Monday, November 1, 2010


                                 A BIT OF AUTUMN

                            “Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
                                                                          William Cullen Bryant, 1784-1878

Welcome back to the "farm"!  Hope you enjoyed part one of this
project (well actually I know you did by the wonderful response
it recieved, thank you)  and are ready for part two.  Here we go!


                                      SHAKER-STYLE GRAPE BASKET
Cut basket bottom from matboard.  Cut sides and handle from manila folder paper.
Starting on a long side, glue side strip around bottom piece, bottom edges flush.
Overlap serrated end of side piece and glue in place.  Lay handle in palm of hand
and roll over it with a round pencil until it curves to prevent creasing.  Glue handle ends
in place on inside of basket.  Before or after assembly, basket may be weathered/aged
with a light mixture of brown acrylic and Delta’s Gel Stain Medium.  Add a dot of
glue over the nail marks on the serrated section of the side.  When glue has set color
these nail heads with black pen or acrylic.  Fill with grapes.
                       Copy pattern to your computer; print at 3.56" W x 1.33" H for 1" scale.

Make a mixture of black (½), blue (1/4) and transparent (1/4) Fimo. Roll into a 1/16”
 diam coil. Use a single edge razor blade to cut the coil into 1/16” pieces and transfer
these in a group to palm of left hand (assuming you are right handed).  Use middle or
ring finger of right hand to gently roll each piece into a round.  Transfer individual
“grapes” to a piece of glass or ceramic tile on which they will be baked.  Group 9-12
grapes together, to form a rough circle.  Top the first circle of grapes with increasingly
smaller groupings until the cluster is the size you desire.  Gently turn the cluster over
and add single grapes here and there until the desired shape is reached.  For stems,
roll a small piece of brown Fimo into a very thin snake; twist slightly and add to base
of grape cluster.  Bake according to Fimo package direction.  When cool, sporadically
dab with a very light white acrylic wash.  When wash is dry, coat grapes with a
satin acrylic finish.   For interest add a few small (approx. 3/8" W.) maple leaf shapes
punched from matt green paper; emboss veins with a pointed stylus.

                                                           PRODUCE BOXES
Use pieces, as is or trimmed as needed, from Woodsie Rectangles (craft store
purchase) or cut your own from basswood.  To age, wash all sides of all pieces with
black-brown watercolor & press flat till dry.  Add lettering to side pieces as desired
( for method used see Sign instructions in an upcoming post)).  Glue face of side pieces
to edges of bottom piece and face of end pieces to edges of bottom & side pieces. 

                                  Copy pattern to computer; print at 3.627" x 1.0"H for 1" scale.


Note: This birdhouse is not the same one as pictured in the scene.  That one
is an very inexpensive wood piece purchased from Michaels Crafts.
1.  Print birdhouse pieces on cardstock (I prefer Epson’s Matte Premium
Presentation Paper ). 
2.  Before cutting out, score house… between tab section and side, & between
back & front & sides; score from the center top of front section down to the
front/side corners, repeat for the back section.
3.  Carefully cut out.  Use 1/8” and 1/16” round paper punches to punch
holes in house front.  
4.  Color the wrong sides of the house and roof with a dry colored pencil in
dark gray (this does not have to be a perfect job; it is just to lightly cover
the white). 
5.  Fold house inward on all scored lines.  Glue back section over tab to hold; glue
bottom tabs to inside.
6.  Cut out roof piece and score along eave/roof sections on all 4 sides; score
across center of roof.  Clip eave section to roof at the center score, on both sides. 
Fold the eave sections in at approx. 45 degree angles to roof.
7.  Glue the roof, centered over the top of the house, on the triangle tabs and the
edges of the sides.  When the glue has set a bit make sure the front & back eave
edges are at 45 degrees to the roof and then glue one clipped end over the other
at both the front and the back peaks. 
8.  Carefully crease the side eaves inward so the corners are inline with the
cornersof the front & back eaves; add just a tiny dab of glue to these corners
from the underside to hold them together.
9.  For perch, cut an approx. 3/8” length from a round toothpick, starting at a
pointed end.  Round off the fat end with sandpaper.  Color the perch with
black and brown water color pencils for a weathered look.  Glue the pointed
end of the perch snugly into the 1/16” hole in house front.

                                                 RUSTIC BIRDHOUSE PATTERN
         Copy pattern to computer and set to print out at 4.392" x 1.984" for 1" scale.

1.  Cut head from tan or natural color, lightweight, closely woven fabric
Gather into pouch shape with a needle and thread and stuff with cotton batting
but do not tie off the stitching.   Insert a 1/16” to 3/32” thick  by approx. 4” long
dowel or stick up into head and tie off gathering threads tightly around it.   Adjust
gathers so that all are to one side (the back), leaving the other side (the front) fairly
2.  On the smooth side of the head paint a face with acrylics.  Remember, it is a
scarecrow, so it does not have to be perfect but it should make you smile a bit!
Click on pattern and then save image to computer.  Set printer to print image at
4.44"W x 2.67"H.

3..Cut hat from golden color felt.  Mark center.  Saturate with a half and half
solution of glue & water.  Stretch over the pointed end of a glue bottle or
something similar that has been covered over with plastic wrap held in place
with a rubber band. Hold felt in place with another rubber band.  Let felt dry
completely before removing it from form.  Set aside.

To save pattern to computer, click on image & copy & paste. 
Set you printer to 2.12"W x 1.91"H

4.  Cut shirt on the fold from a piece of fine plaid or checked fabric.  With right
sides together sew underarm seams.  Glue a hem back on bottom and on sleeves. 
Turn right side out.
5.  For gloves glue two pieces of white felt together for a double thickness.  Cut out
using pattern.  Glue gloves into sleeve openings.  Stuff sleeves with cotton batting.
Tie off sleeve ends with thread.  Slip shirt on stick under head, thru hole in top of
shirt.  Slide shirt up to head and glue gathers on bottom of head over shirt.
6.  Make pants by cutting dark blue or black fabric on double thickness.
Hint: Look for fine denim in baby clothing at 2nd hand stores).  Place right sides
together and sew seams.  Glue back hems on legs.  Turn right side out and stuff
with batting.  Glue top of pants inside of shirt with stick to back and outside of pants. 
The amount of pants glued inside shirt will determine the length of your scarecrow. 
Tie length of buttonhole thread around waist for belt. 
7.  Stuff bottom of legs with bits of straw, shredded raffia, or sea grass.  Tie
buttonhole thread around bottom of legs.
8.  With glue, tuck some wisps of your straw material hanging out of bottom of shirt,
out of sleeves and around gloves.  Tuck straw into gathers of neck area.  Glue straw
on head for hair.  When glue has set, glue hat over hair.  Tie length of thread around
hat just above the brim.  Trim and adjust straw hair. 
9.  A light black acrylic wash may be used to weather scarecrow as desired. 
Drill hole in scene base where you will place your scarecrow and insert stick
with glue. 

Click on image to enlarge; copy & paste to your
computer.  Set printer image to 5.56"W x 1.96"H

1.  For the post cut a 6” length of 3/16” sq. stripwood.  Whittle the bottom
¼” into a point.  Paint with a deep green acrylic and when dry lightly sand
the edges here and there &  use a light black acrylic wash to weather the
2.  Cut signs backings from 1/16” sheetwood or use Woodsie precut
Rectangles.  Weather with a light black watercolor wash
Press flat till dry.
3.  Signs may be hand lettered and worded as desired or they may be done
using a direct transfer (as opposed to mirror image)Iron-On transfer using
the images givenI prefer to use Click-n-Craft Iron-on Transfer 2 (Joann’s
Fabrics or online vendors).  It is easy and gives terrific fool-the-eye results. 
Desired images may be created on the computer and transferred to the
paper with an inkjet copier, following the package instructions. 

Once the image is on the transfer paper you
will cut the paper to desired size or slightly
larger. You now pull the backing off the
transfer & with the wood sign laying on a flat
surface place the transfer smoothly on it. 
A provided piece of parchment paper is
placed over the transfer and a heated iron is
applied.  For miniature purposes a mini
Clover Needlecraft iron (Joann’s Fabrics)
is very convenient & does the job easily. 
Apply the heat smoothly until the transfer
adheres to the wood & the transfer backing
all but disappears. 
 Let it cool for a second or two and then pull the
parchment paper off.  The iron can easily melt off any paper
                   extending over your wood.                             

As easy as that you have the look of hand lettered work. 
At this point your imagination should really kick in and
you will think of many applications for this technique.
This is how the lettering was applied to the wheelbarrow
and the produce box in Part 1 of this project. 

Glue the signs to the post, spaced as
desired.  Let glue set.  Drill a hole thru the
base where you want your signpost to sit
and push/twist the post into the hole with a
bit of glue to hold.

Copy & paste signs to your computer. 
Set printer to:
1.28"W x 1.07"H for top of post sign.
5.98"W x 1.15"H for the produce signs.
3.17W x 2.96"H for the wheelbarrow & box signage
Of course you may want to design your own signage using your name.


The crow as seen on top of the signpost was “bashed” from a Lemax Spooky

Town ( ) accessory piece.  Detailed crows in
various positions show up in several of these very inexpensive resin pieces. 
With dust mask in place I used a Dremel Moto Tool to cut the crow off
of the piece (some will actually pull free with a few twists. To keep with a true
crow  beaks are actualy black.
 If your talents or interests are such you may choose to create your own crow
by sculpting with Fimo or carving from wood. 

For miniature perfection check out miniature artisans like Linda Master.  


                                                      GARDEN GLOVES

Make copies of gloves onto lightweight paper.  Cut out a front and back for
each of 2 gloves, cutting between fingers.  Glue together in sets, wrong sides
together, by their very outer edges, leaving the opening unglued.  It will help to
something like the large flat edge of a cocktail/sandwich pick into the
gloves to make sure the opening does not get glued together and for
something to hold on to while working on them.  When the glue has set,
stuff the gloves lightly with cotton

For the brown leather gloves, stipple over the brown color with a
slightly darker brown watercolor (water color pencils work great for this). 
Add a coat of matte Mod Podge to the green hand pad.  When all is dry,
paint on a coat of neutral color Shoe Polish.  Allow to dry and buff to a
sheen.  Gently shape completed gloves for a natural look.

For the white cotton gloves, color the wrist band red with acrylics or
permanent pen.  Insert something into a glove to act as a handle, see
above.  Coat both sides of a glove with a coat of matte Mod Podge and
immediately cover with a piece of bathroom tissue, using your brush to
make sure that the tissue is saturated & flat to the paper.  Once the
Mod Podge has dried trim off the excess tissue around the edges and
re-cut between fingers as needed. This will give the gloves a cloth look. 
Stuff glove lightly with cotton; shape as desired.
                                                           PAPER GARDEN MUMS

Years ago a miniaturist, whom I can’t recall, sent me a pot of yellow
“chrysanthemums”.  She said that they were actually a dried plant that
grew in her state (Montana?).  I used them in one of my scenes, never
to be seen again.  Jump ahead quite a few years and being in need of
some quick, fill-in flowers I searched the internet to see if I could find those
same ’mums…and there they were, LONAS INDORA, also known as
African Daisy.  I was able to find bunches of them locally and have used
them ever since as fill-ins or when I don’t have the time or patience to
create paper ones.  Lonas are multi clusters of small yellow flowers on stems. 
I use them as is or use water colors to create other shades of chrysanthemums. 
I also use a pick to fluff them up a bit if they are overly dry.
They are fast and easy to prepare and very fool-the-eye in many settings.
For this project, group assorted colors together in pots or pails. 
To find Lonas do an internet search or check  your local craft/floral shop’s
dried floral section.

If you would like to make paper mums here are instructions for SMALL
Cut 1/8" wide strips 3" long of Art Tissue Paper (for this quality tissue paper
look in art supply stores).  Measure and mark a pencil line that divides the strip
in half LENGTHWISE.  Fold the strip into fourths widthwise.  Cut half of the
of the strip into a very fine fringe with small, sharp scissors (gingher 5"
large handled scissors are a wonderful additon to your tool chest.  Hint: Look
for discount coupons from Joann's Fabrics to use for these scissors.  And
if you purchase them put a Mr. Yuck sticker on them to remind yourself &
anyone else who is tempted to use them for anything but fine cutting to STOP),
using the pencil line as a guide.  Unfold.  Cut  a length of thin green floral wire
(non-cloth covered) & dip an end into thick white craft glue (I use Crafters
Pick Ultimate ).  Place the glued end of the floral
wire on the non-fringed section of one end of the prepared paper strip.  With
the aid of glue on the non fringed section, wrap the paper smoothly and as
evenly as possible around the wire.  Use glue sparingly with a light touch,
keeping it off the fringe.  Make the blossom as full as desired.  Cut off any
excess paper.  Pinch and roll unfringed section of paper on wire between
fingertips to taper and compact it as much as possible.  Paint this section
with leaf-green acrylic.    With the aid of a needle tool pull fringed petals
down in layers, leaving a slight clump in the middle.  This center of the flower
may be tinted lightly with water color of a slightly darker shade than the flower.
Cut the wire to size desired and paint it to match the underside of the flower,
using it to even out the underside of the flower/stem join.
Leaves may be punched from leaf green paper; use needle tool to score
veins.  A mini oak leaf is a good  is approx. 1/4"W x 3/8"H.


-Punch maple leaves from lightweight yellow paper that you have sponged
with various fall colors for a mottled look.
Use a pointed stylus to accent the veins.  Spinkle here and there on you scene.

-Gather a bunch of dried grass or stems left over from dried flowers and tie
around the center for a bundle.  Stand on end.

-Add a holiday touch to your scene with a Thanksgiving turkey.  Safari Ltd.
has a nice Tom Turkey.  Check online vendors and your local miniature
& craft stores.
Safari Farm Domestic Male Turkey picture

So that is the end of my contributions to
A Bit of Autumn.  Use them as you may to
add a bit of the season to your home…
maybe even as a centerpiece on your
Thanksgiving table, flanked by candles.

The Christmas season is hovering in the
background and nudging my creativity,
so be on the look-out for a little  holiday
gift that will becoming your way soon.

Don’t forget those Food Banks!


  1. Thank you so much for your projects. They are very useful. Your blog is very interesting and I like your ideas. Compliments!

  2. Joann, You just knock my sox off with your projects! There are so many things in each vignette and you have detailed printies and instructions for everything. It's just so wonderful. Thank you very very very much.
    Anne, GSOLFOT

  3. Thank you once more Joann, this 2nd part along with the 1st is a great help. I love your blog!

    Looking forward to seeing more of your fantastic creations, tutorials, ideas and tips...

    Leilani ~ NYC

  4. I can't keep up with you Joann. You are truly amazing and so wonderful for sharing your creativity with us. How do you do it?

  5. Hi Thank you so much for sharing and I love gingerbread You are very talented and your work is beautiful Wishing you Happy Holidays

    Fondly BevinUSA