Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Garden Fence

I've been dilinquent from blogging the past two weeks, but I haven't been dilinquent from my minis.  I've been busy with a new part of the landscaping.  If anyone had saw the March issue of Miniature Collector, you probably loved the charming cottage with the fallen down fence on the cover, as much as I did.  I couldn't stop thinking about the fence, and I was determined to do something similar in my Garden Shed landscaping.  This is what has been taking up all my time in the past two weeks.  It take a lot of time and definitely patience to make wood look old and weathered.  It also helps to have a very old bottle of "Weather It" to aid in the project.

The results of my labours are shown below.  This is one back corner of the garden shed landscaping.  I still have to add the greenery and flowers, but I thought you would like to see a glimpse of the fence before the flowers and greenery hide it a little.

My bottle of "Weather It" was purchased over 20 years ago in a Miniature Shop in Greensboro, NC, and it's now almost all used up.  I used it to age the trim around the edge of the project as well.  If anyone knows where I can buy more of this stuff I would appreciate if you can drop me an email.  I know some people make their weathering mixture from scratch, so if you have a recipe to share, that would be great as well.

I am anxiously awaiting for my copper sheeting to arrive to finish the roof.  Thanks to some followers who gave me the link for, I was able to order the necessary copper.

Thanks for all the comments on the flowers in the window box.  I have also been painting and shaping more ivy leaves and geranium leaves to add to the planter.  I've also worked on making a Forsythia bush to go between the fence.  I'll show more of these efforts at a later date!

I also have to welcome a few more followers.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you gain something from the postings.  Everyone please take the time to check out these follower's blogs as well.
Welcome to:-
Rocio, I can't find a blog for Rocio, if I have overlooked it just drop me a comment and I will add it to the next posting.

Again thanks for following.

Until the next time.......


Sunday, May 8, 2011

And then there were two............

I've tackled the window box project.  My first task was to cut the window box in half, and thanks to my Dremel with a cutting wheel attachment that task was completed in a matter of minutes.

I did learn one lesson from this task though.  When cutting through metal wear a face mask over your mouth and nose.  The metal shavings mustache I was sporting afterwards wasn't pretty!!  I was sneezing metal shavings for a day wasn't pretty!!

Then it was on to the task of making a shiny black metal window box not so shiny and new.  Again I returned to my Dremel with a fine tip grinding attachment and removed the shine and some of the black paint.  This also helped to prep the surface for the bit of rust that I added to the window box afterwards.  When you consider watering the planter box daily must result in some rust on the metal over time right?!

I liked the end result.  You can see the comparison of the ungrinded half versus the one I have aged.  It made a nice difference.  Now I have an extra window box for a future project!

Then I had to fill it.  I added some foam covered in "moss" and added the geraniums I had made.  I was so pleased with the results of the geraniums.  It's a Hanky Panky kit and I have to say it was my most successful completion of a Hanky Panky kit so far.  It went together beautifully and even though I only had enough petals for 6 flowers, but I had lots of leaves.  I checked my supply of punches and found that I had one very similar to the petals in the kit, and I had the identical paper, since I've bought lots of paper from Hanky Panky, and I punched out petals for 6 more flowers.  I still have lots of leaves left, the kit recommended making some stems with just leaves on, which I may do. Do you think the flower box needs more leaves?  Love to have your opinion.  I have lots of leaves!

I love the geraniums leaves.  As per the kit instructions I had to add some gold chaulk in the middle of the leaves and some rust chaulk around the edges, and I think it adds a lot of realism to the leaves!

Using another Hanky Panky punch, I also added some ivy vine hanging down the planter box.  I could also add more of these, I think I punched out about 10,000 leaves!!  It takes a lot of time to vein and curve them, and I added a little colour around the edges to make them a little varigated.

No flower box in the spring would be complete without another visitor as well.  I purchased my last addition to the window box at last year's Camp Mini Ha Ha.  It was made by one of my fellower campers, and I think she has done a beautiful job on the butterfly.  From the moment I saw the butterfly I knew I had a home for the little guy.  He is perfect in his new spot.

Overall I am pleased with the results.  Hope you like it.

On a last note I have to welcome one new follower!  Amica, I don't see that you have your own blog, but if I have overlooked it, let me know and I will post a link to the blog here.  Welcome, I hope you enjoy the postings!

Until the next time...........


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Buying Online

I live on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean and there is no retailer for miniatures anywhere near me.  I'm fortunate enough to travel a lot and can always find a miniature store while travelling.  But I do rely a lot on purchasing online. 

One of my favourite places for buying online is  They don't sell artisan pieces, but I can get my regular supplies from them, plus many times I can get factory made items that I can alter to make more custom.

I recently made a purchase and I just received my order yesterday.  The problem with buying online is that even though they may provide the measurements, you can't always tell scale.  I was so excited about finding a "wrought iron" window box for the garden shed window, but now that I have received it, even though the length is right for the window, the depth is completely out of scale.

It looks even larger in this picture because of the perspective with the walkway, but it's only about 3" long.  I am going to see if I can have it cut in half lengthwise and make into two window boxes.  Once it's filled with flowers, you won't be able to tell that it's missing the back!  Hopefully!  I also need to distress it and give it a little touch of aging so it's not so new and shiny looking.  So I'll have to do a follow up on this piece once I alter it. 

I also got three great Morning Glory vines.  I am hoping to add a part of a fence at the back of the shed, and I thought it would be great to wine a vine through the fence.

The leaves and flowers on the vine are made from clay.  I've been studying it closely and I think I may be able to make flowers from the clay as well.  So far all the flowers I have made have been made with paper, and now I am excited about trying a new medium for flowers.

The funny item in the order was more ground cover.  I had struggled so hard with the sand around the tiles, which by the way is improving with each layer of glue and sand!  I had forgotten that I had ordered several bags of "mulch" for the flower beds.  Wish me more luck with adhering this to the landscaping!

The item that was most exciting in the shipment was my little garden bench.  It was already decorated with flowers, and some of them need to be switched out because they also are a little too large and out of scale, but I think it has a lot of potential.

I also purchased a sheet of metal (brass) geranium leaves.  They have to be spray painted and bent to shape, so I am hoping they turn out nicely.  They are so thin and perfectly scaled.  I am hoping to make geraniums for the window box.

I got also this pair of "wrought iron" plant hangers.  Again I will need to age these a little, but I think they are perfectly scaled.

Overall I am pleased with my new purchases, but it was definitely a reminder of paying close attention to scale when buying online!  I purchased some small tools and some items for my castle project as well, so more to share at a later date!

Most importantly I would like to welcome a new follower.  Please welcome Minisonia.  I couldn't see a blog, but if you have one just drop me an email or comment and I can post a link to your blog.

Until next time..........


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Give me a Daisy a Day

I've been busy repairing my tile job this weekend, but also continuing to make mini flowers in between.  You need something to do while the glue is drying!!

I just finished making Daisy Mums from a Bonnie Lavish kit.  I absolutely love assembling Bonnie Lavish flower kits.  They are laser cut and perfect to assemble.  I've tried other flower kits before, but nothing impresses me more than Bonnie's kits.

This is the finished results.  I've laid them in a flower pot to dry, but they will actually go in the garden around the shed, once I've made enough flowers. 

To check out more of Bonnie's kits go to .  I've completed several of her fushia kits, they are perfect.  I have several other kits that I have yet to assemble from Bonnie and from other artisans, so lots to work on yet.

I've also been making some flowers from scratch from patterns I've found in several miniature magazines.  These are still work in progress.

I added the instructions on how I made the paving tiles yesterday, and a few minutes later I returned and found I had five new followers.  Wow, thanks for taking an interest.  Also thanks for the great comments on the tutorial.

I would like to say welcome too:-

Petra at  She has a great tutorial on her site for making Hydrangea!
Annina at  For those who love modern miniatures, this is most definitely the spot to check out!
Marlie at  She is working on a fabulous built in piece in her room box. 
My Wee Life at  I see she is working on a Bonnie Lavish kit as well.
The final new follower appears to be following privately, which is still great, so whoever you are welcome to So Mini Projects, I hope you enjoy it!

Until the next time........


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Paving tiles 101

I've had so many comments on the tiles, I thought you would like to know how I made them.  The tiles themselves are made from DAS air dry clay.  This package was a terra cotta colored clay.  I purchased the package at a Michaels Arts and Crafts store.

I made a jig from a vinyl tile that I glued 1/8" high wood strips around the edge.  This was a technique I got from all the people who posted instructions on using Paper Clay.  I think it's a technique that Rik Pierce uses to make the walls for his miniature houses.

I tried using a pasta maker to flatten out the clay, but it was too inconsistent.  Using the jig I made and running a roller over the clay, the wood strips kept the clay at a consistent 1/8" thickness.  The I used a clear plastic quilters ruler to cut out 1" square tiles. 

I cut some of the tiles in a diagonal shape for the edge of my walkway also.

I laid them out on my walkway to see if I had enough.  I turned them over once the top was dried to allow the bottoms to dry.  You can see in the picture how they started to dry a lot lighter.  I still felt they were too bright, so I aged the tiles with a mixture of diluted white paint, and some raw umber diluted.  I just painted a few spots on, and immediately wiped it off to get an inconsistent look.

This was the finished results BEFORE I tried to add the sand and grass.  That's when all my problems started.  I am working on the PVA glue that was recommended now, hopefully I will have more positive finished results afterwards. 

For now, I am still at this stage...

So wish me luck with today's endeavors.  In the meanwhile, I've been busy making lots of flowers for the garden.  It's very tedious work but the finished results are looking great.  These pictures are for another posting.

Hope the clay tile tutorial helps those trying to make their own paving tiles!

Until the next time..........


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Paving tiles

I have struggled this past several days with the paving tiles.  I had no issues gluing them to the base of the project but then I struggled with how to add a combination of sand and "grass" to give a look of growth between the tiles.  I also wanted some of the sand showing on the edge of the tiles blending into the grass sheeting.  I've had a terrible time getting it to adhere firmly to the base. 

I used the same sand that is used in model railroad displays, but it doesn't seem to want to glue firmly to the base.  As a final effort I tried spraying the finished area with a matt sealer to see if that would add to the adhesion, but it doesn't appear to have helped.  The actual spraying of the sealer just caused some of the loose sand to blow on to the tiles.  I don't know if anyone has had experience using this sand, if so I would really appreciate a few hints to help me with the project.  Maybe it isn't meant to be glued in place, and is suppose to just lay there, my old fear of that is portability, if I ever had to move the project.

At any rate, here are some of the shots I took of the job so far.  Before gluing the tiles I did "age" them a little with some white and dirty colors because they looked too new.  I was pleased with the results of this. I also had to add the molding around the edge of the base to keep the sand in at the front edge.

I would love to have your suggestions and feedback on how I can better adhere the sand.

On a more postive note, I would like to welcome Carol from Wee Cute Treasures.  I've followed Carol's blog for a while now and I am so impressed with her dolls.  Her latest venture at flower making has been extremely impressive, and I am so envious of her lovely garden.  Thanks for following along with my blog Carol.

Until the next time...........


Friday, April 22, 2011

Peep inside the Garden Shed

I've been busy making the tiles for the walkway to the shed, and making flowers for the past week, so everything is still a work in progress and not much to share on that.  For a treat I thought I would show you a peak inside the shed.  Hope you like.....

These pictures were taken before I attached the roof, so there's lots of light.  But everything is "glued" in place with museum wax.  I still haven't placed the potting table and dry sink in those pictures.  You can see a peep at Margaret's dried lavender she sent me.  Oops, I forgot to remove the tape that I used to secure them while the glue was drying!

You can see lots of the other great mini treats I received in the garden swap as well.  I think everything looks great.  I hope you like how I used your items.

I'll have lots of other treats to share in my next posting.

Until the next time...............


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Garden Shed continues

I've been working on making terra cotta paving tiles for the walkway to the shed in the past days, so it takes time to dry, so I had to play around with other things in the meanwhile. 

I've been trying to gauge just how many flowers I would need to landscape the area around the garden, so I thought I would play around outside with all the items I've built for the outside, purchased, swapped with others to receive, and I'm pleased with the look I'll be getting.  None of this is glued in place yet, but I would love to hear your feedback.

I was set on having a little seating area on the side of the shed, and I found this faux wicker settee last year at the sale tables at Camp Mini Ha Ha.  I love it.

Seated on the wicker settee is the fantastic basket I received from Caterina.  It is absolutely stunning, and it's lined with newspaper, so detailed.  I've filled the basket with lots of reading material for the avid gardener when they take a break on the settee.  Some of these reading materials came from Caterina, and Norma when we swapped.  Norma's little magazines were exquisite!

I have so many beautiful potted plants, that I thought this area would be a great place to display those.  I've covered up the rustic bench I made several months ago, but it's a great ledge for Kim's potted pink lillies on the bench!  Kim's swap items also included yellow daffodils, blue hydrangeas, and red lillies peeping out in the background.  Also shown in the picture is Ira's beautiful seed box, filled with many more gardening books and seed packages, ready for our avid garden.  Also shown is Monica's beautifully potted pansies, that's a flower I want to try and make myself as well, but Monica's are just perfect.  Tucked in along side of the seed carrier is Ira's beautiful potted hyacinth and potted roses.

I always like a touch of humour in any display, and nothing does it better than animals, I love the cat crouching ready to spring on whatever it is spying between the potted flowers.  Hope he doesn't knock any of the pots over!!  I purchased the little potted plant while on my last trip to Las Vegas in January,  I am not sure what type of plant it is, but I love it.

I purchased these butterfly jewelry findings at our local Micheals Arts & Crafts store, and I painted them off white.  I remember many years ago it was the rage in Newfoundland to put these groupings of wooden butterfly folk art on the outside of homes.  I might add a little bit of aging such as rust, just to make so less "new" like.

On the left side of the "wicker" settee I have added more of Monica's and Kim's flowers plus one of my potted ferns.  I am not sure if I will use the barrel, but if I do so I will have to age it a little.  I topped the barrel with a decorated birdhouse I purchased at Camp Mini Ha Ha from one of my fellow swappers from several years ago, Adrian.  I love it!

I also didn't forget to get in on annual sale.  In the past it's always been a 30% off sale, but I kept waiting for it, but instead they have done a 20% off sale.  Considering how well the Canadian dollar is doing, I decided to go with the 20% off and I had a fun hour brousing their site and recent catalog and have placed my order for more exquisite little minis for the garden shed and more.  Can't wait until I see my new purchases.  For anyone who is interested, the sale ends tomorrow and the promo code is WPC3110.  Drop by their site and have a look!

So enough of my playing for today, it's back to flower making, thrown in with a little fence making as well while my clay paving tiles dry!

Until the next time............


Friday, April 15, 2011

Roof Construction

Thanks for the comments on my garden shed progress.  The feedback is appreciated!!

I've gotten the roof completely covered in wood now, ready for the copper sheeting, which I still have to find a supplier for.  If anyone has a suggestion where I can buy thin copper sheeting about 8" x 24" it would be appreciated.  Someone said to check out stained glass shops, so I'll try that on my next trip outside Newfoundland.  Nothing like that around here unfortunately, but if you know of an online location, let me know.

On to the roof............

Before I could put the boards on I had to add the roof joist, that were cut at 45 degree angles on the top and bottom of each board.

I had to clamp each joist to the rafters that were already placed months ago, and then glue them to the header that was in place.

Then I used two pieces of the same wood for the roof sheathing to keep everything straight and laid the boards for the sheathing.  These boards are the ones I savaged from the garden lattice I purchased at a dollar store for about $2.00 a pack.  I've basically built the entire shed with about 3 of these lattice, costing me very little!

I used a bag of sand to weigh the boards down to the joists while they were drying.  The bag of sand worked perfectly on the angle, and didn't slide like a book would have.

So everything is nicely covered now.   I have to give the roof a good sanding, and trim the boards at the edges a little for them to be perfectly flush.  So the last step is to apply the copper roofing.  So this task may take a little time to source the copper, and bend it into place.  In the meanwhile, I have lots of flower making to do. 

I still haven't shared the photos of the inside of the shed.  I'll do that in the next posting.

Thanks for dropping by!!

Until the next time.............


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring is coming

In many parts of the world Spring may have already arrived, but here in Newfoundland it's just starting to show signs.  Our snow is almost gone, yes I said almost, and it's so inspiring to see the first signs of spring.  I want to landscape my garden shed with spring blooms, so I've started to prepare the foundation for the landscaping.

I've added layers of foam, so that I have a base to add the flowers and plants.

Cutting foam may seem like an easy task, but I wasn't prepared for all the static electricity created from cutting the foam.  Tip for anyone doing this, don't wear a black sweater while doing this, I am still trying to get the small pieces of foam off my sweater, even after putting it through the wash!!

LOL.....oh well.  I did get to learn one more thing from the foam cutting experience.  I got to learn how to turn on my vacuum clearner......okay I'm spoiled, hubby does the vacuuming, it was a fairly new vacuum that I had never used before, but I finally got the mess cleaned up.  It was sticking to everything, including the shed!

I finally managed to operate the vacuum cleaner, and got rid of all the nasty foam bits!

Once I got all the layers glued, I marked out where the flower beds will be, and I might also add some fence sections in the corners as well.

I've been test fitting some of my accessories outside as you can see from the few items attached to the outside of the shed!

Then I had to cut out the grass and glue the foam to the wood base.

I used my miniature books as weights to keep the wood from curving up once I glued the foam in place.  Everything has to multi-task in my craft room!

In the end I was pleased with the overall results of the landscaping layout.  I painted the areas the will be the "flower beds" dark brown, so that the white foam won't peak through the flowers, once they are put in place.

Next time I will show you the work I've done on the roof.  It's really starting to take shape.  Now I have to go and see if I have enough flowers to fill all the flower beds......and the Spring weather is really setting a nice stage for the spring theme of my garden shed landscaping.

I hope you like the work I've been doing.  Thanks for all the kind comments from the last post.  I was concerned that everyone had given up on me!

Till next time...........