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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.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Is It Because Winter Is Coming?

It seems I am a little obsessed with florals right now; perhaps it is something to do with the gloomy, dark weather today, and the fact that the trees, sigh, are starting to go orange, bronze and red. Here are a couple more floral offerings:

I had to include those interesting shelf fungi peering out of the crack in the retaining wall! This is an "antique" salt box, planted with old-fashioned, pastel violas. I quite like the way this little arrangement turned out.

And here is a larger arrangement, an old crate planted with a variety of spring flowers and greenery. I still haven't found my miniature ladybugs, and would really like to put one on the leaf at the front.

To close for today, below is a photo of a genuine Tudor house interior; those of you who have been with me for a few years are aware of my joy in late Tudor-era buildings. This is the Yeoman's House Interior from the Weald and Downlands Museum in Kent (or is it Sussex?) in the UK. I find this such a lovely contrast to the wealthier Tudor interiors one usually sees in miniature. The wall hanging is painted on canvas:

In the middle of the floor is the fire, complete with the clay damper. No chimneys at this time, the smoke found its way out through the rush roof. And I love the triangular stool at the table, as well as that triangular chair in the left foreground. Furniture was sparse...

I have more interesting interior photos, and will occasionally include them, as Food for Thought, and also as inspiration for myself, as I need to furnish the Tudor Apothecary and Workshop.

Nine days to Camp MiniHaHa! I wonder how many more florals I will turn out to try and keep winter at bay a little longer.

Monday, 16 September 2019

This Is My 400th Post!

This is my 400th blog entry, since I began this blog some years ago. To celebrate, today is a double offering of flowers, a pair of identical arrangements.

I have another version of this in my Floralia flower shop, and like it a lot, so I thought I would try a couple for sale. The dishes are from my stash - I've decided I will never use all the miniature pottery I collected over the years, there is not enough room in the flower shop for them all, so share the wealth! In the process, I found another way to make daffodils, and it is much less labour intensive. I am not completely satisfied, but will continue to work on refining the technique.

The flowers are paper, the bunny is cardboard, the bird house is wood and card, while the little eggs are Fimo. This is, of course, an Easter arrangement, and the bunny has left the eggs for the birds and is heading off to get more eggs for other birds (or something!)

The base for this photo is an old treenware tobacco pot, that belonged to my late father. I love the worn look of this, but these days it contains potpourri and lives on an antique marble-topped washstand in my bathroom. The floral shop lives next to it, so I see both every time I make use of the, uh, convenience. Dad used to collect stamps, and when he quit smoking in the sixties, the tobacco pot  became a place to keep cancelled postage stamps for his collection or for charitable donations, so I'm just continuing the re-purposing.

The white wall in the bathroom and the white marble top make a good backdrop for photos; that's where most of them are being taken these days. The dark wooden thing with the yellow and blue enamel piece on top is another piece that used to be my father's, which I use to keep ear buds in on my bathroom counter. Very useful for mini photograph, and handy with good light, too!

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Another Experiment, and Lessons Learned

The experiment in this case was making a "zinc" tub or pail to hold a floral arrangement. In the process, I "invented" a method of making wire look like miniature twigs, by using paint, tea leaf dust, glue, and tiny (and I do mean tiny!) bits of model railroad foliage.

Also, while working on a previous arrangement, I decided to experiment with bits of cut punch-out fern leaves, to create a substitute for reindeer moss; natural materials tend to deteriorate with age and then the arrangement is spoiled. Some of my very early floral or garden settings using some dried, natural materials are, sadly, disintegrating due to the dry air in our winter-heated house.

I picked up a set of inexpensive, fine-pointed colouring markers a year or so ago, and I find that with shading from colour pencils, they are nice to add some depth to paper flowers.

The tub was cut from manila file folder using a reduced bucket pattern, with an applied rim top and bottom. I also added a length of buttonhole thread to add textural interest below the upper rim, but I don't know whether it shows. I will use this general idea again for arrangements for my flower shop.

Now, if only I could find my sheet of miniature ladybugs, I could finish off another floral piece! I really have too much stuff....

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

It Wasn't Meant to be Half Scale!

So I saw this rather neat bird-house tower in an old issue of DHMS magazine, and decided to try it. No scale was mentioned, so I assumed it was 1/12th. The post it sits on may have been that scale, but the bird houses were definitely way too small, they would have measured about 4 inches (10 cm) to a side. As I had started it, I decided it might as well be finished.

So here it is, two days of work which I will add to my shop stock, as I do NOT intend to switch scales at this point!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Successful Experiment

I love the Twinings Tea can printies made available years ago through Wilmini Designs in The Netherlands. The web site is now unreachable (for me, anyways) but I was able to track down a sheet of them a year or so ago, and still have some left over for future projects.

This little windowsill herb garden is made mostly out of cardboard, with lycopodium and altered plastic plants. A rosemary plant, some parsley and chives grow in the re-purposed cans, which are confined in an old zinc tray. I used a mix of 3 colours of green flocking to make the parsley on a plastic framework cut from aquarium greenery. The chives are cut from some plastic Christmas greens. The tray is card, and the handles painted floral wire.

The herb garden fit nicely onto the small windowsill in my crowded kitchen vignette. My family room work space smells rather right now, as I stained some tiny wooden tops for glass jars with an oil-based stain. I can't open the patio door, as we are dealing with rain from Hurricane Dorian, as well as occasional gusts of wind. The lights have had to be on indoors since we got up this morning....

...And I think there is a cat hair caught in the chives tin!

Monday, 19 August 2019

Going Potty, As In Nuts

I am making modern flower pots. Well, Camp is coming up and I have to restock the shop in a box and make assorted gifts and tidbits to share with my fellow campers. This time, I really hope to have these done before September even starts.

The pots are made of scraps of dollhouse wallpaper samples, double layers for strength, with coloured trim because I want them to be cheerful.

Two days' work.... although a lot of that is actually waiting for glue to dry. Then the glue has to come off my fingers, the scissors, the knife, the work surface, my clothing, the cotton place mat I was working on; well, you get it.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

This Crazy Summer

My intention had been to finish up a couple of mini setting to show off at camp in September, but there does not seem to be time to do much in the way of miniatures. Life goes on, and we are on the go constantly; hopefully, things will calm down a bit soon.

I have not disappeared, and I am fitting in a little bit of miniature work every once in a while. Here's hoping I get better organized soon.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

The Cloud-Pruned Pine Has Been Re-Shaped

While we were in southern Alberta in May, I spent Mother's Day afternoon in Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. The garden was designed and is still maintained by Japanese garden specialists, and I got to see some wonderful pine trees there. This one is just off the side of the azumaya (gazebo) at the site.

My Japanese pine will be a single trunk, as my garden is quite a bit smaller; the idea, according to my Japanese gardening book, is that you should be able to see through the tree, so that the areas of foliage look like green clouds, and the trunk and branches should have a pleasing shape. My vignette has the tree in a tight corner, which means I had to shape it carefully to fit; also, it has to leave enough room for the hydrangea bushes underneath to get their sunshine. As well, the branches can't be too close to the (faux) house wall.

The top of the tree will hang over the fence a bit, while the foliage will fit within the corner without getting in the way of the gate or the plants. This is the same tree I put together earlier, with one of the branches cut off and the trunk lengthened. It stands on its own and fits neatly into the corner; the far branch will stand just proud of the slatted side window on the side wall. Next up, I have to prepare the bases for the foliage. Once that is done, I can paint the trunk - right now, it is just floral tape and fine wire over the heavier base wire.

Our heat wave has ended, which means I feel more like working. I hope to get back to this in the coming week, but as it is soon time for my visiting daughter to head home, I hope to also spend some more quality time with her, as it will likely be a year before we will be able to get together again....

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Some New Acquired Minis, and One I'm Working On

While I was out west, visiting my children, I happened upon an antiques mall's annual outdoors flea market/antiques sale. The very first table we came across had minis!

This lot was being sold for $1 each, but the man selling wanted to get rid of things, so he said if I bought five, I could have one free. Free is good, right? The sewing machine doesn't have a purpose yet, but I thought I could probably use it somewhere. The other four pieces, all of them pencil sharpeners in another life, will work very well indeed in one of my steam punk settings, with a little bit of paint here and there.

This second batch was being sold out of a carton, at 25 cents each or five for a dollar. The watering cans can go into the flower shop, my younger daughter covets the canisters (I thought I had three of them), and the log carrier could go into any number of projects. Right after I purchased these and the ones above, a Chinese lady and her adult daughter bought all of the other pieces in the carton!

My daughter-in-law had saved some small items from crafting, so my Christmas market stall (being planned for when I am caught up) gave me a box of tree ornaments and some wreath forms; with a bit of help, these should find a good home in that (eventual) setting.

On Wednesday, I actually mini'd with my mini friends; I began the wire form for the cloud-pruned pine I want to finish off my Japanese vignette, but it is too small. So back to the drawing board.

I will incorporate the roots into the trunk, perhaps add a couple of branches, although I have to keep the hydrangea plants in mind, and wrap floral tape, then foil, then more tape, etc. around it when I like the height of the tree. The unwrapped loops are where I plan to place the foliage. Luckily, I have lots more wire in case things go horribly wrong....

And no, I haven't quite finished my sweater; I have to sew up one shoulder, do the collar, and then see if the sleeves are long enough for me - hopefully that will be done next week.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

I Haven't Disappeared....

...but I did join a knitting group, with the result that I pulled apart a heavy Aran sweater I made years ago, that never did fit. I am almost done with it, half the sleeves and the collar are left to go. As it became summer here very suddenly, in less than a week, I am trying to finish it before it gets too hot to knit.

I may need it when I head for the Bay of Fundy on July 1st.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

See You Soon!

For the next little while, I will be away from my computer, so there won't  be any posts for a couple of weeks. I am still trying to learn the tablet, but I have yet to figure out how to post anything from there. Guess I'll "read" myself to sleep while on the road.

We were interviewed at the Moncton Miniature and Doll Show on Saturday in connection with our group Remembrance Day Project. Many photos of the project were taken; it will be interesting to see what gets published eventually.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Seedlings on a Shoestring Part 3

Quite a few children come to the Moncton Miniature and Doll Show every year, and they do like to buy miniatures for themselves. This year, I decided to do some items specifically for the kids, things they might enjoy and which they could purchase for a small amount of money.

Although technically not seedlings, these little plastic bouquets in vases made of various beads, with painted paper leaves, will hopefully find new homes this Saturday. They look pretty good, and may even sell to some adult collectors!

The flowers themselves are pulled off inexpensive plastic plants, and I have kept them as they are pretty good as far as one-twelfth scale goes. Along with these little flower pieces, I also packed up some early fruits and vegetables, and some pots and pans and the like that I decided I would probably never use. However, a child with a few dollars might enjoy having them.

We'll see! Good news is, the TransCanada Highway is open once again, which means I can leave early Saturday morning rather than have to travel via the long detour, and pay for a hotel, on Friday. I hope the rain stays away....

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Seedlings on a Shoestring 2

Today I assembled a small grouping of forced hyacinth bulbs in tea cans; this particular project has been around for a number of years, notably on a Dutch site that is now unreachable, and on the Spanish Advent Calendar several years ago.

The photo is not good; although it printed right side up, the flash insisted on going off and I didn't center the photo. I hope to assemble some inexpensive vases of flowers for the children that like to come to the show, and as they will be simple, they will also be affordable for them.

The flower heads are made of quinoa seeds, wire, and paper; the bulbs are polymer clay, while the printies are from the internet. That's it for today!

I hope to feel well enough to go to a mini afternoon tomorrow....

Monday, 29 April 2019

This Is Several Days' Work!

I am not even going to try and figure out why the photo is suddenly sideways; however, I suspect the Carpenter-in-Chief has fiddled with my controls again. This is a week's worth of polymer clay baking, interspersed with being sick, feeling better, going away for several days, and being too tired to figure out how to rotate this photo!

There are pies, tarts, donuts and petits fours pastries. I experimented with liquid Fimo and oil paint for icing, and it worked very well for the white and chocolate donuts, but the pink turned out looking too much like, well, flesh; it has been repainted and glossed.

The petits fours are decorated with candied violets and angelica pieces; I first made these years ago for the baker's stall of my market. Clays change fairly frequently; soft clays and I do not get along, but the harder, professional clays do not really seem to be available here in town. I'll have to talk to staff at my local artists' store....

And the carrots are sideways too, of course. I am going to just leave it for today, but will, hopefully, have it sorted again for the next post. There are floral pieces on the go.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Working Away....

I've caught a flu, and am coughing and sneezing all over the place. If you would like to see the Remembrance Day Project, photos are now up on the Charminis site (side bar for link).

In the meantime, I am working away on stock for the Moncton Miniature Show; there is all kinds of cooking going on - well, the polymer clay kind. There are also still florals in the production line, and I hope to have some photos soon.

At least I can still work on minis....

On the local front, the Saint John River is, once again, in serious flood. In the course of a few days, the levels have gone up many meters, and a lot of low-lying areas are under water, including the road we take to get to the TransCanada Highway. We are detouring along the old TCH which runs along the river. Fortunately for us, we are at least 100 metres (more than 300 feet) above the river valley, so we are safe. This happens every spring....

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Remembrance Day Project

The project is currently living in Louise's house, but as Marilyn took photos, she will have them up on her blog, Charminis (side-bar right) before too long. I still have to make the veteran's beret....

Friday, 12 April 2019

Remembrance Day Project Update

If you have taken a look at the Charminis site (see side bar), you have seen the work Marilyn has done to age the inside and outside of our project. A little bit of outside aging remained to be done, so the project came back to me. If you look at the photo above, this is the before version of the dugout side.

I felt that after five decades of rain and wind, the sandbags would have become quite dirty, possibly have some algae growing on them, most likely moss as well, and dirt would have collected over the years here and there.

I have a wonderful colour of paint called English Ivy Green; I tend to think of it as "sludge green", and it is a go-to choice when I have to create algae and moss effects. Some was dry-brushed up and down the metal siding of the dugout, some was rubbed here and there on the sand bags, anywhere I felt wind would have deposited soil and seeds and where rain might have pooled to provide moisture or create algal growth.

Dirt made from railroad ballast, glue and paint was glued into crevices, moss was planted here and there where shadow and moisture created a good environment, and bits of grass caught hold in various deep soil pockets. It adds decades. The problem is when to stop; I hope I have quit in good time.  Aside from a beret for our veteran, the vignette is pretty much finished. Marilyn will do the final reveal on her blog, the Charminis site.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Seedlings on a Shoestring Part 1

As mentioned, I need some stock for an upcoming miniature show. The first installment of the theme, Seedlings on a Shoestring, are pansy faces in rusty tin cans. (The dark blob just beyond is the cat, who seems to feel she requires attention.) I hope to produce at least two more installments on this theme.

It snowed again overnight. I still can't go out and spray my printies, and until I can do that, I can't go forward. Due to the snow and other things, we have again had to postpone our Remembrance Day Project get-together, but I do have a little more time to do my part of the outside aging for that. As well, I have to make a beret for my veteran.

Later on, when the various installments are done, a decision will be taken whether or not to add a tiny ladybug to each plant....

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Remembrance Day Project

The project has arrived at my house for a little outdoors aging. It was supposed to have been picked up yesterday, giving me today to work on it before we get together tomorrow, but - you guessed it, we had another snowstorm. Well, we got 15 cm or about 6" of wet, heavy snow yesterday afternoon, evening and overnight. It can stop as far as I'm concerned, but according to the weather forecast, it is going to continue to flip-flop the rest of April.

Today is pretty much taken up with other projects. I am painting paper for the tin can project, and painting leaf paper takes several light coats on both sides of the paper. I hope to punch leaves this evening, and finish that little project. It is intended as part of my stock for the Moncton Miniature and Doll Show, to be held in Moncton the first Saturday in May. Two more projects for the show are being assembled. I need a dry, sunny day to do some spray painting out of doors.

In the meantime, I am taking apart a sweater I knit for myself I can't remember how many years ago; it has never fit me properly, so rather than let it sit in a bag in my storage area, I am going to knit it up in a sweater that I hope will actually fit. I love Aran knit cable sweaters, but have yet to make one that actually fits me; one of the first I knit was even too big for my brother, who is 6'8" (about 2 m 10 cm) tall!

It is difficult to balance my time between all my various hobbies!

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Another Wednesday, Another Snow Storm!

We were expecting about 4" or 10 cm of snow, but I swear we got way more than that. Well, our get-together was cancelled again due to weather; we hope to get back together a week from today, to put the Remembrance Day Project to bed.

In the meantime, I am going to work on some items for the Moncton Miniature and Doll Show, coming up the first Saturday in May. And then I am going on a short vacation, and I need it....

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Our Veteran Has Been Dressed

You can click on the photo for a larger view. He has one major problem, which is that his arms are too short for his body, which means that his coat sleeves have continued to be a pain in the neck. I've cut them back twice, and the arm with the cane still disappears in the sleeve!

He has a wig, his eyebrows have been made a bit more realistic with mixed flocking, and he has a military mustache to hide his smile. I think he looks rather wistful and serious now, a better face for a veteran revisiting an old battle site.

Although it is not that visible, on his blazer pocket he has a gold-colour badge; prior to WWII, armed forces insignia tended to be made of metal, rather than embroidered patches as are in use now. At this scale, the badge is representative only, but is made to look like the badge of a Province of New Brunswick, Canada battalion that fought in Flanders in WWI.

All that is left now is to finish the landscaping, and add in a few small details. I also made a very battered, worn, torn and stained knapsack, which will hang in the dugout; it was too damaged for the soldier to take back home....

Do check in on the Charminis blog; Marilyn will likely post photos of the dugout as it is now.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Well, We Are Further Ahead....

Although we didn't get our project completely finished today, we are well on the way to being done. The landscaping is forging ahead, the small pieces are ready to be placed, and the veteran is nearly ready to go.We have added a dead sapling to our setting to add some height.

We are getting together again on Wednesday, to plant the poppies. I hope to get our gentleman done for that date. We did meet with our historical advisor today, and have some more information for how to  make this project a distinctly local one. Our hope is to display it at a number of different venues, and then ultimately to donate it to a local group.

We are already thinking of our next project....

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Rusty Barbed Wire!

"Nuff said! The pen is for size purposes. The wire is made from ancient beading wire or something, the spool it was on has lost its labels.

How to make it? Well, twist two pieces of fine wire together first of all. Then fold another piece of fine wire in half, and start wrapping it around the first piece of wire and cutting it off. Do this until you can do it with your eyes closed, every quarter inch or so. Go into town to buy super glue gel, because the bottle you had was borrowed and the borrower tossed it as it appeared to be dry, but neglected to inform you thereof ;o) Now drop a drop of glue gel on each little knot, dust with cinnamon, and go eat lunch and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Separate the little bits of wire you wrapped around, and trim to size. Dab bits of terra cotta paint here and there to simulate rust. Miniature barbed wire ready to go into the Remembrance Day project. We are working on finishing the landscaping tomorrow, but my veteran will have to wait another day or two for his blazer to be finished.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Our Scale Veteran Is Getting Dressed

We are using a donated china figure to populate our Remembrance Day Project, and I get to dress him up for the job

He is wearing real wool flannel pants, made from a sample of men's wear fabric, and now has leather shoes, which allow him to stand up on his own, no stand needed. I am currently making his blazer; sewing in miniature is time-consuming, as I do whatever I can on the sewing machine.

I am using some wonderful navy blue Pima cotton, which looks and feels like real wool with the iron-on backing. The jacket is lined to avoid bulk; the rectangular thing is a standard Lego block for size comparison.

Jacket and lining sewn together. At this point, I have to do all the details like pockets and buttons and faux buttonholes, as once it is on him I can't manipulate this tiny garment.

Large pockets in place, the sleeves ready to attach once the shoulders are sewn. I still have to make the breast pocket, but need to go get fusible double-sided interfacing, as I appear to be out. My least favourite part is the collar; it goes on under the jacket and has to be hand-sewn in place. Also in the photo, his cane which will get a Fimo head, and a WWI British canteen, which still needs to be dirtied up. It is covered with a single check from a sample of khaki men's suiting fabric. The stopper for the canteen is a cardboard rivet thingy, filled with Crayola Model Magic, and a bit of jewelry chain holds it on the canteen. The stopper will be painted black tomorrow.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Friday's Accomplishments

Today was dedicated to working on some of the items needed for our group Remembrance Day project, so we can make up for our missed meetings, hopefully this coming Wednesday. That means I have a few days to work down my list.

The first thing today was to paint and age the chair, abandoned in the dug-out at the end of the war.

A dark green colour seemed like a good choice; the interior of the dug-out is fairly dark, with a lot of grays and browns, and hopefully this worn green farmhouse chair will add a small pop of colour. The chair was made by Louise, and I was given the finishing and aging - two things I really enjoy doing.

The next thing was to put some foliage on all those poppies that are going to be planted on the top of the dug-out. I had already made up about a hundred blooming poppies, along with some just opening buds and some closed buds. Wild poppies have very little foliage, and what they have is kind of ferny, for lack of a better word. I used a fern spray punch, then cut that up to be small enough for the poppies. And as poppies have long, thin bare stems below their blossoms, the foliage is down fairly low along the stems.

They still need to be sprayed to prevent fading, but as it is raining today and I hate to spray inside the house, that will be done the next sunny day. There is more foliage that can be added in once the flowers are placed; I find it easier to gauge where extra leaves are needed once the plants are in place.
I guess that will be Marilyn's job, as she is doing the grass for the landscaping....

That leaves the veteran's clothing and wig, and some small accessory items, which I hope will be done by our next get-together.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Flu Season and Other Stuff

We have now had to cancel something like 4 meetings, either due to illness or winter storms. I am still working, just missing my mini Wednesdays!

In place of miniatures, I am working on some of my other hobbies. We will get back to miniatures, especially the Remembrance Day Project, I promise! During the inevitable intervals, I am finishing projects in some of my other hobbies.

In the meantime, we have been enjoying daily visits from a wild turkey hen. We just hope she doesn't become a problem, like the ruffed grouse last year, who decided he owned our garden and we weren't allowed in. That bird was quite vicious, and smaller than a chicken. Have you even really looked at the size of the feet of a wild turkey? Or its beak? Or thought about how much those things weigh?
We still have mountains of snow that have to melt before we can go back to working our garden....

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Not a Good Week

First of all, we are buried in snow; see photos below. I took them from my front steps this evening, to show the amount that we are dealing with right now. It is only the beginning of March, and we have at least six more weeks of winter to go. They are already indicating that we may have another record flood this year, based on the snow pack.

 Photo one is from the front door to the garage. Our apple trees are once again buried well above the trunks. Photo two is the drift pile in front of the kitchen window; this window is at my eye level when I work at the kitchen sink. To get into the house, we go up three steps. So, I estimate this pile is about a meter and half or higher. We had some very heavy winds for two days this past week, so there was a lot of drifting! Photo 3 is out to the road; we are running out of space to dump snow, and there is more coming tonight....

I turned in an odd way last Sunday, resulting in a serious back spasm. It is almost back to normal, but lengthy periods of standing are painful. So I didn't get as much done this week as I had hoped. Today, I did manage to stain the second floor of my steam punk loft project. As the wood used was very rough, there was a lot of hand sanding involved, and my back is complaining! The little chair is for the Remembrance Day project, it will be painted and then rubbed back for wear and aged and dirtied.
The only other thing I managed to finish is to paint a sheet of paper for the leaves for the poppies in the Remembrance Day project.

There is a real beauty to winter, but at this time of year there is also a desire for it to just go away, already!