Wicked Forest Matchbox Swap

Wicked Forest header

When I signed up for the Wicked Forest Matchbox Swap over at Craftster, little did I know that I would end up being partnered with the amazing Rackycoo — I was like 98% excited and 2% filled with swap anxiety, or maybe, 2% excited and 98% filled with swap anxiety.  Either way, I knew I was going to be working hard to create a matchbox worthy of Rackycoo.

When I read her list of Wicked Forest “interests,” there was one that caught my eye:

“deep dark trees with limbs like hands (lame, but this is hard!)”

She may as well have said,

“deep dark trees with limbs like hands (I triple dog dare you!)”

As I pondered how to make a tree with hands Not Lame, I knew I had a problem — they had to be teeny-tiny hands Not Lame. How was I going to… wait… wire trees, don’t people make wire trees? I googled “wire tree tutorial” and there was my answer — if each branch bundle had five wires, those five wires could become five fingers and they would be Not Lame.

Of course, the next question was what would those teeny tiny hands be doing?

[insert long pause]

I had many lame ideas (and a growing pile of teeny tiny lame mockups). I returned to Racky’s list and saw this one:

“scary moon”

ah, there we have it. What better use of tree hands than to pluck the moon from the sky?

Wicked Forest front

You were expecting a shiny wire tree? Well, that’s a shiny wire tree covered in Plasti-Dip and painted. Plasti-Dip is that liquid rubber people dip tools in to give them nice rubber grips. I applied the Plasti-dip with a brush (dipping the tree was a bad idea), let it dry and then painted the tree.

And the vines are single strands of wire coated in Plasti-dip and painted.

Wicked Forest back

Given I’ve never sculpted a face that didn’t end up in smashed blob of frustration, I was concerned about the moon part. But I had a secret weapon: a dust covered VHS tape (yes, it is that old) on sculpting faces from Creager Studios. Jodi and Richard Creager are amazing doll artists and Jodi’s sculpting tapes (now DVDs) are wonderfully instructive. In fact, my moon was sculpted sitting right in front of the TV (with frequent hits of the PAUSE button and many many rewinds).

Wicked Forest Moon Closeup

And now for three obligatory shots: Proof of matchboxness, soda can scale, and the mockup.

Wicked Forest Open Drawer

Proof: Yes, it really is a matchbox. See the open drawer?

Wicked Forest Scale

Scale: Wicked Forest matchbox and the sweet sweet nectar that fuels its creator.

Wicked Forest Mockup

Practice: Trying out the 'wire tree' method. The hardest part is figuring out how long to cut the wires to get the size tree you want.

3 comments for “Wicked Forest Matchbox Swap

  1. Diane Quinlan
    June 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    This is so awesome!! I love that it’s a little wicked and dark. So much of miniatures is sweet, cutesy and perfect….I was truly amazed when I first clicked on and saw that moon! Thank you so much for sharing. That sounds like it was a fun swap! I wonder what your recipient thought???

  2. Jivvy
    June 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks, Diane. I think figuring out the process for the tree is going to inspire me to complete a 1:144 scale Haunted House that I started YEARS ago. I kept getting hung up with the landscaping. If my swap partner hadn’t said “tree with hands,” I may never have gotten to “wire tree.”

    When someone else asked, my swap partner confirmed that she was “over the moon” (har-har) about this vignette.

    Which makes me very happy. 😉

  3. Carolyn
    June 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Frigin awesome! I cannot get over the depths of your creative brain.

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