Saturday, July 30, 2011

Miniature Sale

I love antique malls and hadn't been to one for years so really enjoyed our trip this morning.

The miniatures for sale were mostly pieces of furniture and that's something I don't really need - although I did buy one little table.

There were some nice pieces of Reutter, especially two candelabra with porcelain bases that I really liked, but decided finally not to get (1) they wouldn't work in any of my UFO projects, and (2) now that I'm into electrifying rooms, didn't really want non-electrical pieces.
This is the piece I did buy. Nothing fancy, just a nice little table that will work almost anywhere.
The shop owner said she had already sold a lot of the consignment yesterday and that more would be coming, including a house (not yet electrified).

Had a very enjoyable time looking around at the rest of the stock and reminiscing about memories a lot of things invoked.

Had a very enjoyable lunch. Miniatures, good food and wonderful conversations with good friends - who could ask for more!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Road Trip!!!

Received an interesting e-mail yesterday advising that a complete collection of miniatures is being liquidated at the Leduc Antique Mall, 4710 - 50 Avenue, Leduc.

Passed the word on to MEE members and tomorrow Tina, Joanne, Delores and I are heading out to take a look and go for lunch.

I'll try to remember my camera so I can report what we see.

Hedge from styrofoam


White styrofoam (size of desired hedge)
Serrated knife (I used a steak knife.)
Bounce fabric softener sheet
1” Foam  paint brush
Black acrylic paint
2 or 3 shades of green paint (I used Forest Green, Leaf Green and Pine Needle)

Roughly cut a piece of white styrofoam the size you want your hedge to be. Run the knife blade across the Styrofoam at right angles. This will remove bits and pieces of the Styrofoam and give you a rough finish. Round the edges a bit.

The fabric softener sheet can be rubbed over the Styrofoam and knife blade to keep the stray bits of foam from flying all over the place.

Using the foam brush, give the Styrofoam a coat of black paint. It should be pretty well coated but if you miss a couple nooks and crannies that’s okay too.
After the black paint has dried, dry brush on one of the green paints. Don’t worry about covering all the black paint. The inside of the hedge should look darker than the outside.
Let that coat dry then dry brush on another shade of green, just dabbing it here and there. When your second green has dried, you can add a third shade if you like.
If you want a flowering hedge, you could add some bits of coloured flower foam.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A T2T mixing bowl

Our daughter wears single use contact lenses and left one of the containers here the other day.

One look and I'm thinking "mixing bowl" I cut it out
Sanded the bottom slightly so it would sit flat and added a coloured rim with some nail polish.
If you didn't want clear bowls, you could paint the outside of the bowl with white or cream nail polish.

Guess I've have to ask Leanne to start saving these for me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

MEE Project

In addition to the break-away roomboxes that were club members' individual projects this year, the club is working on a dollhouse that will be donated to the Children's Department of the St. Albert Public Library. All the contents of the house represent references to children's literature (books and nursery rhymes).

Club members were divided into geographical groups and each group was assigned a room to complete. We've been working on it throughout the year and plan on having it completed for display at the Show and Sale on September 18.

It's still a "work in progress".

This child's bedroom is being done by the St. Albert members.
 Living room and kitchen
Erika made this wonderful tuffet for Miss Muffet. And that's part of Little Red Riding Hood's hooded cape beside it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Farewell, my love

Vern Heuchert
May 5, 1932 - July 18, 2011

When we think of those companions who travelled by our side down life’s road, let us not say with sadness that they left us behind, but rather say in gratitude that they once were with us.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

More T2T

ALPHABET: For three dimensional signs, use the letters from small alphabet pasta. Paint desired colour and glue to your sign.

BABY RATTLE:  Glue two 1/8” googly eyes back to back. Glue on a handle cut from the end of a turned toothpick painted the colour of your choice.

BAKING SHEETS, PANS Cut cookie sheets from tin foil pie plates, also make lasagna pans by bending up the sides.

BALLOONS:  Paint plastic grapes with glass stain.  Add a string of paper covered wire.

BAR STOOLS:  Felt or carpeted chair glides could make good seats for bar stools. Just remove the tack or screw.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Foamcore card or vignette

This can be used to make a greeting card with a small vignette inside or simply as a setting for a seasonal vignette (such as a Christmas scene).

Made this way, there are no visible seams on the outside of the vignette.

Cut a piece of 3/16” foamcore to the height you want for your wall and twice the width of one wall. (This particular vignette will be 8” tall with two 5” sides so this piece is 8” x 10”. This is a good size for a card. Where I’ve wanted a larger scene, I’ve used a piece 10” high x 20” wide and a piece 10” square for the base.)

Draw a vertical line down the exact centre of the foamcore. Draw another line 3/16” to the left of the centre line. Then draw a line up 3/16” from the bottom of the piece.

Using an X-Acto knife with a brand new blade, cut along the bottom line in two strokes: first cutting through the upper layer of cardstock, then cutting through the foam layer, being careful not to cut through the bottom layer of cardstock.  Run the blade of your X-Acto knife between the bottom layer of cardstock and the bottom of the foam layer. Remove the 3/16” upper layer.

Now cut along the two vertical lines at the centre, again cutting only through the top layer of cardstock and the foam. Fold the right hand side back at the centre line and again run the blade between the bottom layer of cardstock and the bottom of the foam layer to release the centre strip.

Run a bead of Tacky glue down the left hand side of the middle strip. Fold the right hand side into that strip. (Measure your sides at this point to make sure each side is the same length.)

Clamp the pieces at right angles until the glue is dry. (I use this wonderful corner clamp from Princess Auto but you can dry fit the bottom piece at this point and use books or anything else heavy to hold the piece at right angles until the glue dries.)

Cut another piece of foamcoare 5” x 5” for the “floor” of the vignette. Run a bead of glue along the inside angle of the bottom  cut and fit this piece in place.

Because foamcore tends to warp when a water-based glue is used, I generally use rubber cement to attach any large areas of paper (such as a picture on the front of the card or wallpaper to the ‘walls’ for the inner ‘room’) to it.

If you wish, you can glue (using Tacky) ribbon or cord along the edges of the vignette to cover the raw edges of the foamcore.

We used these to make Mother's Day cards with DD Leanne's kindergarten class. This wedding vignette is 10" x 10" x 10". 

I've used them to make birthday vignettes and school classrooms

Hints: If you’re making several of these at once, don’t make the cuts to remove the centre and bottom strips until you have several ready to do. Cutting through the foam is very hard on your cutting blade so if you make all the partial cuts first then remove the strips, your blade will last longer.

There are two important things to remember when you're cutting foamcore:

1. Cut it in three stages - first cut through the upper level of cardstock; make a second cut through the foam itself; then cut through the lower level of cardstock. Of course, for your centre and bottom cuts for the vignette, you will only cut through the top two layers.

2. Start with a new blade in your X-Acto knife and change your blade often. If your blade isn't sharp, it will tear at the cardboard and foam and you won't get a neat, even cut.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Duct tape

I got my Sewing Savvy newsletter this morning and this week's free project is a cell phone holder with the decorative element being decorative duct tape!

So I Googled it (of course) and found some on Amazon where they carry it in 10 different designs. (Roll your cursor over the boxes under Color and pictures of the various designs will appear.) Also saw another place where they had it in a black and white racing flag design.

So I was thinking that it must have some sort of mini applications. Wonder if you could use the wood grain one for flooring, the houndstooth or leopardskin to upholster strong wooden furniture for children's use (would certainly be sturdy enough). Could the grass one be used somehow for landscaping - maybe not a full lawn, but maybe a little strip of grass along a sidewalk? Thought you could make a planter using the bamboo tape wrapped around a piece of the cardboard tube inside wrapping paper. A decorative border in a little girl's room from the polka dot tape?

The narrowness of the tape and the direction of the pattern would limit the possibilities I guess. But wait, the newsletter mentioned 'sheets' of duct tape so I re-Googled and Michael's in the States carries them (8 1/2 x 11).

Fun to see where your mind/imagination might take you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Containers for scenes part 4

I "stole" this stationery box at our condo coffee club gift exchange because I knew I could make a scene in it. Changed the picture on the front to one of Hogwarts and made our daughter a Harry Potter scene.

I found this stationery box in the Salvation Army store in Kelowna for $1.00. Thought it would be perfect for a wedding scene but never got around to it. Gave it away in my great clean out.
My mother gave me this display cabinet (garage sale find). It originally held a collection of seeds and beans.
 I removed the originally compartments and turned it into a perfume shop "Scentimental Journey". (I had Googled and found a whole pile of suggestions for names of parfumeries. Chose this one because I had wonderful memories of singing dear GD Holly to sleep with Sentimental Journey.)
DD Leanne gave me this box which had contained a Christmas gift. (Think it was from Superstore.) Had envisioned doing a potter's wheel in the left compartment and a pottery shop in the right but knew I'd never do it so it also went in the great clean out.
This little beach scene on an old plate just came together one morning.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Containers for scenes part 3

This is one of my favourite pieces. The container is a nine section display case with a plexiglass front that I bought at Michael's almost 10 years ago. Unfortunately I've not seen another one there in recent years.

Each of the sections represents a period/activity in my Mom's life. I made this for her for her 79th birthday.

1. The calendar marks her birthday. The top two pictures are of Mom and Dad in their WWII uniforms. Their wedding certificate. A picture of my sisters and me. An old fashioned radio. The china (American Beauty) that Dad bought for her. the Texaco sign representing Dad's service station in Fairview.

2. The washboard and flat iron. The treadle sewing machine and dress representing all the clothes she sewed for us.

3. Pictures from hunting and fishing. Camp stove, sleeping bag, fishing rod and rifle.

4. Making homemade wine, canning and Mom's baking from what my BIL called the "Sunnyside Bakery", a reference to their address at the time.

5. Gardening things and the wind chimes Dad used to make.

6. Darts and dart trophy, floor curling, crib board and cards, chair and book.

7. Travel: motor home, map, Canadian flag, suitcase, pottery, God's eye, Mexican vanilla.

8. Garage sale: Mom was well known for her annual garage sale. (Each item is priced - something she  insisted on - but she said my prices were too high and she would have left without buying. LOL)

9. Christmas: If they were in Arizona for Christmas, we would have a second Christmas in the spring when they returned home.

Containers for scenes part 2

My sister Shirley found this 13" tall cabinet for me at a garage sale.
 The dress was made by Karen Jones of Edmonton. I bought the chair at our club garage sale and found out later that it had also been made by Karen.

This lovely little Christmas scene was made by Lorry Saunders of St. Albert. I received it in a club Christmas gift exchange. The bell originally contained Ferraro Rocher chocolates.

That inspired me to use another Ferraro Rocher container for this Christmas scene made for a friend.

And in another Ferraro Rocher cube - a baking scene for a friend.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Containers for scenes part 1

You don’t have to build a roombox or a dollhouse to house a miniature scene. Look around your home with a mini eye. Check out garage sales for breadboxes and aquariums. Hallowe’en scenes can be done in plastic pumpkins. A Teddy Bears’ picnic could be displayed in a basket. Gift bags can be used (see yesterday's post).

Check out the links to my fotki site for more pictures and information on the projects.

My dad's workshop done in an old wooden roll-top breadbox found at a garage sale. 

This breadbox from Russia will eventually become the home of the Three Bears. It even has a built-in shelf dividing it into two stories. It was given to me by a teacher who was retiring.

Camping scene done in an aquarium for another sister. This aquarium was given to me by another teacher. You can often find them at garage sales - and you don't have to worry if they're still watertight. 

It's perfect for an outdoor scene such as this but you can also line the glass with matboard for walls. You could also build your scene on a wooden base and use the aquarium upside down for a dust-free cover.

More to come over the next few days.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roombox from a gift bag


Gift bag (any size). You can use a plain bag or a patterned one that matches the theme of the room you plan to put inside. This bag is 10 ½”wide x 13” high x 5 ¼” deep.
Material for ‘walls’ (I used foamcore but you could use matboard (nice for coloured walls) or any stiff cardboard. If you’re going to wallpaper, you could use cereal box cardboard.)
Piece of heavy clear plastic
Cutting Mat
X-Acto knife or utility knife
Glue (I used Crafters’ Pick The Ultimate)
Double-sided carpet tape
Wallpaper (optional)

Slip your cutting mat inside the front of the gift bag and cut a rectangular shape which will be the front open “wall” of your room. Save the piece you cut out.

Tape the cutout piece to your piece of plastic. Mark off an additional ½” on all four sides and cut there. Remove your template and set the plastic aside for now.

Measure the inside of the bag. Cut two pieces of foamcore the width of the bag x 9” (the height of the room). Test fit them. They should fit snugly into the back and front of the bag.

Hold the front piece of foamcore firmly against the front opening and trace lightly around the opening. Removed that piece and cut out the centre area that you marked.

Put the cut piece back against the front of the bag. Straighten the sides of the bag as much as possible and measure between the front and back pieces of foamcore. (Measure near the bottom for the most accurate measurement.)

Cut another two pieces of foamcore that measurement x 9”. Put them in place and check for fit. They should fit fairly tightly.

If you want to wallpaper your walls, remove the side and back pieces and cover with wallpaper. Foamcore tends to warp if you use a water-based glue so I use rubber cement if I’m wallpapering.

Remove the front piece of foamcore and glue your piece of plastic to the front of it (so the plastic will be between the bag and the foamcore). Press this under a heavy book until the glue has dried.

 Using double-sided tape, affix all your walls to the inside of the bag.

Your room is now ready to furnish and decorate.

This bag is tall enough that the top of the bag can be taped closed to keep dust out when the room is completed. If you’re using a smaller bag, you can cut another piece of foamcore to make a ‘ceiling’ which will keep dust out. Another option is to make a 'ceiling' of heavy clear plastic. This will not only keep the dust out but will allow more light in - plus give you an overview of the room.