Nov 26, 2013

Treetop Creature Shop wins 2nd place!!!: Part two house construction

Good evening folks!

I am pleased to tell you I won 2nd place in the Greenleaf Dollhouse Spring Fling Contest!!!!

As you can see in the link, I was up against some amazing artists that have incredible skills. I am Honored to have placed with these ladies, let alone with my first complete build!!

I have won a 250$ Gift certificate to Greenleaf now, ohhhhh Christmas gifts!!!!!

Have a look at all the entries when you get a chance, they are very inspirational!.
I wanted to continue a little bit about the house construction with you, I don't have a ton of photos of this phase but the construction of the house was very simple. It is the details that took forever ;)

As you can see the kit was very simple and easy to place together 3 walls and floor, trim pieces and bam! you have a dollhouse! 
I started covering sections of the walls with a more firm version of the toiletpaper clay, I wanted it to appear like a worn plaster, since this house is thought to be magical and the tree is grown around it with lots of time. As you can see I lined cracks in various areas around windows and doors as you would think this place would "sway" a bit with the wind.
The interior is a mix of a cheap Crayola air dry clay and some leftover tp' clay I wanted this one to be a thin coat as I placed lathe slats inside this house, lathe slats being lighter, supported by the tree ;)
The lathe boards I decided to do very simply as they only peek out from a few sections and since I knew I would be packing this place full of decorations. to keep it simple and light I simply scored some cardboard like you score floorboards.
Quick example:
Line score and fit a bit
floor board scoring:
Floor painted:
And as you can see I glued the slats around and then did the wall covering, adding cracks here and there
After the walls were dry I went about dabbing some light brown and cream to age the walls, then the trim work was placed around.
playing with furniture ;)
The roof that come with the standard house was just cardboard and corrugated cardboard strips, think of tin roof.
I decided to continue on my favorite themes and go with a Tuscan style roof tile. This was a lengthy process but in the cost department, quite inexpensive.
I found this tutorial online about making roof tiles from cardboard Link Unfortunately the kit did not have enough cardboard for a layered roof tile so I disassembled a box I had downstairs and added tile strips which is essential the same.
I placed Kabaob skewers into the ridge areas then painted the piece with a mix of wood glue and paint to firm up the paper..then I speckled it with browns and greens then coated it all once dried with a sealer.
Then you simply have to cut 1000000000000 pieces and layer them for 2 days!! YAY! ;P
Since my build is a old battered windblown shop, I did not worry too much about perfect alignment and I even lifted and bent a few to resemble broken tiles and moss growing around. 
Tile, mossing plaster
The deck was done after I placed my shop on the tree so that it could be cut around the branches. 
Then I added a few real twigs as rails
I hope you enjoyed this view of the build. I will go over the decoration aspects in the next post.
For those that celebrate have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Nov 16, 2013

Testing..1..2..3 this thing on? : "Tree" of treetop construction Stage 1

Good day good folk!

I kinda dropped off the planet a bit there, I went to the philidelpha miniatura show on the 2nd of November and had a bad chest cold at the time. Then over the next week it got progressively worse. Long story short I actually had Walking Pneumonia... so a regiment of antibiotic and inhalers and cough meds. I feel much better but it is still is a long recovery.

In any case, I thought I would just start talking about the Treehouse. Since it was months worth of construction and a lot of different techniques were created and used I though we could go over a few every couple of days and break down the build.
My apologies to my foreign friends as this will be "word heavy" and the translation might not go through. Feel free to ask questions and I will clarify.

Just to let you know, what I had on hand was what I used: My main goal was to construct this using all my power of creation, without spending more than 20$ extra in cost.

Stage 1: Tree Construction:

In this shot you can see the basic structure of the tree. I started with a small wooden base. I screwed a long wooden rod to the base, then I proceeded to create a trunk out of a large rolled oat container, I stuffed the container with Styrofoam for support, while still keeping the structure light.
The branches are a 13 gauge carbon steel wire, pushed into the Styrofoam and tube base, wrapped in heavy tinfoil, with lots of packing tape to support the branch: The house base was used as a guide for where to place the branches. I placed a small wooded square base at the top of the tube to compress the whole structure together.
The second part was the homade paperclay/mache. While there are many recipes out there I simply created cheap "toilet paper clay"..
Remove 1 roll toilet paper from cardboard tube, soaked in a hot water till easily shredded by fork. I then used a large screen mesh to drain the water out and smash dryish' and separate the shredded paper. I decided to use a mixture of joint compound/wood glue and cornstarch, till I felt the clay was what I could sculpt with, it was messy..but inexpensive and turned out pretty nice ;)
Here is one of the best recipes to match what I created:
After applying the mixture in stages around the tree I used one of my wooden clay tools to carve bark in the trunk and sections of branches.
You can see some balls of paper were in the clay mixture but I decided to leave them as they added more realistic bark bumps and curves to the base.
Here was my first test fit it was a bit lopsided but the simplicity of the wire and paper mixture allowed me to bend the tree limbs and base enough to level the house.
After a few days in front of the fan I started the paint job. It was done with plain water based acrylics in layers.. I did a grey brown, then a bit of coffee then a few streaks of chocolate, grey, white, moss green.. Layers and a stiff bristle.
Layer..and layer..and layer...
The first purchase I decided on was these leaves, I had to decide on what I wanted the tree to resemble. And then I remembered my own advise, if you cannot create a particular species..Minifanatisize it!
These leaves looked perfect, they had a range of small and large leaves that were attached to what, once painted, would look just like branches.
Hole punched, glued and painted branches
Adding more
Mossing and detailing
A view of stage 2
Next part I will go into a bit more detail of the house construction.
I hope you are all inspired in your mini worlds...remember..inexpensive...toilet paper mache clay..,,,,play!!!

Nov 1, 2013

Spring Fling 2013: Treetop Creature Shop *Lots of photos* *Loading time*

Good morning folks!

Last night was the deadline for entry to the Greenleaf 2013 Spring Fling and today we get to reveal our builds.

I have not had a lot of time to go through photos and plan my writing yet I will make a nice video slideshow today and discuss the build in future posts but you fine folks get the first look!

I present to you the:                       
Treetop Creature Shop

The concept for this build began back in the end of June where my fine friend Jenny of Darksideofaminiaddict and I discussed building our flings together. We brainstormed off of each other our entire build and worked side by side..a few hundred miles apart ;P
My first question to her was..should I do another treehouse, and would it be crazy? Also should I make a pet shop???... And Jenny has cheered me on ever since ;) Huggggsss!!
Everything in this build was handmade, refur'bashed dollar store furniture or balsa wood. Homeade paper clay and some papier-mâché..Obviously all the creatures are polymer clay..*shocker*.. and a lot of bits and pieces are from swaps and gifts from you friends around the world.
You will see a lot of the sneak peeks are pieces that I though I should focus on since they are sooooo small ;P... on the table made by gal pal Jenny
Other pieces you would never see unless I point them out or you see it in person. Jana sent me this amazing shelf and books that I decorated and incorporated into the build
A few of you gals have seen parts of the creations and know of my dedication and struggle via a few jokes ;P
Ok so on with the show ...these are scenes from decoration and finishing some construction.................


Michaels refur'bashed hutches..more in future posts 

A assembly of findings from Mary!  
Leather book 

Shelf and book by Jana 

resin bottles remade 
Dragon eggs
tree dude 
the rat 
Golden Goose 
Demon Cat 
Frog dude 
Alchemy Supplies

Tree creature 

Triple thick water splashes 


The Phoenix! 
Hope you enjoyed this romp into my mind! More details to come
Hugs around, Jane!