Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Chinese Lantern Tutorial

Ta Ra finally got the tutorial together Yay!!!

*     Masking Tape
*    Thin florist paper covered wire about 28 gauge
*    Gypsophylia dried or small balls of orange tissue paper
*    Green water colour pencils or paints
*    Green cotton thread
*    Clear drying glue such as PVA or wood glue.

*       Scissors
*       Paint brush
*       Tweezers
*       Snips or cutters to cut wire
*       Ball end tool
Cut the florist wire into approximately 2 ½ to 3 inches in length.

Cut masking tape strips and fold over one end of the wire. (on the right of the picture)

Take the end of the green thread and fold over a piece of masking tape. (on left of picture)
Cut the thread to about 1 inch in length and fold over a corresponding piece of masking tape.  (in the centre of the picture). You will need 2 or 3 of these thread pieces for each piece of wire.

Using a pair of scissors cut out each leaf to the shape shown (or look up leaves on the internet and make your own design)

I used water colour pencils but paints either acrylic or water colour can be used. My preference gives me more control over what depth of colour I want to use.


I then coloured in each leaf on both sides with the pencils then using a paintbrush and clean water washed over the leaves to blend the colours.

The leaves were then left to dry.

Then came the fun part of this, it is fiddly but well worth doing.

Take each piece of wire with the leaf at the end and tie on the thread with leaves on about ¼ and ½ inch from the leaf and from each section

A good pair of tweezers will help with this and being dexterous.

The stem of the left has three threads added to the stem, once in place a tiny spot of glue on each knot will keep the thread in place.

I found after I had done the first one that using a ball end tool on the leaves could give them a curl and a
little shape.

Continue making the stems until you have enough to complete your plant or plants.

In my stash was some pre-dyed dried flowers mainly buds. These needed to be the bright orange of the lanterns.

Each bud was painted with orange paint, (in my case used the brush to take paint of the tip of the pencil) and then left to dry. I held each bud stalk with tweezers to paint them.

Please note to do more than you think you need – why because of them breaking or not tightly closed when dry or you just don’t like the shape. Squeeze a small amount of glue onto paper.

Using the tweezers, gently pick up each ‘bud’ and dip the stalk into the glue puddle and glue to the knot on each stem; you might want 2 per knot or just the one.

The stems are now ready to insert into a plant pot or landscape.

You can shorten the stems if too long but better to have length when making gives you something to hold onto when knotting thread and adding the little lanterns

Have fun.

The lanterns could also be made with beads, tissue paper and thread or even polymer clay all of which I am experimenting with.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Art Deco Style my version

When I took on a dollhouse that, lets say was not made properly, I really looked forward to the challenge of turning it into something wonderful with many grand ideas, these have not been completed yet, (oh dear what a surprise, really must take myself in hand :oD ) it has become one of those things that I return to now and again, it does not help that this is 1/12 scale which means not only is it big but I have nowhere to put it when finished.
The following pictures and ideas are for the Art Deco styled bedroom (do wish I could reach the lighting and change it the choice and my knowledge is so much better now then when started) with ensuite bathroom and it is the bathroom I want to show and give some ideas that you may want to try out. (Do remember to poke the pictures as more detail can be seen)

The false wall at the back of the room has been made from 5mm foam board the stripes on the wall are very thin slices of 3mm foam board laid on its side and cut to give an Art Deco feel. The little tiles are those gorgeous coloured glass ones used for mosaic work and for each one a cut out in the foam board and a tile glued in so when the bathroom light is on they glow. The wall is resting against the side pieces and can be removed by tilting backwards and a slight twist, oh easier done than explained.
The ensuite with the wall removed
The making of the bead curtain, easy but time consuming, this particular curtain each strand is individually hanging on the rail and made from tiny seed beads and bugle beads. Using a needle and beads, start with a seed bead knotted onto the thread and then slip on a bugle bead, seed bead and keep going until required length is reached. Using a small jump ring, sew this to the final bead, knot well (could use small amount of glue to keep in place if wanted); strand one complete only 15 more to go, well did tell you it was time consuming. You may need more or less depending on the size of your doorway and the beads you use. The jump rings are then threaded on a piece of brass rod and finished with two beads one each end, yay we have a curtain. I glued the bead one end but not the other then if I wish to change the curtain I can remove the strands and put new ones in place. Two tiny hooks were put either side and just above the door arch and glued into place, so the brass rod with curtains now rests in place.
 The walls of both the bedroom and the ensuite were painted the back being a slightly darker shade than the bedroom. The flooring in the bedroom is a velvet carpet type material and the theme of diamonds was carried through using wallpaper (real life sample, which was free) two different sections one being the diamond pattern round the walls which look just like tiles.
I then used mountboard (mattboard) and foam board to make the shower cubicle and the vanity sink unit.
The shower cubicle first; 3 mm foam board is used, the tile effect was done with a round ball end tool (or darning needle) and a ruler, embrossing into the foam board; the pieces were glued together into a box with two walls missing. The bottom and top have been decorated with turquoise fancy paper and gold peel offs. The shower is made from clear softish plastic bags, if you use the stiffer bags tends to stick out rather than drape. The top of the shower curtains was turned over rather like hemming a piece of material and little jump rings were sewn on at intervals along the top, the stitches being covered by a length of plain peel off edging, glued and left to dry. Then make the other one; I used two stopped it looking bulky and helped to cover any edges.
In the meantime the 3 eyelet screws were put in place on the corners of the top box edging and glued into place and left to dry.
Whilst these are drying time to make the shower itself, brass tubing was used and bent slightly at the bottom to go into the wall of the shower and at the top bent out to hang over the shower, this was placed in the corner of the shower where the two walls meet. Two jewellery findings one a bell the other a bowl shape with lots of holes, the hole one was glued inside the bell to make the shower head. Other findings were used to make taps.
A piece of brass tubing long enough to go round the two open sides of the shower, bend into right angle and thread through the front eyelet (the one with no edges) thread the jump rings of the curtains on both sides of this eyelet, supporting it whilst doing it. Then comes the fun part, putting the ends of the brass tube into the end eyelets, you have to bend gently to get it in but a great achievement when they do. Swearing is allowed, you may even find a better method.  
The vanity unit, now here I was lucky, I came across a sink in a unit which fell out, how nice. Like the shower the unit it is cut from foamboard and mount or matt board, there is no pattern I just built it trying to do the Art Deco style. It is decorated with the same paper and gold peel offs as the shower, the mirror is mirror card, the towels and flannel made from babygro I think in the US called onsie, I am not sure they make them from this kind of soft towelling these days.

The dollhouse as it progressed
The bits on the top, the perfume bottles are made from beads, the soap dish is a real shell glued to an eyelet, the cotton wool dish with real tiny cotton balls is from 2 findings glued one on top of the other, the toothbrush holder is made from the end of 3-pin plug cover (those plastic things that cover plugs when you buy new appliances) trimmed with peel off as is the vase of flowers; the flowers are little dried ones. The toothbrushes and toothpaste are carved from balsa wood and painted to look like the real thing, I think I made 8 toothbrushes before had two I could use, I think the best one disappeared never to be seen again LOL. The little towel rail is a loop of brass tubing glued into a bead and glued to the wall with a towel trimmed with picot braid and a small motif. The bathroom mat is made in an Art Deco style using an embroidery loop stitch tool similar to those used in Japanese embroidery, if I remember the name I will post it. Do hope this gives you some ideas you can used.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Some outstanding projects

I don't know about you but over the years I've collect pieces to 'do' a project in the future,  ideas such as an oriental room, an African holiday (in luxury of course), Egyptian, garden, even Viking and a wizard and or witch scene, with many ideas popping up along the way, so I collected. This I believe is a sign of a true miniaturist a pack rat tendency to hoard for future use, not only items but 'things' that could be useful. In many cases bits that were wanted were few and far between or other projects took over and the items ended up not being completed. Sometimes I didn't have the knowledge to do things properly or the space to build things especially as all the early 'just in case' or future projects were 1:12.

So on the last clear-up and sort out (I use both words loosely VBG) I decided some of these 1:12 pieces needed to go on shelves instead of hidden in boxes and maybe just maybe jog myself into completing these in the coming year.

I don't know how accurate my oriental items are but I'm sure when it comes to time to sort properly some items may just have to go as not being correct. I definately like the black lacquered furniture, so it may end up being an oriental style roombox rather than a particular era or time. The vase and teapot are two of the first pieces I ever bought back in 1977 or there abouts which shows how long this idea has been wandering in the recesses of my mind.

Years ago, a dream was to go on an African tour, from Egypt to a safari, I think many of my ideas of how it would look stemmed from the Hollywood films of my youth, especially those of Agatha Christie style; realism I don't know so maybe this room could spring into something from one of her crime novels .... did she do one on the African sanvanah, now there is something to check, certainly could do one based on that genre, murder in the game reserve.

But my main one would be to have wizard rooms, and my interest here goes back before Harry Potter which I do enjoy and was probably sparked by reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and for this I have seriously collected; not all of which are on show here. This is more the library section and most of these books can be read but the shelves do need filling. I am now in the process of making my own books that are readable for the shelves. Also is an apothercary and a school room and a sort of vets not sure what you would call it, but certainly a place animals can come to. I have envisage a wizard working with a witch who is a herbalist as well as magical and all the animals will be popping in from ferrets and mice to ponies, bats and birds, many have been collected now all I have to build the rooms. Will the wizard live in a tower and the witch in a cottage, anyway here is at least three 1:12 projects from the UFO (unfinished objects) department and I dare not look in the 1-48 scale department or mention anymore 1-12 projects, like the museum, what museum didn't say nuffink. LOL.

Hugs Pauline