I just spent months thinking about how I was going to do something. No, over a year. It has been months since I’ve written anything on this blog. I was letting ideas percolate.
I’ve been busy: I helped a friend out at her craft booth at a Renaissance Faire and learned how to hawk my wares (this may be difficult as I am an introvert). Hm. That’s it that I can think of, creatively. I’ve done a lot of thinking and a little bit of traveling. Not much else, just a lot of thinking.
I bought this tea pot about a year ago, right around the time I was helping Dill figure out his digs. I had an idea for this tea pot, so I bought the plate. Then I decided I hated the color of the tea pot and the design on it. I tried to paint it. Everything just came up: Ugh, Ugh, Ugh.
I wanted to build some stairs leading to the top of the pot. I’d figure out a way to prop the lid. Inside would be a little home, complete with a little cookstove (the spout could be the chimney). I bought a lot of accessories to plant a garden on the plate.
The stairway baffled me. I just could not figure a reasonable solution to it. I thought of making a paper model, but everything I tried was clumsy and had to be taped and… well, didn’t work.
Clay. I could do clay, right? Oh, but how long will that take to dry? Clay on the outside of a frame, like the failed paper model? With rocks pressed into it so it would look like stone? But how to keep the rocks in the clay after it dried, and what if the clay dried too quickly and cracked? Besides, it sounded heavy (after I bought the rocks, of course).
I thought of floral’ foam, which is a styrofoam-like substance you soak in water and create a “frog” with for flower arrangements. I happened to have a brick of it just hanging out in its original wrapper.
Meanwhile, life passed by and this blog was ignored. The tea pot was moved around, a lot. I almost tossed the whole project into the yard sale.
But I hate to give up.
A few days ago, I was reading something about a homeschool mom who was teaching her children the fun art of papier mache. I don’t homeschool anymore, but I was interested in the article.
Sometimes inspiration comes out and hits us with a baseball bat: PAPIER MACHE.
I cut the floral foam into the approximate shape I wanted and formed it to fit up against the tea pot. I glued the tea pot to the plate. Then I got to work.
I have done many craft projects with children and homemade papier mache. The best recipe is the simplest: crepe paper strips dipped in liquid starch. I still have both items in the house, partly because it doesn’t take a lot of either to make a great project and the starch never gets bad.
It does require the proximity of a sink to wash your hands off, but is otherwise a simple enough project.
I didn’t have any white crepe paper, but since I am going to paint it – who cares?
The black crepe paper actually works pretty well: I only needed one coat to cover everything I wanted to cover. I covered the floral foam and the ugly tea pot. I may have put the stairs up the wrong side, but I think I can still work with that.
When it dried completely, I can take a wet brush and fix any flaws. I will varnish it to make it adhere to the ceramic better (the starch is not a glue). I will spray paint the tea pot & stairs with that rock-like craft spray paint. Then comes the sod, the gravel (I do have a use for the rocks!), vines up the sides, and plants. I still have to furnish the inside of the tea pot, but that’s minor compared to my feeling of success at having (finally!) conquered the issue of the stairs.