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washtub

  • Posted on October 16, 2018 at 3:56 pm

in my pre-purge days i had amassed quite a collection of sample cups – you know the ones that costco, or the groceries stores used to pass out samples of food items they want you to try? anyway every time i got a sample, if the food in it wasn’t too sticky, once iI ate the food, i would stick it in my purse or pocket instead of the garbage. at home i would wash it out and add it to my ever growing pile. One time i really scored and the lady passing out samples accidently knocked a stack onto the floor while we were there. she explained that she couldn’t use them for food anymore (obviously) and would just have to throw them out, if we had any use for them, we were welcome to them, of course i snagged them all!

anyway i use the for all sorts of things, like mixing paint colors or holding small amounts of glue when crafting. i reuse them as much as possible and then throw them out when they get too covered with stuff or crack, as they eventually do. as i was looking for something to turn into a washtub, my eyes lit on the stack of sample cups and i knew that some of them would be perfect.
stack of cups
this is just a few of the ones i have at the moment. you can see they are all well used.

sprayed with primer
while i was making my washboard i coated the cups with off white primer. i have a good can of spray that will stick pretty much anything – wood, metal, plastic etc. i use that as my base coat so my acrylic paints will stick and not just drip or peel off.

next i sprayed on a coat of stainless silver to get the right base color…. and disaster!
disaster
even though they were both the same kind and brand of paint. the paint peeled and buckled when i put on the first coat. so back to the drawing board.

of course this washtub fits the bigger of my two washboards, so i had to find something else for my realpuki’s anyway. as luck would have it, i was putting in an order for new saw blades at stockade wood supplies, and they had a miniature tub available, and it was smaller than any of the ones i had seen. i thought it might be the perfect size so added it to my order.

wash tub new
turns out it was perfect. since it was already silver i just needed to make it look worn.

washtub painted
washtub painted
to age it, i brushed on random streaks and dabs of black and white and grays. as usual i put a bit of each color on my palette, and used a toothpick to swirl it together in the middle. this gives me black, white, and a near infinite variety of grays. i looked at several pictures of old galvanized tins and buckets from the internet, as i worked, so i could see what i was aiming for, and make sure it looked realistic.
After that paint dried, for the final touch, i added some rusty brown wood stain in the creases, and around the handles -places where rust was most likely to form. the stain is more transparent than the paint, so works better for light rusting than the thicker acrylic would.

washtub done
and ready to go

back to the campfire

  • Posted on October 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm

with the fire mostly done, i turned my attention back to cooking. it was now time to build the stand for my soup pot.

i started with some fairly stiff wire that i had salvaged from some packing materials. it was the right diameter, stiffness and best of all free…

cook stand start
i cut it down and bent it to make two side posts with loops – i wanted to make the loops smaller, but it was too stiff to bend with the end of my pliers. this is the smallest diameter i could use and still bend it. the cross bar has turned up hooks on the end to hold extra pots and pans or a coffee pot – all still on the way. the small hook in the center was formed by trimming down an eye pin and forming it into a roughly “s” shape

cook stand done
after spraying all the wire parts with several coats of flat black paint, to more closely mimic cast or forged iron bars, i cut pieces off of my dried branches to form the bottom supports, drilled holes in the center and glued it all together with e6ooo glue. because the loops were really too big, the stand fell apart easily, consequently i ended up having to glue the crossbar in place as well. since there wasn’t a lot of surface area touching, i left it to set for the full 72 hours before moving it again. lastly i touched up the glue with matte black acrylic paint to get rid of the shine. the roughness left by the glue just added to the look of cast iron -bonus!

the other problem i ran into was the bottom log supports weren’t quite wide enough to make the whole array steady on the uneven grass of the diorama, which means i had to glue them down as well. that was a little disappointing, as i had planned to make a second optional tripod structure that i could swap out for some pictures. i am quite used to things not necessarily working out according to my original ideas though, so in spite of the problems, and changes i am happy with how it came out. i’ll save the tripod idea for a campfire i’m planning later for my larger dolls.

cook stand with pot
and here it is with the soup pot on.

camp fire part 2

  • Posted on October 2, 2018 at 8:17 am

my logs are thoroughly cooked, so i cut them down to size, then used a hammer and chisel to split them. if you don’t have a chisel, you could always leave the logs whole.

camp fire logs
once they were the right size i arranged and re-arranged them till it looked right to me, then glued them together with fast tack glue and let it dry for 1/2 hour or so.

camp fire charring the logs
camp fire charring the logs
after the glue set, i carefully lifted the logs out and painted the inside with a combination of black and white paint to get the look of char and ash. to do that, i put a drop of black on my palette, then white beside it and swirled the two in the middle, with a toothpick, to get marbled shades of gray. i painted with the black first and wiped it off with a damp rag to get it nice and thin. then right at the bottom, and up the middle i dabbed on the grey swirly paint, tying not to brush so much that the colors completely blended. i also swirled some of the gray mix on the wood disc to make the fire more realistic. you can’t really see it under the logs, but i know it’s there, and you can see it if you get really close.

camp fire wood pile
with the extra wood, i built a little pile of firewood that my ‘pukis can use to keep their fire burning.

camp fire part 1

  • Posted on October 1, 2018 at 8:05 am

i’m ready to start making the camp fire now. i’m going to use an evans design led fire size 3mm. a 1.8mm would probably have been big enough, but i already had the 3mm and am trying to use what i have in hand before buying new.

the other things i need so far are a 3 inch diameter, flat, wood disk from michaels, and some small rocks from the gravel pad outside, (i picked out ones i liked for color shape and size and washed them to get rid of any bugs or dirt). also acrylic paint in black, dark brown, rust and white, and glue suitable for gluing rocks to wood, i used e6000.

camp fire
first i painted the top of the wood disk solid black for the charcoal, then while still wet swirled and blended in some dark brown and rusty brown to get the look of dirt around the edge. my realpukis are safety conscious 🙂

camp fire
i drilled a set of three holes in the center to thread my leds through. i should have done that before painting since i had to repaint around the holes with my black paint. when it dried again i arranged the rocks till i liked the look and then glued them down with e6000 glue. i let that set a bit and then painted the inner surface of the rocks to make them look soot covered.

camp fire leds back
finally i threaded the leds through the holes and taped them down in the back with a bit of tape. i just used regular tape since it doesn’t have to hold for long.

next step will be building the fire itself, but first i have to dry my “logs” in the oven. i took pruned, dead branches that have been sitting in my burn pile all summer (we have had a fire ban most of the summer so they never got burned). it is pouring rain so they are all wet, and i assume have bugs. i am going to bake them at 200F for 2-4 hours to make sure any bugs are good and dead! i’ll check them every 15 min or so to make sure they don’t catch fire. i wouldn’t mind if they got a bit scorched, but i would rather not burn my house down! 😉

my caravan has a table

  • Posted on September 30, 2018 at 9:28 am

since the last attempt at a table turned into a storage bench, my ‘pukis requested another table, and there was just enough room in the caravan for a small one.

table bare
i started with a miniature candlestick from my stash, just a shade under 1-1/2″ tall. the top is a 1-1/2″ wooden disk and i just glued them together.

table painted
i painted the bottom metallic purple, the top turquoise. it looked a little bare and i considered painting a floral design on top, but realized my painting skills don’t really match the vision i had. so instead i looked online for pictures of mandalas, resized them and then printed out a bunch on cardstock. i find that what looks good on my desktop is not always the correct color or clarity when printed, so this gave me some choice. after i cut out and auditioned them, i modge-podged the one i liked best on the table-top.

table in caravan
it just fits, and holds two tiny pewter mugs i ordered online. the furnishings are done, it’s time to work on the diorama next.

rusty soup pot

  • Posted on September 29, 2018 at 8:50 am

with no kitchen in the caravan, my ‘pukis need to cook over an open fire. what better to cook with than a nice soup pot? i could have just bought one, but where is the fun in that? once i figured out the appropriate size, it was time to hunt for a suitable base.

pots
i found these bolt covers really cheap at the hardware store. they were the perfect size and shape for a soup pot. the top is the cap from a travel size spray bottle. i’m going to try all three and see which works best.

first i sanded them all to get rid of any imperfections and to get the surface ready for painting. i sprayed the bolt covers with a couple coats of rustoleum aged metallic rust, inside and out. the spray bottle cap was sealed with clear spray, painted with a light dusting of the aged metallic to make “rust” spots. and then put aside as i’m not sure yet what i am going to do with it yet.

bucket 2 patina
bucket patina
next i hand painted a combination of coppers/bronze, brown and teal metallic to get an aged look.

bucket side
for the first pot i glued on tiny copper hearts to form the bottom handles, and made the actual handle out of copper wire. now it can swing freely

bucket 2 side
for the second pot the handle was made out of #2 black eyes. the handle will be wire again. i’m debating trying to get some black wire for this one, doing the plain copper wire again or just trying to spray the copper with black paint….

more finishing touches, tins and bottles

  • Posted on September 24, 2018 at 8:29 am

another quick project. i had some small wooden cubes and left over square doweling and decided to make some “tins”.

more finishing touches
i cut the dowel just a smidge longer than my labels, painted them all silver, then glued on labels. 4 sides and the top sides for the cubes, 4 sides for the rectangles, plain squares on all the bottoms and also the tops of the rectangles to make them smooth. the one turquoise rectangle got patterned top and bottom instead, just cause i had leftover tile that matched.

more finishing touches
once the glued dried i first set the paper with modgepodge, then painted all the plain paper silver again. voila – tins! the extras will go in the kitchen of the house i am planning next.

more finishing touches
here they are on the shelve with some tiny bottles i picked up a few years back, and found again while cleaning 🙂 they are all stuck on with fabric basting glue. hopefully that will hold, but be removable later if i find something else i’d rather use. we shall have to see if it works….

awn again off again

  • Posted on September 23, 2018 at 1:25 pm

i know that’s a bad pun, but i couldn’t resist 🙂
i thought  you said you were cleaning?
if you look way back to the original awning it was cute, but the colors were just too pale for my refurbished caravan.

awning repainted
so i painted it with more of my metallic blue/teal mix then aged it with copper and brown to get the rust back. it is a much better color now. i like how the original colors show through as just a subtle striped effect

awning on
i like the way it looks, but unfortunately it blocks too much of the light, making the interior too hard to see. since i really like all the details on the inside and want them more visible, the awning is off again. i may try it on the back side, or just use it for a completely different, and as yet unplanned project, maybe a little shop? 🙂

bench cushion

  • Posted on September 22, 2018 at 11:11 am

i decided my bench needs a bit of cushioning for travelling over rough bumpy roads.

bench pillow 1
i’m making glued ones since i wanted something fairly thin and flat. first i cut cardstock and trimmed till just a tiny bit smaller than the bench to allow room for the fabric to fold over. then cut pieces of flannel the exact size and glued them on.

bench pillow centered
the fabric is pieces of silk dupioni i cut for bed pillows and didn’t use. luckily they were perfect size for this size. all three are iridescent with a different weft and warp. i placed the cardboard/flannel combo on top but didn’t glue it.

bench pillow bottom
i glued the first edge and folded it over, then glued the long ends and folded them over as well tucking the corners in slightly so they don’t show

bench pillows top
and finished!… took me less than 15 min start to finish. most of that time was making sure the cardstock was a perfect fit. it took longer to do this blog post than it did to make the pillows!

now i just have to decide which one to use, though i may just tuck the spares away and change them up depending on what clothes the ‘pukis wear.
which color do you like best on this?

bench pillow red blue
red/blue
bench pillow purple red
purple/red
bench pillow gold pink
gold/pink

this is a table?

  • Posted on September 21, 2018 at 7:02 am

the best laid plans…
i was ready to work on my table.

bench start
i wanted some extra storage so decided to use this writing desk, instead of just a plain table.

bench cropped
the only problem was it was too big. realpuki’s are probably more of a 1/16 scale than the standard 1/12 so once again i needed to mod. i cut the legs off, planning to shorten and reattach them, but then liked the look and decided to make it into a bench instead.

bench and tiles
i decided to cover the front of the drawer and the rectangular section of the back with tile. so first i picked some tiles from my “tile file” and carefully resized them. since i don’t find the ruler on the word doc, terribly useful, i did up a couple of trials on the same page, then printed them off in grayscale on plain paper first. once i had the sizes perfect (the drawer is a bit wider than the back so i needed two sizes), i deleted the wrong ones and re-printed in color on cardstock. lastly i set them with a couple coats of clear spray varnish. i am extremely grateful that my dh decided to make a workshop in the garage last year, so it is heated and he added an exhaust fan for when i paint. now i don’t have to wait for nice weather!

bench painted
while the tile was drying i painted the bench. red for main, blue for drawer, then aged by dry brushing with antique copper. (i later painted the whole drawer blue so it wouldn’t show plain wood when my ‘puki’s leave it open.)

once the tile was dry i cut out each one individually. then a played around with them till i liked both the combo and the order before gluing them down.

bench drawer
here is the front drawer tiled. the holes were in the wrong place to attach the original drawer pulls, so i just glued on some red/blue crystal beads from my stash

bench bead cap feet
4 bead caps make filigree feet, that raise it to the perfect height

bench done
finished!

bench in situ
and put in place