Making minis for my girls…

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This is where my obsession all started. After watching a few youtube tutorials on making doll food, I thought I would give it a whirl. Money was tight and I had 3 little girls who loved their dolls. I felt confident I could make some cute foods for their barbies…and so I went to Michael’s and bought a few 2 oz blocks of polymer clay.

A tip to anyone starting out – you don’t need a lot of different colours of clay. Just start with the primary colours along with white and black. You can mix an infinite number of shades yourself. Add some translucent clay to things that are not supposed to look entirely opaque (like cakes, frostings, etc) – if you want more realism.

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my cherry pieThese pieces are done in 1:6 scale, for Barbies, Blythe, or small ball-jointed dolls.  The pie tins were purchased at Michael’s in their jewelry section. You get several in each pack and they are wonderful for using with barbie, or as mini pies for American Girl dolls.

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My youngest is developing a real good eye for miniatures herself!

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Pepperoni Pizza in 1:6 Scale

DSC_0549 (2)I made this as a gift for a customer. She collects miniatures in 1:6 scale.

Clay Pizza is fun but also time consuming. This took most of the day but it was worth it. I hope she is pleasantly surprised when it arrives!

Some day, when I have this process down to a science, I would like to post a tutorial. In the meantime, I wanted to share my  recent effort.

Constructive criticism and suggestions  welcomed 🙂

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Tempting treats to break a tooth on (or my unusually productive day)

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I really don’t know what got into me. I must have been inspired by something. Because today I made some sweets…lots and lots of sweets….

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Blueberry and strawberry desserts….

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And a flaky, buttery cookie with sprinkles…..(I had to try out my bright sprinkles)

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And finally, cupcakes in 1:6 scale….

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I did manage to get one healthy choice in…a tiny lonely pear! But I must say I was pleased with how it turned out…and darn if that simple little pear isn’t one of the cutest things I have turned out!

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The pear was quite therapeutic to make. Especially after the more complex pieces I made today.

The only tools needed, save one ball tool and a needle to act as a skewer , was my fingers. Some simple squishing and moulding got the shape to where I wanted it. Then, it was just about layering colours.

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This would be a great beginner project with polymer or air dry clays. By adding a pretty leaf, it would make a nice necklace or brooch. There is something so simply beautiful about pears. I guess that is why they are painted so often.

Favourite Pie?

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Spring has sprung (or it’s trying) and soon the valley fruits of Nova Scotia will be too. I can’t wait! I see homemade jams and pies in my near future….

 

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For now, I’ve baked up some faux ones. At the top of our family favourites are blueberry (my husband’s pick) and my favourite …sweet sticky pecan pie!

 

What is your favourite pie?

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Cold Porcelain Clay (part 2)

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This is just a quick follow-up post on my experiment with the clay I made yesterday.

After I made the clay, I packed it into a nice ball and ‘greased’ it a bit with some baby lotion and tightly wrapped it in saran wrap. This afternoon, I put it to the test with a few bakery items for my daughter’s school project. I made some little cakes and bread, and what will be truffles, after I finish painting them.

First off, the clay should form perfect little peaks when you pull it apart. If it’s a bit grainy, that apparently means it was over cooked (that is, it lost too much water). If this happens to you, just work in a bit of warm water (a few drops at a time).

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What I found was, this is great stuff if your items are meant to have a rounded organic kind of shape. It shrinks up a bit when it dries, and it tends to take on a slightly ‘puffy’ appearance. This would make it an excellent choice for all those kawaii type charms that are round and cute (it would be fabulous for kawaii animals like sheep).

The sides of my cakes took on a puffy appearance, even though I tried to coax the sides flatter with a card. Same thing happened to the bread loaves (see the picture below). The bread loaves went totally puffy and would not take detail. I think a way to prevent this would be to allow the piece to dry inside a mold. I did, however, have a positive experience when the clay was rolled thin to make the flowers that decorated the pink cake. It held the details perfectly. I suppose a finished product could be sanded to the look one wants, or carefully carved to add detail or texture.

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Bottom line, some things take detail with this clay well, some do not.

If you colour your clay (which I suggest) you only need a bit of chalk pastel or dab of acrylic paint. Food colouring paste or oil would probably be fine too. The piece dries a lot darker than the original colour of the clay. If you look at the salmon pink cake, the clay was mixed to look like a very delicate pastel pink. I also thought I had not added enough brown to the clay that made my chocolate cake, but it dried to a very rich cocoa colour. It looks like real cocoa! It’s important to note that this clay does accept some surface colouring or blushing with chalk pastels, but it doesn’t take it very well. I had to use a LOT of chalk pastel dust to surface colour those breads. I will probably stick to my polymer clay for making breads.

It takes a day for the items to completely dry. I’m guessing 24 hours, as the bottoms are still not dry. Then they must be sealed when you have your finished product. Mod Podge or acrylic spray would be good choices. You don’t want to use something too wet. If you are making jewelry with this clay, seal it well so it never comes in contact with water.

This clay was a joy to work with, even if it had minor disappointments. I don’t have to worry about a mess, chemicals, or getting polymer gunk off my hands. I don’t have to worry about it staining clothes. It’s also an excellent and cheap way to let the kids bring out their inner Michelangelo  too.

My thoughts on ‘Cold Porcelain Clay’

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So, I kept seeing posts on cold porcelain clay on Pinterest and YouTube and I decided to give it a try. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, it’s a type of clay which can be made at home with very few ingredients. It’s mainly  cornstarch and glue, with a bit of baby oil and preservative like lemon juice or vinegar. The reason it has been dubbed porcelain is due to it’s fine texture and soft, translucent appearance.

I have to say, I am impressed and it’s much more than I expected! It does make a lovely clay texture. It’s cheap. It holds detail well (but it does shrink up just a bit). It colors easily with a bit of chalk pastels, acrylic paint or dye. Just beware of adding water colorpaint as it will goop up the dough since it messes with the balance of moisture in the clay. It makes beautiful flowers.

I have heard claims that it’s finished product is as durable as polymer clay miniatures and charms. I can’t back that up. Not yet anyway. But it does have a lot of glue, so I can see how it would be very stable when hardened.

I made it for a bakery display I am working on for my daughter. I’m helping her with a project on our family tree. Our ancestors were bakers and candy makers, so I am making a few miniature cakes for part of her display. I didn’t want to use my polymer clay if I didn’t have to. I remembered the cold porcelain recipe from online. I halved the amounts as I only wanted a small ball of clay. What I was left with was plenty to make several miniature cakes and left overs.

All it requires is: 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup white ‘school glue’, 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp baby oil. You will also need a small non stick pot, plastic wrap, a resealable bag, and baby lotion for your hands.

An important piece of info: there will come a time in the kneading process where you will wonder if it is ever going to turn from a sticky mess into the velvety clay you see pictured. It does! Just keep kneading. It’s amazing how smooth and unsticky it will suddenly transition into. You just have to see it for yourself.

I quickly snapped a picture of my results but unfortunately did not think to blog about it until afterwards. Instead, I leave you with some excellent videos which may encourage you to give it a try. It’s an economical and fun way to pass an afternoon with your kids.

Here are 2 methods of making this clay. The first is an excellent tutorial for making it in a microwave. The last one is stovetop method, which I used. I hope you give it a whirl and have fun creating!

 

 

 

Time to make the donuts…

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Valentine’s weekend left me with a full heart and chocolate withdrawal.

The only way to get my fix was to make some donuts. It didn’t matter that they weren’t edible, they were still satisfying.

The weekend allowed us to put together a small light box from a wooden frame and vellum panels. Until I get a micro lens to shoot my miniatures, this will do in a pinch.

While I was doing that, I lost my favorite baking tile. My fault. I didn’t put it away and it was nudged to it’s death by one of my girls (I won’t say WHO but anyone who knows my family will probably guess correctly). It’s no biggie…I will use what is left of it, until I find another magical tile…

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I made a lot of chocolate and mocha donuts and macarons, in various scales. And you can spot my favourite donut: the walnut crunch. Those nut pieces were from tiny walnut chunks that I formed from polymer clay.  I made them fairly realistic…then chopped them up like a crazy person.

I purchased some cute donut boxes from my favourite miniature food artist. Her name is Cindy Teh, from Singapore. She goes by Snowfern online. Her boxes are available for download (for personal use) in her Etsy shop.

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