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Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Chimney Is Bricked

Well, I was going to post a photo, it came out sideways and was duly rotated, but when I went to add it to the blog, it was once again sideways.

That was my work for today; bricking the Tudor house chimney. The beam supports are mostly on, tomorrow afternoon I hope to get the chimney cap on and the chimney pots placed. I will take a photo then.

And there are still lots of little boxes to be put together....

Friday, 28 November 2014

I'm Going Cross-Eyed!

Today I came across a treasure trove of shop boxes on the internet for perfumes, bath salts, soaps, powders, you name it, including an entire range of boxes, labels and bags on a Wild Rose theme. Just perfect for the Provencal shop. But boy oh boy! Putting those tiny things together is frustrating....

I have 10 tiny clips and each box needs 4 to hold corners together to dry. So that means 2 boxes at a time can be glued up. My glues that I would normally use for this purpose have given up the ghost, so I am using a toothpick to dab glue-stick glue onto teeny tabs. All the folds have to be scored, of course, and for that I am using an old hat pin type of thing. My fingers are sticky and sore. My eyes are burning. But it is going to look so nice when it is finished, provided of course that I can find a way to keep the lids on the boxes down. Tomorrow I will attempt to punch tiny circles out of self-adhesive labels to make box closures. Failing that, I will have to cut and sand balsa blocks to fit into each box....

My hope had been that some of the rose-themed boxes would fit over cuts of standard basswood, but they are off just enough that that won't work. However, I think I will use basswood sticks to help fold the tops down neatly, kind of like a hand-held jig. There are a couple of nice gift bags, those will need a bit of reinforcing top and bottom, and thread handles through them. Bits of coloured tissue in these will suggest the bags are holding products.

In the meantime, the Tudor house roof is being finished; I had to add some strips to the roof crest to glue the cardboard roof tiles on to. The upper side corners of the removable main and second floor walls have been chamfered to take the beam supports, those will be put on tomorrow. Then the chimney comes off the house to make it easier to "brick" it; I will be using sandpaper bricks for this, as I can't use paperclay due to thickness limitations. Then the chimney cap and pots will go on.

The lamp base insert's floor and wall have been antiqued, the dresser has been glued up, the table is made up, so that is also coming along. Once a fireplace crane and faux fire have been added, I can "dress" that vignette.

Yesterday we got more than 30 cm (over a foot) of snow, along with a 13-hour long power failure. The generator is ordered, I just wish it would arrive; sitting around the house wrapped in a quilt with fingerless gloves on my hands means no work gets done on miniatures, and the show is next weekend! And now, with all the snow and the cold, the installation people probably can't work on it.
Oh well, maybe it will get a little warmer.

And my work-table is a right mess!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I've Been Working

Pretty tame, but boy, do those tiny bottles and jars take time! Especially when I get the hunger shakes while trying to position a seed bead with superglue on top of a skinny plastic bead....

The little display boxes are made to fit a specific number and configuration of jars. The jars themselves are made of a plastic pony beads, with the top of a split paper fastener glued on. Some of them have tiny labels cut from dollhouse wallpaper scraps. The display boxes themselves also use scraps of wallpaper, along with printies from the internet. These will go into my Provencal shop.

The table is a House of Miniatures kit, nicely rabbeted with holes drilled for pegs to hold everything in place. Only, one hole was rather off centre; luckily I was able to drill another without messing up the whole leg. This table will be stained, painted, and antiqued to go into the lamp vignette base.

We are expecting a snowstorm, so tomorrow will be a good day to work indoors; I did my volunteer job today to avoid getting caught in the storm tomorrow. My carpenter-in-chief likely won't be able to work outside tomorrow, so the Tudor house may get some more bits done as well.

At some point I have to make a piece of shop furniture to display miniature soaps; I kind of shudder at the amount of work in the soaps alone! As well, I would like to make a display counter to hold the cash register, and am thinking of incorporating part of a plastic box as the "glass" for that.

Somehow, miniature vignettes just never seem to get finished, do they?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Photos for Previous Post, or Part 2

As I've said many times before, I am not that great with a computer. That said, I couldn't figure out how to insert/edit my previous post, so here is part 2.
The above image shows the Tudor House taken partly apart; the house breaks down into 3 separate boxes, with the plugs for the electricity hiding behind a false wall in the kitchen fireplace. In order to break the house down, we had to insert an additional plug, and run grooves for several wires. Then we were out of batteries, so that meant a run into town for batteries. However, the lights all light up again, as do both fireplaces. Success! Now a bit of outside work to go. A photo of the building is on the book we used to build this house. The binder has electrification instructions and is much too big for what is in it; another project, move the instructions to a smaller binder! I much prefer LED lights on tiny batteries, but didn't want to get into retrofitting this project, as the wires for the 4-light candle wheel upstairs are carefully hidden in the central roof support structure.

Going back over the blog, I discovered I hadn't  posted a photo of the Tudor Apothecary Shop in its current, outside-is-done state. So here it is! We pushed ahead on this for a show this past April, and it has sat since then while I worked on other pieces. For this one, the interiors need aging and the furnishings need to be done, but it is lower down on the to-do list as I have to work on things for the December show. I hope to add an apothecary garden to the side with the red shutters, some of the plants for it are already made, but I can't seem to find the English Tudor garden that I was getting my design inspirations from any more - it is in one of the garden books in our public library....

Come January, I am going back to a Japanese room box; it is actually an outside scene, with a partial inside scene diagonally across the back. This came from a Japanese book I picked up in The Netherlands a couple of years ago (it really is a very global village!), kind of fun because I can't read Japanese so I sort of have to extrapolate the instructions for it. That vignette, which I had assumed was small, is in fact quite big, shockingly so, which is why it has lingered as long as it has. However, I am partnering via the internet with a miniaturist in Oregon who is also working on a Japanese scene, mostly garden like mine is going to be, who is also in a rut with her project. We hope to encourage each other and thus get both our projects on track again. No photo yet, I will be blogging more about that project come the new year.

Back to Miniatures

Now that some of the other, urgent projects are behind me, I can return to working with my miniature structures, to get them show-ready for Dec. 6/14. On that day, FAME (Fredericton Area Miniature Enthusiasts) will be showcasing dollhouse miniatures at the local Model Railroaders Show. We hope to uncover a few more "closet" miniaturists.

The Tudor House is going to be the big structure at the show, and to make it show-ready it needs some rehabilitation work. The lighting works off a battery pack, and some of the very fine wiring had broken loose during previous transport to shows. Also, the bedroom is getting a fire - after all, it is winter now. The corbels are finally going to go on, and if time permits, the chimney will be bricked and topped off. The last strip of roofing needs to be placed, now that we have figured out a system to do that. And the dust was horrendous! The Real-Life hardwood floors were refinished in September, and dust has gotten everywhere in the Tudor House, even in places that I thought were closed up completely.

Then, I need to permanently attach the hutch top to the base for my lamp vignette; the five of us who were at Camp MiniHaHa hope to display them together, to show how very individualistic the same project can become. I suspect I will have to support the hutch at the back of the unit, as the only surfaces available for gluing are about 2 mm (1/16") thick. The table needs to be made, and a couple of stools or benches. Then I can place the pewter pieces that this lamp vignette was intended to showcase.

And, if time permits, I'd like to prepare some stock for the inside-outside Provencal scent shop. That means gluing labels onto beads and gluing tops to those beads, making boxes to display them, and waxing everything down to the shelves so nothing will come off during the show. That piece is best displayed on a turntable, so all sides can be seen, and some people like to see turntables, well, turn....

I am going to publish this now as is, and add photos later this evening....

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Just Checking In

No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth, but Real Life has rather taken over the last month or so. Miniatures have had to go on the back burner, so to speak, as there are other things that need to be dealt with pretty much right away.

The other area miniaturists that came to Camp MiniHaHa have decided to get together at least once a month. This month we will be meeting the afternoon of November 11, as almost everyone is able to come that day (some of us are still working full-time). We seem to have picked a name for ourselves - Fredericton Area Miniature Enthusiasts, or FAME for short. One of our members arranged for us to have a display of miniatures at the upcoming model railroad show, December 3, and we will be talking of the best way to use our 2 tables. It is our hope that we may find some other closet miniaturists visiting the show.

I did find a nice, oblong, unbleached-linen colour lamp shade to go on to the camp project; that needs to be finished a.s.a.p., as we would like to exhibit our 5 versions of the camp project at the December show. The Tudor House will also get a little bit of work, as the hearth fires need to be wired in and I'd love to find another way to light the house; currently it runs off 8 small batteries, and those only work for 6 hours or so. There are also some support brackets to place on the house, and the chimney needs bricking.

In the meantime, I am working on a quilted project for a wedding shower, and knitting up a storm in 1/4 human scale, using self-patterning sock yarns - kind of fun.