Sunday, October 20, 2013

Spiced Vines and Desert Graves

This is one of my daughters creations and I think she's stumbled on a few techniques that are worth recreating. 

Some friends donated their old spice jars complete with old spices to our cause.  Rather than dump the spices and just use the jars, I thought the kids would have fun using them to brew up their own  potion concoctions, which they did. My daughter also decided to use them for something else.

She spread glue on her paper and sprinkle on spices and herbs.  She added skeletons, bugs and piled on more spices.  Then she added more glue and more spices. For me it brings to mind shallow graves out in the desert, for her she just kept giggling about oatmeal and trying to get people to eat it. I have no idea, there was no oatmeal.  I love the way she used dried beans for eyes in the shrunken apple head, small corks in a sort of Frankenstein monster bolts kind of way and shoved the skeleton leg in its mouth, like it was devouring it.

It was a very fragrant project, at first it made me hungry for Indian food, but after awhile it became a little overwhelming. So I decided to take a few liberties with it, and transfer the contents to jars and that's when I noticed her spice vines.  The small seeds and herbs had attached to the lines of glue, and resembled leaves and the ground spices filled in the spaces to give it a dried vine appearance. 

This wouldn't be practical for a big project, but for these jar dioramas, it's a perfectly cool way to use up old spices. To recreate her vines I started with a plate covered with a layer of her spice mix, brown and orange ground spices with some small seeds and green herbs. On top of the spices I squeezed out lines of glue. I used Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue. On top of that I sprinkle just the seeds and herbs. It's not important to completely cover the glue with them, but the ground spices stick the most so you want to make sure you get some seeds and herbs in the glue to get that vine effect. After you've sprinkled on the seeds and herbs, you can cover any white spaces with the spice mix and then let it dry.

For the demonic soul eating apple I poured some of the spice mixture in a jar and placed the items on top. I feel a little safer now that he's confined to a jar.  

For the other two I opted for a ship in the bottle look.  I cut sections from her paper the size of the bottom (side) of the jars. I added glue and spices to any bare areas on the paper. The skeletons were already glued in place from her original design. I just tweaked the bugs a little, lining them up along the middle and spacing them out and I also added some vine.  After dripping some glue down the inside of the bottle on what now would be the bottom, I rolled up the spiced paper like a long skinny skeleton taco and fed it through the opening.  It helped to have a long bamboo skewer to push the paper into place and reposition the insects. Then I added some more loose spices on top. 

The beetles were done the same way it was much easier because the bottle was shorter with a wider mouth. This was a very messy, pungent experience, but totally worth it.  All the bugs came from the "Big Bag of Bugs" available at Walgreens.  For cheap plastic bugs, they look really good in my opinion. 

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