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Dollhouse Minis:http://joannesminis.blogspot.com/


General Crafts: http://joannes-place.blogspot.com/


Joanne's Kitchen: http://joanne-kitchen.blogspot.com/





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Friday, November 26, 2021

Doll Size Christmas Cookies

 

Watch the video here.

 

 



This week I decided to make some Christmas cookies for the dolls specifically Spritz. I know as Christmas cookies go these look really plain. However, they are a tradition at my house. Every year they are the first Christmas cookie I make and my kids always looked forward to them. In real life I use the same recipe that has been handed down from my grandma to my mom and then to me. My grown kids now make them also. I think my great grandma made them too but I am not sure. Whatever the case for my family these are the signal that Christmas baking has begun.


I had to work with this project a bit to get the look I was going for and I tried to do my best to make them simple enough that even someone that is not very experienced with polymer clay could still get good results.


We are starting with just two colors of polymer clay- a white and a tiny bit of a yellow. As you saw in the video we just want a tiny bit of yellow, just enough to warm up the white and make it look a bit buttery and richer. 

 

 

 

It is just a slight cream color which you can see in this picture next to the real cookie.








Roll this clay out into a snake that is ⅜” in diameter, then cut this into ⅜” long segments.

 

 

 



 

Roll each of these clay pieces into a ball and use you finger to gently flatten to make a disc about ½” in diameter. Don't make it too flat just press it gently.







Now use the back of your clay blade and lightly mark each disc into 8 equal segments. Again gently we just want to mark the clay not cut through it.








Now using a toothpick make a small dent in the outside edge of the clay at the 8 points where the marks you made touch the edge of the disc.







Next use your toothpick to make a round center hole in each cookie. Then lightly trace the lines with the toothpick making segments in the clay to look like the flower petals.








Once you are happy with the cookie set it aside to rest while you get your chalks ready. If the clay is really soft and hard to work with you can also slip it into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to firm it up.


Now if is time to texture the cookies. For this I like to move them to a sheet of sandpaper so that the bottom of the cookie has a bit of texture. While it is sitting on the sandpaper use a toothbrush to lightly texture the top of the cookie.


For chalks I am using 4 colors today. A light version of yellow ocher, regular yellow ocher, a reddish brown and just a bit of a medium-dark brown.


I am using two different brushes to apply the clay today, the normal eye shadow brush I almost always use and also a flatter firmer brush that I think is for lining the eyes.


Now that the chalk is ready check each cookie and make sure you are happy with it's shape. I like to use the rounded end of the eye shadow brush to soften the edge of the center hole in the cookies.



Now using the fluffier brush to apply the darker of the 2 yellow colors to the bottom of the cookie. Then use the firmer brush to apply just a bit of the reddish brown color around the perimeter of the base of the cookie. Then just add a tiny amount of the darker color to a couple of spots of the same area to look a bit more cooked.


Turn the cookie over and lightly dust the lightest color to top concentrating around the sides and just barely dusting the top.


Now it is time to bake the cookies on a paper plate at 275°F for 10 minutes.


I think these look pretty good and I hope you also like them.


If you have any special holiday items you would like to see let me know and I will try to include as many as I can over the next month.





As always I do want to sincerely thank all of you for watching my videos and reading my blog posts. It means so much to me that you are supporting me in this way. If I could ask you all to do just a bit more by subscribing to the channel and liking the videos and leaving comments. Those help more than you can imagine. Also if you could pass the links on to your friends I would appreciate it so much.




Friday, November 5, 2021

Doll Size Bamboo Steamer

 


Watch the video here.

 

 




This week's tutorial is a for a bamboo steamer basket. I am really happy with how it turned out and I really hope all of you like it too. I know the video is long and there are a lot of steps but none of the steps are difficult. I know you can make this if you have any experience with paper crafting at all. The measuring and cutting of the strips is really the most difficult part. If you are careful and do both your measuring and cutting accurately you will be able to make this project.


I start out by doing a painting technique to make a faux wood-grain/bamboo texture. I had some nice pale yellow color card-stock on hand and I used that for the base. If you cut everything exactly correctly with no mistakes you should be able to get by with 1 12”x12” piece of paper. I do recommend however, that you go ahead and do the painting on a sheet plus about another quarter sheet of paper. I messed up one of my strips when I was making the lid and had to stop in the middle of working to paint just a bit more paper to replace that one strip. Save yourself the hassle and paint a bit extra to begin with.


The painting is really easy we are just dry brushing in layers with a beat up chip brush. The more worn your brush is the better for this technique. Also lay down a very light layer of paint then let it dry before adding more paint. Not only does the paint look a little different once dry, it will no longer smear once it dries. 

 



I started out with a golden yellow color (Apple Barrel's Golden Sunset) and did 3 layers of very light dry brushing. You just want a hint of lines, and make sure all the layers go the same direction since you are establishing the grain of the bamboo.



Once the first color was dry I came back and did the same thing with a brown (Anita's Woodsy Smoke) any brown will do for this layer. And this brown is only one layer.




The third color I used was a cream (Anita's Vanilla Cream) and this one I think I did 3 layers again. This color will tone down all the other colors and blend everything to give the look of bamboo.




Once the paper is dry you can start cutting the strips for the base of the steamer basket set. (I waited to cut the pieces for the lid until I was ready to make it. Be sure to cut the strips with the lines of your “bamboo” going the long way.


For the base I cut: (all strips are cut the full width of the paper)

6 @ 1” wide

3 @ ⅛” wide

1 @ ⅜” wide


At this point you will also need a form to use when gluing your basket sides. I used a pint size jar that jam had come in. You need something that is between 3” and 3 ½” in diameter. (mine was 3 ½”) A jar is excellent because the glue will be less apt to stick to it when you are gluing your paper strips.


You will also need some rubber bands and some thick glue like a Tacky Glue. You need to use a thicker glue for this to help prevent the paper from bubbling and buckling from the moisture as it dries. A thinner glue has more water and is more apt to cause problems in this project. Some toothpicks will also be very handy throughout this project.


Wrap your first 1” strip around the jar and find the area that will overlap. This is the only area of this strip that will get glue applied. Once applied spread it out smoothly so it makes a thin even coat on the paper. Then careful wrap the strip around the jar making sure that the strip is straight and the edges are even. Use a rubber-band to hold this in place until completely dry.


After each addition be sure to move the paper around a bit on the glass to assure it is not glued in place. Do this carefully so you don't misalign the strips you are gluing.


Once dry add another strip to this one completely coating the side that will go against the one already on the bottle. Keep everything straight and lined up. Be sure to start each strip butted up against the end of the last strip and use the rubber-bands to hold in place until the glue dries. At this point pick which will be your next strip and draw a line ¼” down from the top along one long edge. This will be the placement line for the strip that follows it. Once the second strip is set up ahead and add this one the same way keeping the side with the line on the outside and the line at the top. Allow this one to dry really well.



Now on the forth strip draw another line ¼” from one long edge, this will guide you for glue placement. Only apply glue to the wide area above this line. Now line the top (the part with glue) up against the line you drew on the third strip and carefully add this strip. The unglued area will be below the first thee strips and toward the glass. Again use the rubber-bands to hold in place but be careful not to bend the paper where it is free from the layer below it.


Add the last two 1” strips the same as the others. And sett this aside to dry completely. Overnight is best so this will be really set up.


Now we can work on the bottom of the basket. Yo will need to work on a surface that your project won't become glued to, I use a ceramic tile from the home improvement store for this. If you don't have a tile work on use some parchment paper or something similar.


Draw two lines that are 2” apart and parallel to each other. Then add a perpendicular line. These lines will help you to keep all the strips lined up. I did use an ⅛” wide wood strip as a spacer. If you don't have one cut a piece of scrap card-stock to ⅛” wide t use for spacing.


Cut the ⅜” wide strip in half and line these up with the two parallel lines you drew, use some tape to hold them in place.


Cut the 3 ⅛” wide strips into 3 pieces each (4” long)


Now glue the first of these strips at the third line you drew making sure it is straight. Use your spacer to place the next strip in place. I do recommend letting the first couple of strips dry before you go any further. It is easier to keep everything placed correctly if the ones you have in place aren't slipping around. Be sure to remove your spacer so it won't get stuck to the strips.


Add the rest of the strips to the strips and allow this to dry completely before continuing.





I find it is much better to cut the bottom a bit larger than needed and trim it just a tiny bit at a time. In the end you want it to fit snugly inside the basket sitting right on the ridge formed when you offset the 4th strip. For the best way to do this is to trace around the outside of the steamer basket and cut on this line first then trim just a tiny bit at a time until it fits.


We also need a piece of kitchen string (or embroidery floss) that is cut about 12” long. We need to thoroughly coat this in a thin glue, I used mat Mod Podge. For this we want a thin glue that will soak into the string not the thick glue we are using to assemble.


Now run a bead of glue along the area where the basket bottom will be located and position it in place. Be sure the side with the the larger strips is facing the correct way (see picture)



Now carefully add the glue soaked string to the area where the basket bottom meets the sides on the bottom side and cut it to fit. Use a toothpick to help you ease it into place then add another bead of glue. This all needs to dry completely before we go on.







Now time to make the lid to our steamer basket.


Cut the following strips from “bamboo” paper.


4 @ ¼”

3 @ ¾”

4 @ ½”


Set the ½” strips aside while be form the lid to the basket.


Using the ¼” strips we are going to start the lid pretty much like we did the base. Wrap the first one around the jar, adding glue only to the area that overlaps. Hold with a rubber-band and allow to dry. Add the remaining 3 strips one at a time being careful to like up all the edges.


Now we add the ¾” pieces the same way lining the up one edge with the edge of the ¼” strips that are already glued together.


Allow this to dry overnight.


Meanwhile, we can weave the top as desired. You can take the easier way and just do the one over one under. I decided to use the more typical weave I see on these baskets. It is a bit more complicated but I think it is worth it. Once this is woven glue the tips so that they will stay in place when you are inserting it into the basket.






Cut and apply thin glue to another piece of string just like for the base. Cut this one a bit bigger so you will have extra to use for the handle once everything is dry.


Once all of your glue is dry trace the outside of the lid onto your woven piece and cut on the line. This piece needs to stay a bit large so it dome when inserted.




Add the glue to the ridge where the the ¼” strips meet the ¾” strips. Use the glue soaked string just like with the base. Be sure to consult the picture to get everything placed the correct direction. Once again allow to dry.














Once all is dry use a bit of the leftover string that was soaked in glue to make a handle.


See although that was a lot of steps none of them were difficult and most were the same basic steps repeated. I know you can do this if you have done any paper-crafting. 

 

 



Be sure to show me pictures of what you make, I love to see what you do with my tutorials.


Also if there are any projects you want me to add to my list be sure to let me know.


In the video I promised to tell you all why this video is on the channel this week so here goes. As I said before I have been wanting to do this for a long time, it was something I was thinking about way back when I did the egg roll and dumpling tutorials. I just never got around to it. Then it was requested a while back on the Facebook page so it was back on my mind. The one day last week I was going through a box of my polymer clay reference books that I have collected over the years. That not only includes books specifically on polymer clay but some cookbooks with wonderful pictures for reference. I was thumbing through one of the Asian cookbooks in the box that afternoon and saw some pictures of bamboo steamers. That night in the middle of the night I woke up (like 2 hours after I had fallen asleep) with an idea for how to make this steamer basket. I actually was awake for about 4 hours with the idea swirling around in my head. I worked out most of the project during that time. I got up that morning and made a prototype pretty much exactly the way I came up with. I only had to re-do the lid a bit to make it work correctly. So that is why you are getting this tutorial this week.


As always I do want to sincerely thank all of you for watching my videos and reading my blog posts. It means so much to me that you are supporting me in this way. If I could ask you all to do just a bit more by subscribing to the channel and liking the videos and leaving comments. Those help more than you can imagine. Also if you could pass the links on to your friends I would appreciate it so much.




Friday, October 22, 2021

Doll Size Bananas

 


Watch the video here.

 

 



This week I have another really easy piece of fruit for the fruit bowl, bananas. These are really fun and easy to make.


Once again we are using the Sculpey Original polymer clay in white to make our fruit. I prefer to make most fruits with white clay and add the color with either artist chalks or with paint as I have done here. They just look so much more realistic that way. If you use a yellow clay, while it is faster the results are not nearly as nice. That tiny bit of extra time spent painting the details makes a huge difference.


The first step is to make the stems (I guess they would be called stems, the part that connects the banana to the bunch) for this we need to make a snake of clay between ⅛” and ¼” in diameter. Flatten at least one side of this snake so it is not completely round. This snake then needs to be baked in the oven at 250°F for about 10 minutes. We do this so it will retain its shape when we add it to the banana.


Once the stem snake is cooled start making your bananas. We are going to make a snake of clay that is ⅝” in diameter. Cut this snake to about 2 ¾” long. Now carefully taper one end of the snake to form the end. Add a tiny ball of brown clay (I used scrap clay for this, if you don't have any brown clay you can skip this part) Now tease some texture in the brown clay (or just in the narrow end of the banana. Use a sharp tool for this, I like to use a dental pick but a pin or a toothpick can work also.


Now start teasing the opposite end of the banana into a matching taper and add a piece of the cooked stem cane. Smooth clay up around the stem to make it look like it is all one piece.


Flatten on side of your banana, and form it into a “banana” shape. Repeat this as many times as you like.


Now bake the clay bananas at 275°F for 30 to 45 minutes. Allow the clay to cool down to room temperature before proceeding to the next step.


Once they are cooled we need to start adding some color to our bananas. Use a medium yellow color to coat the bananas and allow to dry. I used Ceramacoat in Crocus Yellow.


Once this is dry add a bit of a wash with some green paint. I used Lime Sorbet, also from Ceramacoat. You want to put this color on in very light coats to just a few areas.




Next you can add a bit of a lighter yellow to parts of the banana you want to highlight a bit. I used Folkart Daybreak for this.


Now the fun part, pick a nice warm brown. I am really lacking in good brown colors so I know what I need to stock up on when I get the chance. The ones I had were not exactly the correct color. Try to find one that has a bit of a reddish tint to it. Very lightly add some of the brown as a wash to areas of the banana. Depending on how ripe you want your banana to be will determine how much brown to add. For mine I wanted on to be fairly ripe so after I added some with a bush and my fingers I added some splatters of the brown paint by watering it down a lot and using my paint brush by tapping it. Be warned this makes a mess so protect the area around where you are painting.


If you didn't use any brown clay on the end of your banana you can use some dark brown paint to carefully paint the area you teased into a rough texture.

 



Allow the paints to dry and make any adjustments you wish and your bananas are ready. I am not adding any kind of sealer coat to these since I think that would detract from the realism of these.






As always I do want to sincerely thank all of you for watching my videos and reading my blog posts. It means so much to me that you are supporting me in this way. If I could ask you all to do just a bit more by subscribing to the channel and liking the videos and leaving comments. Those help more than you can imagine. Also if you could pass the links on to your friends I would appreciate it so much.




Friday, October 15, 2021

Doll Size Pears

 


Watch the video here.

 

 




I love pears so much, probably because when I was growing up we had a couple of pear trees that always produced a ton of them. I remember we would go out with the tractor and a bunch of boxes and my parents and I would spend a couple of hours picking the pears every year. Then they sat in their boxes for however long it took to ripen. That part always seemed to take way too long in my opinion. Then when they were ripe we got to eat some and the rest my mom canned for us to eat all winter long.


I picked a beautiful pear at the grocery store the other day and as I was admiring how pretty it was and enjoying the warm memories I decided that it would be the perfect addition to the doll's fruit bowl. So here we are with a tutorial for pears. I hope you enjoy making this project as much as I enjoyed making the tutorial for you.


As is the normal starting place for most of my doll food crafting I took a really careful look at the pear I had on hand. If you don't have one on hand at least try to look at some good photos online. You need to work from a reference to get the details.


I am using the box of Sculpey Original that I purchased a while back. If you don't have this clay, any white polymer clay would be fine. I just like to use this one when possible because the cost per ounce is so much less and doll foods can take a bit of clay to make.


Also just like on the majority of my fruits I am using white clay and not a colored clay. I know there are some tutorials out there to make pears from either yellow or green clay. In my opinion the resulting fruit looks way too dense. With the white clay and the careful application of slightly translucent layers of paint you end up with that almost glow that the real fruit has.


Also it limits the number of colors of clay you need to purchase and by just using small amounts of the colored clays you get a lot more for your crafting money.


I did use some very tiny bits of brown clay which came from my bag of scrap clay. The scrap clay bag is a huge resource as you work with polymer clay. When you finish each project just put the leftover mixed bits of clay into a food quality storage bag and you will have a treasure trove of clay to work with in future projects.


To make our pears we are starting with a ball of clay about 1” in diameter. Don't worry about being the exact size, just close to that size. In fact if you are making more than one pear vary the size a little bit. All pears even from the same tree are not identical. Variety will make them look more realistic.


While working on this project (and most clay projects) have a container of cornstarch (the stuff from the kitchen) on hand along with a fluffy brush. I use this to dust my hands/ fingers and work surface to prevent sticking. It is also really helpful when you need to remove finger prints and other minor marks from you clay. The brush I use is a makeup brush designed to apply face powder or powder blush. Check the dollar store and you should be able to find these easily at a really cheap price. I keep my cornstarch for clay work in a tub that held some paste that I used up. You can use any container or just get a small amount in a small dish each time you work with clay.


After we form the clay into a ball we need to use pressure on one side to make the “pear” shape. Again not all pears are exactly the same shape.



The next step is to add a stem and blossom to the top and bottom of your pear. I used very tiny amounts of scrap clay for this. Any brown clay will work. Use a tool of some kind to make the divot for the tiny clay to go into and then add the tiny bit of clay. Use a sharp tool to kind of “tease” some texture to make the blossom look like it should and to add some texture to the stem. I used both a toothpick and my trusty dental pick for this.


For a last and definitely optional step sprinkle some brown chalk “freckles” onto the surface of the pear. Keep these tiny and be careful not to overdue it. I added more and larger for the purpose of the video so that you guys could actually see them on the video. You want to be very subtle here and if you don't want to do this just skip it.


Now it is time to bake our clay. For this I set my oven at 250°F and baked for 1 hour. It seems like a long time but this clay is pretty thick and we need to get it cured all the way through.


After baking be sure to let the clay cool to room temperature before going on the the next step.


Now it is time to add some color to the peel of our pears. I am using some craft acrylic paints in the video I used Daffodil yellow by Anita's with just a touch of Spring Green from Apple Barrel. I then thinned the paint down with a bit of water because I want this paint layer to be fairly translucent, you can always add more but you really can't un-paint them. After the paint dried I checked for any spots I missed and touched those up.


For the pear I had done off camera to prep for the video I used Daybreak Yellow from Folk Art with a bit of Lime Sorbet from Ceramcoat.

 





As a final finish I added a coat of Satin Mod Podge for a subtle shine.





I do love how these turned out and I hope you enjoy them too. If you make things from my tutorials I would love to see pictures of them. 

 





As always I do want to sincerely thank all of you for watching my videos and reading my blog posts. It means so much to me that you are supporting me in this way. If I could ask you all to do just a bit more by subscribing to the channel and liking the videos and leaving comments. Those help more than you can imagine. Also if you could pass the links on to your friends I would appreciate it so much.