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April 2017
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13 posts from May 2017

coming in the fall, to an etsy near you

But coming even sooner to a mini-house near me...bwah, ha, ha, ha.   My miniaturist potter friend, April, is making me some coffee mugs and a birdbath for the contest build.

Handful mugs

Bb cluster side

Bbath top

I'll let you all know when her etsy shop opens.  For now, you can find her on instagram: aprilwrightpottery, facebook: April Wright, or twitter: April Wright Pottery, where you can see tempting pictures of her other mini pottery.

another water/paper trick and fixing the sink

I tapped the flat roof back out, I have to fix the sink.

I still had the piece I cut out the first time, so glued it back in.  I then drilled a hole for the new sink, a bit smaller and in the right place.


That's a step bit, in case you didn't know.


And...all cleaned up.   See that shiny bit at the bottom?  That's the faucet, I tested to be sure the sink hole was large enough, dropped it, then had to fish it out with a pair of tweezers.


I'm going to be forever dropping stuff down there if I don't stopper the hole.  I couldn't reach in from the bottom, so I cut a circle a bit larger from black paper, threaded a piece of sewing thread through it, put quick tack glue along the edges, bent it enough to fit it sideways down through the hole, then used the thread to pull it up into place, and held it until the glue sufficiently set. Once the glue was completely dry I pulled the thread out, then sealed the whole shebang with gel medium.


To cover the old sink hole I'm going to use another paper and water trick to create a patch.

I cut a square larger than needed from the paper my countertop is covered in.  I wet the edge of the back side, and using my fingernail, scraped away a layer of paper, to thin the edges out.


I did that around all four sides.  The paper is very fibrous, so it didn't work quite as well as I wished it would have.  This is the front of the patch, ready to glue on the countertop.


Let me show you this technique using card stock.

Wet the edge, and use your fingertip to scrub away some of the paper.


Do that around all four sides, then go around again, but only half as far in as you did the first time, to thin the outer edge more.  Also pull at the very edge with your fingernail to tear the edge so that it's not straight.


This is the front side of the completed patch.  It has to dry before it's glued on.   I sped things along with my hair dryer.


I glued the patch on the same cardstock, next to a square, cut, patch.

DSCN5132 (3)

They are both still noticeable, but then, when I do this....


Where'd it go?!?

Obviously, this isn't a technique you'd use patching wallpaper in your living room, but it has appropriate moments.  When I built the mill I covered the exterior in a mottled, yellow, paper, to simulate stucco, and used this technique on the edges so that joins wouldn't be noticeable, but would look like cracks.  You can see it best in this picture.  I used colored pencil to enhance the join on the left side, it's in its natural state on the right.

Moulin paper

So, how did the patch work out on my countertop?


Not bad.  I put the thinner edge at the front, the thicker at the back.  Once I put stuff on the counter you won't even see it.

I still don't like the sink hole, now it's too far back.  I may putter with it some more.


all the things I screwed up today

I screwed up the coffee bar.  First, I glued the paper backsplash to the wall crooked; thankfully that's easily fixable, I can glue another piece over it.  Then I cut the hole for the sink without dry fitting the countertop on the cupboards, so cut it too far forward.  I decided this wasn't too big a deal, since the coffee bar won't be seen head on, so put a black piece of paper on the bottom on the counter instead of a bowl for a proper sink.  I glued the countertop in place, but was so distracted by the sink hole that I didn't notice, until after the glue dried, that I don't like the sink where it is, that it would look better over the other cupboard door.  That's fixable too, maybe, if I haven't screwed up the chance (read on).


You noticed the crooked wall.  As I said, read on.

I papered the ceiling of the main room.  That was difficult, because the roll of wallpaper didn't want to lie flat.  I managed it okay, it's not perfect, but it's only imperfect in a couple of spots that will be noticeable only to myself.


Then I attempted to slide the flat roof piece into place, which I've done successfully since I glued the top wall piece into place, but not in the last few weeks.  I've kept trying it, daily, thinking it may be humidity, but finally accepted it wasn't going to work.  I spent over an hour sanding it thinner, trying to fit it, sanding, fitting, sanding, fitting, sanding, fitting, sanding fitting...


When it was almost there I got frustrated and whacked it into place with a mallet.


This impatience cost me, of course. I screwed up the wallpaper and knocked a wall askew.




Now I have to decide if I want to whack the flat roof back out again, so I can fit my drill in to boar a new sink hole, or if I should leave well enough alone, live with the sink as it is, and not risk damaging things further.

I should have listened to Ester this morning when she asked me not to leave the recliner.





how I made the torn edge pages for the journal

First I laid out a grid of same size pages on a pieces of paper, but instead of using a pen or pencil I used a tool to score the lines.  I don't want ink or graphite on the edges of the pages, and scoring helps fold the pages later.


Then, using a new (clean) paintbrush, I brushed water onto the lines I wanted to tear.


Let the water soak through, then slowly pull the two sides away from each other.


That, my friends, is how you tear paper where you want it to be torn; weaken it with water.  You don't need to score first for the water to work, I was just marking my lines. This technique works fantastically freehand, or to tear on a curvy line.  Thicker paper, like cardstock, requires multiple passes with your brush, keep checking the back side until the line has soaked through.  Thin water lines are precise, thick water lines yield jagged tears.  If you want to stain the edges a bit, use tea or coffee instead of water.  Play with it, and have fun.





snakeskin journal

I painstakingly made a faux snakeskin journal today, similar to the one I made Susan last October and the two for Kat a couple of months ago.  This cover isn't as well done, though the torn edged pages turned out great.




Serious crafting is out for a couple of weeks or so, I sprained my wrist doing some hard-core gardening this weekend.


ceiling no-no-no-no-no-nos

I anticipate any pattern on the ceiling is going to be too much in competition with the carpet, but let's take a look.






Huh.  I like that.



Let's try off-white...first a grayish white, then a cream...though in the pictures you probably won't be able to tell the difference...




Better.  It's boring but it works. 

What if I repeat the grid in the carpet on the ceiling?


Yuck.  That was wasted cricut time.


So....stripes or creamy white?  What do you think?


sizes dilemmas

The cricut couldn't cut the word ATLAS small enough to fit on the cover of Nancy's journal.


It did a wonderful job with the lettering for the front door, though.



I found succulents patterned wrapping paper while browsing online, and thought it would be really neat to look over the succulent planted roof, through the windows, and see succulents on the ceiling inside.  I couldn't tell if the picture online was of the whole sheet of wrapping paper or jut a snippet, so I couldn't determine the scale.  I bought it anyway. 


The scale is much too large.


It doesn't really fit the feel of the room anyway.  It's too playful, while the carpet is thoughtfully serious.  Two many conflicting patterns.


I threw a 75% off calendar in the cart, because cheap paper.  It was much larger than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise.  The dimensions are listed online, but I wasn't paying attention.  It's large enough to sprawl out and take a nap on.



You may see the succulent paper show up later, in a more appropriate setting.

Nancy's journals done

I took the last journal in a different direction than the others.  It's the one with the coffee dribbled pages...also I miscounted the bifolia and had to create more.


The little black book stuffed with receipts is where I document all the minis I buy, so I can keep track of which artist made what, and so that when I die my daughter has some idea of how much the stuff is worth.  The receipts are from the 2016 Chicago shows, I'm a bit behind.

I like how the mini version turned out.  I used 1/8" elastic, which is the smallest I could easily find locally.  I added in a few more scraps of paper once I assembled it.


Here are the dozen, all done.  Well, maybe all done, I want to see how small the cricut can cut the word ATLAS from white vinyl.


Gratuitous kitten nom, nom, nom...