Friday, June 11, 2010

How to Make Faux Brick

Waiting on the results of this Greenleaf contest is driving me batty so I thought I'd write up a tutorial for making realistic brick. My Orange Blossom is built on "brick" posts. Rather than create individual bricks and mortar them together, I created solid posts that looked like brick. This technique could work really well for making a brick chimney too! I wanted it to look weathered and like bits of mortar were falling out: First, I started with blocks of balsa. I usually prefer basswood for realistic minis, but balsa has won me over for many things because it is so soft and lightweight. This makes it easy to cut curves and do applications like this. I grabbed my handy metal ruler and a fine hand saw and scored lines that were the height of bricks. You could use a regular craft knife too. I matched up the rest of my blocks and continued making the horizontal lines across each of them, on all sides.
Next, I wanted to deepen the grooves I had just scored so I took an emory board and sanded each line.
Here's a close up on how it looked after sanding with the emory board. My nails got a good sanding too :)
The next step was to cut in the vertical spaces between each individual brick. I had to experiment a bit at this point because I wanted it rustic. I tried a craft knife but I eventually found a bamboo stick that was just the right height to "punch" in those notches between the bricks. I was working with the grain so they often came out a little irregular. Good thing that was what I was going for!
I then base painted each block with shades of grey and a little white to become the color for the mortar. I was careful to get in all the cracks. At this stage I found that the paint softened the wood a bit. I took my handy bamboo stick from earlier and punched some of the holes deeper while the wood was still soft. After the grey paint dried, I brushed on red and terra cotta paint over all of the raised areas. This let the mottled grey paint show through as the mortar in all the scored areas.
Here's a picture of the brick posts in its various stages:
I hope you found this tutorial helpful!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Feel Like Voting for Me?

You've probably all seen my Orange Blossom entry for the Greenleaf contest in previous entries. is also doing a "piggyback" contest of the same kit and having their Facebook members choose the winner! IF you would like to vote for me, please click on each of my three pictures of the Orange Blossom and then click on "like" under the picture (link below). I am entry 10 on the second page of pictures, but the link is below. You do have to be a member of their Facebook page to vote but anyone can go and just look for fun :) It is a really nice site to belong to for those of us interested in minis. There are some really great pictures and it's fun to join the discussions!

The link to the page is HERE.
Thanks for considering me!

A Proper Thank You!

With all the focus on my Greenleaf house, I've neglected to say a proper thank you to Margaret of My Petit Partere.This lovely fruit was a giveaway from Margaret and I was the lucky winner!
It is polymer clay skillfully done! Pears, bananas, strawberries, melon, oranges, even a wheel of cheese! My favorite are the apples which have just the perfect blush of green to make them look like my favorite variety, Macintosh apples. She even sent them all on a little dainty embroidered table linen. Too sweet! Look carefully in my pictures of my Orange Blossom and you'll see a basket of these tasty treats on the dresser. Click on the pictures to see all the details:
If you love what you see, Margaret is now selling on Etsy! Yeah! Check out her work there and maybe pick up a some fruit or one of her gorgeous candleabras for yourself. Here's her blog again so you can like to her Etsy site: Margaret of My Petit Partere


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