Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Snow men table and chairs remake from Dollar Tree furniture, felt and paint

This is a perfect dining set for winter time. It  was created just for the popcorn snowman in the center of the table.  The heads and place mats are all crocheted using a size   Boye 10/1 .30mm crochet hook.  I purchased mine from A Gibson Girl at the Chicago show.  It is a small hook.  The thread is crewel embroidery thread.  The heads are simple to make- single crochet 3 stitches and slip stitch back into the first stitch making a loop.  From then on crochet in each  loop and after each loop chain one without going into a loop,  before doing the next stitch..  This increases the sizes and eases the circle around without buckling  the circle.  Make the circles to desired size and slip stitch the final stitch wanted and tie off.  Weave loose ends into a few loops to hide.   The place mats are  1-1/4" round and the heads on the chair are  1 " round.

The table was an unfinished round table from a craft store.  I used scrapbook paper in a tiny blue check for the cloth.  Mittens were cut out from felt for the silverware to set on.  Tiny silverware is Chrysnbon.  To see the popcorn snowman tutorial go to  January 22, 2018  to see instructions.

The chairs are Dollar Tree mismatches from more than a few years ago.  They  needed to be sanded and repaired, re glued the legs.  After that everything was  painted white.  Little black boots were painted on the fronts and a toothpick dipped in white created the buttons on the shoes sides.

Hats are cut out of felt.  I did both sides of the head and trimmed off with a pompom and a glittered trim on the bottom of the hat, also used the glitter trim on the bottom of the chair to trim off.

Mittens are blue felt, scarf around the necks  is embroidery floss in blue.

All the eyes and mouth are black paint using the end of a paintbrush and nose orange paint put on with a toothpick. 

The buttons down the front are real tiny buttons found at Joanne Fabrics.  They have these in all colors.

I laid the chairs on their  backs --down  on felt and traced from the seat up and around to the other side creating a sort of oval adding 1/4" for sewing.  Cut out 2 matching per chair and sew 1/4" around leaving the bottom open..  Turn inside out and cover the chair back.  This should be a snug fit and can be stretched out a little so it sits even with the seat of the chair.  I took needle and thread and wove a running stitch around the bottom and tightened and knotted the bottom of the felt to  chair back.  Run a bead of glue around before tightening.

 Next make a paper pattern of the seat.  Add 1/4" on that and cut 2 per chair out of felt.  Check each chair, they aren't consistent in size.  sew leaving the back side open.  Turn inside out and either glue the back shut or running stitch it shut with thread.  I did not stuff this with anything the felt was thick enough.  After sewing all my seats were just a tad short, and so was my patience.  I found some white pom poms and glued around the front and sides of the seat cushion to cover the gaps.  It looks like I planned it that way!

A note about felt.  I was at Joannes Fabrics and thought the felt was just on sale for 25Cents a square.  Right next to it was $1.25 squares.  They looked just the same.  So I got the cheap one.  Did not notice that it had a sticker on it that it was made of 100% recycled plastic.  I am all for recycling but I did not like this felt.  It was hard to cut, Little strings of lint came off of it and it was not pleasant to handle or sew.  I'm glad about finding this out before I do my applique blocks with felt.  It won't be this kind of felt.

Here is the Dollar Tree Chairs I had to start out with.  They weren't that great about 10 years ago or more but it was all that was available.  The legs usually were not on straight and the glue they used was not strong.

This is my favorite snowman chair.  It is made out of the Dollar Tree chair from way back shown below out of plaid.
I re upholstered it in a blue oval charm pack material blogged about from Tuesday Morning Last week.  It took 3- 5x5" pieces to do this.  The legs were painted white and black boots were added with paint.  Tooth pick white buttons on the side.  Bunka trimmed off all the seams.  Aileen's tacky glue was used for all.

The stick arms are paper cut out with a scrapbook die, and dry brushed with white paint.  The hat is from a Joleen's scrapbook sticker.  The paint process is the same as the other chairs.  Buttons from Joanne's.  The head is crocheted 1", the middle section  1-1/4" and the bottom sections is  1-1/2" glued onto chair.  I added a piece of cardboard and then felt on the back of the head to keep it upright.

To upholstery a chair such as this I don't have a pattern.  The easiest way is to do a section at a time, use a tooth pick and  smooth all over Aileen's   tacky glue in a thin coat.  Apply you material and let it hang over about 1/4".  Let this dry and then trim off with sharp scissors right up to the chair.  Do each section this way letting it dry before proceeding to the next.  Seal seams with a thin bead of glue and bunka .  I used it as it comes in the pack.  I pulled the end thread and it made it look too nubby and uneven so I went for the unpulled bunka look.

Here is the before of the chair.  Over sized plaid.  They even had couches in this stuff.  The basic form was what was needed so it became a good candidate for reupholstering.

I hope you have enjoyed the Snowmen.  There is still lots of snow falling outside here today.  I have 2 more projects involved with Snowmen and then its  on to something else.  Maybe if I think Spring it will happen soon.!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

See the possibilities, Tuesday Morning and Dollar Tree finds for miniature making

This is a package of facial wipes from the Dollar Tree.  They are very high quality and Lavender scented, but that is not totally  why I got them.  Notice the door.  Take the label off the front and it is a blank canvas.  It snaps shut and is about the size of a refrigerator door in  1/12" scale.  Lay it down flat and build a bottom it could also be a chest type freezer.

Open it up and there is this wonderful casing with a hinge attached.  When this pack is empty I will cut off the lid  and put in my trash stash to be remade into a door of some kind.

I found this Origami paper at Tuesday Morning.  The top row  is Travel/writing themed and has 32 different patterns and 250 sheets, the black and white has 16 patterns with 300 sheets  These are 3"x 3" in size and very tiny prints.   It could be used to wrap mini presents, mini scrap booking, line drawers or paper a wall or use behind a picture frame.  Some of the checks and stripes could be used in 1/2" or 1/4" scale for flooring or wallpaper.   They also had this same paper in 5"x 5" but the pattern was much bigger.  I was amazed how small  $2.99 and $3.99 .  I will be using this a lot.  It is also good quality paper and not thin like most of the Origami paper.

This material was found at Tuesday Morning  5"x 5" 100% cotton  42 pieces in shades of blue. for $4.99.  These are all mini prints and could be used in mini making and they co-ordinated.  They have been getting a lot of these in weekly, but they go fast.  Quality material and ready cut with pinked edges .  This one is called Blue Dots, and could be used in a quilt top just as they are.

Another Charm pack of 5"x 5"  ready to sew 100% cotton fabrics.  Let me Entertain you  is the title on it and  Robert  Kaufman Fabrics is listed on the front.  This is mini prints in black, grey and white.  TV and computers, Tickets and movie cameras, 42 squares total for $5.99.  I think I will make chairs and couches with these.  I was amazed at the tiny TV sets from different eras.  These are pinked with shears on the ends and could be used in a quilt or pillow as well.  Last week I found farm themed ones with tiny pigs, cows, and chickens with matching material.  Tiny prints with a theme on them are very hard to find.

I have recently started to go to Tuesday Morning every Sunday.  The clerk told me the Truck comes in on Thursday with new deliveries.  If you are a scrapbook, journal or artist of scrap dies and circuit cutters, this place is just unbelievable.  I am a fan of Tim Holtz and they get dies's and thin lets in there at drastically reduced prices.  Ephemera, tiny flip books of mini paper, small themed beads, all the brand names at reduced prices.  Paint brushes, paint, lace, buttons, lots of things for mini making.  You just never know what you are going to find, and the merchandise goes fast,  If you see it, better get it.  They also carry the beautiful books in themes that open up to store things inside.  These make really nice shadow boxes.  The last time I was there  An Alice in Wonderland book caught my eye.  I had to say no because I found too many other tiny papers and glitter spray.  If It was purchased then I would have to make all the dolls for inside, but the theme would be fantastic to work on.  

If you are not familiar with Tuesday Mornings they have really quality merchandise at greatly reduced prices.  Maybe closeouts or year end.  Furniture, bedding, bath, toys, unusual food.  I stocked up on chocolate coffee, for the year.  You never know what you will find there.

This is a Dollar Tree Chair from the Early days when they first started to sell Doll Furniture.  The other pieces they carried were the very dark mahogany.  I am transforming this chair into something else and have been working all day but just could not get it done.  Dollar Tree furniture certainly has come a long way.  I found 4 matching chairs in my stash and spent a good  deal of time taking the legs off and sanding and re gluing before they  could be painted. The next tutorial will be a Snowman Related one turning this chair into a snowman, Snowman chairs and table with snowman head place mats.  All this just  so I have a table to put the popcorn snowman on from my last tutorial.

The idea for the next tutorial came to me while crocheting  some snowman pillows.  The beginning of the year our local craft shop has a drive for people to donate yarn and time to crochet squares to be joined together into warm blankets for shelters.  I always do this, other years it has been scarfs for people in the Armed Forces.   The long nights in the winter can produce a lot of blocks.  Then a pattern long forgotten came into my head of a pillow with a snowman head and scarf and hat that was made a long time ago.  After spending several hours finding the pattern I started to make some and in the process of doing so the thought  came into my mind " Oh wouldn't this be so cute in miniature."  You all can identify with me on this.  So the big production is on the work table and should be done in a few days.  

What were they thinking when they put that plaid on that chair?  It must have been the 1980's!  What was I thinking when I purchased it?  Oh, I'll put it away for 20 years and make it into a snowman some day and blog about it!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Miniature Popcorn Snowman Tutorial 1/12" scale

This is a very tiny snowman.  He is 1 inch without the hat, 1-1/4" with the hat.  Very easy to make
You can see how tiny he is on top of the Chrysnbon hutch that was completed this weekend.  It is not sanded or painted.  I think it will be painted for my Daisy Hill Shabby Chic kitchen in maybe a while and green
To make the tiny popcorn snowman you will need, Styrofoam pellets smallest size from Dollar Tree.  I know Christmas is over but you all got some of these for your stash, right?  A hat from my stash purchased from   a Baking shop.  If you don't have a tiny hat a paper punch and bead on top painted black will do.

The sharp end of the tooth pick needs painted orange for the nose.  The 3 beads need to be in graduated sizes and fit over a tooth pick.  I do not have a sizer for beads and these were out of my junk jewelry box.  The clear flat bead in the picture is a jewel find and  is being used for the base of the snowman.  Glue the 3 beads together onto the toothpick.  Cut the orange painted end off for the nose, leave any extra tooth pick for now to hold onto to complete the snowman.  We are talking tiny here  so the extra room will be needed to work with.  I used tacky glue applied on to bottom layer, then rolling into a cap full of the tiny snow pellets from Dollar Tree.  Let this layer dry for about an hour.  Push the space on the top of the bead indenting it in a bit, then repeat with glue and pellets for the middle layer.  Let dry about an hour and indent and define the ridge between the layers again.  Finally do the head the same way.

You may ask, why not do all the layers at once.?  Trust me, static cling of Styrofoam rolling around in glue.  We won't go there.  Doing one layer and moving on to the next right away  creates a mess and you will have to fix the other layers countless times before you are done.

 After all layers are dry, fill in any empty spots of your snowman.  Glue to a base.  The eyes are tiny black beads glued on.  The mouth and buttons are painted on with the end of a toothpick.  The scarf around the neck is thread.  The nose is from the end of the orange painted toothpick glued on.  The hat glue on in desired position.  The tiny arms are from German Statice that was in a floral arrangement..  This popcorn snowman was inspired by one I made a long time ago.

In the early years of my Domestic life when everything was new and exciting, I worked with a woman that was crazy about Christmas and loved to bake cookies.  She had 2 boys and invited me over to bake cookies with her and the kids.  It was a great time and she decided to make pop corn balls.  We made small popcorn snowmen for the boys and made larger ones for ourselves for table decorations.  What a great day and I was just in love with that snowman proudly displayed on my kitchen table.

I have mentioned before that my starter house was an old one being remodeled.  It was not sealed real well and in the middle of the night I awoke to a crunching sound.  There were no  children or pets in the house but it was definitely popcorn crunching sound being heard.  Brave I was not, but curious I was.  Turning on the light the culprit, a tiny mouse ran under the cupboard.  I later caught him under a bowl and gave it mercy by letting it go outside.  MR. Snowman had lost his right side.  I had to throw it away, but never forgot what a  delight it was. 

The next year  another popcorn snowman was made  and stored  on a shelf in my pantry.  Spring time came and there were ants everywhere.  I followed the tracks to the pantry and they were enjoying Mr. Snowman.  I have never made another until this one being posted today.  No sugar syrup just glue, it's probably safe.    I am proud to say many decades have passed and knowledge about ants, mice  have come in handy.  Same house, no more mice or ants.

The hutch is from a Chrysnbon Kit from about 10 years ago.  These kits came out in the 1970's and are wonderfully detailed. Handley House in West- Virgina  took over the rights to this brand after Dee's Delights retired.  Their web site has a list of everything they carry  and they do have the complete line.  I also went on EBay and found people wanting $80.00 for this very kit.  Do not be duped just because its been around a while.  No date was on the packaging, this stuff is timeless, good quality and a number of web sites sell this at about $11.00-$13.00 for the kit.  Before your shell out good money for something that is supposedly RARE, check by a search for that item.  If its anywhere on the Internet it will come up.  The only glue that will really hold on this plastic is an airplane type glue.  Now they have a glue at model shops with a very thin spout for tiny channels.  The thick Tacky glue does not adhere for long on this type plastic.    It can be stained, painted and sanded.  I love the old fashioned kitchen stove and potbelly stove in this line.  They also have a pink, red, jadete, green and white dish and glass sets that are so real looking.  My next kit to finish in this line is an old fashioned pump style organ resembling the one that I played with as a child in this very house on the sun porch.  It will have its place as well in my Daisy Hill remake.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Miniature snowman without the cold and ice tutorial

Red truck- Snowman- 3-3/4" tall 

Snowman made from Dollar Tree Styrofoam balls.  3-3/4" tall and very easy to make.
Hat is a cork from some bottle that I saved and painted black.  The scarf is fringed trim from doll clothes stash, buttons are from Jo Anne Fabric.  These buttons came with stars and hearts all very small,  I painted them black.  The arms are from statice stems in a floral arrangement that I borrowed from.  Carrot is a bead.  This picture does not do him justice.  I can hold him in the palm of my hand.  While the snow is still flying out side I can use it for decorations.  These would be cute ornaments for Christmas or perhaps a tiny button heart for Valentines Day.

Styrofoam balls purchased from Dollar Tree in craft area.  My dollar tree had packs with 6 in them 3 of each size.  Look to be sure because they have other packs with other sizes.  The small ball is 1 inch, 2 inch for the next size and 3 inch for the bottom.  You will have to roll them to get them the size we need.  True Snow for Aleen's I purchased at the craft store in the paint aisle.  They usually have this year round.  You will also need glue, a tooth pick, paint brush and sparkle glitter, but this is optional.

The 3 inch ball needs rolled on a hard table top surface to decrease in size.  I got mine down to 1-3/4".  Decrease the middle ball the same way, it will decrease to about 1-1/2".  The head is OK just as it is.  Shave with a razor blade a little off the bottom snow ball so it sits flat. Remove a tiny sliver on the top of the ball as well.  Inset the tooth pick in about half way in the center and apply glue around the tooth pick.  Top off with the middle layer ball and finally repeat the procedure for the head.  Each layer goes onto the center of the tooth pick with glue for extra support.  Let this dry for a couple of hours before proceeding.

Next apply the True Snow with a paint brush.  I did mine with rough patches to make  it look like it was rolled in the snow.  Before it dries sprinkle with a little sparkle glitter.  Let dry overnight.
When resuming, shake or brush off any excess glitter.  Glue trim, ribbon, yarn or pipe cleaner around the neck for scarf.  The buttons are glued on.  The statice arms were glued next and then the Carrot nose.  One time beads were in the shape of fruits and vegetables, just right for miniatures.  I still had quite a few of these left.  If you have no carrot perhaps an orange pipe cleaner or roll a piece of paper in a small cone shape around the end of a toothpick.  Or a tooth pick painted orange and cut to size.  

If you don't have a similar cork for the hat a small round of black paper and a round bead all painted black would work.  Or perhaps a small cork on a circle of paper.

The Aleenes True Snow has a whipped creme texture to it.  It takes only a short time to dry.  I was impressed with the coverage and will be experimenting with this in a cake decorator for maybe icing and decorative tip design.  Perhaps some future cakes in miniature.

My normal view from my office window is quite different than the last one I shared with you.  We are under a weather advisory for days.  So much snow has come down, rain, wind.  I am glad to be making a snowman inside.  I have no where to go so this is like a retreat not having to go out unless I want to.  Be safe, hope its warm where you are, perfect weather for mini making.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Building a three tier glass Snowman mini scene

Clear glass snowman 25" tall filled with mini delights
I enjoyed building snowmen as a child, it  was a favorite pastime. As was ice skating, sled riding and snow fights.  As each decade has passed I like snow a little less in real time than in past time. 

Snowmen still find a way into my heart.  With that in mind I built these  3 tier mini snow globes to decorate the house until spring decides to visit us once again.

It started with a visit to Michael's after Christmas when everything was 75% off.  The mini figures were included in that and got my brain to thinking about the glass globes that were purchased a long time ago after seeing on Pin a 3 tiered  snow globe with mini scenes topped off with a snowman hat.
Six figures, a bunch of trees and bushes, fences and light posts were added to the cart for less than $8.00.  The painting on these were  excellent and nothing needed to be done to any of it.  The rest of the day at home  was spent searching for items to add to the scene and of course the 3 glass bowls.

Sorry about the windows glare but this is glass and we have very few light days out this winter.
This is the smallest bowl on top.  It is 24" round and 7" high. I used paper clay glued to the base and glued the figures onto them.  The tree is a wire tree, the 2 boys are having a snowball fight after building a snowman.  "The snowman was repainted and once had the life of an ornament.  The angels wings were broke off.  After everything dried a thick layer of glue was applied everywhere I wanted snow. Snow  (shredded white plastic) purchased at Christmas time for village scenes was sprinkled on in abundance and tamped down with a small sponge paint brush.  Left to dry overnight , the sweeper hose and tiny area attachment cleaned out the excess snow.  It has been subzero weather here and the static from heating created a lot of snow sticking on the sides.  Its OK, this makes it look like its snowing.  The top edges of each of these bowls are beveled and is perfect for fitting one on top of another without them being tipsy.

The second bowl is 29 inches around and 9" high. Two snow clad trees are in the back ground and one green one in the truck.  I used the same procedure of paper clay stuck to the glass and gluing and smashing the items into it.  The packages are wrapped and placed next to a mailbox filled with Holiday mail.  The truck is a child's toy remake.  I found this at a thrift store and painted it red.  Tinsel and a wreath covered up the teeth hidden underneath.  Thick layer of glue on the bottom and snow tamped down, let dry and use sweeper to remove off excess.

The largest bowl is 38 " round and about 10" high. This one has snow covered trees and street lights, a fence and assorted bushes, and a family of 4 carolers.  Mom and Dad and 2 children.  The item that makes this unique is the backdrop.  From Dollar Tree I purchased a few flat gift box for 1/2 off.  There were 4 to a package and inside was the street scenes.  I had a hard time deciding which one but used the one with the moon showing and  a horse drawn sled in the background. It  was cut to fit the height of the bowl and curved and set inside of a string of glued down paper clay.  While still wet I smashed the mural with glue on the bottom into the clay.  All the items  were glued down onto paper clay .  Let dry overnight and apply glue to everywhere you want snow, then sprinkle an overabundance of snow, tamp down with a sponge brush.   Use a vacuum with tiny article attachment and sweep up the excess snow.  If you find some bare spots a little snow can be added to those areas.

Since the edges are beveled I did not attach one to the other.  The black felt hat is one purchased after Christmas on sale.  A couple of pipe cleaners  twisted together was used  for the scarf.

There you have it a snowman snow globe, another item crossed off my bucket list.   It could be a Christmas decoration  yet left out all winter.   I had originally wanted to put 1/12" scale into these but after putting in these figures the bowls would have been too small to accommodate that scale