Saturday, April 19, 2014






THE VILLAGE CHURCH




This little paper structure that I have created for you was originally intended to be a stand-alone project for a bit of Easter whimsy, in the Glitter House genre.  And it turned out as planned…a fun little something to sit on a miniature mantel or center a holiday table, or be placed in a shop window & so on.  But something happened along the way, as often happens while creating… I found I also really liked the looks of the unadorned church. 




So much so that I became intrigued (or carried away) with thoughts of other buildings until soon I had a whole “Little Village” sitting before me, with even more in mind.   Each of no particular scale or style, just fun figments of my imagination. 


  Since I have come to realize from many of you that creating printies directly from Blogs does not give one the high res, desired for the clarity of  detail of the originals, I am at kind of a crossroad as to a solution.  I spend much time on details and it troubles me that you are not getting what I give you.  Suggestions have been made that that I open an Etsy store to offer there, for sale, hard copies of my printies.   So while you work with The Church (it is the least detailed piece of The Village buildings), I will decide what I want to do to make sure that you can have the best of what I do to create with.  Do let me know what you think.

Joann



TO CREATE THE CHURCH YOU WILL NEED:
Color copy of printie on matte presentation paper using best printer settings and using guide to scale key for sizing  +  small sharp scissors (Note: for years I have been using Gingher 4” Embroidery scissors http://www.amazon.com/Gingher-01-005290-Embroidery-Scissors-4-Inc for everything small and own multiple pairs but recently I was turned on to Dr. Slick Razor Scissors http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Slick-Razor-Scissors by Karin Corbin   http://karincorbin.blogspot.com (great blog - be sure to check out her wonderful laser cut Glitter House Kits).  These surgical quality scissors are wonderful, so sharp that they come with a “use at your own risk” warning.  They are perfect for making tiny tight cuts, etc.  Wish I would have known about them years ago…thanks Karin)   +   pointed stylus or similar tool & a straight edge for scoring paper +    +   quality craft glue such as Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate   http://www.amazon.com/Crafters-Pick-Ultimate-Glue  and a quality, acid free  glue stick  http://www.amazon.com/Avery-Purple-Application-Permanent (I like this one because it goes on colored so one can see where the glue is and isn’t and it dries clear) + a brown & a grey water color pencil (such as 



DIRECTIONS:
Print the building on to the white side of matte presentation paper using best printer settings.  Use the 1” sq. Guide to Scale key given to make sure you are printing at the correct size….of course you may choose to print it to other sizes as desired or needed for your purposes.
Carefully cut out the building; score on building sides and side and bottom tab lines.   Fold the sides, side tab and bottom tabs of building in at right angles. Glue sides & bottom together on tabs to form the building. You may choose to use either glue applying carefully with a small brush.  Fold in top tabs at right angles to sides.
Before cutting out the roof piece, score across its center as marked.  Cut out and fold on score line.  Using a matching brown watercolor pencil, color the roof edges, and an approx. 1/8” wide border on the underside and, if needed, the peak of the roof on the score line.  Apply glue to the top tabs of the church and to the underside of the roof where it will touch the church.  Adhere the roof evenly over the top of the building. 

 Working on the steeple, score on sides and tabs & cut out.  Fold side tab in, to right angle and glue side over tab. Glue steeple to church roof, centered front to back.  Fold the steeple roof tabs in at right angles.  Score & fold the steeple roof across the center. Use the brown watercolor pencil to color it as for church roof.  Glue the roof evenly over the steeple.
To add dimension to the church, cut out the door and windows & steps altogether in one piece of the paper, not individually, and glue smoothly, face up, to a scrap of the same paper. When glue has set, cut out individual windows and door.  Color the edges of all gut the step with a grey watercolor pencil and the step with brown.  Glue prepared door and windows over corresponding ones on the building.  Using craft glue, adhere the straight edge of the step just under the door.
If you would like a cross atop your steeple, cut a long 1/32” wide strip from the scrap paper.  Cut it in half and glue one piece evenly across the other piece.  Before cutting out the cross cover the area of the paper that will be the cross with a couple of coats of  clear nail enamel…this will strengthen the paper.  When the enamel is dry carefully trim the top and sides of the cross to approx. size of diagram on project sheet…making bottom cut the last.  Now don’t breathe to hard or you may lose the cross.  Pick the cross up by the top with pointed tweezers, dip the very bottom into strong craft glue and place on peak of steeple roof, centered front to back. Double check to see that all is even. Once the glue has set you may want to add another coat or two of nail polish to further strength the paper.



Now you have the Village Church.  If you want to transform it into a Glitter Structure as seen:

YOU WILL NEED:
Extra fine glitter   http://www.amazon.com/American-Crafts-24-Pack-Extra-Glitter/   (you can use any color/s you want, just make sure it is extra fine…I used apricot on the roofs and sunflower on the building) + a glue stick and a very small flat bristled paint brush to apply it +  A scrap of matboard (1-3/8”w x 1-1/8” deep  used here but may be any size) + grass green acrylic paint + fine model railroad turf such as
& a fine mesh strainer/sifter + green chenille stem + tiny no-hole beads (color of choice for flowers on bushes…I used an orange/copper color) + fine cording/Bunka http://secondchildhoodminiatures.com/supplies.html  

INSTRUCTIONS:
GLITTERING
Use a small, flat-bristled paint brush to apply a thin layer of glue stick, to the buildings first, and then the roofs.  Work on small areas at a time, applying glue and then sprinkling the glitter over it, tapping off excess…you will want a light coating of glitter for this tiny piece as  you are  not  replicating snow.  Do not glitter the door and windows.   Work over a clean sheet of lightweight paper and before you change glitter colors, lift the paper by two sides so you can pour the excess glitter back into its container. 
 
BASE:
Cut matboard base to size & paint the top and sides a grass green. Glue the church in place on the base, back sides flush and centered side to side.  Draw a path/walkway from church step to front of base, shaped as desired or following diagram. Cut the path shape from a piece of white or off white scrap of the pattern paper (I actually cut mine from a Ralph Lauren paint sample, River Rock-Coastal Sand (love these paints) and pulled off & used the top ply of the paper).


For the lawn, sift the green landscaping turf to get the finest of particles.  Paint the grass area of the base with craft glue and sprinkle on the sifted turf.  Press it a bit for good adhesion and shake or sweep of excess.
For bushes paint a green chenille stem with a darker green than the lawn.  When dry cut 10, approx. ¼” snippets; touch up the exposed wire tip with paint.  
Using pointed tweezers glue the bushes to the lawn, three on each side of the church and two each along the edge of the pathway.  Using a toothpick apply little dabs of craft glue here and there on the bushes and immediately after each dab pick up a group of no-hole beads with the tip of a slightly moistened toothpick (yeah, I used my tongue)  and press them onto the glue. 
If you wish to add Mr. & Ms. Bunny to the scene carefully cut out the images given (I used a magnifying lamp for this job…these eyes are getting old).  Color the edges & back with a grey watercolor pencil and glue in place on path.
The base edges are finished with fine cording/Bunka in a light yellow glued in place, starting and stopping at center back.


May the Easter Bunny leave you a basket filled with love and wishes come true,

Joann

Saturday, May 11, 2013

FOR MOTHER’S DAY



My idea of the prefect Mother’s Day gifts?…a delicious box of chocolates and a good book.  And lo and behold, here they are, in miniature of course.  Quick and easy little projects that can be used as accessories in many miniature vignettes.  
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A BOOK FOR MOTHER


Make a copy of the printie on bright white paper using best printer settings & a landscape setting.

Click on image; copy and paste to your computer.
Set to print at 8-1/16" w x 3.54"h

Cut out cover. 
Clip on 4 lines as shown.
Score on all lines.  Crease & fold all borders inward, using a quality glue stick to hold.  Fold front and back cover inward on spine lines.
Cut out pages in one continuous piece   Crease and fold the pages accordion-style, following  directions on printie. 
Glue pages together, back to back, in twos.  Do not include the smaller end pages. Press flat until glue has set, making sure that any excess glue is not causing the pages to stick together where they should not.  You may insert small pieces of waxed paper between pages to prevent any glue mistakes if desired.


Glue assembled pages into the prepared cover by centering the back sides of the end pages on the inside of the cover…do not glue anything to the spine.  Press the book flat until the glue has set.
For a glossy cover you may choose to coat it with a couple of coats of clear nail enamel or water based acrylic gloss or it may be covered with clear packaging tape. Do test your computer ink for compatibility with any finish you use.
You may choose to add ties to close your book.  If so, use fine sewing thread and work with longer threads that you will need.  Cut two lengths, one for the front and one for the back.  Glue them in place on the front & back cover before the pages are glued in place.  Glue them centered top to bottom and an end set in approx. ¼” from the front edge of the cover. After the book itself is complete, tie the strings into a tiny bow.  Decide how much string you want to extend beyond the bow and tie a knot.  Cut of excess string approx. 1/8” beyond the knot and fray out the cut ends, tassel like.

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BOX OF “DELICIOUS” CHOCOLATES

Make a colored copy of the 4 chocolate box parts and the

chocolates onto matte presentation paper using printer’s

 best settings.  Cut pieces out using a craft knife and straight 

edge, eliminating the black edge lines.  Score on fold lines

 using a pointed stylus & straight edge. 


CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE 

SAVE TO YOUR COMPUTER
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Glue tabs of box & lid pieces to inside.  Using a quality Glue Stick, adhere the top piece, centered, over top of lid and the bottom piece under the box. Using glue stick will give you more time for correct placement.



Using a toothpick, coat each chocolate on the chocolate insert piece with Diamond Glaze.  This will give the candies depth and dimension. If you feel that they are too glossy, add a light coat of clear semi-gloss acrylic over the top of the glaze.  In fact if you don’t have Diamond Glaze you can use acrylic glaze or even tacky glue in its place,   Allow to dry. Insert chocolate piece into box bottom. 


You can also choose to decorate the box top with the tiniest of nail art to add dimension & interest.  


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To all of you Mother's out there, do have a wonderful, loving day.  To all others, give your mother, grandmother, sister or any other significant  female in your life an extra hug,  just because.  
Joann
PS
I have not forgotten the shadowbox project, real life has just been so busy and sunny that I have ignored it for a bit.  But stay tuned for the end of section 5 and filling section 6.







Tuesday, April 23, 2013

POTTED IRIS


EASTER SHADOW BOX SECTION 5: FLOWERS OF SPRING
PART 3: IRIS


Iris has always been a favorite garden flower.  There are many varieties and different colors…shades of purples, blues, and white and yellow.  Here I have made a simple lavender, bearded variety but do explore others.  

You will need:  #30 cloth covered wire + ¼” round paper punch or ¼” long petal shaped paper punch + lightweight paper in your choice of colors (purples, lavenders, blues, yellows, white) You may also choose to color your own iris paper using an ombre method (a shading from light to dark)  + medium ball stylus + yellow acrylic paint & small pointed paintbrush (if you are adding beards) + scrap of thin Fun-Foam + medium ball stylus or metal nail file (using the tapered/pointed tip) + fine pointed tweezers Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate glue + green floral tape + leaf green color acrylic paint + medium weight leaf green paper

Instructions:
Cut wire to needed lengths and dip the tip of one end into golden yellow acrylic paint.  Poke into a scrap of Styrofoam to dry.


These flowers have three inner erect petals that surround the stamen and three outer sepals between the petals that curve back.  To create the petals and sepals you may choose to fold/crease a piece of your chosen paper, measure and mark a line 1/16” away from the fold/crease and then use a ¼” round paper as shown.  


Or you may use the paper punch as shown or something similar to create the petals/sepals. 


If you are adding beards to your sepals, use a small pointed paintbrush to feather yellow paint out from the pointed end of the three sepals…I suggest you look closely at actual photos.  As seen, I just paint an illusion but if you are so inclined you may be more precise with the beard or markings. 
Lay the petals and sepals on the fun foam, bearded side of sepals face down.  Using a stylus or similar tool, “draw” lines down each edge and then the center of each petal and sepal, causing them to curve and curl.


Using fine pointed tweezers pick up a prepared petal by the rounded end, dip the very tip of the pointed end in glue & place on a prepared stem, just below the painted stamen.  Add two more petals in the same manner, evenly spacing them from each other and in an almost upright position. 
Pick up sepals in the same manner, add glue to tip and place them on the stem just under the petals & in-between the petals, so they are curving out and slightly down.


For the ovaries cut 1/16” wide by ½” long pieces of floral tape and gently stretch them out.  Wrap one around a stem just up from the bottom.  Use fingertip to shape it into a slightly elongated ball.  Push it up the stem until it snugs up to the underside of the flower. 
Use leaf green acrylic paint to blend the ovary and stem and to slightly feather up and out on the bottom of the flower.


Iris leaves are cut and prepared as was described previously for the daffodil and narcissus leaves but with a more pointed, sword-like shape.  Leaves may be attached to a flower stem or surround the potted flowers.


Unopened buds are made by wrapping ¼” wide by ½” long pieces of green floral tape around the stop of a stem, stretching the tape as you wrap.  Use finger tips to form the top into a point.  Add an ovary as described above right under the bud and then use green paint to meld bud, ovary, and stem together.


Partially open buds are created by adding glue to the face of a petal and wrapping it around the stop of a stem.  Add 3 or more petals in this manner, depending on how open you want the bud, and then pinch and roll the top to a point. Add an ovary. Use leaf green paint to meld everything together, letting the paint go up in points on the petals.


As with the Daffodil and Narcissus, Iris may be potted, as is seen here, planted in a landscape, or used in flower arrangements by themselves or with other spring flowers.  Surround stems by lots of leaves, which should be of a height just short of the blossom or shorter.  I used a clay pot filled with unbaked, scrap Fimo.  The Fimo was coated with a layer of glue and fine dust from sphagnum moss (bottom of package?) was pressed on.  Holes were poked in the “soil” to take the flower stems and after they were in place buds and partially open blossoms were added.  Leaves filled in space in and around.
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Here are some real-life images & illustrations to help inspire you to add miniature Iris to your collection.  


ARRANGEMENT BY CARL STARKERS 
1953
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I will be back soon with the Daffodils, Narcissus and Iris in place in the 5th section of The Easter Shadowbox.  BTW you may be interested in making some other spring blooms tooCalla Lilies, Pussy Willow, Forsythia…if so they are to be found in my Easter Peddler’s Cart, Basket & Bunnies
 Now  just one more section to go…like the flowers it will be miniatures that can be used in many scenes or added to a collection. 

Joann
















Monday, April 15, 2013

NARCISSUS

 EASTER SHADOW BOX SECTION 5: FLOWERS OF SPRING
PART 2: NARCISSUS 


The most well-known (at least to me) variety of Narcissus is the Barri variety. Their small trumpets,(length not more than 1/3 of petals)  better described as cups, are brilliantly colored and their petals are white.  They are oh, so fragrant.    Grow them in clumps in your miniature garden, force bulbs indoors for a holiday treat, display them in bouquets, in or outdoors, or use them as part of a floral arrangement.

Adding a toothpick in the photo as a point of reference to size as I had many people ask if last week's daffodils were actually miniature...thank you for the compliments btw.
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You will need:  #24 gauge green covered wire + golden-yellow & leaf-green acrylic craft paint + white and yellow lightweight paper + orange permanent marker pen or bright orange water color pencil or paint + green floral tape (craft/floral store purchase) + medium weight, leaf green paper + 1/8” round paper punch + 3/16” long diamond paper punch + scrap of Styrofoam  +  ¼” or more thick fun foam + pointed tweezers + tacky type glue

Instructions:


Cut wire to needed lengths and dip the tip of one end into golden yellow acrylic paint.  Poke into a scrap of Styrofoam to dry.  



From lightweight, golden-yellow paper, punch out a 1/8” round for each bloom.  Using a pointed stylus, poke a hole in the center of the punched rounds. Cut off one of the tapered ends of a round toothpick and sand that end rounded and smooth.  Lay a prepared round on a piece of thick fun-foam.  Use the prepared toothpick-tool to shape the round into a cut by pressing it into the center of the paper round and giving it a slight twist.  This will cause the round to sink into the foam a bit and cup up.  Pick the cup shape out with pointed tweezers. 
Poke a prepared stem into the hole in the cup.  Slide the cup up the stem so the yellow tip on the stem sits down inside of the cup.  Add the tiniest dab of glue to the back of the cup to hold in place.



Use the edge of an orange felt tipped pen or water colors to tint the very edge of the cup.




Punch out 6 white diamonds from bright white paper for the petals…they should be approx. 3/16” from top to bottom.  Lay the petals in the palm of your hand and using a pointed stylus & medium pressure, “draw” three lines over them as shown.  This will shape the petals.  
Using pointed tweezers pick up a petal; dip the bottom tip into glue, picking up just a dab.  Place it on the stem just under the cup.  Place three petals, evenly spaced around the stem, and then one between each for a total of 6 petals.  Let glue set.


Cut a 1/8” x ½” length of green floral tape; stretch it out.  Wrap it tightly around the middle or so of the stem for the bloom’s ovary.  Push it up the stem so it sits about 1/8” below the petals.  Pinch the bottom so it is slightly tapered down from the top. 
Using a fine pointed paint brush, feather some green acrylic paint onto the bottom of the petals and continue down the stem, over & below the ovary. 
When paint has set, use needlenose pliers to bend the stem down to a slight angle, just below the ovary.


For a narcissus almost in bloom, add the petals so they hug the trumpet.  For buds wrap 2-4 petals tightly around the wire with glue.  Make a wash of tan color acrylic craft paint & water and lightly feather it from the stem up onto the end of the bud.  

Like the Daffodil, Bari-Narcissus leaves are tall, slim, and fairly straight.  They have slightly rounded-off tops.  Fold a piece of green paper and cut very thin, long shapes on the fold. Slightly open on the top half of the fold.  

Narcissus may be potted, as is seen here, planted in a landscape, or used in flower arrangements by themselves or with other flowers.  Surround plants by lots of leaves, which should be of a height just short of the blossom or shorter.  I used a clay pot filled with unbaked, scrap Fimo.  The Fimo was coated with a layer of glue and fine dust from sphagnum moss (bottom of package?) was pressed on.  Holes were poked in the “soil” to take the stems and leaves.

Here are some real-life images to help inspire you to add miniature Narcissus to your collection.

                       FORCED INDOOR POTTING




                     A 2ND LOOK AT THE PROJECT
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Second to Gardenias, Narcissus are my favorite flowers...their scents take me to "another place".
I will see you soon with another flower (most likely an Iris) to help fill section 5 of the Easter Shadowbox.

  Joann
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