Friday, December 27, 2013

My Other Secret Christmas Projects Revealed

Now that Christmas is over, I can finally share some other wee projects I've been working on. The first one involves this furry, little llama:

My sister has a thing for llamas. They make her laugh. Every so often, she sends me a random picture of a llama to make me smile, and it always works. I found this little lady on eBay one day and decided Dorothy needed her own llama for her home office. She was perfect for 1:12 scale:

I started hunting online for minis that reminded me of my sister. I found these lovely horseshoes by Sir Tom Thumb. My grandfather made Dorothy a set of horseshoe bookends when we were little, so I thought these would make the perfect addition to the llama house. Then I sneakily emailed Dorothy and asked her for a photo of the horseshoes "for a friend" so I could make sure I put them together correctly:

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I tried to figure out where the llama should live. I just happened to have three sun hatboxes in my childhood closet. Ma and I dug out the smallest one one night, and Project Llama Drama began. Unfortunately, this is how I cut my shin open and ended up with four stitches. I shall forever brag about my war wound that was created by sitting cross legged with a box cutter and dragging it TOWARD me to cut off the bottom of this box. Don't ever do that. It doesn't end well. But I got the bottom of the box off, so that's all that matters. Then I cut a place for the door:

The llama's a$$ makes me laugh so hard. She's actually extremely soft. Methinks rabbit fur? Not sure, but SOFT:

I used regular dollhouse flooring to cover the outside. I had two different colors, so I added the wrong color parts to the bottom of both sides:

Even though my friends on the forum lurved the suns, I knew I had to cover everything up. I wanted the inside of the llama hut to look like a real house in a way:

Gretchen helped me put on a wash of grey paint:

Then, I put on another wash of darker paint (thank you to Brae for teaching me how to do this properly!):

I had a feeling that eventually the hat box lid would start to sag in the middle, so I took a couple of pieces of foam core board and glued them in the lid:

For my birthday last year, Brae sent me a roll of grass. I've never landscaped before, so I was very excited. I wanted the outside to look like a regular barn, so the inside would be more of a shock:

She approved:

For the inside, I added black-and-white faux marble flooring (which led to many stories of the llama tap-dancing). It clashes horribly with the wallpaper, which makes it that much more wonderful:

By this time, the llama was quite full of herself. My friends on the forum had fallen in love with her and were giving her high praise. She started making demands, starting with a mirror to admire herself in. My sister is quite beachy, so I decided the llama could have a beach-themed mirror. I made this with little shells I found at Hobby Lobby:

Meanwhile, the sun design was still showing through the cracks of the structure, so I had to get creative about covering them up. I decided the llama could have some purple ribbon piping stuff on the outside. I stained the door and added handles. The fun thing about this door is that the top part swings inside and outside:

I also had some cracks on the inside, so I used more ribbon to make sure everything was covered:

Time for doodads! Since the wall is curved, I had to make a shelving unit that would fit it properly. I traced the curve of the wall and made this shelf with foamcore and tiny turnings. Those beads are scrapbooking stickers:

My sister likes to pretend to cook try to cook burn things make crafts, so I made her a crafting apron. The llama is modeling it here, but it eventually got glued to the wall so it didn't hang funny:

I added in a battery-operated light for the top. On the left, I added a plant, a tiny turning to hang the apron from, and a bicycle. When we were in college, Dorothy cleaned EVERYTHING with Windex and paper towels, so I put those on the bottom left. Ah, memories:

I glued everything down so Little wouldn't snag these items for her dollhouse. I also wanted to make sure Dorothy could pick the house up and turn it upside down without losing everything:

A fun feature is the four slippers for her little hooves:

On the table, I added more Dorothy goodies. She has an old-fashioned pencil sharpener in her home office, so I put that in there with some notebooks. She's a salad fiend, so she got a salad. She puts Tabasco sauce on EVERYTHING, so I had to have a bottle of that. She loves white wine and her iPhone, so those ended up in there, too. The only random item is the comb, but I felt the llama really needed it:

Dorothy has a HUGE lucky bamboo plant, so I got her one of those. There's more Tabasco and a sewing machine with thread spools in the bowl because Dorothy is sewing now. She has a massive dictionary at home, so I found one of those. I also added in the pills because Dorothy and I are both medicated for The Crazy, so LLAMA, TAKE YOUR MEDS! Then we have the horseshoe bookends holding up a few books:

My friend Kelly (who won first place in the Greenleaf Spring Fling with her INCREDIBLE Bora Bora Bunglalow -- which had sharks and other creatures in the water underneath!!) made these pillows. I thought they were the perfect addition for the llama. She can nestle there in the corner at night to sleep:

Oh, look at me. I'm SO beautiful:

I added some hay and farming tools to the outside. Much like a mullet, the llama house is business in the front and party in the back:

That pesky sun design was STILL showing through the cracks, so I pulled some of the hay out and glued it down there:

Then I found a good photo of the sisters and put it on the wall. The llama was NOT pleased about this. She totally wanted a photo of HERSELF there on the wall. We can't always get what we want:

I took Llama Drama over to my parents' house to hide for Christmas. Then I remembered that I wanted to add a few more things. I glued in a jar of candy because my sister lurves candy. I also added in some bottles of Diet Coke. I don't have pictures of these things, but they're there now at Dorothy's house where the llama, christened Esther, shall happily live out the rest of her days:

Meanwhile, I was desperately trying to finish a Teresa Layman knotwork necklace for my mother. I started working on this while Ma was at her women's meeting, and Pa and I were watching The Walking Dead:

The time got away from me, but in the final days before Christmas, I was able to knot my fingers off and get it done:

The kit came with this holder to put the knotwork in. I didn't get Ma a chain, but she has a bunch, so I'm sure she'll find one that will look right with it. I was SO happy I got this done in time to put under the tree:

And now that Christmas is over, I'm NOT making presents for anyone for a very long time. Blondie needs some Me Time. And a certain Beacon Hill that has been neglected since last May is staring at me. I got myself some gifts for her for Christmas, so I can start working on her again soon. Pa helped me move the house back to her rightful position in the living room. My first thought was: My, this house is MUCH larger than the Rosedale. She's HUGE. And so UNFINISHED.

Yes, yes, she is.

*rubs hands together with glee*


Rita Arens said...

Seriously, Esther and her house are the best present ever. I love them so much. She is facing with the business side out right now to detract from Kizzy exploring until I can get the right glue and finish gluing down the parts that popped off in transit despite the fact she traveled in a box surrounded with bubble wrap.

Little LOVES the Rosedale. I will get some pics of it with the furniture and families in it when I get a chance -- am working today.

Elan Morgan said...


Anonymous said...

So creative, blonde!

Moderndayhermit said...

You inspire me a lot! Wow, what great, creative work you do.

otterine said...

Marvelous!!! I love that hot mama llama! She's the best! Those slippers are my fav detail. :D

Debora said...

Bravo! That's some fancy work! Love it all :)

laurie said...

I am so filled with admiration and inspiration that words fail me. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. xo

Lisa! said...

So very, very awesome!

terry said...

This is amazing! You are so talented (and thoughtful!).