Monday, 20 April 2015

Out of the Garden and Into the Sweetshop........And Easter Comes Late.

What I had hoped would be a job for a week became a much greater project than anticipated but the garden is finally planted. In about five years it might actually look good!! So today I decided to rest my weary back and return to the workshop for some real fun.
One item I came across while foraging for plants and compost I came across these glass bunny ears......
......which belong to this quirky glass dome. With 75% off and an absolute steal at £7.50 I could not pass it by, I knew it would be perfect for a teeny, if late, Easter project.
 I saw this table on Ebay by Julie a seller I have not come across before and thought it would a perfect piece to showcase some special Easter food minis supplemented by my own minis as usual. 
It didn't come with a base but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
 I have these wonderful pieces by my favourite food artists, Paris Miniatures and Petit D'Licious both on Etsy. I will add to the scene myself with Spring flowers and Easter Eggs, maybe a couple of chicks and some bunting too. You never know it might be finished by next Easter!
 I returned to my lollipops from previously and they really are a bit clumpy. With miniature food I have discovered that small never seems to be small enough but I am still on a massive learning curve with all things clay. The other problem with the lollipops is the size of florist wire I had bought, this is ok for the bigger lollies but is much too thick for the smaller ones.
 They were all matt after baking so I looked up what I should use to add a gloss glaze to the clay. I had some Sculpey varnish and some gloss medium so I have tried both of these, one coat has improved them slightly I will add another coat tomorrow.
 These lollies have had glitter or floss added, bit of a mistake, as now I can't gloss them, another thing to remember.
These are the products I have used to add gloss to the clay. Hopefully they are ok and will not effect the clay.
I have bought some more florist wire in smaller gauges, it took me a while to realise the higher the number the thinner the wire but I should have enough variations now surely! 
All things clay seem to be so time consuming and I don't seem to have much to show for my time today. Then if I make a mistake, mostly due to complete ignorance, it is like I have wasted a couple of hours. I am always in too much of a rush to finish all the small tasks which in most projects seem never ending. I need to remember that, "Tomorrow is another day."

Friday, 3 April 2015

It's Been Raining Lollipops Today.......

After a morning of digging with my youngest son in our very muddy garden I decided it was time to lock myself away in the workshop for a session of sweet making.
I want to have lots of sweeties on display in the dormer windows but because of the angle of the roof the shelf space is very narrow at the bottom of each window.
I think I will fill a couple of the windows with lollipops as they will give height without too much depth. So I got out the clay and started with some very basic round lollipops in a variety of sizes. As you can see from my desk I have used quite a few colours but they will be used all round Honeydukes. Once I decide to get the clay out I try to make as many as I can.
I picked up these nail de-cals in Poundland a few weeks ago as I thought they would be great for lollipops and sweeties.
 These are some of what I made using Fimo and then just playing around really. I have given them quite long sticks so I can cut them to size once I decide where they will be going.
 They still need to be varnished but the de-cals look quite effective on these liquorice lollies. 
 Strawberry Sherbert lollipops.
Not too sure about the orange ones with chocolate decorations but the twirly ones came out ok. I have used white sugar craft wire for the 'sticks' in a 20 gauge but I could probably do with one slightly thinner for the smaller lollies.
I also made some lemon sherbert lollies and some purple butterfly lollies. They all need a coat of varnish now but I have called it a day and come in for my dinner, cooked for me tonight, what a treat.
Have a lovely holiday weekend however you intend to celebrate. I have a couple of outings planned so my sweet making will be on hold for a couple of days. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Bricklaying Continues on Honeydukes....So Many Pitfalls.

The on-going saga of the roof of Honeydukes continues. This project is really testing my patience and definitely showcasing my lack of general building skills.
The two tall, skinny chimneys that I cobbled together from balsa have now been covered in brickslips. I am done with worrying about shades of grey and have gone with weathered slips from Minaco miniature brick suppliers. I like their products as they are very easy to work with.
 The brick slips are very easy to cut and although they sometimes need sanding off they are light and reasonably priced. The last two factors are very important when putting together a large house or shop.
 I had to remove the false dormers from the rear roof because I need to add the brick slips and dress the windows. These tasks will be much easier to do before gluing them in place. I have painted all the walls of the dormers a dark grey because I decided not to grout either the windows or the chimneys.
 The areas I have added the bricks to, on the dormers are fiddly shapes and to be honest I just couldn't face more grouting. 
 The edges of the chimneys and windows have been sanded, these bricks sand off very easily, which worked really well and meant I did not have to worry about all the angles.
 My first sanding off led to my loosing a few bricks or they chipped. Not too much of a problem as the broken slips could be easily replaced. The next batch I sealed first with a strong PVA/water mix, this bound the slips together and my next batch of sanding led to far fewer casualties. 
The sealing has, however, made the bricks look a lot more slate-like and less weathered. They have also darkened off a bit.......but, they are going with a slate roof so I am not going to look for problems, onwards and upwards!
With all the brickwork laid, sanded and sealed I can now move on to dressing the windows with all things nice, sprinkled with a layer of dust. If this horrible weather persists there will be no gardening going on for a while. Yippee!