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Monday, November 20, 2017

Some pics of new creations in my Etsy shop



Xmas cake : Croque em bouche.
Teddies Christmas
Pink cake on stand.

Ugly sweater bear.





Cold outside : Hibernating bear.




Christmas morning.
Christmas in a jar in different sizes.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lovely Christmas scene made by a friend



My friend Phyllis surprised me with this lovely birthday gift.  It was the very first time I received a mini scene that was handmade specially for me so it is really special to me.

The pretty box frame is about 8 by 9 1/2 inches so you can imagine how tiny all the items are. Phyllis loves to work in the smaller scales and I am always in awe about her patience.

 The wooden items like the  planters filled with holiday items  are made from incredibly tiny kits by  Liz West. The same goes for the reindeer, shelves , penguins and signs . You have to paint all the tiny items yourself !

 https://www.taffyandme.com is the link to Liz's website. She has lost the pics of  some of her items but she will be happy to share PDF 's if your are interested while she is working on the site.

This photo shows the parts of the planter kits and the wreath.


Some of the decorations on the back wall have been made using shrink plastic. For those who have never tried that :  It is a kind of plastic sheet that you can draw on with permanent markers ( some types you can use in a printer too) and color with markers or pencils. The fun thing is,  you cut out your drawing and put it in the oven where it shrinks down to a mini version.

https://www.somewhatsimple.com/how-to-print-on-shrink-film/  Is where you will find info on how to print on the  shrink film.

https://www.thespruce.com/make-shrink-plastic-crafts-1250705  Is where you will find all you need to know about having fun with shrink plastic.




I think the little scene is  a perfect gift for someone who does not have a lot of room for Christmas decorations , perhaps an elderly relative or friend. You can of course make it in any scale you like. A 12 th scale  or 24 th scale version would be lovely too or perhaps a micro scale version in a tiny tin .
Hope this will inspire you to make something fun.

And once again: Thank you so much, Phyllis.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Hints and tips for making potion bottles.




I love making potion bottles in miniature. Over the years I have tried different things and will share some hoping to inspire you.

Bottles
 You can use any kind of  bottle that is small enough. There are ways to alter the look of your bottles  that you have to deal with  before filling the bottles


 On the left the bottle treated with sandpaper on the right one covered with tissue paper and Modpodge.

. To make your bottles look old  try using some sandpaper on them. Be patient and you will see the glass become sort of mat. You can paint over this to add colour

. A frozen bottle can be made using Mod Podge and ultra fine white glitter. Cover the bottle in Mod Podge , sprinkle on the glitter and leave to dry. Different colors of glitter give different effect.


 Crumpled tissue paper glued to the bottles with Mod Podge is brilliant too. When the Mod Podge has dried , paint over the wrinkled paper to add some colour and finish with Mod Podge again. If you want to paint on your glass bottles Mod Podge makes a great primer.



Filling the bottle. 
Most potions require some kind of liquid and I have tried different things. Resin works well but it is too expensive and way too smelly for me to work with. I read about using clear glue instead to I tried that first.


  Here is a collection of glue filled bottles.


Must say the results looked brilliant with the glue adding a lovely shine to my bottles and showing things like  dead bugs, chopped off heads and other stuff like mosses brilliantly.


But I dug up the ones I made last year and found there has been magic happening to my bottles when I was not looking. The glue did dry out in some bottles and totally changed the way my stuff looked.

Some things like my dried lavender totally changed colour , it is now a bright purple, and there are   big bubbles inside the bottle rather than liquid.
It looks pretty awesome but still it was a surprise.  The bubbles happened a lot and did add to the spooky effect. Some stuff dried out and did look very different but still quite good, I have taken some pictures to show what they look like.
 Last years bottles after the magic has happend to them. 

Some still do like pretty much like they did last year. I have no idea why some changed, some stayed the same and some got really awful  So if you want some magic to happen to your bottles I recommend trying the clear glue and leaving them for a while.





I also tried water which was not a success because even with a glued on cork it did just disappear.


I started looking for other recipes and found  that now instead of the clear glue two other products are being used : liquid soap and hair gel. It is said that these do not dry up and do not change their appearance.

I did try a few things but my new bottles are just a few weeks old so I do not know yet  if there will be any magic happening  to them.

I find the gel is nice to work with because you can make layers of different colors that will not mix and glitter will  keep floating in it. 



Bottle with layers of colored and uncolored gel with little bits and glitter floating in it.


 There also are some nice little bubbles that look very good   I tried some bits of dried  wood and herbs  and the gel did get brown within a day so I guess it will discolor more if you keep it l longer so I think  they are not a good choice.

 The cleanup of the gel is not fun...........lots of hot water to get rid of it. You can mix the gel with food coloring or paint to get different colour   It will not dry out but I think it does shrink a little bit.




The soap looks really nice but glitter and stuff sinks to the bottom right away and it does also change colour when you put natural materials like dried moss. Of course  this means that you can mix paint or food colouring into the soap to get fun colours. The paint did not discolour since I did them , the ones with natural ingredients did become a murky brown.

If you want to try dried stuff like moss or spices from your cupboard or other natural  items I think it is best not to put them in any liquid at all. All the things I tried made them get soggy and nasty looking, the liquid changed colour so much you could not see what was in the bottles anymore Some looked very gross. Of  course you can go for it if you like that look but I think they look better as ingredients in bottles so you can see what they look like .

Plastic ingredients like mini leaves , chopped off heads or limbs, skeletons etc do not do well in the glue.  They sort of start to dissolve after a while .But they look pretty cool in the gel or soap.



So now we are ready to make some bottles.

My magic glue bottles were done with clear all purpose glue. Best to put all the ingredients in first and then fill the bottle slowly with glue. You can use a skewer or a  pin to  rearrange them if needed.
 For the swamp water I used  some moss from the garden and some little stones. The rest is magic.
 old swamp water with glue on the right, new bottle  done with  liquid soap on the left.



.. The ocean potion was done with the same moss, some tiny shells and a little bit of light blue paint mixed into the glue. One   dried out and looks magical  the other one did not change at all so I have two different versions of the ocean one. The one on the left is the one I made this year with liquid soap.

Lavender and dried herbs from the kitchen were added to other bottles once again some changed colour and got big bubbles inside. Some just changed colour . So the result will be a surprise.

The witch hazel bottle is filled with hair gel. I added some very fine branches  from a bunch of dried flowers and plastic leaves. Just push them into the gel and they will stay in place which is awesome. I made one with soap and the branches were fine but the leaves did sink to the bottom.




Hair raising potion was done with hair gel again. I put the head in first and then filled the bottle with gel. The hair is doll hair ( you can use any type of nylon hair) that I pushed into the gel. I glued some to the top of the bottle before I put the cork in.




I am just giving some basic ideas here for I am sure you will come up with lots of stuff yourself.

Decorating the bottles is great fun too. There are tons of great labels to be found on Pinterest.  I did not add  them too all the bottles for I wanted you to be able to see the contends .  Twine, beads etc are great decorations as well as little bits of the stuff you used inside the bottle . Like some little leaves or a bit of hair etc.

Hope you will have lots of fun making these.










Monday, August 21, 2017

My holiday in a tin.


























  

No trip for me this year so I had to find something else to get some of that holiday feeling. I saw a beach scene in a tin and that inspired me. Just a beach is not enough for me so I added a bit of landscape as well. Here is how I did it.





 This is the tin  I used, It was the only kind I could find around here. There were tiny sweets in it.  The size is very nice to work with 6 cm by 3 cm. But the tin is really very shallow : just 1 cm deep. That leaves very little room for the stuff to go inside. I actually broke the hinge trying some things for size. So if you can find a deeper tin go for it.




Here is step 1 : trying out the clay that will become the beach base. You can use any type of  clay . I used air drying clay because I happened to have some  but you can use Fimo and bake the whole thing.





Step 2 .When the clay was dry I painted it  a very pale sand colour and sprinkled some sand on it. ( use craft sand or bird cage sand). I  painted the see area in acrylic paints. Used blue and white. the sea is lighter  in color near the beach so that will give the best look. Paint the sea with Mod Podge or varnish for a nice shine.
 Step 3 . I added some white mini pebbles to the right hand top corner and some plants to the open space at the left. I used bits of plastic plants, and model rail road moss.




Step 4 . Added a little hint of pink paint to the pebbles and added some tiny bits of  the green stuff to them to make them look more interesting.



Now for the landscape in the lid. I printed  4 copies of the photo I found on line ( Passport  photo size) .  One copy was cut to fit inside the lid and glued in place with Mod Podge.

I cut  out the pergola with the flowers twice and also the chairs and table in the front. I know the chairs are not very visible but they do add some depth to the whole thing. I  added double sided foam tape to the back of the pergola cuttings  and layered them on top of the pergola in the lid.

  I used one   of  the set of chairs and table to do the same thing.  From the second part I only used the backs of the chairs so they would stand out more.








Added some green moss like stuff ( in the bag on the right of the photo available at Minikitz .com)   add some details to the landscape. I also used flower foam  to make the flowers stand  out more. I just glued it on top of the flowers in the picture.



Finishing touch were some bits of flower foam in various colors to give the idea of flowers and some gravel to create a little path to the beach.

Had a lot of fun creating this little holiday for me. Hope it will inspire  you too.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Tiny landscape under a dome.

This tiny landscape can be displayed with or without the dome.  It is pretty easy and fun to make, Let me show you how to do it.






For the base  :
A metal plate ( 12 th scale)

For the dome :
Plastic bottle cap or something similar. Try to find something that is really clear.
A press stud to glue on the top ( optional) 



Glue a piece of dried bark to the plate. You can also  use a piece of wood or a stone or whatever you like.

Use some green paint ( I used my watercolors)  to add a bit of  a moss effect  to your tree bark base.

 I also added some green fluffy bits.

I used a lot of different bits of greenery for this project. I always find the most intersting ones  at http://www.minikitz.com/

They have stuff that looks like tiny plants and grasses, stretchy vine which is great to make trees with and lots more.

 I used some very fine dried twigs to make the tree with. You can replace this with fine wire  twisted together and painted.





  Poked a little hole in the bark base and planted the tree.






I little bit of the stretchy vine material ( see above) made lovely greenery for the tree. Just lightly glue on top of the basic tree.



Decorated the base with some mini gravel and some flower foam and more greenery in different shades of green.




In the end I used a different bottle cap for the dome.  Here is the final version .

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Five minute project


I made this crochet bear and I wanted to have a little background for him so he could sit on my bookshelf and look nice.  Had no time to do anything fancy so this is what I came up with :



This is a little screen kit  that  I found at Action's  ( the nearest thing to a dollar shop we have in the Netherlands). It is wood and it comes with cut outs to decorate it and even the ribbon and the paint.

I did not like the pics that came with it but I had some ready made 3 D stickers from another shop that had a garden theme .

This is a similar set to the one I used. 


Stickers glued to the wood. They did not stick very well ( there is foam at the back) but that is great for they will be easy to remove and I can use the  screen and the stickers for something else later. You will find stickers like that at places that sell items for scrapbooking or cardmaking. 


Here are some pics of the bear I used.


Added a little bench and a box tree that I had in my stash and I am pretty pleased with how it  looks.





You can ofcourse do this as a permanent thing and add a floor and do much better on  the paintwork and the decorations .  I just wanted to show that a few cheap items, about 5 mins are enough for some mini fun.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Eraser petit fours




Petit fours are usually covered in fondant , icing or chocolate in white or pastels. White erasors are brilliant for making petit fours with. The ones you find on the top of pencils are the right size. If you can find pencils with colored erasers they are  brilliant too.
 I also found erasers  that are the same shape but in longer lengths. They come in small boxes and are made in Japan. If you can find them they are totally awesome for they come in lots of colors. I found mine on Ebay.com   There are also little boxes of these erasers in kits with stationary for kids. 


What you will need to make petit fours:
Erasors
Narrow silk ribbon ( your choice of colors)
Tacky glue.


For decorations :
Matching silk ribbon and a rose maker
or
Paper or plastic mini flowers
Flower foam ( optional)

Cut the erasors off the pencils just above the metal thingy.
Wrap and glue a piece of silk ribbon round the erasor at the bottom. Be very careful when gluing silk ribbon : the ribbon absorbs the glue , but the glue also stains it.

Decorate the top of your petit fours. Silk flowers to match the ribbon look very elegant but paper flowers can be just as nice. If you like you can add a little bit of flower foam next to the flowers or even instead of the flowers.

I did an all white version too and decorated the tops of the cakes with no hole pearls.


 Here are some more petit fours to inspire you . I used erasors, ribbon, nail art items like stickers and micro beads and paper flowers.


Chocolate petit fours.






Ingredients :
Per Petit Four one eraser like the one we used before.
Acrylic paints in a nice chocolaty color.
Tacky glue
A pin for a handle and a clothes pin 

To decorate your Petit Fours:

Very fine gravel ( from the train shop) mixed with some slivers of green plastic or the smallest green bits from a bag of floral foam.

Dried pepper seeds

White eraser grindings

Cork grindings

Mustard seeds. You can use them in their natural color ( light brown or black) or painted in an  other color like : dark brown or white.

Paper flowers ( or really small plastic ones) plus a tiny bead for the flower center.


Cut the erasers just above the metal ring on the pencils. If you like smaller petit fours you can cut them smaller or slice them in half like I did for the ones on the white plate.

To get a nice chocolate coating do what a real baker does and do dip your petit fours into chocolate ( paint) instead of painting them. Use the pin as a handle and the clothes pins as stands to keep them standing while drying. If a drop of paint forms at the bottom of the petit four, wipe it away carefully before it dries.  If  you are happy with the chocolate coating you can move on to the decorating part if not just repeat the chocolate dipping till you are happy with the result.

There is tons and tons of decorating options for these little cakes. A lot of fun are seeds from sweet bell peppers. Just save the seeds and dry them whenever you use a bell pepper in cooking.

There are several ways to create nuts for your decorating.  Model train shops often sell little bags of very fine gravel. Another option is making your own by using a cork and a nutmeg grinder. A white eraser given the same treatment makes lovely dried coconut.  Mustard seeds make great nuts or chocolates depending on the color.  Bags of flower foam offer tons of possibilities. The smallest bits of green make great chopped pistachio nuts. Other colors of the foam look splendid on different colors of petit fours.

Decorations can be glued on with Tacky glue. Start with the nuts or coconut and do not use too much, just a little looks best. Pepper seeds, mustard seeds and flowers make great final touches. Once again do try your own variations using different colors and different types of paint etc.

You can buy colored erasers to make different colors of petit fours or paint them.



Coloured  erasers decorated with paper flowers, no hole beads and nail stickes