Thursday, July 5, 2018

Modern Miss Marple Ornament

Every July, Mystery Playground works on themed Christmas ornaments so we are prepared with our mystery themed tree. So it's a bit of Christmas in July. Our theme this year is a tribute to Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.

Today Lorraine Masonheimer brings us the Modern Miss Marple ornament. It is designed to represent the evolution of Miss Marple into a more modern and kinder character in Agatha Christie’s later books. She is conservatively dressed, with a sleeker silhouette and matching hat. She is hot on the trail of a murderer using her knowledge of poisons. The Extra Pharmacopeia Textbook is one of the textbooks Agatha Christie used to gain her knowledge of poisons featured so well in her mysteries. The cover of the book has a ghosted image of a chemistry diagram of arsenic.

Wooden craft “popsicle” sticks: Six ¾” x 6”, three ¼” x 2 ½”, two 3/16” x 5 ½”
One wood ball knob 1 ¼” x 1 3/16” with a 1/8” hole
One tie rack peg 3/8” x 2 3/8”
One each of color-coordinated plaid and dot cardstock
Leather or crocodile skin textured paper
Ribbon, bow and self-adhesive pearls
Acrylic paint (flesh)
White or gray doll hair
Black doll felt hat that fits the wood ball
Thin twine and pop-up squares
½” flower punch
Black ink pen, large black magic marker, glue dots, Gorilla glue, small paint brush
Scissors, x-acto razor saw and x-acto blade.

Step One: Paint
Place a pencil into a foam block and put the wood ball onto the top of the pencil. Paint the entire ball flesh tone. Paint two 3/16” x 5 ½” craft sticks (top & sides) and place over a plastic cup. Let dry.

Step Two: Cut & Glue
Take the ¾” x 6” craft sticks, trace, cut and glue six pieces from the plaid cardstock onto the sticks making her coat. Using a fine saw, cut two ½” x 2 ½” sticks to 2” long and one stick to 1 ½” long. Then cut the two painted 3/16” x 5 ½” sticks to 2 ½” long.

Glue the three ½” x 2” sticks together with the shorter stick in the center. Place the glue dots on the side of the sticks and press together to form one piece—her skirt. Using the same technique, glue the two 3/16”x 2 ½” painted sticks together—her legs. Slip the legs into the shorter center slot and glue. Cut a 3” x 2 ½” rectangle from the dot cardstock. Glue and wrap around the skirt with the seam to the back of the ornament.

Take a spare 3/16” x 5 ½” stick and trace, cut and glue her shoes (front and back) from the coordinating leather or crocodile textured paper. 

Step Three: Assemble the Coat
To create a space for the head, elevate the center stick by gluing the edges slightly on top of the left and right sticks creating her coat. Do the same with the back as shown in the photo above. After gluing, the coat will be about 1 ¾” wide.

Step Four: Brace & Edge
Cut four ¼” x 2 ½” sticks to 1 ¾” long. Glue together in twos to create two final pieces to brace the ornament. Using a large black magic marker, color all exposed sides to create a polished finished edge including the coat. Cut a hat band from paper scraps and glue to the hat. If desired, cut a flower from the same paper and glue to the back of the hat over the paper overlap. Place a pearl in the center.

Step Five: Draw the Face
Place the hat onto the painted knob to determine where to draw Miss Marple’s face. Draw dots for eyes and a triangle for her mouth using a black pen.

Step Six: Glue the Head
Stack two sets of seven spare craft sticks on a paper towel. Cut the ball end off of the tie rack peg and place a small amount of Gorilla glue onto the end. Insert into the hole of the ball. Place a small amount of Gorilla glue onto the peg and place the head onto the front of the coat with her face facing down onto the paper towel as shown. Place a weight over the peg and let dry overnight.

Step Seven: Assemble
Glue the two braces to the top and middle of the back of one side of the ornament. Glue the back of the coat to the ornament.

Step Eight: Embellish Coat
Glue a 7” long black ribbon and to the coat to create the collar and place a pearl in the center. Glue a small bow under her chin as shown in the finished ornament photo.

To create the loop to hang the ornament, cut a 10” piece of twine and loop it around the neck and tie it in the back. Glue the twine from the back of the head up to the top of the head. Cut and glue white or gray doll hair around the head. Using the x-acto blade, cut a small slit into the top of the hat and thread the twine through the hole. Tie the twine to 2” to hang the ornament and cut off the extra pieces. Glue the hat to the head and hair.

Step Nine: Create the Textbook
Using Microsoft Word, draw a 2 ¼” h x 1 ¾” w textbox. Type the words The Extra on one line, Pharmacopoeia on another line and Textbook on a third line. Type POISON on the fourth line. Print onto the leather or crocodile paper and cut to 1 ¾” h x 1 ½” w rectangle. If desired, add dimension by using a light gray pencil to draw the chemical symbol for arsenic onto the book cover.

Glue the textbook to her coat using small pop-ups to keep the book flat and secure against the front of her coat.

Come back next week for our next ornament.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Christmas in July is back! I have been waiting for this since last July. This ornament is darling. It looks a bit more tricky than some you’ve had in the past, but I am up to the challenge. Well done!