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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Devil is in the Details

I finished the topiary trees. I am very pleased with the way that they dress up the front step of the basket shop. It took me longer than I thought it would to put the individual leaves on the balls. It is painstaking work. I did have some help though.

I thought that you might like a couple of tips to help with doing them. Here's a photo of the leaves being cupped. I use the finest tip on my ball stylus and press down very hard on a mat made of two layers of thick leather, rough side up. The leather is the best cupping mat that I have found. The leaves stay put and don't jump around like they do on the rubber or plastic mats. Personally, I don't like chasing little tiny leaves and picking them out of the carpets. Not fun!

Here are a couple of my other helpers. It's hard to see in the photo but each flower has a center. The Pigma Micron Pens in the photo are the secret of doing anything small. These are the smallest diameter points that I have found and they are a very perminent ink. You can find them at Michael's and most art supply stores. The .005 is the size. They come in various colors and are very handy for detail work in miniature. They are so perminent that a lot of quilters use them to sign and write on quilts. They are completely washable.

The other secret helper is that tiny point on the Elmer's glue. I got a set of three caps and the metal points at Wal Mart a few years ago. I don't think that they have them any more, but I think that they can be found at craft and art stores now too. The reason for using the point on this project is to get the leaves and flowers on top of the railroad greenery. It is very difficult to get glue to stick on top of the fuzzies. With this point you can do it and right in the exact place you want it to be. I use the point to put a bunch of dots on the tree and then use tweezers to put the leaves on one at a time. That way the fuzzy part doesn't get all glued down. I use the same point a lot in making dolls costumes. It is great for putting on braids and trims, and for turning hems. You can lay down a very fine line of glue with it.

Some of you probably already know about these. This is for the people that have never done this before. I am just trying to make it easier. It can be very discouraging without the proper tools.

Now I am going to go put the final touches on the Christmas decorations(real ones). Tomorrow the house should be back to normal(with the exception of the workroom.....) I will be back to mini-ing. See you then.


Katie's Clay Corner said...

They look really good Casey!!

Debbie said...

They've come out lovely and look so nice on the step. Love em...

Daisy Carpi said...

Wonderful work!

Violet said...

Wonderful Work! :)