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Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Loft Project Radiator

The last two Wednesday virtual mini meetings I was able to attend, I worked on the radiator for the Loft Project apartment. This is the result, finished during our session today; it will be spray-painted a nice ivory enamel colour, to counter all the darker, autumnal colours I hope to use in this project.

The radiator is made of paired, glued craft sticks with decorative ends made from inexpensive wooden fan blades; I had a lot of those, as they were what the spiral stairs were supposed to be made of. (I still haven't completely given up on the stairs, but am  weighing my options there.)

The craft sticks were drilled to take a piece of brass wire to thread them together, and the horizontal "pipes" are flat round wooden spacer beads cannibalised from an old necklace. Two brass, knurled beads cover the upper ends of the wire. The "pipes" are made of plastic kit waste, which I actually managed to drill with my pin vice, to take the ends of the wires that hold the radiator fins together. The faucet is made of sewing pin bits and beads, again drilled in place on the plastic waste pipes. I did not drill through my finger tips, but admit that I did poke my finger with my awl blade....

Knitting is going on; one and a half socks, three knitted slippers, and half a mitten are on the go right now. There are also some partially finished, small knitting projects left over from pre-Covid, that I fully intend to finish (i.e., my intentions are good, we'll have to see if I achieve them!)


Thursday, 17 September 2020

It May Be a While

 Because Christmas is fast approaching, witness the birds leaving here, the trees already turning colour, and the cool nights and mornings, I decided to get a bit of a head start on Christmas gifts. That means I may not be posting on the blog as often, but I hope you will check in once in a while. Due to the pandemic, mails are slow right now, and I think I should send any gifts off before the middle of November.

I am back at my volunteer job one day a week, for four hours only right now, and the knitting group has started up again; the huge donation of yarn that arrived on Monday means that the needles will have to click madly to use it all up. We are doing some knitting for charities and they need their supplies for the winter sooner rather than later.

The blinds are installed in the Loft Project, and I think I have what I need for the hardware on the windows. The next big job is pipes and wiring; decent weather is required for me to spray-paint out of doors, and with all the tropical storms/hurricanes, there has been a lot of wind up my way lately. We are also dealing, this far away from the west coast, with smoke from forest fires! 

Stay well, please; consider Hallowe'en patterned masks, and holiday season ones, as it looks we will have to wear them for some time to come. And we may as well have some fun while wearing them....

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Window Blinds

I decided to add some window blinds, rolled up of course, to the two windows in the Loft Project. As well, I papered the two ceilings in the project. The photo below shows what I found to use;

The ceilings are an ogee-patterned, textured scrapbooking paper; two sheets were plenty to do both ceilings, make a mistake, and still have paper left over for some future small project. The paper was from Michael's. I also used odd stuff to create the blinds; a piece of wallpaper frieze, about 4" or 10 cm wide, that I had picked up from the freebie table at camp, thinking it might make good wainscoting for a witch or wizard scene. Combined with fringe (selvedge of a piece of natural cotton muslin), mini braid, gold embroidery cord, and a jump ring and tiny bit cut off a jewelry finding, all rolled onto a skewer, created the blind in the photo below;

I like it, as does the Carpenter-in-Chief! Tomorrow, I'll hang the blinds, and put hardware on the windows.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

More Progress

The lower edge has been finished, again with a file folder cardboard strip faux painted to match the stained oak floor finish. Originally the space between the pillars was going to house the spiral stairs, but I am still not sure about those! The pillars will be enamel-painted in cream, with some aging to give them character. They are made from the wooden inside of some commercial tassels, and some doweling; remember, this building is intended to be cast iron construction.

The table, chair, ottoman and rug were originally intended for this project, and I still like them in this space. The vase is an inexpensive Mexican ceramic, with some very old (like, among the earliest I ever made!) grasses and plants in it; the colour works with the overall autumnal effect I associate with steam punk interiors, and I've always loved mossy green glazes.

The upper level is still bare; I will likely re-purpose the pencil sharpener Victrola with a wooden base and some more interesting colouring, but it would suit the setting. The interior window openings are framed, the windows are glazed, but not yet fixed in place. The lower one will be partially open. And the outside of the window framing has been "rusted" and aged.

The project is developing its own character; it represents a corner of the loft apartment of the owner of the book shop in the books. As space is limited, I have to think seriously as to what is needed to give the effect I want. I am kind of interested in trying a steam punk desk or chest of drawers, based on a framework of match boxes; there are a number of very interesting ones on the internet. The walls will, of course, have "stuff" on them, like shelves and paintings and pictures.

Ideally, I'd like to do some steam punk piping, again in cream enamel, and add a radiator and assorted dials and gauges where they seem appropriate, as well as a coffee table or something; I am still looking at possibilities there. Right now, I mainly want to finish this structure. The outside walls will be brick, with the slanted roof sheathed in verdigrised copper. I intend to light this structure, which will be a bit of a challenge, given the lower level ceiling height; I may have to resort to wall sconces and a floor lamp there. Battery packs will be hidden in a removable roof, with the handles being disguised as chimneys; I'm thinking of a small weather station on the roof as well, and will have to see what is available for things like a miniature anemometer.

And I am thinking very seriously of doing more portions of this project in materials like matte board, foam core and the like, with faux finishes, of course.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Some Progress

The spiral staircase, which was a major part of this project, and the reason I came home with a pretty much unfinished building, is now hanging on by a thread - I may assign it to the burn pile! However, in the meantime, I did do some work on the Industrial Loft Project, aka the Steampunk Apartment Corner Vignette. My idea for this loft is that it is cast iron construction, so lots of metal to fake up....

My decision was to take baby steps. Yesterday, I cut fine strips of file folder card, and used it to make a finished edge around the second floor; it was faux-painted to match the stained boards, and I am quite happy with it. The same finish will eventually go around all the raw edges of the project. Above is one of the windows in the process of being glazed. The Carpenter-in-Chief said I should not have the wide muntins of the window on the outside, as rain would collect in the metal corners and the window frame would rust out. OK, I agreed, and decided that I would cover the outside edges with fine, painted strips of sturdy scrap booking card. The purplish thing is the closest I came to black, so that was the colour I chose. I think a fair amount of card will go into this construction!

It's taken most of today, but one of the windows is in place, ready to have the interior framed glued in place. We were going to make the central section swivel out, but that requires, a) pin hinging and b) pin hinging having to be drilled in a laser-cut window where you can't get your pin vise in straight. I've given myself permission to make is simpler; the upper pane will be permanently closed, while the lower one will be permanently open. It is currently under weights awaiting the glue drying. You can see the nice finish on the edges of the second floor.

I would like to suggest hardware on these windows, and will have to research that. Also, I'm thinking that roller blinds would be an interesting touch, as this loft is now a home; they would be rolled up, of course, so not too difficult to create, and could have interesting hardware too. And perhaps I'll look for an interesting dark tiny tie print for the blinds.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Time Sure Goes Quickly....

...even when you're working on several things at once, as usual. I finished wickering the little doll's bed, just need to design and make the rockers (which were missing from my package (an estate sale purchase) and the cutlery carrier is ready to crackle and age. I've been working on sorting - again - and trying to find a punch I need that I seem to have lost or misplaced. I've also embroidered a small mat, and am glad I have an optometrist's appointment in two weeks as my eyes probably need new glasses - my vision gets blurry after about an hour's work, and then I have to stop for an hour or so.

As I would like to get back in the mini groove, I dug out an old CMHH project, from 2016 I think, which has been a bit of a thorn in my side for the past several years. It is the least finished project of all the camp projects, with the exception of the castle, as I ran into many problems in the course of trying to realize my vision. It is meant to be steam punk to match the bookshop in repurposed books project; the owner of the bookshop lives here, so I hope to have a desk with parcels ready to mail out, and all the stuff I can fit in that will add to the steam punk vision. It's pretty small, the footprint of the base is 9 x 9" or about 22 x 22 cm.

This is the structure and all its belongings; electrification stuff, the pieces of the roof which is meant to have a space for hiding the battery pack, rotating windows currently held by tape, sticks I am not sure what they are for, etc. I think there may be a set of library steps somewhere in that pile of small wood pieces! The box it was  stored in had an awful lot of unidentifiable scraps of wood, dowel and foam board in it.

That ladder thing is the beginning of the spiral staircase, made of fan blades. They're why I got so little done on this project, I think I had to make them twice. I've been studying other people's spiral stair projects, and perhaps I have figured it out. We'll see! (The steps rotate around the support pole.) The second level has to have supports at the cut-out corners of the stair opening, that's next. Once I have that sorted, I can continue on with the stairs. One tutorial I looked at used supports every four steps, and I kind of like that idea, as it creates a space under the steps that would be perfect for the imaginary inhabitant's cats.

This project is currently held together by painter's tape and gravity. I need to plot piping and electric conduits over two levels, and figure out if the battery can support the lighting needed, before I can glue it up. Here's hoping I can get my construction mojo back....

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Yes. Still Plugging Away

I have to admit, I am having difficulty sticking with my self-imposed task of finishing some of those things that have been lying around forever, but boy, is it slow going! The constant bad news takes some dealing with, and with the library open again with limited hours, I am doing far too much reading, I'm afraid.

After looking through all my stuff, I was unable to find the lantern part of my street lamp, and I am blaming the cat. She definitely swiped the peak of the street lamp! So I decided, now or never, and went on-line to find the original tutorial; well, here we go again! The photo is there, with the diagram for the lantern portion, and a sample shown on the background of a cutting mat, but guess what? The site has apparently been hijacked by a Real Life lighting company, because when you click on it, you get normal size, manufactured, fluorescent lighting offered to you. Are you as ticked off by all those wonderful tutorials and DIY's that are no longer available as I am? There are a lot of pirates on that internet! I spent the morning re-designing the lantern based on the base and the peak measurements, which I probably should have done in the first place.

This needs staining and a coat of paint; it is a colonial cutlery caddy. Chances are this will end up in my pioneer room, lamp base vignette; I do have some pewter cutlery, and that vignette is where I display my pewter miniatures.

This is a lovely little dolls' bed being woven, from an old kit; I am almost done with it. I will admit that I am finding it difficult to distinguish between the wires I am weaving through, and those on the other side; my eyes are definitely changing, and not for the better. This will be done soon, I am determined! It was missing the rockers, so I have to design those. (The base is 2.5 cm or 1" wide.)

I also  finished the rest of the groceries I was working on; they will go into my kitchen stash for eventual use in something or other.  As well, I'm cutting out and finishing a La Casa Miniatures vintage Valentine card kit. And reading good books. And continuously looking for things that I put in a "safe" place....

That's it for now!