100 days: Making Miniature Flors

After I added stems and calyxes to my coffee filter paper roses for the Tea Cup Roses prop in the film (stuck into the face of foam block upper right, of photo below). I kept the floral train rolling by creating Rana's floral arrangement prop seen here.

Making Miniature Flors, originally uploaded by Nobledesign.

I used powdered desiccant to dry out every miniature scale leaf and flower I came across for months. At the end of the day, they never turned out fresh-looking enough to use for this. I opted for hand-painting small silk flowers instead.

Each bloom was painted for the cottage palette, glued onto wire stems, calyx and leaves, painted green. The stems, and things like the yellow center stamens (upper left) were bulked up by tinting Aleene's Porcelain-Ize-It silk flower dipping liquid (part of my essential tools. Couldn't locate any link online (?) the small bit in this last bottle may be it on earth?; closest item here).

(center right) I made an orchid-style flower out of real dried petals, cut down and glued around a smaller dried flower base.

I'm thrilled with how I made the vase. I used the crystal drawer pull that was a candidate for Rana's front door knob, hack sawed off its metal bolt on the reverse, before placing it face down. Then I hacked through a clear plastic over-sized Christmas tree light candy box (bought last year to possibly use as the glass chimney on the oil lantern prop.) slicing off the top and the bottom making it a bowled tube. I filled an inch at the bottom of the shape with clear gel glue and flakes of dried flowers to look like vase detritus and held the knob in place with Funtac (as a glue dam) After a couple days, the glue dried, sealing the bowl, and the knob was firmly stuck onto the bottom of it.

I scratched the inside a bit with sandpaper to add age and texture so it wouldn't look like plastic at first glance. When the bottom of the vase is filled with a lump of the clear museum gel that Mike gifted me with thoughtfully, the stems can be secured in it and it should look just like water!

(PS: I used my Flickr account to post some of the blog photos this week because I was so behind in posts. But I'll much prefer using Blogger posting tool alone in the future.)


  1. Thanks, DJ! I think I better make more detail photos of the flowers to post because the centers have interesting things in them like crushed petals and wool fibers!

    I should show some of the others off better.

  2. Shelley,
    it's just great to check emails in the morning and to find your wonderful creations for breakfast in my feed reader! ;)

    Great job!

  3. Thanks, Jessica! I love the idea of you reading these posts in the morning, all bright and fresh! I am usually posting them late at night, all pale and stale :)

  4. wow. i can't believe you made every little flower. looks perfect. that porcelain shtuff sounds like a fun medium to work with.

  5. Amazing and beautiful! Thank you for sharing how you did it!

    Mini Leaps and Bounds

  6. Anonymous5:20 AM

    You never take any shortcuts Shelley, every little prop has bundles of character. Superb!

  7. Just got on your blog for a catch-up... I see you've been busy, as usual, in beautiful ways! I was reminded that I hadn't checked your site in while because I just heard Nat King Cole crooning Paper Moon.

    "It is only a paper moon, hanging over a cardboard sea... it is only a canvas sky, hanging over a muslin tree... but it wouldn't be make-believe if you believed in me..." It appears that Nat totally gets you, Shelley, ha ha!

  8. Thanks, Rich, Yeah, I'm a little freaked out that I won't be able to get any more Porcelain-ize-it. I use it a lot for small props.

    Thank you, Jody! I should show how I did it. I plan to show a bit more.

    Thanks, Seamus, I try to cut corners where I can, but this film is about the details of the place and creatures rater than the story or expert animation. Although it will also take me huge amount of time to shoot and edit, finesse, etc.

    That's why I've resolved to release each scene online as it's finished rather than waiting until done.

    Wow, Hennie Mavis! I didn't know the rest of those lyrics! How Halflandian indeed! I looked up who wrote them, a e.y. (yip) Harburg! Going to have to name a character "Yip" now! Thanks!

  9. Fabulous Shelley! Just amazing my friend!

  10. Thanks, Marcie! I finished it truly truly now, put the gel in for water HOMERUN! Works perfectly. Colored in leaves a bit, etc. Added some dried yellow sprays. etc. Calling it done done.

  11. (^ I WILL get dan Bern, Don Waller and doug Beswick to beg to stop by and look at your studio I SWEAR it.
    still joel fletcher's the one with the camera obsession. i really should try to reconnect with him on all this.

    (^> prosser

  12. Any friend of yours, etc., Brian. No worries, it's not spectacular here, they might want to stop by after the set is built for the full effect.

  13. Ah, Karima! That goes in the favorite comment folder! Thank you!

  14. good stuff!

    its so nice that you give every piece in halfland its proper screentime....

    so many awesome little creations in our project go kinda un noticed.....

    They all took time and thought to create....almost as much as the Characters and Spaceships sometimes.

    well done in sharing this with the blogosphere.


  15. Thanks, JUSTIN, Gotta post about whatever's happening here. Right now that means prop and set building.

    All being well, one day, it will be animation clips.

  16. Scent of the fresh flowers in an incredible vase coming all the way through my studio here! Hmmmm..nice... is it spring there in Halfland?

  17. So Sweet! I never thought of the fragrances! And the season? Probably Half Spring/Half Fall! HA!

    I realized today the sky will be half day/half night--so why not!?


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