The box of toys has finally been assembled for the loft, including the mini baby doll I had mislaid earlier. Rather than blow dust over the arrangement, I wanted to try the cobwebbed effect. It seemed logical to use genuine spiders' webs and so I set out for a prime source - the festoons hanging inside the windows of our garden shed.
I made a loop of wire and harvested what I thought would be enough, keeping a wary eye open for any spidery movements. Not that I'm particularly scared of them but I am very allergic to being bitten (don't let anyone tell you we have no venomous spiders in the UK, I was sensitized by a harmless-looking little number that crawled out of a bag of grapes).
The initial problem was carrying the web material back up to the house in a keen easterly wind. Of course, it promptly wrapped itself around the wire. Once indoors I had to tease the stuff apart in order to spread it over the toys. I was surprised it didn't disintegrate, quite the contrary, it's really tough and has a lot of stretchability.
The snag is that web silk is designed to stick to any living thing that isn't a spider, so half of it kept coming away with my fingers. And it was so strong that I found I couldn't break off the unwanted bits without dislodging the toys. It was definitely one of those frustrating times when you think 'only a miniaturist would even contemplate this!'
So here's the result. It's only an experiment, I could try teased-out cotton wool instead. Or perhaps I'll just leave the toybox down in the shed for a few weeks and let the spiders deal with it all by themselves.