Thursday, January 30, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I've made a few more additions to the shop, though it is still very much in progress. The closer I get to finishing, the longer each step seems to take.
The first thing I did was to finish the sides of the shop with bricks. The last time I posted, I was planning to make the bricks from sandpaper. However, it took me a while to get to the hardware store, and in the mean time I discovered a bit of leftover paper clay in my supplies. Unlike my disastrous first attempt using damp paper clay, this time I rolled out the clay and let it dry to a leathery stiffness before I cut and glued the individual bricks on. This stopped the foam core from warping. I just cut the bricks by eye, without bothering to measure.
My next step was to add a copper gutter along the side of the shop. The gutter is made of card stock, and the downspout is a drinking straw. I was worried that my copper paint wouldn't stick to the plastic straw, so I coated it with a few heavy coats of primer first.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
At first glance, it probably doesn’t look like I’ve made much progress on my little shop since the last time I posted about. But in reality, I’ve had to redo almost everything. The only thing that was perfectly fine was the front wall of the shop. Fortunately, that front wall was the only piece I'd put a lot of time into. In the last post, I mentioned that the structure was warping. Since the back and sides weren't going to be very visible, I figured I'd just slap a layer of paperclay bricks over the whole thing and call it a day. I didn't think about what a effect the damp clay would have on foamcore...
Here's a photo of the paperclay bricks that caused the warping. I used a textured sheet of plastic (sold as a fondant mold for cake decorating) to make the brick pattern. This is one of the quickest ways I know to get miniature bricks.Though the grout lines are far too big, the bricks themselves are pretty close to 1/12th scale, and can look pretty good in certain situations. I use a crumpled piece of tin foil to texture the bricks.
The warping turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The paperclay was a quick solution so I could get on with the fun part, but it didn't look as realistic as I'd wanted. I like this second version of the stones so much better!
The second time around, I decided to go with a technique I'd never tried before: egg carton stones.
Getting to this point was exciting, since it meant I could take a break from the big, structural stuff to work on some fun details.
I made the lantern out of card stock painted with the special oxidizing copper paint I wrote about here. I made it five-sided, just to make it a bit more interesting. The "old glass" is mica. I bought some on eBay two years ago and have used up almost all of it on lanterns and similar projects. The hook for the lantern is just a cheap metal wedding ring (the same type as I used to make this umbrella stand,) with a back plate of card stock, scrap wood, and jewelry findings.
I added a boot scraper near the door. It's made of card stock and fancy toothpicks, painted with another faux finish paint set to look like iron. For some reason I had a really hard time getting the rusting solution to work, though it's worked perfectly when I've used the paint before.
The front of the shop will remain a removable panel so that I can change the window displays.
Hope you've enjoyed seeing how this little project is coming along!
Thursday, January 2, 2014
camera so I can learn a bit before I purchase. If any of you have recommendations for cameras, photography tutorials, etc. I'd love for you to pass them along.
This old photo shows the "Dresden dancer" made by Goebel. She's made of cast bronze and is beautifully detailed, but she's never quite looked like the ballerinas I love. It's also always bothered me that her skirt doesn't look appropriately lacy. Real Dresden figurines (especially ballerinas) often have porcelain lace details, made by dipping real lace in liquid porcelain. When the porcelain is fired, the lace burns off, leaving the porcelain behind. In the background, you can see my real life Dresden ballerina lamp. Her skirt is entirely covered in porcelain lace, though unfortunately it's quite damaged.
These are my two attempts at making Dresden ballerinas. The pink one on the left was one I made several years ago, using a metal dollhouse figurine covered in cheap lace, painted, then "glazed" with clear nail polish. I was pretty disappointed in the way it came out, so I never shared it. The one on the right I made tonight, and am much happier with it. I used a better quality metal charm for the figurine and raided mom's doll-making supplies for delicate lace in order to make the skirt. I used a gold paint pen to add details around the base, and glued tiny pink roses to her skirt and base. The final step was to glaze her with gloss acrylic.
Now that I have a working camera again, I have quite a few "backlogged" projects to share over the next few weeks, including a new 1/144th scale house. Stay tuned!