Thursday, 22 July 2010

When At First You Don't Succeed........

......ask those who have! A couple of weeks ago I received a lot of help and advice concerning branch and plant making. I have been trying the Nikki Rowe method over the last couple of days. This was my first effort. I used a thick piece of florist wire for the core and then wrapped it in the florist wire Nikki recommended. Then I painted it with two coats of PVA glue and when it was dry I did a test run with acrylic paint to see if it would take the paint and it did! Success. It looked ok so I thought I would try a vine for the outside of my witch house.
This attempt is about 30cm long. For the main stem I used the thicker wire and then attached longer thinner pieces in order to create the thinner branches. I made the mistake of using covered florist wire to start. This was not as flexible as the copper coloured wire so I switched half way through. I have to say I spent ages twisting and shaping and should never have tried to be so ambitious. I also realised towards the end that the whole thing is much to big and clumsy. The branches are the right sort of width but the stem is much to heavy.
I compared it to a few of the pieces I have of Nikki's and it looks like a vine for giants! Very heavy handed. On the bright side it is another learning process, my next attempt will be better. I have covered this in PVA so that I can use it for trying out the different paint colours it may even find its way up the side of a house eventually who knows. I did learn, once again, how long these sort of techniques take and I haven't even got it right or painted it yet! This led me back to Etsy where I bought the vine Nikki had for sale! I will keep going but I want the vine at the front of my house to be perfect and I think it may be sometime before I get close!
So next time only use the thinner wire and keep it small and much more delicate. And try again.....
I did, however, get a delivery today of a couple of things I have been waiting for -
two 144th scale houses. Aren't they wonderful?! I saw them on the Pear Tree Miniatures website and the wonderfully helpful Barbara made them up for me. They are obviously ideal for my toyshop and they are beautifully made. They even have interior staircases and fireplaces.
The pictures do not do them justice. I think I am going to leave them unfinished as my intricate painting skills are not the best. Plus I like the 'model' look of them. I am still struggling with the 144th kits I purchased, well actually I have put them away in hope that the fairies will make them while I am in bed! The pieces have proved a bit too small and fiddly for me but I will go back to them after my gardening spell.
I also bought some of Barbara's 144th furniture which is amazing and I will post pictures tomorrow.
Oh, anyone been to the Madrid fair? I am trying to persuade my husband that we need a romantic weekend away in November.......


  1. Janice you are almost there with your wiring and just need to work on refining and making thinner as you go down each twig.
    I've just made a sample and will post on my blog for you in a min. I also popped a sample of the wire i use in your parcel today.
    Nikki xxx

  2. Oh Nikki you are so kind. I am learning that each failure should be seen as practice and refinement.
    Essentially I am a collector but I do like to give it a go!

  3. I think you have it going well and your wiring is almost perfect. It just takes time to learn how to refine the bulk. Im still learning and finding ways to do so.
    Nikki xxx

  4. Those wee houses are perfect! I agree, they're lovely without being painted. Where did they come from? I can't find them on the site you posted.

  5. Janice, I agree with Nikki and think that your wiring is actually looking good! Trees are always different in size. Some have huge thick trunks with bulbous roots. I have tons of trees in a park behind my house and I look at them all the time :). I have a friend who specialises in making miniature trees (his nick is Treewizard :) ) and he told me that at 1:12, most trees will be too big for display. He too uses wire , masking tape, some sawdust, paint of course to make the trunks of the trees. Practice makes perfect :).

  6. Janice your wiring skills are improving. Love the little Houses from Pear Tree, they are beautifully made. When putting very tiny kits together, try using needle ended tweezers, they are brilliant for precise work.
    Janice you also asked how I got the Skin texture on my Dragon Book, I used an embossing sheet. xxx

  7. Janice Im sure once its painted and up on the side of the project maybe even leaves etc added it will be spectacular. .Great job so far, I couldnt attempt it! kate xxx

  8. El aspecto del tallo que empezó no era malo, claro que las fotografías no dan la realidad, todo tiene un tiempo de aprendizaje, pero pienso que el próximo que intente le saldrá perfecto.
    un abrazo

    The aspect of the stem that it began was not bad, clear that the photographies do not give the reality, everything has a time of learning, but fodder that the close one that tries will go out for him perfectly.
    An embrace

  9. Hi ladies, sometimes I am in too much of a rush to get perfect results and forget all the hours and practice and development the most talented artisans have put in to achieve their wonderful results.

    It is fun though to mess about with all these different materials though and almost get it right!

  10. Susan try this for Peartree

  11. Janice these are really good.

    There are very few people who can try something new and be perfect first time around....wish I were one of them :-)

    You are most certainly going in the right direction though and you'll have this down to a fine art in no time.

    Those houses are tiny and so beautiful.

  12. Thanks Janice. Duh, I was looking in the wrong scale :-( Age related alzheimers!!

  13. Those little houses are magnificent! I love the detailing...I am ever in awe of those who can work that small. Congrats on a fabulous acquisition! :D


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