Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Food for a Picnic

Last night at our MEE workshop, Sunni taught a polymer clay class on picnic foods. She's a great teacher and even brought in a couple RL hot dogs as a visual aid...and gave each member attending canes for radishes, carrots and cucumber.

My contribution was a small ziploc bag of tossed salad for each attendee. It's really easy to make but it's easiest to make in large quantities. (This makes about 15 - 20 2" x 2" full ziploc bags which, in turn, will fill 2 - 4 salad bowls.)

artificial snow flakes (keep this in mind at the $ store in November/December)
3 shades of green acrylic paint
3 4" x 6" ziploc bags
a sheet of dryer fabric softener (like Bounce)

HINT: Being plastic, the artificial snow flakes are FULL of static electricity and fly all over the place and stick to everything!!! BUT if you take a handful of them from the original bag using a sheet of dryer fabric softener, they are much more easily controlled.

Put a handful of the snow flakes in each of the ziploc bags.

Add a couple squirts of green acrylic paint to a bag of snow. (I think I used about 1/2 teaspoon.) Then smoosh (a technical term, of course VBG) the snow and paint together until the snow is covered.

One down, two to go...

 These particular bags were done with Americana  Hauser Light Green, Americana Leaf Green and DecoArt Leaf Green, simply because they were three green acrylic paints that I had . You can use whatever you have on hand. And you don't really need to use three separate colours...I just happened to have three that worked. I've also done it with just one green for smaller quantities.
 Once the snow and paint are mixed well, they're spread on waxed paper to allow the paint to dry.
 Then they're all mixed together for a good variety of colour....

Put some salad greens in a bowl, and add snippets of red fun foam for bits of tomato, or red peppercorns for cherry tomatoes. Cut the ends off two turned toothpicks (stained brown or painted silver) and stick in for serving utensils.

This particular salad bowl is made from the cap of a Montclair water bottle. On the right are two that were painted on the inside with Gallery glass and trimmed with Pilot gold pen. My friend Judi had some buttons that were incredible salad bowls.

There are three pages of instructions for picnic food by the late great Mary Eccher on her Pannikins website

Also Sue Giordano's instructions for a backyard bbq are in American Miniaturist July/Aug 2003 page 27...and her instructions for fimo watermelon are on page 21 of the July 2004 issue of AM.

Believe me - I've even made the watermelon!!! and I'm simply hopeless with fimo!

There are instructions for a nice little picnic basket from Miniature Collector

Odds and Ends:
My friend Judi e-mailed me with some questions she had about her picnic so I'm adding my reply here...maybe there are some tips that you can use.

Sure can’t think of anything else for your salad, unless you like a bit of tomato – and you could use a bit of chopped red fun foam for that. (The trick to working with fun  foam is to rub both the foam and your cutting blade with a fabric softener sheet.) Just checked on  the late, great Mary Eccher’s website ( and she suggests a tiny bit of yellow acrylic paint mixed with Elmer’s white glue (think you could use Tacky) for a mayonnaise dressing.

I haven’t tried it but think if you wanted to dress your tossed salad, you could use a bit of slightly watered down Tacky glue and mix it in with your salad. Should give a bit of a gloss representing the oil from the dressing (from the glue) and will hold your salad in the bowl.

For drinks: If you don’t have resin/catalyst water as suggested by Mary, you can use glass stain or Tacky glue tinted with a bit of acrylic paint. Both those shrink a fair bit when they dry so you’ll have to keep topping them up until your glass is full and level – takes time but cheap and worth the wait. For glasses, the caps from Tacky glue bottles work well. Mary suggested toothbrush bristles for straws but you could also use pieces from the tags that are attached to clothes, etc.

Since you’re talking about printing plates and a tablecloth, assume you found those at And if you did, I’m sure you saw his picnic cooler. It’s a great piece and would work well here.

Simply because Laurie H. asked me about them this morning, I’m thinking you could add a bowl of potato chips. Easy-peasy! Next time you cut up a sweet pepper, save the seeds and dry them – Voila! Instant potato chips…and if you prefer BBQ chips, try sprinkling them with a bit of paprika.


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