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Monday, June 8, 2015

Doll Size Celery Sticks

This week we are making the dolls another healthy snack, some celery sticks. I even show you how to fill them with peanut butter at the end if your dolls want that too.

I do plan to show you how to create the entire celery bunch just like you would bring home from the store but I felt it was a bit too advanced for what we are doing here. I made the decision when I started doing the clay tutorials that I was going assume my audience were beginners and work with all of you to build skills slowly. We will come back to the celery after we have had some more practice though. Also I was a bit short on a couple of the colors of clay so I need to find a good sale first too.

Let's start by talking about the colors of clay we are using today. I started off with my normal basic mix that I use in the smaller scales and then adjusted it to make the color better for this scale. Also my formula is for a slightly different mix of colors but I was out of some colors in the brands I developed the formula for. You will usually find similar colors between the brands and you can substitute one brand for another but then you usually have to adjust the mixture a bit. In the end I used the following:

2 parts Fimo White
4 parts Fimo Leaf Green
5 parts Premo translucent
8 parts Premo Cadmium Yellow Hue

I do suggest both having a piece of celery on hand to match too (and I have found the colors can vary a lot depending on the bunch of celery, time of year, etc) and pre-baking a sample of your clay mix to check it against your piece of celery. It is much better to adjust your clay mixture than to make up the batch and then be unhappy with the color and end up trashing it.

To get a real idea of how the color will be we do need to bake the sample of clay. That is because of the large amount of translucent clay in our mixture. It only needs to bake for about 5 minutes for you to have a fairly good idea of how it will look.

Once you have your clay the color you want it is time to start making our celery sticks. For this we again need a form to make our celery on. I am using aluminum knitting needles for this. As long as you are using the all metal ones they should be just fine in the oven. I'm not sure what size the double ended needle was but the other two were a size 5 and a size 8. I wouldn't go any larger than the 8 to stay in scale. I rolled out my clay with the #2 setting on my pasta machine and then just cut strips that would fit on the needles and wrap part way around.

To make the strings on the outside of the celery we are using a bolt from the hardware store. I have no idea what kind this one is or what size or even where it came from. It was just what was handy. When I make celery in the smaller (dollhouse) scales I usually roll the threads of the bolt along the celery but I found that dragging worked better in this scale.

When you have your knitting needles covered in celery it is time to bake them, I baked at 235 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Just check the packages of clay you are using. If, like me, you are using a mix of brands go the with the lowest suggested temperature from the different packages.

The next 2 steps need to be done while the clay is still warm. First we need to remove the knitting needles, be careful they are hot! I wrapped a paper towel around mine and they were still painful. Set them aside and let them cool completely before you use them again.

Now we need to cut our long pieces of celery into serving size pieces. I think I kept mine between ¾” and 1” at least that was my goal but I didn't feel the need to measure since I don't measure the real thing when I cut those.

If your dolls just want celery you are now finished.

If however, your dolls are begging for some peanut butter in some of their celery pieces we have a few more steps.

First find a clay that is “peanut butter” color for me that was Fimo Yellow Ocher. . Mix this clay into some Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS) trying to mix completely. Since my yellow ocher was so old and lumpy it wasn't mixing in so I also added some yellow ocher oil paint. If the lumps still show after baking I will just make the claim that the dolls used chunky peanut butter.

Spread some of this TLS peanut butter into some of your pieces of celery and bake again. I did find it necessary to make a bed of crumpled aluminum foil so my filled celery didn't roll around on the paper plate.

If you want to you can add a touch of satin finish (like Mod Podge or one of the finishes made for poly clay) to just the peanut butter portion. I am not going to on mine but some people might feel that it needs it.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just made celery sticks. Thanks for a great tutorial. I added one idea to your tutorial. The ends of the celery sticks that I cut off after removing from the knitting needles, I sliced into diced celery. I also chopped some of the slices a little smaller. Rather than throw them away, I could use them in a scene for chopping celery, or maybe in a casserole or stew. I'm off to try carrot sticks next.

    Thanks for such a great teaching series. I have done a little clay but you are expanding my horizons