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Saturday, 12 January 2019

Some Things I Did Manage to Finish

The angel is made from a brass cone, with filigree wings I picked up at the Arnhem Dollhouse Expo some years ago, and a tiny jewelry ring for the halo. It stands 3.5 cm (1 3/8") tall. As the base of the cone is uneven, I will make a card underskirt to make it stand up better. It is intended for the Advent calendar project from Christmas 2017.

The candle display measures 4 cm in length (1 5/8"), made with lycopodium, gold beads,  red no-hole beads, paper holly leaves, and half scale candles; it will sit on the windowsill of the Advent calendar project. The smaller candles fit better within the general setting of the project than tall ones. This
project has to be finished within the next few months, as it will be delivered by hand sometime in the late spring, to my younger daughter, in southern Alberta. (That's several thousand km away!)

As all too often happens, I saw the perfect wall shelf on Pinterest recently, a Real Life one that would translate nicely to minis. Of course, I can't find it again! So I will have to rely on memory. It was a series of five small shelves in graduated sizes, on a green back panel, with Christmas decorations on each shelf. Should be fun to re-create, but much easier if I could find the original inspiration! There was an elf on the smallest, top shelf, and I think there may have been some tiny trees and putz houses on the shelves as well. I could always make a Noel sign out of alphabet macaroni....

Friday, 11 January 2019

Some Other Bits of the Group Project

I'm going to keep it a secret until we are further along, but we are mainly following instructions from one of the European magazines. I have more small bits to create to add to the scene; the other participants are doing other pieces of it. Eventually, to finish the project off, we will likely have a workday in which we are all going to be working on the same things.

The table base is an old one, re-purposed for this project and provided with a new, old-looking and rough top; it is made of spruce, stained in golden oak and then liberally gone over with antiquing gel.
I still have to put a knob on the drawer. The binoculars were made over a pair of dowel forms, the candle holder is a popped jeans rivet (I think), and the mug is recipe card cardboard. I still need to dirty that up some more.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

You Shall NOT Pass!

Yes, Gandalf is 1/12 scale, I also have Gimli, complete with weapons. No, this sandbag wall will not hold back a Balrog, but I wanted something to show scale.

So here are about one quarter of the sandbags we need to make for our group project. The top for the beat-up farmhouse table will dry overnight, then get distressed and put on to the apron/legs of the table.

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Hello Again, I Think I'm Back....

First of all, Happy 2019 to all of you who stuck with me during my very long absence. Life kind of caught up on us this autumn, but I do believe I am ready to go on with miniatures and the blog again. My youngest daughter has moved permanently to western Canada, like so many young, well educated New Brunswick young people they have to leave for work opportunities. All three of my children now live at the feet of the Rocky Mountains, more or less, while we are far, far away close to the Atlantic Ocean. We can actually travel faster and cheaper to Europe than we can to visit our children in our own country!

Christmas did  bring me a few minis, a jug from my youngest daughter, and a new saw blade from the Carpenter-in-Chief, the third in my mini career. I wear them out....

We are in the middle of a blizzard/snowstorm - what else is new?

I haven't stopped working on minis, there just is not, as yet, anything finished to show. Today, I began making sandbags for a group project, and learned something about tea dyeing - you need to put the objects being dyed right side out in the tea dye!

I put them in inside out, then baked them at 260 degrees for 20 mins, and left them in the warm oven for another 20. Result, lovely dark, dirty sandbag covers. Then I turned them right side out:

They are back in the tea dye, a new, stronger batch as I need them to be quite dirty. This is perhaps a quarter of the bags we will likely need, but doing them in smaller batches makes the task less daunting. We are using recycled fitting muslins left behind by my designer daughter.

Now I have to go and find wood for a beaten-up, old farmhouse table top. 

Monday, 3 September 2018

I Found a Box Full of Body Parts....

....and now I'm feeling very guilty. While attempting to sort our my work space, I discovered some little people I had  begun years ago, which I had completely forgotten about.

Some of these were made quite a few years ago, for the market scene and the first big project I began, the artist's studio. As well, there are two dolls intended for a park bench vignette; a pregnant mom and her toddler. There was also an elderly lady who was going to share the bench with them - they were supposed to be at a bus stop - but the old lady ended up as one of the shoppers in the market.

So now, aside from at least two more dolls for the Tudor market, I also have two or three left for the other market. The baby had movable arms, but I managed to break the shoulder joint. I guess I just put them out of sight, out of mind.

While trying to cut down on my enormous hobby stash, I also found two dolls I had forgotten about, larger size; one is a reproduction china head, the other a Chinese baby with a broken hand and in need of some new joint elastic. This is on top of a couple of practice restorations on two antiques, an Armand Marseille child and a china head Highland Mary, that I acquired very inexpensively a couple of weeks ago.

When I say to my friends that I need to live to be 150, in order to finish all my projects, I am now underestimating!

I will get back to minis soon....

Friday, 27 July 2018

This Weekend.... our provincial Highland Games Festival. It starts off this evening with music and a reception (and smoked salmon, but I musn't be greedy!), continues on Saturday, when I will be slinging haggis is The Haggis Cafe (fundraiser), and on Sunday. The highlight for me on Saturday and Sunday will be the massed bands at the end of the day, bagpipes and drums by the St. John River, next to a very old (for Canada) Lieutenant Governor's mansion. Once upon a time I worked in that building, when it was the provincial Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters.

We are in another heatwave here, and there is also very high humidity. A cyanobacteria algal bloom outbreak along parts of the river has already claimed the lives of three dogs; this algae kills within fifteen minutes or so. That means no swimming in the river for local dogs.

The heatwave is bound to affect the highland dance competitors, as well as the pipe bands; I expect the St. John Ambulance crews will be kept very busy.

But on August 1st, I am doing minis with a few friends! Now that the doll display I worked on this past Wednesday at Kings Landing is done, and pretty much everything has been tidied away, I can do miniatures again! Well, I still have to re-string a couple of dolls....

Friday, 20 July 2018

Catching Up Once Again

It may again be a bit quiet on the blog, as I am in the throes of organizing a miniature and doll show for the fall. Right now it is registrations, which take quite a bit of my time. Also, we are once again in a heatwave, and my energy levels are low....

I am doing a doll display this coming week, with the provincial Highland Games over the weekend; usually I spend a day at the Haggis Cafe. Yes, we made haggis again this year, and expect to serve about 200 haggis on a bun at the event. One of these days, I must do a little Scots vignette to give to the Carpenter-in-Chief, as he is the guy with the Scottish background!