Monday, March 31, 2008
That would be too much like watching paint dry. Instead I am going to show you what's in the bag(s). I don't remember where I saw this idea first. It has been around for a long time.
The first one I did was for my husband for Valentine's day one year.
I started seeing bags that would be suitable for scenes every place I went. I still have a stock of bags to do when I want a fast project.
The second one is in 1/2" scale. The wicker in it is much later than the chair that I showed you yesterday...... It was done with # 30 waxed crochet cotton.
The other side of this bag has an English thatched cottage on it.
The third one is a sewing room ala Mac Kinzie-Childs. They are famous for putting a whole room in an armoire. They sell a kitchen and a media center that are complete in a hand painted aromoire. They are very expensive in real life. I certainly can't afford them but I can copy in mini.
The last one is in a bag that I got in London. The shop was an oriental import shop in Covent Garden. I met a net friend that lives south of London and we went shopping. She knew where to go and we really had fun. I bought some mini things in that shop and this was the bag that they gave me. It is a great way to remember a vacation.
I later added the paper dragon. My daughter brought that back from a trip.
Maybe tomorrow I will have a completed roof to show you. Back to work now.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
You need three materials. First you will need some scraps of needlepoint canvas. I use Penelope because there is more of a resemblance to a woven basket than with mono canvas. A lot of the needlepoint stores sell it by the inch. I find a lot of it in thrift store craft bins. Much cheaper that way.
Second you will need some "Woodsies" from the craft store. They are wooden shapes that come in a bag. They are very inexpensive and can be used for all kinds of projects. Each bag has several different shapes and those in turn are in assorted sizes. All are suitable for some kind of basket and they can be used for a lot of other things in mini besides the basket bottoms. I buy the ones with circles, ovals and rectangles. I imagine any other flat round object the right size would work as long as it is glueable. Or, if you are desperate, you can cut your own.
The third material that you will need is some embroidery floss. Use whatever colors will look good in your house or for a more natural basket just use shades of beige.
Tools that you will need are white glue, scissors and a 24 or 26 tapestry needle. Those are the ones with the blunt end.They can also be found at craft stores and the needlework shop.
1. Choose a Woodsie shape that you like. For your first one I would suggest one of the round ones.
2. Decide how tall you want the sides of your basket. You will notice that the threads running in one direction of the Penelope canvas are tightly packed(horizontal). The ones going the other way(vertical) are looser. You want the tight threads to run around the basket and the loose ones to go up and down. Carefully cut a strip of the canvas that is long enough to fit around your woodsie with one or two courses of the double thread overlapping. I try for just two threads(one course). For your first basket you may feel more secure with a larger overlap. Now run a thin line of glue around the edge threads and smooth it a bit with your finger. Let dry a bit.
3. Run a line of white glue along one line of the threads at the bottom edge of the strip and up one edge and wrap this around the woodsie. The bottom of the canvas should be even with the bottom of the woodsie. Now glue the end of the canvas strip over the start of the strip. You will find that if you hold it for a minute the wood and canvas will stick together nicely. Sometimes I use an old fashioned hair clip to keep the seam closed if I am impatient. Let the glue dry completely before starting to sew.
Side bar here....I glue the canvas to the woodsie before I start to embroider. If I embroider it before, I have to cut the threads at the end of each row. With the canvas glued on I can just continue from one row to the next. It makes for a neater finished basket.
4. Thread a needle with two strands of the six that the floss comes in. Put a dot of glue on the inside of the basket where you want to start sewing and lay the very end on the glue. Let it dry for a couple seconds and then pull the thread to the front through one of the holes.
Now just for practice do a running stitch around the basket over two single threads and under two. It should look like the body of the orange basket at the front of the photo.On that basket you can see clearly the transition from one row to the next without stopping. You can experiment with any kind of embroidery stitch. The top and bottom rows of that basket are done in stem stitch.
The taller waste basket is done with the threads closely packed doing a simple over under weave.
The handle on the little basket on the right front was simply two lines of the tightly packed threads cut in a strip. I glued the edges and then weaved in the open spaces in the middle.
You can line the basket if you desire by cutting a piece of index card and covering it with fabric to fit the sides and bottom of the basket. I usually just fill the basket with something. That way I don't have to bother. I have made these baskets with #22 harganger or aida cloth a couple of times. I don't like those nearly as well. They don't look like real baskets and they are more flimsy.
There are endless variations for these baskets once you get the hang of it.
I usually start a bunch all at one time so that I can work on one while the others are drying. They are kind of like potato chips. Bet you can't make just one!
Friday, March 28, 2008
How about a couple of oldies but goodies? This one is one that I did some years back. I asked my husband for a hand held color TV for Christmas one year. Not because I wanted to carry it everywhere I went to keep up with the soaps. It is a real working TV in this room box. To the left of the fireplace you will see a black outline. It is hard to see but that is the TV!
The guy on the couch is a burglar. He has the safe above the fireplace open and there are jewels and money spilling out of his valise sitting on the floor by the Van Gogh. That was covering the safe before he took it down. He is taking a break from the break in. He has cheese and crackers and a glass of the home owner's best wine. He has the current TV Guide in his hand. George the cat sneaked into this one. He is sitting on the white chair waiting for a hand out. Never mind that his owner is getting robbed......
When I first did this room box I had it at a show. I went into the display room and noticed that there were several men gathered around it. I thought "Wow! Men like this one!". Wrong again....They were all watching a football game that was on the mini TV!
This lamp was made at an Iowa State Day a few years ago. I went back to visit a friend that lives on the very edge of the Mississippi River on the Illinois side and we went to state day on the Iowa side together with a group of mini friends that all got together on the net. Great fun!
I made the building and had it pretty much done on the outside when I got home. My husband took on look at it and said "Can I have that?" It now sits in the living room by his favorite chair. It is a golf shop called"Above Par Golf Shop"
The guy standing on the porch is my husband, dressed in plus fours and an argyle sweater and socks. The two cats on the porch with him are Mookie and our other cat Widget.
The shop is fully stocked with golf sweaters, hats, visors and a rack of golf clubs behind the door. You can't really see them in the photo bur there are chocolate chip cookies and a cup of something not specified on the counter.
These were taken with our old camera. I am going to have to take some new ones with the better camera. Just not today, please?
It's time for the frazzled woman that can't type anymore to take a nap. See you tomorrow. Hopefully I will still be alive and writing.......
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Today is the regular Wednesday meeting of our group called the Wednesday Witches. No. We aren't really. Some other people started calling us that and the name stuck. Anyway, the meeting was here so I decided to work on my theory. As I said, good intentions.
I first started with Super Sculpey. Loaded the extruder. It was too hard. Then I used some Fimo soft....Yup. Too soft. At the same time, I am trying to serve snacks, look up websites, serve dessert, keep the Fimo out of the dessert, keep the cat out of the dessert, and a couple of other things. Let's just say "So much for the experiment."
I am thinking that it will still work but I have to go about it in a different way. The Three Bears approach is not going to work. More on that after I work on it some more. I AM going to win!
Meanwhile, I need to feed you a bit of eye candy since I have nothing to show of the experiment.
This is Eskiaga. He is a sculpture that I made of the man in the photo. Eskiaga was a real Apache scout for General Crook back in the late 1800s. I found his photo in a book at the U of A library. I liked the looks of guy so I copied him. It was fun to do. He is made of a mixture of Super Sculpey and Fimo.....See you can succeed with poly clay. You just have t o talk to it nicely. His clothes are copied right down to the rawhide boots with beading across the toes. He now lives in a modern southwestern room box that I made. He seems happy not to be blazing trails for Crook. He sits on a couch with his feet up most of the time.
This is an Elizabethan lady that I did about the same time. She is also a mixture of clays.
Her hair is in single curls all over her head with tiny pearls in it. The body of her dress was made from a man's silk tie. I did gold work embroidery on the skirt and on the antique lace petticoat that shows in the front. Her stand up collar is handmade, antique bobbin lace. Her fan is of feathers.
The poor lady doesn't have a name or a home so far. Another project to work on........
I'm sorry that I don't have more of the experiment to show you today. Maybe tomorrow, if I'm lucky. Fingers crossed.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
This is a barrel bag or duffel, depending on what size you make it.
I am doing one made from the outside of a size small Tampax tube. You need Tampax brand regular, not any of the fancy ones. They are the ones that have cardboard tubes. Maybe I should start with a list of supplies.
Tools: small sharp scissors, white glue(I use Elmer's white in a needle nose bottle) , and exacto knife to cut the tube. It is helpful to have a needle nosed glue bottle if you have one.
lined index card. Also 1/4" graph paper for measuring if desired.
1. I generally buy one of the Tampax boxes that has 3 sizes in one. That will give you a LOT of different sized bags.
2. A 6"square piece of natural fabric. Use cotton, silk or linen. Polyester and polyester blends just give you a headache. They don't glue well at all.
3. A 7" long piece of ribbon or trim. This is for the handle and can be longer if you want a shoulder type bag.
4. A piece of metallic trim for the zipper. It should be a little longer than the purse. You will have to put glue on the ends and cut through to keep it from fraying.
5. Four metal rings. The ones in the photo are from an old necklace that I tore apart.
6. One piece of a finding for the zipper pull if you want one.
The first thing you do is either with a piece of graph paper (1/4" squares) or a lined index card(they are lined in 1/4"), make a mark on the tube 1 1/4" from the end all the way around. I find it easiest to use the graph paper because you can cut a strip 1 1/4" wide, wrap it around the tube and mark it.
Next you cut a piece of the index card that is the same width. In this case,it's 1 1/4" wide. Then cut it to exactly fit around the tube.
Then you cut a and glue a piece of fabric to the outside. Miter the corners. Fold to the inside and glue.
Cut two circles of fabric about 1/8" bigger than the end of the tube. Run a fine line of glue around the very edge of the tube and stick one circle to each end. Let them dry a little and then cut little "V"s in the fabric all around the edge of the circles.
Glue down the clipped part of the circles to the body of the bag. It should look like this. Now take a scrap of fabric about 1/4"wide and not quite as long as the purse and glue it where you want to put the zipper. This is in case the zipper doesn't cover the gap when you wrap the outside around the bag.
You can find different metallic trims that work for zippers. There are a couple in the photo. The silver I found at a mini show. The gold is from a plain old fabric store.
If you have trouble finding something, take a close look at wider trims. Sometimes they can be cut apart to make them work.
Put some glue on one end of the trim and also in from the end about the length of the purse. Most of the braided trims will unravel unless you do this.
Now put glue on the inside of the covered index card piece and wrap it around starting by one edge of the zipper. Like magic, the thickness of the fabric will make a gap in the edge just about perfect for the zipper.
Poke pins in the edge and let it dry.
Next we come to the handle. Starting at the center bottom, 1/4" in from the edge, run a thin line of glue up the side of the purse and glue one end of the handle on that line, sliding a ring down to sit about 1/4" from the zipper.
Now take the opposite end of the handle piece and do the same on the opposite side of the same end. Make sure that it's not twisted.
You should have handle and rings both glued on one end and the middle of the handle loose.
Run a line of glue on the other end to match the first one. Take the middle and center it on the bottom of the other end. Pull the handle up, gluing the rings level with the ones on the other edge.
Glue your piece of finding to one end to represent the zipper pull if you would like one.
Happy purse making! Have fun!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Here's something to keep you busy.
This is my pet alligator, Friskie. I had to name him that because of the name on the bowl It seems to fit his personality tho. He is kind of like George. You will see him wander into a scene from time to time. I didn't make him. I do love him tho. He just seems to add something to the scene.
I also have a pet toad. You can see him in this photo in his little basket by the right leg of the armoire. I didn't make the toad but I did make the armoire. It was the project at an Arizona State day several years ago. I made most everything else in the scene. Oops! Not the little carved wooden jar by the left foot of the armoire. It was handcarved in India. It opens to store secrets.
Anyway, I thought I would stall you with cute pets until I can get back to work tomorrow.
I am, at present, cleaning up the quilt shop. WOW! You guys really know how to party!! OK. Who stuffed the jelly roll into the button bowl???
See you tomorrow.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Until then I will let you browse through the mini shop next door.
I was mistaken about the house in the window. It is actually a resin piece. I was thinking it was metal. Wrong! It was still a raw piece that I had to do all of the painting on.
This is the interior of the shop. It is mostly a collector's shop. There are only a couple of buttercup kits for sale. The armoire at the back is about 1/8" scale. All of the metal minis that I bought for it were kind of an odd size. I made the scale fit the armoire.
There may soon be mayhem in the shop. There is a rather larger frog sitting on the counter. If he is real, the way that the dog is looking at him could indicate trouble......
This is a close up of the armoire. The headboard of the bed is a hinge from a Chinese box that I had that fell apart. I kept the hardware. Most of the rest of the furniture is metal miniatures.
Here is a shot of the back shelves. The houses with the thatched roofs on the top shelf are copies of real early American houses. The thatched roof on the bottom shelf is a copy of a Sweetheart cottage the I did in 1/12 scale. The lighthouse is sculpted from poly clay and painted. Some of the other ones are kits that a friend brought back from NAME nationals a few years running.The two in the center of the second shelf are little porcelain houses from England. The house on the bottom left is a straw house from China. It is an eclectic collection. A little bit of everything from all over.
I add to the stock from time to time when I find something I like. I don't think that this shop will ever be fully finished. It is just a collection that keeps growing.
Remember! Tomorrow is the grand reopening. I hope to see you there!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Oh! And I do have about 2o miniature balls of crochet thread. Those little things take a long time to wind. I wound them on drinking straws as I described before. I am not showing you those either. It would be like watching paint dry......Bored yet?
Here's something to take your mind off of the Rusty Needle for today.
About 3 years ago they were selling these little terrariums at Wal Mart for about 15.00. When I got it, it was plain white. I immediately thought "Garden Tea party". I got out the paint and started to fancy it up with embellishments.
The sides are Plexiglas and the roof lifts off so that you can get inside.
I popped in one of the Chinese cross stitch rugs that I designed. I painted some metal furniture that a friend gave me from a dollar store. I added a few plants and something to eat and drink. The painting of the vines and other embellishments took a while but after that, it was an almost instant project. Not bad for Wal Mart!
I seem to have an attraction to terrariums and birdcages. I have several that are finished(to be seen later) and several others waiting on shelves to be dealt with.
Here's one that I pretty much left as is except for the floor and the back wall. This time the find was at Big Lots. The floor is brick paper on mat board. The back wall is a piece of mat board with mini wallpaper. The chair is one of my wicker ones with matching footstool. The planter in the back is a ceramic one that was purchased as bisque ware and painted with acrylics. The small table is really a hand carved stone candlestick from India. I made the afghan from a real sized pattern and mercerized cotton sewing thread All of the plants are made of paper and wire. My cat George is made from Super Sculpey and painted.
This goes to show you that you can make a miniature from and in just about anything.
Back to the Rusty Needle tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
OK so I don't have a newspaper with the date to hold up by the Rusty Needle.......I am working. Honest!
When I returned I started repainting more of the trim. Some of the trim was broken when I got it back. That slowed me down some. Luckily, I had the right stock to replace the parts that were damaged. Did I mention that this building was SO dirty when I got it back that it had to be scrubbed within an inch of it's life? It had been stored by the man of the house in an outdoor shed. Not a good thing! I have most of it done now. I just have to glue on some of the gingerbread and paint the sign.
This is a display of baskets of various types that I have done over the years. Maybe after I finish the Rusty Needle I will sit down and write a couple of tutorials on how to make some of them.
These are coiled ones done with two strands of over dyed embroidery floss over cloth covered wire. They are done exactly like the Native Americans around here coil theirs. The feathers are from a friend's parrot and the stones are real turquoise, amethyst and jade.
Hopefully, tomorrow I will have more to show you of the Rusty Needle. See you then.