Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fairy House Painted and "Ivied"

The Fairy House Painted and 'Ivied'

The fairy house has been painted, although touch-up's are needed on the front and I need to do something around the windows. The inside also needs some more work and I think I'm going to add another partial floor level just underneath and to the left of the bottom floor.

And here is Seymore Mouse waiting at the door.
And here is the Dracula-styled coffin I got in a swap with Angela in the UK on one of my Yahoo Groups. I love it. Now how to incorporate it into my witch's cottage? It will fit somehow. She also included some Halloween goodies, too which I love. By the way, I sent her some porcelain mini arms and legs and a few little goodies. So, I swapped body parts for a casket--wickedly morbid!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fairy House Progress

Some Progress on the Fairy House

Between moving our oldest DD, Maggie into college (at least it's local so I'm not grieving as badly as if it were out of state), getting back into the school routine, work, after-hours quilting classes I've been teaching, etc., etc., I've hardly had time to do anything on the mini front. I've been mostly awol from my Yahoo Groups and just made fleeting 'appearances' at CDHM, Custom Doll Houses and Miniatures. And then there was the fairy house set-back.

I had started using Creative Paperclay on the exterior over the layers of masking tape and strips of newspaper soaked in glue and water. After using five packages with no end in sight (that is roughly $25 despite my 40% coupons if you add in the gas I spend getting back and forth to Micheal's and Hobby Lobby which is about a 20 minute drive from home) I decided that good old paper mache was the better way to go after all. So, yet another very costly lesson learned both in time and bucks which I have neither to spare. Then it was the search for the best paper mache-- or papier mache, as they call it over the big pond--recipe. I researched various recipes in my 'spare' time and after rejecting the toilet paper, flour and water one which I could visualize as a sticky mush and the boiling flour and water for so long and then cooling, etc., etc. as too time- and effort-consuming and the sugar and water one as not very longlasting albeit tasty for every bug within a five-mile-radius of my basement, I decided to go with the old stand by of white glue, water and more strips of newspaper. Plus, I added my own 'secret' ingredient of cornstarch which I also mix with acrylic paint as a cheap thickening agent. Joanna and I spent part of Labor Day covering all of that wonderful Paperclay up with newspaper strips. Since she wore surgical gloves, she mostly enjoyed mixing and soaking the strips in the water/glue/cornstarch bath.

This morning I actually mixed some cream, brown, black and gray acrylic paints with water and cornstarch and started slathering that on with a sponge brush. Depsite my mild depression over having invested so much time and money on Paperclay and then deciding it best to cover it up with strips of free newspaper, the act of slathering paint on willy-nilly with a sponge brush was cathartic and liberating to say the least. I intend to keep layering this and as I twisted and folded some of the strips of paper and layed them on in a mostly vertical fashion, after several layers of thickened paint, it should resemble rough bark. We'll hope. And the beauty of it is that only I will know its true dollar value (how could I be so dumb?????! I continue to amaze myself through this journy of life).
I am also experimenting with a free motion stitching technique to create miniature textured rugs. These are two I designed and stitched. I'm hoping to perfect this technique and make some to sell to support my mini habit. They are pictured with my little checked chair by Lee's Line and a side table. And, hey, if you're interested, please do shout out! I am in the process of reopening my Etsy store to give that a go again since Maggie's tuition is nothing to sneeze at and I do need to find a way to make my various creative endeavors pay off!!!!!!! Wish me luck and visit me there at Cotton Blossom Designs. Please!