Painting Roses Red and Card People

Alice in Wonderland project part 3

Reading through the story again – I had picked out several different scenes that I wanted to try to do.  The painting the roses red, just strikes me as so ludicrous that it must be done. Well, plus I figured it would be reasonable easy for me to do with materials on hand and my skills.  If it involves making figures or too many details, well it just might never get done. Because I won’t, not be cause I can’t.

A large rose tree stood near the entrance of the garden the roses growing on it were white but there were three gardeners at it busily painting them red.  Alice thought this a very curious thing and she went nearer to watch them and just as she came up to them she heard one of them say, “Look out now Five. Don’t go splashing paint over me like that”. “I couldn’t help it”, said Five in a sulky tone. “Seven jogged my elbow.”On which Seven looked up and said, “That’s right Five. Always lay the blame on others!”

Lewis Carroll – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Then there is this illustration to go with it.

“That’s right Five. Always lay the blame on others!”

In my mind, I want a ladder, so that is what I am doing.  Also my tree is going to be more of a tall vine.
The illustrator took artistic license as shall I.  They are more like people with cards on their bodies than how it is described in the text.

In my stash, I had some etched brass leaves.  I have collected several of these over the years.  One or two even a kit to make a rose vine, but without the flower petals.  

etched brass leaves

This what this product looks like.  I have turned over a branch so can see that one side is plain and the other is etched with veins.

I love living in the South.  I do not care for the harsh winter found in other parts of the USA so I lovingly deal with the consequences of hot humid summers.  But it does hinder me using spray paint. The manufacturer recommends to spray paint as a base coat at least, but I don’t even bother with spray paint in the summer due to high humidity.  Too much effort to wait until it isn’t.  I just doesn’t fit with when I want to mini.  So that meant multiple layers of acrylic paint.  Thin coats of course were used and sometimes seemed I didn’t coat it at all but I just kept doing it until the brass was covered.

On left can see the painted with two colors of green and a brown.  The lighter green doesn’t really show here it is under the leaves.  I don’t know why but I can’t get away from painting stems and branches brown.  I even mix in grey or black to try to get more grey.  I checked my own rose bush – a miniature one, which has green stems.  Just couldn’t do it – leaving the stems green.  So they are mixed up brown.  
On the right can see the flowers I made.  Maybe they are roses?  I used two punched 5 point petals per each.  Wet them on a paper towel, layer two together with the petals offset, then used my tiny end of the double-ball stylus to shape them pressing them into some fun foam.  I actually prefer a faux leather pad most times when shaping flowers but the fun foam maybe holds them in place longer.  Negative with the fun foam is that it does remember the holes where the faux leather doesn’t most of the time.

I did some more work on the roses.  They are all together as a rose tree as described in the text.  Can’t see it in this pic, but I have attached the metal to a real wood stem to make it a tree. It is brown and matches perfectly. It was meant to be. The stem also gives me a sturdy support to stick into the foam base versus the flimsy brass.  

finished the rose tree but have headless gardeners

I have also put together 3 cards for the gardeners.  I will still need to add heads.  The cards I am using, I found a set of faces and backs as images online.  One issue I have is that the Jack, Queen and King have faces, the lower cards do not.  So these need heads.  Which actually might make sense of why the Queen would call, “Off with their heads!” so often. Maybe she was jealous they had them.  LOL

Card People

I googled images of cards and found a set of fronts that I liked.  Then did same for the backs.
I used MS Word to insert the images.  Then I re-sized them so that the cards were about an inch long.  In hindsight, I might have gone a bit smaller, but rather than waste the ink, I used what I printed.  I printed them on two pages as I did not care to deal with the alignment of two sided printing. This also made it very easy to deal with the wire arms and legs and allowing them to be sandwiched in between.

Once willing to have stick like ‘people’, it is easy to just have wires for their arms and legs. It is an easy step to the feet being circles and hands non-existent or even circles as well. The head is another decision altogether.  I have done clay heads before and considered that, but paper heads would fit in with the paper bodies.  

One clever thing I think Lewis Carroll did is the use of the suites.  Spades are the gardeners, Clubs for the guards, Diamonds for the courtiers and then the Hearts are royalty.

My problem came back to heads.  The face cards have a face; the number cards do not. My ultimate decision was to use the face on face cards and add heads to the number cards.  I used the faces from the spades and clubs for the number card heads.  This worked out because I wasn’t using all 52 cards, as in these are just extra.  Plus there are two faces per card. I found it interesting that the faces were different not just by J, Q, K but also by suite.

Here is how they are made:
1. 3 inch wire (26 guage black colored copper wire) for each side.  Plus 1/2 inch wire for head.
2. Made a circle for a foot and then bend for an ankle. Bend at the shoulder.
3. I applied glue to the back, laid on the arm/leg wires and a head wire. Then laid on the front and press together.

I should have took this pic without the glue, every time I look at it, I think that the glue is going to dry out. LOL

4. I removed the head wire.  Wasn’t trying to glue it in place just yet, but did want the space for it.
5. Used one of the faces cut from a face card, glue to wire and add a covering.  For some this was ribbon, some was bead with the face glued on.
6. Glued the head in place – trimming wire as needed.
Optional – to make the diamond cards have more depth, I added a roll of paper inside before I did step 2 and 3. The wires for the legs then had to go through the roll.  Also I skipped the head wire since I wasn’t adding one. Some of the trims for the diamond cards was added before the two cards were glued together.

The Gardeners (spades) got paint brushes and buckets

These were made by cutting a strip of paper, rolling it up and gluing it together.  Then I glued the roll to paper.  After it had a chance to dry, I cut around the roll.  I painted the outside grey and added red inside.  Then I added a handle.  The handle is also paper.  I cut a very very thin strip from the edge. 

paint pails from paper
head covered with silk ribbon around a paper face

The Soldiers (clubs) got clubs

These were made from black paper I punched – 6 circles glued to a wire that I added circles to both ends.
Arms then were bent to hold the clubs in place.

The Courtiers (diamonds) got fancied up with various trims.

Notice they do not have heads added.  

The card people were so much fun to make, especially when I got to play around with adding trims and such.  

Card people spades, clubs and diamonds

Next: Rabbit’s House

Happy miniaturing!


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