way through slicing strawberries for another batch of jam things got technical. What does it look like if I slice it vertically as opposed to horizontally? What colours of clay would I need to use to get that effect? If I hold the slice up to the light, the white bit is actually see through – therefore I’ld need to use more translucent….

Out came a white plate, which collected various slices – cut in both directions. Out came the camera. Please note! This was all while I’m still trying to get the strawberries in the pot to make jam…..

Notebook, pencil – search for download cable, start download (weigh strawberries, weigh sugar, find large heavy based pot). By this stage I’m thinking – would make a really nice looking prep board. Note to self – make bigger pots! Order silver clay!

Photos taken, the plate hovered over the pot – do I add these slices to the jam or stick them in the freezer till I can start making the canes? Plate went into the freezer accompanied by death threats to family members who MIGHT consider eating said strawberry slices.

Considering that this was around 11am in the morning, me still in my pj’s downloading photos & trying to get the dang printer to work so I could print the photos. My daughter & her boyfriend arrive – I shrug, think “what the hell, won’t be the first person he’s seen in their jammies”. I carried on. Photos sorted, printer not.

Next thing I know some strange folk are trying to get into my yard while Robyn & boyfriend leave – Dave’s mowing the lawn (sun is actually shining) Domino is trying to get out the gate and I’ve forgotten to turn on the plate so the jam can cook!

No problem – the longer you leave the strawberries and sugar to stand the more moisture it draws – no need to add water. Add lemon juice and a few finely chopped mint leaves. Remembered to turn the plate on LOW and went to bath, photos – which I finally managed to print – in hand. Propping said photos against the wall on top of the laundry basket, I sit in the bath analysing photos and designing strawberry canes.

Hey – no problem! Just another day in the life of a miniature food maker!

Hours later it eventually occurs to me to look on the internet to see if someone else has maybe done the hard work and come up with a tutorial for a strawberry cane. ROFL. No luck – strawberry canes yes, no tutes. Ah well…..

It’s Saturday.

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Miniature focus

I’ve been working on my minis for the first time in a long time. I’m pretty focused on what I want to do and where I want to go with the minis, so now it’s just a case of building stock! I’ve been working on the blog too and taking plenty of photos of the minis as I’ve been making. Check the gallery page!

That made me take a look at the photos in this section and has me wondering why they’ve downloaded to my pc in this particular size. I’ve decided to take new photos and I’ll replace the photos with larger images – soon! Just need decent light. I’ll let you know when I’m done.

The nice thing is having happy customers. I delivered the first of Barbara’s hanging baskets this week and she was thrilled. I’ve not finished the others – my hands started complaining, so I’ve been resting for the last two days. Not a mini made! I’ve been doing other stuff instead – taking photos, updating the blog, research, planning, etc. etc. I need to tackle my price list too.

My work table is scary! I could not believe the amount of work I’ve done in the last 3 weeks. It didn’t quite feel that much while I was working. Taking the photos yesterday was a real eye-opener. The nice neat workspace I shared on flickr a week or so ago, is definitely not so nice and neat at the moment! LOL.

I’m starting to feel urgings to work on my dollshouse for the first time since my Dad died. I think it’s time to walk that path. I suspect there will be many tears along the way, but there are also so many good memories! I need to finish it for both of us, dust off all the boxes of minis stored away and get all the memories unpacked. I don’t have a clue where I’ll put it at this stage. I’ll find a place. If I can dustproof my front entrance hall (new glass in the door & windows, rubber seals around the door) and cat proof the dolls house, I’ve got the right space for it. We’ll see.

For now, it’s back to my desk – there are impatiens and agapanthus waiting to be made & assembled. There’s a nekkid chicken needing a home – or was that a home needing a nekkid chicken? – and a couple of hams to be done – one smoked & one roasted. It’s good to be working!

God Bless

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