10 posts from August 2016
I built up the base of the rocky landscape layer by layer, each morning and evening last week, giving each layer plenty of time to dry while I was at work or sleeping. The soil in spots is a mixture of coffee grounds and sand. I lightly scrubbed each dried layer with the bristle attachment of my shop-vac, sucking off the rocks that didn't stay put. When I was satisfied I had enough rocks securely adhered I glued green flocking in the larger areas where I could still see the board showing through.
My second shipment of helper items arrived, in the form of ready-to-glue-down clumps of grass, from Scenic Express.
I positioned the golden ones under the trailer, where the sun would have been obscured and the grass died. I let gaps between rocks, where the board showed through, guide placement of the rest.
I adore the little clumps of grass. I'm not too fond of the weed tufts, so didn't use all of them. They were much harder to work with; the tops are sticky which makes them difficult to handle without squashing them out of shape.
I didn't get as much coverage as I hoped so I ordered more, they'll arrive this week.
While I was waiting for the glue on the grass tufts to dry I assembled a dandelion kit I bought from Paula Gilhooley at the Bishop show in April.
Then I fussed with the trailer a bit. Remember the fuzzies I made on the wheels by sanding down the treads? Husband told me to take an open flame to them. AGHH! That did not work. I melted holes in the wheels. It also showed me I was smart to stop sanding when I did. I have an almost dried up bottle of liquid electrical tape that is now the consistency of thick molasses, so I pushed it into the holes from the back side. The largest hole got a rock glued in, per Kat's suggestion in the comments a couple of weeks ago. I also smeared it around where the wheel hubs meet the tires, because that wasn't a tight fit and I could see light between them.
I didn't tell Husband I melted holes in the wheels following his suggestion because he'd just reply that he also told me to do it carefully, then I would want to stab him in the head with a steak knife.
I broke the wheel off when I was repairing the holes, so glued it back in place as best I could. Now it's mostly held in place by the sticking power of hopefulness. I may have to wedge a rock under the wheel to give it more support.
After I touched up paint where needed and fastened on the license plate, I glued the trailer atop the cement blocks and weighted it down to dry.
I dated it. Now I have to finish by the end of September.
The license plate should have rounded corners and raised lettering to be more realistic looking, and the plate number isn't centered, but I was in a 'screw it' state of mind by then. I did put it on with double-stick tape instead of glue, in case I want to get persnickety later and make a new one.
While the trailer was settling in I touched up paint on the building and glued a broken baluster back together. Once the trailer was secure I glued the building on top and weighted it down to dry. I went to visit my Dad in the hospital, then stopped at the museum for some art therapy. (I'll post art museum pictures later this week, there were some fascinating exhibits.) When I got home I glued and clamped the whatchamacallit things-that-go-over-the-wheels in place.
I measured the whatchamacallits to cover the wheels completely, but then cut the axles a bit too long and the wheels stick out further than I intended, so the whatchamacallits don't cover them. I'm going to blame it on changing the regular wheels out for off-road wheels, so the artist could haul the trailer further into the forest.
Whallah. Now I'm ready to start arranging all the little stuffs inside.
I started with a very clear image in my mind of where I wanted this project to end, but the second easel Mike is sending me has given me a new path I could follow, which I can visualize just as clearly. I will have to arrange both concepts, photograph them, then ask for your input on a final decision.
The deadline for the contest build is creeping up faster than I'd like. I had grand plans to build an easel, make brushes and paint tubes, a taboret, shelving, art supplies, etc...but life happened. My assistant was out for three months on maternity leave and I had to work overtime (she's back full time next week), I knocked my C1 and C2 vertebrae out of alignment (all fixed now), my Dad had a stroke (getting a little better every day)....it's been busy. I would really, really like to, for the first time, be able to photograph this build outside before all the leaves have fallen from the trees. So...I bought some stuff. I got my first shipment of supplies yesterday...I definitely made the right decision.
The craftsmanship on these pieces is beautifully precise. Thank you, Mike! Go check out Mike's Etsy store. Drool over his complete kitchens, shop furnishings and entertainment units...his paintings are gorgeous...if I were independently wealthy I'd already own the table saw and lathe. As it is, I loved what I received so much that I ordered a second easel this morning, before I shared the link. He's got an adjustable easel for sale now, I should have waited.
I'm gushing, I know, but I'm that impressed.
On with the pictures! (Forgive me, Mike, for prying the carefully arranged items off the taboret, but as lovely as it is, it doesn't fit my color scheme, so needs a coat of paint.)
The second batch of hot boiled beach rocks is in play....
The house and trailer aren't glued in place yet, they are resting there so I can determine where to glue the steps down, after I scrape off rocks I already glued down. I got ahead of myself ;)
It rained on and off all weekend, so I never made it to the beach for tiny rocks. I puttered around with odds and ends in my studio instead.
I'm not sure what kind of wood I used but it was a pleasure to work with and I love the color. It's a scrap from one of my brothers-in-law. I milled some mini lumber from it on my table saw, then built some freestanding steps for the contest house.
Update...I took a piece of the wood to the office with me this morning, as a couple of my coworkers also enjoy woodworking. The consensus is that it's either redwood or cedar.
The trailer is finished, it is being inspected today.
Husband cut a piece of wood for the base. I put feet on, then coated it with some horrid water based stain I can't use for anything nice. Now it's play time. :D
It didn't take long to discover that I have to go to the beach today to sift more rocks out of the sand. Heartbreaking, isn't it? Don't you feel sorry for me? ;)
Notice the cement blocks? They are the reason I built the trailer. Not because I wanted a tiny house, but because I bought these super cool cement blocks a while ago, then couldn't figure out what to do with them.
Now...where's my bikini? The sun is coming out.
It took me five stores to find wheels the correct diameter that weren't on a toy car that cost a small fortune. I ended up with a two pack of trucks for five dollars. Four wheels plus four extra. I discovered, as I was forcibly breaking the wheels loose, that the trucks have a button on top that, when pushed, makes very loud, startling, engine revving and horn honking sounds. I almost peed my pants. The truck landed on the floor across the room.
The exaggerated tread pattern is unnecessary, I spent a very long time sanding it down for very little effect. I was left with plastic fuzzies that look worse. Husband suggested I very carefully expose the fuzzies to an open flame; I'll try that today.
Perhaps I'll make the landscape rockier than planned, so the off-road wheels appear purposeful.
I enjoyed my day in the sunshine last weekend. I sifted a good amount of tiny rocks from the beach sand to use for landscaping in the contest build. I boiled them for safety this morning.