Let's talk about cardboard Christmas houses and accessories

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:05 pm 
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Maria,

Watch your fingers. :-)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:53 pm 
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Tom, thanks for weighing in about the cellophane. Celluloid is another product made from cellulose extract. I wonder if it went through the VISCA state, too.

I live in Ohio, so rice straw isn't available down the street. Sounds like wheat straw or even recycled rice straw from placemats will work, as long as we can find a good way to chop it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:35 am 
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Yes, chopping seems to be the issue, along with sifting and more sifting.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:27 am 
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Too bad my father-in-law always said I was "siftless," or something like that. :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:14 pm 
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greetings to all...

just like some of you, i have been doing a little "experimenting" of my own...guess that's really no surprise...

there sure is a lot to the process...i don't think there are any shortcuts...and i've chased a few bad ideas of my own as well...

i hope to contribute to the discussion in the future...

i can tell you this...i have no plans to make, package and sell the finished material...i'm making for my use only...

my very best regards...howard...


Last edited by Howard on Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:16 am 
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I'm experimenting too. One thing I want to absolutely make sure everyone knows--wear glasses! I accidentally got a bitin my eye when it jumped and it took a moment or two to get it out. Don't forget those safety glasses when working with any mica, glitter, sawdust, "stuff", etc.!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:47 pm 
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maria wrote:
Frankly, I believe they may have used two or maybe more products for coconut based on differences in houses that I have seen--and own. In one case it so absolutely looks like cellophane it is amazing....when I had a sample scraped off for analysis about a year ago, that was the consensus at the time..."a cellophane-like by product".

I've talked to people over the years who have tried to mince/chop cellophane without success but I may have found a way--albeit a cumbersome one. I have to wait until something arrives in the mail on Friday and will try it then--of course, I'll keep everyone posted.

I'd rather try and fail than not try at all!

Okay Marie you may share. It's Sunday and your Friday mail has arrived. Actually I have seen the type of coconut you are referring to and it is usually on post war houses of the late 40's and fifties. I have a very RARE hacienda with this type of blue cellophane coconut on it but this is MOST uncommon. The Japanese used EVERYTHING that could possibly be considered readily available hence we have Luffah sponge trees that could have been grown on anyone's backyard fence. Rice straw cardboard by local paper makers, Wood block export stamps from local print makers, and pottery figures from local trinket potters. They even used twigs as tree trunks - pruning mom's rose bush perhaps? My point being that the coconut for the most part was made from a readily available by-product - rice straw. Cellophane you had to buy unless you had a pirated source (and I believe they did). But they did use things like German glass Diamond Dust glitter and various sized grits of the glass glitter including ones that for sure cut! Clearly someone was printing up the papers that were used on printies and they could have been printed from wood block prints BUT the house makers had to purchase these. That may be why the printies are for the most part very early and they quickly moved to finishes that were less expensive to produce, though printies do make a brief appearance again in the late 30's. The increasing complexity of the houses by the early 1930's would have precluded the use of printed houses in any case.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:49 am 
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Good notes, Tom. Thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:46 pm 
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While we believe the Japanese used rice straw, several readers have reported good luck with wheat straw once they chopped it into small pieces, minced it in a coffee grinder or food processor, sifted out the big pieces, sifted out the dust, dyed it, dried it, and sifted it again. Several folks who say they've got a good batch or two after all that say they're glad Pete is selling the stuff, because they can't imagine making it very often.

One reader has found a source of pre-colored, ironed straws that wouldn't even need to be died as long as you didn't mind relatively small quantities and didn't need a specific color.

http://the-straw-shop.mybigcommerce.com ... at-stalks/

I suppose that this is made for people who want to make placements and other straw crafts, but the owner reports that folks WE DON'T EVEN KNOW have been using it to make "topping" for putz houses. What do you know?
Image

If you need color-matching to repair an existing house, Pete is still your best bet. :-)


So the quest goes on. More later.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:35 pm 
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Here's a source of straw a couple of my readers have found - those straw wreath forms you get at craft stores. They don't all have the country of origin stamped on them like they should, but most of them come from China, which encourage me to think that it might be rice straw after all. All bundled up and ready to pre-cut.

Attachment:
straw_wreath_forms.jpg
straw_wreath_forms.jpg [ 57.72 KiB | Viewed 12574 times ]


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