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ers is “with child” or whose toddler is having a birthday. Inquiring as to the situation, she just said, “Hand me those big scissors out of the junk drawer, will you?” Obliging her, I was horrified as she proceeded to dismember these cute lit- tle critters right before my eyes. “What the $%#@& are you doing?” I asked. She smiled and softly said “I’m making weeds for the layout, dear.” I suppose I should expand on this idea a bit. After skinning the creature (literally), she cut the fur-bearing outer layer into small oddly shaped chunks. She used white glue to attach these chunks to the layout and then teased the fur out with an old toothbrush. She used hairspray to “leaf” them out with various colors of fine ground foam. The effect was stunning. She had acquired several natural (browns, tans, and even some green) colors of critters. I think the green one was some sort of Muppet. You can enhance and vary the coloring by changing the color of foam used, leaving the base color as whatever that particu- lar animal was. Modify the size, shape, and coloring, and use with as many oth- er weed-making methods as you can. If


you have any impressionable little ones at home, be discrete, and do the initial phase of this operation after they are in bed! Ask me how I gained this bit of par- enting advice. Donna’s job at Northern Illinois Uni- versity can be stressful, and her hobby (playing the oboe) is highly complicat- ed. She seems to like spending a few


Above: Weeds made from cute stuffed animals abound on the layout. One stuffed rabbit goes a long way. There are many colors to choose from in toy stores.


Below: Vary (greatly) the color, texture, and source of all your ground cover. Patronize all sources of scenic material. Some of the gravel here is from a pet store (fish).


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