Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Progress: the Shop Part Three

I've made a few more additions to the shop, though it is still very much in progress. The closer I get to finishing, the longer each step seems to take.
The first thing I did was to finish the sides of the shop with bricks. The last time I posted, I was planning to make the bricks from sandpaper. However, it took me a while to get to the hardware store, and in the mean time I discovered a bit of leftover paper clay in my supplies. Unlike my disastrous first attempt using damp paper clay, this time I rolled out the clay and let it dry to a leathery stiffness before I cut and glued the individual bricks on. This stopped the foam core from warping.  I just cut the bricks by eye, without bothering to measure.
My next step was to add a copper gutter along the side of the shop. The gutter is made of card stock, and the downspout is a drinking straw. I was worried that my copper paint wouldn't stick to the plastic straw, so I coated it with a few heavy coats of primer first. 
 Mom has said a couple times that her favorite part of the project is the little weed growing between the pavement cracks. Once the brick work was done, I wanted to add more weedy grass along the side of  the building. Since I'm trying to do this project using only materials I already own, I had to get creative.  I happened to have a few scraps of fur in my supplies. I cut a narrow strip of fur and painted it green. The paint made the fibers clump together, so I gently combed it out before the paint dried.

I found another little Clive Brooker flower pot in Mom's extra miniatures and couldn't resist using it. The leaves of the plant were made from a coffee filter, and it's "planted" in a removable piece of Styrofoam. I'm not sure how well the coffee filter will hold up over time, so I didn't want to plant it permanently. I don't have a piece of glass (plastic) big enough for the window in my supplies, so I'm stalking the recycling in hopes of finding something.

 These pigeons began as little plastic figurines. I cut off their big bases and repainted them. I've used these plastic pigeons for several different projects. The factory painting is pretty awful, but the birds themselves are nice and delicate.

Last of all, here's a peak at what I'll (maybe) be working on next. I'm toying with the idea of adding an iron railing to the top of building, and covering it with dozens of pale pink roses. These aren't the railing or the roses I'd use, just pieces I had that gave the general effect. If I do add the railing, I'll use a shorter one made of plastic, and smaller, more delicate roses. Two considerations are holding me back. One is that all those roses would be a ton of work, and I really dislike making paper flowers. I can force myself to make them, especially since I love the finished product, but I can't stand the process. The second consideration is that all those roses might distract from the window display. Which way would  you go?Would you add a railing and roses or not?


  1. .

    It is so well made. So much atmosphere in your pictures. I love your gutter, it is so very wonderful.

  2. The building looks fabulous. I would not have thought of making plants out of fur - great idea. It is great trying to make do with what you have and recycling items. I also love the pigeons. I would love to see the railing and roses. I think it would give the building a lovely quaint look and while they may initially catch the eye no-one could resist peering in the window. However, only you can know the effect you wish for the building and it is already great as it is.

  3. Hi Elizabeth,

    I love your idea of only using materials you already own, it was one of my New Year's resolutions, and it is such a boost to creativity...I'm a little envious of your stash, you have some lovely things to play with, copper paint and pigeons!

    I love the humble weed, it adds such a lovely level of realism, and I think the roses should stay. If you're worried about the distraction, why not use white roses instead, as they will not compete with the fantastic powder blue facade...

    I'm really enjoying the progress on this project!


  4. Hello Elizabeth,
    I cannot put into words how terrific your scene is. It looks so realistic and I have to admit the weed is also my favorite detail. the brickwork is superb!
    Big hug,

  5. I have a house I would LOVE to have covered in brick like yours! You have applied the patina effect perfectly!

  6. Your work is amazing and your painting techniques are beyond superb!.

  7. Impresionante el acabado de canalón, me encanta, y las palomas genial, estoy deseosa de ver lo terminado:-)

  8. could write a long comment but I love it all.
    Very inventive, that weed made of fur and it looks just great!
    My two cents: like the railing and the roses idea very much. BUT. I firmly believe in not doing what I don't like to do - it makes life so much more pleasant- Yes, it would look great but just a railing with some added rust would also look great.

  9. Good idea to use a straw for the gutters. I love those little pigeons. They add a touch of nature to your project. It's always nice to have some part of the animal kingdom in a miniature project! As for the roses, I would like to see them there. I don't think it would detract from the display because people always love to examine displays!

  10. You have added some Perfect little details... the kind that make the place seem so real! I Love the tiny weeds and the pigeons are perfect! Not to mention the gutter... it is hard to believe it is made from paper!
    As for the roses.... I LOVE roses... but have not learned to make them... but I think they would look lovely! You could make it a sparse and almost past bloom rose.... fewer blossoms that way!

  11. Oh Elizabeth, this is one of my favourite posts in a long time!! I am mad keen on "aging" things now and your shop is just the perfect inspiration. I love how you're not afraid to get on with things, I sit around thinking too much! The drain pipe is perfection and the colour is set off so well against the bricks.
    I often look at toy pieces from things like war games etc to see if the pieces can be converted into mini treasures, your pigeons are great. I like the one on the top of the door.
    The iron work would be a lovely touch, it almost softens the whole facade.
    I really can't wait to see more...
    Best wishes

  12. The roses sounds a good idea to me. And for windowpanes you can try a cover from a CD box.
    It looks already good together and I hope to follow the progress.
    Miniature greetings