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...........


Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm Back

I feel so guilty for not having posted for so many months.  I've debated for weeks to start again, and just didn't know where to start.  Many things have kept me away from my blog and my miniatures, but I am happy to say that in the past month I have been working at my garden shed again.

The last time I posted the shed was left like this!

The garden shed was on hold because I needed a drill to make holes for the wiring and my drill had died, but I now have a new one and I am happy to say that the shed is all wired for electricity!!

It's amazing how many little pieces of wood I broke just to get two holes in these little pieces of wood to mount the light sockets!!  But finally I have success, I just had to start with a tiny little hole, and then drill a slightly larger, and larger until I had the right size to fit the sockets.

I ran the wiring down the back of the shelving at the back of the shed, and then out though the bottom to the battery pack (which has yet to be attached). 

It's amazing how such a little job can be such a big stumbling block.

Once I got this task completed it was back to the inside of the shed, and I glued all the accessories to the back shelf (actually I used Museum Wax, because I am always anxious that I may want to change something out later).

I did glue all the accessories to the potting table and the old dry sink that I am using inside the shed.  I'm pleased with how everything turned out.

For all the fellow bloggers that swapped with me last summer, you'll see lots of your swap items in the pictures.  I love everything.  I hope you had equal success with the items that I sent.

The next daunting task was the roof truss, I have completed the task, but I'll save everything for the next post! 

Hope everyone is still out there and interested.  Thanks to the new followers who have joined since I've been a delinquent blogger.  I hope the next few postings make up for everything!

Til the next time............


P.S.  I am happily married since the last posting.  We had a wonderful wedding.  Thanks for all the kind followers who sent best wishes!!  Even more, thanks for the followers who sent emails to see if I had fallen off the edge of the earth, life gets so hectic at times, I have to remember to make time for me!