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Birdhouse and Planting Table and Chairs

I made this delightful set from a kit. Unfortunately, I don't remember whose kit it was. I just propped that picture behind it and am so pleased at the results I may use it in my final setting!

Here is a close-up of the garden chair, with its distressed paint job and the seed packs attached to its picket fence back. The table top is also covered in seed packs.


This little birdbath was among the Easter ornaments. I will begin by cutting off the string and removing those pitiful little blobs for birds. Then I'll go from there. It might eventually be a nice companion piece with the birdhouse garden set.

This tiny wheelbarrow was a charm. I cut off the hanging loop. It doesn't need much to make it look realistic.

It already looks ready to wheel off to the barnyard, doesn't it?

The Child's Wheelbarrow

Now this wheelbarrow, on the other hand, would not be IN a QS setting; it would BE the setting. This child's toy from probably the late 40's is metal, with a rubber wheel, about five to six inches in length. It was given to me by a friend.

From the first time I saw it, I could picture it filled with a miniature vegetable garden. I think it will become a scene within a scene, with the wheelbarrow surrounded by scale flowers, grass and plants, and a smaller scale scene inside the wheelbarrow.

Nowadays I am concerned about preventing dust as much as possible, so I am trying to plan scenes within clear enclosures of some sort from the beginning. More than likely this will wind up inside a dome.


My dad used to hang this little red lantern off the side of his boat when he was fishing. Although it is quite small, and I haven't figured out how to get the globe out yet, I would like to put a miniature fishing scene inside. I can see it on one of those ledge shelves in my hallway, next to a picture of Daddy.


I wanted to make some outdoor chairs that resembled the ironwork chairs I had seen in some outdoor settings around El Paso.

In looking through my stash I found a snowflake ornament made of lightweight metal. I also found some metal studs among my clothing trims; together they might make a reasonable facsimile of the chair I wanted. Step one was to separate the flakes to see if my idea would work. Looks reasonable.

Then I cut off a section and bent it so that there would be something more substantial to glue to the chair seat.

Because I was gluing metal to metal, I used a dot of Tacky glue and a drop of super glue.

On the left you see the finished chair. Now all I needed to do was paint it. I used a pale green for some, solid white for a few, and black for the others. Each gave a slightly different effect. I figured I would use pale green for a spring setting, white for summer, and black for fall and winter.


I found these lightweight "silver" metal buttons in bulk at a funky place called The Bonanza Store. They have a depression on the back side which made me think of their potential as shallow planters when used upside down. In this case, I wanted to make a Cattail pond for a Quarter Scale swap.

I painted a cassette tape label with brown iron oxide paint and cut small pieces to cover the holes in the bottom of the button. To give depth to the water, I then swirled a thick glue-paint mixture over the brown; darkest blue-green in center, then yellow green, then brown. Goldfish were made by painting the very tips of thin bamboo toothpicks orange, then snipping them off with scissors. They were glued to the base; when dry they were topped with two or three coats of glue for the water.

To form the "rock" border of the cattail pond, the outside of the base was coated with Tacky glue, then rolled in vermiculite, which is often mixed in with potting soil to make it lighter. When dry, the rock was then evenly coated with a dirty water wash to blend.

When her former company, Allan-Bradley, went out of business, my daughter gave me a large supply of the various sizes of resistors that they had made. The cattails in this little pond are made from the tiniest of those resistors, coated with brown paint. The leaves were cut from a small section of the leaf on the right, which came from a large artificial flower.

Three cattails were used for each pond. Model railroad moss was added here and there, as were tiny bits of foam flowers. Sorry, these were the first items I made for someone else, and when I took the photos I didn't realize how difficult it would be to see things in this scale.

The Cactus Garden Patio Planter

This container designed for a Quarter Scale Southwestern patio is made from another of these same silver buttons, painted terra cotta. I also made several of these patio garden planters for a swap.

The three-branched spiny cactus on the left was the center of some kind of strange artificial flower. The cactus with the red blooms was made from glue-blob covered wire, dipped in Seminole green paint and touched with yellow-green. The ripe fruits (called tunas) are model railroad apples. The other flat blade cactus was a tiny artifical leaf sprig which I repainted and sprinkled with diamond dust for the spines. The "boulder" in the planter is a larger piece left in my tea strainer when I was straining sand from next to our rock fence in the backyard.

Although made for a quarter scale SW patio, this could also serve as a small dish garden in twelfth scale.

You may notice that by the time I made these, I was getting better photos!

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