Sea House Warming Hut: Rocks Again

After a few weeks of realtime gardening, I started back in on the Warming Hut rock foundation. I’m nestling (or is it more like tectonic upthrusting?) my air-dry clay boulders into black sand beach gravel and bits of tiny smooth driftwood. Planting poppies where they might find a scraggly foothold.

And I’m out of poppies again.

I filled the cracks in the clay with veins of “quartz” made from carpenter’s glue and a pearl white matte acrylic. The brightness was toned down with a muddy ochre acrylic wash.

It wasn’t quite as crystalline as I wanted, so I mixed some white glue with clear glass microbeads, and selectively refilled some of the larger fissures. It kind of looked like tiny tapioca pudding, and I really fretted that quartz crystals are not round. Also all the rocks started looking like Jabba the Hutt again, and I was going to have to throw everything away :(

The best tool for smooshing the mixture into the cracks in any semblance of a natural appearance turned out to be, of course, a fingertip, followed by a wet wipe. (More about those later.)

Here you can see the difference between the new crystal mix and the muddy washed-carpenter’s glue and pearl white acrylic veins.

Happily, the white glue did dry clear (just as it always does) and the effect was a little more convincing.

I toned everything down with the muddy ochre wash. I think I’ll glue all the rocks around and under the pilings, and continue adding my beloved Pacifica black beach gravel and pebbles.

And make like 150 more poppies.


12 thoughts on “Sea House Warming Hut: Rocks Again

  1. Jenny Chapman says:

    I am loving your warming hut, but I also love your humour that you bring to the blog. Thanks ever so much for your time, effort and generousity with your knowledge as well there are lots of us that can only do after seeing someone else’s
    Have a good one Jenny

  2. Barbara W. says:

    Jabba the Hutt indeed! I say it’s all coming together rather beautifully, although I can’t help feeling that one day a pair of eyes might be looking out from under the bottom stair. Your attention to detail is inspiring – tomorrow I’m going to follow your example and “muddy” my mini garden wellies.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Love the understairs eyes idea, Barbara! And I thank you so much for your warm encouraging feedback. Here’s to miniature muck and muddy, as well as dust, rust, wear and gunge.

  3. Pepper says:

    I was going to suggest a pearlesent nail varnish for the quartz before reading all of your post. You did capture the look of a mineral deposit in the boulders *nods* Happy poppy making =0)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Ooooh, nail varnish would have worked well, too (except for the fumes)! Fortunately, the poppies are so easy to make, I keep a flower-works on my desk beside my main computer so I can make a few whilst considering other problems.

  4. Christina says:

    I’m kinda partial to “Big Foot” in your last photo but the poppies really do steal the show.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Haha, Christina, I’m loving all the anthropomorphizing (gosh, did I spell that right?!) the rocks inspire. I’m tempted to make it more intentional.
      California poppies for the win!

  5. Bennie says:

    They look great! The tiny beads almost look like mollusks that attached to the rocks. I like them!

  6. Nancy Enge says:

    Thank you, Benny! I bet one could craft a mollusk-y thing by snipping bugle beads, and either cramming them into wet clay, or going insane gluing tiny lengths in clusters to a finished rock. I’ll leave that endeavor to a truly dedicated marine miniaturist :)

  7. Blake says:

    Loving it ALL. Sadly I am preparing for a move and have had to postpone any work on my kit until the beginning of August :C So, needless to say, seeing posts like this hold me over! The rocks look great, I love all those subtle colors!

  8. Nancy Enge says:

    Thanks, Blake. I feel your pain and disruption about moving. I kept a notebook of ideas while I was displaced, and it helped tremendously when I was able to begin building again. Visualization really works!

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