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Monday, December 21, 2015

Doll Size Mashed Potatoes

I am going to say right off the top here that this project did not go the way I had planned. I am still not sure why I was having so much trouble with the TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) I use this product a lot and this was by far the most trouble I have ever had with it. I decided to leave that struggle in so you can see I sometimes run into problems too and I just work through them. I have already put a new bottle of TLS on my shopping list for this week. Hopefully it was just that the bottle I had was old and had thickened up over time.

I have been planning to do this project for about a month but I just didn't have the time before this. In a way that worked to my advantage because when I took my youngest son to do his Christmas shopping last week one of the stores he wanted to stop at the Cost Plus World Market. I was so happy to find the small casserole dish on the display. I picked up another style bowl that I will be using in a future tutorial too. It does pay to really look at items while you are out and about you never know where you find something that can be used for the dolls.

If you can't find the same casserole or just don't want to use a breakable container feel free to use what you can find. The only requirement, other than being in scale is that it be made of a material that can be baked. That will eliminate plastic containers.

Here is a photo of the casserole I used both the inside and the bottom (with the price tag) to help you find what you are looking for. I am also including this link to the set of the little dishes on the Cost Plus website if you want to order them from there.

Since the casserole is fairly deep and I really didn't want have to grate enough clay to fill it all the way I used some regular polymer clay to fill the dish most of the way up. This will never be seen so use any clay you have. If you are using a scrap clay I would top it with a thin layer of white clay just in case you can see the top past the edge of the mashed potatoes. Bake this filler clay in place and allow to cool.

You will also need a wad of white clay that is baked into a shape that is comfortable to hold. I used Original Sculpey but any white clay will work for this. This will also need to be cooled before the next step.

Once this prep work is done it is time to start grating the cooked wad of white clay. The perfect grater for this in my opinion is a nutmeg grater just like you might use in the kitchen. Just remember that once you use it for clay it can not be used for food again. I purchased an inexpensive one a few years ago just for clay and keep it with my other clay tools.

You are going to need a lot of grated clay, enough to more than fill the area you are trying to fill. Once it is mixed with the TLS it seems to shrink a bit. I thought I was going to have extra and I needed all I created.

Once you have your clay grated and ready to go you need to tint a portion on TLS. I use oil paints for this, you will need both a white paint and a yellow ochre one. Use mostly white with just a touch of the yellow ochre. You just want to “warm up” the white color and make it look creamy.

Now mix the TLS into the grated clay. This is where I ran into trouble if yours is thick like mine just keep working it and eventually you will get a workable mixture. Normally this is a relatively quick process for me. Like I said my TLS was extremely thick. I am not really sure what could be used to thin it but I might do some research on the possibilities in the future. You are looking for a mixture that ressembles real mashed potatoes. When you get the texture you want simply pile it on top of the filler in your casserole diss.

Now bake the entire casserole again and allow to cool.

You can also use some of the grated clay/TLS mixture to make mounds of mashed potatoes for the individual plates for your doll's dinner.

If you would like to make a casserole dish instead of buying one I would recommend using some cardboard from a cereal box to make something the correct size. I showed you how to make baking pans in a previous tutorial which you can find here.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Doll Size Glitter House Makeover

A week or two ago I was walking the aisles of Christmas stuff at the local Joann's. When I came to the display of glitter houses I was very happy to find some that were just the right size for our 18” dolls. The only problem (in my mind anyway) was that all they had in this size were plain white ones. I really wanted one of the pretty colored ones but they were only in the larger sizes. Since they were on sale for around $2 each I decided to take a chance on coloring one.

I thought about a couple of different ideas for getting color on the house. Acrylic paint would definitely add color but it would cover up all the pretty glitter. Then I remembered a technique I had seen on a card making video on how to color glitter paper with alcohol markers. I decided to give it a try and it works really well.

If you aren't familiar with alcohol markers they are markers that have an ink with an alcohol base. Good old Sharpies are probably familiar to all of us and some of you might be familiar with the ones from the Bic called Mark-Its. I also have a collection of Spectrum Noir Alcohol markers that I bought myself last year for card making. I love them and use them a lot.

You can use any of the alcohol markers including Sharpies (or Mark-Its) for this or if you have the fancier ones feel free to use those. I tried to use both types so you could see how they all work.

The first step was to remove the hanging loop, fairly easy with a pair of needle-nose pliers. I also removed the smoke from the chimney to keep it nice and clean.

Really all you have to do is take some time and color the house and trees with the markers. The broad tip on the Spectrum Noirs made it a lot faster but a Sharpie would do the job just as well.

The colors of markers I used were:

Spectrum Noirs in:

EB8, JG4, JG6,DR6

Bic Mark-It in Woody Brown

Sharpie in Green (not marked for color name)

When you are done all you have to do is glue the little tuft of “smoke” back in the top of the chimney and you are ready to display your new colorful Glitter House.