Category: "Flowers and plants"

Bonnie Lavish Dahlias

by brae  

I attended the Tom Bishop Show in Chicago last April and picked up two Bonnie Lavish flower kits while there: red dahlias and black-eyed Susans.  I finally took out the kits and gave the flowers a try.

click image to enlarge

The kit makes six dahlias, but I had stop and share the first one I made.  I love it!  It was super easy to put together and ended up looking very realistic.

The instructions called for using a ball stylus on the flower petals, and that worked wonderfully.  One tip I can offer that wasn't in the instructions is to use a flat clay tool to put vein lines in the leaves.

It not only defined the leaves but also "loosened" them up a bit allowing for easier positioning as individual leaves.

Doily, filebox and plant

by brae  

While waiting for some supplies to arrive, I made some more miniatures.  First was a doily for the dining table made in the same fashion as the faux crochet afghan I made.  It used up the scraps I had left over and went together in no time at all.

Second was a file box made from what are known as "printies" in the dollhouse world.  Many people have created free printies out there on the internet, and this is a file box I found on Jim's Dollhouse Pages.  I printed on regular paper and then affixed it to bristol board.  It turned out okay for my first attempt, but I messed up the lid completely; it didn't fit at all.  Interestingly enough, the file box actually looks more realistic beat up and crinkled.  :D

Last, I made an elephant ear plant following the instructions on a DVD called Master Miniaturists: Flowers & Plants.  I love this whole series.  There are a lot of great books out there, but there is nothing like watching someone demonstrating a technique.

I'm not going to post a tutorial on this plant since I made it based on someone else's work, but here is the finished product.  It is made with floral tape and covered wire.  I bought the planter and used the same "dirt" technique I did for the topiaries only this time I used cinnamon plum tea for potting soil.  :D

The plant was supposed to be made of light green tape (see the DVD cover above), but dark green was what I found at the craft store.  I am very pleased with the result regardless of the difference in color.  The one thing I will do that wasn't mentioned on the DVD is use a sealer on the tape once the glue has completely dried.  The surface of the leaves is still sticky, and I think sealing it might keep the dust from clinging to it.  It will also enhance the waxy appearance of the leaves.


by brae  

With the extended front porch, I have more room to add plants.  My first idea came from a real life photo of two tall topiaries on either side of a front door.  There is a similar item for miniature settings on the market, but I wanted them to have a "snowman" shape - a tier of three in varying sizes.

I found two miniature urns at a good price.  The image on the right shows how they looked after I painted them to the color I wanted.  I didn't go as dark as in the sample photo since my house is red brick and needs something a bit lighter.

I started with 1" styrofoam spheres and crushed them to make the two smaller sizes.  Here you can also see the holes I made in the spheres using a round dowel.

I covered the wooden dowels with floral tape and then brushed on a light coat of brown paint, wiping it off immediately to create a variegated color of green and brown for the stems (this is a photo before the paint).  Painting also eliminates a lot of the stickiness of the tape.

I glued some styrofoam into the bottoms of the urns to have something to stick the topiaries into and then painted the stryrofoam spheres and inserts brown.

I brushed a thick coat of tacky glue into the urns and poured tea (earl grey, if you're wondering-haha) into the urn, dumping out the excess after putting it aside for awhile.

I brushed glue onto each painted sphere and then dipped them in cilantro.  The bit of brown underneath showing through adds some depth and realism, in my opinion.

I have no idea if using tea and herbs is a good idea for longevity, but it was what I had at the time and I love the result.  They smell good, too.  :D

Here are my topiaries by the front door.  The welcome mat is a resized copy of one I bought since the original was too small in proportion to the front door.  I still have to mount it to some sort of reinforcing material to keep it flat.

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