Saturday, March 11, 2017

Come to Easter Tea by Betsy Skagen

Easter may be right around the corner, but even Peter Cottontail takes time now and then to enjoy the spring air in his outdoor kitchen and serve his friends tea, carrots and jellybeans.
Those not indulging in treats relax outside listening to the babble of the water fountain and smelling the blossoming flowers.

How to make the Miniature Easter Tea Outdoor Kitchen and Garden

Begin by covering all the pieces of the Cottage with Open Front  with a light coat of gesso.
Choose the springtime papers you want to use and cut to size. I chose to first give further dimension to the papers by dry brushing them with white acrylic paint.
Assemble the Cottage and adhere the decorative papers to the exterior and interior, cutting out the spaces for the windows.
Next, begin making your shelving unit. I used the extra archway leftover from my North Pole Altered Album.
Cut thin strips of chipboard and glue them to the sides of the arch. Use masking tape to hold the sides in place until the glue dries. Do the same to make shelving.
When finished, paint the entire shelf unit with white acrylic paint.
If you like, you can add tiny apothecary bottles to the shelves.
To make the photograph shown on the back wall, cut an image from the Easter Bunnies Collage Sheet and adhere it to a resin frame with glossy accents. When it is dry, fill the frame with more glossy accents to give the appearance of a glass plate.
To make the window frames, I cut and painted strips of balsa wood. However, Gypsy Soul Lasercuts offers much cuter chipboard window frames that I would have used if I had them on hand.
Next, make curtains by first painting two wooden dowels white. Then cut eight strips of fabric and glue them back to back to make four curtains. Gather the curtains and glue to the white rod, holding the gathers in place until the glue dries. Glue the window rods and curtains above the interior windows.
Glue the house to your foamcore base. Now you can add details such as table, chairs, fuzzy chicks, garland, bottles, vegetables and dishes. Did you notice the plate of jellybeans? How about the teas in the cups? I made both with Glossy Accents and Alcohol Ink.
Add cute bunny figures by cutting them from cardstock and use clear plastic packaging to create a stand for them.
Add white Dresden to the exterior base of the roof and tape miniature lights inside the roof. Don't forget a little birdie for the top!
For the exterior of the house, assemble, paint and attach a Little Bird House. Upcycle a dollhouse chair by painting it in pretty spring colors.  Next, sketch a pathway onto the foam core, fill with Beacon 3-in-1 glue and pour tiny pebbles over it. I first tried using Mod Podge, but it was not strong enough. After the glue dries, brush off any loose pebbles and fill in any holes.

Apply more glue to the remainder of the foam core and cover it with grass flocking. I added tiny flowers--some in the bud stage and some fully bloomed--around the rock circle.

How to make the water fountain. 

I originally got this idea from the amazing Laura Carson's ice fountain. Since my fountain needed running water, I ended up making many modifications.

My fountain began with a dollar store trophy, a plastic chess piece and some old packaging.
In this picture, I had already cut the handles of the trophy off. Next, I glued the two base pieces together with Beacon Fabri-Tac and sanded everything to make it less slick.

I first applied a coat of gesso then painted the fountain with tan acrylic paint. While it dried, I cut an office transparency sheet into little strips.
 I then used ink to color the strips blue.I then glued the strips to the top of the chess piece. When the fountain base was dry, I used green ink to add texture and to give a mossy appearance.
Next, I set the chess piece atop a higher surface and then added glossy accents to each of the strips. After coating the first strip with Glossy Accents, go to the strip opposite it to add Glossy Accents. Keep alternating sides of the chess piece where you add the accents so that one side does not get too heavy and topple over. 
After it is dry, temporarily set the piece inside the fountain to trim the strips to the needed length. Remove the chess piece and fill the bottom of the fountain with a layer of glossy accents and replace the chess piece. Let dry and continue adding layers of Glossy Accents until it reaches a water level that you like.

Great Stuff

Cottage with Open Front
Little Bird House
Arch piece from Fairytale Castle Mini Album
Apothecary bottles
Chipboard strips
Foam core base
Assorted springtime scrapbook papers
Faux wood panel scrapbook paper
Assorted Easter collage figures
Easter Bunnies Collage Sheet
Easter Greetings Collage Sheet
Eggs and Easter Collage Sheet
Two White Dresden Border Sampler Sets
Pink Paper Roses
Mini Rose Buds
Pink Rose Garland
Tiny glass bottles
Fuzzy chicks
Miniature garland
Miniature table and chairs
Miniature lawn chair
Miniature bird
Miniature flowers
Tiny pebbles
Grass/flower flocking
Miniature dishes
Miniature vegetables
Miniature frame
Transparency sheet
Toy trophy
Chess piece
Balsa wood
Old packaging
Alcohol ink in assorted colors
Glossy Accents
Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive
Beacon Fabri-tac
Green ink
Blue ink
Acrylic paint
Sand paper

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