Monday, July 30, 2012

Taking Shape – The Layout

If you have been reading along the last couple of posts, you know this one is going to be about the layout of my project. I started by trying to figure out the best place for the birch log sections. The simplest way was to use some paper stand-ins.


Once I had decided where they would go, I could plan the slate path that I wanted on one end and leave room for the planned section at the other end.


The last big portion to sort out was the end piece. I got so involved with it that I don’t have photos of its evolution. Just imagine that it began as a rectangular piece of Styrofoam which I chose because I wanted to avoid making the piece too heavy to lift and move. I sculpted the Styrofoam into the shape I was after and made a huge mess in the process. I didn’t take photos of the mess either. It is pretty well etched in my memory – I think you will be alright without it being etched in yours. I kept telling myself “Styrofoam ‘snow’ is the means to the end. Styrofoam ‘snow’ is the means to the end. Styrofoam ‘snow’ is the means to the end.”


My next challenge was adding the moss forest floor. This had been part of my vision from the beginning. In some ways it was easier than I had thought. Working in my favor from the very beginning was committing myself not to rush through the stages. Perhaps I should have just committed myself if you know what I mean.

ts_tl_4  ts_tl_5

Styrofoam has it benefits obviously but it also has its drawbacks. I elected to cover it in paper maché so I could cover it in moss more easily. It took about three days to dry thoroughly. Like I said, no rush. Yeah, right.


Finally, here is a photo of the base nearly almost practically just about but not quite finished. There was a bit of touching up to do at this point but you can see what it looks like before I added all the details.


At one point my husband came home to this:


It’s an antique table covered with a garbage bag (to protect it) sitting on top of my kitchen table (to get more height so I wouldn’t have a permanent crick in my neck) so I could work on the edges. Call me crazy. My husband does.

My next post will be all about the details. I love me some details. You know what they say about the details. Just for funsies, I’ll share just a few more photos. Let’s start with this one:


Nothing more appetizing than a plate full of loose moss along with various debris.

This is a photo of an attempt to arrange the leaves to my liking.


And these, well, it’s the only time you’ll see these. Since much of this project required new skills, I did lots of prototypes. These candles were trials. I mean trials as in pain, suffering, distress and misery. Nah, not as bad as all that. It’s just I had to acquire a little know-how. These little guys had a fine burial though. We played an upbeat jazz number as they went to their final resting place.


Like I said previously, the next post will show many of the details. Thanks so much for reading!



  1. I am dreaming of what it will be like in my mind.My dreaming is good...... Can't wait for the next edition. Ginger, have you thought of melting some wax and dipping your own bit of string to the thickness and length you want?

    1. Hi Kays Kids,

      Dreaming is very good! I'm delighted that you are looking forward to the next bit.

      I did consider real wax for the candles - it would have been easier, for sure. I had made up my mind though to avoid having anything that could melt in real life. I suppose I wanted it to last as long as possible. It's a good idea though.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Elanor,

      Ain't you sweet!? Just preparing you for the lingo around here.


  3. It looks AMAZING!!!!! I can't wait to see the details.

    1. Hi Heather,

      Ain't you sweet too!? I hope you'll like the finished project as much.

      Thanks bunches!

  4. Oh thank you for that, now the boys have run off to find styrofoam to make 'snow'... Still the end results of all your trials look great!

    1. Hi Katy,

      Run! Run! Catch them before they get started - or if it's too late: Run! Run! The other direction. You really don't want to be in the vicinity.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Oh, it's looking absolutely beautiful, Ginger!! How exciting!

    Heaps of Hugs,

  6. It looks like a magical little place! Almost reminds me of something you'd find in the Hundred Acre Woods! The candles are cute, and I love, love the moss!!

    1. Hi Kay Joy,

      That magical feeling is what I was aiming for so thanks for that! And I do love the simplicity and sweetness of Hundred Acre Woods. Perhaps I should have saved those poor little candles and sent them to you. Live and learn I guess! I love the moss too! Glad someone else feels the same.



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