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Monday, September 3, 2012

HarvestHome DIY

These photos are in no particular order!

To make the "individual windows" that constitute the greenhouse, I used matchsticks and toothpicks (for the narrower bits).
In all, for this build, I went through 2 boxes of long matches plus any number of used matches left over from lighting our barbecue.

The picture frame on the wall was a cheap locket to which I added a faded photo covered by a piece of acrylic to appear like glass.
The painted mirror was bought.
The faded wallpaper came from the scrapbooking aisle.
The wainscotting was individually cut and to which I sanded grooves on either side.
The table & chairs are Chrysnbon, wood stained and then sanded for an aged look.
On the chair closest to the front is a newspaper with mushrooms & carrots (bought). The cup with my name on it was a present. The basket on the floor is another Al Chandronnait. The wooden fruit bowl in back is handmade on a lathe by Bertie Pittman; the fruit inside it & everything else on the table was made by me. Both gentlemen do great work!
In this photo you can see that in keeping with the theme, the screen door is patched & the screening no longer very tight.

The stove, again a Chrysnbon, was spray painted with an enamel paint ...then the silver bits were added. Because I held the spray can a bit too close to the stove, it doesn't have that smooth paint look but more like the real thing. I painted the silver parts with metal paint to get a more authentic look.
I have a horror of things not looking like the real thing & in real life, the brick wall in back of the stove was needed not only to throw the heat back into the room but also to prevent the walls from overheating & catching fire. The bricks were made from one sheet of sandpaper, which I drybrushed in a number of shades of red & brown and then cut it into 1/4" x 1/2" bricks. Before gluing the bricks down, I mixed black paint into the glue so that my "grout" shows as black rather than as dried glue LOL. I added some black to the wall directly behind the stove & around the stovepipe.
FYI: periodically check the squareness of the line of bricks as you glue them down.
I've tried to show a bit of dirtiness on the floor.
The wood box is made by me and the split wood are twigs picked up from the garden.
The stone jug was an unglazed piece of pottery to which I added a traditional design and then glazed.

I'm really pleased with how the sink turned out. This is a Chrysnbon sink from their bathroom kit. Again using a hint from Pat Thomas, I spray painted it black (to stop the light shining through the thin plastic) and then covered it with enamel touch-up paint with bits scrapped off while the enamel was setting up. The wall in back is made of paperclay.
I have yet to be able to roll out paper clay without it breaking into smaller pieces (it's supposed to be rolled out between sheets of plastic wrap), hence the cracks and unevenness.

I've tried to show the door screening as no longer tight and also patched. The door handle is a bent piece of wire and the hinges are 2 pieces of cut to size coffee tin cover with chiropractic needle bits in the middle as hinge springs.
I've been asked what I used for the screening. This is actual window screen material which although it should look out of scale, manages to appear correct. I drybrushed some burnt sienna paint onto the screen to give it a slight rusty appearance.

The interior of the greenhouse is filled with plants (bought or swapped) as well as a planters table (made) and a plant tier, also made.

My first attempt at sunflowers!
The middle is paper clay covered with used coffee grounds. If I make them again, I will buy a better punch as the petals on the flowers should really have been more pointy.

The fence is made of twigs I found. The corn stalks (my first attempt) are raffia. The path is scenic rock material; the garden soil is used coffee grounds and glue mixture to which I added some of my fimo pumpkins & squash while the grounds were still soft. The watering can filled with flowers was bought.

Here you have a better look at the board & batten exterior. I set my house onto a carved & painted piece of builders foam (made to resemble stone blocks). As some of you know, I sell commissioned castles made of builders foam, so this was a natural LOL!
The kitty was bought yrs ago on eBay.
The pillow is a piece of old flannel, dunked into cold coffee to age it, sewn together & filled with a bit of sand; the rose in the center is painted.
The sewing basket is an acorn top.

The board & batten exterior idea came from Pat & Noel Thomas. The material used is long wooden matchsticks.
I clearly have still a lot to learn about aging as I was aiming for "peeling paint" and what I actually got was worn paint.
Both the hanging basket & the 2 tomato plants were made by Bill Lankford, who I highly recommend both for price & quality long as you don't mind the extra long wait. The butterflies on the hanging basket are made from fimo cane & added by me. All the furniture inside & out is chrysnbon. The steps, although you can hardly see them, are actual stones.

I used an old railroaders trick for making the cedar shakes:
Using thin corrugated cardstock, I cut strips 3/4" wide; then cut slits 1/2" high for individual shakes. Finally I stagger cut each shake length. Next I dunked each strip into a weathering mixture of grey paint & black ink and dried them on wax paper. This caused some of them to curl, adding to the aged look. Glue the upper 1/4" onto a backing and then each succeeding strip a 1/2" higher; dry brush each strip with brown, greenish or lighter grey paint and while the paint is still wet, sprinkle on some scenic scatter material. I also added some scenic moss here and there under a raised shake.
The oak leaves are the kind that come on a rope.
Most of the harvest produce was made by me at one time or another using fimo. The Thanksgiving motif on the right side of the hay bale came from a swap (if someone recognizes it as their own, please let me know & I'll add your name here); the bushel basket is handcrafted and signed by Al Chandronnait; the apples inside are bought.
The tree is a twig found in the garden. I didn't have time to make my own.
The birds, pecking on the ground, need to be touched up using a lighter color to make them stand out more.

Years ago I found a large jar of green no-hole beads at the Dollar Store. As you can imagine: Dollar Store = cheap = non-uniform sized beads but perfect for making grape clusters. I took 3 pieces each of extremely thin wire, fastened together at one end and spread apart at the other; dipped them in glue & then into the beads. Until the glue dries, the clusters are a bit fiddly to hold together however any beads that fall off can be moved together into a cluster shape and once dry I placed these into a basket to sell at the market stand.
This was also my first attempt at making vining plants. Each leaf is individually veined (using a Templewood veiner) & formed but if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't use that blue-green paper & I'd add some differing colors to the leaves with either paint or colored pencils....prior to punching them out.

The bee hive & its table were made by me. There are actually tiny fimo bees on it. Both the hive with table as well as jars of honey with at least one bee attached will be for sale at my etsy store soon. If you'd like to pre-order let me know.
At the corner of the greenhouse (bottom of the sunflowers) are "scenic scatter" flowers.

When I was making plants for inside the greenhouse using actual plant material, one looked so much like a spider that I had to paint it black & add a web.
FYI: webs are not the easiest to create! This one is made using silk thread.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the additional photos or reading about how something was made. If you have any questions about somethng, fill out the comment section & I'll be happy to help if I can.

hugs ~K

Sunday, September 2, 2012

2012 Greenleaf SpringFling contest entry

I've sent in my entry and I'm really pleased with how it all came together. Unlike the last time that I entered ....and didn't have time to finish the inside, this diorama is finished, inside & out.
This is my entry:

When the Greenleaf DH company showed the kit to be used for the SpringFling, I fell in love with it! What I like most about these types of kits is that they're so easy to bash and turn into a unique one-off.

I immediately thought of a back-to-the-earth one room house whose inhabitants have learned to make do and even, if lucky, sell some homemade items .....hence the greenhouse made (supposedly) of individual windows, the slightly weather worn house exterior with its mossy cedar shake roof and the make-do market stand display area.
As always, the "make" decides how it wants to look ....and in the end, has become, I hope, a celebration of our tradional fall harvests.

My entry is entitled: HarvestHome

P.S.: Although the contest doesn't officially close until the third of September (tomorrow), I don't think that showing my entry off one day early will matter. If there's another entrant who needs to pick off any ideas, well all I can say is ....enjoy!