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Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Just did a little bit of housekeeping on the blog, and removed some ads that got there without my permission and knowledge, as well as a nonsense sort-of comment that had nothing to do with the blog itself.

Your comments are very much appreciated, as they let me know that people are, indeed, watching my miniature progress. Thank you!

Some new people have joined the blog lately, and I would like to welcome you. It is my assumption that if you decide to become a "follower", that you have some of the same interests I have, and enjoy reading my take on those interests.

As mentioned several times in the course of this blog, I am far from comfortable with computers. There are other people's blogs I would like to direct readers to, but the one time I tried to do just that, I apparently down-loaded the entire blog contents to my computer. And I just don't know how to get it to delete again....

Monday, 29 September 2014

Back From Camp

It is late, and I drove for 8 hours today to get back home, with unpacking yet to do. However, I wanted to share this year's camp projects with you.

This was the major project, a room box in a lamp base. All the pieces were pre-cut for us, but we did the assembly and finishing of  the base. The insert is L-shaped, and comes out to allow you to replace it with seasonal or other scenes. The flooring and timber wall were made with scrap woods found at camp.

This is the beginning of a colonial kitchen; squared logs, whitewashed, and a fireplace for cooking and heating. The bricks on the hearth need painting, and the floor needs staining, then I can decorate. This setting is intended to display my collection of miniature pewter pieces, primarily pieces created by the late Philip Aitken, a local pewter smith, and the lovely little hutch cupboard I was lucky enough to find recently. Stay tuned! I intend to have it finished very soon....

The second part of the project is the glitzy costumed mannequin below:

The overall theme of the camp this year was Mardi Gras, specifically the marvellous Venetian Carnival costumes and masks. There were 3 different costumes, I got the gray, white and black one. It was the first time I worked on fabric with glue, and I am not quite sure I like using glue on fabric! Our teacher for this class was Judith Blondell, an Ontario-based miniaturist who is very well-known in Canada for her exquisite fabric and leather pieces. We are hoping she will come back in two years to teach us an upholstered leather wing chair. It is so very nice to come home from camp with a project that is pretty nearly finished, such a satisfying sense of accomplishment!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Furnishing the Pawn Shop Part 1

For many years (oh, how many!), I've had dozens of House of Miniatures kits lying around, waiting for me to become proficient (hah!) at finishing miniature furniture. There really is a reason why I enjoy the Tudor period....

At any rate, the Pawn Shop needs some furniture, and in going through the many kits, I found some that I think will work in the small space of the shop. For practice, I did a bedside table with a drawer, which has my favourite Ipswich Pine stain that will in all probability be covered up with cream paint, and then be crackled, aged and grubbied up. I made a bit of a mess with the drawer, but light sanding soon took care of that problem; apparently a small blob of hardened glue in my gluing jig knocked the parts out of balance, requiring a bit of sanding to make everything fit again.

Not bad, if I do say so myself. I will have to be very careful painting around the handle and its escutcheon, though. Having done this, I tackled a Chippendale hanging shelf, which I plan to put on the back wall of the Pawn Shop to hold some nice little silver pieces, and the like.

This was shot at an angle, to show off the fretwork sides; unfortunately, they will be mostly invisible once installed in the shop. These drawers actually fit without the need for sanding, as I cleaned the old glue out of the corners of the jig. The pierced sides are mahogany, which meant using mahogany stain on the other components of the shelf. Below is a front view:

The shadows are quite harsh, unfortunately. I am quite pleased with how this piece came together; all the parts fit with minimum sanding, even after using the oil-based stain.

There is a small square-topped candle-stand  I want to use to hold a miniature Limoges vase, and a grandfather clock that would also look good in the shop. Somewhere in my stash, I have a broken-off china Buddha head which I can mount on a block like an old art piece, and a rather heavy silver-plated punch bowl which may also work nicely. And a lovely, hand-painted tray I purchased some years ago, when the artist was just starting out and prices were reasonable, will look lovely propped against the back wall on the top shelf.

That just leaves some things to put in the window of the shop. Once I am back from camp, I can try to make some clocks, a barometer, and other small items one might expect to find in a pawn shop. It will be fun to sort out and place bits and pieces to make the inside of the vignette come alive.

Why the push? Well, I am taking the Pawn Shop to Camp MiniHaHa on Sept. 24, to place it in the display room at camp. My version of last year's project was the prototype on which the actual project was based; I stuck with the smaller, more compact version. If any of the other ones show up for the display, I will take photos so you can see how inventive our Campers are.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Camp MiniHaHa and the Local Campers

Just heard that a fifth person from my town and area is coming to Camp MiniHaHa this year; it starts on Sept. 24, so I am working hard on finishing gifts and tidbits that add so much to the fun at Camp. Funny how you think you are miniaturing (is that even a word?) on your lonesome, then one other miniaturists moves into the area, your husband turns out to have  worked with another, and a third finds out about the camp at the Montreal Show this past spring. She had a friend who was interested, so now there are 5 of us, with another one possibly getting together with us one of these days.

We hope to get together to work on whatever we happen to be working on at the time, and just enjoy the miniaturists' ambience together.

Back to work on stuff for Camp, now.