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October, 2004

My granddaughter, grandson, and a friend of his came over to do a project for Halloween. We used some small houses that I purchased several years ago among floral supplies at either Hobby Lobby or Michaels. They are made by the same company that makes those "marshmallow" birds.

I also had a collection of small resin Halloween items they could choose from for their scenes, as well as landscaping materials. We used cardboard bases, cut to fit those plastic display boxes with the black bottoms. By now, my grandkids are very familiar with landscaping, so their painting and use of foam and greenery went fairly fast with little help from me. That way I could spend most of my time explaining how to do things for Todd, the new miniaturist.

Here is Jenna with her ghost house. She finished first, and was very helpful explaining to Todd how important it was for him to take care of his tools and wash his brushes and, "If you get it wet on one side, get it wet on the other."

The pumpkins we made from Fimo at another time. The various levels of these scenes are created with florist foam, and the moss is model railroad greenery.

That tombstone was an earring originally. Notice the green fellow peeking out.

The jack-o-lantern was a resin piece. The tree is dried greenery, and a few pieces of gravel are scattered around as rocks.

Here is Joel with his project. He didn't seem to be doing much for a while. As Jenna and Todd, our guest, worked intently on their scenes, he just sort of fiddled around.

He chose a ghost to hold his house sign, and planted a little mushroom-type fungus here and there.

He added a green head and a jack-o-lantern. And then he added an eyeball (we had used these as dragon eyeballs in a witch's dinner once). At that moment, his face lighted up and then his scene really came to life.

The next thing we knew his had become a screaming house, complete with sticks and moss for hair!

And before they left for home, he added a hat!

This is Joel's friend, Todd, who had been wanting to do a project ever since he saw all the things that Joel and Jenna had made. He was almost beside himself with excitement as we started and was an excellent worker. He listened closely and followed directions and did a great job.

Here's a pumpkin sitting on a fallen-down tombstone. That strange thing to the left is an upside-down walnut shell. "It's a tomb," he said.

He used several pumpkins and a sign to decorate. He also used small wood pieces among the greenery in his landscaping and did a good job making his tree look as if it were growing right out of the ground.

I suggested their houses would look more realistic if there were moss on them. So, they painted glue strips here and there and sprinkled on green foam for the moss. For a first-time miniaturist, didn't Todd do a great job? It was because he really, really wanted to, of course.

I had an extra clear Kleenex box like the ones the grandchildren had used for other projects, so I gave it to Todd to protect his scene. I cut a piece of Halloween ribbon to stretch across the opening in the top. I had given each of the kids a poseable skeleton. He decided his would be relaxing on top of his ghost house box.

Unfortunately, Todd's family has moved to Alabama, so this may be the only project he does with me. I really hated to see him go. He was a great student and a neat person.

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