Tide pool - first layer

I glued down the first layer of sea life into the bottom of the tide pools last weekend.  It looks superfluously colorful and busy now, but keep in mind this is just the first level.

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Wednesday I poured the first layer of resin.  Then I remembered I hadn’t poured on Sunday because I wanted to put some crushed up shell on the ground first.  Also, I forgot the sea stars.

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 The sea stars omission is not of great consequence, I can add them in subsequent layers.  I walked over to Joann’s yesterday afternoon for air dry clay.  I don’t want the sea stars flat and lifeless, I plan to shape them and let them dry in position.  Practice sculpts will commence this afternoon.

i am using a different resin than I have before.  EnviroTex Lite.  I decided upon it after researching model railroad forums.  I really like it so far, but each layer is a shallow, 1/8” pour, so this will take a while.  I will report my findings when the project is complete.


Two months

It’s been almost two months since I posted.  I’ve worked on a post several times, with a preamble on the current societal situations...how I feel anxious about the future, scared for loved ones, angry at my fellow citizens, guilty for being in a better situation than so many others.  It’s stressful for us all and I want you to know you are not alone, and I care about you.  I’m going to skip the planned preamble, as the stress, combined with everything else going on, makes me alternately cry and shout.  I am mostly coping in a balanced, healthy perspective, but some days it’s very difficult.  Thankfully I am much better about talking honestly with friends and family now than I used to be, and am not bottling it up inside.

Anyway....

I was working on the back wall of the conservatory build when I last updated you.  I finished bricking, then grouted, but I forgot to seal the wall first, so I had to remove all the grout that was loose then let the wall dry.  Some bricks came off.  It took a long time to dry, as it has been a humid summer here, then even longer to let a slight warp relax.   

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While the wall was drying I thought I’d work on the seascaping.  I mixed various sand colors then glued some into the bottom of the tide pools and immediately HATED IT.  I can’t get it back off without making a worse mess of the base, so I’m going to have to live with it or cover it.  I think I’m over the disappointment now.

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On a good note.  A wonderfully generous note, I got a box in the mail from blog reader and friend Bill, with a fascinating, beautifully documented assortment of natural supplies from the Pacific coast for the tide pool and future builds.  I am contemplating a biological station in the near future, next door to the Boatworks.

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After gawking for days I used some shells to fill a 1:12 printer’s tray from Stewart Dollhouse Creations.

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In an attempt to meet the deadline I’m going to continue on with the seascaping and leave the conservatory‘s back wall until the contest kit is done. More to come soon.

 

 


Seascaping plans

Thinking through the tide pool seascaping...

I am planning to build the seascape upward, in steps to match intertidal zones.

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I have been accumulating flora and fauna for months, as I researched.  I’ve arranged the fauna by zone, with the exception of sea stars, which will be sculpted in situ...

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I have lichens, flocking and lycopodium to serve as flora...

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I have sand, small rocks, and crushed shells to serve as substrate, and some larger faux rocks Nancy made from air dry clay...

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Nancy also sent some beach-combed treasure...

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I’ve also a few items gathered from nature that aren’t meant to be anything that lives in a tide pool, but won’t look out of place if I need to use some as filler...

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I am waiting for one more box of supplies before I start seascaping.  My friend Bill, who lives on the Pacific coast of Canada, assembled a mix of treasure for me, it is en-route now.  While I wait for it to arrive I have been happily engaged in Bill’s online research assignments.  :)


Conservatory base progress

I didn’t get the base finished this weekend, but I worked at an enjoyable pace and got a more than fair amount done.

The rocks will barely be visible in the end, but I had fun painting and it was good practice.

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I cut a piece of plywood for the back wall, stained and repaired a broken door, and started bricking.

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I screwed in pier supports cut from Trex scraps left over from my daughter’s remodel.

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The top surface of the pier will be made from strip cut from the Trex.  Trex is very, very messy to cut!  It makes ten times the sawdust.

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The whole front of me was as covered as my arm.  I used the shop vac to clean most of it off.  My husband walked in as I was vacuuming my boobs...he rolled his eyes, turned around, then walked back out.  :D

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The only thing that needs to be finished before I can move on to seascaping is the brick wall.  I can finish that this week in the evenings.

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I am using magnetic cabinet closures to attach the rear wall, so I can have access to the interior of the conservatory.

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The walled off square is room for electrical stuffs, should I decide to electrify.

I probably could have finished bricking the wall this evening, but I have to clean my studio at the end of every weekend, so I can use it for my office during the week.

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Anything I work on during the weekday evenings has to be low-mess and fit on my rolling cart.

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I am very much enjoying both working from home and having a clean room.