Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Golden Film Festival

Fifty seems to mean 'films' around here. This week at least.

You see, one of the local independent cinema chains has a 'Birthday Club' which offers members $5 films the week of their birthday. And there are rather a lot of films on my list of things to see. So I'll be spending a lot of time this week sitting in the dark feeling frugal.

Speaking of cinemas, here's Lewis's latest creation, The Egyptian cinema, on display at the Sydney Show:
Modern dolls' house miniature cinema facade.
Two men standing in front of a modern dolls' house miniature cinema facade, having a discussion.
Man making final adjustments to figures in front of a modern dolls' house miniature cinema facade.
And a quick video to show the full awesomeness of the lighting:
video
(He had me at the sight of the vintage Vespa parked outside...)
Modern dolls' house Vespa scooter parked in front of a cinema lobby.
I forgot to take a photo of the inside of the ticket booth, but it contains the story details I've come to expect from Lewis, such as the counter top being worn down in the middle, and a half-finished lunch sitting in the corner.
Box office in the foyer of a modern dolls' house miniature cinema.
And outside the lobby there's a whole story happening, involving a certain time-travelling dwarf:
Three figures in front of a modern dolls' house miniature cinema lobby. One man is attacking an usherette, the other is holding a marionette.
Three figures in front of a modern dolls' house miniature cinema lobby. One man is attacking an usherette, who is twisting his groin with her hand, the other is holding a marionette.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Fifty

1. Dollars. The amount that the new IKEA FLISAT dolls' house costs. Which my friend took great delight in buying as a gift for me.
IKEA FLISAT dolls' house in its box.
And that I put together this afternoon.
IKEA FLISAT dolls' house under construction.
Completed IKEA FLISAT dolls' house with a 1/12 scale egg chair in one room for scale.
2. The age I turned today (for the second time: I decided last year that 49 wasn't a number I liked very much so went straight to 50).
Modern dolls' house miniature 50th birthday scene with cake, champagne and a gold diamante '50' on the wall.
Of course, I had to throw up a birthday scene in my new house before I decide if I need to paint the walls and floors to better fit with my d├ęcor...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Still at the show...

I'm feeling so far behind, mini-wise. It's been almost two months since I've had a chance to make something and it looks like it'll be a while yet before I get the chance to do anything miniature-related for fun.

This weekend I finally made the time to start sorting out the photos I took of the displays at the Sydney Show.

First up is this 1970s house displayed by Mountains Miniatures (that's the club that Margell came from: I was most disappointed that they didn't have a sales stall this year).
Modern dolls' house miniature 1970s-style house in a bookcase.
I realised that didn't take photo of all the rooms: probably because I thought I'd photographed and shared it in a previous year. Rebecca has, however.

Here's the upstairs hallway,
Modern dolls' house miniature 1970s-style hallway.
 the lounge,
Modern dolls' house miniature 1970s-style lounge.
 and a couple of views of the kitchen:
Modern dolls' house miniature 1970s-style kitchen, with a calendar from 1973.
Modern dolls' house miniature 1970s-style kitchen.
Modern dolls' house miniature 1970s-style kitchen.
(The theme for the August issue of The tiny Times is 'In the kitchen': that last image is a strong contender for the cover...)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sydney show stash: 2016

I wanted to share my finds with you last weekend, but the weather closed in on Sunday and so the lighting was terrible for taking photos. And since it's now autumn here, and I'm in full-time employment at the moment, catching the light during the week is becoming almost impossible.

Of course, the good thing about being in full-time employment is that I had more money to spend at the show this year than I did last year.


First up, the black and white pieces. These included some daisy fabric given to me by Jennifer, and some embroidered slippers made for me by Judy Foster (who also made the black and white stitched cushion that I bought,)

Selection of modern black and white dolls' house miniatures arranged on a desktop.
The  black and white flower cushions were by Dianne Cotterill, who told me she thought of me when she made them (clever woman). The white kitchenware with black edging were from Chells [sic] Miniature Corner, as were the black and white cupcakes. JWT Dollshouses & MIniatures had the white containers and bowls. The owls were from Liz (I think), and the 3D-printed plant pot, gnomes and vases were new lines from MinisByTwinMum. Finally, the crate bookcase was from Handmade by Andrea (I realised I was never going to get around to making my own).

Then I surprised myself by buying a collection of yellow items. I forgot to note which stall the cushions came from, or the bedding set. The Yellow pitcher and glasses set and the yellow spotty planter were new offerings from MinisByTwinMum, the champagne bottle and glass were from Kim's Minis, and the laundry basket from The Doll House.
Selection of modern yellow dolls' house miniatures arranged on a desktop.
There were blue items too: another bedding set, more 3D-printed pieces from MinisByTwinMum and a cheap bed and balls of wool from two stalls I forgot to note.
Selection of modern blue dolls' house miniatures arranged on a desktop.
And more bargains: the set of stools and a fold-up table, icebox (which I want to use as the basis of a speak-easy door), and bento box came from one stall which was having a close-out sale (I took their card but have misplaced it...) The picture of the sad-looking skinny woman was $1 in a bargain box and the cushions were $1. And there's a second cheap bed, which I'm probably going to paint.
Selection of modern pink, red and wooden dolls' house miniatures arranged on a desktop.
And, finally, there are the kits. (Like I need more kits). The Hoover Constellation is, once again, new from MinisByTwinMum. I didn't need the kitchenware kit but it was only $3 *shrug*. The display cases will be interesting, and I couldn't resist the wooden spoons and tray kit.
Selection of modern dolls' house miniature kits displayed on a tabletop.
Hmmm... perhaps it's time to resurrect Finish it off Friday?

Saturday, May 07, 2016

A mad month

When I said 'we're done' I didn't mean for a whole month. But then life tripped me up.

First there was the weekend I was an unorganiser at UnConference Canberra.
Woman at a conference looking at a BB-8 robot toy.
Then I started working on the May issue of The tiny Times which, as usual, sucked up my spare time.
Cover of the May 2016 issue of The tiny Times.
 Then, before I finished it,  life got completely crazy. I came home one night almost three weeks ago to discover that Mr Nibbs had died (not completely unexpectedly: he'd not been himself since Christmas).
Black and white cat on a colourful bed.
And when I rang to let Mum know, she told me that Dad was in hospital. So I made an unexpected trip to New Zealand to help them out.
Vintage handmade teddy bear sitting on a magazine next to a patient in pyjamas.
While I was there I did manage to do some mini-related things with a friend, including a trip to the Blue Star Kiwi stall at the Wellington Underground Markets, and a visit to The Weta Cave, where we did a behind-the-scenes tour of the sets for the new Thunderbirds TV show
Tickets to the Weta Cave Thunderbirds behind-the-scenes tour displayed on a  Weta Cave shopping bag.
(which was quite frustrating as absolutely no photos were allowed. And there was much in the way of miniatures to be drooled over: including the Tracy Island headquarters in 1/12 scale. For a wee look you can check out this sneak peek video).

We also made time to get up to some mischief of the street-art variety...
Dolls' house miniature wheely bin, welcome mat and letter box on a street in front of a fence with a door-shaped hole in the bottom of it.
Then, two days after I got back, I was off again: to The Sydney Miniature and Dollhouse Show.
Bed in a hotel room with an NZAME magazine, a finished piece of knitting, scissors and a needle case on it. On the bedside table is a glass of wine and an iPod.
I have lots of photos to share, but they'll have to wait for another post.

I'm pleased to say there were miniature acquisitions along the way. A friend went on holiday to Japan and returned with a range of miniatures for me:
Selection of Japanese dolls' house miniatures arranged on a tabletop
And I picked up a few things at the Blue Star Kiwi stall, including a Clarice-Cliff-like tea set 
Selection of dolls' house crockery and food arranged on a tabletop.
 and some tiny cupcakes iced like sheep: the perfect souvenir.
Tiny dolls' house cupcake iced like a sheep, held between a finger and thumb.
I'm just hoping life decides to settle down this month. I need time to catch my breath.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Ticking the box

Here's how I made the light box I blogged about yesterday:

While I was at work I pondered and plotted and came up with many options for how to make a working light box. A number of them very complicated indeed. Finally, after doing some research on my lunch break, I decided that the easiest way to make the letters was by printing onto clear stickers. And it so happened that Officeworks had the perfect solution for quarter of its usual price.

I popped out there after work, and while I was there picked up a couple of folders that I thought would work for the light box front and the channels for the letters (I'd originally wanted to make it with working channels made of styrene so I could change the letters but then decided that was the way madness lay and so went for an easier option.)
A packet of A4 clear printable stickers and a white plastic and white cardboard  folder.
 Total cost? Under $10.

At home I dug through my tubs of projects that I should have finished months ago to find a brooch box that I'd painted black for a custom order (sorry Tina: you're going to have to wait a while longer...).

I knew that if I could ignore the fact that the dimensions weren't quite correct, it would transform easily into the body of a light box.
Plastic tub containing a number of miniature wooden crates and packages of miniature items.
I stole the wiring from The Hideout,
Nine-volt battery with wires and switch, and a miniature light bulb.
 and drilled a hole in the back of the box for the bulb to go through.
View from above of a hobby drill drilling a hole in a miniature crate.
Miniature light bulb set into the back of a miniature crate, next to a nine-volt battery and a hobby drill.
Light shining behind a white plastic folder.
After this trial, I decided that perhaps a lower-voltage system might be better, I was going to test my theory but all my AA batteries needed charging so I pressed ahead before I lost momentum.

I cut strips of the cardboard folder to act as channels for the letters: again, they could have been neater but I was going with a proof of concept and knew I could cut better versions later.
Modern dolls' house miniature light box, half built but lit up.
At this stage I was starting to get excited.
Modern dolls' house miniature light box, half built but lit up, with hand for size reference.
The final step in my experiment was to print off some letters. I cut my sticker sheets down to A5 and did a test print (during which my printer decided to start running out of ink. Just after I'd returned from Officeworks. Typical!)
Modern dolls' house miniature light box with the words 'let there be light', half built but lit up, with hand for size reference.
The end result was good enough to prove that it was worth some further work to make it awesome.After I'd had some sleep.

The next steps? Try a lower voltage system. Cut new (straight) pieces of card for the channels. Re-print the letters and then cut them down to look more real. Glue it together. Make a scene. Then spray paint a new brooch box for Tina's commission...