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Sunday, 12 July 2020

More Potted Foliage Plants

There is still at least one more pair of begonia plants to make up and pot. I hope I have enough pots! The light green plants are the first of the prayer plant (maranta) family; there are at least another dozen to go.

While the green-leaf plants look good in terra cotta pots, I planted the red ones in white pots, as there would otherwise be too much red. The remaining begonia pair is pinkish, and I have to decide what sort of pot would look good with them.

As mentioned in the previous post, these plant printies are from 1 zu 12, the German magazine. They are very good quality, and I did have them professionally printed, one of my few outside trips recently. Our scanner is not very good with European A-4 paper, and tends to cut off the edges all around.

To shape these, I first ran a ball stylus around the outside edges of the leaves, on the back. Then I flipped them over, and made a little hook-shaped crease in the centre, as one side of their leaves is smaller than the other; another name for these is elephant-ear begonias, a very good nickname! The wire stems are fine gauge, light or dark green or red, with a 90 degree hook at the top which I use to glue them down on the leaf printie.

Boutique Pulchinella continues to fill up.

Friday, 10 July 2020

Begonia Plants

I am making plants. All of the plants I am working on are foliage plants, and this first batch is begonias, all colours of them. The printies came from an issue of 1 zu 12, the German-language miniature magazine. There will, eventually, be two pots of each plant.

I have returned to half days at my volunteer job (museum accessioning), and my co-volunteer gifted me with three terra cotta pots; the green begonia is in one of them. I have never before come across pots in this size; they are in between the wooden ones I use and the terra cotta ones available at places like Michael's (North American hobby shop).

 My collection of white plastic caps will also be used in this project; in my house, most of the smaller plants are in white ceramic pots of many different shapes and sizes. There are four more begonia varities to pot up, and then there are about a dozen maranta varieties; the most common of these is known as a prayer plant. As some of those are quite small, they will go into my tiniest pots.

Toothpaste caps and the like are kind of a cliche in miniatures, but sometimes simple things are more eye-catching - in a good way - than complicated ones. And they're free....

Monday, 6 July 2020


Having some problems with my eyes the last few days, a lot of visual migraines, so I haven't been doing minis. However, once things settle I will be back!

Saturday, 27 June 2020

One Toaster and One Coffee Grinder Later

That kitchen scale is still giving me all kinds of grief, primarily because I can't find a dial for it that fits. Our computer will not scale photos down far enough, and my efforts, twice, to draw my own have resulted in ink that refuses to dry and smears. I will find a way!

The coffee grinder is done! What caused the most trouble, at the end, was not the teeny scale of the things, but finding a way to fix the crank handle and the coffee receptacle in place on the wood. And I still need to find my tiny silver stickers, to make a label for it. Yes, the drawer does open....

I ended up using a piece of thickish card for the crank handle, with a tiny bit of decorative toothpick for the knob. Those were then threaded on to a small piece of brass tubing, and a pin run through the lot and glued in with tacky glue and super glue. I hope it holds!

The toaster looks good! But it still wants a label. The cord is buttonhole thread, though I may eventually change that to cordonnee embroidery cotton - it looks a little delicate right now. The feet are seed beads, the groove was filed into the side of the wooden toaster block, and the handles are half circles of manila file folder glued onto cut-off pins that are glued into the body of the toaster.

The toaster was based on a tutorial on-line, but I changed quite a bit of it. The body was a sandwich of a slab of wood, with thin pieces on the edges, another slab, and another slab with thin pieces on the edges. I painted the inside black before assembling, except for the top edges. Once the pieces were glued together and thoroughly dry, I sanded the corners and added a base with rounded corners.There are at least 3 coats of pink paint, with sanding in between coats, and then a coat of gloss varnish.

I'm happy! The coffee grinder with the movable drawer is by far the smallest piece I've ever done. And I discovered that there are grinders with domed tops; those tops, however, have a little sliding door into which the beans are put - far too complex for miniatures!

Thursday, 25 June 2020

I'm Going Cross-Eyed

The last several days have been packed with non-mini things, which means I am not much further along with making accessories to fill the blue shelf unit - which, by the way, I am unable to find. I seem to have put it somewhere so safe that I have no memory of it....

The Lego block is there to give an idea of the scale at which I'm working. The vintage toaster probably has enough paint that I can continue to finish the details of it, like the handles, lever, feet and cord and plug. The coffee grinder is giving me grief; I fear the wood I used for it is the crappy stuff from Michael's. The drawer has been rebuilt three times and the knob will not glue in place, so I am going to stain it and then super-glue that knob! (And hope that staining it will not cause it to swell and reject that darn little drawer!)

The design for the coffee mill is from a Dutch mini magazine, and I kept thinking there was something wrong with it. I finally figured out what that was this morning; the construction has the dome on top with the flat side down! In a real coffee grinder, the domed part is where the grinder 's crank handle is, and it is open to allow one to put in the coffee beans. The ground beans are then accessed through the little drawer. Hah! It was designed by a man....

The metal part is part of a cheap earring, with a hole punched through the bottom. I'll glue a spacer bead under it, and then string the crank handle and shaft on a head pin through the hole and the spacer. As the wood is so thin, I think I'll make the crank handle from sturdy cardboard, the kind you find on the backs of notepads. Painted it should look like metal - I hope!

I also hope to make a vintage breadbox from the tutorial in 1" Minis by Kris. It is made of mat board and cardboard, and should be another interesting challenge.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Vintage Kitchen Items Are Done

And as you can see, I gave in and did them in apple green. If you enlarge the photo, you will see a small border and design on just about every piece; this was done using an artist's India ink pen in dark brown, after painting and before the crackle finish. Once everything was dry, I used antiquing gel to highlight the crackles in the pieces.

From left to right, top: plate rack, drawer shelf, which needs drawer knobs, (I think I might put some cup hooks on the upper bar), and the soap/sand/soda rack. On the floor, the bottle rack and the fly safe, with the egg holder on top. The fly safe door needs to be hinged and to have a  knob (I ran out!)

They give off an Edwardian era air, when everything greenery-yallery was very popular....

I am happy with them!

Friday, 12 June 2020

Old-Fashioned Kitchen No. 6

I had cut the pieces for this on Thursday, and assembled the drawers - well, no knobs, I have to buy some! I left this one to the last as I had to free-hand the shapes of the sides of the drawer shelf, and to estimate where all the various pieces fit together. As mentioned before, the full-scale diagrams do not print out at the proper scale, they are much larger. And I still worry about drawers; these went through a lot of sanding to fit properly! But this drawer/shelf unit was put together during our Friday mini session on-line. The other pieces all have their base coat of stain, this one will get done this evening.

Now I have to make the final decision re colour of this six-piece, old-fashioned kitchen set. My heart is still set on leaf green, but it is not an easy colour for most interiors!

I have also begun a vintage toaster, and a vintage kitchen scale. For the latter, I need to find a printie of a kitchen scale dial, if anyone has any good ideas in that area! Lots of clock faces, but no scale dials were to be found. The lure of the internet is great, but I can only give it so much time....