Friday, December 29, 2017

Dollar Tree mini finds and See the Possibilities in useless things

Dollar Tree self contained wine glass turned into a self contained dome. Not 
 too much design was done  here but only the basics to show what could be possible.  This wine glass has a screw on stem that is self enclosed inside.  It makes its own pop on base.  The stem could be cut off but I will wrap  red and white to make a candy cane or cover with a Christmas tree.  This one has a wreath around the screw on stem part and topped with a jewel bobble.  Very heavy clear plastic and one to a package for $1.00.  Usually found hanging up on side posts or end cap with descending hooks.

The Dollar Tree also has the short plastic glasses on the left no base,  5 to a package with a swirl to it.  Turned upside down over a mini scene the base becomes a flat table for a tea candle or a cookie or cupcake next to a dinner plate.  The one on the right is the self enclosed wine glass above.  The stem is screwed into the bottom and a tea candle, place card, candy or tiny gift could be placed on that bottom, now the top as well.  A base of cardboard covered scrapbook paper could be made with mini scene, tree, house inside.

Base that the glass snaps into when not in use.

Dollar Tree in the school or teacher supplies.  50- 3/4" foam blocks that are just the perfect stability for boxes to wrap up for faux mini  gifts .  No cutting up wood or building a package.  Just wrap and glue.  Hard foam very compact.  These could also be carved and painted if you need blocks for landscape.
Dollar Tree Christmas erasers 50% off.  You see Erasers, I see lots of mini cakes that could be enhances with 3-D puffy paint for icing and sprinkles with no hole beads.  

This was the best  one in  there,  I got several packages just because of this red truck.  It will be a 3-d cake when I get done with it.  So tiny and so cute.

This was not purchased at Dollar Tree but another store similar to it called Ollies.  This is a large pill container with 7 days worth of compartments, each with 4 dividers in them.  Look at the colors and see shelves in a child's play area or play room.  Each container is 2 x 2-1/2".  Each compartment is 1 inch in size.  Painted with plastic primer I see stack able book shelves for a library with Industrial studs filling up the holes for the lids.  The lids are clear with writing on them but they could be painted with silver and make good cookie baking pans.  This was about $3.00.  The bright colors drew me right to it.

This is a Dollar Tree purchase.  Such a big improvement of the turkey basters of old.  This is a flavor injector.  If you do resin this is a must have.  Look where the injector is, on the side.  Perfect  for tiny molds and more control of the resin.  This has a plunger for more control and it is heavy plastic which is easier to clean with the resin.  This could be used for wood glue when doing shingles and larger projects.  Glue would stay fresh because it has suction and a vacuum to it.  Definitely a must have.

These were purchased this at Michael's in the scrapbook area.  This is made by BoBunny and is laser cut  chipboard.  Very detailed and just the right size for 1/12" projects.  All clock faces and have a lot of possibilities.  This line of scrapbook items have a lot that can be used in miniatures, paper, Ephemera.
Found at the Goodwill pound store.  Next to nothing in cost.  Someone took the lace off and tossed the holder away.  I see heavy plastic window frames for Shabby Chic decorating.

These are very small plastic dishes with a slant to them.  They are covers from shaving razors(found at Dollar Tree)
These will be nice for trays in the bakery.
This was my most exciting find of the Christmas Season.  I'm not one to like to take time to  wrap packages.  But this year the stops were pulled out.  The wrapping party had to stop to fuss over this unusual core from the ribbon that was finished off.
It is plastic and the 2 cores on the side were in the holes.  The size of the grey heavy plastic is about the same size of the gum container that were used for the Fairy Houses  in last months blogs.  If you remember the calculator that got ran over  with all the keys that look like windows on the back side, they fit into these 12 openings like a glove.  I can see a cupola on the side of my next gum container Fairy house.  Of course I had to find the items right away and the package wrapping was put on the back burner until 2 days later.  When inspiration hits you have to give into it.!

It doesn't take much to make me happy!    Happy New year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year -wrapping up 2017

These Grand pups will certainly bring a smile to your face.
Santa Claus brought me some lighting for my work space.  Led 2000 day light lumen's.  15 watts  and LED life of 50,000 hours. This really makes a difference in my pictures and area lighting in my work space.

Red truck with area spot lighting, had a yellow tinge. 

Red truck with the 2,000 lumen LED work light.  Small and portable plug in  There is really a big difference.  Not saying too much about the Red truck because those items are still being worked on.  The only thing I will say is turning a green truck into a red truck did have its bad points.  A calm sunny day with bright candy apple red spray paint turned into much more than I bargained for.  There was no wind when I went out onto the deck.  I pushed down onto the nozzle and a wind tornado went through just at the moment, contained in it smoke and residue from a neighbors leaf burn off.  The spray from the paint went all over the place including my hair.  It was now  blonde with bright red streaks in it.  Also my face looked very sunburned until I scrubbed it.    All the silver paint was painted on with super fine brush and silver alcohol ink.  

Before putting my Christmas room boxes back to bed, I decided to take pictures of them.  This one is a Victorian Engagement.  The wallpaper and lovely pictures do not show on the back wall because they are attached to the cover that needed to be taken off to take the picture.

1950's waiting for Santa Claus.  This was inspired by the Kobachers Department store in our town in the 1950's.  They had a small door entrance just for kids to see Santa Claus and purchase items for your parents.  No adults or big kids got to go into it.  I remember really being put out the first time I was refused entrance.  The aluminum trees became popular at that time and I was fascinated by the color wheel that turned to change the tree different colors.  This one was made from silver tinsel pipe cleaners and glued into a foam cone.  The sleigh next to the tree was a remake from thrift store.  

Santa's workshop room box.  It looks pretty congested in the picture, a lot going on.  In real life it is just right .All the toys are from a life long of collecting and classes that I have taken over the years.

Detail of the left corner  All the dolls were made by me from molds by various doll artisans

Back side of room box.

Santa taking a resin bath.  Water looks pretty dirty.  This is my first lesson with resin.  If you are putting it into metal coat it first with glue or Mod Podge and let it dry.  The heat and chemicals will react with the tin in the metal.

This is my favorite manger set.  The animals are from the Dollar Tree this year.  Just before Christmas they got in boxes of farm animals and Circus animals, lots of horses.  The faces are so cute on them and really made well.  The sheep and donkeys aren't showing and the circus animals will come in handy with a future project.  I certainly hope they continue to get these animals in.  The tiny children are about 1/12" scale and were designed by Julie Good-Kruger.  The detail in these are fantastic.  Little Girls and Boyd's Pageant Series it is called.  Probably not available now since the Boyd's Bears Company is out of business.  I got them about 15 years ago when I visited the Boyd's barn in Gettysburg, Pa., also closed.  Such a tragedy, it was a great tourist destination.  I met Patty Duke my childhood TV idol there one time as she designed Bears for them.
The manger itself was a real find at the pound store.  It was a little beat up and had made in Germany on the back.  Looks like it has had some adventures in its time and I really liked it.  
The story behind the designer of these little dolls are inspired by the many school Christmas pageant's in which the designer's children performed.  They all have sneakers on their feet.  It appealed to me because I also designed the costumes for children's pageants at Church.  The fidgeting that went on to get them to co-operate.  It was the high spot of Christmas!

I treated myself with a  Die cutter to Cut Sizzix  dies with for Christmas.  Tim Holtz has created a series of tiny houses that are adorable.  To see all the neat items that can be made go to search on You tube Tim Holtz Village houses.
I have had a Cricket cutter for about 10 years and a lot of soft ware for it.  One of the puppies chewed the cord  and it has sat waiting for a new cord to come into stock.  I recently found some one that fixed it and I have been reaquainted with the cutter and the soft ware.  Isn't it funny that 10 years ago there was a red truck on the soft ware as well as architectural details and fences that can be made in to 1/12" miniature scenes.  It really was like Christmas rediscovering all the items boxed away.  The excitement of a new toy came back to me.  I look forward to all the new possibilities for these items and the creative things that can be made with them.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas ornaments, Dollar Tree mini Mason Jars, Seeing the Possibilities in throw away items

Christmas Cookie Ornament up close.

Made Three more cookie ornaments from left over cookies from last weeks tutorial.

These are being given as gifts.  

Small picture frames for miniatures used as the back drop, added a piece of Christmas paper on the back and glued a ribbon loop in between the paper for a hanger
This was a gingerbread house that I did a Tutorial on earlier in December.  I made 5 more and found these small plastic mason jar ornaments at Dollar Tree.  A heavy cardboard base was cut out to insure the fit.  The houses were glued and allowed to dry on the rounds before inserting them into the jar.  After inserting the house, holding it upside down , tacky glue was applied around the lip on the opening and then drop the round with the house on top of that.  The hanger on the top needs taken off so you can put a long piece of flexible wire in from the top to tap all along the sides to seal down the cardboard.  When dry the top can be put back on and the lid screwed on.  A little pine was added with Holly and berry's at the top and pine pipe cleaner around the lid area.  I made 5 of these for gifts and found a tall gift box at Dollar tree of a Gingerbread cottage to put them in.  They had a whole village of gift boxes in old style buildings.  Sold out within 2 days.

See the  Possibilities in the trash.  I am real excited about this one.  As I was waiting for pictures to download I happened to look into the trash can and see a large hand held calculator that  had been  purchased at Dollar Tree.  It has large keys for visual, but I got it for the large keys, those small ones don't cut it with my fingers.  It had fallen on the floor one day and I forgot to pick it up.  My office chair accidentally rolled over top of it and broke the back.  Disgusted with myself and not the chair, the calculator was thrown in the trash.  Rediscovering it and with plenty of time while waiting for the pictures to download, I retrieved my mini screwdriver and tore this thing apart.   Inside was  found about 14 mini baking pans with sections in them, or small mini windows for my fairy cottages with paper clay.  The cellophane circuit board is really neat and the top component has a few mini bulbs and wires on it.  Of course the button battery inside fits my watch.  The top cover I see a screen door and several window frames.  The best part is the rubber sheet of circle dots.
I found a cork which has a shape like a carry out coffee cup.  The little button cut out fits right on top and looks like a lid of coffee.  Same indentation on the outside and the inside.  A slot and flap could be made and cut out of the excess plastic on the rest of the pad.


Side view on a cork. Its cut  out a little crooked, could not find my micro  cutters.    Print out some labels and make card stock cups, latte to go!  All these items for only a $1.00.  Also in the tear apart there were about 15 tiny screws that can be used in mini doors and furniture.  
Stopping at McDonald's for the Seasonal soup they have new carriers this year.  I cut out the interesting shapes. from the bottom.  Plus the sides on each cup have textured  areas that are large enough to get several stones for a walk way out of.  Several years ago I did a work shop making floors out of textured cardboard cartons and egg trays.  Cut out the shapes you want, drop in water with paint added and them drop the cardboard in.  The paint soaks in very well.  Take out of the water and put between paper towels to  get rid of excess water and immediately apply glue to the area to be covered and glue the wet tile down.  Apply a book with paper underneath to weight it down.  Let dry overnight and take off the book .  When completely dry apply a waterproof varnish over top, let dry and then if  you left cracks between the tiles, grouting can be added with a sponge and wiped off.  We used Spackle between the cracks.  It has been 5 years or more and the tiles are still just like they looked when made.  Several pans of different color water were used to give the look of natural stone tiles.
The center  of this carton is a stone looking pedestal and would great in a garden with a stature on top of it. 

This wood truck  found this at a craft store.  It is not miniature but  3 of them were made for gifts.   I am going to put them on a Burlap frame for the door.  It was unfinished wood, and a lot of time went into painting each one.  A Welcome sign will be added to the top along with a  rustic tie of cord.

I also made an ugly Sweatshirt this week for my Daughter.  It was the Leg lamp from the Christmas Story.  Leg was made out of paper clay.  Did not get a picture, but Dollar tree supplied the tinsel, the lighted leds for the lamp and 2 necklaces that light up to look like old fashioned Christmas lights.  They continue to get in some of the neatest things to Craft with.  I went back to get more Mason jars and 3 Dollar Tree in our area were out of those.

My Grandson and Grand pup are coming this week and we will be making a few mini crafts that  will be  shared with you.  If  time  runs out  for the rest of the tutorials  that were  promised, we  will just pick up after Christmas and finish them off.

Have a great week!  Cold and Snowy here so don't feel guilty at all about not being outside.

Friday, December 8, 2017

No bake cookie baking tutorial and ornaments

Ornament made from 3" Christmas picture frame.  A small table of thick cardboard was made to stick out from the bottom of the frame.  The Heart of the Home is from scrapbook items from my stash.  Glued to the top of the table is a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough from paper clay and colored with paint, dotted chocolate chips on with paint.  A turned tooth pick painted red on the end is inserted before the clay dries.  A gingerbread button cookie, wooden spoon, rubber blade, rolling pin 3 candy canes and tree cookie cutter are glued on the top of the table.  Underneath the table an apron was glued on with 2 pot holders and towel.  This gives the table extra support.  The gingerbread men are from the apron material, reinforced on the back with Mod Podge and cut out, glue onto material folded into a towel shape.  Fray the ends.  The back of the apron has a card stock sticker to reinforce the material front and make it rigid.  It has a saying on it about the kitchen.  Forgot to take a picture of the back.  Silk ribbon was attached and tied on the back into a pretty bow for apron strings.  I believe the back should be as pretty as the front.  I was taught that at a young age when learning to sew.  The seams are just as important and the rest of the item.  I look at the construction of a handmade item or garment, just a habit.

Another 3 inch picture frame to go with the one above.  This one was made into a cookie tray with all the cookies I made this year and some from other years.  Both of these are ornaments with red sheer silk ribbon in the molded ribbon on the top.  These ornaments were just plain gold and to change the look were dry brushed green and wiped off so that the green went into the veins.  On the back I covered the frame hole with a hard card stock with embossed designs on it.  Then bronze alcohol inks were applied on the back and the molded ribbon.  I do have a red truck cookie in there but I will cover that in another tutorial.
Now on with the no bake cookies:
I made these from paper clay and cut them out with Kemper cutters found in the clay area of any craft store.  For the round ones you could use erasers cut in thin slices, or take eraser out of a pencil and use the round metal to cut the cookies out or shape the metal into a star form.  You could also use paper punch outs in different shapes out of foamie sheets or  card stock.

From the circles I made:
Chocolate Chip -paint tiny chips on cookies and dust with baked looking chalks

Peanut butter cookies-while still wet cross hatch the clay with a tiny fork to resemble peanut butter cookies.  Use a golden brown chalk dusted on top for  the right look.

Snow men-The color of the clay is white.  I used puffy paint for the icing and applied tiny black beads for the eyes and puffy paint for the nose.

Reindeer-the ears are tiny shells glued on to the top.  In between the ears are antlers made from the gold centers  flower picks of poinsettia tutorial of 12/07/2017.  Glue on top between ears.  Grape stems dried out have interesting antler type texture.  Paint brown and when dry apply beige muff.  The eyes are tiny white beads with a toothpick dot of black paint to the center.  Top it off with a tiny red bead for a nose.  Grape stems dried out make unusual plant bases and don't break apart.

The stars: I used white puffy paint on the ones next to the snowmen and topped while still wet with no hole gold beads.

Poinsettias on top right corner-Red paint and tooth pick striped yellow  from center out while red paint was still wet.  Gold no hole bead glued to center

These tiny wood animals are from a bag of assorted size animals found in scrapbook area at Joanne 'Fabrics.  There are about 4 sizes, the smallest size is by the toothpick.  These would make great cookies painted in detail and icing with Mod Podge.   Joanne's Fabrics  also carry a package of assorted people in unfinished wood.  The tinest could be used on a rest room door in miniature.  Markers or paint could be used.  I prefer the 3-D puffy paint because it has height to it and also a small applicator makes it easy to do small areas and looks just like Royal Icing when dry.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Poinsettia remake, salvaged remake of Metal plant tree

Poinsettia tree makeover-measures out with the flowers at 7-1/2 inches tall.  This would look good in a shop or an old Victorian house with higher ceilings.   There are 14 pots of flowers that had to be made to fill it.  Unfortunately the picture doesn't give the good detail and glitzy sparkle of the flowers.   Mini Holly leaves were used  around the front of each table made from cardboard.  The 9 mini snowmen are from Michael's, maybe last year.  These are so tiny and so cute.  Glitter sparkle snow on each one. 

Detail of the bottom with Dept. 56 Icicles found at thrift store.

 The white metal Christmas tree flower pot holder was  found a few years back on sale.I know why it was on sale.  Each metal loop was uneven and not the same size. My pots would not fit, and the smaller ones fell through. A heavy cardboard a circle was cut to  fit on top of the metal loops and secured with glue.  When dry it was painted with gesso- two coats and then white paint, sanding in between each coat.  Now the pots can be glued on and I found the Holly and the icicles in my stash.  It adds a little Christmas touch.  The garland Happy Holidays came from the scrapbook area, Jolene's brand.
This poinsettia tree was inspired by a real one seen a few years ago at Ogelbay light Festival in West Virgina.  It was a site to see. Front and back was covered with colorful flowers each row a different color.

Sturdy cardboard tables covered with 2 coats of Gesso and then sanded, painted white for final coats.  Glued right on top of round metal circles.

The supplies needed to remake poinsettias in 1/12" scale.  You will need a paintbrush, wire snips, small sharp scissors, tweezers, Matt Mod Podge, and the red poinsettias above are small mini picks found at the craft store.  They are about the size of a quarter.  Tooth paste caps for the pots, tacky glue and  coffee grounds for the dirt inside the pots. The tooth paste caps were painted  terra cotta, and then afterward found some candy foil in red, silver and gold and wrapped the pots just like they do in the store.  The little gold center I saved for reindeer antlers in my cookie baking tutorial. The wire from the flower pick can be saved for a future flower making adventure.
Tear apart the flowers.  These are silk.  Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge on the red flowers and leaves both front and back sides and let dry.  This gives them a very transparent  real look to them and also makes the silk not ravel when cut..  Now cut all the petals and leaves apart from the rest.  The leaves and petals are a little big so trim about 1/8" off the petals and cut each leaf in half cross wise.  This will make 2 nice size leaves out of every one.  Notice the shape the leaves are and cut down and shape into new smaller leaves. 

Next to the tooth paste caps are  the pips I found for the flower base.  They are bumpie,yellow and light green and attached to a wire already.  Any pips(flower centers ) will do as long as they are shaped like this.

Using tacky glue and tweezers start going around the pip with 5 petals.  The next row will be 5-7 petals glued in between the gaps created from the first row.  I used between 3-4 leaves of green for the next row evenly spaced.  Let dry.  After completing I put a little glue in the inside on the pip and used green and gold no hole beads to enhance the inside.  Paint the pots, or use ready made pots.   I resorted to toothpaste caps because all the craft stores in the area don't carry them until spring.   Put glue to the top of pot, cover with coffee grounds for the dirt, overfill and pat down, shorten the stems of the flower or flowers and insert into the dirt.  Allow to dry and shake off excess coffee and no hole beads.  I applied a bit of glue around the top of the pot and sized the candy foil so that the corners of the front and back extended over the pot.  I then wrapped the foil so that it covered each pot and left  4 corners evenly spaced on the pot.  It will look just like the ones in the store.  Candy foil papers have a color on one side and and silver on the other.  A pack of these goes a long way and can be used for a variety of things,  wrapping tiny gifts for one.

The pink poinsettias are made out of one large poinsettia in pink and white.  I found it on the floor of the craft store and they gave it to me.  It had leafs attached as well.  Mode Podge it all over and cut out small leaves and flower petals and repeat the process of the red ones.  Could not find any more toothpaste caps so will have to make the rest out of paper clay or Fimo.  Not even the Fairy Garden area had pots.
This well made sturdy wood stove and cupboard that opens up was found at a thrift store.  It is maybe Barbie size.  I decided it would hold items I'm making up higher for me to work on  and I can store them in the cupboard until finishing the project.  It would also make a table to photograph things on.  Not real big  and wish there were a few more .  This might be Melissa and Doug.  It is very well made.

Well there are a few more Christmas How-To's on the drawing table.  Cookie baking without baking them in the oven, ornaments using small miniatures, Jello desserts, and if you are a Red Truck fan, I have some real treats for you in that area.