Using Batteries: Before anyone uses batteries to make suitcases or other items for a miniature scene, please keep in mind that batteries tend to corrode over time. The acid inside the batteries can leak and cause great damage to anything it touches. Small wooden shapes would be a much better base to use for suitcases, and you wouldn't have to worry about battery acid.
Mary in MS
Using Batteries: For the person who wants to turn 9v batteries into suitcases...don't do it. Batteries corrode with age and spew nasty acid stuff. Better to just get a small cut off block of pine, or layers of foam core, or Styrofoam, or anything else...but don't use the battery or you will be unhappy somewhere down the road!
Bonnie Gibson - Tucson, Arizona
Using Batteries: Batteries: I hate to put a foot down on a creative idea (mainly because it goes against my basic nature), but using the 9 volt or any battery for a project should be considered very carefully. The battery may be dead, but there is still "stuff" inside, which over time and heat etc., may leak out. A dead renewable battery in my caller id ruined it because the casing cracked, leaked and dissolved the contact points. I would just hate to have someone find a dead battery leaking caustic agents over their hard work. Also please please please *DON'T* even think about cooking a battery!!!!!!! I cannot hit that exclamation key enough on this one. Heat may cause the casing explode. I wouldn't want to see anyone get hurt.
Mini Bows for Presents: I made a bunch of Christmas packages for a mini scene a long time ago, and used several methods to get bows on the packages:
Trish in Sunnyvale CA
Book Ends: Bookends are about the easiest thing you can create! Either cut two pieces of wood (or buy some of those precut "Woodsies" shapes) and glue them together at right angles. You can also cut squares or rectangles (or other shapes if you are feeling creative) out of Sculpey. The fun part is decorating them. You can stain them, paint them (plain or fancy), add a pair of buttons (with the back part cut off) with something that works in your setting (like dogs for a vet's office, anchors in a nautical setting, etc.), and add findings.
Sunbonnet for log cabin ladies: Go here: http://www.uvm.edu/~hag/godey/fashion/di.html and scroll down to the "September, 1857: Sun-Bonnet" entry. If you click on the images, you will get larger ones. The pattern gives you both full pattern pieces and half pattern pieces (for placing on folds, presumably), and that's a total of six pieces. Only use the three full pieces. You will have to use the illustration of the finished bonnet as a guide for putting it together, as there are rather cryptic instructions, really meant for making a full-size bonnet in 1857, given at the bottom. To scale the pattern page down appropriately, the image print size should be about 2" wide by 3" high. You can do this in MS Word (by importing the image and scaling it to those proportions) or any image editor (by setting the print size). I would do a paper mockup first, and then use heavy paper to reinforce the front of the bonnet when I made it (instead of the cording, unless you want to be very, very precise!). Alternately, instead of paper, use heavyweight stitch witch to bond the outer and lining fabric together for the front, as that will stiffen it enough that it will hold its shape and not ravel. The crown and cape need to be gathered slightly to fit, which can be done while you are gluing if you are using a quick-drying fabric glue. I'd actually cut the cape a bit fuller than is shown so that it can be draped a bit more prettily, but I don't know how utilitarian your ladies are! :) I really love this page for its patterns. I've used them for dolls and some for full-size costume reproductions as well
Mini potpourri: Courdee sent me a tip about making mini potpourri. So today when I was cleaning out the cupboard where I keep all my spices and herbs I thought this was the right time to try it. I had great fun, crushing up some dried flowers and a way past its selling date heather plant. I ended up with a blue-ish and a pinkish mix to which I added some crushed up bayleaves, heads of cloves, crushed cinnamon sticks etc. To round it off I added a drop of lavender oil to both mixes and put them in airtight boxes to mature a little as for full scale potpourri. I will add some thyme leaves and things from the garden that are drying in the microwave right now. I think it will be very nice. The only thing is.........you can make 12th scale potpourri but it you can't make 12th scale quantities. I think I will end up with lots of mini Christmas gifts
OPEN POTPOURRI TUSSYMUSSY: Cut lace designs as above. Glue potpourri in center, leaving lacy edge visible. These look great glued on tree tips, especially with fine thread or ribbon streamers hanging down from back. Again, one teeny bloom looks good.
Wanna in El Paso
Quilt frame: I looked in my Aztec book and you are absolutely right they no longer do a quilt frame, but http://www.stockton-miniatures.com/page23.html has them.
Terra Cotta Pots....they're wonderful! If anyone is looking for a great source for all kinds of thing, these people are great....fast service, great quality. They are T D Miniatures of Fenton, MO, their email is: Tdminiature@gateway.net Their phone is 636-296-3818. I'm not sure if they have a web site...but you can't beat their pots....best scale I've found.
Debbie Noland California
Russian nesting dolls: At the Allentown PA show in May one of the dealers had them and I got two sets. The 5 nested doll set: the largest is just over one inch high, a tad large, however, the smallest is the size of a peppercorn, as Helen of York indicated He also had a smaller, three nested doll set which is about 3/4 They were very reasonable and exceptionally detailed, with even the smallest doll fully painted (I had to look under a magnifying glass to be sure). I paid very little for the two sets. He also has porcelain dishes and figurines and Faberge style eggs which are somewhat large but would work for 1" scale I
Miniature Horses: There's a number of horse artisans on one of my Yahoo! groups ModelArabians@yahoogroups.com You can also find artisan links on the American Model Arabian Horse Association web site at: http://www.amaha.itgo.com/
Birdcages: I found a site you might be interested in for the bird cages - they carry many shapes and sizes. http://www.diminutive-specialties.com/
Psychic's Shop: I've got a crystal ball, mini tarot cards, an incense burner.
Silicon Packets: these do yellow, so you might want to lay some out and see what happens before you use them as ice -- just to be safe that your ice doesn't yellow.
Fay in St. Louis
Plastic thingys from pill bottles: They make great canned goods etc., I carefully cut the bottom out of one and then made a circle of paper, cut a pie wedge from it and glued it into a flat type cone....I then took a piece of thicker cardboard and cut a small circle just slightly bigger than the plastic thingy (you could use a button). Both of these I painted black and added a little"rust" to them; then glued one to the top and one to the bottom ..before I glued the cardboard circle to the bottom I pushed a tiny piece of yellow tissue up into the plastic thingy...ta..da ..a little lantern for my cigar box fishing shack. Because I have different sizes I glued three together to make a pot belly stove for that same fishing shack. One size looks to me like those crocks grandma used to make pickles etc. in. Make friends with your local pharmacist!
Ruth in sunny Green Valley.painted black....they make great nursery plant and shrub cans. There are a few that can be used for kitchen canisters as they are already colored and have a finished lip, and there is one that is shaped just like a back yard planter. And of course you have the added benefit of collecting the glassy silica beads inside which can be used for all sort of things, including drying miniature wildflowers.
Carol WagnerJoshua Tree Calif.
Use for odds and ends: Another use for a lot of those things we don't have a place for yet would be a theatre prop room - maybe the back done in shelving for small props (dishes, lamps, books, etc) and wardrobe racks. Odds and ends of furniture on one side. Maybe a small change room (or curtained off area) in one corner...and a makeup table and mirror...and...and...
Maureen in St. Albert AB Cda
Prop room: Painted sets propped against the wall, old playbills around the makeup mirror, freestanding spot lights...
Maureen in St. Albert AB Cda
Pie Pan: I found the perfect 'pie pan': the top of a Christmas bulb! --the filigree ones.
Kathi in Minnesota
DoJo: I think a couple of pieces of that hobby foam that comes in bright colors, stacked and glued to make up a bit of thickness, then cut out in the shape you want, would do the trick as far as the mats are concerned. Also, a few bits of wood glued together would easily become the kick/blocking "dummy" used commonly by wing-chun practitioners (Bruce Lee had one). Also, the 'bo', a long staff slightly tapered from the middle towards both ends, the nunchaku (commonly butchered as "numchucks"), and the practice sword are made of wood. Other practice swords are made of rattan strips bound together with leather. There is always the usual large punching bag, and thick foam pads against the wall for punching and kicking. And I'm sure that you can find the logo for any particular 'brand' of martial art, plus any pictures of what I've mentioned so far in Black Belt magazine. Sounds like a great project...it's bringing back some very fond memories for me!
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