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Dandelions and summer lounging

Of the four seasons, the summer portion of my rotating roombox started out with the least obvious theme. Spring has flowers, fall has leaves, and winter has snow… what about summer? I gave the grass dead patches, but besides that there isn’t anything obvious about the base scene that really differentiates it from spring.

I’ve been hoarding a dandelion kit from SDK Miniatures for a while. I thought I could add one to the grass to suggest (along with the brown spots) that the lawn isn’t being cared for… it’s so hot that the people who live here have let the yard go.

The picture on the front of the kit only shows yellow dandelions, but when I opened it I was pleasantly surprised to also find supplies for the white, “make a wish” balls dandelions turn into. This gave me the idea to use the dandelions to show the passage of time, with yellow ones in the spring and white ones in the summer.

Here they are assembled. I had a horrible time with the leaves. The same thing happened with the plants in the spring planters, I just can’t get them to stick to anything. They fall over and get stuck to my toothpick and don’t turn out anything like the leaves in the picture.

Luckily these are going to be tucked out of the way next to the door, so the messy leaves aren’t too obvious. I glued down each plant (the base is made from air dry clay) and then added crumb grass around the edges to blend in with the Noch grass.

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Spring planter

My original plan for the spring portion of the four seasons roombox was to make a flowerbed along the wall. Once the scenes were laid out there wasn’t a lot of space for that, plus I would have needed to carry over the flowerbed into the other months, which I didn’t want to do. Instead I decided to use a planter.

I looked high and low for a wine cask style planter in half scale and couldn’t find any — so I made one! I started out with a large 1″ scale planter from Miniatures.com. It was sold in a pair so even if one got messed up, I would have another one as a back-up.

These are made out of resin. I used a utility knife and a thin saw to slice off the bottom.

Then I sanded the bottom edge with the disc sander to make it flat. Now I had a planter that was the right height, but with a hole at the bottom.

I put it on a piece of strip wood and traced around the inside of the hole.

I cut the piece out roughly with the utility knife.

Then I sanded to the pencil line until it fit inside the planter. It’s not a perfect fit, but you’ll never see this.

Here’s the result. Much more to scale!

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Christmassy plants and a new cat

I’m not doing anything Christmas-related this year — no decorating, no gifts, nothing. I don’t mean to be a Grinch, but it’s really started to bug me how for the entire month of December (and even some of November!) the holiday is foisted on people whether they like it or not. You can’t watch TV or go grocery shopping or sit in a coffee shop without the world shouting GUESS WHAT, CHRISTMAS!!!! in your ears. I remember as a kid not really understanding the whole “Christmas is too commercial” message in the Charlie Brown special… well, Linus, I get it now. That kid was wise beyond his years.

Anyhoo. The winter scene in the four seasons roombox isn’t going to be overly Christmassy, but I did make a couple of season-appropriate plants for it. (Also: I looked up “Christmassy” and this is how the internet says I should spell it. Looks weird to me, but if it’s on the internet it must be true.)

The first plant is an amaryllis from an SDK Miniatures kit. My mom has given me amaryllis bulbs in the past and they bloom in the Christmas/winter timeframe, so it seemed fitting for the roombox. Here are the ones I grew last year.

(I say that like I had anything to do with it. My mom helped me plant them in pots and then I just put the pots near the window and this is what happened.)

When my parents visited earlier this month, my mom helped me put the kit together. It starts with making a bud out of a glob of glue. This took a long time to dry and gravity kept dragging the blob down in the interim. Maybe tacky glue wasn’t the right choice.

I’ve made a few SDK kits in the past but it’s apparently been a very long time, because then the kits came with punched-out colored paper that needed to be folded and snipped to make petals. Now the petals are laser cut, on white paper, and need to be painted. Apprehensive about painting such teeny tiny pieces, I used fine tip magic marker instead.

Pro: they dried quick! Con: I only had one color of green and it’s not a super realistic leaf color. We colored gray over the green to temper the color a bit.

(Note: the red isn’t *quite* this red. The camera’s automatic color setting got overenthusiastic.)

Here’s the completed amaryllis in the window. We didn’t consider when “planting” the flowers that the window sashes would get in the way of the flower. Hmm.

Everything was glued into the pot at this point and I didn’t want to destroy it, so I started looking around for containers I could put the shallow pot into, to give it a boost. Nestled into this flowerpot, it sort of kind of looks like one big pot with a ridge around the top. Maybe?

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