Saturday, December 1, 2012

What a productive day!! - in SO many ways!

What a great day!

Started off by being in the group that decorates the building for Christmas. We put up and decorated a total of five trees - looking good!

At 11, Barb came down and we popped the lasagna she brought into the oven and I finished making the salad for lunch. Joanne was doing a children's program until 11:30 so we knew she wouldn't arrive until later.

Barb started making the stones from Crayola magic clay and attaching them to the chimney of her attic that we're doing as the MEE annual project.

In the meantime, I started work on my MEE Christmas gift. No big surprise that I decided to do the  Christmas wrapping coffee table!

I started with this coffee table from Dollarama. It's 1 1/2" high and the top is about 4 1/3" x 2 1/2". I first used a sanding block on the top to remove any varnish and the worst of the red.

When it comes to sanding the table skirt, legs, and bottom of the table, a sanding stick works best . I made this one by gluing a piece of sandpaper around a popsicle stick.

 It works well on all the narrow pieces and most of the nooks and crannies.

For sanding the cheap red furniture, I drape a  towel over my lap and sand over that and use the towel for catching the stain/varnish and wiping the furniture as I go.
Sanding this stuff really makes a mess as I've learned from past experience - that's why I use the towel.. (This is what the towel looked like at the end. VBG)

Got most of the finish off.
 My original plan was to stain the table a dark brown so it could replace a coffee table in a regular dollhouse living room with a Christmas coffee table.

(Working on the bottom so any mistakes are not so obvious.)

First tried the dark stain pen from Dollarama...just didn't work. So then I tried the red mahogany Minwax stain pen - Neither of them worked! Just didn't cover/or look good.

So I went back to my tried and true permanent black marker (just a Staples chisel point permanent black that I buy by the dozen).

When you're 'painting' with the black marker, the order in which you do it doesn't matter a great deal as the marker dries so quickly. After the marker dried, I sanded the table with a piece of brown paper. Then I covered it with a coat of Americana DuraClear satin finish.

Here the order does make a difference! Holding the table upside down by the edge of the top, varnish the legs and the entire under side of the table...

Then you can set the table down and varnish the table top and its edges. Then just leave it to dry! I ended up giving it two coats of varnish but that's a subjective choice.

Now to put on the gift wrapping accessories:

This is the WOW factor! Reasonably easy, it's barely noticeable but for miniaturists and mini-muggles alike, when they spot it, it's "Oh, my, is that really real?" and "How did you do that?"

That's the mini roll of Scotch tape!

Dollarama sells hollow white plastic stir sticks that are 1/16" in diameter and about 4 inches long. You can see short pieces of them in the top of the picture.

You take a piece of the stir stick and wrap about 7 - 8" of RL Scotch tape around it. The really tough part is keeping the tape lined up straight as you wrap it around the stick. (If you get a bit off track, don't worry too much as you can trim off that part.) When you get to the end of the RL tape, tape a piece of red plastic or paper across it. Trim that red end piece down to about 1/16"

Take that strip of tape on the stir stick and slice it into pieces about 1/16" or 1/8" wide with a straight blade. That will give you 8 or 9 rolls of 'real' miniature scotch tape.

While you've made the scotch tape, the finish on the table has been drying.

Now you can decorate it!

This is the finished table. The rolls of wrapping paper are printies from Jennifer wrapped around the same small stir sticks above. The bow is one I bought at a show in Kelowna but Lorry in our club makes them and I know the instructions are online somewhere (I'll find and post the instuctions); the cards are from Jim Collins; the pen is a round toothpick painted red with a silver tip and the cap and clip in gold (pilot pen). A Chrynsbon bowl with Christmas candies from Belara Beach; (glass of water)  a red glass stain bottle top with dried clear varnish; (second row) commercial box with pieces of tissue paper (a gift from Dale at Petite Images in Ontario); strips of gold paper as packaged ribbon; prewrapped box (from Dollarama): silver candlesticks (Chrysnbon painted with nail polish); metal scissors with handles painted with red nail polish (from Grandpa's Dollhouse): and the Scotch tape!

Those are commercial scissors from Grandpa's Dollhouse but you can make your own:

SCISSORS: Straighten out and flatten one end of each of two sewing hooks. Glue together and paint the handles with coloured nail polish for a pair of scissors.

These look best in a container on a desk but they do look amazingly good in a scene.

The finished table:

Then cleaned up and put up my own Christmas tree - so Mom could see it across the parking lot:

Was a WONDERFUL Day!!!


  1. I'm so glad to hear you've had a great day filled with friends, food, the spirit of Christmas and mini's too of course! Sounds exactly like Tuesday! Lol! See you then! xoxo

  2. Well you busy bee you! LOL I soooo wish to be anywhere near that progress towards Christmas... and I have to get the box off to Edmonton SOON! LOL

    Wonderful work as always my friend!

    Much love