Monday, April 23, 2012

1:48 Scale Melon House

This 1:48 scale Melon House is made by Grandt Line, and I thought it would be so neat to build.  I realize they say it is not a beginner project, but overall, it was not hard to build - except for one thing - THAT melon!  Carving out the melon was awful!  I tried everything and anything I had on hand.  The foam in these melons was so dense, even my carving tools could barely make a dent.  It took me a LONG time to get this thing carved out.  Then I had to figure out how to get the walls smooth and the floor level.  That foam was not going to get smooth on its own.  I coated the walls and floor with PaperClay, leveled the floor so I could add the round floor that came with the kit, and let it dry.  Then I used sandpaper to sand the walls smooth, added more PaperClay where needed, let it dry and so on.
Finally the inside was nice and smooth and ready to be decorated.  Since I had manhandled the melon so much, I was no longer happy with the appearance of the outside of the melon.  I mixed up some various colours of green and re-painted the outside, then sealed it with varnish.
I think the floor and where I placed the door was a little higher than what the instructions wanted so I ended up having to build some stairs so that customers could get up into the front doors of the shop (I used some scrap basswood pieces I had around).  The pathway with the kit, was not going to cut it. It was basically paper with instructions to emboss the stones to make them look 3d.  I made my own stones out of polymer clay, textured and painted them, then added small bits of green Flowersoft as moss.
The kit came with some round "things" to make into tiny melons, of which I did by using the same paint I had used on the melon house.  But there wasn't enough, so I made more using PaperClay.  There was also not nearly enough greenery or flowers to make a nice garden, so I added to it using my own and pretty FlowerSoft colours.
The tiny Kitty Doll is a kit from Pamela Junk Minis.  Look for more of her kits to show up in my blog in the future.
The only thing left to do is finish the interior.  The plan is to make this a "Melon Shoppe" with all things melon.  Cookies, cakes, books, art, melon by the slice, whatever I can fit in there.  I'd like to be able to also fit a small cafe table and two chairs, but with the counters to show off the wares, I am not sure they will also fit.  I made a tiny mushroom teapot to have in the shop as well.
Enjoy - although this started out as a hair-pulling experience, I am very pleased with the result.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Robin Betterly's Secret Books

I found these Secret Book kits by Robin Betterly a while ago. The outside looks like a tiny book, but inside are two secret rooms. They are so neat and well made. The instructions are easy to follow (it was my own fault that I put the book together backwards).  This one is called Castle Spells; the top room is a bedroom, and the bottom room is an office (where all the spells are kept).  The scale is approximately 1:144 - so this is tiny!  I really enjoyed putting this together and wish I could get some more (so that I can put them together right this time and show that I am NOT an idiot :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dollar Store Find

I am always scouting out the dollar stores for mini-items and this time I found something interesting at Dollarama.  The first picture is from the packaging, and the second is a dry fit as I figure out what to do with it.  The closest to scale I figure is 1:48 but that is by eye-balling it. The quality of the wood is surprisingly good, even better than some Greenleaf kits I have. If anyone else has seen these and has more info, please share!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Custom Cupcakes - Ski Theme

Before I made the Easter cookies, one of the ski moms from our club asked me to make her son some cupcakes for his upcoming 11th birthday.  She wanted a ski theme and the colours blue and brown, and the cupcakes to be chocolate.  Of course I told her "no problem", then stressed over what I would do.  I had been thinking for some time of trying gum paste as I had read that it is similar to sculpting like Fimo (only edible).  So I bought a small bag of gum paste at Michaels, and armed with several knowledgeable websites, coloured some gumpaste a nice blue.   I cut and sculpted some skis and let them dry over night.  I used an edible black marker to enhance the top rounded edge of the ski, I then crossed two together like and "X" and stuck them in the "snow".  I piped the bindings on with brown icing.
I custom made a cupcake pik with "Happy Birthday xxx" using my Cricut - et voila!  This is what you see.  The photos are not that great as I quickly took them at night before delivering them to my customer. She was so sweet and enthusiastic over them, and I was quickly over my stress that she would not like them.  She asked me for a bunch of business cards and told me she would find me more customers.  Most importantly though, the birthday boy loved them.

On a final note - gumpaste is not as easy to sulpt with as Fimo - it is WAY harder.

Easter Cookies

I am a little late posting my Easter cookies this year, but, better late than never.   I made these cookies primarily for my girls to give away to their ski team buddies and their coaches at the last race of the season.  I also gave some away to various other ski parents (my business card was included in the bag with each cookie) - marketing strategy :)   I saved some for my husband to take with him to meetings in Vancouver, and also gave some away to neighbors. I received lots of kudos - maybe eventually someone will want to order some!