Amos's Lumber Pile

This afternoon I got back to work on Amos's yard.
First I glued some "mulch mix" in the planting areas out in front of the house. I'll often just paint in my dirt, or maybe mix a little sand with the paint, but this time I reached for the coffee grounds-tea leaf mixture that I used for the Bungalow's garden. I felt I needed more texture to contrast with the sand.

Next I glued in the plants just how I showed them in the last Gooch post. As you can see, I did decide to use the tall grass, using some shorter ones to blend everything together. That old standby filler, reindeer moss, helps as a ground cover, hiding lumps of glue or plastic.

I felt I needed something else along the side of the house besides plants. A barrel seemed to be a good choice, and I happen to have a nice unpainted wooden barrel on NEM,Item #AN141 and here it is.
And now it looks like this.

I started by painting the inside of it a dark brown. Next I used some dark brown and a lighter, warmer brown color. Color names don't really matter, since brands use different names for the same or similar colors. The dark brown looked like milk chocolate, the lighter brown looked more like nutmeg.
I dipped my brush in water, then in the darker brown paint and started squiggling the brown paint on part of the outside of the barrel. Then I dipped the wet brush in some of the nutmeg color and started squiggling it on, overlapping the wet paint and dry, fresh wood. I more or less sqiggled them together, then while the paint was still wet, I wiped the barrel with a paper towel to get the extra paint off. This way you wind up with a stained look rather than a painted one. Of course, I could have used stain, but it was down in the basement and I was up in my studio over the garage and I didn't feel like going all the way down then all the way back upstairs.

Anyway, you get a more aged effect using the paint. As always, when you want to try something like this, try it first on pieces of scrap wood. It's an easy technique, but you have to get a feel for it.

When the paint was dry, I used a black Sharpie marker to draw in the lines for the boards. They don't have to be perfect. Afterwards, I painted on the iron bands with black paint.
For the scrap lumber I just used the bits and pieces of wood I saved from other projects. I stained them with watery paint, rubbing off the extra paint before they were dry. I used a few different shades to make them look more interesting. I poured some wood glue into the bottom of the barrel, and stuck in the scrap wood.

I used more scrap pieces for the stack on the ground, also staining them with paint. I used hot glue for the top plank that's sort of diagonal, wood glue for the rest.
I spread a little glue on the base, sprinkled on some sand, and then artfully arranged some more greenery to make everything blend together naturally.

Continued here

Amos Gooch's front yard

Over the weekend I worked a bit on Amos's house. I felt like starting something fresh, so I began work on his front yard.
Here we see Amos and Cap having a smoke out front. Amos is sitting on a napkin ring, yes a napkin ring. I found this unpainted wooden napkin ring and it reminded me of those old time kegs that came in assorted shapes and sizes, so I set it aside til I needed it. Cap is sitting on a piece of broken coaster set holder.
OK, I bought a set of coasters, and they came in a wooden tray, but once I opened the package I saw the tray was broken, which didn't matter, I never use those holders anyway. The two halves of the holder do look like benches, though. I'm still not sure if Cap prefers the bench or another seat, he hasn't expressed an opinion.

First, I needed to decide on the front walk. Originally, I thought maybe sand, but then decided that wouldn't be right, a crushed shell walk would be better. I was NOT however, about to start pulverizing sea shells to make them small enough for 1:12 scale. I decided to try and easier route, that old standby, drywall compound.

You're seeing it unpainted, and still damp. I spread some glue on the base, then spread on the stucco. Next I used a stipple brush, the kind you use for stenciling, and started pouncing the brush up and down all over the stucco. This made quite a few pointy bits that stuck up, so I waited a while til the compound had begun to set and dry a little, then used my finger to pat the pointy bits down.
Hopefully, after I've painted it, it will look like crushed shells.

You could do the same thing to give a wall that rough stucco look. It also reminds me of some of English houses I've seen in some old photos. They had rough stucco with pebbles in them, sometimes they were larger, more like small stones. I seem to remember a dollhouse made around 1900 with the same look. You could stick tiny pebbles in the stucco.

Next I started on the soil.
I wanted a mix of soil and sand,with a bit of grass. Since I've used painted sand to simulate grass in the past, I thought I may as well sand one side of the yard and see how it went.
I started by spreading some glue on the base, and then spreading some sand on it and pressing it down. Then I remembered my can of spray adhesive and thought I may as well try using it to glue on the rest of the send. It would certainly be better than having a glue coated finger.
I sprayed some adhesive in the rest of the section, shielding the wall with a piece of cardboard. Then I spread some sand and patted it down. After several minutes I brushed off the loose sand, first with my hand, then a soft brush.
It looked pretty good, but I felt I needed more sand, so I resprayed and added more sand, repeating the process as before.
I found that as I brushed off the extra sand, It just kept coming off tiny bit by tiny bit, so I decided to try spraying adhesive over all of it to keep it in place.
It stayed tacky for a while, and I started to worry a little, but as it dried it got firmer.

Next I painted some brown dirt for planting areas, and decided to try out some plants.
I found a great looking silk spider plant on sale a while ago. The baby plants hanging on the trailing stems were perfect for mini gardens. Two of them are in the corner.

I had also found two little clay pots with plastic grass "growing" in them. I thought the grasses would be great in some mini gardens, and I could use the pots for planters. I'll have to take a picture of the one I haven't taken apart. You can see a section of tall grass behind the other plants.
I'm not sure if I'm going to use the tall grass in Amos's yard yet or not. I merely drilled the holes to I could stick some plants in temporarily, to see how they'd look.
I wish I could do that in a real-life garden. Invariably, I'll plant something, and then, when it's growing, wished I'd planted it somewhere else or maybe a foot or two over.

Continued here