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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Creating a Miniature Garden Part 3 - Final

Finally, the side garden portion of the Camp MiniHaHa '12 project is done. I added the last bits this morning, now all that is left is to put up the bird shelter and add the as yet to be repainted cat. This is an overview of the completed garden.

The newly added plants in the right side of the garden include bergamot, dusty miller, leucanthemum or crazy daisy, astilbe, and the ageratum and alyssum at the very front. The sunflowers have had some leaves added so their stems didn't look quite so bare. I wish I could still get the heavy gauge covered flower wire I used for the sunflower and hollyhock stems, but I can't, locally. Hopefully once I figure out what gauge I was using, I can order it via the internet.

The right side of the garden has also gotten a dusty miller, and some ageratum and alyssum along the very front edge. The ageratum was made with railroad foliage clusters and custom-mixed flocking for the tiny fuzzy purple flowers. The alyssum is reindeer moss with the tiniest white flower punchies, cut with a custom cutter from Ruth Hanke, of Hanky Panky Crafts. I still need to add some leaves to the hollyhock stems, but have to buy the punch first!

Some of the flowers I developed for this garden will also show up in my Apothecary Garden, which I will be working on in October. Bergamot is what gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavour, it belongs in a herbal garden. Dusty Miller is an Artemisia, the family from which wormwood, the dangerous ingredient in absinthe and a flavouring for vermouth, is distilled. And I think I've figured out how to make a fairly convincing camomile plant....

All in all, I am very happy with this garden. It was more work than I had planned, and got fancier than I had planned as well. Now on to decorating the front of the shop, then it will be the inside. I need to make lavender, pansies and possibly a hydrangea, as well as making the prototypes for my gift exchange items and tidbits for this year's Camp MiniHaHa, the end of September.

By the way, most of the plants in the garden were made with scrapbooking-type punches; if anyone wants a particular tutorial, let me know and I will add it on the blog. The flowers are mostly paper, both commercial coloured paper and hand-painted, much of the foliage is also paper, and I also used coloured sand and ground foam, as well as flocking, to make some of the plant parts.

Feedback is always very welcome!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Creating a Dollhouse Garden Part 2

A few days later, and the garden is starting to fill in. The left side has a mauve petunia plant, and in front of the hollyhocks are day lilies. Below them are pinks and pansies, and next to them peonies. Then there are the gaillardias, some blue and some white delphiniums with purple hearts, and a medium-size hosta with a stalk of blooms.

The side of the garden nearest the fence needs shade-loving plants. I have a mauve astilbe ready to plant, but need to come up with something the height of the delphiniums before planting them. I'd also like to add a miniature version of the very large, blue-grey hosta in my Real Life garden. And my mind is trying to create bergamot or ragged robin, as well as some very low-growing edging plants for the very front of the garden, like purple ageratum and white Artemisia. (For some reason, that word capitalized itself!)

The hollyhocks at the edge of the garden need some more leaves, so I have to pick up a geranium-type leaf punch a size bigger than the one I've already used. I'd also like to try some dusty miller plants, as I have two sizes of punches for them; the challenge will be in creating the right shade of dusty gray foliage.

The foliage for the day lilies was made with dollar store plastic grass, cut to a point and the ends curled over. It works very well for this type of foliage. I used to use painted green paper twist ties, but those are now scarcer than hen's teeth! I have a few left, and some red ones, and am saving those for plants where plastic foliage just can't be used. Fortunately, the plastic grass comes in three colours, and I still have two darker, unused ones as well as the remainder of what I used for the day lilies.

To allow Real Life to intrude for a bit, I went river tubing today with my husband and daughter. The rivers here are running quite high, due to all the rain, so it was a lovely drift through a mostly rural countryside. I'd hoped to see some kingfishers (my daughter had seen them on the same trip two years ago), but they weren't out. However, the fly fishermen were - the river is salmon habitat and also supports trout. Lovely day! Next on my bucket list of things to do is zip-lining a short drive away from here - at one point you fly over an inlet of the Saint John River. Just have to hope for more sunny weather....

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Follow-Up to Designing a Dollhouse Garden

So here is the garden as far as it is planted today - the back row of tall plants and the rose bush are in place. Next is the middle height row, for which I will have to make some more plants. The area right next to the fence is in shade, so it needs some shade-tolerant plants, like astilbe and hostas. I've made some of the former, but have yet to make the hostas. My real life garden has a large area that is in shade quite a bit of the time, and it contains half a dozen or more different astilbe varieties and at least a dozen, if not more, hostas. So that will be part of my plan for tomorrow - unless the weather is warm and sunny, in which case I may do something out of doors. The rose bush still needs a number of buds, for which I have to go through my supply of mustard or other seeds. Painted the right colour, with a sepal of painted paper, they make very convincing buds.

I don't know what happened to the previous picture, the computer just wouldn't recognize it. So I took another one. At least in this one the dirty dishes in the sink don't show up! Just egg cartons, baby wipes and scissors and other stuff used to build this garden.

Creating a Dollhouse Garden Part I

For the last several very rainy, gloomy days I've been back at work on my Camp MiniHaHa '12 (CMHH'12) project, and I'm quite happy to this point. The first thing was to pave the street side of the shop, and I used egg carton stones for this, using a number of tutorials on the net. My stones are intended to be slate, so they are gray primarily; to add a bit of life I dry-brushed Pewter Gleam paint here and there, to mimic the reflective inclusions in slate. Three colours of gray and a dry brushing of beigy-gray were used to add depth to the stones. Then I planted moss in the cracks. I really am happy with this, see photo below.

The next step was the ultramarine blue fence, made from popsicle sticks, of course. I had seen a photo of a fence painted this colour on Pinterest, and really loved the look, so added it to my setting. Then I placed the little bench, and realized the door would look so much better if it was painted the same colour as the bench, a wonderful light turquoise or robin's egg blue. Love it! I will add some faux door hardware to it once the garden is finished. The two blues really liven up the whole scene.

In a previous post, I had mentioned that I would need to add some height to my planting on the side of the vignette. So I added the trellis, and twisted some brown paper-covered flower wire to create the framework for a climbing plant. It was a toss-up between clematis or roses, and as this setting is intended to be the flower fields of Provence, I opted for roses. My favourite rose is the raspberry-scented wild rose that grows on beaches and seaside areas around the Bay of Fundy. It comes in white, pink or raspberry, and has large, single blossoms.

I used a five-petal cutter for the roses, and shaped each blossom 3 times. Some of them are intended to be just opening, some have been open for a couple of days, and some are pretty much blown. The centre of each flower was coloured with white pencil. The centres consist of wires double-dipped in glue and yellow sand, and then with a ring of orange-y floral foam added below that. I like the result, and my husband recognized the type of rose immediately. I still have to make up some buds at various stages. The leaves were punched with a five-leaf punch using hand-painted paper. It is hard to see, but the leaves aren't  perfect; some of them have been chewed by insects, and like all roses, there are some rust spots on the leaves. I love roses, but don't grow them!

The leaves go on first, of course, and the blossoms are added later. The rose vines are attached only to the trellis, the whole garden area slides out for repairs and maintenance. The base is pink builder's foam, painted, and the tea leaf dirt is being added as the flowers are planted. I shifted some of the larger bottom leaves lower down, and added some of the smaller leaves in their place, as I wanted the vines to be a  little airier. Also, there was a small detail on the trellis centre that  I hoped would show.

There is a problem uploading the last photo, so I will publish this and hopefully, add the last photo later.