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Friday, 8 November 2019

Winter Is Here

Miniatures are still being constructed, but are having to take a back seat to Real Life, unfortunately.
Mid-month I got news that my sister on the other side of the country - Vancouver Island - was dying. We lost her this Monday; 23 years with Parkinson's Disease had resulted in a body that could no longer carry on. She will be missed.

Yesterday it began to snow; today, this is what my garden looks like, complete with one of this year's fawns - Virginia Whitetail, for those who want to know - in its heavy, dull brown winter coat.

And here is the doe, watching her baby. Soon baby will have to make it on its own, as mom is likely going to have another baby before too many months pass.

Yesterday, Marilyn and I delivered the Remembrance Day Project to the Engineering Museum at our local armed forces base. We had expected to simply drop it off, but when we arrived there were a couple of dozen soldiers awaiting us, along with some officers, including the lady Colonel who is in charge of the Engineers. It was very flattering to have such a nice fuss made over our project. I will try to get a photo of it; I didn't realize there is no finished photo of it on the blog. We were each given a heavy souvenir coin of the regiment, and a guided tour of the museum in which our project is going to be living.

I am still working on the Camp project, as well as on things to go into a new room box that I will talk about in another post.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Beautiful Interpretation of CMHH '19Project

In the previous post,I mentioned that two of our campers were interpreting a very old Spanish restaurant kitchen, and I posted one in progress photo. This photo is Kelly's interpretation, which is nearly complete. I just love this one, and so does everyone who saw it on the CanadaMinis website.

I am working on rebuilding my kitchen into an old-fashioned neighbourhood candy store, but as we had (most enjoyable) company over the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday this weekend, I have not worked on it, except to glue on some hinges.

This one should inspire me to finish....

Friday, 11 October 2019

Oh No!

Perhaps my fingers are getting too clumsy, but my camp project imploded on Wednesday, as I was sanding after re-staining with oil stain. (The stuff I have really stinks, for days!) This has led to a rather complete re-design of the fittings, to better suit my purpose for the project as an old sweet shoppe,which I will add to my thirties market place, the kind of frugal place where kids spend their allowances and buy chocolates for their moms.

The bottle pull-out in the lower half of the kitchen and the narrow shelved cupboard next to it are out, to be re-worked into a wider shelved cabinet designed to take some of the jars of sweets. The original sides of that cupboard will thus be re-purposed. There should be a display for chocolate boxes and candy bars (if I can find vintage wrapper printies, that is), and a lollipop display as well as the two counter jars of lollipops I have in my stash. I wish I could figure out how to get the tops off, they need more lollies! The cupboard with the door will hold the scales and cash register when the box is closed. I will figure out a use for the base cupboard with the two drawers and the cubby-hole - it could hold a dustpan and brush, for example, while the drawers could hold the pewter scoops.

The entire upper row of cupboards will be replaced by shelves deep enough to take glass candy jars, which I have been collecting in three sizes. I am debating faux bins with "glass" fronts below the shelves, just in the centre. The plan is to design glass bins first of all, and then I intend to make a faux front just deep enough to hold the candy, giving the illusion the entire bin is full. (I have to make all that candy, after all!) I also have some square cookie or cracker bins in my stash, which I could make up for the project. I might even be able to make tiny display cabinets, to hold boxes of chocolate, for the upper parts of the doors.

With the upper cupboards replaced with shelves, I can put a hanging light into the shop; it is quite dark, and I want the glass candy jars visible.The lights I have are LED, and work off a coin battery which I can hide in a lift-off false roof space (thanks, Marilyn, for that idea). As well, I hope to put a three-shelf unit onto the lower left-hand door (used by Louise in her optometrist's office), to hold small jars of , for example, stick candy. The little shelf that came with the kit is too narrow to take my jars, so it will have to wait for another project.

We are having company for Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, so I will have to wait with my smelly stain until we are on our own again next week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Camp MiniHaHa 2019 Project

This is the prototype of the Ruffled Rooster Kitchen project, designed by Connie Sauve, that we were doing at camp, with her permission, this year. It is jam-packed with cupboards, drawers and cubbyholes, and the camper who cut out the pieces for us figures there were upwards of 4,000 or so to have enough for all the campers and the extra kits people asked for.

I have mentioned, in the past, that we tend to do as many variations of our project as there are campers, and you will see some in the photos below. There are a lot of photos, so this is a long blog entry.
Unfortunately, people started to pack up mid-afternoon on Sunday, so there are a lot of examples I was unable to get photos of.

Debbie P.s kitchen is a lovely grey-blue, the photo does not do it justice. You can see where things have been switched about to personalise the project.

This is Janice's kitchen, in blue-grey and yellow. As you can see, more switching around of the kit's components!

Myra works small, so her "kitchen" became a three-story house! This is probably 1/48th scale, as the box is 15 1/2 cm (6") wide and 17 1/2 cm (7") high. I did tell you it was a compact kit....

Iris and Kelly were both reproducing a 1700's restaurant kitchen/stove they had visited in Spain; the restaurant has been operating for nearly 300 years, and is believed to be the oldest restaurant ever. The sides and stove hood were tiled, hence the tile work; the stove portion - a huge metal beast - will go into the open space.

Aleeta is making the wardrobe scene from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The kitchen has been transformed into a wardrobe, and you can see the door opening which has been cut, and which will become the entry to Narnia; she plans to do the scene of the snowy forest, street lamp and Mr. Tumnus the Faun in behind the wardrobe, thus expanding the scene.

Brandy carved her doors; she painted background scenery on the kit doors, then cut some thicker doors and carved them with trees, foliage, bear cubs, rocks and stones, to be applied over the painted background. Sadly, I didn't get a photo of that. And Patricia was creating a theatrical dressing room, complete with light bulbs around the mirror, from her kit. (No photo of that either...) Lynn and one other camper were turning their kits into Hallowe'en scenes.

Already in existence, in the prototypes, were 2 complete, beautiful kitchens, a laundry room with many flamingo accessories, and an optometrist's office. I hope to get some more photos up at some point, as three of the prototypes were made by members of my local mini group.

It was a a rather exhausting camp, with all the many pieces that needed to be assembled. My own version is partly stained, partly painted, partly done, partly not done; you get the idea. My stain had deteriorated, and they don't make it any more in the water version, only in oil, so I have to re-stain all the pieces with smelly stain. I am pulling out the bottle drawer (long and narrow on lower portion of kitchen), and will enlarge the shelves to allow for more "stuff". There are lots of little glass jars and bottles in my stash, which all need to be filled with polymer clay candy, not to mention the bins and shelves of the kit shop. I also want to add a shelf unit to the left-hand door to accommodate some jars. The drop-down table in the project will be my store counter, with a small scale on top. Did I mention that my project is intended to become an old-fashioned candy shop? It will become part of my between-the-wars market setting. To that end, I have to figure out how to make "glass" fronts for the 3 tiny drawers. That should be a challenge! And I would love to be able to figure out a way to make the tip-out "glass" shelf on the top portion into a pair of tip-out bins.

Next time, I will show some of my camp goodies, but this is enough for now, I think.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

One Cloud Pine in Miniature

It turned out better than I expected; my only problem is that using matte varnish over scenic cement has resulted in a somewhat shiny trunk. The depth of the foliage is quite good, with a little scatter of several lighter shades just over the top to give some lightness. The evergreen foliage is actually quite dark. Hopefully I can figure out a way to dull that shine permanently.

Now I am off to Camp MiniHaHa followed by a short family, visit until next week.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Finally, The Cloud Pine

No, it isn't a ghost tree; I put several coats of gesso on the framework of my cloud pine tree, and allowed it to dry thoroughly (several weeks, I procrastinated!), and today, with the last of the floral arrangements for my shop in a box done, I got back to the tree as I will be showing the Japanese vignette at Camp.

I looked at quite a few different how-to videos, and the one that triggered this idea was a model railroad tree builder from Australia. He uses the coconut liners for hanging baskets to create the frame for his trees, thinning it out and cutting it to fit his ideas. I don't have coconut liners, but I do have a bag of polyester fill for toys; and it pulls out very much like the landscaping fibres you can purchase from the model railroad stores, except that it is white, of course.

I pulled the fibres as thinly as I could, and glued them to the wire support loops. After they dried, I used sludge green paint diluted with water and a soft, floppy brush to brush on the colour. And found that slopping on the diluted colour also allowed me to shape the fibre mats somewhat. This has to dry at least overnight, then I will use spray glue (part of my quilt supplies) to spray the mats and then sprinkle on evergreen-coloured railroad scatter.

Once the mats are covered with foliage, I will likely have to scrape glued-on scatter off the branches and trunks; when that is done, I will paint those with lots of dark grey, brown, sludge green, etc. I do hope it all works out!

This is the last of the floral arrangements for sale; it is a zinc tub of calendulas, or pot marigolds; the petals of these flowers are edible, and look good in salads. I am told they are peppery in flavour.

And just for fun, I made some forsythia and pussy willow branches in vases. I leave for camp on Wednesday....

Wednesday, 18 September 2019


This anthurium has been living on my dining room table since Valentine's Day; the tag on the plant says it is "the world's longest blooming plant". And since February I've been thinking it might be fun to do this one in miniature. It's in a glass vase lined with spaghnum moss, but I used a similar shape of vase from my stash:

Hey, I'm happy with it!  If it doesn't sell it can go into my flower shop's summertime window display.
Hopefully, you are not getting tired of miniature plants.