Category: "Flowers and plants"

Which came first, the shrub or the egg?

by brae  

The egg, naturally.  :D  Styrofoam eggs to be precise.

I'm a huge fan of Squeeze Me trees and shrubbery, but if you need a lot of them, it can get very pricey.  So, I'm making the pieces myself.  Here are the tree forms, purchased from Hobby Lobby.

I started by checking placement around the structure.

Next, I gently shaped the eggs by rolling them on a piece of cardboard.

I then pressed the bottoms flat and shaped the lower edge.

This makes for a more natural shrub shape than a true egg.

Since each one turns out slightly different from the next, they look more natural overall.  Of course, since shaping them made them smaller, I needed to add one to each side from my initial count.  I ended up using all 18 eggs.

The trees were done similarly by rolling on cardboard, though I cut away bits to make them much skinnier than their original forms beforehand.

I placed each form onto a bamboo skewer for finishing.

I painted them Plantation Pine by Americana, mixed with a little black to darken the green undercoat.  I stippled the paint on with a bristle brush for better coverage.

A cardboard box serves as a great holder as the paint and other finishes dry.

I brushed the shapes with Aleene's Quick Dry glue and sprinkled Woodland Scenics Blended Turf in Green Blend onto the glue.

After sprinkling the turf, I gently tapped additional material cupped in my hand to fill in most gaps.  Final touch-ups are best left until after the glue dries.

Once the touch-ups were done, I applied Woodland Scenics Cement to each with a spray bottle.  Once dry, this keeps the foliage stable enough for gentle handling while keeping a soft appearance.

My finely coiffed shrubbery will be set aside until I'm ready to plant.  :]

Shrubbery in progress...and random minis

by brae  

Tutorial to follow soon.  :]

My boyfriend and I took some wee ones to Dave and Busters over the weekend, and I came away with minis!  :D  These Patron swizzle stick bottles are 1 1/4 inches tall, so they would be more the exhibition size than true bar bottle size in 1:12 scale...but still a super fun and unexpected find.

Also, about a month ago, we went to the Wisconsin State Fair.  He knew about minis that you have to ask for.  :D  These are tiny newspapers that would be passable 1:6 scale.

Watson Mill - books and tulips

by brae  

What else could Gustav need for Watson Mill but books and tulips?  :D  I haven't assembled any more of the Cricut insert books, though they are neatly situated in a box for a movie night or two.  In the meantime, Lyssa was clearing some mini clutter and sent me many packages of the Houseworks book blanks.  These seem better cut than the ones I've seen at other stores, so they stand on their own and are uniformly rectangular.  One drawback is the elastic band around them tends to mar the two outer books.  I saved those for making old worn out books for another day.

I edited and printed covers to match the book dimensions.  Sometimes, I glued the paper over the existing cover and other times I removed the cover and used the insert alone...it just depended on the final fit.  These do go much faster, but they have a tendency to open, which is part of the reason I like the glued inserts and blocks of wood. I ran a line of glue long the open edges to help them stay closed.  This is just a sampling. There is a whole bag left!  Thank you, Lyssa!

These are all the same size but will look fine once interspersed with my other random sized books.

Debora made me tulips for my birthday last year, and I have had them in mind for the Mill.

She offered to make some more, and they just arrived.  :D  So beautiful!  Thank you, Debora!

I have two paper kits, which will add another 6 tulips to the bunch.

It has been a bit of a slow week for mini work, but the long holiday weekend is just ahead.  :]

Wee topiary pots

by brae  

I've added three styles of topiary pots to my etsy shop.  The heart is in a resin pot, and the bird and bunny are in ceramic pots.  I've painted them to a fine patina.

I've also listed the third unused shop counter like the ones in Ye Olde Taxidermist.

Baskets o' Echeveria

by brae  

Nancy Enge has been up to crafting lately and doing a fine job of it.  :]  She's been making succulent and basket kits for her etsy shop.  I ordered up a basket kit and the EC01 Echeveria kit with hand-colored leaves.

You can tell a good designer from the overall presentation.

Could I have colored the leaves myself? Maybe. Would they have turned out this well? Nope. Well, not without a lot of swearing.

The baskets come with liners, and I will likely make them up like the brown ones on her blog.  I haven't planned a specific time for assembly, but I didn't want to miss out on the kits!  :D

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