Thursday, February 20, 2014

Details... The Little Shop part 5

 I've not had a lot of time recently to work on the shop, but I've managed to squeeze in a few little projects. The shop is really starting to look realistic, especially considering it's mostly made of foam core covered in cardboard!

I've added a couple dandelions out front.  I hand cut the leaves and calyx from painted coffee filter paper. The yellow flowers are simply mounds of glue covered in flocking. For the dandelions gone to seed, I used a clear bead covered in a fine layer of white flocking.

I made a second dandelion half hidden behind the boot scraper.  This one had a bit of wanderlust. I'd actually glued the plant down in another spot, and had to "dig" it back up when I realized it was nearly in the walkway.
I was considering adding some litter to the sidewalk. I went so far as to make cigarette butts, but I ultimately decided against them. I went to college with a lot of smokers, though I'm not one myself. This tattered old flyer is the only bit of litter that made it onto the shop.

I did add a few more washes of "dirt" to the sidewalk. I was pretty pleased with the sidewalk stones, but they were starting to look too clean and new amidst the rest of the scene.

I also finished the iron fence on the left side of the scene. I had a bit of a happy accident with the fence.  The iron paint dripped and formed rust stains on the stones. 

Last of all, did you spot the new addition to the rose bush? This little nest was an experiment that turned out even better than I'd hoped! Most of the miniature nests I've seen looked really fake.  A few weeks ago, I cut a handful of dead winter grass and spread it out over the radiator. Once it had dried out really well, I crumbled it up, and mixed in a drop of tacky glue. The grass and glue mixture formed a quick-drying clay, which was easily sculpted into a nest.

Monday, February 10, 2014

My French Shop Project, Part Four

Mom and I did get the chance to go to the dollhouse shop over last weekend. Unfortunately, they were all sold out of the iron railing I  needed. Luckily, the shop assistant remembered that they'd recently used the same railings on a customer's dollhouse. She scrounged around in the scrap bin, and managed to find quite a few good-sized lengths of railing for me. After patching the pieces together, I had more than enough for my shop.
I only used the top half of the fencing for the shop roof. I first sprayed the railings with flat black paint, to prime them. Then, I used the special iron  paint, which comes with a rusting solution to create a realistic iron finish. Unfortunately, I think the paint is getting old, since I couldn't get much rust to form. After reapplying the solution several times with little effect, I finally resorted to my watercolor pencils.

The iron fencing to the side of the door still needs to be painted. This was one of the trickiest parts of the whole project. Since the shop is front-opening, I needed to make the railing removable. I forgot to take a photo of it, but the fence is held in place with straight pins inserted into holes in the base.
I also managed to find a piece of plastic large enough to cover the window.  The "lead" munions are made of thin strips of plastic, which I painted black, then drybrushed with silver paint. Now that the window is in place, I'll probably adjust the shelf spacing.

I glued one of the pigeons over the door. Normally, I prefer to use sticky wax rather than glue to hold this type of thing in place, but I didn't want to chance it falling off.  

I'm still adding leaves to the rose bush. It's starting to look nice and full, but it still has a way to go.  Since adding the fencing to the roof, I'm rethinking my plans to cover it with climbing roses. I was worried that the plain iron would be too stark, but seeing it together I don't think it needs the vines. I'd still love to add some rose vines eventually, but I'm in no hurry.

The shop is getting close to being finished, but I'm really milking the finishing details.  The big elements are pretty much all in place, but I still have lots of ideas for little details, from buttercups to butterflies.
You can see the shop's progress in parts one, two, and three.