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  1. Latest Entry

    I guess I have neglected this blog for too long.

    For the past eight months I have been working frantically to get the house ready for Tom Bishop's Chicago International show coming up this April. It won't be finished in time, but it will be close.

    The more pressing deadline now is the Orlando dollhouse miniature show coming up this weekend. I will be a vendor there, but I will only have the unfinished Tudor on display. The Bed & Breakfast will not be there as it is currently undergoing repairs from the accident that occurred two years ago. With the Chicago show coming up, I finally started the unpleasant task of working on it again. I have dismantled the damaged parts and will spend the next two months rebuilding her.

    I plan to focus on the Tudor's roof during the next two evenings. My almost 4 year-old son got into my workshop last year and nearly destroyed the roof framing. Besides the needed repairs, I have to extend the roof trusses and flooring to cover the 2 inch extension I added several months ago to accommodate the bathroom.

    The first floor is only missing a few light fixtures. All of the staircase banisters were completed several months ago and add to the view from the main entrance.

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    The 2nd floor is about 75% complete. The landing is completely finished, the 2nd floor bed room still needs mortar for the hearth brick work, crown molding and a light fixture, which it will get on Saturday right before the preview show. The bath room needs a ceiling panel and crown molding, the columns and arches installed over the tub surround, and the far exterior wall installed. The Library's walls, floor and windows are installed, but it still needs wall paneling, books and bookcases. It also needs a coffer ceiling, fireplace mantle (the last to go into this house) and chandeliers. The other mantle, in the bedroom worked out rather well, I think:

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    The current view gives you the idea of what it will look like when its completed.

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    I doubt I will get the attic interior sheathed at the show, but I can always hope.

  2. A cheap and extremely easy method for applying a stucco look to your miniature exteriors.

    This method works well on Greenleaf and other plywood surfaces as well as the pine used for by Houseworks such as the facades on the street of shops. It has not been tested on MDF or other surfaces. It may be beneficial to rough up smoother surfaces with a utility knife or some high grit sandpaper.

    I used the Simple Fix brand Premixed Adhesive & Grout. A quart runs you about 8$ at Home Depot and depending on the size of the area you are covering it should last a long time. It comes in a few colors, White, alabaster (off white) and gray. Be sure that the grout you get is the same as pictured below--BOTH Adhesive AND Grout!

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    First thing to do is cover your workstation! Put down newspapers, an old sheet or tablecloth because it makes cleanup really easy! For plywood houses like Greenleaf, Corona, Artply, Duracraft, etc... you will not need to prepare the surface in any way. Working in small sections, start by spreading some of the grout onto the surface with a pallet knife, your fingers or whatever you have on hand. Spread it around like you were icing a cake or buttering bread with about 1/4" thickness. Once the grout is in place you can use a stiff brush or even your finger to pounce the grout, giving it texture as desired. Once you're finished spray your creation with clear sealer. I like a matte finish but you can choose the gloss you prefer best.

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    I used the alabaster colored grout on my Pizzeria because I didnt want the final effect to look stark white.

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    If it's necessary to color your stucco, the grout can be painted with a brush after it is dried and sprayed with a clear sealer or you can spray paint it. If you paint it with a brush you might wish to respray it with the sealer.

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    For my Loganberry Mill I used a sponge brush to work blue paint into all the nooks and crannies. Once it was done I felt the blue was too solid looking so I went back with some cream colored paint and swirled it around with a regular small bristle brush using a dry brush effect.

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    Latest Entry

    So this isn't going to be an everyday blog, but I am going to try and write every time I make some worthwhile progress on my dollhouse projects. So where I'm at right now...I have completed my Orchid, my spring fling 2008 gardening shed, and finished renovating my Duracraft Lafayette from my childhood.- I have pictures in my gallery of these, and I will try to get some updated photos with finished products posted ASAP. Other 2 dollhouses I have completed- there was one which I did when I was 4 years old with my mom and cannot remember what is was and what has happened to it, and then the Greenleaf Brookwood...which was the first dollhouse I made on my own- needless to say I was not too happy with the outcome, so I gave that one to my little sister. Anyways, getting to my newest project- I have ordered the Greenleaf / Corona Miniature Travel Trailer!!! yay! :ohyeah: This is actually going to be a project I do with my 5 year old son....who has a great fascination with dollhouses. So we are supposed to get delivery tomorrow of our wonderful little treasure and he and I are so excited!!! We already have been talking about plans for our nice little camper. We both love rvs and hope one day to get a real one, but for now we will be happy with making a mini version. Not sure if we are going to do a more retro version or a modern version...but either way he wants to make sure it has all the need to haves,,,like potty, oven, sink, bed, and a small fan...haha. Well will close for now and make sure I will track our progress and post more pictures.

    Amanda :banana:

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    I have been doing cedar shake staining for the last two days or so and now I'm at around 400 shingles at least. Two of the cedar shake shingle sheets came with this beautiful wood that didn't need anything but a clear coat to look great. Almost half way there!

  3. So yesterday I started putting the first coat of paint onto the house. I listened to my husband this time, (instead of trusting my gut) and painted the house green...(well bad idea)...

    The green that I painted it, looked more like grass, baby peas or maybe even something that comes out of my infant's diaper...it looks AWFUL!!!

    I moved away from that and started priming the rest of the house pieces, I used plastering compound to fill in the holes on the porch roof where the kit porch posts should go also. After they were dry I assembled the rest of the first floor, the porch roof, the bay window and the kitchen bay window. I used tacky glue and then some of the plastering compound into the holes and grooves to make it look nice and flat/even.

    I also worked a little bit more on my furniture kits. After placing them into the house I realized that I needed to make some adjustments. I took the two cabinets apart so I can cut them down and thinner so they will fit into placement better. I also put a varnish on the dining room table, the wing chair, and the couch. I have some more adjusting in the kitchen to make everything fit the right way, but I'm pretty happy with the results so far.

    The next thing to do is more sanding!!! :banana:

  4. Latest Entry

    Hi, everyone in this post I will be telling you how to make a tree. :banana:

    ***FYI The measurements given in this tutorial are only approximate. It's more about personal preference than accuracy. ***

    Tools & Materials:

    • Painters Tape or Masking Tape (Preferably white)
    • Flush cutters (any tool that can cut wire are fine)
    • Wire (28 gauge works well) Since we will be twisting the wire multiple times a wire with less thickness will work best.
    • Brown florist tape (You can also use Paperclay [found at Hobby Lobby & other such stores] however, Paperclay isn't recommended for a bigger tree, because it gets too heavy.
    • Cut several pieces of your 28 gauge wire (approx. 30 Inches)
    • Twist the bundle of wire together for 6 inches
    • Double your wire Twist back down to where your original wire twisting began
    • If you want to make your branches with the different off-shoots, when you double your wire twist down but instead of returning to the original wire only twist about ¼ in down & then return to the original wire
    • Continue to add wire and off-shoot branches until you are satisfied with the thickness of your tree branches.
    • Continue adding branches until you reach your tree design. (you can have as few or as many branches as you want) once the ultimate tree design is met you can create the trunk.
    • For this tutorial I used a toilet tissue roll for the trunk. Take the bundle of connected branches & place them in the toilet paper roll wrap the roll in masking tape
    • *Make sure to also wrap up some of the branches to make the tree look more realistic

    **There are more pictures in My Albums. They're backwards (can't figure out how to put them in the right order) so start at the end.**

    Hope this is helpful :blink:

  5. I finished the castle and obviously I have not gotten any better at the whole blog thing. I was never much for the computer and sitting and writin etc. I just want to get up and work on things but really this might be a nice place to jot thoughts down.

    I haev been asked by a friend of mine to make a tutorial on aging techniques I have learned from the forum, reading and just playing. I am nervous about that, plus I have been working on miniatures for only three years , sooo what do I have to teach anyone ? lol

    I guess my ideas come from reading old books on miniatures from the 60's and 70's because I don't always have a lot of money so what I can't make I have to figure out HOW to make ....how ever says war is the mother of invention !! I think poverty is lol.

    Here is Claudia's castle :

    and the aged Gris Gris house

  6. A friend of mine has recently been pushing me to finally get out all the fimo I bought last year, and finally sculpt for Tilly, my baker, and Nettle, who is not specifically food oriented but will definitely need plants, and the occasional Tudor meal.

    I will crumble as soon as I find the time. And of course Nettle is in need of that Glencroft.. or rather is in need of it not being in a flat box...

    Consider this a warning. :banana:

  7. Latest Entry

    For some time I have been trying to figure out how to create the two doors shown in the movie FOTR. One is just to the left of the set and is surrounded by a wooden door frame. The other is located in the center area of the set below the Narsil statue and is observed during the council scene when Merry and Pippin are spying on the council and spring out to demand to accompany Frodo on the Fellowship trek. It is surrounded by a stone framework.

    My final approach was to layer a cut out frame over an inner inscribed sheet. This is my final effort.

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    I've never done a blog and hardly know where to start. The genuine excitement I feel in working on my Fairfield is my reason for starting this blog, and to be able to share each step of the way with others who understand my enthusiasm.

  8. Latest Entry

    Have I ever said how much I hate building stairs. I have been working on these for what feels like forever!

    blogentry-1240-1246239868_thumb.jpgblogentry-1240-1246239896_thumb.jpg

    For some reason there are two pics of the stair post??? OH well.

  9. 81875_Thumb.jpgWater-damaged plaster and lath wall section. Master craftsmen working on old houses around 1900 and earlier used plaster and lath to construct all interior walls. Lath was painstakingly nailed horizontally to vertical studs to grab the first plaster coat and hold it securely. Plaster walls were smooth and silky, and when cured were paintable. Plasterers were skilled craftsmen who worked long hours perfecting interior walls. Dampness and wetness will cause the plaster to crumble, although fresh plaster may be used to repair water damage and render it new again. Plaster was made and built to last more than a lifetime. Plaster and lath walls took 30 days to cure, although craftsmen advised waiting a period of a year before painting. For this reason, many homeowners chose to wallpaper their walls so as not to ruin the plaster work by painting too early. Plasterers were expensive 100 years ago; now they are extremely expensive and hard to find. Many new residents decide to tear down the old plaster and simply put drywall in its place as a cheap fix to save time and money. Plastering involved placing three layers on top of the other. The first coat stuck to the oak strips and was called scratch coat, which was troweled carefully into the lath to form a bond. The second coat was called brown coat, then a finish coat was applied thickly and pressed firmly to form a half-inch wall of silky-smooth lime plaster. Benefits of plastered walls include soundproofing not present with regular drywall. Plaster walls have durability not seen these days with gypsum or drywall, with plastered walls outlasting their owner and beyond. It's also easy to paint, wallpaper or repair minor damage.
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    dental visit with the maxillo/facial surgeon today who drilled a big hole in our bank account for the implant to come! Why do we need teeth? Can't we just live on milkshakes after age 50? They'd be a whole lot cheaper than one tiny little piece of metal screwed financially painfully in place over the course of 6 months.

  10. My poor neglected Tennyson. I lost interest in this house. I walk by it everyday. Alysia was going to finish it but then she became a teenager. <sigh> I was looking at her today, wondering if the five minute room rescue would work on her. Maybe just working on the house will get her back in the zone.

  11. And this is the master bedroom with all the trim now installed! Still need to make the bed up, and some cushions for the sofa/chair, and also install the carpet.

    Notice the sweet lamp on the bedside table? :blink: Well turns out it isn't staying as I decided not to electrify :p But got a lovely bunch of flowers there now.

    Attached thumbnail(s) img-resized.png Reduced 93%post-2387-1232407306_thumb.jpg

  12. My Rosedale Shingle Pattern Tutorial

    I tried to mimic the pattern shown on the dollhouse kit box, but mine was modified a little.

    I should start with the supplies I used. I purchased from DollhousesandMore.com the Diamond Shaped Cedar Shingles. Currently they are priced $19.99 for 1000 pk bag. They were not that much when I bought mine. I did use hot glue. Hot glue is not recommended for building, but I do use it for applying shingles. I glued the shingles right on the roof, I did not use a template of the roof sections in heavy card stock. I painted my shingles black and medium gray. I tried to do the wash, but it wouldn't take on the cedar shingles. There are approximately 370 gray and 330 black shingles on my Rosedale. I believe this pattern works best on the mansard roof.

  13. Well, progress has slowed somewhat, but that's to be expected, especially since I'm using popsickle sticks for tongue-and-groove siding . . . which means I have to cut off the ends. My hand aches, my back aches and I'm just about up-to-here with popsickle sticks. I will, however, perservere as I like the way it's turning out.

    blogentry-267-1239398386_thumb.jpg

    I cut two windows out on the sides to match up with the sides of the original house. They won't exactly match all the other windows on the house, but at least I was able to make new trim with my handy Dremel.

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    I also closed in a doorway on the main level. This is where I will build a false wall and add a curved staircase. I have it all figured out in my head . . . if it actually works will be a miracle!

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    My biggest challenge so far has been figuring out the turet which hangs over the front porch. I was originally going to use the roof off of a bird house I found at Micheal's, but it just didn't cut it. The height and angles were all wrong.

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    That's when I brought in the BIG GUNS . . . BRIAN!! He helped me figure out all the angles, et cetera. When he started talking the square root of this equals the length of that . . . I threw up my hands in horror and begged him just to give me the final tally. Math, my dears, is not my strong point . . . it frightens me!

    So, in the end, this is what it looks like . . . keep in mind . . . it's nowhere near complete. This is a mockup made out of foam core.

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    So progress is slow . . . that and the fact that the Beacon Hill was bellowing for it's doors! Enough, she said!! How come THAT house is getting all the attention when I'm not even finished yet! What nerve! I cowered my head in shame (what else could I do?) and spent the day today putting in doors. They turned out pretty fabulous! I'll post pictures in my Beacon Hill gallery later.

    I also had to go and buy new pink paint. I started painting the trim, but the pink I had just wasn't right. I think I've finally got the right color and tone. At least I think I do . . . .

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    I had intended to start my Tudor build blog a week or so ago, but, alas life gets in the way. I've been busy setting up my workshop and getting the garden in the front yard ready for spring planting. I hope to get back to work on the Tudor in the next few days and get back on track. :blink:

  14. Latest Entry

    The tips this month were submitted by Margaret.

    Tips for applying paint: Use dollar store eyeshadow applicators-they come in a pack of 25 sometimes. Instead of having to wash your paintbrush-just toss the applicator.

    Free mini item: Look in the section where the bottled water is sold in your grocery store. The little inserts in the caps look like mixing bowls or with a cardboard lid they can become mini canisters.

  15. ;) Molly has been in Australia, Scotland, Sweden, Delta BC Canada, Edmonton Alberta Canada, Bratford Onterio Canada, California, Texas, Ohio, Mass (2)., Maine (2), New York, New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, and was lost on her way to Arkansa. Molly had many adventures and they are not all recorded here in this journal, most are though. I was waiting for her to get back with her journal to see what else she had done. She has done way more traveling then I'll ever do in my life time. LOL

  16. How to Light a Front Opening Dollhouse using Roundwire

    INTRODUCTION

    If you have a front-opening dollhouse and want to learn how to add lights to the front panel, this tutorial is for you! I'm sure you're thinking that it may be difficult if you wanted to add a porch light or lights to the outside of the house. You're probably wondering how you attach the wires to the main wire, right? The answer lies in the hinges!

    Think of the hinges acting as a bridge, carrying the electricity across the opening. It is safe to have the hinges carry the electricity. You can even paint the hinges and touch them when the lights are on!

    This tutorial will show you how light your front opening dollhouse step by step.

    Important Notes Before Starting!

    • here to show you how to light a dollhouse.


    It is important that you know the basics of lighting a dollhouse before proceeding with this tutorial. There is a tutorial

    This tutorial is for round wire only. The procedure for wiring with hinges using tapewire is slightly different.


    Make sure you are using brass hinges and screws! If your hinges and screws are not brass, they will not conduct electricity. You can pick up small brass screws at your local hardware store.


    • Make sure you are using two separate hinges for the front panel. If you are using one long hinge, this method will not work. It is recommended that you get two separate hinges.

    • It is recommended that you only use one light on the front panel for each set of hinges. Using more then one light may short out the lights .

    • It is recommended that you finish the panel to the point where you will not need to remove the hinges or panel once the lights are installed.

      Step 1 - Run the Wires from the light to the hinges

      It is recommended that you save the lights for the front of the house until last. This means you should plan and wire all the other lights in the house first before working on the lights for the front panel. The reason for this is you will need to have your junction splice and main wire installed and working before you install the front panel lights.


      frontlight.jpg



      • With pencil, lightly make an X marking where each light will be attached to the front panel. Then carefully look at the other side of the wall and determine where you will want to run the wires to connect to the hinges.

        Determine where on the front panel you want to put the light(s)



        • Lightly draw a line (or use masking tape) to indicate where the wires will be run to connect to the hinges. If the wires are to go through the wall, make a mark (like a circle) to indicate a hole to be drilled and continue the line on the other side. These lines will be your guidelines for making grooves where the wires will lay.

          Mark where the wires will go



        • During the initial planning stages where you make the lines for the wires for each light, determine if the wires that come with the lights are long enough or if they will need to be lengthened. Note this on a separate piece of paper so you can work on lengthening the lights (this step is discussed in the Hybrid Lighting Tutorial found here.

          Determine what wires will need to be lengthened.



        • Remove the plug from the light and attach the light to the front of the house using glue or the sticky pad on the light. Feed the wire through the hole you drilled. Save the plug. If you are using a socket strip, you will need the plug later.

          Attach the light to the front of house and feed the wire through to the other side.


        insidepanel.jpg

        In the picture above, a coach light is attached to the wall on the other side. A hole was drilled to run the wire through the front panel. Grooves were made and the wires were placed in the grooves.

        Make sure you do NOT screw the screws into the wire!

        hingedwire.jpg

    [*]

    Separate the wire and run it to the hinges

    After feeding the wire through the hole, run it along the inside panel until you get near the hinges. At that point, separate the two strands of the wire and run each strand to a hinge as shown in the image above. Use tape to hold the separate wires in place.

    Skip the next part and proceed to step 2 if you are using tapewire.

    [*]

    Strip the insulation to expose the bare wires

    Take one strand of wire from the light and using your thumb fingernail, pinch the white insulation over one of the strands of wire and pull. This will pull the insulation off without breaking the wires. You don't need to strip a lot of insulation from the wires, just enough for the bare wire to go under the hinge. About 1/4" to 1/2" of bare is sufficient. You will have to do this on both strands of one end of the wire from the light. With your tweezers, twist each end to make sure the fine wires are gathered up together.

    staggeredwires.jpg

    [*]

    Place the bare wire under the hinge

    Take each end of the bare wire and place it under each hinge. If the hinges are already screwed into the panel, unscrew them enough to loosen the hinge and stick the wire under it. Tighten the screws. Make sure the bare wire touches the bare hinge. Repeat for the other hinge.

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    By request, I have been asked to create a tutorial for how to make a braided dh rug. The basis of the rug is from a book by Reader's Digest called "Complete Guide to Needlework", I just adapted it to what I thought would be dh proportions.

    First of all, decide what shape of rug you would like and the approximate dimensions. What follows is for an oval rug, but I'll add a note about circular rugs at the bottom.

    Start with three colours of embroidery thread, the usual 6 strands each that it comes in. Cut a piece of each colour to about the length from fingertip to fingertip. Don't worry if this turns out to not be enough, because it is easy to add more.

    Make a knot at the end of the threads.

    blogentry-3775-1232653286_thumb.jpg

    Attach ends to a firm surface in order to provide some tension.

    blogentry-3775-1232653499_thumb.jpg

    Start braiding (left over centre, right over centre, left over centre, etc.), trying to maintain an even tension.

    blogentry-3775-1232653719_thumb.jpg

    Continue braiding until you have a lenght of braid just longer than (lenght-width) of the final size.

    Then do three 'round turns' as shown in the attached diagram. blogentry-3775-1232654048_thumb.jpg Note that the turn may not be very visible since the thread is so thin. blogentry-3775-1232654217_thumb.jpg

    Continue braiding until you are back to the location of the knot, then do 3 more round turns.

    Then continue braiding until you have at least 6" of braid done. At this point, you can start to sew the braid into a rug, or just continue braiding until you reach the ends of the threads.

    To start sewing the rug together, start from the knot, then gently bend the braid where you did your 3 turns. Taking a needle and thread, start sewing the two sides together with small stitches, making sure to keep the braid flat. (If done properly, you will not see the thread from the front side.)blogentry-3775-1232654640_thumb.jpg

    Before going very far, we will have to deal with the knot. I put a small amount of white glue on my finger and rub it over the knot and the beginning of the braid, then leave it to dry.blogentry-3775-1232654761_thumb.jpg Once dry, cut the knot off and the end threads should remain together.blogentry-3775-1232654840_thumb.jpg If you are worried about the ends unravelling, you can always add another dot of white glue once you have sewn more of the rug together.

    Continue sewing the sides together, bending around the end where you did your second set of 3 turns.blogentry-3775-1232655054_thumb.jpg Then just continue sewing around and around, making sure to keep the braid flat. blogentry-3775-1232655144_thumb.jpg The right side will look like the next photo (note that the yellow thread should not show - I was doing this quickly and didn't notice it until after I had taken the picture.)blogentry-3775-1232655278_thumb.jpg

    Continue braiding and sewing until you have a rug of the desired size. When finished, just make a knot, add some glue, and cut off the knot once the glue dries, then sew in or tuck the ends under the rug.

    Here are pictures of the front and back of the first rug I did. blogentry-3775-1232655497_thumb.jpgblogentry-3775-1232655523_thumb.jpg Note that the shape may not be perfect, but you can get it to the right shape with a bit of tugging.

    If you run out of thread before you reach the size you want, or just want to change to another colour, just use a dab of white glue to join the two ends together, making the smallest bump possible. If you have to add more thread to all three strands, just stagger them so that the bumps are not all at the same place. They will not be very noticable anyway.

    Note, if you want a thicker rug, just use three strands of something a bit thicker than 6-thread embroidery thread.

    For a circular rug, although I have not done one myself yet, start the same way with the knot, then do enough 'round turns' so that the braid turns in on itself to form a small circle (the book suggests 6-12, depending on the thickness of the strands). Glue and cut at the knot, then continue with the normal straight braid until the desired size is achieved, sewing in a circular form instead of an oval.

    Good luck and happy braiding! ;)

  17. I have been working on this almost every day, but the photos just wouldn't tell much of a story! I am working on the exterior, but I am having trouble getting some pieces to fit, but the rest is coming along well.

    Here are photos of the hall on the second floor. The chair belongs to another house, but I like the Chrysnbon ones so much, I think I will have to get some for this house. It looks good here.

    blogentry-2572-1228729613_thumb.jpg

    Next pic shows the other wall with a little bedside I painted (actually it has been painted 3 different times!). The accessories won't stay, and I need to hang pics, but it is looking really good.

    blogentry-2572-1228729632_thumb.jpg

  18. Once you have completed your Layers of branches (I did 7) you will want to place your tree into a container. The instructions call for a box but I used a small terra cotta pot. I want to figure out another alternative to a stand but it has to have stability. The tree is on the heavy side and will topple over if it does not have a stable base.

    I warmed some Green Sculpy in my hand and formed a ball. I glued the inside of the pot and pushed the clay inside smoothing out the top. I put glue on the stem of the tree and pushed it into the clay. It is in there for good. LOL

    blogentry-583-1228048041_thumb.jpg

    I have started to decorate. I am making little ornaments with seed beads, beads from that package I showed in the top of the tutorial, miniature lights, and miniature candy canes.

    I have a ways to go but I thought I would show the progress so far.

    blogentry-583-1228048172_thumb.jpg

    This is my first attempt at this tutorial and I like some things and do not like others. I have followed the directions to the T, but the tree just does not form like I want it to. I will soldier on though. I want to make some modifications for the next tree that I make. I want a better stand that is more realistic, branches that lay better, branches that tier better, and find ways to make nicer ornaments.

    You all can see what the results are and can do your own modifications also. That is why I am leaving the instructions as is. You may want to add more layers or delete the layers. Your choice! ;)

    Soon I will make a skirt for the tree and lay out the presents.

    To be continued....

  19. My orchid

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    So really i dont really know what i want to do yet with the house.Picture.bmp.

    Ive tried stuff,and hated it. Right now im reworking

    everything execpt the exterior colors which are the ones in the obove picture.

    I wont really be blogging for a while because i cant really work on the house.

    I will be printing out all my wall paper,and i hope to finish it this coming year. Cant make any promises. TTFN