I just realized yet again, I haven’t updated this blog with more current photos of progress on the fantasy dollhouse. In my defence, there was the usual insanity of the holiday season coupled with maybe overcommitting myself to volunteering, plus a complete revision of my latest book. You know, the usual. 😉
Anyway, it took me so long to get the trees and “moss” added that my original intention to get photos became impossible (or at the very least, pretty darned uncomfortable) with the arrival of snow. So, yet again you have to up with pictures in my could-be-tidied-craft room.
Onto the how: after I finished painting the egg carton shingles and aging the heck out of everything, it looked pretty dull to me. Plus, I’ve fallen in love with the look of moss covered roofs. I’m sure they’re terrible in real life, but this is fantasy, right? I started by splattering lime and greeny-yellow paint lightly over the roof to simulate lichen. I also decided that after all the trouble I’d taken to paint the roof tiles, I didn’t want to completely cover them in moss. From there I added glue and used “Green Grass Fine Turf” (the kind from railroad landscaping supply) and added it to places where moss tends to grow, particularly in gulleys, under the shingles, anywhere it can settle. I also added the occasional lichen since I read evidently, you can even get things like tomato plants growing in the shingles, and that sounded fun.
Adding the green helped, but I also needed the trees. My original thought on these was that I wanted the trees to actually form the four corners of the building. But, since I like the faux-beams I have, instead I blended the trees into the wood. These are made of a wire armature covered in paper. The final bark, to give it a somewhat smooth maple-like mark was tissue and glue, built up to form the roots. Eventually I’d like to finish the garden in front of the house (it’s about the only place I have room for a garden). But for now, it’s a start. The maple leaves were cut out using a leaf punch out of simple printer paper I painted on both sides with shades ranging from pale green to browns, yellows, and oranges. I decided that this garden is going to simulate the very early autumn season, so not everything has changed colours yet (including the rose bush.) I glued lichen to the ends of each branches to simulate finer branches, and from there added each leaf one by one with tweezers (yes, really.)
The climbing rose was a new adventure. I’ve never built a vine like this, but chose to build this one similarly to the trees. Which meant starting with a wire armature and building it into “branches” that all connect to a base kind of trunk. I gave it texture by coating in texture paste, then painting deep brown / grey, and dry brushing with greys and greens. I had to use hot-glue to attach it to the tower, since it kept falling down otherwise, and I wasn’t able to achieve the kind of twining look I wanted (as if there really was more roughness to my “stone tower” for the vine to cling to. From there, I again added small pieces of lichen to act as smaller, new growth branches. The roses are all hand sculpted from polymer clay shaded with chalk pastels before baking. Leaves were cut out of printer paper again painted on both sides, but this time in shades of yellows and greens (since I didn’t want it to be too late of autumn.)
I’m particularly pleased with the climbing rose, since I feel it definitely adds that fantasy element and softens some of the harshness the house can have to set the tone for the right kind of fantasy (ie: not super dark and creepy.) I’ll either move onto the interior next or the garden, but the other houses are definitely feeling (and looking!) neglected, so they may crop up soon.
What do you think? Any suggestions for what I plant in my magical garden?
Thanks as always for stopping by. And remember: what happens in the craft room, stays in the craft room. Happy crafting!