Inspiring Paper Mâché

It’s very early morning and I’m surfing the web again. I ran across a couple of REALLY fantastic paper mâché art pieces. I have to tell you, right off, that not one piece of art in this post is my own (I WISH!)  I just wanted to share it with you because it is so darned inspiring. Of course, all links to the original artwork are included in my post.

teacuptower1-1
http://www.annwoodhandmade.com/paper-mache-teacup-pattern/

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How to make resin elements with glue-stick molds

This is such an exciting discovery for me that I cannot wait to show you! I wanted to take the time to make better “after” pieces, but this idea won’t be patient. Seriously!

Back when I was heavy into rubber stamping, I used to make medallions and little elements for books, cards, assemblage (you get the idea) by stamping into hot glue-stick. Let the glue cool down, pull your stamp out and you have a really cool little art piece after you paint all over it.

rubber-stamps-and-hot-glue-

Run forward a few years and I am now heavily into scale miniatures. I’ve been scouring the internet for architectural elements that I can use to add to my French dollhouse walls, ceilings, pediments, etc. and, BOY! They are kind of expensive if you need a lot of them for your project. Hmmm…. I started to wonder if my glue-stick elements would make good molds for resin pours. After a messy, quick pour, voila! It works! (picture a crazy miniaturist jumping up and down here)headboard-on-miniature-bed

When I buy mixed lots of minis off E-bay there are always a few pieces of broken furniture included. And that’s OK, I can usually use them in some way. This is a junky little bed after super glued a resin piece to the headboard and painted it white. It turned out so cute that I will actually put some legs onto the bed and use it in my shabby chic cottage.

So, here is a run down on the how to’s.

Supplies:

  1. hot glue gun and glue sticks,
  2. black permanent ink
  3. rubber stamps (either clear or rubber, either mounted or unmounted)
  4. two part resin (get small boxes of two part resin in craft stores)
  5. a small piece of mat board (to hold your molds)
  6. paper towels, a small mixing cup and a Popsicle stick
  7. sandpaper, scissors and a craft knife
  8. Dremel moto-tool (optional)

Steps:

1. Select rubber stamps that will fit your need. If they are unmounted stamps, you will want to mount them onto something so that you do not burn your fingers while stamping into the hot glue.

stamps-mounted-on-block
I chose these two stamps because the round one will make a perfect ceiling medallion and the other will be a furniture element. I used a piece of double stick tape to mount the stamp on the right onto a little piece of scrap wood.

2. Use black permanent ink to stamp the image onto a piece of mat board. This is so that you will know where to put the hot glue.

3. Use the glue gun to deposit hot glue onto the stamped image, going over the edges just a bit. My first “mold” had too much glue on it as you will see in the following photos. It isn’t a bad thing, but it looks sloppy and wastes glue.

4. Stamp lightly into the glue just up to the edge of the rubber stamp. Don’t push so hard that the glue gets onto the block or the foam rubber cushion (if you are using that kind of stamp). If you do, the glue will adhere to that part and mess up your stamp.

5. Wait until the glue has cooled down and peel your rubber stamp out of it. Now you have a mold!

6. Mix resin according to manufactures directions. Pour carefully into the glue stick mold. Try not to overflow the mold. If you do, wipe up excess with a paper towel. The more carefully you pour, the less clean up on the resin element you will have to do later.

7. Lightly tap the resin filled mold onto your work surface. This will allow any bubbles to rise to the top. Blow gently onto the resin and the bubbles will pop. This step is very important.

8. Let cure according to manufacturers directions. These little elements usually take only about 10-15 minutes. When solid, peel your resin piece out of the mold.

resin-right-out-of-the-mold
The top two pieces are the glue-stick mold and the bottom two are the resin pieces. You can see in the photo that I overflowed my molds the first time that I poured. If you do this, just wipe up the excess with a paper towel and toss. The nicer you pour, the less cleanup on the resin after it’s out of the mold.

9. While the resin is still softish, you can use scissors or a knife to whittle away overflow or little sprus. If the piece is too thick, use sandpaper to sand down the back of the piece.

scale-resin-elements
You can see that the permanent ink transferred to my little element which was great because I wanted to sand the piece after painting to give it that shabby look. I was glad that there was black underneath. If it did not transfer, I would just paint the piece the color of the wood, let dry and then paint with white to get the dark to show after the sanding.

I used super glue to adhere the little element to a junky bed headboard.miniature-resin-element

When the glue was dry, I got out the Dremel with a sanding bit and cleaned up my resin piece a little more.Dremel-cleanup

A white coat of acrylic paint transformed the bed and her new element. After sanding the whole thing, it began to look very shabby chic. What I thought would be a throw away bed is actually now going to be used in my little cottage.

DIY-shabby-chic-mini-bed

If you want to see how I made the “rusted” lamp above the bed, click on this link .

I hope that you will find this project useful in ways that apply to your own favorite craft. Happy experimenting!

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1/12 scale miniature French sewing kit

One of the Facebook groups that I’m in is The French Dollhouse. A recent challenge for the group was to make a French sewing box so, of course, I turned to Google to see exactly what a French sewing box would look like. What came up was several antique French kits for children. They were intended as gifts and were completely captivating. The kits were loaded with a child sized sewing machine, a dolly to dress, tools and several bits of fabric, lace, trims and notions. I would have LOVED one of those when I was a kid. Who am I kidding? I would LOVE to have one now!

antique-sewing-boxAnyway, this is my version of a miniature kit. I made everything myself except the tools and the sewing machine. It’s been so long since I’ve done anything with miniatures (about 20 years) so it was a challenge to get my fingers to do what I wanted.  I did try to make the tools myself. THAT was a disaster! 😜 Ah well, maybe next time.

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Debbie Gill’s Miniature Room-boxes

Since the pain of the long, hot drive to Tucson a couple months ago had faded, we decided that we needed to drive down to take another look at the Mini Time Machine. The special exhibit featuring Debbie Gill’s miniatures is what really interested us this time. Absolutely everything that she uses to make her mini masterworks are from items that are slated for the trash bin (or was found already in the trash bin). Recycled and up-cycled art is one of our favorites- both to do and to view.

The-Mini-Time-Machine
So lets step into a cool (as in air conditioned and out of this Tucson summer heat) amazing world of miniatures.

 

Debbie-Gill's-mini-craft-ro.jpg
Debbie makes everything herself – no store bought minis for her. If you look closely you will see what I mean. For instance, those aren’t store-bought mini scissors. Those are tiny bits of wire and paint crafted to look like the real thing. I love the crumpled up candy wrappers in the trash bin. I can sure relate to that!

 

Debbie-Gill's-mini-dining-r.jpg
The shabby chic rooms were adorable. Especially since Debbie decorated them for Christmas- it’s one of my favorite holidays. Check out her floral arrangements too  They’re so CUTE!

 

Debbie-Gill's-mini-living-r.jpg
I could live in this little living room. The relaxing colors are right in with my decorating style. And the dried cotton ball stalks in the glass vase! How cute are they?! I can’t wait for my dollhouse build to be done so that I can start decorating. In the meantime, I’m collecting a ton of ideas and knowledge.
Debbie-Gill's-mini-bedroom
The shabby bedroom had so many cool little details like jewelry and cosmetics. Notice the tiny bill-fold next to the purse. Too cute!

There were a lot of other rooms created by Debbie too. She had 60s, a BoHo room, a man-cave, a music rehearsal space in a garage- just on and on. The skill, detail and variety was so fun to see. If you want to check out more of Debbie’s work click here.  This link will take you to Debbie’s Facebook page. Debbie does not seem to have a regular web site, but her Facebook page shows a lot of posts with her techniques detailed out in photos.

Debbie-Gills-Techniques

The photo above is from the Mini Time Machine’s web site. You can click on the photo and it will take you to the museum’s site telling you about the special exhibits as well as the regular exhibits.

museum-purchases.jpgFinally, here are my purchases for the weekend. The hand blown glass vases were from the museum store and the tiny little bag is what they packed them in. I love it! The framed miniature painting is from an e-bay auction that was waiting in our mailbox when we got back from Tucson.

We also went to two different Bookman’s while in town. That yielded a big haul of new/old books to peruse. So much fun.

Thanks for joining me on our Tucson miniature adventure. 😎

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Dusting my Craft Room

DUST! “Dusting and how to tackle it.” Man, I wish that could be the title of this post. The real title should read, “Constant dusting and what to do about it. Beats me! Anybody got any clues?”

messy craft room
This is what I had to tackle this morning. DUST! And lots of it. Not to mention a craft room that has gotten out of control again. Argh!

I have so many little treasures and art supplies that collect dust like you can’t imagine. Of course, it does not help that we live on a very long dirt road, and on top of a hill where the dust devils just love to come roust us out of our reverie. Seriously, those things RUMBLE around here. As soon as I hear one coming,  I run to close all of the windows, but it is no help. So, dusting has become part of my life- an evil part, but necessary none the less.

McCall's craft room
Got up at 4:00 this morning to paint the long, bottom cabinet grey and then sand it to take it from dirty, plain wood (Les found it at a barn sale) to shabby chic wood.         10:58 am. Half way there. All of the toys and things on the shelves above the long cabinet have been removed and thoroughly dusted. Whew!  Time for a coffee break.

I know, I should do like my sister and live the minimalist life. But she has no hobbies and she LOVES sleeping. No kidding- she says that sleep is her hobby and that she doesn’t want to bother with anything else.  I love sleeping too, but I also love making things, collecting things and looking at my little treasures.

craft-room-details
I attached the craft paint holder to the side of the wall and moved the green painting over to the other side by the Christmas collectibles. Les made the rustic paint holder for me and I LOVE it. It’s another one of my favorite things that I cannot get rid of.

You’ve probably guessed that I have a LOT of hobbies!  And I HAVE to have all of my art supplies. And I HAVE to live with the windows open all day. Having fresh air and seeing far off into the valley below and the mountains past that is one of my greatest pleasures. And so it goes, round and round…

vintage-Christmas
Putting the now dusted ornaments back onto my little Christmas feather tree. Santa is another favorite. Nope- he can’t go to the charity bin either. LOL, I really am making an effort to let go as I work. The “donate” box is filling up this morning.
Bethany-witch-doll
Love my little Bethany witch doll. She’s so cute.
floral-painting-number-two
Since I have self diagnosed ADD, I also started a new painting this morning. I dust a little, rearrange a little, drink more coffee, and paint a little. I can never go from point A to point B without many detours in between. 😋

Anyway, don’t judge the floral- this is just the under-painting.

Seriously, I know that many of you are artists, crafters, collectors and sellers. I’m curious- How do YOU deal with the constant dusting of supplies?sandy-signature

 

Painted Glass Vials

Painting glass vials to make miniature vases is a snap and oh, so much fun!clear-dollhouse-vases

You know those little clear vials that you find in the hobby shops? The ones that are for jewelry making and can even be found in the scrapbook section of the craft stores? Well, you can paint them for an endless variety of dollhouse vases. They are perfect for 1:12 projects.

painted-vases

To keep the outside pretty and glassy, you will paint the insides of the vials only.  To do that, pour acrylic craft paint into the vase and swirl the paint around so that it covers the entire insides. Pour out excess paint and let dry.three-painted-vases-for-dol

You’re all done. Now you can add an adorable floral arrangement if you like. They come out so cute! (This works for full sized vases as well although I usually resort to spray paint on the outside of the vase for those.)

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Sculptures on the Tips of Lead Pencils

This past weekend Les and I went to Tucson to visit the Miniature Museum. Or more accurately, we went to The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. OMG! The museum exceeded all of our expectations. The main reason for our visit was to Oooh and Ahh over the dollhouse miniatures, but there was more, MUCH more than just that. I’m going to do another post on what else we saw, but first, I want to share the special exhibit with you.

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Dollhouse Closet,Fabric and RUGS!

Victoria’s Farmhouse is moving along, although it’s been a little on the slow side. I keep getting distracted by other things. In this case, making rugs! First; progress on the dollhouse… Since there will be an access panel on the side of the house I decided to add a walk in closet to part of the master bedroom.closet-addition I WAS going to put in a small bathroom, but I REALLY want to try to make tiny little shoes and luggage. I dreamed about the most perfect pair of tiny brocade pumps so a closet is needed to house them. I know me and I cannot just make one of anything so a closet it will be. The other half of the back of the room will be a reading nook. As usual, I installed scrapbook paper for the wallpaper in the master. It took a lot of pouring over scrap paper books, but I’m happy with the final selection. Continue reading “Dollhouse Closet,Fabric and RUGS!”