Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Garden rest stop

click on each picture for details and enlarge

This is the last of the painting  of the murals at the place I work.  It is a hallway and very small public restroom for women.  The mens restroom is  next door and it gets bypassed for this one.  I did it as a garden oasis.  It is so small I  did not get a lot of pictures of it.  Above the door is a cat with his tail hangin down and right beside it are mice having a tea party with an apple tea set.  It is a 1/12 scale tea set sitting on the door frame.

The doors are steel and I painted one to look like lattice with roses on it.  The other I made to look like a victorian screen door, with all the fancy trim.   The inside door that closes in the garden rest room I painted a pair of boots , a watering can and a rabbit.  Hanging from the hooks are a real hat and a painted garden shirt and gloves. There are garden tools hangin from hooks as well.  There are 2 square posts holding the roof up on this entrance and I made them look like Victorian pillars with fancy plaster work on them. 

The man on the bench is the original owner of the business and he liked Dalmations and raised horses.  He also always had a newspaper under his arm and wore neck ties.  An interesting thing about this Dalmation is his black nose is the rubber stopper for the door not to hit the wall.   I worked that into the sceme of the painting.  Since I do not do a great job of faces, I took his picture to Kinkos and had them blow it up to the size I needed then mounted it onto foam board and cut it out and glued to the wall.   The cement block were painted white and I painted a few red brick here and there to seem like the plaster was coming off.  A grape arbor is growing all around the top of the entry way with lots of grapes.  This is in the small hallway.

I enjoyed painting and could have gone on to other areas.  But as everything has its season, winter was over both in the weather and in  my  life.  It was time to move on to other things.

Wild life preserve on staircase and landing

Click on pictures for details and to enlarge

As I said in a previous blog, I love to paint murals in addition to miniatures.  This set of pictures I did on a staircase and landing at the place I work.  This area is a well traveled staircase from the warehouse up to the offices.  I painted it one particularly long winter when the snow never left the ground for about 6 months.  I painted on my lunch hour and 2 hours in the morning.  The truck drivers came in at 6 to open and get loaded for the day, and I came in to paint.  At that time 4 AM seemed to be my body's time to get up.  It was a great way to start the day.  I used all acrylic paint and drew everything on free hand.  I sometimes did some research for a picture of what I wanted to draw, but it was only a visual tool.   I love animals in nature and  used the spaces for the groupings I made.  The railing going up the steps has roses growing behind them.  It was a challenge, but that never stopped me before.  Someone asked me why all the animals  had smiles on their faces.

The walls were smooth dry wall but just plain white.  I painted a stone wall at the end of the staircase.  The metal poles hold the building up  were painted to look like standing trees.  I painted to look like bark with knot holes and owls looking out.

I was glad I had the opportunity to use these walls as a canvas.  With out it I would have never known I could do this.

I once painted a wall at a church I went to, I did not get a picture.  It was Noah and his ark with two of every kind of animal.  I painted it realistic yet the animals had funny faces on them.  The front and center were monkeys hanging with their lips puckered up in a kiss, so the children in the nursery could kiss them.  If you step out in faith, the rest will come to you.

Cement Block Tropical Paradise

click on pictures for close up details

In addition to miniatures I love to paint murals.  I have told people I can paint anything if it sits still long enough.   The above pictures are murals I painted in a womens rest room where I work.  The walls were cement block.  I painted a coat of creme colored paint to brighten up the room and then proceded to paint a tropical paradise on the walls.  The windows with palm trees are in the stalls.  This opened up a very small space and they seem larger.  The windows with birds are all down the long walls and where you walk in.  The lattice work on the wall next to the sink has salmon colored roses all over the white lattice work.  The area where there is seating is painted like a beach.  I extended the beach out onto the coffee table.  The chairs are metal and I painted them a creme antique crackle color.  I then reupholstered them in a sea mint green color.  The inspiration came from the floor tile that are tiny squares with all the colors I used in them for a tropical paradise.

I painted this room on my lunch hours during a long snowy winter.  Not to many places to go on lunch hour in the area where I work.

I started this project with no idea of what to do.  However, just as in mini's, starting is the first step.  The rest will come to you as you go.  I enjoy the mini tropical break everyday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trash can from Glucose test strip container

Glucose test strip container is 2 inches high and 1 inch around.  The lid is on hinge.  Using the tin I showed you how to make on the last blog, apply glue around the container under the lip that the lid sits on.  Apply the cardboard tin butted up to the flange on top for the lid to sit on.  Hold to dry.  When dry trim off excess on the bottom.    I antiqued the lid with the same colors of paint as the tin, including the lip and flange..  When dry put paper towel on the bottom of the container inside, find some garbage and arrange to over fill the garbage can.  I choose to make this a 50's can so we did not have plastic garbage bags.  The cans did look like this with the ridges, were very heavy, and usually very beat up.  A small piece of black garbage bag could be inserted inside and folded out to look more modern. 

Test strip container next to the finished garbage can

Click on picture for details of can.  I have a mouse, spider, rose, paint roller, chicken, milk bottle, wire clothes hanger, bananas, assorted tin cans, berrys, and a cookie box

A note on trash.  When I was a child, we were very lucky to live out in the country and  there was a community dump up in the strip mines.  It was not against the law to dump in the wells that were left from stripping coal.  All the neighbors dumped there and all the neighbor hood kids had fun going thru the trash and dragging it home again for their tree huts and play houses.  I had a fascination with boxes and containers.  Need I say more.  My play house was a General Store, with real spices, and kitchen goods.  It had a potbelly stove that we were allowed to fire up, and cook our mud pancakes with spices and pancake flour added to it.  We would make cakes out of mud and add pine needles and clover to it.  After baked if we could not persuade  any of the neighbor hood kids to eat them we would leave them out for the fairy's to enjoy.

When I reflect now what people threw out then, I could have a very successful store on EBay.  Our abodes were the best decorated playhouses anywhere.  We had a small pedal fire engine
that was pretty rusted up but we still played with it.  It ended up in the dump, and pretty soon it came back, along with a couple of almost empty spray cans of paint.   It sure was a pretty site with all those colors on it. My parents were not amused.  The last time we saw it was on the back of  my Dad's truck going to work with him.  At work he had a backhoe to bury it!

My Mother was in charge of the rummage sales at our church, and collected the items all year long and stored them in the large attic of my Fathers garage.  We were allowed to play all year long with this stuff.  The clothes and jewelry and high heels, poodle skirts, and other 1940 and 1950 items would make a vintage clothes dealer's head spin.  I had such a great time as a child in my little red play house.  The sign outside said NO BOYZ!  On a regular basis we would take our wagons full of Mom's trash to the dump  and come home with someones elses.  We entertained ourselves with other peoples trash.  The recycle, reuse, restore slogan is not really new, or, maybe we were the first hoarders!

Transform light bulb package into rusty tin roof

A normal Sylvania 40 watt light bulb package

Cut in two and turned over. You can paint in one piece or cut in smaller sections like I did

First coat of paint is acrylic gray or silver.  I prefer a silver paint.  Any brand of acrylic paint will work.  Allow to dry

Next coat of paint is a brown color.  Dip brush into paint and then wipe most of it off.  Dry brush onto the silver getting into the grooves.   Do not paint solid, just enough to get the look of rust.   Allow to dry

Dry brush on a turquoise color paint.  This will be oxidation of the tin.  Do not paint solid on this, just at random.

Click on pictures for details of the color.  This is the finished sample of tin roofing.  When completely dry it becomes stiff, but still flexible.  A coat of clear acrylic spray fix can be added for extra stiffness after you have put on the project.  I am using this on a chicken coop.  I have blogged about a chicken coop in another month and used this roofing on it.  My next blog will be a trash can made from this roofing and a container used  from Diabetes test strips.  Other colors can be dry brushed on top of this but allow to dry between coats.  Paint thinned down and applied onto a toothbrush and using your finger to spatter onto roof can be an another effect of rusting nails spots.  Another use for this could be a diner, old car garage, a wall in a contemporary house or apartment.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Baby Buggy remake from Dollar Tree

A baby shower nut cup found at Dollar Tree

Remake of Dollar Tree Nut cut

The Dollar Tree  had these small plastic baby carriages for nut cups for baby showers.  They come in pink and blue as shown by the pink one.  They are very cute, 6 to a pack.  I thought they would be cute for a baby carriage for a little girl.  2 1/4 x 2 inches is the size.

I began by cutting of nibs of plastic with an exacto knife.  Next  paint all the plastic with  two coats of gesso.  If you do not do this the white paint will never completely cover the pink or blue plastic.
After gesso is dry coat all the buggy wicker portion with white paint, doing 2  coats and drying inbetween each coat.

  Paint all the wheels and handles paint black or brown.  The spokes are cute they are hearts.  Next  coat with a clear coat acrylic spray and let dry.

Thin down brown paint to a  inky thinness and do a small section at a time.  Paint on the thin brown all over the wicker and then quickly with a Kleenex or face tissue gently wipe off leaving the grooves with the brown in it.   After the brown paint is dry, if you think it looks a little dark, take a brush and load with white paint and wipe off most of it on a paper towel.  This is dry brushing.  Gently brush over the wicker to re highlight just the top of the wicker.  This will make the dark grooves pop.    A spray of the acrylic clear spray and you are done. 

I filled the inside with pink cotton.  The tiny baby's are from Hobby Lobby in the baby shower section.

Unless you have a clever bird that likes to pick the beads off you shirt, you will have to find flat back
gold rind stones for the wheel covers and the latch on the carriage hood at the craft store.  Or you can punch a round circle with a small hand punch from gold or silver paper.  Beads would also work. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nancy Cronin Doll class

This doll was made from a kit made from Nancy Cronin.  She makes and sells dolls at shows.  I like her dolls because of the sense of humor they all portray.    I know how to make porcelain dolls and thought I knew all about dressing them.  After taking this class, I knew so much more I didn't know.  Pleather was used for the little pointed shoes.  Black nylon stockings were used for the bodice on the dress as well as the covering on the hat.  The stockings were grey, but could be any color.  They were nylon or baby stockings.  The trick is to use Fabric Tack, a quick drying glue.  No sewing on this one.  It is so much quicker, no bulky seams.  The hair was coconut fiber.  Very soft and lovely blonde color.  I enjoyed the class, as well as the stories we all told of our lives and experiences.

In April there are 3 big miniature shows in Chicago, the largest being the Tom Bishop International.  They are all taking place the same weekend.

Never having been there or to Chicago, I planned a vacation around the miniature shows.  It was a great vacation centered around  miniatures.   My daughter decided to go with me.  We flew up on an early flight and got to the hotel in time for the Continental breakfast.  The Hotel we stayed at was on Ohio Street, one block away from the subway entrance and bus pickups.  Also within a short walking distance of Michigan Ave, the Shopping Mile.  We walked were we could and used the subways everyday.
Very clean and efficient way to go from one end of town to another.  The subway attendants are very cordial and willing to help you get from here to there.  This was my first experience with the subways.  A three day pass lets you use the subways or buses unlimited times, with just a swipe of a card.  The subway will take you to both airports with only 1 transfer.  I wish I would have know this before I hired a cab.  $1.00 vs 25.00.  Next time I will pack a lighter suitcase and take the subway.  The cab in the morning wanted to pick up as many people as possible at different Hotels  I don't like to rush to get anywhere.

I wanted to see the Thorne Rooms at the Art Museum and also pick up any books related to miniatures.    Great gift shop at the Art Museum.   Across the street is the Architectural Museum and gift shop.  This is where you pick up the tours.  A lot of history in Chicago.  We got to see President Obama's home near the college campus where he was a professor.

The Chicago Science and Industry houses the Colleen Moore Doll House.  A must see!  The average house today would not be able to house it.  What a wonderful time she must have had collecting all the treasures it has in it from all over the world.  Colleen Moore was a famous, beautiful Actress in silent films.

We enjoyed High Tea at the Waldorf Hotel, just like in the 1920's where people  went to be seen.  The service was great and the experience of it once in a lifetime.

The Doll class was on Friday and the shows on Saturday.  It was a full day of wonderful Miniatures.  I bought many books from a dealer for 50 cents.  In my zeal I did not anticipate the weight and the suitcases.  I took 2, one almost empty to take my mini treasures home.  We  flew an airline  that the bags are free, unless you are 1 pound over and then it is 50.00  My bag was 1 pound under the limit.  That could have been some expensive books.!

A couple of books I got that were interesting and perhaps available on line or at the library:

The Sixty Eight Rooms-Marianne Malone -Unlock the Magic of the Thorne Rooms.    This is a fiction book centered around a mystery of two children who shrink down and visit the inside of the Thorne Rooms.

The Thorne Rooms-  Pictures of the Thorne Rooms that  are in the Art Museum.  Full color pictures and large enough to see the details.  Its a good thing I got this because my camera did not a good job because of the glass covers.

The Devil in the White City -Erik Larson    Murder, Magic, and madness at the Fair that changed America.    This is a book about the 1891 Worlds Fair in Chicago.  Based on Historical accounts.  An excellent account of events, and the first Ferris Wheel.  We also got postcards of the actual buildings of this event.  The buildings were all made of white sandstone and marble.  Thus the name the White City.   Who knew such things happened in the Victorian Era.  This book was a National  Book Award Finalist.
The only building left of this event is the Center of Science and Industry.  

Its a Miracle! Dollhouse takes me out of traffic Jam

A Dollhouse with a possibility

A dog with a possibility, Almost as big as the dollhouse-Miss Feloney

Today turned into one of those days titled "You can't have a good day everyday".
Not only for me but for a lot of other people as well.  I have never saw so many ambulances and accidents as I did today.  I decided to splurge and go thru the car wash.  My first stop I looked it over and there was grease all over the back.  They must have just greased the brushes before I came.  I even splurged and tipped the  hand towel dry people that overlooked that grease.   I spent a half hour cleaning that up.  A quick haircut turned into a 2 hour wait.  I entertained myself watching the accident clean up out front.  I am not  a clothes shopper until I absolutely have to.  Today not a shoe or piece of clothes in the style I wanted in my size  . All I accomplished was to see what everyone else was wearing in their size.  The weather was hot, people were grouchy and I just decided to call it a day. I was more depressed after going out than if I would have just stayed home.  Well God and his tender Mercy knew I needed a quick pick me up and  another traffic jam was created for my benefit.   Everyone was at a complete standstill.   I looked over and saw this dollhouse calling me!  Oh my goodness!   Lucky no traffic was coming and I flew my car over into the driveway across the street.  A great dollhouse with a little wear for $20.00!  Now the biggest obstacle was the 20.00.  I just came from shopping.  A quick clean out of everything in the car turned up 10.00.   The glove box turned up a roll of  quarters reserved for hand car washes.   Thank the Lord for small miracles!  The lady said it was from a kit.   She pointed out it had some flaws, but in her eyes the flaws were not the tacky real carpet samples, real linoleum from her kitchen and contact paper floors.  It was a spindle that had come loose and needed re glued.   I can see a Halloween house out of this one.  I love to remodel and this will provide me lots of entertainment this winter.  What a true joy that was to find.  I was not even upset that my drive thru food fell out of the bag and onto the floor when I speed  out of traffic into the drive across the street.  Who needs to eat at a time like this.  My mini sole has been fed!

I am thankful for Gods tender Mercy's in my life.  I am also thankful for spell check, without it you would not be able to discern what I am talking about in this de-lightfil,   butiful, blag!   ( Delightful Beautiful. Blog! )   Ha,ha!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tic Tac Fish Aquarium

Background from internet and Tic Tac box
Finished Fish Aquarium from Tic Tack Box

Today I made a fish Aquarium from a Tic Tack box.  If you don't know what that is, go to the gum and candy lane at the check out and they are small  breath mints.  The size I got was called the big pack.  I wanted a little larger fish tank. It is 2 3/4 x 1/3/4 in size.  I went  onto the Internet--google-images--fish aquariums and selected a background with lots of color.  I  right clicked and saved to my picture file.  Then I opened from the picture file and selected print.  It takes you to the windows pictures and I selected the smallest size.   I cut a little off the top and sides to fit the tic tack box. 

Remove the white flip lid and cut and fit your picture to the box.  Glue into the box.  Next I cut a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom and covered it with sand.  After dry- slide in to the bottom of the box adhering with glue.  The rest is shells, rocks and moss and ferns I had left over from a garden project applying with glue and using tweezers to put into the fish tank..  The fish are stickers  I glued just in the middle leaving the fins and head to curl and stick out a bit.  This gives a 3 D effect.  To cover the end off I used clear plastic that  covers the items in a box that you purchase and have to use a knife to get the items out.  Theft protection?.  Lightly glue and allow to dry.  I used the same mural on the back in case it would show.

Since this is for my Grandson I did not use resin.  The box is not real clear plastic and so it has  the illusion of water inside.  This will be another addition to his shell collection room box.

At a recent show I purchased a fish tank that had tiny colored rocks and fish.  It was very nicely made and looked to be in a tooth brush container that had been cut down. Resin had been used and looked like real water.  Now I don't know how long she had saved these but I looked all over and they just don't put tooth brushes in the square containers anymore.  How unfortunate!  I looked for anything in a square plastic container and could not find anything, except the Tic Tack containers

The hardest thing about this was choosing the background picture.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Miniature leather suitcase from Altoids cases

Supplies Needed:  Altoids smalls tin-2 1/4 x3" size
Old leather wallet , tacky glue, black or brown marker, leather cord , peel off metallic sticker from scrapbook aisle.

Finished suitcase next to Altoids case

Finished suitcase next to open Altoids case

Click on picture to enlarge for

Not many supplies are needed for this project.  An empty Altoids case the mini size, an old leather wallet, tacky glue, leather jewelry cord and stickers from the scrapbook aisle.  These look like metal and they go into the corners of your pictures.  I cut small areas off for the locks and the metal handle holders.  Optional are the maps and tickets in the pocket which I printed off from a free printies site.

This suitcase is made to stay open or partially close because I used the already existing hinges from the case.  When adding the leather it adds a little more thickness than the hinges can handle to close shut.  I am working on more suitcases making hinges from the inside
Cut about 1/2 inch down from all stitching on the wallet making a straight piece.  If you notice on the picture I used this portion inside the suitcase to line the walls. and the back lid. 

 I unloosened the hinges by pulling them back and released the lid and removed.  Glue the top and the bottom to the wrong side of the big piece of leather.  Let dry and then using small sharp scissors cut around the bottom and the top.   Where you have cut use a brown or black marker and paint the raw edges that you have cut.  Now apply a thin ribbon of glue all around where the leather is meeting the metal.  This will be where you apply the leather cord.  It will seal off the area on the tin where the next piece of leather will butt up to it.   Allow to dry. 

  Now cut a thin piece of leather that fits butted up to the cord and then reaching the top of the tin.  This is the side areas.  After fitting use marker to seal off raw edges just cut.  When happy with the fit glue onto sides and let dry.  Hold at any seams with clothes pins.  Do the top lid and the bottom the same way.

The insides I used the black satin that is inside the wallet to stabilize it.This is  used for  the lining in the lid and bottom.  Cut a pattern out of paper  first and then lightly glue onto a card stock piece cut from the pattern.  A piece of card stock from scrap booking in the same color of satin will be best.  Glue into lid and bottom.  Next using the strips that have the stitching , fit and then glue to the inside-sides of the tin.  On the lid using satin and a small thin piece I made a pocket, gluing on the sides and aroud  bottom only so I could put maps and tickets in there.

A handle is created from some of the leather that has been stitched and using the marker color both sides now glue on the ends only and hold until dry with clothes pins.  The  areas where the hinges go back in can be cut with a slit using an exacto knife.  Slice the leather and insert and tighten up the hinges.

The metal looking stickers select areas that look like locks and glue to lid and bottom.  I cut little triangle areas and glued to the ends of the handle to look like metal supports on the handle.

One wallet will be enough to make 2 of these suitcases.  They can be found for a song at garage sales or thrift stores.   The older the better.  To enhance the leather use face creme or furniture  polish to bring a shine to the leather.    I preferred mine to be a little beat up.  When going thru my Fathers things after he passed away, I found every wallet I had ever got him over a period of 30 years, still brand new in the boxes.  I kept them for such a project as this.

This would look good on a bed with clothes draped over it.  Or if you were real crafty you could pack it with clothes and shoes.   It is an easy project, you just have to fit and cut a lot.

If you like Altoids you could save the tins and use this for a club project.  I like the sugar free.  They fit into a pocket  or purse and don't take up a lot of space.  I find mine at Walmart and Walgreen.

You could use this same process using material or prints.  I would paint the back of my material with a little glue or Modge Podge first and allow to dry.  It will stabilize the material.  A little girls suitcase in pink would be cute.  Or a little boys in blue filled with all the toys necessary for a vacation trip!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pigs birthday party

The above picture of the two pigs I found off of pinterest.  It brought a smile to my face.  I thought it would be cute to do a miniature of the pigs.  I just happened to find the small pig at a clearance table at the craft store.  The cake is from a Walgreen's face serum bottle.  I have blogged about that last month.  I used puffy paint in the above color and apply to the pig and the cake.  The tiny pigs around the cake are cut from paper and glued on.    Fiskars has a teeny tiny cassette punch with 36 interchangeable dies.  They are very small and can be used for cookies and other items in 1/12 scale.  There is a set of gingerbread man and woman I have used a lot for cookies.  Others in the set are pig, cow, horse,cat apple, butterfly, chicken,/  Very cute set of punches.