Container tree, part 1

by brae  

I made a small tree, but instead of planting this one in the ground, I wanted a container tree that I could reposition. I'm using the same wire and putty technique I've used in the past for the trunk, and candytuft for the foliage - notes at the bottom.

I measured the wire structure against the wall to make sure I had good height.

I used a clamp covered with plastic wrap to hold the tree while protecting the clamp.

Applying the putty.

Painting the tree.

Painting the separated candytuft branches -- I ended up making quite a few more than shown here.

Ghost is modeling to show the smaller stature of the tree.

I built a container from basswood and small scale siding from my box of scraps.

I wanted something compact but believable in proportion to the tree.

I stained the planter box with Minwax stain, the color is Fruitwood.

I coated the interior with a heavy layer of tacky glue. This will seal it for when I get to planting the tree.

More to come....

Notes: Link to the first tree I made using this technique - follow the links in the first sentence back through the process.

A good starting source if you can find it is the DVD Master Miniaturists: Landscaping Primer with Diane Myrick. I got mine through interlibrary loan. This whole series is just awesome! 

This is the tutorial by Connie Sauve on using candytuft for the foliage. I doubt I will go back to using individual leaves again unless I want a specific type of tree where candytuft won't work. :]

I buy candytuft from Scenery Solutions.

Fancy wrought iron door

by brae  

Backing up a little here for work previously started. After struggling to get my previous 2020 HBS Creatin' Contest entry beyond the parts, I finally threw in the towel and started working on a fresh contest kit. I loved the elements I created for the previous entry, but I could not get them to work together the way I wanted. So, those parts are shelved for now and I forge ahead to complete the new entry in time.

The door is a kit from Art of Mini.

I painted the door Lilac Love by Folk Art. The wrought iron is painted black brown.

I built a door frame from basswood since this was not included with the kit. This won't be a working door. I added rippled water sheet as windows to simulate pebbled glass.

A cut of textured scrapbook paper serves as a window shade for privacy. Since this is a door to nowhere, the back is not finished.

When light hits the door from behind, it creates a warm glow.

I added gentle aging with pastels. It's not an old door, but it has been exposed to the elements for a few seasons. The door frame is primed here, but this is the general coloration I'm after. Ghost the caracal is by 2014erok.

Next up...finishing the frame and adding hardware.

Hexagon clay tiles, part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the hexagon clay tiles. Since my first tile grouping had too much bronzer, I figured it was a good choice to test the grout before trying on my finished tiles. I mixed brown and black paint with spackle to make a gentle (non-scouring) grout that was easy to spread. I used my finger to spread it into the grooves around the tiles.

I then wiped away the excess with a wet paper towel. It took a few passes to get it clean. The process lifted some of the tile color I had applied, but the end result was a more even tile so I wasn't disappointed. If I want more variation, I can always paint after grouting.

I mixed a larger batch for the final floor and masked the areas around the edges where the walls will be glued to the floor board.

I spread the mixture with my fingers in sections and wiped away some of the excess as I went.

I washed the floor after the grouting was complete with water and paper towel. I saved a bit of the grout mixture just in case I needed to touch up any areas.

The initial wash left streaks, so I used a Q-tip to wash each tile individually.

I did small sections and wiped with a dry, clean paper towel.

Once done, I wiped the entire floor with a damp paper towel again.

Then I wiped it dry. Very little color lifted in the last pass, so I called it done.

The final result has less color variation than the plain tiles, but I like that better.

I'm glad I gave it a try. :]

Hexagon clay tiles, part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the hexagon clay tiles. The bottoms of the clay pieces turn out shiny from the ceramic tile base, so I sanded them lightly before gluing. I also lightly sanded the mdf floor board.

I used Weldbond to glue to the tiles to the floor board. I made roughly 30 groupings, and some fell apart in the process. Those I used to piece between and around the larger groupings.

Since the individual hexagons had different measurements across depending on their orientation, I needed to make sure all of my hexagons were going the same direction. I measured each grouping and individual tile before gluing in place. I wasn't guaranteed to have perfectly uniform application, but this gave me a fighting chance. :D

I started by laying out the edge sections and by luck ended up with full tiles front to back and side to side.

Since the tile groupings were unstable, I used a putty knife to pick them up and handle them.

I tried to keep the groupings intact as much as possible, leaving small sections to piece later.

My bowl of scraps helped fill in the edges. Tedious, but I kept at it!

Hooray! :D

There's finishing trim for the base on the front and side, but I didn't apply tile all the way to those edges. I will add strip wood around the tile to protect and finish the edges. The spacing didn't end up completely uniform but it's close enough that it shouldn't be obvious after grouting.

Up next, grouting and finishing.

Happy Halloween from Bert and Halo

by brae  

Happy Halloween from the Haunted Heritage! Bert is reading Edgar Allan Poe to Halo and waiting on trick or treaters.

Bert is enjoying a refreshing cocktail.

Halo is waiting for her favorite story...The Raven.

There's a pumpkin bucket of full size candy bars if anyone comes around for a scare.

Halo by by Maya Schippl; ceramic pumpkin by Alex Meiklejohn; coffee table centerpiece by MiniFanaticus.

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