Did you pop the berries of the snowberry bush when you were a child? The scientific name is Symphorina, Symphorine in French. The lovely detail in the miniature is what caught my eye. I loved popping those berries when I was a child in The Netherlands, they grew all over the nearest city park. My Carpenter-in-Chief, as a child in Nova Scotia, also popped those berries, on the way to and from school. So the berries are also a bit of a nostalgia for childhood.
There may be a small Shabby Chic vignette in my future this year, and this is one of those plants that would tone beautifully in such a setting. You can find it at the blog jicolin, calendrier d'avant 2016, Dec. 16 - I really don't know why the blog won't let me add in a proper link, but just google jicolin and you will get there.
The maker used small styrofoam balls from Pascale Garnier, which were then baked to reduce the size; I prefer to use household items, so I used some model railroad scale apples for the tiny berries at the top of the branch. When I discovered these were much the same size as the poppy seeds in my pantry, I decided to use those for the second batch of baby berries I made.
When the tiny "berries" had dried thoroughly, I put more glue on the stems and added mustard seeds, shaping them a bit with my fingers. Once these larger "berries" were dry, I glued some extra seeds in the odd gap that appeared here and there.
Once the glue was dry, I painted the whole thing white for an undercoat, using a dry brush to remove excess paint from between the seeds, as it could hide detail. Once that was dry, the tiny seeds are painted a very pale green, and the larger seeds pink in one batch and white in the second, again dry brushing to clean up detail. I found a tiny bit of cream added to the white paint toned down the starkness a little. (I was taught that one should avoid stark white and stark black in miniatures as a rule.) I used a brown micro-tip permanent pen to make the tiny dot on the ends of the berries, that represent the bottom blossom. (I used a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen - you have to use a permanent pen, or paint, to prevent smearing when varnishing.) I had to touch up the green stems, then used satin varnish on the berries. For the leaves, I followed the tutorial on the advent calendar, as I had one of the suggested punches.
I tried to add a close-up of the berries, but the photo comes out sideways, although I rotated it previously; however, the computer won't let us - three of us have tried!
Then I spent a fair bit of the day figuring out how other miniaturists create those wonderfully shabby and chalky interiors, and making copious notes....