Saturday, September 17, 2016

2016 HBS Creatin' Contest Progress - A Pictorial Update...

I have been completely engrossed in working on the Creatin' Contest build for the last couple weeks, but nothing was "done" enough to share.  Now, I have so much to share that if I talked about every step this post would be super long! I'll just put some captions on the photos and write whenever anything needs explaining...

*** Note: I am taking photos with an iPhone 5s - not the greatest way to capture clear, sharp photos of miniatures. Add to that my lighting. I have a 5 arm chandelier which has 5 bright white LED bulbs installed. This is great for seeing what you are working on - a vast improvement over the 60 watt clear bulbs I was stuck with for nearly four years. BUT, they confuse the poor iPhone camera. Some things I focus on become way too washed out while the background is often dark and hard to make out details. I try to do the best I can editing the photos, but there again my tools are only marginal. I apologize for the photo quality, and would welcome any advice on a great, affordable digital camera for minis, and an affordable and user friendly editing software.

Now on to the not so great photos...

Prepping the exterior trim for spray painting. I am fortunate to have an insulated and heated garage so can pretty much spray paint all year round. 
Prepping the diamond speed shingles to be spray painted. What a huge time saver this is!

I used the Rustoleum stone spray with the texture. It takes a few coats and smells like petroleum but really leaves a nice asphalt looking result. Don't be freaked by the curling - overnight they all laid flat again.

They were really quick and easy to install with Quick Grip. With the human eye, there is not so much variance in the coloring as it looks in the photo. It actually looks really natural.

The inside has turned into a catch-all while I work on the exterior. Who's the piggy now?

My brilliant husband saw me struggling to find a ridge cap solution. He walked right over to my wood supply display and came right back with a piece of cove molding. I never would have though of it. I likely would have made a shingle cap but this was so much simpler. I think it goes well with the cartoony theme, too!
With the roofing done, I could finally install the chimney! I am still working on my caulking skills, but will save the amendments for when I do the final touch ups.
Using some of the shelf kit parts, I combined it with a larger piece of wood to make the piggies bath shelf. I spray painted them in the same trim color, then added three hooks - one for each pig.
I painted the pigs initials - one for Bob, Joe and Sam. These will indicate on the bath shelf whose towel and bath pouf is whose.
Using a low quality baby washcloth, I cut the towels - one for each of them. I painted on some watered down Elmer's glue, arranged them into shape, held the tops with a little clamp, then let them dry overnight.
Instead of just painting the inside of the acrylic jars, I wanted them to look like real bubbled bath mix. I discovered how to do that by accident. I use 2 part epoxy for all sorts of mini things, and often add a bit of acrylic paint in to make things like milk. I discovered that Amazing casting resin actually starts to react with the paint as soon as it begins to harden, causing it to literally bubble up like soda when shaken. There is a small working time to get the stuff into the jar, and add only a little because IT GROWS like magic rocks! It is still pliable, like taffy for a few minutes. Let your imagination fly! It hardens overnight, but marvelous sponges, cheese and simulated bubble baths can be achieved with practice!

I wish I had remembered to take photos of the reaction and end substance. I promise I will in a future post.

It's hard to really see the bubbles in this photo, and I had to squish the milk bath foam down to fit in the jar a bit. I swirled extra brown paint into the mud bath jar. Pigs just love their mud baths! I drilled holes in the lids and added tiny door knobs as handles.

Here's the shelf mounted on the wall of the front porch. The piggies have all they need: Milk Bath, Mud Bath, a rubber ducky, and their own personal towels and bath poufs. You have to use your imagination when wondering how they actually fit into that small galvanized tub!

During all of the drying time in between projects, I had a flower factory going. It seems like when you plant a mini flower garden that you always wish you had more flowers. I made lots! I had nine kits all together, and my favorite by far were the ones by Bonnie Lavish. So simple to do, and such great results. Just the fact that her leaves are done with a hole in the center makes them appear so much more realistic. Next time I do some mini shopping, I'll be restocking these kits!

So pretty! I want more!!!
Nothing says 'this is a happy home' like a welcoming bunch of colorful flowers!

I really had just enough in the end. Next time I order kits, I'll add 20% more than I think I might need!
The little house mailbox even looks better with it's added landscaping!

I had a third lantern to match the interior lanterns, but when it arrived broken I wrothe it off. I am glad I pulled it back out again, because I was able to carefully deconstruct it and insert a new bulb. It went back together beautifully, and I was able to tie it into the wires running down the roof. I painted all three with a coat of bronze metallic glaze, and the all look so much better!
When I made the base and installed the trim, I left space that I could use to add a littel greenery on the front opening side of the structure and all along the back. For the back, I wanted something simple so I just made a couple quick hedges out of foam and clump foliage. Even after you spray them with Scenic Cement, they tend to shed a little. I will just keep spraying on layers over the next few days until they give up!
I debated on whether I should put the garden on the front porch or back here. Back here won after I saw all of those luscious flowers. I made a small brick patio with real bricks for the tomatoes and gardening supplies and used the rest of the space to "plant" the vegetables. One of the zucchini plants had to be eliminated for space reasons, but I hope to use it elsewhere. 
These are a set of bargain garden tools that come unfinished. It was easy to age them with some brown and black washes. I made the hanging shelf from scrap wood and small picture hanging nails I had in a kit around the house. The whole unit got a coat of age and grunge. I have plans for the top shelf in a later post...

Small brick patio with tomato pots, fertilizer and a galvanized watering can.

Just enough vegetables to be put up for winter!

Instead of planting it in the ground, I planted the Swiss Chard in the bucket that came with the dry sink kit. It serves a great purpose - it sits on the removable cover over the junction splice. The white you see beneth is only liquid electrical tape. I wanted to add another layer before I paint it brown to blend in.

Here is where the 12v pronged cord will plug in. Once the brown paint has been added, it will blend right in.
A major portion of the build has been accomplished and I feel really good about where I am at with the contest deadline. I have a few outdoor accessories I'd like to add to the mix, so look for some fun tutorial projects in my next post. I'll give you a hint - it's about birds and bees!

Have an awesome and relaxing weekend, my friends! I plan to start mine thinking about all of the wonderful things that I am grateful for!