Thursday, January 1, 2015

31 Days of Organizing on my other blog

Happy New Year


For the month of January, I am sharing 31 Days of Organizing over on my other blog: The Organized Miniaturist.

I love organizing and storage solutions just get me excited.  I don't claim to be the most organized, only that I enjoy doing it and want to share my ideas and solutions.
I am open to suggestions or requests, if there is something that I don't cover, feel free to contact me smallpackages@comcast.net

Friday, November 28, 2014

Mother Goose - beginnings - electrical and building

The Mother Goose project required a lot of planning that I didn't put in place up front.  I like doing things as I go.  I did try to plan ahead and not just glue everything I had made so far in place.  I tried to think of what I still had to do that would be affected if I glued this down now.  


Beginnings of this project specifically

  • Mother Goose = book - check, decided it would be smaller
  • Multiple rhymes = many rooms or sections - check - I make these as I go
  • Lighting? yes
  • Which rhymes - well I made a list of ones I was familiar with, then browsed the internet for more ideas and also I saw what others were sharing
  • Cover? yes, yes, yes - with the plan of the rooms/sections I figured the football case I had heard about would be good.
beginning

back of cover, planned hill and the pumpkin, oh also planning where the switch goes

Electrical layout

When planning electrical, need to know what type of lighting will be used; what will be the energy source; if battery, where will it go plus how to access it later to change it; where will lights be; and will there be a switch and where will it go.  So I am using 3v chip LED, 3v battery and holder, with a push button switch and I will use the round inset of the case for the battery.  Oh and I want the switch accessible with the cover on.  This is a lesson learned from previous projects.  Where the lights will be - yet to determine them all.
Another factor to consider is the number of lights relative to the power source.  I figured I could put all I needed onto one battery but if I had to have to switches and batteries - that was doable no issue.
When I built the shoe-house I did choose to light it.  I knew I could add lead wires to reach.  Which is what I had to do.  I also lit the pumpkin inside.  Although I learned that if I leave the lights on then the battery drain is enough to not light the inside of it very well.  So there is a lesson - turn off the switch.  
I debated lighting the book sections.  The bottom row might could have used it but why do one row and not the other.
I concluded the bottom level all needed lights and best lighting position was to the outside.  I did some tests with the lights once the sections were assembled to see if two was needed for each section.  I was fine with one for each section (plus the extra inside the pumpkin).
All my lighting products came from a company called Evans Designs.  I did have to order some lights as I didn't have enough of the chip lights on hand.   
At one point I assembled the wiring - which includes both levels.  It would have been nice to have had a connector so I could take that back apart.  This was because I hadn't landscaped the upper level yet.  So when I did, I put paper over the entire bottom section to try to avoid the foam going inside the bottom sections.  So that is a lesson learned as well.  And yes, Evans sells connectors.

Building

One of the lessons I learned for this type of combined project that will come in handy with another planned project is the rooms.  I came up with the walls but didn't actually make the rooms until I needed to assemble it.  That made it harder to get things to line up and did require that I trim up some pieces.  However this is the nature of doing your own thing.  Short of making several mock ups and figuring out every step before assembling, the way a kit maker has to do, I just do it this way.  I am not going to have everything all made and everything ready to put together so I know the dimensions of everything in order to do all that pre-planning. 
I guess that is indeed why I dive in and just get started on my ideas.  I do some planning.  Sometimes I do more planning than before, other times less planning.  I do vary my attitude about how much planning.  Which can result in my over thinking some aspect.  That ends up then with me realizing I have spent way too much time figuring something out instead of doing something simple that I know will work just as well.
I did have a layout of what rhyme goes where.  Actually several of these from a quick sketch to then the finally layout where I determined the extra walls I had to add and how big each room was going to be.  
One thing I didn't plan for initially with the pink foam levels was the wood edging I added to finish these off.  But that worked out as I had to line up the rooms and they didn't end up too big.  I did have to trim the pink foam to match up to the rooms once they were all combined.  I had built onto a layer of matt board I would have had that too big and had to trim to fit my cover.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mother Goose 20-30

More how I made the sections or areas of my Mother Goose Project

The outside of the book

The hill is made of floral foam that I added gel medium to as a filler.  I won't do that again for landscaping.  It was tough to do anything with shaping wise.  I had to get my dremel out to sand it.  Better off using paper machie or lightweight spackle, which either would be my usual go to product for that.
I cut the floral foam with my craft knife and used toothpicks to pin it together.  Also use those toothpicks to position it against the book and in place on the pink foam layer.
Greenery is done with green landscaping foam for train layouts.  Also wood colored ballast for the paths.

20 Jack and Jill
I received the well as a swap item from Anne Richards.  The Jack and Jill dolls was a set I purchased at a show.  I don't know the artist.  I did buy several from the artist.  Always good to buy when you can of whatever you like, as may never see them again.
I added the pail made of paper and then painted.  


21 Hey Diddle, diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle
This one is actually several combined as it features several characters that I wanted to do.
For the cat, I used another character from under my cheese dome.  This one was made by Bev Corder.  This was one of those purchases - the price was good and I had the money so I bought what I liked.
I made the fiddle by printing and cutting it out.

22  The little dog laughed
This is a metal mini that I painted and added a bow.

23 Dish and Spoon
When I heard that there was going to be a swap for Mother Goose challenge, I decided that I must be a part of it.  I immediately emailed that I wanted to do the Dish and Spoon.  It was the first thing I thought of to make for a Mother Goose type swap.  That is rare as I don't often have an idea right away.
To make them, I used a 1/12th scale plate for the dish.  I painted the edges and faces.  Then I used super glue and wire to add the arms and legs.  I also used my dremel to add grooves in the back for the wires to set in.  Not sure it made much of a difference or not.  Then added the bows.  I made more than needed for the swap as I had to order extra plates and they just were so much fun to do. They are available in my etsy shop.
The spoons were hand cut from cooper.  Hubby helped me solder on the legs and arms.  My son even helped cut the wires that had to be stripped.  I didn't need their help in the sense that I couldn't do it, it was just the timing.
I spray painted the spoons, painted the faces, added bow ties of paper.  The hats are eyelets.


24 Cow jumped over the moon
I use graphics from ME's book that I modified to fit the back of the book.

25 Old Lady lived in a Shoe
I have always wanted to make a shoe house.  I initially was thinking about making one from a paper tube and paper.  Meanwhile I kept thinking about my baby shoes.  Once I decided it was a good use of them, I quickly tested if it would fit in my plan.  
The first thing I did was to find a door and window to use with it.  Then I cut the holes. I also added a wall at the top to fit up into the roof. 
Inside is a table, chair and a icebox.  Can barely see the table through the window. 
The house is lighted - I might should pop up the roof and change the covering over the light and maybe that would help to see the insides.  
The children are from some kits I  sold at one time.  I did have to paint most of the clay heads.
wire bodies some with stockings already
Hula hoop and scooter were swaps from a prior QC convention

Skateboard from a previous swap as well

26 Ring a Round the Rosy
The children just look so cute holding hands.  

27 Three Blind Mice
I was determined to do or use as much of this project from my stash.  However I took a trip to a miniature store in Atlanta during the time I was working on this project.  While at that store I did look at items that might work.  I saw these mice and I knew they would be so much easier to buy these than to make something.  


28 Sing a Song of Sixpence
This is either a really big 1:48 scale pie or a 1:12 scale pie.  To make this pie I made my own pie pan from a metal lid (from peanuts I think).  I rubbed it to remove the indentions.  I also trimmed it to a round shape a little larger than the bottom would be.  I used a wood disk to push the foil up against then my tweezers to add fluting.  Then I used the bottom of a glue stick to further shape the pan's side.
The birds are a toothpick inserted in a seed bead. Cut and then glued into the pan.  They were then painted.
The crust is paint that I squeezed in place using a syringe.  
I added the black feathers to simulate wings.  

29 Pat a Cake
This was a swap from Shelly Norris.  

30 Mother Goose cover
This is from ME's book and I did modify it to work for my book cover in size and removing extra bits.
I have a photoshop program that I have had for a while.  I have tried it off and on.  It isn't difficult so much as just have to learn what the steps are and what they are called.  It does take time to do the work.  Certainly there are ways to create shortcuts, but doing this as a hobby, it is something I haven't taken the time. My advice is if you have a program, find something you want to do and set a goal to do it.  Don't pretend.  It makes it real to learn how to do something that is actually want you want to do, not just an example of what you can do.
Kite in the tree - from a previous swap

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mother Goose 14-19

I am still blogging about how I did the sections in my Mother Goose Challenge project - Here's #14-19



14 Piggies

The main piggies are on the page of the inside of the book.  Figured there was no point to waste the cover.  The white piggy is a one that a friend gave me.
I always loved the wee piggy.  I never thought of him as crying.  His pinwheel is a pin and paper that I painted and it really moves although can't blow it - too tight on the pin.  I looked for a template online to see how to cut it.


15 London Bridge is falling Down

I needed something to fill the space and this rhyme was one of my favorite as a child.


16 Three Men in a Tub

I have collected various people figures over the years.  My father is an O gauge enthusist and he gave me a bunch of train people in different poses and shapes.  I selected 3 figures to make the three men.  These figures were covered in bad paint jobs that needed to be redone.  I had the bright idea to soak them in polish remover - straight acetone.  Well the paint came off but the plastic was melting as well.  I threw those out. Thankfully I have a whole bunch of these so I was ok to toss these and not try to recover them.
Moving to another tact I looked at the wire dolls I have made.  I have a number of bodies made but need to be dressed.  Well those seemed too much work - so I put that all aside.
Then I decided to have a garage sale and found some Christmas items.  This box included a bunch of nativity set people.  I had seen these used to make people.  I selected three I felt would be suitable and I started modifying them with my dremel tool.  here is the process:
3 nativity figures 


legs cut off, staffs cut off, removed backpacks and hat is ready to be pulled off
desicant container emptied - use as the tub
checking the fit - what needs to be modified


Part of the fun in doing this project was to research ideas for what this might look like but also I used a site that told how the rhyme came about.  It seems this one was about three maids in a tub at a sideshow/fair and the three men jumped in with them.  That's a lot of people in a tub (bathtub or otherwise) so I stuck with the three men.  

17 Row, row, your boat

I made the rowboat by cutting a shape and sides from paper printed to look like wood. To go around the shape I folded a lip and cut a bunch of tabs - gluing them individually - overlapping if needed. The gunnel is a piece of bunka.
The guy is a kneeling nativity figure (same one I used for the butcher).  I cut the bent leg off and added it back in a different position.
The oars are straight pins that I cut the head off and then added shaped thin card for the blades.



18 The Pie Man

One of the swaps I received was the pie man's tray from Kim Wood.  I decided to use a resin bunny for the man.  Using my dremel tool, I had to cut away a shovel and shape the belly to allow the tray to hang properly.  Then a re-paint.





19 Rock-a-bye Baby

The baby and cradle was made by Jyl Adams
The tree is made of wires twisted together and adding some texture over the wires.  Previously I have tried using paper machie, layers of paint and spackle.  This time I used gel medium.  This worked very well for this purpose.  Then layers of paint to give color.  This time the layers weren't to add depth.  I do a lot of dry brushing when adding paint like this.  Although this was more just adding several colors dabbing and brushing about all over, but not full coverage coats.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mother Goose 9-10-11-12-13

How I made sections 9-10-11-12-13 for my Mother Goose Challenge Project

This was a purchased book that I added the walls to make sections.  
I painted over the inside before I added wallpaper so there was no color show-thru.
9 Little Jack Horner
The stool with the pie is a swap item from Ruth Goodger. Sweet.
I made the wallpaper.  Flooring by Joe Hermes.
To make Jack I modified a resin rabbit. With my dremel tool, I removed the spy glass leaving just the top to paint as a plumb on his thumb.  I also removed a pail of water with the boat. Then a repaint.

10 Mother Hubbard
The shelf unit/cupboard is my own design.  
The dog and bowl were metal minis from Susan Korman. I did the painting.
I made the wallpaper.  Flooring by Joe Hermes.

11 Hickory Dickory Dock
The clock and mouse were a swap made by Heather Drinkwater.  Cute.
Rug from a previous swap by Sharon Anderson.
I made the wallpaper.  Flooring by Joe Hermes.

12 Pussycat, Pussycat
The throne is a swap item by Catherine Wojewoda.  See the face and tail?
I made the wallpaper.  Flooring from a supply swap.

13 Humpty Dumpty
I was very interested to learn that Humpty was a canon - a very large one that got knocked off a wall.  
I used the graphics from ME's book - modified to fit the area and what I wanted to show.
I wanted an egg for Humpty, but also didn't want to buy one.  I made him using polymer clay. First I made a egg shape of foil.  Then added a layer of clay.  I cut around his middle before I baked him.  I also insert pins into the spots for the wires.  Then to the oven.
He came apart quite nicely.  I removed the foil unsure if he would be totally open.  It helped to work on the wires that way.
Under him is indeed an egg yolk.  I just made sense why he was broken  beyond repair.  
I did paint him all white and had shaped his face.  That was creepy  and so he got some extra paint to soften the stark white and add some clothes.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mother Goose 5-6-7-8

How I made sections 5-6-7-8 for my Mother Goose Challenge Project

5. Little Miss Muffet
I like to buy characters I see and fall in love with.  I have found that if I don't then they won't be around later to purchase.  Not that I always have the funds.  Because of this buying plan, I do have a number of characters that are in my cheese dome.  As I work on a project often they inquire if there is a place for them yet.  
Inspired by ME's rendition with a girl sitting I debated about removing an already placed doll. But one day this bunny got my attention.  After hearing what project I was working on, she informed me that she could get the job done.  Her audition went great, so she is now Miss Muffet.
The table is a dowel cut to size that I added paper.  The paper was actually leftover wallpaper from another project.  To drape it, I added glue and paper towel.  While the glue was wet, I shaped it.
The tuffet was a resin chair that I cut off the back and base.  The middle section pictured became the tuffet.

The chair was over-sized and so I hadn't found a good spot for it yet. I repainted it to match the room.
Spider is a trimmed pom pom painted black.  Legs were cut from the edge of black paper. Eyes punched from white paper and painted.
The two plant sculptures were swaps. Purchased the stands.
The dish of curds and whey was a punched bowl plus some bits of dried paint.
The lattice is grandtline.
(I actually received a swap for this section - but I totally forgot about having it.  I may add it to the shoe house. )
6. Queen of Hearts
The Queen was a swap from Mary E. Johnson. Fabulous!
The ice box and dry sink are painted BPF.  
Wallpaper and flooring is by Joe Hermes and was some I had in my stash.  The baseboard is painted quilling paper, which is my new favorite thing - I bought a bunch of white this year to have in my stash. 
The windows are Grandtline.  I painted them, then added plastic and a printie background.


7 Baa, Baa Black Sheep
The sheep and the bags of wool are a swap from Alicia Ramirez.
The landscaping is bits of foam.
The road is ballast from a train store.
(I am debating the background - should I add some clouds or something???)
8 Mary had a little Lamb
The lamb and hook were a swap from Kristie Dubord.
The brick is red plastic.  I added white paint to fill the grout.  Then I used a paper towel dipped in isopropyl alcohol to wipe away on the brick surface.
The base stone is also plastic and I left it unpainted.
Both plastic siding was purchased online.
The taller greenery is lycopodium.  Other landscaping bits are foam.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mother Goose - 1-2-3-4

How I made sections 1-2-3-4 for my Mother Goose Challenge Project

1. Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater
Inspired by other challenger's projects, I decided I wanted a pumpkin as part of mine as well.  When I noticed the gourd it was a meant to be sort of moment to me.
To make this section, I started with a 4 inch gourd.  I cut this in half and then across the top and bottom using a dremel tool and a cut off wheel.  I used same to cut out the openings.

The roof is made from a single full size faux maple leaf that I cut up.  I added some real grape vine tendrils that I painted green.
The awnings are thick paper I cut to shape using regular and scalloped scissors.  These are painted by hand using a 10/0 liner, but I could have used printies instead.  
Window box of thin card, plus foam painted brown and added yellow punched petals to make the flowers.
The window and door are from Grandtline.  I did modify the window - a leftover from another project.  I jsut added a window sill.  The shutter was cut in half to fit.
Lantern is made of grape vine tendril and a seed pod - all painted.
Interior walls and floor were printies I created or scrapbook paper.  
The hutch is brown plastic furniture (BPF).  I removed the cabinet doors from the top and added the punched plates.  The table is also BPF with a pumpkin I made years ago for swaps.
The exterior walls were painted by hand.  I used fine ground floral foam and dried tea leaves for the landscaping.  The little pumpkins I made a long time ago.  The pumpkin leaves are from a wreath/ garland.  



2. House Under the Hill
I had this odd corner that it just seems to fit to have a house under the hill.  I wasn't really familiar with this rhyme, so it was an after thought.  But I really like how it turned out.
The wall is made from a piece of paper machie pot.  This stuff is easy to use and creates great texture.  I tore it to fit.  But cut the opening for the door with my craft knife.  
The door  I finally used is Grandtline screen door that I added mesh ribbon to back.  
The interior does have wallpaper and flooring, but not really seen.
The landscaping is fine landscaping foam that I added after painting the paper machie green.
The wee lady is swap from Sue Herber (not a swap as part of this challenge).  Very sweet.
not door I ultimately used
 


3. Mistress Mary (How does your garden grow?)
I love Mary Engelbreit and I considered using the graphics in a book I got.  Instead I thought about the ME notepad that I had used before.  This graphic had a girl watering flowers and it just fit for me.  I simply cut it out using my craft knife - lots of tiny cuts.  Then to give depth I added a piece of matt board before gluing to the wall.
The plants are a combination of dried materials - some dyed, some painted, and green landscape foam and punched petals. 
The plastic fence was a leftover from a project but was bought online.


4. Little Boy Blue
This was a very simple one to do.
I received the haystack and little boy blue as a swap from Susie Newel.  so cute
The walls were done using graphics from ME's book - I did modify them to fit what I wanted for my walls.