Inflatable (looking) pool

First of all, I apologize for not writing about the mugs, which I said I would on instagram…I just didn’t have the time to finish them up in time.  Next post for sure will be on that.

Anyways, the other day, I asked my niece who has a bit of Calico Critters at home, what she would want the most if I were to make it for her.  She said, “a small pool for babies.”  So I made the pool below.

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When my son saw it, he wanted his own for his town as well…(yes, he has his own town in his room, too.)  He wanted a blue whale shaped pool. After making two pools, I definitely recommend sticking to a circle shape if you are going to try it.  Whale shape was not the easiest to make nor did it turn out so pretty….

But alas, I forgot to take pictures of the pink circle pool, so you will get the tutorial on a whale shaped pool!

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First of all, on the 5mm thick foam board, draw and cut out the shape of the pool you want, in this case, a whale.

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This cut out will be the bottom of the pool.  Paint it however you like with acrylic paint.

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While the paint is drying, Cut out 3 strips of foam boards, one of them being 1.5cm, other two being 1cm each in width.

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Take the 1.5cm strip first for the inside of the pool.  Sand down only one side to give it a curved bottom for the pool wall.  The back side does not need to be sanded.

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With a low temperature glue gun, glue the inside wall onto the bottom curved side down, facing inwards.

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Now take one of 1cm strips, and sand both top and bottom leaving the back side untouched.  I should look like a half of a circle from the end of the strip.

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Glue on the strip on the bottom of the outside wall.

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Sand just the bottom of the last strip like the 1.5cm strip, and glue it on on above the last strip.

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Sand the top of the wall to give it a nice round shape.

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Paint the pool wall.

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Once the paint is dry, coat it with clear acrylic paint to give it a shine.

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You can be done with your pool at this point.  If you want, you could put a piece of clear plastic sheet on the bottom to make it look like it’s got water inside. I just happened to have resin at home, so that is what I used.

If you are using resin like me for the water, don’t forget to seal the bottom with a glue gun. Pour in clear casting resin. Once resin is cured, you are done!

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Now the whale pool is in my son’s town, where many of my craft prototypes end up in.  His town also has many different creatures….

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Tiered cake stand

I’ve seen cute miniature tiered cake stands sold online, but just for the sake of it, I decided to make one myself.  I put a couple in my cake shop, and one is the tea shop.  They are actually functional…he he.

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Here I’m going to explain how I made the silver stand in the tea shop.

First roll out your clay, and cut out 3 circles in different sizes.  You can also do this by flattening balls of clay instead, if that is easier.

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With the same clay, add some decorations on the edge of the circles.

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Once your circles are cured or dried, make a hole in the middle of each circle. Spear through a toothpick. Make sure the holes are just tight enough for the plates to stay on where you want.

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Cut the extra length of the toothpick, and your stand should look like this.

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Superglue some beads and wire etc for the top.

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For the silver, you can just use silver acrylic paint, or if you are looking for more metallic look like me, paint some liquid silver leaf all over the stand. Let it dry, and coat it with clear acrylic paint to finish.

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For the pink and gold plate stand on the left in the picture below, I used gold liquid leaf and pink polymer clay.

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Peonies and my new favorite clay

Hi, there! As I said in the last post, this one is a tutorial of peony flowers.

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Peonies have lots of petals, which makes it hard to work with especially since you have to make each petal thin enough to accommodate the rest of them into one flower.

I experimented with different brands’ polymer clays and I came to conclude that the “Kato Polyclay” is the best to work with when I want to make miniature flowers.  It’s tougher, not so sticky like others, and gets the hardest when cured. This brand requires you to kneed a lot before you start working on your projects, but your super tiny clay pieces will never stick to your fingertips and get ruined.

OK, so here is the tutorial….

First, you get your clay separated into 3 logs of different sizes. Get slices out (about 1mm thick each or less) with your exacto knife.  (For gradations, please refer to this and this.)

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Put one slice on your fingertip, then press it down with the tip of a toothpick. As you do that, try to leave some straight lines on the petal with the toothpick.

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Get the petal off your fingertip by sliding the tip of the toothpick under the petal and curl the tip slightly.

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Layer 5 petals like the picture below.

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With the back of the toothpick, gently press down on the layered middle part so stick the petals together.

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Make these 5 petal flowers as many as you need. There are so many types of peonies out there, so it’s best to try different combinations to get the look you want. Here I made two of each size.

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Starting from the bottom, layer the flowers one set at a time, and press down the middle gently each time.

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When you are done with all the layers, the flower should look like this below.

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Some peonies have the yellow color in the middle showing, if you are going for that look, here is what you do…make tiny layers of yellow and darker yellow (or green).

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Put the yellow circle in the middle, push it down gently with a toothpick.

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With the tip of a sewing needle, pick the yellow clay up little by little.

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Finally, lift and shape your peony petals in to the angle you want, and bake!

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Next post is going to be the cake stand you can see in the picture above.